Medical Student Superstar can heal with music
Pradeep Rangana and Surendra Perera
By Ranee Mohamed
Pradeep Rangana, a third year student at the Medical Faculty
of the University of Ruhuna like all of us, has been singing
in the bathroom for a long time.
it was his mother who discovered that when he used to go on
trips with his friends, it was Pradeep who did the singing,
while the others merely listened.
on Wednesday, October 31, seated here inside the offices of
MTV, he saw that the very people who made him a man as
popular as Michael Jackson, were busier doing the paper work
for Pradeep Rangana to receive his gift of a car worth over
Rs.3.8 million. He also receives Rs. 1 million as the top
Today, Wednesday, Pradeep Rangana who became the Sirasa
Superstar of 2007 could not stop looking at his rival Surendra
Perera. "I enjoyed his songs," he says as his eyes welled up
Pradeep Rangana and Surendra Perera were a duo who sang
together on stage for over nine months along with other
contestants in Sirisa's Superstar programme on Saturdays,
which showcased talent from all over the country. This popular
musical programme showed us a number of talented young men
and women during its initial stages.
Selected by the judges
While the first 100 were selected for the public by the
judges, another 48 from among them too were picked out. It
was the votes from the public via sms that eliminated the
singers thereafter, and the figures decreased from 24 to 12.
Thereafter heartbroken viewers watched some of their personal
favourites being knocked off till towards the end, they saw
three of the more talented contestants Amila Nadeeshani,
Surendra Perera and Pradeep Rangana, take centre stage.
October 20, semi finalist Amila Nadeeshani had to step down,
leaving Pradeep Rangana and Surendra Perera to sing their way
to the top and vie for the title.
on October 27 the music stopped for the singing sensations,
as one of them had to necessarily step off the stage to make
way for the other to become the Superstar. The public who
voted the superstar expect the Superstar to be happy, but the
happiness of Pradeep Rangana is tinged heavily with sadness as
he shed tears for his singing rival on stage Surendra Perera.
"Call him and ask him whether he is okay. Let us go and see
him and find out whether he is well," Pradeep Rangana
constantly tells his family and friends. He has a strange
longing, he wants Surendra to be as happy as he is. But there
can only be one Superstar and that special happiness that this
single person experiences is unique. It is the assurance
and the knowledge that the public has through their
personalised voting system given him. That they have
acknowledged his music talent and performance is a
monopolised happiness meant only for the Superstar.
'Elated over my achievement'
were both talented, that is why we came to the top," insists
Rangana. "I cannot tell you how happy I am today. My mother,
my father, my family. I have never seen them so happy. We
cannot go anywhere without being recognised and mobbed. All
the people in our village, my friends at the faculty, they are
elated over my achievement. And seeing them so happy brings
tears of joy to my eyes, for it is only then I realise the
true meaning of all that has happened," confides Rangana.
petite Chandrani Abeysinghe, who never stopped clapping in the
audience is the mother of Pradeep Rangana. "Children bring
great happiness to parents. And my son has brought me great
happiness from the day he was born. He did not trouble me, and
was always an obedient child. I love him very much," said
Abeysinghe, her voice cracking with emotion.
said that when Pradeep Rangana was an infant, she was alone at
home. "I had to sing for him morning,
noon and night, otherwise he would never sleep. I had to
do the cooking and the washing of his nappies. Sometimes my
son would not wake up at the normal time, and I would come
from the kitchen while squeezing coconut milk and shake my
sleeping baby to see whether he was okay. I love him so much
and had great fears about him. My son, has never let me
down. He was always a good boy, he would listen to me and do
as I say," she said.
Recalling his childhood days, she said that Pradeep Rangana
would practice some Karate postures when he was about five
years old. "But he grew up to be a soft person. I can barely
hear him sometimes. It has never been necessary for me to tell
him to study, I have never had to pursue him to do his
homework or study. He did it all on his own.. my son is such
a good boy ." said the proud mother.
Humble despite victory
Despite all the popularity and victories, Chandrani Abeysinghe
remains humble. She speaks of her love for all children.
"One day my husband fell down because he could not walk. He
suffered from severe arthritis and Pradeep Rangana had been a
husband began to cry because he could not move because of
arthritis. When my son saw his father crying he too began to
cry uncontrollably. On the day that a fellow contestant -
Buddhika Ushan was knocked off the contest, my son cried the
same way. Those were the two days that I saw him cry
uncontrollably in his entire life," said his mother.
Emerging as a superstar from among 51,000 contestants from all
over Sri Lanka is a crescendo. But Pradeep Rangana seems to be
used to victory. Already on the path to becoming a doctor,
Pradeep Rangana says that music cannot take second place in
his life. "Music is for healing. It is for the entire body and
soul," he insists, and says that music has a calming effect on
one's whole being. "Doctors are under much stress. They deal
with human lives and they have no way of releasing that
stress. I think that for any disease the greatest cure is
music," said Rangana.
have decided to learn music for four months. I have to talk to
the medical authorities," he said.
Today he cannot switch on his mobile phone, for it never stops
ringing. But Pradeep Rangana says that he has kept aside three
hours for his fans. "I have not slept for the past few days.
Now I can sleep at last," he says happily. Pradeep Rangana
has many commitments and more involvements now. He plans to
dedicate some time and money to charity too.
Pradeep Rangana's gratitude to Sirasa for making him what he
is today cannot be expressed in words. "From the chairman down
to the minor employee, all I saw was a deep personal
dedication. It is not easy to put a show like this together.
There is a lot of hard work. What the public is able to see is
the fun and singing on stage. But all this requires very hard
work," pointed out Rangana.
Thanks and appreciation
Expressing his thanks and deep appreciation to every employee
of Sirasa, Rangana says he wishes Superstar Season 3, all the
Meanwhile, Surendra Perera who came close to being the
superstar said that he cannot believe that he did not become
the superstar. "My only consolation is that my mother did not
cry. There were people who were telephoning me and crying on
the phone. I did not know them and I felt like crying too.
There are people who are still in shock that I did not win,"
said a dejected Perera.
Surendra Perera looks dejected. He was but a breath away from
a great victory. But Surendra Perera has enough reasons to be
consoled. His popularity remains - after his debut on stage
with the winner, singing to capture hearts with an equally
strong emotion as the winner did.
Besides this, he can be consoled with Sirasa's unique style of
appreciating both - the one who won and the one who did not
win - for Surendra Perera will not go empty handed. Sirasa's
gift to him is an amazing Rs.500,000. The final 12 contestants
too were presented with motor bicycles. This is Sirasa's way
of appreciating those who did not win.
