Sri Lanka is a very beautiful and a very small island, situated in the Indian Ocean. It has a shape of a pearl. That is why it is called “The pearl in the Indian ocean”. This island is a place of tourist’s attraction, and has so many picturesque and so many historically valued places to see, that a tourist will never forgets during his life long time.
In this beautiful country, there is a remote area. In this remote area, there is an isolated village, called “Batuyaya”. This village is situated in the Uva province. If a person, who lives there, wants to go to the nearest town, has to pass so many foot paths, through a forest, till he meets the gravel path. Then he has to walk, one and a half mile to reach the nearest town. This town is a very big town and has all the facilities, a man need.
In this isolated village, there lived a very poor family. There house was a very small, thatched house. Five members, lived in it. They wear father, mother, a son and two daughters. Their house was situated near a small river, which flows down and connect the famous river, mahawelli.
Hemals was the only son. He was nine years old. His two sisters were eight and six years old. Hemal’s father was a labourer and a drunkard. He never helped anybody in the family. He never fulfilled the necessities of his children. But he had a habit of attacking Hemal’s mother asking for the dowry. When she falls down his father dragged her ,out of the house and his two sisters feared him and hated him. The neighbours pitied his mother and the three children. They found a job for her. That was to work in the nearby, vegetable garden as a labourer.
Hemal and his two sisters attended the same school, in the nearby town. There was a ‘Bo tree with his two sisters, Then they observed, ‘pansil’ and he prayed gods to protect all them. While returning too, he did the same thing. This habit, became a daily routine of them.
One day a well dressed lady and a nice looking gentleman visited his school. They met the principal and they wanted to meet Hemal. He asked some questions and Hemal answered all the questions without hesitation. He nodded to the lady. She came forward. She patted his head and said they want to meet three of them, after school and went away.
When the school was over, both of them met Hemal again. His two sisters too came to the spot. She asked so many questions. Finally she started to sob bitterly. Then she decided to tell the truth, about his parents. First of all, she got an oath from them. That was not to tell his father about this. They promised. She said that, their mother had sent a letter to her and that is why she came. Then she delivered the story of their mother .She said that their mother belongs to a very famous and a very rich family. She said, Kusuma and I were bosom friends. My name is sumana. Both of us went to the same school. We were in the same class. It was a famous Girl’s school. Kusuma had two brothers called Danapala and sumanapala. Their father had four companies and four states. He father died owing to an air crush.
After that her mother asked Danapala to be in-charge of the four estates and sumanapala to be in-charge of four companies. Kusuma went to the school with me. We were neighbours. While going, we met a handsome boy called “Dasa”. He was very talkative. I hated him. He seemed to be a crowdie type. But your mother wanted to be friendly with him. I tried my level best to stop that. Yet this friendship lasted for a year or so. I threatened her saying that I will complain her mother. So she promised me, that she will stop that connection. I was very happy.
Anyway somebody had seen the way, they were meeting, had complained her brothers. They secretly searched about his family. They found out, Dasa belonged to a notorious family. They asked me in front of Kusuma, whether I knew that. I swore and said I knew nothing. They believed me.
After that Kusuma was, never allowed to go anywhere without her mother. She had to stop her education too. She had to lead a very calm and quiet life inside, her own house. She was given an old servant woman to fulfil, all her necessities. They allowed me to meet her daily, in their house. Because I lived near the house.
The time glided away. One day when she was in the garden alone, She heard a noise. She turned to see, what was happening. At that time ,her servant women had gone into the house, to bring her tea. She quickly grabbed that. Then she saw a letter attached to a stone. She hid the letter inside the pocket in her frock. When she went inside the house, she ran to her room. Her mother too shared her room. Mother had gone somewhere. She got a chance of reading it. It was from Dasa, begging her will suicide. The date and the time were given.
Secretly, she collected all her jewellery, her bank books and all the valuable things. She had and ran away with him, to this isolated place. She left a very short note, to her mother, saying that she is going away with Dasa to find her own happiness and asking them not to bother about her. Kusuma had described these things in the letter she sent to Sumana recently.
On the following morning, Kusuma’s mother woke up and saw that her daughter was not in the room. All the members in the house searched her in the house and even in the garden.
