Thursday, February 4, 2010
Independence Day on the Farm
All my staff who live outside the Farm took the day off, so we guys 5 single guys including me were left to do the work. Fortunately, the Kade Mudalali, Menika opened the Kade, and she was kind enough to cook for us. So, I bought 500g of Salaya fish for Rs100 and she fried it battered in bread crumbs and was quite delicious. I ate it with the Red Basmati that I grew last season, and it is so delicious it can be eaten on its own, but the other guys don’t like red rice so were given their preferred choice which is Nadu (parboiled white rice)
She cooked the meal once for the day in the outside kitchen which uses firewood, and this food which is also used for dinner is cooked on clay pots and left covered. Other than the above, she cooked pathola or snake gourd and malu miris(capsicum) thel dala with potato and a mallung. The dogs have a separate lunch prepared of red rice, a little dhal, a salaya each for taste and gotukola for their coats, all cooked in one pot with no condiments or salt added.
I took charge of the shop while Menika cooked. We cut the grass for the cattle, watered the plants as the dry season has set in this area, and prepared a few new beds of vegetables. I had the added task of finalizing the previous month’s accounts to quantify my month’s loss! So all in all it was just another day for us.
We did not watch the proceedings on TV and no doubt most of those at home would have, as all the channels beamed this event from Kandy. Invariably the 4th of February is a bright sunny day with not a cloud in sight, and I presume it was much the same in Kandy. It is an ideal day for parades across the land, but I know of no parades except for the official ones planned and funded by the state at considerable cost, as they like a performance spectacle for the couch potatoes the country is turning into these days, waiting for things to fall into their hands.
Give some thought to those working today as there are essential services that cannot take a holiday and someone has to do it. Cows have to be milked, crops require water, etc. It is worth reflecting what most people will be doing on this day. I found most of the shops shut, much like a Poya. Remember shops are open on Saturday and Sunday. The office workers and government servants will enjoy the day off from the commute, as they get paid anyway, and are probably catching up on their chores at home. There was little traffic on the roads so most people probably stayed at home, with school kids home too, I trust there was some family time together for a change, but for singles whose cook takes the day off, they have to find a willing stand-in as even food outlets seemed to be shut.