I remember how it was during New year…

I live in a village, we still take water from our well, we still use our well to drink water, wash cloths and have a bath. We still take some stuffs to cook from our garden, we grow plants, for fun and for our day to day meal. But We don’t have the beauty of Sinhala and Tamil new year we used to have few years back.. not anymore.

 

I remember 10 years back , end of the march is the period for bird singing, I remember every morning when I woke up I can hear the song of cuckoo. I remember watching blooming flowers in my garden, cashew trees with full of cashew and squirrels who compete with each other.

Not to forget the smell of sweets my neighbors used to make for New year. Every house was getting ready to celebrate new year, not only by cooking sweets but cleaning houses, painting them with various colours.

 

I remember how i used to bother my father to get some fire crackers for New year, I remember how much he insisted saying I would hurt my self but in the end he will buy me some. I remember my two cousin brothers who always come during the new year period to play with me. I remember endless fights with them for silly reasons like dividing cashew-nuts during April.

 

April… Used to be a month full with happiness, laughter all around me. Happy faces, even though they are rich of poor. New year was spring for everyone and everything..

But it’s been a while now.. Things have changed, even in the village. Kids who bother their parents to buy fire crackers is a rare scene now. No one bothered any more on making various type of Sweets anymore. The unique smell that used to come from houses during New year time is not there anymore.

 

Life changed, Village changed and simple happiness people used to have during new year time changed…

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Fooling everyone except for commuters (Highway bus economy part 2)

I was so excited when the bus service starts at Katunayake- Colombo Highway. Too much excited that  I end up writing a blog post about Highway bus journey. After continuously traveling for few month i felt like that post should be upgraded, because the situation on the highway drama is completely different from it was several months back!

Soon after Government starting running their new posh volvo buses in the highway Private intercity bus owners income went down like an arrow. In the end they wants to approach highway also, and they did! for a lower cost! While CTB bus chargers being Rs 130 Private AC buses start running on the highway for Rs 110/. First few days it was very neat. Conductors and drivers with uniforms , bus departure on time. With passengers or without passengers. But with the miracle of the Asia this only exists only for a week.

Private bus became usual private buses, In highway they take passengers in the foot board in intercity Rosa buses and of course door closed. I think our dear police officers don’t notice these or they actually do but don’t give a fuck ? Well i don’t know! But fine we all knew private buses had this history for long time in this miracle island. But soon after second miracle happen. CTB buses start talking standing passengers in highway buses, that also without tickets!! And i believe our officers don’t notice this also! This continues for months and non of the drivers or conductors give a fuck about their safety or passengers safety neither commuters care!

But who am i to complain?  Just a random bus commuter!

And suddenly week ago CTB buses change their bus fare to Rs 75! Lower than normal intercity bus. Everyone was like Whaaat the fuck.. even while i was working as journalist i always knew price hike is inevitable in Sri Lanka, public or private transport service it happens. And we understand. But reduce the price from 55 rupees! Well someone might say hey Miracle is happening in Sri Lanka. Too good to be true! but it did happen…

Next day when I’m watching TV i saw almost every government television channel shout out price reduce in Highway buses. It’s ok,  It’s ok to talk about it because they actually did it!

And after a lazy weekend at home I’m back in the road. Usual work trip for Colombo. I walk to Airport and get in to Highway bus and here Price is again back to Rs 130!! and reason? is nothing! Non of the  conductors know why price being increased again.

But no one shout in the Television again saying they changed the price again to normal amount. All the people in country except for the people who travel in highway public transport think that prices being reduced! That also from Rs 55/ But no one knows that miracle only exist for one week!

What are we missing as Humans ?

“Grandpass ” , the major topic Colombo city worries about now. The topic I can see on every Social Media network, where Buddhists threaten  Muslims and where Muslims blame Buddhists.  Before writing anything i would rather say this directly, I am neither a Buddhist nor a Muslim, and I don’t care how you judge me on my opinion regarding this 🙂

Pic By Sanka Vidanagama

Pix By Sanka Vidanagama

This was the pictures that concerned me. Why one religious party should have a problem like this? If they can live in harmony for all this time, is it really worthwhile to make a “War-zone” at Grandpass out of this?

Only a week ago, majority of non-Muslim people including Buddhists, were happy about Ramazan. Why ? Because they were getting “Watalappam” from their Muslim friends. And today, how many of the same Buddhist people criticizes  Muslims regarding this Grandpass incident? It’s as if they have been enemies for centuries! Did you forget that you were friendly enough to share food only a week before?

After reading till this point, if you think I’m blaming Buddhists regarding this, well you are wrong.!

While i was staring at my twitter timeline today evening I saw this tweet from a friend,

I’m sure he is a faithful Muslim, but he pointed out one thing that most of us can’t see when we look at this incident in a religious point of view.  Yes, we are having a shortage of Harmony in Sri Lanka, because people don’t analyze the problem in a humanitarian prospective; they analyze it from a religious eye.

After paying attention to Twitter I learnt one thing: expressing Your Idea in “Human” Perspective is subjective to heavy criticism. Some people were arguing if law enforcement can’t control the situation , ganging up, increasing the man power of two sides and fighting like animals would solve it. Get out from your religious attitude for a second and look at the incident as a Human. Would it solve the problem? It doesn’t look likely for me. But hey I don’t know. I’m just an amateur , you are grown ups, educated than me, I just think peace is better than war.

We had too many frustrated years filled with fear because of one war, who needs it again ? You? No i don’t think so…

Vesak around Colombo.

“Vesak” , I remember few years back , may be five years I was stuck on the massive traffic on Vesak day at Peliyagoda, even after hours we wasn’t moving even kilometer. I don’t know the amount of people who came to feel the vesak joy those days but I’m sure it was pretty much.

But yesterday it wasn’t the same thing as before, with some colleagues I was in the roads on Rosmead place around 9 pm to feel the joy of the vesak, but Rosmead seems like don’t have a clue about “Vesak”, other than few lanterns and fancy bulbs I couldn’t find anything eye catching that can call as Vesak celebrations.

With a slow walking we reach to town hall, thing was much better there, well at least let’s say that. There was some good lanterns inside the town hall, but I doubt that there were more lanterns than the people who watching them, yeah it was almost empty! On Vesak day night!!

And with the dreams of “Dansal” rice we had Naan and “Buriyani” from rahumania, usual diet even in special vesak day , well can’t blame, because there wasn’t any “Bath Dansal” around as we expected.

From the boring Townhall we moved on the Gangarama, hoping for a better view, Tragedy!

Vesak zone of Gangarama is closed on vesak day.

Thanks to nice lighting items on Gangrama and massive crowd at least able to survive the “Vesak feeling” but almost all the lanterns and “thorans” wasn’t operating!

With the disappointing feeling we came back to office around  midnight,

One thing I figured was maybe people not interested on vesak as they used to be or Economics crises has also stolen that from peoples heart.