Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Appa nangi

Being single, one of my hopes in making the change was that I would find a suitable person to share mylife with from someone in the Polonnaruwa district.

It would be easier for me to adapt to living in Polonnaruwa if she was also from the area, not necessarily in the same village. The natural question would be asked as to whether anyone from this area would be compatible bearing in mind my background and past life.

I do not have an answer to that except to say, that, in the population one would expect me to find a suitably compatible person, I have not come close to even meeting anyone with similar ideas, who I had any physical attraction to. I do not know what the future has in store for me and whether I would be so fortunate as to meet a soulmate who has a similar outlook and one whom I can be happy with.

To that end the people in the villages I have contact with have made every effort to intorduce me to people they thought would foot the bill. I have met many ladies along the way in the formal and informal settings and none of those put forward have I wanted to consider meeting again.

One damsel, who I was asked to see by going to have a hopper or two one morning at her house, however made me think otherwise. This was before I set my eyes on this Raja Ela property that I now have. Approaches were made first in contact through the uncle who is a local provincial councillor for the area and his wife. Then it was discovered that her paternal grandparents are friends of my host in Ratmale, Rupe, and sit side by side at the Sunday market in Higurakgoda selling vegetabels. That was a conicidence which cannot even be invented in a movie but it was true. So an approach was made through Rupe to the grandparents. All the elders had no objections her father having left her mother and who had moved away not being in the frame, but the final say was given to the girl to consider the offer.

In the society of the village, I was not able to directly approach her as it would not be done and would be considered a violation of her dignity if I cornered her somewhere. I was however unable to feign a meeting or happen to be standing next to her to start a conversation, so the choice was left to her with very little prior warning and little to no background of who or what I was about. It was hardly surprising therefore that she rejected out of hand even entertaining the possibility of a marriage. In this society in this kind of request the getting to know part prior to marriage is only once the formalities are settled and not as part of the decision making process.

When this refusal was transmitted I was told just to leave it alone and not try to change her mind as once she made her intentions clear there was no point in going further. I respected that. The more incredible thing however was that I had after this rejection chosen this property and bought it within a baseball home run of her house. The closeness was uncanny. She was living in the next street. Even more incredible is that she comes almost next door to me each day to deliver hoppers for sale at the shop nearest to my property.

I have therefore inevitably crossed her path regularly through the year, usually when she is on foot with a parasol and me in my cab spewing out dust in its trail on the dirt road. She therefore now knows where I live what I do and any gossip she may care to hear from the neighbors about me, which would not be earth shattering or in the least bit scandalous.

I have not had the courage to get down from my vehicle and talk to her on the grounds that such an event would be very public, in sight of one or more. This would be an embarrasment to her. Her brother is also aware of the circumstances. He farms his and others land and is known to my staff who have met and spoken with him referring to this incident.

Now that over a year has passed since that event and she is more aware of where I live and what I do, I must try and make equiries if she would still entertain a request to meet and talk in a third party location under the scrutiny of someone of her choice.

In the past year there have been no others that I have been drawn to and I should attempt to make contact again as she also appears not to be otherwise hitched or paired with.

This is the story of appa nangi (hopper sister) and I dont think we have heard the last of her at this stage.

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