Tag Archives: Kaluthara

The Coconut Tree

There is an old coconut tree in front of my grandfather’s home at Kaluthara ( Coastal city in Sri Lanka) . The tree was there for generations. I still can remember my grandfather looking at this tree from his nearby workshop. He was a carpenter. He chop, cut, shape timber into to beautiful wooden furniture’s and objects. He was a man with principals. He made his living by offering these beautiful furniture’s to daughters of rich fathers in our village. Who often had to buy these expensive furniture’s as dowry.  Sometime my grandfather offered his service free of charge to someone who can’t afford dowry. He said at the end only goodness remain. I remember the way he firmly declined the idea of cutting that huge count tree several times even to lucrative deals. For generations I couldn’t understand him.

It isn’t only me had this issue. My father was the first one to make argument to his father.

My father argued saying that coconut tree isn’t valuable as it used to be now, which gives little coconuts and also the threat to home in case of tropical windy monsoon. But grandfather steady as coconut tree never hesitate to change stance.

It took monsoon to realize the true meaning of that silent giant.

Somewhere in early nineties, during early monsoon, when rain nonchalantly hitting the roof making scathing noise, when I was just five, my father was thirty five and my grandfather was sixty five, three of us sit in a row next to each other in an old floor watching rain coming down. I fascinated looking at earth bugs appearing amid wet mist and our pet dog try to catch them. I saw my father and his father looking at coconut tree. It wag to the blowing wind but never breaks. Tenacity of that giant tree kept insisting blowing force of monsoon that it is still young to break. Stubborn to gives it up for whatever reason.

I went my grandfather’s home recently after sometime. It wasn’t the older place used to be twenty three years ago. New veranda, large rooms and whole floors are tiled with resplendent attraction to call a modern home. I find it pleasant and noticed that the floor three generations of sons used to sit is still there with tiles on it.

It start again. The monsoon. Unlike the older days it comes late this time.

I sit on the tiled floor. I recall two men who sit next to me. Both are gone now. But someone else still out there fighting for life. Taking rusty blows of monsoon wind. The true mark of champion is hesitate to give up just like this old coconut tree. It keep feeding fresh energy for life.

I sit on the floor, looked at tiny rain drops. I see shadow of mine next to me. It looks exactly like my father. I know that tree still there and the reason for my grandfather and father to respect it .

It takes time to read little things and connect them to your life, real trump of living is to find this connection.

Still coconut tree wag like good old days, but it never breaks.

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The Day One of My Life

It was 2nd of July 1985. Exact date which comes middle of a year. A day which you can count exactly 182 days forward and backward to complete a single year. This is the day my story starts. At half past twelve young men in early thirties anxiously drive a Ford Capri passing old Araliya tree opposite to the Kaluthara clock tower. The speed was noticeable for many people as everyone curiously take a second look on flying black bird.

“Are you afraid” the one driving Ford Capri asked worried guy seated next.

He remains silent as a dead man.

If you want to find a victim of thoughts, the one continually surrounded by happiness mixed with fear, fear warped with hope, expectation distilled with un-expectation, losing varied with gaining, uncertainty diverse with certainty. Yes, you would have found him sitting next to the driver.

That guy is thinking.

He thinks once, twice, thrice and many million times, but fail to stop his mind swings from fear to happiness. When you look at him outside, he looks like a pride steady young man. There was no one to question authenticity of his silence as his friend decided to refrain from talking until they reach destination.

When they both enter the Ford Capri to the hospital, rain starts falling down.

Two young men without an umbrella start sprinting towards the number 23 room with all strength wishing blessing to someone crying out in pain.

 “Don’t worry brother she will be ok” The guy in clean shirt shouted while running- Friend.

The worried man starts wishing deeply all known unknown angels to bless her. When tiny little raindrops falling from heaven, he thought he or she might be special. He waited, His friend waited, one hour, two hour and it drags to three hours. He walked along the corridors, counted hospital steps and think. Time was slower than him. He had to wait more. Finally he started praying again looking at walls covered with advertising boards sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.  His friend stood other side of dirty wall with a clean shirt, just like trying to suggest merits of his education in a commotion.

The meal missing anxious looking man finally hears clock bell rings five times.

It was a call from heaven!  A cry. A painful one, Hopeful one, miserable one, and pleasurable one, a whisper of a little boy making the first breath. Few minutes father starts breathing slowly and steadily just like transcending breathing lessons to new born baby laying few meters away separated by a wall, He knew all his determination and energy will travel beyond any boundaries .

Suddenly little boy starts to breath steadily and rhythmically….. He starts to cry loud with a smile ….

The doctors and nurses in the room starts laughing and calling sweat words of happiness.

Two friends hugged each other like never before and people congratulate the reveled man.

At five past twenty the door was open. Nurse invited him to come.

It took second to realize, he walked to the door and looked at his love of life caring someone special.

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It was me. Naked, holding my mother tidily curiously looking at a strange smiling man approaching us. His smile was unmatched for any object that can describe love; his face delighted with all the happiness in this world.

It was precise moment of happiness beyond anything in this world.

I knew he was my father; he said “This is my life”

I don’t know I can smile or not. But for the first time in my life I want to make a smile to him. He later said I stopped crying once he saw me.

This is how I started.

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