You may be inclined to notice dearie as
you absent mindedly flip the pages of the
Siththara paper or dig your ear with the
thick end of a strand of coir, that there
comes a time in a man’s life when he desires
to wear two hats. Perhaps may be even three
or more. Perchance he wishes to be the cat
in the hat.
Nirj Deva a.k.a. Niranjan Deva Aditya for
instance is a man who likes his caps.
Whether he is contemplating a gayer and more
unrestricted life in the more leafy areas of
Dambulla as a Thoppi Velenda or hat
vendor Thellie cannot say at first glance
but there it is.
He is for instance the ambassador at
large for Paradise. What it means is
immaterial but that Nirj is at large is
pretty certain. In fact Thellie must admit
I’m quite often taken aback when the
substantially native looking chap refers to
‘us,’ ‘our,’ ‘ourselves.’ I never know quite
to whom he is referring. He could be talking
about MEPs, Britishers, colonialists,
Paradisians, lovers of excessive usage of
hair oil, hat vendors…the list is simply
Anyway darling there he was toddling
about everywhere with the EU delegation
headed by Robbie Evans and quicker than you
could say chicken in a biscuit come Tuesday
morning he had bitten this Evan’s guy in the
Nirj being a member of the EU House sat
through patiently as Robbie warned you of
sanctions and what not saying nary a word.
Indeed he penned his own words to the
missive. But no sooner than Robbie flew off
back to Europe there Nirj Deva was all but
calling his fellow delegates Euro trash.
Having first right royally castigated the
EU mission in Colombo for its lackadaisical
attitude in its attempt to secure an
aircraft for the delegation to visit the
east, he went on to heap accolade upon
accolade on you and Boggles and anyone even
remotely connected with the ruling goons.
And Thellie was pondering upon this very
subject last Friday when it came upon me
like a bolt from the blue. Lights flickered
everywhere in my ample cranial cavity and By
Bally George I’d got it!
Thellie has not personally been
privileged to hear Nirj croon a love song
but one is advised by more informed counsel
that the fellow has a habit of singing for
And as I wondered with a dark frown
hanging over my eyes, what had possessed him
to castigate his own delegation and heap
praise upon a regime that let’s face it old
friend, has been less than cordial towards
the little matter of human rights and so on
and so forth, it suddenly hit me.
It was the fellow‘s unholy love of boiled
oysters in garlic sauce. His eternal craving
for a seafood bisque and a lobster thermidor.
His desire for a canape of ham and caviar to
be washed down with a nice whisky and soda.
The late Kadi would often have occasion
to refer to the rather clownish Nirj Deva
with fondness as the banquet beggar. A
little nickname he earned for having begged
for invites to state banquets.
And then and there the mystery was
solved. The reason Nirj had turned upon his
own men like a pitbull on a school girl was
because he was literally singing for his
supper. Or should I say banquet.
And it paid off too. The fellow was
invited to Boggles’ banquet last Thursday
not two days after his little performance
before the journos. Score one for him. But
many miles to go before he sleeps, me
And many banquets there are to be invited
to belatedly in these jolly old days of the
SAARC Summit. There is a large amount of 5.1
billion smackers to be spent and it can’t
all be frittered away on the décor either.
And Nirj, an eating drinking kind of
fella would know that if Boggles had a
banquet, his arch rival Kohona would try to
top it by having a Banquet with a capital B.
In gastronomical terms and those are the
only terms worth mentioning these days, as
far as Nirj was concerned if Boggles served
Lobster from Hikkaduwa, Kohona would serve
clams especially flown down from the Great
Barrier Reef. And to hell with conflict of
interests and too many hats and so on Nirj
was determined to pluck off an invite to any
lavish state banquet.
So there he was saying that the Evans
delegation diminished the EU’s standing as
an authoritative friend to Paradise. That
they had shot themselves in the foot.
He praised you for turning Pillayan from
a terrorist to a politician with weapons.
Thellie was a little confused at this
darling as I thought and thought and
couldn’t see any difference between a
politician with a gun and a terrorist but it
is my third glass of Eagle Hawk Reisling and
life is too short to be looking for answers
to the obvious.
But what had me for a space was when Nirj
said that Paradise can teach a thing or two
to newly emerging democratic nations in the
EU. It is one class I wouldn’t want to be in
dearie whatever this hat filled man says.
But that wasn’t all. He even went so far
as to say that Paradise was a model of
institutional stability and rectitude.
Darling this man takes the cake. And knowing
his bally appetite he wipes the bally plate
Let him first get the garbage out of my
back yard and the white van off my back
before he speaks another word on the subject
is what I say dearie.