Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Swiming with Demons and Ghosts

Tonight the moon will complete its cycle, Srilankan Buddhists revere this day in every month. It’s a day to remember the five precepts (pretty much the same as the Ten Commandments, except the - Buddhist have a no drinking alcohol rule).
Many Lay Buddhist go to the temple to recite prayers and meditate, many others just spend it at home or go for family outings. For me, I begin the wee hours of dawn finishing my first novel by a Srilankan Author, aptly titled “If the moon Smiles”. It’s a sad story, it chronicles the life of a Srilankan woman living in Australia, her husband is a control freak who verbally abuses her, her children self absorbed youngsters of immigrants caught in the cross cultural divide. It ends as she ages, I follow the story as my nerves twist in anticipation of happiness for her, but she never finds it.

After a late breakfast, we ride the three wheeler to the beach nearby. The sea touch the sky in the distant horizon beyond where demons dwell, or so says Sinhala folklore. But for now I shrug off such tales and ignore the imaginary ghosts of the Tsunami hovering in the waters and plunge in. The thrill of immersing myself in the cold salty waves are just as pleasurable as I anticipated. The sand is white beneath the clear shallow waters. We don’t dare go further than our waists as wave after wave of foaming sea flow furiously towards us, reducing in strength as it reaches the shores.

Many others are further in the sea, diving from the rocks firmly planted in the raging waters.We look on in dread and admiration. I float facing up, the coconut trees and blue skies give me a picture perfect memory to store.

After the Swim, Its still early evening, we go walking along the fortified walls of Galle, the forte built for war has now become a lesuire park. Lovers with umbrellas and fathers with kites, occupy the windy lawn. A light house stands tall in the horizon, a white Stupa admist green forests further in the distance.

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On a Journey to discover the taste of the Living Water!

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