The honour of knowing
Sandanam: You will always live on
When I first arrived at The Sunday Leader's editorial office
on a warm June morning to begin my apprenticeship as a
sub-editor, I was greeted at the entrance to the office by a
grand, towering man dressed in an impeccable white sarong and
shirt. I told him I had come to meet Lasantha Wickrematunge,
at which point he fondly grabbed my hand and took me to the
office of the editor-in-chief of the newspaper group.
When Sandanam opened Lasantha's door without so much as a
knock, to find him on a possibly confidential phone call, and
strolled in to his office regardless, drawing no response or
rebuke from this most reticent of newspaper editors, I knew
that there was something about the venerable Sandanam that I
was missing. He commanded a level of trust and respect from
Lasantha that was shared by few in his most inner circle.
Going back in time
was only later during my days at The Leader that I learnt
Sandanam's story in his own words, as he patiently explained
to me, as a grandfather would to his grandson on his knee, how
he came to be in the employ of Leader Publications from its
inception - and helped me to understand even then why he would
remain an employee of the newspaper until he breathed his last
Hailing from Kotahena, Sandanam was employed by Lasantha's
father, Harris Wickrematunge, and served his household while
both Lasantha and his brother, the newspaper's publisher Lal
were growing up. It was not long before I started to feel a
deep connection with Sandanam, as he related memories of
Lasantha's childhood experiences in such vivid detail that I
could feel myself being contemporaneously present watching
these tales unfold.
Being well past the age of retirement, and somewhat frail at
his ripe age of 72 did not stop Sandanam from waking at 5
a.m. every weekday morning in order to catch a bus to take him
from Kotahena to Maradana, from where he would walk the
distance to The Leader's Ward Place office to be there by 7:30
a.m. "I don't do it for the salary, money is not important,"
he would quip after relating the trials he endured on his
journey to work every morning. "What is important to me is
that Lokka (Lasantha) and his father have been so good to me
and my family that my place for the remainder of my life is by
grey eyes widening and voice lowering, he continued "even if
there is no work for me to do, I can only feel peace if I am
here, and ready for anything they might need me to do. I am so
old that there is nothing important they need me for, but
still I know they would do anything for me, so I have to be
here." Slight contradictions and repetitions were some of the
hallmarks of Sandanam's speech and the hint of patience
required to bear these was easy to dismiss by considering the
sheer warmth of the man.
Care and concern
Sandanam clearly saw each and every journalist at The Leader
as a carefully chosen and cultivated treasure, and so
personally strived to make each and every one of us feel more
at home in the office. He would insist that we each get our
free copies of the Sunday and Wednesday papers delivered on
time, placed on our desks, and would peer over our shoulders
to ensure that our pens were not about to run out as we wrote,
or that our notebooks were not on their last leaves.
a fan of red tape, should anyone be running low on ink, red,
blue or black, he would escort us personally to the stationary
department and instruct whoever present to issue as many new
pens as required, as in his mind, the journalists had to be
taken care of.
Alas, being spoilt to this extent was a luxury that did not
follow us as we moved our editorial office from Ward Place to
Ratmalana, consolidating the Leader's printing press and
editorial office under the same roof.
Rushing into the Ratmalana office for the first time, I was
stopped cold in my tracks near the entrance as Sand- anam
grabbed me by the hand and looked me in the eye. "I've been
asked not to come to work anymore," he said solemnly, "so I
won't be seeing you all very often..." he trailed.
a flash my mind raced trying to process who would possibly
fire Sandanam and what for? My thinking most likely showed on
my face, as the old sage broke into a smirk before quipping,
"Too far for me to travel, Lokka says." Only then did it dawn
on me. Sandanam would have to travel from Kotahena not just to
Maradana, but all the way to Ratmalana if he were to keep
doing his job.
salary will be sent, as long as I don't come to work, since he
doesn't want me to be stressed," said the man proudly, re-emphasising
that he was always with us and would never leave The Leader.
Rarely did we see Sandanam from that day. He would make the
odd appearance in Ratmalana to meet Lasantha, and on each such
visit I was, like many others in the editorial, filled with
genuine excitement to see him and speak to him.
one such visit he betrayed a secret, "Even though he told me
not to work," he began, "I stay once in a while at the
advertising office in Rajagiriya, doing what I can there. How
can I leave? It's not in me," the man said. He made it a point
to speak to every single journalist in the office on that day,
as well as a few others, before he descended the staircase,
shunning my offer to take him down in the elevator, to leave
When I left The Sunday Leader early this month, as Sandanam
did, I never expected to see him again. However, fate works in
mysterious ways and it was another young man of whom Sandanam
was fond of, Arthur Wamanan, who was ultimately responsible
for bringing us together again. "He's the best boy here!"
Sandanam told me on my very first day at The Leader, with his
arm wrapped affectionately around the shy 'king' Arthur.
is small and scrawny, but his heart," he started, before
banging his fist against Arthur's chest, "his heart is the
biggest of all the people here," Sandanam concluded, making no
exceptions. This heart Arthur would require, on October 24
when officers of the Criminal Investigations Division invaded
his home to whisk him and his terrified mother away to their
fourth floor interrogations department.
This incident sent the entire Leader machinery into
hyper-drive, with the normal business of the paper all but
grinding to a halt. Drivers and officers were called upon to
stand by Arthur's family and the CID building at all times in
case he was released or any other eventuality presented
itself. Journalists such as my former investigations boss
Dilrukshi scrambled to assemble any evidence that could
possibly be used in Arthur's defence, whilst some of Colombo's
finest lawyers brainstormed on the legal options available to
secure a quick release for the victimised Arthur.
While all this was going on in a blur, Sandanam no doubt felt
the same sense of helplessness that I did, being unable to do
anything to help our dear friend Arthur, no longer being a
part of the well-oiled Leader machine. When I heard of
Arthur's bail hearing on Friday, October 26, it was almost an
unconscious decision to be there to support him, and it would
turn out that Sandanam made the same decision as we met and
sat together on the gallery benches of the Mount Lavinia
Magistrate's Court, and eagerly awaited the hearing of
Sandanam came to sit beside me the moment he saw me, and his
eyes drifted back often to the cage filled with drug dealers,
rapists, murderers and other common criminals, and his
terrified, glistening eyes told me that he knew that his dear
Arthur was hidden somewhere amongst the rabble.
smile crossed Sandanam's face at just seeing Arthur emerge
unfazed from the grit of the cell to take the stand. He
listened intently to the long hearing, clasping my hand at
various moments, up until its conclusion, when Arthur was
taken off the stand back into the remand cell area, pending
his bail payment. Sandanam then braved the bailiffs and
policemen patrolling the court in an attempt to control the
impending media circus, and strode straight past the guards to
where Arthur sat, to speak a few words to him, before turning
recall chasing behind him against the current of people
leaving the courtroom, terrified that he too might end up in
remand for defying court officers. I caught him as he was done
talking to Arthur, and he explained "I had to at least go to
speak with him before leaving," as I gently guided him out of
the bustle of the courthouse.
