Sunday, June 7, 2009

A reflective Poson Poya

I am spending a quiet Poson Poya holiday today at the farm in Godagama, Meegoda. It also happens to be a Sunday. Last year was more eventful at the Gal Vihare in Polonnaruwa and can be checked in entries in June 2008.

The early morning news, as the cows were milked, before the milk gets delivered to nearby houses around 6am, was that a month old calf that seemed quite healthy yesterday was found dead this morning, with us not knowing what the cause was. We now have to learn a way of taking the milk from the mother, as she would normally unlikely to give the milk unless the calf was around her.

One of the boys who works here, left at 5 am to go to his sister’s in Ibbagamuwa a few km past Kurunegala, as his father was also meeting up there from Ratmale in Polonnaruwa where I have a cabin. He will be back tomorrow. He has to take the bus to the main Bus stand in Pettah and then take the Dambulla or any bus that goes up that way. His total fare one way on the two legs will be about Rs120, and if he chooses to take a three wheel from the main road to the his sisters about 2km, that will be another Rs150. That is one irony in public transport, namely the bus is cheap for the whole distance, but the short distance home from the bus stop can cost more than the long journey.

Then it was string hoppers for breakfast, probably the last time it was made here was over 6 months ago, as I am usually not particular about my food, but Anula who comes during the mornings to clean the house and make the food for a couple of workers on the farm, offered to make it. So I had it with pol-sambol made from fresh coconuts, and a dhal curry gravy.

Then it was to cut the grass for the cattle, and plant some gotukola roots on a newly prepared bed. Yesterday I had got some cake for the staff who worked today, which they had with their tea at 11 and that was the work for the day. Geetha Sriyani who works in the shop was lucky as I close the shop on Poya days, and so she said she goes with her daughter to two temples during the course of the day, which she has not been to before. So she kind of explores new temples on Poya days, which I thought was very unique. She maintains there are so many temples around that it is not that difficult to find them, and this time she is going to a couple that are on top of rocks with a view of the area.

I went out and got all the English Sunday papers to relax for a change, and for those interested to know they are The Sunday Times, the Sunday Observer, Sunday Leader, Lakbima News, the Sunday Island, the Nation and Lakbima News. Now those readers overseas tell me you have 5 English Sunday Papers to read except of course if you are in the UK!

I then had boiled potato with skin, the small ones with butter for lunch with Katta Karawala, fried in Red Onions and Tomato, with fresh lime-juice from limes in the front yard. It was a very gloomy day all day with very little sun, and the time just flew by in time to post this entry and say good night. Tomorrow is another day, a heavy day as I have to deliver my produce from house to house in Colombo, right through till the evening.


santhoshi said...

great post as always. Very strange about the calf...

George said...

Your "menus" make me envious, Ranjit.

Here in Hong Kong, we mostly depend on food flown in from all corners, and it's frozen. (The fresh produce comes from China which is heavily contaminated, and we stay away from that.) A couple of years ago, I realized that the food in Sri Lanka, the fish, vegetables, even the freshly scraped coconut, was much tastier. The reason is that it's fresh from the garden and had traveled only a few yards at the most.

Well, next week I'll be in SL for a whole month. Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

I am very happy to read your articles. Thanks for exposing and educating us to Polonnaruwa life, the agric life. The article, especially the pictures reminds us of the few golden hours we spent at your farm, the houses and around your other projects surrounded by elephant-infested forests, however, somehow providing unimaginable serenity to all.
Surely, we will visist you again in our next trip too.