Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Short Cut


                    My first appointment was to a school with only a brick building and  two other kajan thatched ones. It was situated deep into the forest which connected  it with the village by only a bus route and a bus which went twice a day;in the morning and the evening.  but many a times people find that the bus has broken down and those who want to go to the dispensary, weekly fair or to a government institute to get their work done have to trek that long journey along the dusty road which sent a swirl of dust, each time you raise your foot.
    As if to compensate the difficulties and dilemmas you undergo in that God forsaken place, the principal was a very understanding and a  kind hearted fellow.  He was in his early fifties with thinning hair and short and fat with a dark complexion.
          When  I went there  on the first day he welcomed me happily as he was without an English teacher for some time. I too, on the other hand , was a dreamy eyed teacher, armed with my new knowledge,  who was eager to impart all I learned at Pre-Service Training.  After handling official documents he  introduced me to the rest of the staff. As I could remember, there was only one male teacher and three or four female teachers who were all  unmarried.   
 Then the principal took me to a classroom with some students. but there was no teacher. He explained that the class teacher was on maternity leave and from then onwards I would be their class teacher.It was a grade two. I was somewhat consternated  but there was nothing I could do about it. I had come here  to teach these  students the most important English Language and the principal had given me this. To make matters worse, there was no black board for them. I had to teach them sinhala letters and words without a blackboard. It's like a game where you can't utter the word 'thirsty' when you speak about the water.

              The students gathered around me eagerly observing me and my dark purple  american Georgette saree. ( I still have it with me now!) There were around thirty five students in the class; malnourished, lethargic and under fed. but their smiles were warm and I felt that they were expecting something special from me . 

               The students sat on the rough concrete floor and there was only a wooden chair for the teacher. no desk or table.I introduced myself and asked their names. I exactly didn't know what to do. I was trained to teach the English Language but they had not prepared me for  a situation like this. My heart was racing and mind was thinking fast. I had to teach them something and the students were eyeing me curiously.O.K.What the heck, I thought.
                                           Then I asked them to bring their exercise books and began writing the word "samanalaya" (butterfly) in each book  and asked them to complete the page with the word. After writing in around twenty books my back began to ache as it was an uncomfortable posture without a table to lean on to. I straightened up and looked around . countless number of tiny hands were offering me their books for me to write that sacred word in them. Some were pushing to come to the front and I heard cries of "anei , paganna epa. " ("don't tread on please"!)

                   They were pushing me too. I felt a nudge and when I turned around, I saw a little boy has crept under chair to come close to me. He was almost sitting on my lap. I stopped my writing and gave them a look. I met their expectant gazes.

 I told them as calmly as possible, though I was very tired and uncomfortable,  "Now children, I am going to write the word in each of your books. So don't push each other. Go back to where you sit, and come one by one as good children. "

                 I waited.They didn't budge.I waited more. Reluctantly, one girl went to her place and sat with her book on the lap. She called her friend. Then one by one all the students went back to their space on the concrete floor. I took a deep breath. I just sat there indicating I needed a short break from writing. I was not allowed to wallow in my pleasure,  as one brave student came with the book and showing asked me " teacher, mehema livvama haridha" ?  Then another one came, and another. Again they were asking me numerous questions with regard to their writing, mostly the questions to which they very well knew the answers. I was getting angry as I was not composed and collected and didn't know what to do with these bunch of kids who expected some magic from this young, new teacher! 

            The other teachers may have witnessed this incident. One of them came and took charge of my young wards. Another took me to their room. It was a part of the school building.  She opened a thermos flask and poured me a cup of tea. I was grateful for her kind act and gratefully accepted it. but as soon as I sipped the tea, my thirst vanished totally. It was unpleasant and  an oily layer was floating on the surface of the drink. I swallowed it with much difficulty and finished it quickly. It was the sort of water you drink in those remote areas. You could never think how happy I was to drink a glass of cool, refreshing water at one gulp while little drops were falling along wetting  my neck line.

                    She asked me to take things slowly and not to bother about students so much as there was very little one could do.The majority got absent in the harvesting season and rainy season; former to help their parents and latter due to flooding of the roads. 

                  That was how my first day at school was spent  and the bell ran indicating that the  school was over. Oh, my, what a relief! Now time to go home. My father took me to school in the morning but I had to take the bus for return journey. Unluckily for me, there was no bus for the return journey and  those who travelled in the bus had to walk or find other options to reach their destinations.

