Instructions for both Mahesh and wife to come to Ratmale in the morning so I could speak with them at length on the plan for the growing season in light of the lack of water coming from the irrigation canal.
We then caught the couple at Nelun's property by surprise as they had not even thought of getting the stuff for us to take. After a site inspection, and looking at the newly aswademized paddy fields, we took the keeri samba from last years crop to be milled, and then on to Hingurakgoda town.
It was a better Idea for me to stay on and see to the work I wanted to do, so I bought the ticket from the HG rail station for Sunday nights train arriving in Fort on Monday at 5.30am. No births were available, so I had to rest for the Rs 480 third class sleeperette!
I then purchased the supplies I need for the stay, and we then picked up the rice, before getting back to the property to pick up the mango, coconuts, lime etc. and I was dropped with my stuff at Ratmale.
It had rained the previous night, and the place was smelling fresh and the ponds were brimming full and with fish, and loads of other aquatic life, from different varieties of turtles, water monitor, water snakes, fish of different sizes, and the whole host of birds that used the ponds to bathe and fish and generally have fun.
Having no laptop, and no car, I was well and truly marooned in paradise. The binoculars was there from the last visit, and I had my small old digital camera to record some memories.
I had some newspapers to catch up on and some note paper to write my thoughts and have some luxury of thinking time to see how I can improve the productivity of the work that I do. I was not about to go walking around the village, and expected them to drop in!
Issanka came but not Inoka who was too uppity, but not shy of asking for some money to tie her up for a few days. I refused as she was not willing to drop in! and had already sent Rs5000 just the other day, just because she wanted it and was not about to repeat.
As usual Sirisena had done a bad job of cleaning which left me spending the first few hours getting the place to an acceptable state.
The weather was just glorious, with enough rain to keep everything cool, and not heavy to spray into the open veranda. The mosquito net had been purloined, and fortunately there was another that could duplicate. Mahesh had come by then, and left the girl at Karuna's for some mysterious reason, and then after a couple of hours of talking went to Karuna's for lunch and then back to HG.
I had missed the herd of 100 elephants in the tank two days previously. I saw a few, and only ventured into the tank to bathe once.
Time passes so fast when one is having fun, and on Sunday, (Saturday Mahesh came with the girl, and it was apparent that there was something up between the two as M did not allow me to get a word in edgewise to find out the reason, though I new all was not well on the Western Front.)
Priyantha came at 10pm to take me to the Gal Oya station in his motorbike to catch the 11.30 night train to Fort.
The drive in the bike was quite refreshing in the starfilled sky, just when the mosquitoes had started to bite.
The days of thinking and making notes of new ideas to implement back on the farm as it were! Watching the incredible sights and sounds, and the stories that Sirisena related about his youth in Weraketiya in the Hambantota District as the nephew of Thomapala, Arachchilage, Don Franciscu who was the UNP MP in that area in 1977, it was an enlightening opinion of rough and tumble politics in the Rajapakse back yard, and knowing that death and lack of male heirs that gave the Mahinda (DA Rakapakse line) the family the political clout both due to the untimely death of DM that allowed DA in and that of George and Laxman, that allowed this generation of jokers to enter the fray.
The dirty secrets of their heritage and behavior was also exposed, and see how hard they try to sweep under the carpet. Incidentally the coincidence was even more because there was a detailed article in one of the Island papers about the whole history of the Hambantota District all the way from 1931 first election. This ran on till the 1990s and corroborated the stories of the parties involved, though Sirisena maintained they got the name of his uncle wrong, as they called him Thomas!
The bird life with all the paradise flycatchers including the white tailed meant that the feast was heavenly, and the three main types of king fisher was in abundance due to the ponds full of fish.
Sirisena went into town on Saturday so the Sunday Lanka deepa and Island were brought to be read, and passed on to the others in the village.
Fresh corn from the chena, succulent and tender was so tasty!!
Despite the need to travel light, I was given 15 oranges to take, and probably drank more than 100 fresh oranges during my stay there as they were freshly plucked and squeezed to order, a luxury few in this country indulge in especially as the foolish villagers don't appreciate oranges, preferring them to fall to the ground and rot!!!
It was so serenely beautiful, in the middle of the forest with no electricity, words cannot explain how special it was. Alone was also special, with little interruption.