Finally Danapala entered the room, with his mother and sister, again and searched to find out any information. Then he saw a letter on the table, near the flower vase. Their mother grabbed the letter, with shivering hands, read it, gave a big cry and fell down. That was the end of her, her son Danapala, put on her bed. All the servants gathered round them. They too understood that she was dead. Danapala and sumanapala too read the letter, written by Kusuma.
Her funeral was done in a very respectable way. Both the sons swore, in front of their mother’s dead body, that they will punish her for the wicked and the shameful thing that she had done. Even the relations cursed her.
Aunty sumana said that she got a registered letter, two days ago, describing her new condition and all about her past behaviours and how she repent them. She said that she is going abroad. She gave them some photos of their mother, when she was very young, gave a bundle containing money and some sweets to them. She put all these things in a very old bag. Asking them to give her mother and not to mention anything to their father.
When they went home, he gave the letter, a big parcel, the old bag and the sweet their mother. Then told her each and everything aunt sumana told them. Mother listened to them happily and then started sobbing. Hemal asked mother whether the sayings of aunty and said that all of them are true.
That evening Hemal went to the river, sat on a rock and recalled, all the things that aunty sumana said to them. He couldn’t believe what she delivered to be the truth. Then he recalled that his mother approved all of them. He saw the tears that blinded her eyes. He understood, that she is repenting, for the folly, she had done to destroy her life and the lives of her family.
He pities his innocent mother and hated his cruel father. He understood how his father cheated his mother and the wicked way how he attacks her, asking for the dowry. He spends what he earns for his drunkenness, without careering his family. He became so wild and thought to kill his father.
With deep thoughts, he looked at the river. He saw how the waves attack the rocks. The rocks never attack back. Instead stood still, without attacking back. Then the water flew downwards, making a beautiful scene and singing happily. Seeing this he made up thought, if he acts in a brutal way,he would not be able to make his mother to get happiness again.
He went back to his home. He got permission from his mother and went towards the “bo” tree. He sat in front of the Bo tree .He observed, ’Pansil’. Then chanted all the ‘gathas’he knew. He offered the merit, he had done to all the gods. Then he begged them to look after his family and begged them to help him to get a good education and to protect all of them after doing so he returned home.
On that day onwards, he became a very cheerful boy. He helped his two sisters in their studies. He too, studied very hard. In the school, he tried to be friendly, with all the students in the school. He helped his classmates, those who are very weak, to do their studies well.
He honoured the principal and all the teachers in his school. He learned well and became the first in his class. He gained the good name in the school. He became the ‘prefect’ in his school. Finally he became the ‘head prefect’ in his school.
When he became very famous, in school. One of his teachers heard the family background of Hemal. She was surprised to hear that. She wanted to help Hemal. Thinking so, she spread the news among all the teachers. Principal too heard the news. Principal had a private talk with Hemal. He told the principal, the real condition of his family. He never told him, about his mother’s family background. Principal told the teachers, what he heard. All the teachers pities Hemal. They wanted to help Hemal and his two sisters. They gave all the necessary things that they wanted for their studies.
Hemal and his two sisters, had a habit of taking the buns for their dinner. Teachers watchful eyes saw this. They asked the cause of taking the buns home. Fearing the questioning, they started crying. Then they told them the truth.
Then the teachers took them to the staffroom. They bought five packet of string hoppers from the canteen and asked them to take the packet home and asked them to eat the buns. They did so.
Five teachers promised to bring an extra lunch packet. These told them, not to tell this to their father became tamed because he had something to eat. He thought that Kusuma has money to buy eatable things. Because she is earning. He filled his stomach and went was a peaceful background in the family.
He did his home work peacefully. He helped his sisters to do their home work. Then he discussed the next days lessons too. He never neglected any minute. His only ambition is to study hard. Get a good pass. So that he can get a good job, and to make his beloved mother happy again.
He select economic subjects. For his higher education. He never attended tuition classes, because he had no money. Yet his beloved friends ,who attended tuition classes ,gave their note books to him. He copied the notes and returned the boos and thanked them.
Finally he fulfilled his ambition. He got ‘A’ passes for all the subjects in advanced level exam and gave an example to other students too. News of his success, spread everywhere.
Newspaper reporters rushed to the place and gathered all the information they needed. They spoke to the children, principal and all the teachers. Then they went to see his house. All of them pitied Hemal. They could not believe what they saw. They talked to his mother and two sisters and some neighbours who came there. Neighbours told them the real truth about his father, but nothing about his mother’s history because nobody knew that. They collected all the information they needed and went away.
