Tuesday, May 18, 2010
"ayahapath kalaguna warthawa" - unfavorable weather report
The Western Province has been deluged with incessant rains these past few days, which has resulted in no sunshine for the past week. The Victory Parade that was to have been held on Thursday, May 20th has been postponed due to it. On Thursday the 13th, when I rode the bus to the WTC for work, there were in excess of 200 CTB buses that had lined up on DR Wijewardene Mawatha, which had brought security forces from all over the country for rehearsals. They were all in formation on Galle Face Green and the rains came hard as I watched these poor guys getting soaked from the 32nd floor of the WTC. They were not wearing rain coats just their uniforms and you know how thin our young boys are as it is the recruits who draw the short straw for this sort of thing. They were totally frozen and no doubt the next day 10% would be with coughs and colds and flu and the worse for wear. But no, I went on Friday, the rain was heavier and I got totally soaked, despite a brolly there was not a dry part on my body, getting drenched by the motor cars whizzing past the puddles on the road side.This time the buses were on Galle Face Green itself and the troops still on parade in the heavy heavy rain.
Now tell me the viewing platforms for the dignitaries are under construction, they will not know the suffering of those on parade, and what they had to undergo so they and the TV audience can be lulled into the spectacle that is being created, totally oblivious to the sacrifice that have to be undergone so the credit can go to the higher-ups, that is those who do not have to get wet!!
Anyway I digress a bit, and mercifully note this parade that was about to become a charade was postponed in the interests of common sense once the top brass realized the toll it has taken on the brass-less, with no one fit and able to parade.
So it was a weekend of rains on the farm, and where it is hard to get any productive work done. Worst of all Monday morning is a very busy day on the farm getting ready for market. My staff had the cheek to tell me it was raining and that they'd rather not go out and pick the leaves, vegetables and fruit. I said no leaves no sales, no sales no income and the choice is theirs. If I can get wet so can they!!
So finally I left late with having to load up the pick up with produce in the rain and then drive in the rain through flooded roads on my delivery route. Needless to say my King Coconut sales were totally down, taking a bath literally on them. People don't like to drink Thambili when it rains, a totally absurd view in my opinion. Ironically a lot of fruit ripens in the rain, but people reduce their consumption in the rainy period, giving a double whammy wallop to the farmer who has to reduce his price as both supply increases and demand decreases all at the same time. Now none of you readers realize this do you? unless of course you are one of the producers who have to face the consequences.
Anyways it was past 9pm when I finished my deliveries, as it rained all day long and I was delivering to homes in the rain. Here people are not willing to step outside their homes on a rainy day, and I turn up with produce, what more can they ask for? Anyway after a hard day's work it was a welcome relief to have a shower and a Raheema's chicken fried rice for me and my helper, before settling it to watch the TV news at 10pm showing the flooded city we had just been wallowing in!
So that was yesterday and this is today, and I got to the office at the 32nd floor by 8 this morning to avoid the inevitable deluge that struck an hour later.
Take it from me, I drove around Colombo 7 delivering and I have never seen so many roads and homes under water, even MacCarthy Road(Wijerama) homes had water in their verandas. The roads of Colombo are full of pot holes, the drains are so full of debris they were overflowing, and there just is no proper drainage for water to flow smoothly through the various channels to the sea as there has been a lot of development and infilling of marshland reducing the flow of water out. To see Parliament Sq and the Old Town Hall as islands was quite an eye-opener.
I trust those in charge will do something as the Indian Film Festival will otherwise showcase Colombo as a City unable to handle rain and remember the monsoon is only expected next week!! as the weather forecasters keep on saying.
They are hoping to spruce up the city, as we will get an extraordinary amount of publicity, and if the powers fluff this once in a lifetime opportunity, then it is another of the many failings in a litany of failings in administration.