This was not enough to satisfy Sandanam, and it was only an
hour later, when Arthur emerged proudly without handcuffs into
the open air of freedom that he finally grinned. He braved the
cameras and reporters surrounding the shaken Arthur to hold
his face and tell him how glad he was to see him out, before
turning and leaving with a sagacious air.
This was the last time I ever saw Sandanam alive, although he
graced the cover of the Daily Mirror the following morning,
when that newspaper captured the moment where he fondly
stroked Arthur's chin. That photograph now adorns my wall, and
will do for some time, as it epitomises everything that I will
treasure from my short stint at The Leader: the power of a
young journalist's resolve, brotherhood, and the honour of
having known and loved Sandanam.
A sanctuary that will end
cruelty to cows...
of the Ceylinco Sarana Cattle Protection Centre
By Ranee Mohamed
the first time in the history of Sri Lanka, a sanctuary for
milking, pregnant and aged cows was launched with the opening
of the Ceylinco Sarana Cattle Protection Centre. The centre
came into being formally on Sunday, October 28, in the
presence of Chairman, Ceylinco Consolidated Deshamanya Dr.
Lalith Kotelawala and his wife, Deputy Chairperson Sicille
centre will be located in Meegoda and will provide a haven to
cows who will otherwise be sentenced to starvation, cruelty
and eventually a violent death. The event was held one day
before the birthday of Dr. Kotelawala.
very own special project of Sicille Kotelawala, this
sanctuary for cows condemned to a gruesome death in abattoirs
countrywide, will offer them not the starvation, beatings,
and the nightmare of a cruel traumatic death, but a true
haven where they would be appreciated for the milk they gave
our children. "When steak and beef is served on the menu we
ought to realise that this may be flesh of the milking cow -
which gave us milk to drink when we were children.
drink their milk and send them to the slaughterhouse, and even
their calves - the cow's 'children' are slaughtered" said a
saddened Dr. Kotelawala, and went on to appreciate this
venture which is spearheaded by his compassionate wife.
A meritorious act
Sicille Kotelawala said recently that the birthday of her
husband saw that all beings were well - "Men, women, children
and beasts were all covered and included in these
celebrations," she pointed out.
Speaking at the formal launching of the Ceylinco Sarana
Cattle Protection Centre Sicille Kotelawala went on to
describe her visit to a abattoir with a friend. "I could cry
when I saw them all. They were starving. There was a
particular brown cow, she was looking at me for a long time.
"When the man in charge of the abattoir opened the long,
sliding iron gate, all the cows ran and huddled in a corner,
but emergency requirements for beef means that one of these
cows have to be pulled to the nearby concrete structure and
slaughtered in a hurry for the beef stall on the top of the
road," said Sicille Kotelawala. She went on to observe that
many of these cows were pregnant.
beef stall and a restaurant were situated in close proximity
and the abattoir tending to their more urgent beefy needs. The
set up provided an all-in-one hugely profitable venture,
though it was covered with the blood and tears of suffering
Cruelty to cows
told the gathering of close friends and well wishers that she
had given up eating beef many years ago due to the cruelty
meted out to the cows.
friend who accompanied Sicille Kotelawala who wished to remain
anonymous said 'Sicille Kotelawala was saddened and shaken at
the plight of these dumb, helpless animals. She could not
believe the fact that they were not being fed. She immediately
gave money to one of the men who accompanied in a pick up to
go and buy a cartload of grass for all the cows starving in
the shed," said the friend.
"The cows were starving. There was no water to drink, they
were waiting for their turn to be slaughtered," said the
friend. She went on to say that the man in charge of the cow
shed at the abattoir said however that when these cows are fed
before they are slaughter it became a 'nuisance' for them for
after they are slaughtered they have to clean their stomachs
and intestines and that cleaning process took a long time.
"Speaking to the very private gathering Sicille Kotelawala
went on to describe how the three cows that she had bought
that day were now safe and secure and the tears had tried up
from their eyes. "That is not all, two of them had calves -
one gave birth three days after she was brought here and the
other about four weeks after. They now have a happy and
playful life with long hours to spend with their mothers," she
The brown cow
Strangely, the brown cow which had been looking at her saviour
at the abattoir was in the background looking at the gathering
- intelligent she seemed, able to recognise the one who gave
her a new lease of life.
Meanwhile, Deshamanya Dr. Lalith Kotelawala speaking on this
compassionate occasion said that the cow sanctuary will be a
haven for aged cows and those condemned to death. "When a
rural farmer buys a cow it becomes of no use to the farmer
once the milking is over. This is when the cow is sold to the
abattoir so that he can buy more cows. We will buy this cow
off the farmer and put it into the sanctuary.
cow costs about US Dollars 350. When we go abroad, we will go
shopping and will not think twice about spending this kind of
money. We will be taking this humanitarian project to FastCash
in the Middle East, Australia, London, America, Japan and
Canada too and eventually not a single cow will meet with a
cruel fate," he said.
will also give loans to buy milch cows and tie up with the
Milk Board and other government agencies and work with them.
We will help in the production of milk by giving them
purifying and chilling machines at very low interest rates.
will get involved in the collection, evaluation, chilling,
purification and distribution," pointed out Dr. Kotelawala and
went on to say that Ceylinco Insurance will formulate a new
insurance policy - a cow policy on the lines of the 'elephant
cow policy will cover disease and risk, and thereafter, there
will be an undertaking given by the farmer that the cover will
be bought over and given to the sanctuary after its milking
period is over.
sanctuary will also house cows and pregnant cows that are
saved from the abattoirs. With a boundary wall covering a
vast acreage the cow sanctuary will have a large shed, a water
tank, a bungalow, two rooms, toilet and kitchen.
"And this is just the first, we plan to have 100 such
sanctuaries soon," said Dr. Kotelawala. In addition, with the
efficiency, dynamism and dedication that has been associated
with the Ceylinco group, the cow sanctuary that will promote
the substitution of pasteurised milk for powdered milk will be
a giant step forward in taking Lanka to a Land of Milk and
"They kill the calves while their mother's
shed real tears"
- Retired High Court
Oliver Ranasinghe, Retired High Court Judge
and patron of Gal Gava Mithuro said that the opening of a
cattle sanctuary is the most glorious thing that can
happen in this country. He said that the brutal slaughter
of cows in Sri Lanka ought to be seen to be believed. "The
cow is tied down while it's calf is slaughtered amidst all
the wailing. There are tears pouring down from the eyes of
the mother cow as she watchers her calf being brutally
killed. This is an everyday happening in slaughterhouse
all over the country. Sometimes the calves watch their
mothers being dragged by force, beaten with poles and
sticks and forced to put their necks down in between hooks
after which they are brutally slaughtered," said Patron of
Gal Gava Mithuro, Oliver Ranasinghe.
