Saturday, October 6, 2007

realities of life and expectations

I have been at every stage had trouble blogging. I only get a chance to do so when I go to my sister's house in Colombo once a week and invariably there is come reason I cannot get on line. The most recent being that the keyboard was broken. Incredibly the reason is always different!!!!

I have finally after more than two weeks been able to get on line.I spend a lot of time trying to get an agricultural operation viable in the Polonnaruwa district. I have two lads, who live there, who I provide all their living comforts and pay a daily wage which they can bank(they never can due to all manner of reasons)

The elder Sudath and his nephew Gamini live there. Sudath is 34, with a wife in Saudi and a daughter and son with his mother in law. On September 28th his only brother a few years older and not yet forty, and unmarried, committed suicide using a common pesticide called curator that farmers use for all manner of bug infestations.

The following day was the funeral in the village where his mother lives and as funerals are expensive events, they look to me to help with funds, even though there is a promise to repay from future earnings. Not only that, one is also expected to come for the funeral, as non arrival is also a slight on the person.As the deceased is a close relation of both my staff, I had to leave Amila in charge of the property with specific instructions to chase the parrots away from eating the corn, which I was expecting to harvest the following day to take to market in Godagama and Colombo. In true village style there were 10 who wanted to go to the funeral, 185 KM away from Hingurakgoda, Polonnaruwa property.They are all friends of Sudath. So we all piled in, with me having to drive as Amila had to take care of the place, and I don't know how they managed the hot sun on their backs for the 5 hour journey as I only have a open back, pick up truck into which I put some mats and a mattress. The two oldest gentlemen sat in front with me and all the others piled in the back.

We only arrived just as the coffin was being closed in the house, and taken outside for the Buddhist priest to invoke his blessings etc. Each village has different customs on procedure.The coffin was carried by the males all the way to the cemetery 2km away by the males, with female members staying home.

Once buried as is custom, ( we all piled into the grave diggers van to come back to the house as another 2km walk was out of the question!!!) the 4 grave diggers have placed in their path at the home entrance, food (mala bath) which they are meant reject and throw way, and then break the pot in which it is cooked shown in one of the photos. The top most photo shows all but two of the crowd who went from here, at the grave site.

Needless to say I had to accommodate the insatiable appetite of these people for alcohol, about 4 bars on the way back. They were blind drunk when they got home at 11pm and I was exhausted having to be aware of the risk of these guys at the back in the pick up in various states of inebriation.

To put it in the best light I just have to shrug and say "it is all down to experience of life amongst the majority in the land."

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