Who am I? I wonder. A pearl perhaps, in a necklace of history, woven by the oldies around me, who cease not, to boast of their past. Who am I, but just a tear drop, in an ocean of identities, of claims, of conflicts. But a dream, in a sea of confused realities. They called me ‘Serendib’, that which was discovered by chance! And I wonder, again. You could have been lost, traveller, but I have always been here. Forever, in temples that store a tooth of the Buddha, in the folklore of the tears of Sita, in the spirit of a legendary Ashoka’s Dhamma. I was always here, as a thought, a belief, a land in the legend of your legends, the pearl of an island, the keeper of a stories thousand.
Did you forget me traveller?
For I was here when you brought the Dharma to my fortress, dressed as Mahindra..
& I was still here till so late when those waves struck us together..
But did you forget me traveller? For I waited for you in those green hills..
..Waited to shower you with smiles, when all you wanted was just a glimpse
I stood here, while you painted my walls with colours of thee, Dutch somewhere, somewhere else Portuguese.
I was there In the taste of the cinnamon, sweet and savoury both, akin to that of a conversation with the family that grew this ‘kurundu’
I was there, in the sheer astonishment of my folks so humble at anything new..
..In those headlines of a newspaper that’d soak the occasional morning dew
And also among those lines that divided my children..
But even today my friend, I continue to remain in those cricket-loving roars of “I AM KUMARA SANGAKARRA!” that unite them!
Yet, I wonder, did you forget me traveller?
Have you been to Sri Lanka? What were your thoughts about the place?
This is a part of the writer’s series, Us & Them, documenting the people of the places he visits. Some of the earlier posts under this series are-
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