He went on to reminisce that when he was a
magistrate, a 'half lorry' was caught by the Horana police
transporting 20 cows. He said that some of the cows were
maimed, injured and dead. He went on to point out that the
Animal Cruelty Law in effect now is that of 1907. And due
to this archaic law, people caught transporting cattle are
fined a maximum of Rs.100, which they gladly pay and take
the cattle to the slaughterhouse.
Retired High Court Judge Ranasinghe also
went on to say that he has been a frequent visitor to
these slaughterhouses and feels helpless when he sees the
unimaginable, indescribable suffering that cows have to
undergo - even pregnant cows. Their foetus are ripped
apart and are sold as veal and mutton.
He said that cows and bulls that die in
transit are never buried, but are sold as flesh to beef
"It is in this kind of situation that this
generous benefactor has got himself in this very private,
yet greatly meritorious project of his wife Sicille. This
is undoubtedly a venture that will guarantee them
"Mahatma Gandhi has said ' A nation's
greatness and moral progress can be judged by the way it
treats its animals,'" pointed out Oliver Ranasinghe. The
editor of the revealing book Amanushika Gava Bheeshanaya,
Ranasinghe says that the Ceylinco Sarana Cattle Protection
Centre is a gesture that overflows with loving kindness .
"This is enough to go to heaven" - Irangani
Animal Rights Activist and wife of the
Minister of Health and Nutrition Irangani de Silva said
that this is the best news that animal lovers countrywide
can ever receive. "The Ceylinco Sarana Cattle Protection'
comes at a time when we have just held a meeting with Ven.
Athuraliye Ratana Thero, SSPs, DIGs and officers of the
Sri Lanka Police some Public Health Inspectors and
Additional Secretaries on the large scale brutal slaughter
that is being carried out in this country everyday," said
"I commend Sicille Kotelawala and her
husband, Chairman, Ceylinco Consolidated Dr. Lalith
Kotelawala for this humanitarian act. A cow sanctuary
means that hundreds of cows who are condemned to slaughter
will now have a resting place," said de Silva.
She went on to say that though cows, calves
and buffaloes cannot be slaughtered because it is
prohibited by law, our abattoirs are filled with pregnant
cows and calves. This is because of the great demand for
veal and for mutton (calf meat is sold as 'mutton.')
"I read in a Sinhala newspaper a headline
that screamed 'Killing 13 lakhs of cows and drinking 15
billion worth of imported milk.' Today we have to depend
so much on powdered milk because we have killed all our
cows and we are continuing with the killing. There is no
one to stop this brutal slaughter and it has taken a
humane at the topmost rung in society couple to come
forward and show us the way, to show us what true
compassion is," said de Silva.
"I am in possession of a C.D. made by some
foreigners on the brutal cattle slaughter in Sri Lanka.
The C.D. cannot be watched. It is revolting, and is
testimony to the brutality of these people.
"The launching of the Ceylinco Sarana
Cattle Protection Centre is so good for the economy and
lays down the foundation of a self functioning economy,"
said de Silva.
"For me personally, it is a dream come
true. I will be delighted to help out in this great
project. This is enough for them to go to heaven," said de
An officer and a gentleman
Hemamali and Dasunma
By Sunalie Ratnayake
most recent act of brutality carried out by a 21-member
suicide commando group of the Black Tigers supported by two
aircraft of the LTTE Air Force on that fateful Monday has been
disturbing my thoughts ever since. A valiant soul, once an
acquaintance of mine who obtained flight training at the Sri
Lanka Air Force (SLAF) while I obtained flight training at a
private flying school based at the Ratmalana airport 10 years
ago died in the attack.
While on flight training at the Katukurunda Air Force base, we
happened to meet and we soon became friends. This incomparable
colleague of mine was none other than Wing Commander Amila
Prasanna Jayasekera Mohotti. Exactly10 years later, fate not
only made me a journalist but also directed me to appreciate a
friend with the might of my pen.
A true gentleman
Mohotti I knew was calm, quiet, understanding yet mature at
the same- time and was one who would never even hurt a fly. At
the time we as colleagues trained with the same objective of
obtaining the Private Pilot Licence (PPL), we happened to
share the same aircraft (Cesna 152s), headsets, flight
computers, flight manuals, runway, air space and not
forgetting the hanger in which we used to kill the hours until
our turn for being airborne arrived.
During those lengthy hours in the Katukurunda hanger filled
with instructors and student pilots, since I was the only
female most of them including Mohotti seemed to be extra
cautious about the vocabulary used, taking care especially
against using the usual pilot's terminology known to all in
the field of aviation. Mohotti talked very little, yet every
word made absolute sense. The exchange of ideas was based on a
range of topics from our careers as well as our day-to-day
lives. One thing I recall as being a common indulgence other
than flying planes was reading the latest issue of the FLIGHT
Words of encouragement
Another incident which will remain in my mind forever also
involves Mohotti, a man I undoubtedly consider simple and
great. Ten years ago, November 12, 1997 was the day I
completed my first ever solo flight as a young student pilot.
No doubt I was feeling nervous that morning before I took
flight and my instructor - Samin Attanayake encouraged me
immensely. Mohotti too patted my shoulder and gave me
tremendous moral support, saying, "You can do it, don't be
afraid, good luck."
a girl about to take off on her initial solo flight with
butterflies in her stomach these words of encouragement meant
a lot. After hearing about Mohotti's tragic death I pulled out
a momento from my closet at home in Kurunegala and that was a
piece of the white shirt I wore on the day of my first solo,
autographed all over with permanent markers by my instructors
and colleagues. My eyes immediately caught Mohotti's signature
on the bottom right hand corner of the back of the shirt and I
just couldn't hold back the tears. Even though I flew at a
private flying school there was some ragging and the shirt cut
up was a result of it. As I recalled those memories a smile
appeared over the tears.
Education and career
Born on June 1, 1972 to a Buddhist family, and hailing from
Telejjavila in Matara, Mohotti initially studied at
Telejjavila Central College. After successfully completing his
O/Ls he moved to Rahula College, also in Matara and completed
his A/Ls in Bio Science. Being an active sportsman in school
Mohotti participated in the 100 metres, 200 metres, triple
jump and marathons.
