Sunday, October 9, 2011


I was a Motor Engineering Student at the Technical College those days. We were given a monthly allowance which didn’t last much long but something which we waited eagerly for. Somehow the long weekend grew closer and closer and  still there was no sign of the allowance, though it was due before the last working day.
Nalath, one of my best friends, lived in Dehiwela, though the dude was originally from Weligama, in Southern Sri Lanka. We had planned to go to Weligama for some religious ceremony (an alms-giving) which was a cover for a fun filled weekend. I had agreed to go with him and even had got permission from my parents and I had brought my overnight bag stuffed with my things to go with him after the classes were over. The only drawback was I was flat broke like everybody else and was hoping to get the allowance before the departure.
Unfortunately due to the steaming dog pile of bureaucracy we weren’t paid that day. It was already 4.00pm and all of us dudes had abandoned all hope. So I had to change my mind which disappointed Nalath immensely. He was still saying the money was no objection and he had enough even for me. I didn’t want to depend on him even for cigarettes and wished him good luck. My pride didn’t allow me to be a parasite no matter how much he grumbled.
So on the grand steps of the Technical College,  I said goodbye to him and watched him walking away. He crossed the road to catch a bus to go to Pettah, which was in the opposite direction I was going. I never thought this was our last meeting. After watching him get into a bus I walked to my bus stop, my mind filled with bitter thoughts.
In the weekend our mutual friend Priyantha broke the shocking news that Nalath and all the three other dudes who had gone on that fatal trip met their end tragically drowning in a rock pool in Weligama. They had gone to swim there and when one dude was drowning the all the others who had tried to rescue him had met the same fate.

All three of them who had gone there from Colombo had died - and there were no survivors.
Later at the group funeral which was held at the local cemetery in one gloomy afternoon with a heavy heart  I just wondered, if the government had been more efficient and had paid the allowance on due date, I also would have ended up in that cold rock pool. I was no great swimmer myself. For the first time the inefficiency paid. And I was spared just because I was flat broke.


  1. Oh Dude ! The death comes at the time it has to come. It happens what it has to happen ! You are lucky man ! In one hate decision, our campus batch was rescued from Central Bank Bomb. We were planned to visit, but they change their decision at last. Instead we went to see Kabul Lanka. On the way we got the news. Few of our girls burst into tears all the way to Colombo.

  2. Ooops Weni, I'm so glad you guys went to visit Kabul Lanka. Coming up next in 'Narrow escapes' you'll read a similar incident. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Oops! Dude! thank god for helping u to avoid such situations.


  4. yes Thank God! i am so sorry for your friends. Fate has its own way.... we are so grateful to Him for all the narrow escapes you have had!

  5. Oh dear! what a tragedy! It must be devastating for you.

  6. I have had a similar experience and I am not sure how to explain it. Was it karma ? Sometimes disappointing events bring luck. I too escaped death. In another instance we benefited from a mishap or what we took as a mishap. I was transferred to Mumbai by the Company and the whole family was devastated. However, thanks to the two year stay there my daughter jumped two levels and entered University at the age of 17 ! So I have stopped complaining about mishaps !!

  7. @Sarath Lankapriya:
    Life deals out in strange ways. We see things in a different perspective later on. Let me congratulate on your daughter's achievement.
    Thanks for the comment Sarath. Please keep visiting.

  8. Thay was not ur time to be dead. if it is not our term anyhow we will be saved. but when it is our term we will definitely have to go.



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