                    Principal was concerned about my going home and asked two senior students to guide me to my home as they both were going in my direction. I was cold with sweat. I had never walked such distance and it was not easy for me to walk at all, as my new high heels were cutting my flesh like hell.

             but some things were inevitable and this was one such moment. There was no other alternative. So with a chilling heart, I started the journey.The principal advised the students to take me safely home.They were leading and I followed them. We were walking on  the bus road which was dusty as it was not tarred yet. after walking for some time I saw that the bottom edge of my new saree was fully covered with dust. and it had turned totally brown. The students too noticed it and when I stayed to rest for a while they suggested to take a short cut.I was doubtful at first but they were persistent, telling me that ' it was very short' when compared to this dusty gravel road where you tend to falter walking on gravel. I was reluctant at first but again there was no other alternative. My left foot had become reddish and each step was hurting like hell. I wanted to run home and remove this bloody shoes at once. 

                 So, when we came to the fork of the road, my two guides took the left turn which was the short cut, and I went behind them meekly clutching my hand bag, and giving more weight to my right foot. It was only a narrow foot path.No two people could walk abreast.  The thorny bushes and shrubs grew at the edges of the path, entangled in my hair, saree and back scratching me and sometimes creating red patches in my hands and nape. The walk was very uncomfortable. I had to twist and avoid the twigs and branches on the path and I couldn't walk straight. It seemed that my two guides were well accustomed to this daily walk and they just held and avoided the branches and twigs with an easy manner.   

 Then there was a mud hole in the path,and without knowing, I fell into it. A sharp pain spread through my body.involuntarily I sat on the edge of the foot path on the long grass. The pain was unbearable and I was twisting and wreathing with pain. Meanwhile the two boys were watching me helplessly as they couldn't decide what to do.

                My ankle was bruised. The two boys were helpless and they stared at their new teacher who was in great pain. Then one of the students  picked some leaves, chewed and kept it in the wound and I gave my handkerchief to wrap around it.but it was not enough to go around and I had to tear a strip of cloth from my new underskirt.  After bandaging the wound, I just sat there for the pain to subside, then got up and began to walk slowly.But it was impossible to walk as my both feet were hurting a lot.

                    I declared bitterly that I couldn't walk.The two boys were scared and exchanged fearful glances.As this was a short cut, very few people used to take it and the boys suggested to wait for some time before one of them going to village asking for help. They asked me to remove my shoes and meekly I obeyed them.Then one of them helped me to sit on the grass. 

              We waited. During that time, I had time to think about my teaching career. I understood with regret, that It was not  the beautiful dream I had  when I was schooling. It was more deep and humane and you should be a part of it and feel what your students feeling and experiencing in their day-to-day lives.

                          Even, when my subconscious mind was handling my thoughts, I heard a distant, but approaching sound of  creaky pedals. The two students who sat with fallen faces got up and disappeared into the woods and I waited, not knowing what to expect after this upside down events happening to me. 

                         Finally, help arrived but in the disguise of an  old bicycle.The villager was running an errand and had thought of taking the short cut to reach his destination quickly. He was aghast when he listened to the halting narrative of two scouts. He offered his humble services to the "iskole nona' and apologised for the condition of his bicycle. On the other hand, I visualised him as a Greek God, who came to the rescue of a young princess. (It was me!) I was thrilled to the core.Apart from the humiliation of pushed by three males, I sat on the rickety bike and was ridden home to the amusement of my sisters and the concerned look of my father.  
                So, finally with disheveled hair, a dusty and torn saree and a half missing underskirt I ended my first day in the school.                                                                                                                 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Teacher's Vengeance

The  Teacher's  Vengeance

She came hurriedly
to an unswept classroom
paper balls on the floor,
avoiding the fallen flower vase
on her path,
ignoring the culprits,
who deserve punishment
in an ordinary day.

With open mouth and wide eyes
pupils stare
thinking of
the impending doom.
Anticipation is mountain high.
Consequences follow
sure as Hell.

  Spectacled eyes
throw a wicked smile.
For, it is the way
to rejuvenate
the frozen minds
of the imbeciles.

This is her day. Victorious,
 triumphant, fulfilled and vengeful,
she looks straight
into the eyes of those defeated souls.