Mohotti joined the SLAF in 1996 as a cadet officer. From July
16, 1996 he obtained basic combat training at Diyatalawa for a
period of six months. From there, he was posted to
Anuradhapura and then to Katukurunda, where he obtained flight
training in Cesna 152s for a period of nine months. Later on,
Mohotti was transferred to Hingurakgoda to the 'Number Seven
Squadron' for basic helicopter training where he trained in
the Bell Jet Ranger 206. Thereafter he had advanced helicopter
training in the Bell 212 which was over by mid 1998, also in
the same squadron. In the meantime, he was commissioned as a
pilot officer on January 16, 1998. Mohotti later flew as an
operational pilot and was posted to 'Number Nine Attack
Helicopter Squadron.' After flying for two to three years,
Mohotti was once again posted to Number Seven Squadron. From
then on he captained the Bell 212.
During his military career Mohotti had completed a flight
safety course in Bangladesh. The medals he obtained include
the North and East Medal, Poornabhoomi and the SLAF's 50th
Mohotti also captained the special helicopter which
transported Norwegian Minister and Special Peace Envoy Erik
Solheim many times to Kilinochchi during his peace missions in
the day of the Anuradhapura disaster Mohotti boarded the Bell
212 helicopter along with his co-pilot Akuretiyage Buddhika
Manoj de Silva and two gunners, in order to assist the
Anuradhapura Air Force camp which was under LTTE attack at the
time. However, before the task could be completed the
helicopter crashed at Doramadalawa in Mihintale. The cause of
the crash is yet unknown and is under investigation.
Family, marriage and love
Mohotti's father Jayasekera Mohotti Weerasinghe expired 14
years ago and his mother H.P Dayawathie is grieving for her
lost elder son. Mohotti was the second in a family of four
siblings. His elder and younger sisters are both married.
Saman Pushpakumara Jayasekera Mohotti is his younger brother.
Sharing his pain with The Sunday Leader, Saman said, "We have
lost not only a great brother, but the country has lost a
brave pilot. He had remarkable qualities and he treated
everyone equally. When he wanted to join the SLAF, none of the
family members objected because his decisions always made
sense but the pain following his death will never diminish
from our hearts."
Hemamali Kumari Rajapakse is Mohotti's beloved wife and
Dasunma Vidusini Kumari Jayasekera Mohotti is their adorable
two and a half year old daughter. Today, little Dasunma does
not have a clue about her beloved father's fate. From time to
time she clings onto her mother and starts to cry, yet unaware
of the fact that her Appachchi is no more.
Mohotti married Hemamali on January 3, 2003 at a grand wedding
ceremony held at the BMICH. Their union was a result of an
enchanting love affair. Their differences in religion or
Mohotti serving the military did not pose any barriers for
their life together. In fact, they made a perfect couple.
Mohotti was undergoing flight training in Katukurunda and the
dazzling Hemamali was an A/L student at Ladies College when
their romance began. Sharing happy memories with The Sunday
Leader Hemamali said, "During the initial stages of our
affair, I was afraid to inform my parents about Amila, mainly
due to the fear of them rejecting him as he was in the
military. However he had the courage to come home and inform
my parents directly about his wishes." It took no time for
Hemamali's father, Dr. Walter Bandara Rajapakse and mother,
Mrs. Herath Rajapakse to welcome Mohotti into their family as
their son-in-law. Following their marriage, Mohotti settled
down in Boyagane, Kurunegala.
During the funeral little Dasunma continued to ask, "Ammi, why
are you crying? Is appachchi inside?" to which Hemamali could
not find a reply.
Last phone call
Mohotti had called Hemamali on the night of October 21, the
day before the tragic incident and had asked about her
teaching appointment at Gateway International School in
Rajagiriya. "After completing my education at Ladies College I
took up a teaching appointment there. Then recently, I decided
to accept a teaching appointment at Gateway. However, as my
appointment was fixed for October 22, Amila called the night
before and said that as we were in the waiting list of
Guwanpura quarters in Borella we should be able to occupy it
soon so that it would make things easier for me and Dasunma,"
However, Hemamali now feels that Mohotti had mentioned
something unusual during the same phone conversation. He had
said, "Kumari (Mohotti called her Kumari), ask your amma (Hemamali's
mother) to take extra care of dhoni. Don't even let a mosquito
bite our little dhoni."
addition, Hemamali said that certain Sinhala weekend
newspapers carried false information about her late husband
such as him handing over a gold chain to another officer to be
handed over to her before the crash. These publications have
distressed her immensely. "Amila never liked gold and he never
wore a gold chain. I have not seen Amila wearing a gold chain
all throughout our relationship. Why do they write things
which are untrue, just to spice up a story?" she asked in
weeks after the death of her father, little Dasunma stares at
a photo of Mohotti and asks Hemamali, "Ammi, why is appachchi
gazing at me? Where is he? Can you bring me his clothes?"
Hemamali, though lost for words, replies to little Dasunma, "Dhoni,
appachchi has flown overseas." In the meantime, Dasunma
studies in the nursery of her mother's alma mater Ladies
Furthermore, Hemamali says that various media carry different
versions on the crash but her late husband's voice has been
recorded which may reveal the truth about the incident. "I
want to listen to his recorded voice at the earliest and learn
what exactly happened to my husband," she cries.
Increasing prices and
By Nirmala Kannangara
With the government's annual budget presentation round the
corner and the working class undergoing severe hardships due
to the price increases of essential items the question arises
whether the government will give them a decent salary
That is the hope of public servants but private sector
employees too are yearning for a pay hike at the end of the
Pay hike expected
'Why can't the government take steps to increase the private
sector salaries too through the budget to give us some
relief?' was the question that private sector employees keep
asking these days.
"Does the government think that only public servants feel the
pangs of hunger? Do welfare centres open to supply goods at a
cheaper rate to the private sector employees? The answer is
simple - it is no. Then why can't the government serve both
the public and private sector employees alike?" asked Jayantha,
an executive in a leading import/export firm in Narahenpita.
With the prices of almost all essential items going up
regularly The Sunday Leader spoke to JVP Parliamentarian
Vasantha Samarasinghe to find out as to what steps they have
taken as trade union leaders representing private sector
employees to find a solution to this issue.
JVP demands from govt.
a private sector trade union we have taken a collective
decision to request the government to give private sector
employees too a salary increase but the government has failed
to give a clear answer on the issue," said Samarasinghe.
further stated that until the government takes a firm decision
to stipulate that the private sector too should declare a
reasonable increase in wages the trade unions will agitate for
is the private sector employees who receive the lowest
salaries in the country. If you take the labourers who engage
in odd jobs they get a very good income compared to the white
collar workers. So it is they who feel the brunt more than the
others. That is why we have requested the government to
initiate a legal system to provide a reasonable salary
increase to the private sector," said Samarasinghe.
