Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Story of A Papaya... And a Lesson in Being Sri Lankan

I was in Wellawatte yesterday to get some shirts and as we were returning to the car, my dad asked me whether I wanted to buy a papaya from the small kadey (store) on the by road where we had parked. I said yes, so we went inside the little shop and a lady was standing outside. We were too busy searching for the right papaya to notice who the lady was or who else was inside the very small area.

Anyway, we finally settled on a decent sized papaya and turned to give it to the shopkeeper and there was noone. Only that lady outside the store. So at this time, we looked a bit confused so the lady said 'Oh he's still not here'. I could see she was a Tamil lady. Dressed in sari. Very respectable.

At this time, another girl from a neighbouring store came to the shop. She also looked inside quizzically and proceeded to stand around. Dad kept the papaya on the weighing scale and left me with the money to pay the shopkeeper ONCE he returns. Of course, in the circumstance of things, I got chatting to the lady.

'He said he will be right back and left me here' She said chuckling. 'Not a good thing to do in these times'.

'Very trusting!' I replied

'Has he still not come?' asked the young Tamil girl.

So we kept waiting for about another ten minutes. I played around with the rice in the goni bags. There were lots of sachets hung about. Indicating that people really can't afford anything more than a 2 Rs. sachet of shampoo or Diva detergent.

There were several three wheeler drivers around. Each passer by caught my attention as I thought 'AH finally he has returned!!!'

So after 5 more minutes in the hot sun, the Muslim shopowner returns. Coolly and calmly he walks to the store. Goes inside and starts conducting the business. The lady and I look at each other and laugh.

She says something to the shopkeeper in Tamil and walks off.

I pay 100 Rs. for my papaya and walk to the car.

A small incident. Involving three ethnicities. But overwhleming with trust. No one tried to take stuff and run away. No one got angry at being made to wait. It was just accepted. And it was spent in a non hurried cordial way.

In the broader picture, we have war being waged apparently because this very cordiality doesn't exist amongst us the Sri Lankan population. Yet we have endured 25 years of war and over 50 years of propoganda attempting to brainwash us and atttempting to make us feel different from other Sri Lankans and still something like this incident still have the possibility of happening.

So if a segment of us still have the 'normal' mentality necessary to leave peacefully as good neighbours and citizens, then why can't the rest understand this ideology? How come we aren't all brawling every single day in our daily work? We all work with all three ethnicities, have friends in all three groups, but yet come the elections or any sort of threat to the asses in Power they preach the doctrine of hatred and fear. This lecture goes into the minds of the villagers and we have our current situation.

It is more than clear that we are all capable of living in this country without creating unnecessary trouble. So why wage war? Please, I request any of the armed forces, Presidents and other political idiots, dont wage war in my name. I don't ask for it. I don't want it. If you agree with me, perhaps we should all request the same.

If anything, the public should wage war against the government. Drive out these retards and get back the people with minds, hearts and good instincts.


Ahamed Nizar said...

Thats quite a happy story. i really wish the rest of the country was like this. it can but it would take a really long time.
at the moment there is alot of nationalism with the war and what not.
in History the war is mainly against the buddhists being the majority and the tamils who they persecuted for being a minority. The muslims got dragged in for helping both sides and what not. some just got caught in the cross fire...
it shouldnt be about community but about the individuals and the choices they make

Rine said...

i know.. i thought it was a pretty cool thing that happened.. and only in SL can ne1 leave a shop like that and leave a random stranger to look after it and have ppl waitin wen they come back without any stealin what so ever.

i dont understand why a country with such good mannerisms and values have such swine for leaders!

Dominic Sansoni said...

Nice one. A change from all the 'bad news' stories. Totally agree with RINE'S last sentence.

Rine said...

thank you dominic!

Jack Point said...

Nice story.