Dropping the papers with a thud
on the desk,
straightening the table cloth with her finger tips,
picking the chalk from the edge of the table,
She  wrote on the black board,

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Jump

                                       It was the scariest day of my life.I was  an eleven year old girl who lived with my maternal grand parents. My parents had gone to live with my paternal grand father who  owned a big plot of land and a five acre paddy field In  the dry zone.

                                                       I was a lonely girl and I had no friends in the school or neighbourhood. So my evenings were spent alone. On those evenings  I  roamed in the land where I used to live with my parents before they left.The house needed a  repair and it was in dilapidated condition. It  needed to be thatched but nobody was interested in doing so as all my relatives knew that my parents would never return to their home town.I  felt nostalgic all the time and used to sit on the threshold of the house recollecting the happy times I spent with my two siblings and my parents.On the other times I  climbed the cashew tree, the only tree in my garden,which could be climbed by me, my only refuge, in my solitude.Then there was a well, with a  crystal clear water in it showing the shallow, sandy bottom. It was an unprotected well and there was only two coconut trunks laid to prevent you from falling into it. But you shouldn’t worry about it  as you will never drown. 
                        The land boarded the paddy field which was neglected and turned into a marsh.When I stand at the edge of my land I could see the river shinning like a silver ribbon in the midday and flowing like a whispering mermaid in the evening. I could watch it for days as I was enchanted by the beauty and serenity of the river,  and its baffling fascination brought me a solace like no other. It healed my wounded little soul, shattered by the loss of my parents and my siblings. It was a usual thing for me to run to the river bank and sit for hours observing the setting sun and the grandeur of the sky in the dusk or the cloud formation which always made my mind run wild with joy.
                  It was sometimes  my custom to observe the river across the paddy field standing by the fenced land of ours.One day when I was looking at the river I suddenly developed an irresistible urge to jump across the marsh to the river bank .It was a short distance and I think any boy or male could do it easily . I have felt the desire from time to time but this time I was fully drawn to the thought like a magnet.My whole body shook passionately as in fever and the feeling was indescribable.

                       my feet was trying to fly and the blood was warming in my legs to give me a boost for the thrilling act.I knew It was mad even to think of such a thing as I was doubtful whether I could land on the river bank so I stamped my feet hard on the ground to change my trance, but to no avail.

                          before thinking of anything else, I sensed that my body was lifted onto the air, and within a fraction of a second it was dropped into the marsh below.Even today I didn't know how it happened . I heard a splash and then I was stuck in the mud.

                 When the cold, slimy and greenish mud came to contact with my body I came to my senses and realized the gravity of the situation.  I panicked and shouted for help.but I knew that there was nobody in the hearing distance.  I thought for a while again and called the name of my next door neighbour, who was a distant relative of mine.but it was evening and definitely he would be at his work place.I observed the river bank closely to see whether there were any children playing or any other person who had come to collect his help was there. I had to find a way to save myself.


                    I tried to wade the mud but there was nothing to hold onto.Even the few reed plants In the marsh were beyond my grasp and I couldn't think of a way to reach them.I tried to lift a leg to reach a reed plant but then I sank deeper into the mud.I stopped any movement and began to think. It was strange now but I have forgotten my initial fear and became  logical.

                  My only help was the reed plants so I tried to reach them again.  Each time I lifted my leg ,I sank deeper Into the mud, but finally I managed to catch a single stalk of a reed. It was not strong enough to hold my weight ,but using it as a support I held onto the next nearest reed plant of which the roots were very sturdy.

            Then half wading and half sinking I caught reeds from one to another until I crawled from the slimy mud onto the land emitting a foul smell. my frock up to my armpits were blackish brown colour and I couldn,t bear the foul smell coming from me.

       I ran to the well and began to draw a bucket of water and started scraping the mud In my the same time I looked around to see whether there were any eye witnesses who could narrate the Incident to my grand mother which definitely warrant a punishment.  It was very difficult to remove mud as it was very slimy. then I washed my hands and legs well to remove the unpleasant muddy smell from me. I crept Into the house without being seen by my grand mother and changed into a new frock.I was very quiet during the whole evening as this unexpected Incident had given me a rude shock of my life.

                      My grand mother noticed my silence and commented on it but I kept my secret to myself.Yet, the next day she had found my frock with dried mud on it and questioned me. I tried to lie but was not successful.She was furious after listening to my halting explanation with eyes streaming with tears and thrashed me well.She prohibited me to wander in the river bank  and paddy fields alone and threatened to inform the lady teacher who resided close to our house.