According to Samarasinghe there are more than 65 lakhs of
private sector employees out of which a little more than 50
lakhs are permanent employees and the rest work on contract
Govt. has no control
"When we made representations to President Rajapakse in this
regard he said that the government does not have any control
over the private sector and it is impossible for the
government to instruct the employers to pay a reasonable
salary to their employees. The statistics show clearly that a
quarter of the private sector employees receive less than
Rs.5000 per month whereas the government sector's lowest
salary scale is Rs.12,500," Samarasinghe added.
Meanwhile The Sunday Leader spoke to one of the leading
garment factory owners who said that they are paying good
salaries to their employees but the government has no right to
instruct them to increase their employees' salaries as they
are carrying on their business with many hardships.
"Now the trade unions have come up with many requests to get
salary hikes for the employees. Who will help us to get raw
materials at a low cost to continue our business? Will the
same trade unions agitate for that as well," the managing
'We pay EPF and ETF'
According to him even if anyone claims that the private sector
employees are the lowest paid in the country "why can't they
understand how much we contribute towards the EPF and ETF.
"Trade unions can claim that the private sector does not pay
their employees. But have they forgotten that we, the
employers, contribute a lot towards the employees' ETF and EPF.
With all these they cannot demand an increase of their
salaries," said the MD.
Making further allegations the JVP Parliamentarian said that
the government cannot declare that they do not have a right to
instruct the employers to increase the salaries but could
only request that they consider a salary review. "The
government claims that it cannot dictate terms and conditions
to the private sector to increase their employees' wages. If
the government can impose taxes and impose other burdens on
the people that includes the private sector too, then why
can't the government impose yet another regulation for them in
regard to a salary review," Samarasinghe queried.
Kalinga Matararatchi, a marketing manager told The Sunday
Leader that although he receives a handsome salary he still
finds it difficult to manage with the present price hikes.
"Earlier I could save a considerable amount for the future but
now my salary is not enough even for our food. Gas, bread,
rice, milk powder, electricity and fuel. This is absurd. The
government cannot stay silent. They have to do something to
ensure a decent salary increase to the private sector too,"
No bulk shopping
Meanwhile a grocery owner in Nugegoda told The Sunday Leader
that with the price hikes of every single food item he has
lost a considerable amount of sales. "Unlike earlier people do
not have money to spend on food and I have noticed that most
of my regular customers are now going for smaller quantities
rather than stocks. It is understood that the money they have
is not enough to buy all they need in bulk but just to survive
by the day," he added.
Dimuthu, a machine operator in a garment factory told The
Sunday Leader that her salary is not enough even for food as
she is staying far away from her home in Embilipitiya.
Rent up/skipping meals
am sharing a room with three of my friends. Until last month
we paid Rs.2000 for the room, electricity and water. But our
landlady said that she needs Rs.500 more from this month. If
we are unable to pay the increased rent we will have to
vacate the room. How can we find another room at short notice?
We therefore decided to stay and pay the extra money. With the
price hikes of rice and bread we have to pay more for our
meals. We cannot do our own cooking as we do not have a
kitchen and even if we have one how can we spend money on
gas?" asked Dimuthu.
According to Dimuthu she is the breadwinner of her family of
six. "I am the eldest of four children and my father is
partially paralysed due to a fall from a tree. Before that
unfortunate incident my father earned a good income as a
woodcutter. But since then I had to curtail my education, and
work and live in Colombo to support my family. The salary I
earn is not sufficient at all, so most of the time the four of
us sharing the room skip breakfast and sometimes dinner too,
to save money. With the price hike in milk powder we are
compelled to drink only plain tea now," Dimuthu added.
scence & heard
Ikebana demonstrations by renowned master
This is a great opportunity for all flower arrangement lovers,
especially ikebana enthusiasts'.
Japanese Embassy along with the Shi-en Ikebana and Floral Art
Society of Sri Lanka is conducting a demonstration of ikebana
by a well known Japanese master - Masumi Hiraga Jackson who is
a qualified Master of Adachi School of Ikebana and an
Executive Master of Ichiyo School of Ikebana.
Jackson has been involved in ikebana since 1957. In 1985 she
began to teach and opened the Ichiya School in Australia.
has attended and held several exhibitions, and also conducted
important aspect of Ikebana is its history. It is the way this
simple custom of offering flowers developed into the
systematised art of Ikebana. It is the way different schools
of thought appeared as time passed. This evolution of various
styles is very interesting.
Ikebana schools have been in existence for hundreds of years
and the well known schools are the Ikenobo School, the Ohara
School and the Sogetsu School.
Ancient China strongly influenced Japan in the art of ikebana.
It evolved through Chinese monks who travelled to Japan but
the formalisation of the art took place through many
generations of devoted Japanese masters. They developed
progressive new forms from the basic principles that had been
Ikebana arrangements can he done with minimum flowers and
material. One need not spend vast amounts of money on flowers,
foliage and props. Ikebana is very relaxing and soothing; one
develops patience and appreciation of another's point of view
and gains peace of mind.
Shi-en Ikebana and Floral Society conducts exhibitions,
demonstrations and workshops and is a source of creativity for
flower arrangers practicing Ikebana and Western floral
demonstration by the renowned Master of Ikebana - Masumi
Hiraga Jackson will be held at the conference hall of the
Tourist Board, 80, Galle Road, Colombo 3 on November 12, at 5
Thousands donate blood to mark Kotelawala's
Over 8,000 men and women gathered to donate blood on October
27 as part of three days of humanitarian events to mark the
birthday of Deshamanaya Dr. Lalith Kotelawala on October 29.
This donation campaign was marked as the largest gathering so
far in the history of the National Blood Centre.
Picture shows Deshamanya Dr. Lalith Kotelawala with voluntary
Milk is going beyond our reach
This year, I think I will buy all my friends a lactating cow
for Christmas. I haven't a clue on the current selling price
of cows. Can anyone enlighten me? I think they will look soooo
cute with a big bow and a bell around their necks. Or do you
think a Christmassy wreath will look more in keeping with the
other problem would be to ensure that it is always calving. Hm!
Will have to look into the stud bull market. Also, we would
have to have someone to milk the creature. Someone possessing
that skill will have to be employed. This is becoming way too
With this huge milk hike, maybe more mothers will be forced to
breast-feed. A much healthier state of affairs, I suppose.
Some could go into business, do you think, expressing
excessive milk and selling it off?
remember never being that fond of plain milk. My kids were the
same. My niece was the absolute worst Milk-hater I ever came
across. My sister sternly told her that she couldn't get up
from the table until she drank up all her milk. Yet, she would
stubbornly sit there for hours with the milk curdling in front
of her. Then we would all gang up against my sister, citing
Child Cruelty, and release her from the hated task after a
noisy family debate.
