Reincarnation of Billy Curz as Gampaha’s “Pilot Podda” | Sunday Observer

Reincarnation of Billy Curz as Gampaha’s “Pilot Podda”

20 August, 2023
Kalindu plays with his brother Sadeva
Kalindu plays with his brother Sadeva

* Speaks with an American accent, refuses to eat rice; says he wants American food

* “We can’t afford the International School he was in. Both children are at home and are not schooling. Mother is looking for a school so the boys can learn English.

* “My mother is Fedaliya Bella Kers, wife Mary Jane”

* Was mute for two and a half years and he then started saying “You are not my mother” in English

* “I lived in Atlanta”

This is the remarkable tale of an eight-year-old boy named Abeyasekara Mudianselage Kalindu Tinal Wijewardene, hailing from Udugampola, Gampaha. Since the age of three, when he began speaking, he shared unusual narratives completely foreign to our land, without any hesitation.

He recounts the story of a pilot named Billy Curz, who once lived in America, detailing a harrowing plane crash. At times, he expresses a deep connection to America, yearning to return and inquiring about American heritage food and drink. He converses in English with an American accent. Although born to village parents, Kalindu’s native language is English. His life revolves around aviation, claiming expertise as an aeronautical engineer, extending from aircraft engines to wheels.

Encountering this extraordinary child in Udugampola, Gampaha, young Kalindu unravels the tale of a jet pilot’s reincarnation, someone who perished in America just a year ago. Kalindu, at the tender age of eight, retains fluency in English perhaps inherited from his past life. Although he has learned Sinhala to some extent, he speaks English with a distinct accent, with three out of four interactions taking place in English. Therefore, the narrative of this reincarnation, as recounted by Kalindu, seeks to bridge the gap between languages.

Fedalia Bella Kurz

“My mother is Fedalia Bella Kurz. Mother is very good and I love my mother...”

“My Dad was Ted Kurz. We had a little house. I had an older sister. Her name was Delores.”

Kalindu’s grandfather 
Sri Lanka Army veteran 
H.G.A.W. Kulasinghe

“Son, do you remember the former province where you lived in America?” When I asked, he started to check his memory again. But now he does not remember where he lived in the United States.

Kalindu’s mother is Nishani Higgoda. She is an alumnus of Sirimavo Girls High School. She is a single mother. Kalindu’s father has separated from them. Kalindu’s little brother Sadev Tinal Wijewardena is still five years old. His younger brother is also very good at the English language.

“When the son was three and a half years old, he showed the place where he lived in America on the world map. As shown, that place was Atlanta. We checked the place. That place that my son showed me is a province where there is still an air force camp. The name Fedalia is a common name there. So we believe that there is a family like the one he is talking about,” said Kalindu’s mother Nishani.

“My son did not speak a word until two and a half years after his birth. He did not drink my milk. He did not get close to me and he reacted very differently towards me. He pointed to what he wanted with his finger. Even though we were going to show him to a doctor, my father said that we should change the language we spoke to this child. He said that because he showed a Western pattern in his behaviour that we are not familiar with. English is not spoken in our house. But we tried to talk to the child in English. We started to see that the child was responding to it.”

Very rainy day

Kalindu and his mother Nishani Higgoda at their home

When the child was about three years old, on a very rainy day, he suddenly said, “You are not my mother”. Those were the first words the child said. I was happy that the child spoke. However, I felt as if my chest was tightening. I felt very sad that day. Even though he started talking a little bit since then, it was only in English. The manner in which he speaks English words is not like our English. After that, little by little, he started talking about Billy Kurz who lived in America, how he died, and about his mother and father.”

“I flew over the ocean,” the child exclaimed as he ran around the house one day, using unfamiliar words. “Are you saying the fighter jet landed on a runway in the sea?” the mother clarified for us. “This runway is really huge. Multiple jets can land there simultaneously. After battles, I’d land there (the boy is probably mentioning an aircraft carrier). Though there might be a bit of turbulence. These are the fighter jets I operated,” Kalindu proudly displayed a picture on the phone.

“I led a team there. My boss was Gordon Finkelheimer. I can’t recall my fighter jet’s number. It’s been quite a while...”

Kalindu has shunned rice, fish, and curry, preferring Western cuisine. He’d settle for just one dish. But this single mother, facing life’s challenges alone, couldn’t fulfil all of his culinary desires.

