Harris Ranasinhe (Died-February 16, 2012)
A Father Who Was So Gentle And Loving
He could speak without words through his eyes and smile. He won the hearts of neighbors,
colleagues and friends by his humbleness.
In our family of four my brother (Aiyya) and I were brought up with lot of hardship by Amma and Thatha. Thatha was the bread winner in our family and Amma managed the finance and home affairs.
Thatha was employed by the Bank of Ceylon and worked in various departments. He enjoyed being in the foreign department but I’m sure his best days were when he served in the inspection department.
He used to travel to various parts of the Country with a team. A few regulars were Mr. Vijayanathan, Mr Thangeshwaran and Mr. Wijesekera whom we knew and associated.
If he travelled to a new place he made it a point to get us down on the last day his work ended and combined it with a short holiday for us. I will never forget the trip we did to Trinco.
The beach was fantastic and the trip we did to Seruwila was memorable. We missed a trip to Jaffna due to a miscommunication but I still remember Thatha ringing the door bell at 5am.
He had waited for us to join him and since we didn’t turn up he had travelled in the night train and was home.
There are lots and lots of tender memories of him as a dear father. He had fed us, washed our clothes, had taken us to places he could afford and always did whatever to please us.
His biggest virtues were patience and tolerance. The patience he had in daily dealings whether it was office or family was commendable.
He was a man of few words but he also had a good sense of humour. If he had one too many shots and Amma was annoyed he kept quiet and would slowly avoid any exchange of words.
When he retired from the Bank we wanted him to take up work in some private firm just to keep him occupied.
He did a few assignments but was never happy. Then he decided to quit work totally and was quite happy to enjoy his retirement.
By this time Aiyya too had gone overseas and I too was employed. He enjoyed doing our small errands and meeting his buddies once in a way. He willingly volunteered to help neighbours, friends or family in their banking matters, drafting official letters or handling issues with government departments.
He had walked enough for others and never complained.
He enjoyed helping others and was always available to anyone who needed his services.
Aiyya was his pride. He looked forward to Aiyya’s calls. During the conversation if they touched any banking issue was quick to guide Aiyya as he too was attached to a bank. He always had a soft corner for me.
During my small days he would give me pocket money without Amma’s knowledge.
He was always ready to support me and stood by me in whatever capacity I wanted him to be.
I could always talk to him on anything and he would be there for me. Similarly, if he had to say anything to me he would say ‘ Duwa, I need to tell you something,’ and he will confide in me.
If ever he had a problem he was always sure that I had a solution. After he had a slight stroke and underwent surgery he was less active than he used to be.
This frustrated him a lot. He always used to complain that he could not use his right hand properly.
He did not like to depend even on Amma but due to his limited movements needed help. He was content in watching TV and being with Amma. They were inseparable.
Thatha always liked Amma to be around him. Amma took care of him so well that we never had any worries.
Thatha’s simplicity and humbleness combined with his strong qualities of patience and tolerance made him a loving human being. If he commented on someone it was very rare.
When he smiled it reached his eyes and spread across his whole face. It was genuine and wholesome. There was no pretence.
He never hesitated to help anyone who needed his guidance and did it willingly as if it was his own thing.
The spoken and the unspoken qualities and memories of him will always be remembered with love and affection.
His still body, the peaceful look and his smiling eyes closed forever will always be in my mind.
He never complained when he was alive and he left also without any complains. He was our silent strength and our gentle Thatha.
Always ready to be by our side. We miss him so much and we will definitely meet again in Heaven. May his Soul rest in peace.