Tuesday, November 10, 2009

An update for those of you screaming for one of idyllic rural life!

I have been called names for not updating frequently enough to satisfy those craving for the mythical village life! If only you knew the reality. That’s why the blog is called Dream into Reality. It is just that the Dream did not turn out to be real! Since the last entry, I had a sword, yes a sword as in the ancient style pulled on me; A real “kaduwa” (sword) threatening me with being chopped into pieces.I did not realize that such things existed in the modern day! Actually I was not really worried then or now, having looked at the incident in hindsight. Did I call his bluff or was I just not phased when it was pulled, so as to put him off balance I don’t know what?
So much for that as I do not want to regurgitate the incident in detail, but thankfully there were witnesses to the incident, and knowing the village I can just imagine the stories that must be told, as people are prone to exaggeration and multiplication, just to make it sound more juicy than it really was. To some I could be the hero not giving into the village bully to others I may be the villain from outside come to bully the macho guy with promises that vanish. No matter, I live to tell the tale and the inveterate readers know this is not the first escapade I have had to face in this journey.
The more real worry to me was when I was returning from Polonnaruwa, late on a Sunday evening (Nov 8th), my now rickety ( 5 year Tata with 150K km) cab just clapped out in the middle of the road right in the heart of the Kurunegala town. What was I to do with the clutch gone and not being able to change gears and not move with traffic trying to pass me by on both sides? I was eventually able to get it to the side with much difficulty in the pouring rain, and after an overnight stay to have it towed to a garage close by that specialized in clutch work to have it repaired. Thankfully as it was the heart of Kurunegala, there were motor spare retailers, where I was able to purchase a new clutch to replace the one that had broken to bits. The amazing revelation was the garage. No awning, all in the open with no hoists, just a bunch of guys about 10 beavering under the vehicles, and only they could get under the vehicles on the stony ground, as they were thin and scrawny, no fat American mechanic would be able to slide easily into place let alone get under without his belly getting stuck!
It makes you proud of being Sri Lankan to see how this acrobatic act of removing the underside differential just with hands and spanners and replacing the clutch was done. All this before the inevitable rain shower that was expected shortly which would have just left a torrent of water, mud and all, come down the hill into the quad flushing the mechanics, spanners and all.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ranjit,

I am so glad to hear that you are ok.I hope you had this thug arrested and had the law deal with him. My husband also has this 'dream' of spending time in a village in Sri Lanka to help the people and work with them-after your last blog I don't think I will feel safe-what keeps you going-I think I will continue to help and support from overseas as I have been doing.Nothing seems to worry my husband as he says he has dealt with thugs of this nature before during the time he worked in SL. I think what you are doing is amazing.

Anonymous said...

How can you not tell us what led to this confrontation?

santhoshi said...

Thank God you are ok! Take care of yourself! Hope u made a complaint?

Anonymous said...

Ranjit,

2 points:

1. are you involved with the USAID project with dairy farmers establishing an ice cream factory in Batticaloa (getting some milk from Polannaruwa farmers)?

2. Perhaps it is time to invest in a good shield!

Rajaratarala said...

in reply to the above, I am not involved in the USAID as I know it is well intentioned but poorly executed as they have not studied the ground realities. Why build an ice cream plant when the country's ice cream plants are still running grossly under capacity.
Just pay the dairy farmers a higher price for milk, thats all and then more will strive to improve productivity using market dynamics. Its that simple. Why is there a milk mountain in Europe? because the price paid to produce is high enough. We will never have a mountain as the milk product import is 85% of local demand.

On the second point I am investing in a shield. see www.sinhabahuridgeback.blogspot.com

Thanks a lot for all of your concern. If you evaluate the probabilities of various occurances, in SL the most dangerous is the traffic accident in terms of danger.

Anonymous said...

I hope you write to the Daily News with your analysis of the milk project, as I think it is valid and can be an illustrative example of the capabilities of our country's foreign aid officials (I'm sure the DN will appreciate that POV).

Also, I like Sinha Bahu's blog. I hope he updates fairly regularly. Please link to your Dream into Reality site. Also would appreciate if you could link your other blogs, such as Ratmale, into the Dream site so that it is easier to navigate between blogs.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Rajarata,

I love your blog and check it regularly.

Any ambitions to start using Twitter?

I would definitely subscribe to your tweets!

diffgirl said...

good to know you're okay & still in one piece(no pun intended!)may be we should threaten you to write often..?

Thushara Dharmawickrama said...

Hi Brother
Happy to read you again

www.flickr.com/thushara_sl

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