Beautiful Dreamer would close her mouth tightly and let it all
dribble out from both sides down her clothes. So she would be
bathed in milk Cleopatra style, and only a few drops would
reach her tummy. The more exuberant Dancing Doll would
violently shake her head from side to side, and whatever we
managed to get inside her mouth she would spit out
disgustedly. A very strange family indeed!
nephew, on the other hand, loved his milk so much that his
bottles had to be literally wrenched away and buried in a huge
burial ceremony. My sister told him that now he was seven
years old and all big boys that age buried their bottles and
drank from a manly mug. He didn't look convinced at all!
were taught that milk was the perfect food. Excess of it, like
any other food, is thought to be harmful. But how can we do
without it? Everybody likes ice cream, yoghurt or cheese, at
least one of these. Naturally, the price of all these products
will sky rocket and therefore be less affordable.
Mothers will be in a dither and be forced to resort to sugary
substitutes. My goodness, what about chocolates? We will face
starvation! Some of us will face withdrawal symptoms! An
exaggeration, I know, but now one will have to think twice
before indulging in these delicious goodies. It's the kids
that will be affected the most. It will probably be healthier
for us old timers to cut these things out of our diet. Be
Creamy soups, sauces and desserts will have to go. The
positive thing is that I might lose weight. The silver lining
behind the clouds! I have a lactose intolerant friend, I must
consult her on how she has managed to survive this far. I
definitely don't like the smell and taste of soya milk, so
don't try to talk me into using that. So it will have to be
milkless toffee, milkless tea and milkless chocolate for us.
Sounds really dismal, doesn't it?
know I'm exaggerating a little bit, but seriously, this alters
a load of things we took for granted. I read somewhere that
the Chinese generally have a very low intake of milk in their
diets, but that they are a healthy race. So I'm supposed to
cheer up? As it is, we have to cut down on this and that in
Enough of moaning! Look on the positive side of things. Our
food has enough spice and zip in it, so I suppose using water
won't kill us. But wait! Local doctors may have lots of cases
of peptic and gastric ulcers, in addition to lots of suspected
well, you can't win them all, can you? I think I will uproot
all my plants and start a coconut plantation in my front
garden. At least I can have lots of milk rice. Must carefully
investigate the price of a bottle of milk against the price of
a coconut. Help! Both are rising rapidly even as we speak. I
-Honky Tonk Woman
Life on a Spring Rain Friday in Fremantle
Spring Rain Fridays bring a chill to the air after a week full
of balmy Mondays, cloudy Tuesdays and summer tasting
Thursdays. You know it because you can smell the sea in the
air when you wake up in the morning and the first thing you
hear is the rustle rustle of the neighbour next door putting a
new garbage can into the kitchen bin and
think to yourself: 'Spring Rain Freo Friday - best she does it
before it pours.' and snuggle back under the blanket.
you wake up much later because your regular alarm clock of 10
a.m. as signalled by the shop girls downstairs switching the
radio on is 10 minutes late. The girls are piling in and
brewing tea, no one wants to open the door and let the breeze
in today and just as you wonder if the silence means that it
is a special holiday today,10 minutes past the hour the tea is
brewed, the shivering stopped momentarily, the door opened and
the radio switched on.
But you know it's a Spring Rain Friday and you know you have
no need to get up so back under the blanket pops your head,
dragging a non fiction book (only non fiction can be read on
such a day) and a pillow, and if you planned right, a bar of
chocolate to vanish within an hour.
move finally, out of bed, out of clothes, out of mind
possibly. Dress and trudge to the door, open it, Spring Rain
Friday, you knew it - your nose wasn't wrong and there weren't
any birds today. Leave the door open as you dive for the
bedroom, the clothes cupboard - where is your silver grey
Spring Rain Freo Fridays are death to those with umbrellas as
the wind sweeps you off your feet and down the street. Hoodie
on, cell phone, keys - you have danced the macarena to make
sure everything is in your pockets as you slam the door behind
you and waltz down the stairs. At least your plants are
getting drenched - hopefully they retain some water.
The rain in Freo
Head down, hands in pockets, the worst thing is getting
raindrops on glasses - they smudge so. Walk to the university
library and sit down. Internet - what you came for - is not
available. The ISP is offline - must be Optus - that's why
your phone wasn't working either, wasn't it? Optus cannot
withstand Spring Rain Fridays? Wonder how many people cannot.
The library is full of those who don't want to get wet in the
rain to go somewhere else and hold their loud conversations.
Spring Rain Fridays mean coming back later.
have 10 dollars in your pocket- 12, if you count the coin.
You'll spend it at the market, buy prawns and cherry tomatoes.
Prawns and cherry tomatoes - things that make a hungry girl
happy. You can't be a woman on a Spring Rain Friday or you
wouldn't be able to enjoy it. Your high heels would get wet,
stockings laddered, scarves blown across the road and you
would have to sit the whole day in the cafes to survive it. So
you must be a girl today, hungry, not thinking about
consequences - today isn't that kind of day. Girls don't think
of consequences: they think of pleasures like food, books,
movies and love. The first three for me sometime today but
maybe there is a cute boy around the corner, not to beguile
but to wink an eye and giggle at, just to confound him.
Turn the corner and here come two boys - none of them, though
university students, with any sense at all - wearing shorts
and sneakers. Living in Perth, commuting for college,
complaining about the cold - it is the seafront. Why would you
take the time to buy designer clothes if you didn't take the
time to check the weather forecast for when it would be most
appropriate to wear them? Bypass them - these are boys I want
to punish for not having or using common sense - not boys I
want to wink at.
the markets, the sign is out on the pavement, water running
down it's slick plastic surface: 'Sorry, car park full.'
Somebody checked the weather report - why didn't they come by
train or bus then? They don't want to get wet?
stop, I stare, I buy a ball of yarn. Maybe inside I really am
a little kitten today playing with yarn, watching the light
hit the varied shades of blue wondering what would it look
like in a scarf? Would I ever finish it to know? People want
to talk on Spring Rain Fridays - some to complain about the
weather, some because elements bring a social instinct to get
along and survive to the surface. So I talk to the lady - no,
I don't like the usual cross stitch patterns - they are too
much in the vein of "Ye Olde English Country Cottage" for me.
I want to see anything relatively elegant or Art Deco style.
There isn't anything but there are lovely coloured skeins of
silk embroidery thread of Anchor and DMC hanging from the
walls everywhere and rows of shelves with balls of rainbow
wool and yarn. I want them all because I want to wrap the
rainbow around me on a day like today.
Five dollars left - and the two dollar coin and it's
companion: the 50 cent piece. Safe in my pocket - the markets
loom and I duck through the little entrance with plastic
sleeves hanging down and I take a deep breath.
Fish and the smell of it, their scales and skin gleaming,
their eyes bright. Here, snapper, bream, grouper, mackerel,
sardines, wings, and over here cooked crab, tiger prawns, king
prawns, oysters, mussels, scallops, octopus, whitebait and on
the other side of the room, roast chickens, organic prime
steak, sausages, pork and lamb. But no cats.
