Saturday, April 01, 2006

The PunchiNona Story

Kadalay the Romantic

Hey Guys,

Kadalay, from wherever he is, must be watching us, with his red hot flashing eyes, smiling face, and approving nod, I am sure?

I joined RC from Greelands at form 1 level. Attending Kota Silva's class - 1F.But all my three brothers, Gunapala, Wijepala and Abeypala, joined College from RPS.

We were accompanied by an ayah (Punchinona) who lived with us till her death. She too was very dark in complexion and tall. She wore the normal Redda/Hatte Sinhalese dress and was a very proud woman.

As the older brothers were boarded in Colombo, ayah continued t travel to school with the younger ones. Later she used to comment, had she followed classes starting with Gunapala, she could have ended up at the University, herself!

We used to travel a distance of nearly 20 miles from Bandaragama to College (no bloody 2 mile radius law then) either in our own lorry (transporting rubber to Colombo) or by public transport. Either way, we had to pass Kadalay at the entrance to College. I can still remember how he used to comment.

Kadaley - Ah! Punchinona, ada mokada eka baba.
Punchinona - Anik baba ledin.
Kadalay - Yanna, yanna, bell gahawwa.

After school we had to wait sometimes more than an hour for our transport. We waited with Kadaley. Punchinona had long chats/arguments, all friendly and in good faith of course, on current topics/politics/weather/ etc.etc. Sathasivam Murder case, Queens visit, 1956 Elections, were some I could remember. Punchinona was a diehard UNP'er. Kadaley used to tease her..

Kadalay - UNP paradai mesere.
Punchinona - Kadaleta pissu
Kadalay - Ha Balamu, keeyada ottu, Kadala gottak!
Punchinona - Kadaleta pissu.

It went on and on. Now, when I recall and come to think of it there must have been some innocent romance between the two wonderful human beings, for they both were of the right age and disposition. (Pardon me, Kadalay & Punchinona, it was just a fleeting thoyght in my mind only, with no disrespect to you both, whatsoever, for I am ever thankful and grateful to you two for what I am today).

More later

Edward Hapuarachchi
Sent on Mar 29 2006


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