13 October 2014

Thank you Mahinda for the avocado prawns

Pic courtesy http://jonoandjules.com/
Everyone takes note.  Some keep notes.  Some in diaries and journals.  Some in their minds and hears.  Some of these are shared via email or on Facebook or blog; some are not.  Among these people are Kolombians, people from Colombo who know much -- so much that they are wont to think that others don't know and can't think.  This is the first of a series published in 'The Nation' under the  title 'Notes of an Unrepentant Kolombian'.

It’s raining. Hard.  They say ‘bad weather’, but I think it would be ridiculous to describe Colombo on a rainless, hot afternoon as a city enjoying ‘good weather’.  I don’t understand Meteorology lingo.  Anyway, I distract myself.  It’s nice weather for me, especially since I am just watching the rain and not getting drenched by it. 

Right now I am sitting in the verandah of a quaint little restaurant somewhere in a quaint old place called the Galle Fort.  I believe it is a Made-for-Colombians kind of place.  Almost everyone here speaks English.  There are as many white people here as there are brownies such as me.  I even heard that most of the shops here are owned by foreigners. 

I am sitting here sipping a lime juice.  No, I didn’t come here to have a lime juice.  That’s just for starters.    I am a Colombian and I have a thing that others don’t – taste.  Taste buds to be precise.  It’s not just about food.  One has to have a taste for good things.  Like opera.  Good literature (I curse those who were responsible for putting a stop to the Galle Literary Festival).  And of course good food.  I got up this good-weather-morning.  There was tea and breakfast all laid out.  I had my breakfast and reflected for a few minutes about what I had planned for the day. 

Not much for a Saturday.  There was a long-promised visit which could be shelved simply because it was promised such a long time ago that an extra week wouldn’t be noticed.  There was dinner engagement that couldn’t be avoided and wouldn’t be missed because it was one of those connect-and-profit kind of affairs.  Dinner without deal-potential is like salad without dressing, I’ve always felt. 

It was the intervening hours that bothered me.  Time, like money, has to be spent.  Time, unlike money, cannot be invested in bonds and such and be expected to come back with interest.  Once it is gone, it’s gone.  There’s always lunch to think about.  And then it hit me.  Mahinda Chinthana!

I wanted to have avocado prawns for lunch.  I know that most yakkos in Sri Lanka would not think of the two together, but they can blame no one but themselves for their ignorance, barbarity and lack of taste.  I, on the other hand, Colombian through and through, can see avocado as a fruit, a drink, guacamole and as a lovely wrap for prawns.  It can be made at home of course but my culinary skills is limited to drying an egg and switching on the rice cooker.  Anyway, there’s another thing that the yakkos known nothing about.  Ambience.  It adds to the taste in ways they can’t even begin to comprehend.

And that’s what brought me to the Galle Fort.  There’s only one thing better than sitting here watching the rain, sipping a lime juice and anticipating avocado prawns for lunch – having avocado prawns for lunch! 

It’s all thanks to Mahinda Chinthana.  When I crawled out of bed it was past 9 in the morning.  When I had breakfast it was 10.  By the time I finished contemplating my navel seeking answers to the vexed question of what to do until dinner it was 11 o’clock.  It took me a while to get to the Kottawa Interchange and that’s because too many non-Colombians have cars – had it been just us Colombians there would be less traffic and no curses.  It was not yet noon when I got here. 

This would not have been possible if not for Mahinda Chinthana.  Who cares if all this was part of someone else’s plan?  Mahinda got it done.  His pals may have made a lot of bucks but then again in the business of sharing spoils a lot comes to us Colombians because we are structurally located to take. 

But that’s not the best part.  The best part is that we are not only the best positioned to reap the benefits of Mahinda Chinthana -- we get to bitch about it too!  I can come all the way to Galle, have my avocado prawns along with a glass of wine, take a walk if the good weather permits it or just sit right here and fire off emails, status updates or tweets complaining that Mahinda doesn’t care about the yakkos, those good for nothing people who can’t speak English but whose sorry situation is excellent garnish to my anti-regime rants. 

It’s lovely sitting here, watching the rain.  I can’t wait to roll my tongue around those succulent prawns.  Life is good.  



Reactions:

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Aiyo Malinda, I thought you were a vegetarian.

Malinda Seneviratne said...

you've missed the point.

Anonymous said...

I too suspected that I was not getting the point. Anyhow I am happy that I misunderstood. May be I am an "Extemist" but I can't open my mouth an say "Sir" to anyone who eats the flesh of another living being and helps the "genocide" of them. Thanks.

Uditha Devapriya said...

I recently met up with people who told me quite openly that the next president should be more well-versed in English than the current one (who accordingly is "horrible" in that language). Then I looked up where they "hailed from" and stopped being surprised. I laughed. Great article. Looking forward to the follow-ups.

Anonymous said...

"But that’s not the best part. The best part is that we are not only the best positioned to reap the benefits of Mahinda Chinthana -- we get to bitch about it too! I can come all the way to Galle, have my avocado prawns along with a glass of wine, take a walk if the good weather permits it or just sit right here and fire off emails, status updates or tweets complaining that Mahinda doesn’t care about the yakkos, those good for nothing people who can’t speak English but whose sorry situation is excellent garnish to my anti-regime rants."

Duh, the best description of our elitists who are trying to trick the common man into voting for their man at the next election.