What good is a fish stall with no cats. So I ask her for a
quarter kilo of prawns - tiger ones with stripes that when
grilled show up black and when cooked show up red against the
orange of the shell. Tiger prawns with their whiskers cleaned
and their toes pointed out as if they were starting to dance
ballet. And she doesn't like me because I say "I only have
$7.50 on me" and in the end she gives me $4.40 worth. I think
something got mixed up there.
Duck through the other side and into the markets, past the
bakery and the Freo Docker's team's merchandise stall and the
pharmaceuticals, t-shirts, candy and coffee and come to "SRINDIA."
He keeps forgetting where I study or where I live - he sees a
lot of Sri Lankans, this Sri Lankan man who stands behind the
stall has a smile for everyone. I have three dollars and ten
cents and so I buy a malu paan or what passes for one over
here. Tuna in a bun. He verifies that I go to Notre Dame and
asks my name and so I tell him but I can see his puzzlement.
I Sinhalese? I nod and smile. What's my last name and as I
tell him I lapse into Sinhala and we start a conversation. Why
this name? This odd combination of western and eastern? My
mother is a Burgher I answer and he nods as if that explains
everything. This is an easy friendship - no expectations as to
what I should or should not be doing and he takes his wrong
guesses very calmly with no attempt to correct me from making
a wrong decision.
I study medicine? He seems to ignore the 'literature' but
accepts the 'geography' without question. Have you heard? They
have bombed Anuradhapura - eight planes - and then the usual
response and it happened yesterday when I ask him what they
are doing about it. I might get my information this way but I
still have to let Sri Lankan men tell the story the way they
want to - they seem to like thinking in a linear fashion, they
can't skip around. So I smile and step aside for another Sri
Lankan man with a foreign wife and child and as I walk away
she says "Ayubowan" and I want to tell her: "Darling, 'Hallo'
is good enough - why be formal when there aren't enough around
to understand or accept the formality anyway?"
It's a Spring Rain Friday, still coming down, still cold in
Freo and I wonder if the rain is pouring down in the dams and
rivers in the south west countryside where it is needed the
most so that the cows in Mount Barker have grass to eat and to
drop their calves in. It's cold in Freo but I am warm eating
my malu paan, walking back to the flat, the ball of yarn under
my arm, prawns clasped to my chest. Cherry tomatoes have to
wait but at least a girl won't be hungry for a while.
see an Australia Post van at the corner of the street and so I
stop. Yesterday, a friend told me to make a wish when you see
anything to do with a post office - it brings you good luck.
One of those odd ideas that makes sense so I wonder what to
have eaten my malu paan, the rain is smudging my glasses, and
girls would wish for food and dolls and books and pretty
things and maybe love around the corner. But I am not a
romantic today and my lapse into girlhood is over for today
though the rain still continues. As I stand on the corner
watching the postal van, I am a woman again and I am a happy,
lucky one. And so what does a happy lucky woman wish for?
There's only one thing that she can strive for.
And so before I did the macarena again to find out where I
had put my keys, before I ran upstairs to the flat to dump the
treasured prawns on the table, grab a glass only to break it
and check the phone again - before I did all the eccentric
things I do as a woman, I made my wish.
wished to be a better person and for more Spring Rain Freo
- Marisa Wickremanayake
Madam of a Colombo 7 house was very upset when the maid asked
for a raise. "Now Sumana, why doyouwant an increase?"
Sumana: "Well Madam, there are three reasons why I want an
increase.Thefirst is that I iron better than you."
Madam: "Who said you iron better than me?" Sumana: "The Master
Madam: "Oh!" Sumana: "The second reason is that I am a better
cook than you."
Madam: "Nonsense, who said you were a better cook than me?"
Sumana: "The Master did."
Madam: "Oh!" Sumana: "My third reason is that I am a better
lover than you." Madam (very upset now): "Did the Master say
so as well?"
Sumana: "No Madam, the gardener did."
Hard on hearing
man walks into a bar with a paper bag. He sits down and places
the bag on the bar. The bartender walks up and asks, what's in
the bag? The man reaches into the bag and pulls out a little
man, about nine inches high and sets him on the bar. He
reaches back into the bag and pulls out a small piano, setting
it on the bar as well.
reaches into the bag once again and pulls out a tiny piano
bench which he places in front of the piano. The little man
sits down at the piano, and starts playing a beautiful piece
by Mozart! "Where on earth did you get that?" says the
bartender. The man responds by reaching into the paper bag.
This time he pulls out a magic lamp. He hands it to the
bartender and says: "Here. Rub it." So the bartender rubs the
lamp, and suddenly there's a gust of smoke and a beautiful
genie is standing before him. "I will grant you one wish...
Just one wish... Each person is only allowed one!"
bartender gets real excited. Without hesitating he says, "I
want a million bucks!" A few moments later, a duck walks into
the bar. It is soon followed by another duck, then another.
Pretty soon, the entire bar is filled with ducks and they keep
bartender turns to the man and says, "Y'know, I think your
genie's a little deaf. I asked for a million bucks, not a
million ducks." "No kidding," says the man, "Do you really
think I asked for a nine inch pianist?"
Rock and roll
woman came home to find her husband in the kitchen, shaking
frantically with what looked like a wire running from his
waist towards the electric kettle. Intending to jolt him away
from the deadly current she whacked him with a handy plank of
wood by the back door, breaking his arm in two places. Until
that moment he had been happily listening to his Walkman.
Third time unlucky
Sadly, Dave was born without ears and though he proved to be
successful in business, his problem annoyed him greatly.One
day he needed to hire a new manager for his company, so he set
up three interviews.
first guy was great. He knew everything he needed to know and
was very interesting. But at the end of the interview, Dave
asked him: "Do you notice anything different about me?"
"Why, yes, I couldn't help but notice that you have no ears,"
came the reply.
Dave did not appreciate his candour and threw him out of the
second interview was with a woman, and she was even better
than the first guy. But he asked her the same question: "Do
you notice anything different about me?"
"Well," she said, "you have no ears."
Dave again got upset and chucked her out in a rage.
third and final interviewee was the best of the bunch. He was
a young man who had recently earned his MBA. He was smart. He
was handsome, and he seemed to be a better businessman than
the first two put together. Dave was anxious, but went ahead
and asked the young man the same question: "Do you notice
anything different about me?" Much to his surprise, the young
man answered, "Yes, you wear contact lenses, don't you?"
Dave was shocked and realised this was an incredibly observant
"How in the world did you know that?" he asked.
young man replied, "Well, it's pretty hard to wear glasses
with no ears!"