                                  I got scared and promised to do her bidding In the future and to behave like a good girl.I kept my promise but only for a few days.The river was my consolation for my loneliness and how could  I expect my grand mother to understand the fact? but this time I was very careful not to do my wanderings when grand mother was around. For who could bear the punishment of kneeling near the school gate for everyone to see for a whole day !



Friday, May 10, 2013

Don't give up hope

                                                                   It makes me melancholy even now to recall that heart rending incident.There are some happenings  in our lives over which we have no power to change or modify it  in any way but accept what has happened passively watching it rip our hearts a little bit whenever they happen. If I say that this is one of such, I am not lying.

                                       My son was subjected to an allergy when he was a little kid. As a result  he was derived of some activities and hobbies of which  he was passionate about. He wanted to be in the school cricket team and joined practices when he was in grade three. I used to stay with him after school, in one of the empty classrooms watching him mingle and play with other kids under the instructions of the cricket coach, who happened to be a teacher in the same college.

 after two or three hours he comes to me dead tired but glowing with satisfaction. He, narrating his achievements in the ground, we both walk to the bus halt, take a bus ride home or sometimes stop by at a cafe to have a short snack to tame his hungry tummy.

 but his pleasure didn't last long.after two or three sessions he seriously fell ill and the doctor decided it was the dust that causing him the allergy.It was  tormenting for me to break the news to him; of my decision to stop his cricket practices. I remember even now his disappointing face lifted up to me and asking ' why, only I can't play, while Piumal and others can.' I had no answer and I couldn't remember my reply. He was moody for some days and especially directed his anger at me.He saw me as the one always taking decisions to ruin his joy and I saw his resented eyes.

Though my heart bled for him, I had to hurt him again when he put forward his other passionate plea. One day after having dinner, he suddenly declared ' I want a puppy !". I was uneasy and stole a glance at my husband. He avoided my eyes. My son's gaze was directed at me unwavering and they were challenging. "I stopped cricket for you.. Can't you give me a puppy even? Piumal's Lassy has delivered a  a litter of four puppies and he promised that he would allow  me to choose the most beautiful  puppy from his pack "

                 His torrent of words flew and I was numb with pain. How can I explain complexities and injustice in life to my little one who expects only solace and piece in his tiny world? I opened my mouth , yet he guessed what was coming and became aggressive.  "Don't say NO to this" His voice shook with emotion.He threw a pleading look at his father but he shook his head which indicated a negation.

   Then he looked at me again, tears streaming down his cheeks.His little mind was confused and he couldn't find why his beloved parents were doing this to him. Hastily I said" putha, I will get you one when you are a little older. Can u remember what the doctor told you? Their fur is bad for your health.Do you want to take medicine  and the  inhaler daily ? Be patient like a good boy and when you are cured, I will find you a beautiful puppy for you."

                   He was inconsolable  He just threw me a disgusting  look and  ran to his room, and  flopped on the bed. For a few days I sensed his distance. He just played with his toys but rarely came to release his childish patter. The one he loves most was giving him the heartaches which he simply could not bear.

                I, on the other hand was suffering immensely as I knew that he was going through a psychological trauma.But there was nothing else to do. His doctor advised me strongly that it is vital to keep him away from animal fur, dust and any other thing which will trigger his cough. It was unthinkable to give in to his request when I remember how he suffer when having a bout of wheezing. It was pure hell to watch his agony. Lying on the bed, he breathes laboriously, long and slow, each breath like his last.Even after giving medication,  it takes at least two or three hours or sometimes more to come back to normal. At those times his strength was completely drained and he sleeps long. From time to time I gently put my hand on his chest to check his heart beat to make sure he is o.k. His regular breathing lifts my spirits and then only our household becomes normal again.

                  But, fortunately, a pediatrician who worked in Ridgeway hospital came to our help.He was a somewhat peculiar fellow when compare him with other doctors, yet an excellent physician with a superb  knowledge of diagnosing.He took time to examine my son and prescribed him some medicine and asked me to come after one month
              Gradually, in each visit, the dose of medication was reduced and finally the doctor decided that my son could do without medicine.How happy I was! I felt like worshipping his feet.All my fears and doubts vanished and with preventive medicine I returned home with a  heart made light with hopes for future.

                     Though my son was unable to play in the cricket team he was able to resume his regular activities in school.The frequency of developing the wheeze was getting less and less.