Gorgonzola cheese

Kalindu’s grandmother Mudunkotuwage Kanthi, younger brother 
Sadeva and Mother Nishani

“He avoids rice and only uses a spoon to eat. He asks for foods we’ve never heard of. One day, he requested Gorgonzola cheese. I looked it up on Google. It’s an American cheese...”

Kalindu began explaining airplanes. He could describe everything from the engine to the wheels when a plane took to the sky. Kalindu informed us like a pro who has extensive airplane knowledge.

“I was married to Mary Jane. She was beautiful. One day I went to a party with her, but I forgot the appointment given by my commander. I quickly sent Mary Jane to the car and went there on time. Because I went on time, the boss’s face was okay...,” Little Kalindu recounted his past experiences in marriage.

Little Kalindu, explains that his death resulted from a missile striking his fighter jet. It’s astonishing how he describes dying and being reborn in his mother’s womb. This description aligns wonderfully with Buddhist teachings. However, he doesn’t recall which battle led to his former soul’s death.

“I had four jets. One was really cool. The second was cool. The third was ‘not so cool,’ and the fourth was ‘Bad.’ I chose the bad jet and left that morning. I was the lone person flying the fighter jet that day. Before taking off, I couldn’t inspect the jet. Still, I took off and flew to the battle. This jet is incredibly fast. In the evening, the battle began. I launched missiles and fired guns. But someone hit me with a missile. I tried to evade it. As I did, the guns and missiles on my jet exploded. That’s when I died. I felt the jet on fire, plummeting to the ground. My face felt like it exploded. I screamed. The rescue team found my body on the ground after two days. On the last day, they brought me home.

Crying stopped

I watched from above as my mother cried. The mother cried for four months. My relief only came when their crying stopped. Then, I felt a big wind... I didn’t want to come back, but the wind carried me.”

“How did you come here from America...?” I asked to test the child’s perspective and understanding. “Why I am reborn...” the little one replied, drawing from his knowledge. The grandfather and grandmother care for the mother and two children in this family. Grandfather H. G. A. W. Kulasingha and Grandmother Thomkotuwa play a supportive role.

“According to the child, Mary Jane wasn’t married for long. From what he mentioned, we gathered that she had passed away shortly after marriage, around age 32-35. His fluent English sometimes baffles us. We don’t understand certain words. The two children were enrolled in Yakkala Royal Institute since they struggled with Sinhala. During our first visit, the principal told my son in English that if he studies well, he could go to America, which fuelled his desire. Despite being Buddhist, the child believes in Jesus. Currently, for the past four months, the children haven’t attended school due to a lack of financial options.”

Kalindu providing information on American aircraft

Despite the prophecy of reincarnation, the fate of this English-speaking child, possessing a unique knowledge of airplanes, remains uncertain. This mother can’t afford the school fees. It’s unfortunate that these children, who could attend some of the best schools in Sri Lanka, are now without schooling.

“If my grandfather buys a plane ticket, I can go to America...” The little boy brims with hope, often asking his grandfather about America, longing to reunite with his parents. However, they are unaware that education is the key to fulfilling that dream.

This single mother, separated from her husband, faces a challenging battle raising her children. Initially attending Yakkala Royal Institute School, the children’s schooling has been temporarily suspended due to their mother’s inability to afford the fees.

Suitable school

“We were from this State” Kalindu says while pointing at a world map

The mother’s only hope is to find a suitable school that matches their English proficiency for Kalindu, who should be in second grade, and his brother Sadev, currently in pre-school. These children, not grasping the gravity of the situation, spend their days playing at home.

“My two children’s school fees amount to Rs. 90,000 per term. With no support from my husband, I had to withdraw the children with the intention of finding an alternative school. To date, both children remain at home, unable to attend school. Their Sinhala language skills are limited, while their English is strong. Kalindu has remarkable knowledge about airplanes. I appeal to educational authorities or private school principals who can offer relief to provide a good English education for my two children,” the mother pleaded.

“I didn’t attend school, and neither did my brother. I wish to attend school. Going to school and studying will enable me to go to America,” expresses Little Kalindu passionately.

The depth of his young heart’s yearnings is beyond words. His aspiration for a better life, a proper home, and a car, similar to his previous existence, could become a reality with the support of kind contributors. Contact number for Kalindu’s grandfather, H.G. Ananda Kulasinghe, is 071 6567228.