Love and affection keep us united and attached to one another. Culture and society have dedicated days, norms, means and ways of communicating love and affection. The beginning of the Gregorian Calender is one such day.
Twenty years ago our neighbours migrated to the UK, Sankalpa their daughter who was my daughter's play kid is now a lady of 25 and is here on holiday. Bright eyed, playful, slightly mischievous says; today is the last day of the year and I am hosting both uncle, aunty and Hiru [our daughter] for lunch and before that we would go out swimming at Wellamadama [now known as the famous Unawatuna beach in Galle]. We have no choice but to agree......but I put in a condition, we need to be on the beach before the crowd set in. She too had a condition; the sea-bath is not to be discussed with her mother in the UK. The horoscope needs her to be away of water bodies and people.....recommends a cave dweller?
|Panoramic view of Unwatuna Beach|
In to our swimming shorts and we leave for the beach with toasted sandwiches and a bottle of coke; the phone rings and strangely it's a call from the UK. Siriya the cook-maid suspected her dress and not being home for lunch passed the news to the UK. What a small world we live in where everyone has access to technology. Persuasions, excuses, warnings, be careful s and we are in the water; cool beneath warm above and soothing. Most of all Hemamala too is in the sea, after four years. Yes... this being a special hosting. Two hours of splashing I try to recollect what it would have looked over here on 31st December 2004, five days after the boxing-day Tsunami that devastated much of Asia's sea front. Today the crowds pour in to make fun and enjoy the sun and splash,... the unplanned tourist infrastructure that came up after the Tsunami is getting ready to host the booze and dance parties that will rock this place tonight till dawn on the first day of 2012. Again, what a forgetful world we live in.
|Cool & Refreshing|
By mid day the place gets crowded and we decide it's enough. We amble along the crowd; strangely though much of the local crowd being Moors with the weaker sex also in the water clad in their obligatory black burqa, abayat, niqab and black socks coming in all sizes and shapes basking in the sun resembling beached whales. I salute the masculine gender that allowed them so, among the ample flesh that was exposed for tanning. Pity that Afghanistan lacks a sea front.
Home for a freshwater bath and we are seated in a modern day restaurant munching fried chicken and chips.
By evening I invite her to ours for dinner; roast chicken imported for Christmas now going half rate as the expiry day is nearing is sumptuous with a Sri Lankan style potato curry with tortilla bread, coconut sambol and roasted pork chop chased down with ale and coffee brings us to the shift in the clock. It's the Year 2012.
That was a memorable and a naughty way to complete a year. Lucky for we have another new-year dawning in April; the Sinhala & Tamil New Year which is celebrated with much grandeur, tradition and culture.