                       It was that doctor who gave me hopes for my son's recovery and I am indebted to him forever for understanding my helplessness.. He is a good doctor and still treats patients.

              I want to publish this post as a tribute to good doctors who still whether the hardships and challenges of a monetary society, yet able to remain as humane and compassionate human beings.

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Wishes of a Little Child

                  තුරු මවක්  කුඩා ලමයෙකුට ආදරය  කලාය. ඒ ලමයා ඇගේ තුරු පත් එක්කර කිරුලක් සදා හිසේ පලඳා රජකු මෙන් සෙල්ලම් කලේය. ඇගේ කඳ දිගේ  රූටා  ගොස්  අතු අග ඔන්චිලි පැදීමට පුරුදු වී සිටියේය.

                  ඒ මදිවාට  තුරු මුදුනේ හටගත් ගෙඩිද  කෑවේය. ඇය   ලමයා   සමග සෙල්ලම්  කලාය..සෙල්ලම් කර මහන්සි වූවිට ඇගේ හෙවනේ නිදාගැනීමටත් ඇය ඔහුට ඉඩ දුන්නාය.

කුඩා දරුවා තුරු මවට බෙහෙවින් ආදරය කලේය.තුරද බෙහෙවින් තෘප්තියට පත් වූවාය. කාලය ගතවිනි.කුඩා ලමයා ලොකු මිනිසෙක් විය.ඔහු ඇයගෙන් වෙන්වී නව අත්දැකීම් සොයා ගියේය.

                         තුරු මව තනි වූවා ය.

 බොහෝ දිනකට පසු  කුඩා ලමයා නැවත    බැලීමට පැමිනියේය.

                   "එන්න දරුවෝ, එන්න!මගේ අතුවල  එල්ලිලා ඔන්චිලි පදින්න. මගේ ඇපල් කන්න.මගේ හෙවනේ සතුටෙන්  සෙල්ලම් කරන්න." ඈ ලමයාට ඇවිටිලි කලාය.

                     "මම දැන් ඔන්චිලි පදින්න ලොකු වැඩියි."  කුඩා දරුවා කීය."මට ඕනෙ විනෝද වෙන්න. ඒකට මට සල්ලි ඕනෙ."

                          "මට බොහොම කනගා‍ටුයි. නමුත් මට කොයින්ද සල්ලි? මට තියෙන්නෙ කොලයි ගෙඩියි විතරනෙ"
            "ඕනෙ නම්  මගෙ ගෙඩි විකුණල සල්ලි අරගන්න."

ලමයා දෙවරක් නොසිතා හනිකට ගසට නැග ගෙඩි කඩාගෙන, ඒවා විකිනීම පිනිස ටවුමට ගියේය. 

ඔහුගේ සතුට දැක ගසද සතුටට පත් වූවාය.

     ඉන්පසු බොහෝ කාලයක් ලමයා දක්නට ලැබුනේ නැත. දිනක් හදිසියේම වාගේ දරුවා නැවත පැමිනියේය. ගස ප්‍රීතියෙන් වෙව්ලා ගියාය.

"දරුවෝ! එන්න! එන්න! මගෙ අතුවල පැද්දිලා ඉස්සර වගේ විනෝද වෙන්න."
 ගස ආයාචනා කලාය.

  නමුත් දරුවාගේ පිලිතුර අනපේක්ෂිත එකක් විය.

           "මට දැන් ඕව කරකර ඉන්න කාලයක් නැ. මට දැන් හොඳ සැප පහසු ගෙයක් ඕන.  ගෙයක් නැතිව මං කොහොමද දරු පවුලක් හදා ගන්නෙ?" 

                 "පුලුවන්ද මට ගෙයක් හදල දෙන්න" ?

     ගස නිරුත්තර විය.

 "පුතා දන්නවනෙ, කැලේ තමා මගෙ නිවහන. පුතාට ඕනෙ නම් මගෙ අතු කපල ගෙයක් හදා ගන්න".

                         "පුතාට සතු‍ටුයි නේද දැන්"?

 කුඩා දරුවා අතු කපාගෙන, ගෙයක් සාදා ගැනීම පිනිස ‍රැගෙන ගියේය.

 ඔහු ගැන සිතමින් තුරු මව සතුටට පත්වූවාය.

          නැවතත් ඔහු එනතුරු කාලයක් බලා සිටීමට  සිදුවුනත්, ඔහුගේ ආගමනය ඇයට කියා නිම කල නොහැකි තරමේ 
සන්තුෂ්ටියක් ඇති කලේය.

