Sri Lanka: Did You Forget Me Traveler?

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Who am I? I wonder. A pearl perhaps, in a necklace of history, woven by the oldies around me, who cease not, to boast of their past. Who am I, but just a tear drop, in an ocean of identities, of claims, of conflicts. But a dream, in a sea of confused realities. They called me ‘Serendib’, that which was discovered by chance! And I wonder, again. You could have been lost, traveler, but I have always been here.

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Forever, in temples that store a tooth of the Buddha, in the folklore of the tears of Sita, in the spirit of a legendary Ashoka’s Dhamma. I was always here, as a thought, a belief, a land in the legend of your legends, the pearl of an island, the keeper of a stories thousand.

Did you forget me traveler?

For I was here when you brought the Dharma to my fortress, dressed as Mahindra. I was still here till so late when those waves struck us together..

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But did you forget me traveler? For I waited for you in those green hills..

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Waited to shower you with smiles, when all you wanted was just a glimpse

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I stood here, while you painted my walls with colors of thee, Dutch somewhere, somewhere else Portuguese.

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And colors I did have of my own, those splendid hues of blue, which men & fish alike, would day after day cling to.

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I was there In the taste of the cinnamon, sweet and savoury both, akin to that of a conversation with the family that grew this  ‘kurundu’

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I was there, in the sheer astonishment of my folks so humble at anything new..

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In those headlines of a newspaper that’d soak the occasional morning dew.

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And also among those lines that divided my children..

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But even today my friend, I continue to remain in those cricket-loving roars of  “I AM KUMARA SANGAKARRA!” that unite them!

Yet, I wonder, did you forget me traveler?

 

Harsh Mehta
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