On the following day Hemal’s picture appeared in all the newspapers in Sri Lanka. Real living condition of Hemal was clearly shown by the pictures, taken by the reporters.
One millionaire, who had last his wife and two children by a car accident recently, read all these articles appeared in the newspapers. On the following day, he went to Hemal’s school and met the principal. Principal ordered a person to show him, where Hemal lived. He was shocked to see the way, how they lived. He talked to Hemal’s mother. Hemal and the two sisters. There was only one chair. Mother wiped the chair and asked him to sit. He sat on it. Except that chair, there were no furniture seeing all these things, he asked, how he did his homework. He showed the way. He got a mat and then spread it, on the floor. Then he sat on it .He put his books on the mat. He bent down and showed the way, how he did his written work.
He told him that his two sisters too are doing their homework in the same way. He told him that he help his two sisters to do their homework. Then he asked the gentleman to follows him and went to the bank of river. He sat on the rock, where he sat daily and showed how he memorised the poem and important things. He praised his father, instead said that his father was misled by the drunkards and he doesn’t know, how to prevent it. After listening to Hemal, the gentleman patted his head.
In a sorrowful mood, he said that he had a very peaceful family. He said that, his wife was faithful and the two daughters were very beautiful. With a sob he said, we were very happy. He covered his face and cried bitterly. Then they returned home. He sat on the same chair sobbing. All of them were frightened. They watched at him silently.
After some time, he looked at them. Then he said, two years ago, his forty five years old wife and twenty and twenty two years daughters, went to a birthday party. As he had fever, he stayed at home. His eldest daughter, drove the car. In the evening, he got a call from the police station, saying that his family met with an accident and all of them died in the spot and asked him to come immediately. He was fifty years old then. He was not in a position to bear up the news. So his driver came forward and took him to the police station. He couldn’t bear up the situation. He acted as a mad man.
He said that, even today, he hates to memorise it. To console himself, he got used to read all the newspapers daily. At this time ,Hemal’s father came home. When he saw a big car and a gentleman sitting on the chair, he stood still like a statue. Hemal and his mother ran towards him and explained the situation. Anyway he behaved well. He came and sat on the door step and gave a friendly smile. The gentleman too smiled with him a friendly way.
The gentleman continued his speech. To forget the past, he got used to read all the newspapers publishes daily. He read the articles that appeared in all the newspapers about, Hemal. He decided to help this brave and innocent boy. All the family members knelt in front of him and worshipped him.
In an innocent way ,Hemal’s mother asked the name of this generous gentleman and where he lives. He said that his name is Danapala Hewavitharana. His home town is Negombo.
Then he stood up, walked here and there for about a half an hour without saying anything. Then with a hesitation and sob, he decided to tell all about him.
He said that he had a younger sister. His brother ”Deepal’ ’was a person, who seeked reputation and he wanted to rule others as a dictator. He got the permission from our father, to be director of the four companies that father had. Before giving father advised him to help them in their needs.
Father asked me to look after the four estates that mother had. My only sister Kusuma became the pet in our house. My mother deposited money in her bank books, gradually, the time glided away. Our father died owing to a heart attack. Mother, sister and two of us remained. We lead very luxurious lives.
We gave too much of freedom to our sisters. We protect her as a valuable gem. Mother explained her to protect the name and the reputation of our father, then she advised her to protect the reputation of their generations.
Saying this took a handkerchief from his bag and wiped his eyes. Then he said that his sister, taught them a good lesson. That was ‘’too much of anything will destroy everything’ My sister used her freedom, to destroy all of us. She ran away with a notorious person. She had taken all the valuable things she had, even her for bank books.
There was a short letter, on her table, saying that she was going away with her lover ‘’Dasa’ ’.That was all. Mother grabbed the letter from me and gave a big cry and fell down. That was the end of her/we hated Kusuma and searched her everywhere. Wanted to kill her.
Then we gave up that idea.
We knew perfectly well, that she will be punished, by gods, for the misery she had given us. She had destroyed the reputation of our honourable generation too.
My brother remained as a batchler. My brother died owing to an air crash, few years ago, throwing the burden of the companies on my shoulder. Now I am a very very rich person. All the companies and estates belong to me. What is the use of property and money, if there is no happiness. I understood the value of real love, when I heard the death of my children and my beloved wife.