ඇය නැවතත්  සුපුරුදු  හුරතල් වදන් තොල මැතුරුවාය.
 "මගෙ  දරුවෝ එන්න. ඇවිත් සෙල්ලම් කරන්න".

 "මම දැන් සෙල්ලම් කරන වයසක නෙමේනෙ ඉන්නෙ. ඇරත් සෙල්ලම් කරන්න තරම් මට සතුටකුත් නෑ හිතේ".

"ගෙදර ඉඳලම මට දැන් ඇති වෙලා. මට රට තොට බලාගන්න  ලෝකෙ වටේ යන්න හිතයි". ලමයා නොසතුටෙන් මිමිනීය.

               "පුලුවන් නම් මට බෝට්‍ටුවක් හොයල දෙන්න." ලමයා තවත් ඉල්ලීමක් ඉදිරිපත් කලේය..

 "මගෙ කඳ කපන් ගිහින් බෝට්‍ටුවක් හදා ගන්න".

                    තුරු මාතාවගෙන් අදහසක් ඉදිරිපත් විය. දරුවා ඇගේ කඳ කපා බෝට්‍ටුවක් සාදාගෙන ලෝකය වටේ සවාරියක් ගියේය. 

      සියුම් දුකක් දැනුනත්,  ගස සිරිත් ලෙස සතුටට පත් වූවාය.
 සැහෙන නිහඬතාවයකින් පසු නැවත දරුවා පැමිනියේය.

                             ගස මෙසේ කතාව ඇරඹුවාය.
 "ඔයාට දෙන්න දෙයක් නැති වීම ගැන මට දුකයි.දැන් මගෙ ඇපලුත් නෑ".

  "ඇපල් කන්න මගෙ දත් හයිය නෑ". දරුවා පිලිතුරු දුන්නේය.

  "ඔයාට ඔන්චිලි පදින්න මගෙ අතුත් නෑ". ඇගේ ස්වරය ශෝකී විය.

 "ඔන්චිලි පදින්න මම පොඩි ලමයෙක් නෙවෙයිනෙ". ලමයා ගනනකට නොගෙන පැවසීය.

"මගෙ  ඇඟ දිගේ රූටන්න දැන් ඔයාට බැනෙ.මගෙ කඳ නැති නිසා".

                                  "මට දැන් ඒවා කරන්නත් හරි මහන්සියි".   ලමයාගේ ස්වරයේ පරාජිත බවක් ගැබ්වී  තිබින.

           තුර සුසුමක් හෙලා මෙසේ කීවාය.
 "මට හරි දුකයි දරුවෝ.ඔයාට දෙන්න දෙයක් තවත් මං ලඟ ඉතුරුවෙලා නෑ.
          "මම දැන් නිකම්ම නිකන් ලී කොටයක් විතරයි. මට බොහොම කනගා‍ටුයි".

                      "මටත් දැන් වැඩි යමක් ඕනෙ නෑ". "සද්ද බද්ද නැති තැනක වාඩි වෙලා ගිමන් හරින්න තිබුනොත් හොඳටෝම ඇති".   දරුවාද අපහසුවෙන් කෙඳිරීය.

                      "එහෙම නම්" තම ඇඟ කෙලින් කර ගන්නා ගමන් ගස පිලිතුරු දුන්නාය. "පරන ගස් කොටයක් තමා ඒකට හරියන්නෙම."

                  "එන්න දරුවෝ, එන්න. ඇවිත් ඉඳගෙන මහන්සි නිවා ගන්න".

             දරුවා ගස ලඟින් වාඩි වී ගිමන් හැරියේය.  

           නෙතේ කඳුලක් රඳවාගෙන, ගසද සැනසුම් සුසුමක් හෙලුවාය.

 A translation of the poem 'Giving Tree' by Shel Silverstine.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Oh, My Darling, Where's your Mummy ?



Friday, February 1, 2013

Sitting in front of the River

Siting in front of the river,
his eternal look bespeaks of his creator.
In the backdrop of the rough canvas,
on a leafless bough it perches.
finding his perpetual, niche forever.

His everlasting stay.
the parlour of  my home.
Looking for whom ?
His painter in the capital city
or the one who bought him for thousand rupees ?

