In year 1985, when I was 5 years old, my parents who were renting until that time, decided to buy a house from Kaduwela, Sri Lanka. It was a village at the time, and many objected to it, and said we have bought a house in a forest, in my native language,
ඔයාලා කැලේකින් ගෙයක් අරන් තියෙන්නේ
It was in a housing complex done by John Keells Holdings, and our house was house number one, in John Keells Housing Scheme II. We moved to this house on 14th February 1986, the same day as my parents’ wedding anniversary.
The area was so rural, we hardly had a proper bus service. We also didn’t own a car. We also didn’t have sufficient places to shop for goods, especially where my mother’s standards were concerned.
My uncle’s very good friend, Pushpasiri, who we refer to as “Pushpa Uncle” had a shop right next to my school, named “Prabhath Stores”. It wasn’t uncommon for me to stay after school there until my mother arrived to pick me up. Pushpa Uncle and his staff including Sirisena, were really kind human beings. Especially knowing what happens to school kids, along my own journey of life, they were heaven sent. They treated me with utmost kindness and respect for my mother. It wasn’t also uncommon for mom to leave behind my school bag, her fortnightly shopping at his shop, where he would deliver the goods in his Mitsubishi J44 Jeep, which looked like a police vehicle, which I loved, on his way home to Wellampitiya, Sri Lanka.
He was known to our family, and my father who was working in the Middle East. My father was quite pleased to know my mother gets some help, and often we have used him and his vehicle to pick-up, and drop-off my dad from and to the airport.
When ever he came, he would bring Kandos chocolate balls, A pack of lemon puff, or something sweet for me and my sister. My mother would serve him late dinner, as thanks for his service. Usually, since it was Fridays, and since Mom knew how the neighbors would see this as, she would open all the doors and windows, turn all lights on, and keep my sister and myself awake until he left.
This went on for years, and no one saw an issue with it. Except my very religious muslim neighbor, Mrs. Mudrika Buckman who dwelled in house number 2. Her husband was also working in the middle east, and she had 3 sons. But she appeared to be more interested in the happenings of our house. So she made up a story about my mother’s secret lover. My poor mother, and uncle Pushpa, who had nothing other than a friendship going on. Mrs. Buckman, to Mrs. David, to Mrs. Gomez, to God knows how many more Mrs’es. The jobless, nosy, good for nothing hellbound, story makers, and distributers.
A few years later, the Gulf War hit. My maternal uncle was the first to escape, who was working in an oil refinery in Kuwait. He had a narrow escape. The whole family was shocked. Then came my dad, who was in Riyadh, KSA at the time. He also had seen death’s door quite a few times, before he arrived in the country.
By the time my father arrived, my maternal uncle was getting ready for his wedding. He had fallen out with his eldest sister, despite my mom’s advice which I also have heard, he refused to patch up. My mother’s other sisters were in Australia and New Zealand. They were the skilled dressmakers, cake makers, and what not, better suited for a wedding organisation, or that’s how my mother saw it. But, my poor mother was now the only sister who was to make cakes, and do all sorts of activities.
My father didn’t get his usual welcome, as my mother was busy running around for her brother. It wasn’t personal, but my father didn’t take it well. I can understand, as he would have seen bombs, hiding in bunkers, death would have knocked on his door fair few times, and when he arrived, we were busy. He didn’t get the sympathy he would have expected. But he did, if he didn’t how would I be writing this? But he didn’t see it.
I also understand my mother, who respected her elder brother so much, as he had taken care of them as a kid, a young adult, and as an adult, as he had 4 other siblings younger to him. It was a longer relationship she had with her brother, than my father, and he now needed help.
But this started arguments in our home. My dad wasn’t hesitant to raise his voice. All of neighbourhood heard it. To add to the story the neighbors were already brewing against my mother, they can now hear them fight. I leave it for you to guess what happened.
They not only confirmed, Mrs. Mudrika Buckman, had the courage to directly tell my father how a dark man used to visit my mother every fortnight in a Jeep. My father already knew. This happened when my dad went to discuss a border issue relating to our land, where they have built the boundary wall six inches to our side of the land, taking what was not theirs, but ours. They also had built a kitchenette, of which the roof water gutters were on top of our Water Well, polluting our water, which we used to take water for drinking. The response was my mother’s supposed adultery!!! So my mother was labelled a slut in this village, upto date!
My father was a Muslim, and his family was against us not practicing Islam religion. Mrs. Mudrika Buckman, also was friends with my father’s family. My father had his own way of practicing religion, he wasn’t an extremist, and he also came to the Buddhist temple. He tried to understand what all these other religions were about, not dissimilar to myself. But he had gone to Macca, the holy place in Jeddah, KSA. He had written his share of his parents’ property to my mother’s name, and told his mother that he is going, but didn’t tell my mom. I guess, he didn’t want to hurt the one woman he loved, but he wanted to practice what he believed.
Guess how we found out?
Mrs. Mudrika Buckman came to tell my mother, how my dad had gone to Macca, and how he belonged to his mother now, and how when he is dead, the body will be taken by his mother. (My paternal grandmother died before my father, and my father gave me very clear instructions on how to do his funeral, when I personally asked him a couple of days before he died. He wanted his wife and children to bury him within twenty four hours in a way comfortable to us!!!)
My mother was embarrassed, hurt, and now upset with my father for hiding something from her. More family issues!!! And more stories about my mother being a slut!
Mrs. Mudrika Buckman, who no longer lives next door (thank God for that), apparently now teaches Islam religion. May Allah save those students from this bitch from hell!!!
The irony is, our housing scheme road, was later renamed to be “The Road to Peace”, in my native language,
There was no peace, and they disturbed each other’s peace!
Dear Sri Lankan Gossip Mongers,
I don’t particularly care what religious group or what racial group you belong to, but I know most of you talk about other people’s shit, as if you saw them with your own eyes. Most of you are narrow minded. Most of you have so much of dirty laundry in your own families. But, you want to find about other people, make stories. You have no idea how damaging it is, and the extent of harm you do to families. I will not wish you ill, But, there is a way this universe works, which you can’t escape. Your lesson awaits you, either in this life itself, or when death comes banging on your door.
– Nim –