Friday, August 17, 2007

my trusted friend

I have chosen a very difficult life, namely that of farming in two places 220 kilometers apart in Sri Lanka and buying produce from neighbours, many of whom who would otherwise not be able to sell their produce, and then selling in my small Kade or shop in Godagama or selling direct to some of my well heeled customers, frinds and relatives in Colombo.

I work seven days a week so I can pay the wages of 10 people who depend on me for their livelihood. Only Amila my trusted friend and man Friday, valet, chauffeur and salesman and delivery boy, seen here with me, knows how hard I work, how I live what I do without to lead this very isolated and sometimes lonely life. Lucky for him he has his weekends off to spend with his family, meet his girl friends and go out with his friends, a pleasure I currently do not have the pleasure of enjoying.

I do have an immense degree of pride in what I do as well as a deep sense of understanding of those in a similar position on how they survive as well as being open to the connivance of the con artists also who inhabit our villages and the government servants, and security forces who abuse the trust put on them, and who miss the bus when it comes to their real position in society and not their imagined place.

A test of stamina is how long I can survive this gruelling journey, that is also a strain physically, of having tocarry heavy bunches of king coconuts and 50kg sacks of rice among other manual tasks.

The perception that I am doing this for fun and sheer pleasure is furtherst from the truth. This is a life I have to somehow conquer if I can go to the next step. If I was doing something more productive or remunerative and satisfying I would be doing that, however that chance has not come my way and the alternatives that have been offered arising from the searches made are so far less exciting and fulfilling.

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