Sunday, 4 November 2012
There is a crocodile up in a tree - රඹුටන් ගහේ කිඹුලා
"Putha, Get ready!" my mother tells me "We are going to your grandparents place soon". She then grabs my three year old younger brother by hand and rushes inside the house probably to get him ready first. The baby must be sleeping inside the house; there is no crying for sometimes now.
I like to play with my younger brother in the front yard full of sand and pebbles under the tall Rambutan tree that never bears any fruit. Sometimes we get into fights – after all I am just thirteen months older than him - and my mother does not like that at all. The baby is just a baby turning two in a few months time. He too can join us when he grows a bit more.
My brother comes out dressed up. My mother calls me again from the well in the backyard. I can see she is pulling water out and filling a tub for my wash.
My mother calls me again.
I look at the crocodile. The green coloured toy my mother got me from the village fair. I see the thick string that is tied to its neck and the stone attached at the other end – all my handy work – amply supported by my brother. I pick the crocodile and throw it up in the air towards the canopy of the Rambutan tree. It falls back to the ground. I succeed in my third attempt.
The crocodile now hangs from a tiny branch of the tree with the string wound around it.
I run towards the well; I must get there before my mother gets angry.
After the wash, while getting into fresh clothes inside the house, I see all our clothes are packed up in a few suitcases. The kitchen is clean and all items neatly packed as well.
"We are going to be living with your grandparents from today" my mother says "we are not coming back to this house ever again". She sounds sad. Sad to leave this house or sad to move in with her in laws I cannot say. May be it is a mixture of both.
A lorry and then a car pull up into the front yard. I recognise the hire car. My father gets out of the car and a couple of guys jump out of the lorry. Within half an hour or so all our belongings – a couple of beds, 'an almirah', a study table, the dining table, a few chairs, the lounge suit, kitchen stuff and the suitcases – are all inside the lorry or in the 'dicky' of the car.
The car pulls away from the front yard with the lorry following us. My mother is rubbing her wet eyes off. I take the last look at this tiny house in the middle of about two acres of coconut plantation. My eyes catch the Rambutan tree.
“My crocodile!” I shout, “my crocodile, on the top of the Rambutan tree!!”.
No one seems to hear. The car leaves the property. I cannot see the Rambutan tree anymore.
I cannot see anything. My eyes are blurred.
සන්ඩේ ස්පැෂල් ඇක්ස්ට්රාවක් ලෙස ප්රකාශිතයි!
Putha = Son
Rambutan = A fruit tree grown in tropical regions
Almirah = A wooden cupboard used for clothes
Dicky = Car boot
ලියා ප්රසිද්ධ කලේ: කතන්දර කාරයා වෙලාව: 06:00