It rained last night…
Colombo gets somewhat mild weather during December. The whole city bubbles with festive mood as the holiday season approach. It seems I have none to do with it. However it was not like this always. It was a cold Saturday evening and I had nothing to do. So why not take a stroll on Galle Face greens. It was my favorite place to go when I needed fresh air and to relax. By the time I was reached the greens, it was packed. Most people have come here with their family or friends. A loner like me is a rarity. I was looking for a bench by the sea to sit down and its not easy to find a one in a day like this. I decided to walk on the road by the sea trying my luck. Ah.. today is my lucky day indeed. The couple in front of me was just about to leave and I found my place.
The guy next to where I seated was selling ‘kadala’. I took ‘Boola kadala’ packet and started my long stare at the sea and sunset. It didn’t take long to break my silence. A pretty girl came to ‘Kadala man”.
‘Give me Rs. 100 kadala?’
She was arguing with someone over the phone when she took the kadala packet. She was clearly agitated for some reason. Kadala man on the other hand was fixated his attention on her phone as it seems like the latest one from Samsung. It was nice phone. As she passed me, she pushed the phone into her hand-bag in a hurry. But the phone missed the outer pocket and landed on grass. Thinking her phone is safe and secure she disappeared into thick crowed.
Before I could think anything, Kadala man was on the phone. He took the phone with him and pushed his kart hurriedly into the crowed. He is gone in seconds. Today he made a good fortune, I thought. I should have stopped that man from stealing girl’s phone, i said to myself.
Anyways I decided to continue what I was doing, before this drama began. Sun looks like a red and golden globe that is about to get sunk into the horizon. You need to be in a country like Sri Lanka to witness this spectacle of nature. Some countries do not have bordering sea and you cannot see a clear horizon to witness a sunset. I was mesmerized by the scene and sound of the waves.My serenity didn’t last again. I saw the ‘phone girl’ was running frantically towards this side and started looking around. She must be looking for the phone. When she couldn’t find it, she went to nearby security person and started explaining her situation. For most part, she was crying than talking.What should I do this time? I know who took your phone i told myself. This time I decided to act. So I went to them, cleared my throat and just about to say …Before I utter anything, out of nowhere, ‘Kadala man’ appeared.
‘I was looking for this “miss” everywhere... “Miss” you dropped your phone and here it is’ he said.
She was all smiles.But I thought. It doesn’t matter what I thought now.
I went back to the bench and sat down. Suddenly I felt a violent bump and earth opened beneath me. I was falling into darkness below. That is when I heard the announcement;
‘Sri Lankan flight UL- 781 from London to Colombo will be landing in Colombo International Airport in another 20 minutes. Please remain seated until seat belt signs are off… Thank you for flying Sri Lankan’
There is usually air turbulence when plane enters Sri Lankan air space. Passengers know plane is going to land soon. I must have been sleeping or rather dreaming when the plane hit the turbulent air. I looked outside from the window. It is still dark but I can see the small dim lights of fishing boats in the sea below. They look like stars in the night sky when you look from high above. Though I used to visit Colombo often but this is my first visit after five long years. My old body can no longer take the toll of long distance travelling. But she insisted that I should come this time. When I came out of the airport, it was 7 in the morning. Colombo is fully awake. Her email said she was going to pick me up from the airport. However I cannot seem to remember how she even looked like. Just to be safe, I decided to stay close to the entrance and start staring at everyone who was coming in. I was hoping someone would recognize me or I see a familiar face. I should have asked her phone number, I cursed myself.
Suddenly he was right in front of me and I couldn't believe my eyes. How could this be possible?
So it started….
Part 1 soon.
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