Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Childhood Amid The Tea Fields

tri

What feelings does today’s word prompt Childhood invoke in me?? Obviously my amazing childhood in the Tea Fields of Sri lanka.

For most, Sri Lanka would mean, Tropical climate, hot and humid. Well, true for most parts of the country.    The pearl of the Indian Ocean, the island called Sri Lanka has it’s Paradise set in the middle of the country.  As you travel to the middle of the country, the upcountry as they call it, you are in awe of this pure natural beauty.  With it’s typical English weather, light drizzle, Pine trees (instead of Coconut trees) and waterfall.

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misty ne

 

waterfall

Lush green tea fields, light mist popping out of the mountains, it is barely morning, all the little ones rugged up in jumpers and beanies, we await for the bus that takes us to our school.

This is no ordinary bus.  This bus journey, the whole experience is not the norm. This bus is owned by TRI (Tea Research Institute).  And this particular journey in the morning is just for the school kids of the TRI staff.  Somapala on the wheels and Peter (late) as conductor our parents put the trust and confidence in the two gentleman to take their precious angels to various schools in NuwaraEliya. The bus drops us in the respective schools and awaits in NE until end of school.

Driving in the hill country is not for the fainthearted, nor for the  Colombo cowboy in the flash car.  The roads are very narrow and set right on the edge of the cliff. Add to that, a thick fog makes it a very challenging drive.  But for all this unlike in Colombo or any other part of Asia, not that many accidents, but almost all prangs have been fatal.  These drivers here are extremely skilled and very professional, hence the infrequency of accidents.  They know that there is no room for error, a small error in judgement,and you are at the bottom of the cliff, looking straight at the doorsteps of judgement day.

 

My play area on the weekend was my dad’s Lab – Bio Chemistry Department.  I swapped beakers and centrifugal machines for dolls.  My Utopia.

 

 

 

 

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

The Dreaded C Word

cancer

A friend of mine asked me to write my story, my journey through cancer, struggle and survival. Initially I thought, I am no hero, me being alive is due to my luck and my fate.  I really had nothing to do with getting the cancer or getting rid of cancer. Many others have had a much harder battle than mine, with much harsher outcomes. In my case cancer was not the biggest battle, trying to find the cancer was the bigger battle.

Anyway after much thought and consultation with my husband, decided why not.  My case is still being studied and researched at the Adelaide hospital, what I had was a very rare type of cancer.  If the medics can learn from my case, so can the rest of society, I guess.

One of the things I learnt living in Australia, among the white men, is that they deal with these things in a much more open manner. Part of it has to do with educating the rest of the mass.  I remember as a young kid, I was not allowed to say I had asthma in public, my uncle didn’t have diabetes, he was just being careful.  Or you had the opposite, where you get a barrage of advice, of which ninety percent of it is incorrect.  The sentence starts with “they say apparently if you do this it will just clear in two days”. If you eat ladies finger three times a day, looking at the sun, winking with one eye, while standing on one leg and your cancer will disappear.  I am not denying the benefits of ladies finger or any other vegetable for that matter, but you simply cannot cure serious illnesses such as cancer with a vegetable. If it were possible, someone in the USA would have patented it by now and would be making a fortune.  We, the Sri Lankans, thrive on misinformation.  I guess it was the same in the West in the Elizabethan era, but the people have changed, they now demand knowledge, the doctors don’t tell you anymore, now they discuss with you, they explain it to you. So I say to anyone, who is struck with a serious illness, arm yourself with knowledge, ask questions, read and read about your condition, and with the information you have, ask more questions.

The Aussies are a tough lot.  If you look at history, their journey to Australia was an arduous one, the weak and the meek died at sea, the ones who made it here, wondered why. They were envious of those who perished at sea. The terrain they landed was terrible.  If life was so hard in the lush English soil that they had to steal that bread and hence their journey to this land, now how were they going to survive in this barren land?  Now this barren land is a major exporter of farming products. This lot didn’t make it this far to perish of starvation.  They were going to make it against all odds.  This is the reason, when this lot go out to play sports in the international arena; they get branded as being too rough. TOO ROUGH!! You should see the local games to see how rough they can be. They will continue to play with broken jaws and fingers.  Yes, you have to soldier on with pain and agony to see the end result.  When you get cancer, there is no prize for second best.  Runner up isn’t going to cut it

to be cont…..