Thoughts during this festive season

By Nalin Marambe

To me, Lord Buddha and Lord Jesus had something in common although they were born to this world in two different regions, times and faiths. Both of them wore simple robes, of course different in color, lead simple lives. Both of them were on the side of the poor, the needy. They championed the cause of poor while being simple and humble.

My father worked for the government. His salary was just enough to run our family. Yet he went on to pay up the bills with no grudge to others. Dinky toys and Lego blocks were far away. Virtual World was unheard of. We took to our back yard after school hours. I still remember those Mango and Jack fruit trees in our back yard. Those fruits were really good.

Our imagination ran riot. We became soldiers as movies on Vietnam War dominated our back yard. Characters of “The Good, The Bad and the Ugly…!” came to life. There were heroes and villains as we played cops and robbers. Having a tennis ball to play paddy field cricket was a luxury. We made toys from bits and pieces that we collected from coconut trees and cardboard cartons. We fought and became enemies over a fallen mango from a tree, yet those grudges were short lived. Those train rides to grounds at Bogambara and Nittawela was like being to the stadium at Twickenham.

Those movies, “Wild Geese”, “Eagle Has landed”, “One Flew Over the cuckoo’s nest”, “The Day of the Jackal”, “Star wars”, “The Jaws” etc, captured our imagination. 

The Books Of Martin Wickramsinha, මඩොල් දූව( Mangrove Island ) and ගම්පෙරලිය ( Changement ), R.L. Spittle’s තිසාහාමි( Wild Ceylon ), T.B. Illangaratne’s අඹ යහළුවෝ( Best Friends ) made an ever lasting impression in our hearts. All those stories had adventure, yet they were simple.

When a neighbor went through a crisis we were there and shared their grief and helped them in whatever possible way. When they were happy we were there to share their joy. Religion and race had no bearing on our friendships. I remember those days when my parents passed away, just like yesterday. The entire neighborhood gathered around me even before any relative could reach our home.

Being the youngest, my parents were the best people, I could ever dream of; they showed me the way to go on; I hope read them right. If someone sees little bit of good in me, I am sure, I inherited from it my mother, if I happen to be a stubborn crack, definitely those genes came from my father. If I had some discipline, it certainly descended down to me from my Grand Parents.

Our Warm hearts, good will and fellowship got blended with very well around the neighborhood during Christmas, Ramadhan, Wesak & Sinhala and Tamil New Year and beyond.

The joy was always there in our hearts beyond ethnicity and religion. We should be simple, more disciplined and honorable, if that is so our world would be a better place to be.

Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul.

- Mark Twain –