Posts Tagged ‘ bus ’

Clutching the railing..

28th February 2012
On this particular evening, I was returning back from work; with my friend in this wonderful city called Colombo; I am falling more and more in love with. We got off from the bus, and were waiting in the Dehiwala halt to get into another. There was a man , standing right in front of me; clutching to the railing nearby. It was a usual evening until the clouds started to shift and play thunder rolls.
My friend seemed to ask something to the guy in Sinhala. Even after 4 months its difficult for me to understand Sinhala in native conversation, when they speak fast its all “dot-dot-dot” at break -neck speed . I wasn’t paying attention either, I was already occupied with the thoughts of rain. I love rain; the very idea of rain is so romantic. I love it when the sky decides to be generous and summons clouds from faraway places. The clouds then merge up in the sky; with amazing thunder rolls and fall down graciously to bless the thirsty earth. Rain makes me happy; the sight, the feel, the smell of rain lights up a smile in my face; anywhere and anytime.
I moved further towards the railing, obsessively occupied with thoughts of upcoming rain , towards his side when he turned his head sideways. He was blind; visually impaired. I looked down abruptly, uncomfortable and ashamed, as if he could see the pity that was surging inside me for him. I didn’t look up until I convinced myself that this guy didn’t need my pity; he was still able, even more than me probably and had made his way in this world of people with eyesight.
Buses came, buses went. People got in, people got off. Thunders roared beyond the clouds. Our bus hadn’t come; and his also didn’t seem to come; and he was still clutching the railing. Then, it occurred to me that maybe his bus had come and gone but he must have missed his conductor shouting the destination. We couldn’t hear either. We had to look for the bus number. It occurred to my friend as well; and thank god for that! They started conversing in Sinhala again; the same “dot-dot-dot”; but this time I was desperate to understand it. Pointless, even if I understood it, I wouldn’t know where the place was. Foreign place, foreign person, foreign language; yet the desire to be of some use to this person were so homegrown; so from the heart.
Then, it rained. Like British people would have said , it rained cats and dogs. We were about to run to some cover; but he didn’t budge. I had but one small umbrella. My friend went to find cover so at least two of us could accommodate and there we stood, I clutching my umbrella and he still clutching the railing. Continue reading

trip to kovil

5th November 2011.
“So, you are a Hindu?” my supervisor had asked. “I am a Hindu-Buddhist”, I had replied. “But you go to a Kovil, don’t you?”I was bewildered. “Kovil? No, I go to a temple”. “We call it Kovil there, the Hindu temple, where Tamils go?” he had added with a smile. This conversation was almost a month ago, during our first meeting in Thailand. He had said that there were many Kovil, less than Buddhist temples of course, but quite many. The nearest one was in Welawatta and it was the most famous one in Colombo. “But I don’t want you to go alone,” he had added,”It’s not safe for girls to go around alone, especially the foreign girls”.
This was the cautionary statement that he added in our every conversation about Sri Lanka. He is scared; concerned for me. I wondered if he is worried so much because I act too immature for my age or just because of the fact that I am a foreign girl. I am after all his responsibility in Sri Lanka. Humph!
Anyways, I had a long weekend and there was no one to take me around Colombo. I had wasted my previous weekend too due to the similar reason. So, I decided to go alone at least to the Kovil, despite my supervisor’s concerns. My supervisor is a nice guy; a wonderful guardian and a good-hearted fellow. I didn’t want to lie to him, so instead I talked to my co-supervisor, convinced her (in a way) and then went around. I had searched for the place in Google map, learnt the routes by heart and written all the place names in my book (the names are pretty hard, I must say). My flat-mate had suggested that I take an AC bus. But I wouldn’t exactly be feeling Colombo, with the AC around me now, would I? She still warned me that I should not go alone, but I didn’t listen. In fact everyone whom I told of my plan had said “Oh! So you are going? Alone? Do you know the way? Don’t talk to anyone. Take an AC bus and come back soon.” So many warnings, as if I was on to find another America! So, I got out of the flat at 3:30 pm, with all the warnings and cautions, and waited for the bus. But no bus came. So, I walked to Katubedda junction and got on the bus to Colombo. It wasn’t an AC bus and though it was hot, I kind of enjoyed it. Luckily, the bus conductor could reply in English as well. So, I get off at Wellawatta but the conductor said that the Kovil was still a stop away. The Kovil was actually in Welawatta- Bambalapitiya border. So, I got on the bus again, people were nice. They smiled at me and asked me if I was a tourist. Some of them even drew maps for me voluntarily to show me the directions. I got off the bus, at the correct stop this time, and across the road I could see the Kovil, Sri Manika Binayakaga Kovil. Continue reading