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Train-riders of my childhood inspired by reading Malinda Words: A short story about Route 167 and parallel lives

Train-riders of my childhood inspired by reading Malinda Words: A short story about Route 167 and parallel lives


Colombo, Sri Lanka (2010)

Gaya: Sometimes people tell you mula amathaka karanna epa. Don’t forget where you began, literally.
Sri Lanka was a wonderful childhood place ( I was born in 72 ) cos we were all relatively dependant on each other for entertainment – telling stories, traveling in the train together and climbing over garden walls to play with the neighbour. There were no organised holidays to exotic destinations in my neighbourhood nor iPhones or isolating entertainment devices that reinforced my own individuality. So yes, my remembering where I began is bound up with a whole lot of people and funny memories. 
I travelled by train to Methodist College. We took the 6.27 in the morning from Lunawa Station and the 1.55 from Kollupitiya back home; the latter gave us enough time to brush our hair and look decent in time for Peterites, STPs and others who would get in from Kollupitiya, Bamba, etc. I am still in contact with my neighbour who now lives in Mount Lavinia and the three girls who went to school with me every day : Kamani, Mignone and Heshani. There is something about those long commutes on which we would gaze at the sea and sulk about our days or have fights, buy pineapple from vendors ( on credit sometimes ) and just doze in each other’s company till the automatic bodyalarm would signal that it was time to move towards the door sometime after the Angulana cemetery was passed. We loved the train and its peaceful passage between school and home.
Still the same iron horse takes school kids home at the same time. My mother aged 83 watches it pass from our verandah windows in the same home and thinks of me now in a faraway country; thoughts that go un-tweeted.
Today on a rainy day in Europe I read Malinda’s blog and it transported me back instantly to those lives and how even now, when I get a message from a Metho school friend it’s just not the same as when a recent good friend says hello. Thankfully I have not met a single old friend who denied knowing any of us in public so far. But am sure there are some who do.

On another note, am also grateful for the new connections via the inane social network FB with people I never knew existed and whose ‘goodwill’ is extraordinary and to be relied upon. I call them the ‘likeminded’. So, yes between the train-riders of my childhood and the ‘likeminded it is a wonderful world.
Have a good day out there and read Mali at his best when he writes on stuff like this :
Malinda Words: A short story about Route 167 and parallel lives.
Malinda:There are lives that run on parallel lines but they do not forbid togetherness. There are also lives that are about connectivity but are so tragically disparate. It’s a wonderful world isn’t it?


  1. You made me miss Moratuwa! Shall definitely show this to Melo! Nice one, nice.

  2. Lovely piece Malinda. I think I know your friend Perera! Sad that people change so badly.

  3. oh my my, how far thoughts can run! Gayathri your note took me down memory lane. Still , with all these new technologies….. I still feel we are more fortunate than our children. I wonder what my children would say about their childhood in time to come. How much fun we used to have!! by the way Gayathri I was also in the train crowd. How could you forget the hand fights, body fights, pinching,batta paninawa, scolding the station master and making him responsible for the train getting cancelled….. my goodness how much can I write. Thanks for taking me down memory lane.

    • Dear train-rider, if i tell the whole story there would be nothing to add by others so as you may note the worst antics were not referenced in the above 😉 Yes Koralawella is also added with immediate effect. That fight I had with the ruggerite Peterite was particularly interesting 😉

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