Memorable evenings! | Sunday Observer
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Memorable evenings!

4 June, 2023

What paints the evenings? Is it the sea or the sun? Both I think.

In every heart there is an evening that brings waves of happiness or tears. In every heart there is an evening that presses against the chest like a hot lump. There is an evening in your heart, that you love to remember. Let me share my memories with you. The flow of my memories come to my mind one after the other stealthily like sneaky cats. But they all stop at one point like an image-freeze in a movie.

When I was schooling, I had many friends and did everything with them. My bosom friend was Jeewa with whom I used to play games like ‘thief and police’, ‘hide and seek’ and cricket.

One day Jeewa and I accomplished a CID mission. At that time, there was an old security uncle in our school. Apart from the bones and the skin he had nothing and was like a skeleton unearthed at a decades-long grave yard. His trouser encircled with a brown leather belt was hanging down. His brown handkerchief was hanging out of the pocket like a loincloth. We called him Nidi Noris. He did not either shout at students or hit mischievous fellows, or grumble at passers-by. He did nothing wrong even to a mosquito and was peacefully dozing off under the gnarled Araliya tree.

One day Jeewa and I lifted one of his cigars, when he was sleeping with his wide-opened mouth. What happened next was more interesting. It reminded me of the old saying that the man was gored by a bull after a fall from a tree. Jeewa, on hearing the Principal’s footsteps at a distance, gave the cigar to me and ran to the playground. The smell of the cigar wafted with the wind and the Principal might have felt that someone was smoking in school. It is a punishable offence even now.

He came close to me, asked me to raise both my hands and gave me three cuts with the cane. Our Principal is no more. Security uncle is no more. Jeewa is abroad. But, memories still breathe and live in my heart.

This is about another evening:

To my amazement, I was selected to the University of Kelaniya. It was the day when my parents were proud of me. It was the day I made my parents happy and proud and it was the day a verbal war between our relations and my parents broke out.

“Doing A/Ls in the arts stream is easy, isn’t it?” It was my Loku Nenda’s famous verbal blow.

“Why couldn’t you apply for the University of Moratuwa? Now, anyone can graduate from Kelaniya university.” It was my Punchi Nenda’s usual question.

“You will be old by the time you pass out.” It was Loku Nenda’s elder daughter. She was 27 years old but still studying for her A/Ls.

Those evening chats are still echoing in my ears. Those memories are still breathing in my heart. But, those evenings will not dawn on us again. We can share only the memories with someone. Indeed, there is an evening in every heart.