The Sunday Leader

Fate Of A Turquoise Blue

By Gamini Weerakoon

Bumper Perera – ‘Bum’ to his college friends – was looking despondent and sipping a strong DD at the Waterhole.

We knew Bum’s cause for misery. Anybody who was in Colombo while the UN General Assembly Sessions were on and not in New York was just nobody. He should have by now been in the Waldorf Astoria sipping a French wine and watching porno at state expense before going in for other festivities.

What to do Bum? Bad miscalculation, no? We know you are from the Better School than from the Right School. What happened? We thought you had friends in the FRCS (Fellows of Royal College of…..) who would have put you in the New York delegation.



Nonsense. The FRCS chaps are in Colombo. The MS and PhD have gone to New York.

MS and PhD? Is MS Master of Surgery or something like that?

Oh No. It is Maithripala Sirisena and PhD is: Polonnaruwa Hinda Dunna. They alleged that I was MRCP.

MRCP stands for Master of the Royal College of Physicians?

No, they said it was for Mahinda Rajapaksa College for Pandang.

Difficult, no? FRCS is for Surgeons and MRCP for Physicians. But don’t worry, Bum. Keep trying like Ranil and you shall succeed.

You know our old school motto: Esto Perpetua – Be thou for Ever. We shall bathe on our Beaches by our College, even if the crocodiles come. Keep bumming Bum.

I tried hard, complained Bum. You know I was true Deep Attanagalla Blue. Then I switched on to Hambantota Sea Blue. When the king fell, I turned Turquoise Blue – bluish green. And here am I, left in Colombo while others are having fun and games in New York. Life is cruel, muttered Bum taking another deep sip of DD.

Don’t be despondent, remember the poem Invicta we learnt long years ago under Jigga – My head of bloody but unbowed….. I thank whatever gods may be for my unconquerable soul…

Said Bum: You can’t say I didn’t try. I spoke on the joint platform. To my delight they hooted at me. It meant that I would get a part of my party vote and the Green vote. But they stole my ‘manape votes’. I missed going to Diyawanna by a whisker. They could have had me on the National List but defeated candidates beat me to the post.



Why not try a diplomatic post? I mean not to be an ambassador but something lower down as a Consul or publicity officer.

Weren’t you a journalist of sorts who was kicked around?

No money in diplomacy these days. Can’t hire highly paid lobby organisations for millions of dollars and get cuts on the side. No chances of selling the embassy premises or being a gun runner selling arms to rebels.

But you can, on being sacked, write juicy memoirs about dead politicians and diplomats still in service. Dead politicians cannot contradict nor can diplomats in service do under administrative regulations. You can be a hero who saved Mother Lanka when it was in peril.

That’s for small timers. I am big league.

Bum had to do something positive other than sipping DDs at the Waterhole even though it is a delightful pastime. Why doesn’t he begin by cleaning up the beaches of garbage and crocodiles, make passionate appeals at the Fort Railway Station for the imposition of the death penalty to rapists and pickpockets, call for expelling multi-nationals polluting rivers while encouraging foreign investments, building more airports for storing excess paddy and chillie produced. There were so many other deserving causes such as encouraging police to use minimal force on disabled soldiers.

But Bum was in a philosophical mood.

He sat sipping his DD and told us: Remember the poem Jigga taught us:

Say naught the struggle naught availeth,

The labour and wounds are in vain………

And not by eastern windows only,

When daylight comes, come in the light

In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly!

But Westward look the land is bright.

The bar keeper awoke Bum from his reverie to say it was closing time. Bumper Perera got up and paid his bill and walked out.

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