A thought of the brain
of a poor painter.
Sold for a few rupees 
to burn the kitchen fires.
Glory versus family!
Suitable for a headline 
in a weekend newspaper

How can I forget the look 

he gave when the bargain was done ?
Yet, will his fame give his son
a pair of tennis shoes
or tuition fees for elder one ?
At least a sustegen for his 
wife with a cancer ? 

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Cobra



                             I inserted the key; opened the door and entered the house which was lonely and dark. All  the family members leave home early except me and it is my duty to lock the doors and windows of the house before leaving for school. 

The scorching sun has drained my energy while walking from the main road and I was exhausted when I reached home.Using the last drops of  strength I opened the door; dropped myself on the settee making my body comfortable as much as I could, while throwing my hand bag onto the chair next to me. I could not cope with the work load at school and lately had become quick tempered and flew into a rage even with a slightest provoke.

            I closed my eyes and let my mind blank for a while enjoying the oblivion I felt though temporarily.
               It was not easy to rest when you think of work remained to be done.With a weary body and mind I made myself stood up and my legs did the rest for me.

                             My husband is a very neat and tidy fellow and he couldn't bear my cluttering the whole house.So I was careful not to arouse his temper by throwing my hand bag on the settee; my saree on the bed and my high heels under the chair.

                     I took my hand bag to my bed room which was dark. my usual procedure was first to open the window next to the bed and keep my hand bag on it and then remove my saree and change into a very old but comfortable, loose dress. That day also I began to do the same routine. I open the window by keeping one knee on the bed while stretching my right hand to unlock the window.While I was fumbling to find the lock in the window in the dark room, I noticed something near my knee on the bed.It slightly moved.Before deciding what to do, my reflexes drew me out of the bed and I came running to the parlour, screaming. Unfortunately only the front door was open and nobody could hear me. I stood in the middle of the room unable to comprehend what happened. I slowly tried to recollect what I saw and it suddenly dawned on me that it was a silhuette of a snake I saw there. 

                                                  I tried to recollect whether I had left something on the bed while I was getting ready for school in the morning  but unable to think of any. 

              My mind was in a turmoil. How could a snake lie on my bed? How did it come?  Though it may seem foolish now, I couldn't resist the urge to have another look at the bed to see whether the snake was still there. I cautiously parted the curtain and took a tiny peek. Alas! The snake was still there in the same position with its half raised head. I observed it for a few minutes to see whether it was moving but unable to see any stirring other than that peculiar and  slight bobbing of the head.

               I wanted to call for help but scared to leave lest the snake may hide somewhere and would bite me later. I wanted to monitor its movements and knew I had to deal with the situation without any help.Again I peeked through the curtain but the snake hadn't changed its position. A doubt came to my mind. It is unusual for any snake to remain in the same position when it hears sounds and I thought of a plan to test it. 

               I took the broom and with full of dread in my heart, tiptoed to the room and  very slowly and cautiously nudged the tail of the snake with the end of the broom.Yet it didn't move but raised its head again.Strange, I thought.I closely observed it again  but couldn't see any action and then I became bold. This is not the usual behaviour of any animal. When they sense danger, they try to leave the place.I should have brought a torch and every thing would be solved then and there, but my scary mind  didn't allow me to think rationally at that time. without opening the window I couldn't see it properly and I decided to take my second bold action.
                           My heart was beating heavily in my rib cage and my mouth was dry but I felt obsessive to do it.I knelt on the bed while the snake was lying close to my knee and with shaking fingers opened the window; quickly jumped away from the bed and ran to the parlour. I expected the snake to leave the room through the open gap of the window and waited but when I took another peek it was still there.                 
                                       I lost my temper. I was weary after a strenuous day at school and here I  had to deal with a silly snake which does not leave my bed when it has all the places in the world  to rest.I took the broom again and keeping a comfortable distance to run if an emergency occurs,  hit hard the snake on its head .My blow was very hard and the snake fell on the floor.I expected to see its wreathing body moving  and raised the broom to attack it  a second time but there was  no resistance except the  same nodding  of the head.
                              Then only the truth dawned on me. This time I took a good, close look at the snake and saw it was made of rubber. I was very angry with myself for being so foolish to engage in a silly fight with a rubber snake. I picked it up and with all my strength threw it from the window with a full force, releasing my tension at the same time. 

                                 Later that day I found out that my husband had purposely planned everything and the result was something he expected for.

                        I was very angry and ashamed and  thought of  taking the revenge  for my humiliation but I never got the chance to do it.