So, I forgave my sister. I searched her everywhere, because i knew perfectly well, that she is suffering. But it was unsuccessful. Recently, I saw Hemal’s abilities which was published, in all the newspapers. I determined to help him. That my only ambition. That was why, I met his principal and the teachers. They praised Hemal and they very happy. They found a person asked to show the house. He went away showing me your house. Saying this he stood up clapping his hands and laughing.
Hemal’s mother got up and ran towards him, as a mad woman. She knelt down in front of him. Got hold his legs and started crying bitterly. Father covered his face, with his hands and he too started crying. My sisters ran out of the house and hid behind the tree. Hemal knew the reason. Because aunty sumana had told it to him. The gentlemen was astonished and dumbed for a very long time. Then he asked them, why they are crying in that way.
Mother stood up, ran in to the house searched for something. Then brought a bundle and handed it to him. He was shocked. He sat on the chair as a statue. Father too sat in front of him. After some time, the gentlemen opened the bundle. This bundle included Kusuma’s birth certificate, marriage certificate, some photos of her parents and number of very old photos. It contained all her, empty bank books too.
Father got up and sat on the door step, again His two sisters were peeping behind a tree. Hemal too was frightened, thinking whether the gentleman will go away cursing all of them. Instead he stood up and went towards Hemal’s mother. Then he put the hand on her shoulder, looked at her face with an understanding smile. Then he said, ”Kusuma, I forgive you. Now I understand the value of true love. I loved my wife and my children. I was mad, when I heard about the accident. After that I acted as a real mad man. After a month or so, I searched you. Then I gave up that unsuccessful idea and wanted to help somebody. So that I can get happiness and satisfaction through it”.
I read the news appeared in all the newspapers about Hemal. I felt this innocent boy. That is the way how I met my sister. Hemal’s mother knelt down in front of him. Father and three of us too, did the same thing. He said that he will come back on the following day take all of them.
He asked them, not to tell the real truth about their relationship to anybody. Because it may affect the future of the children and both Kusuma and Dasa too. He asked them to collect all the necessary and valuable things only. Saying this he went away. After that, they visited, all the neighbours houses. Kusuma and Dasa thanked all of them for helping them. All of them blessed Hemal. They said that will help them if they get a chance of doing so.
On the following day, they visited Hemal’s house to say good bye. Hemal’s mother put the bundle in the car. Others had nothing to take. Kusuma asked her neighbours to take anything they wanted if there’s any. They got in to the car, saying good-bye to all of them. Hemal asked his uncle to stop the car in front of the ‘Bo tree’. He got down with his sisters and went there he knelt down and worshipped and thanked gods for helping them, and offered the merits he had done, to the gods, as if the gods are staying there.
Uncle promised to build a temple there. They got a very tasty lunch at a hotel. Then they went to Negombo, then to the house, where he lived uncle told them, not to tell anybody, about the relationship. Because if the neighbours hear the truth, that might create a great damage to the three children and Hemal’s father too.
Hemal was selected to the university. Uncle was really spend the money, he needed for his education. While coming uncle bought ,so many new dresses to each of them. Uncle admitted the two girls to a very famous school. They were given all the facilities they needed. Uncle found three tuition masters. Two of them, for the girls. The other one for Dasa. Because he must act in to teach him spoken English. As an obedient pupil, Dasa learnt English.
Dasa secretly tried to get any news about his family and relations who lived in the slum area. The slum area was cleared. Instead there was a big hotel and a swimming pool.
Nobody knew about the people who lived there. Dasa decided to become a good father and a good husband. He made up his mind to protect the name of his wife.
Hemal did his studies well. After getting out of the university he became an Accountant. His uncle with the help of his father, managed to run the four estates successfully. Hemal as a Accountant did his job well. He had to be in-charge of the four companies. Hemal never forgot ,his former school. He built a big shrine in his school. His uncle built a big temple at the ‘’bo tree”. He named the temple as ‘’Hemaramaya’’. They donated this temple to the chief thero in the uva province.
He met the former principal and the former teachers. He fulfilled their needs. He met the former neighbours. He helped them in many ways. He helped them whenever they needed. Hemal succeeded all his future exepectations, giving an example to all others. He respect his uncle as a god.
By Charitha Weerakoon from Sri Lanka
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