Kumar de Silva
  • GYPSY TALES : Chapter 06 – Old Kohuwala … on the way to the ‘Nursely’

    An integral part of Kohuwala’s history is the ‘Kalindu Bilindu Pasela’ and behind this landmark institution was an iconic figure – Bona de Lanerolle. I was privileged to be one of her students from 1966-1967 before entering Wesley College the year after. The ‘Nursely’ was located in her home ‘Green Lodge’ at No 20 on the road that ran from the Nugegoda junction across Kohuwala, past Kalubowila to the Galle Road in Dehiwala. “At that time it was a miserable narrow road”, recalls Kalindi (de Lanerolle) Wirasingha, Bona’s daughter. My earliest recollections of Bona, the grand lady, was the sound of her wooden clogs that announced her arrival which happened moments  later. Clippety-Clop. Clippety-Clop her wooden clogs would sound … and then seconds later Aunty Bona came around But before all of that, my journey from home at No 25, Green Path to the Nursery was another experience in itself.

  • GYPSY TALES : Chapter 05 – My playmates the juniorists at St. Joseph’s Seminary across the fence.

    I’m told that I had been a precocious child. It only worsened with age. This might probably also have been, because until my little brother was of an understanding age, my ‘playmates’ were generally an easy fifteen years older than me. There were the Perera ‘children’ (in their early twenties) at the top of Green Path, Kohuwala and then there were the numerous ‘juniorists’ or ‘seminarians’ at the St. Joseph’s OMI Seminary just across the fence. Way back in 1966, as a four year old child, going to the Seminary was like going to some faraway place in a distant land. It was a long walk for my little feet.   As we trundled down the little lane (fringed with a profusion of crotons of various varieties) which turned off Green Path and as we stood at the main gate, the grounds majestically rolled down and away … as far

  • GYPSY TALES : Chapter 04 – Friends and Neighbours down Green Path, Kohuwala.

    Kohuwala, Nugegoda, in the mid-1960s was a verdant suburb, rural and perhaps village-like too. Life was leisurely and meandering. Green Path was a narrow ‘lane’ with no street lights if I recollect right. If there were, they might have been like 15 watt tungsten bulbs. Houses were far and few between with no parapet walls but hedges instead. Some had basic rickety wooden gates that groaned on their hinges while others had stiles. I never ventured down Green Path. The furthest I would go down was to ‘Mynah House’ to talk to the mynah. This was a little house which had a mynah in a cage dangling from a tree. We would stupidly talk to each other much to the amusement of the elders. The most visible occupant down the road was St. Joseph’s Seminary with its sprawling gardens and to which I shall dedicate an entire chapter down the

  • GYPSY TALES : Chapter 01 – Birth, Baptism … and near-death in a haunted Bamba flat.

    My birth certificate says that I was born late in the night on Thursday 20th December 1962 at St. Anne’s Nursing Home, Ward Place, Colombo 07. I was named Egodage Justin Charles Kumar de Silva and yes that’s quite a harangue I’ve been saddled with throughout my life. My parents Manel and Justin de Silva were both (Maharagama Government Teacher Training College) teachers. He started off at Royal College and then came to Wesley College, Borella. Mummy was at St. Paul’s Girls School, Campbell Park, Borella (later changed to Rathnawali Balika Vidyalaya in 1968).  They were also parishioners at St. Paul’s Church, Milagiriya where the Rev. Christopher Mutukisna (fondly known as Fr. Sperry) was the officiating priest in charge. (Please note it is Mutukisna and NOT Muthukrishna). I was a Christmas baby, the first born and a son at that. I was to carry our Ambalangoda family name Egodage. There

  • GYPSY TALES: Chapter 02 – Infancy at Dr. Moragodas

    Beating a hasty retreat from the haunted flat at Galle Road, Bambalapitiya, my parents then went lock, stock and barrel, to Nugegoda, to No. 209, High Level Road, to the annexe of the well-known dental physician Dr. Jacob Arnold Gogerly-Moragoda. Our retinue consisted of Nancy an old family faithful (in the photo) and Rocky who saved me from death. This was 1964, two years after I was born. I don’t think my parents ever realised that this was going to be the beginning of a life-long association with this suburb, both for themselves and their two sons, my brother and I. Dr. Moragoda’s baby son Asoka was also there. He was a little white boy. Very fair. Very, very fair. “His mother was a German lady”, Mummy once declared to me in later years, as though she were dispensing a state secret. Asoka and I might have played. We might

  • Goodbye Cedric de Silva, the Gentle Gentleman !!!

    Gentlemen are aplenty, but a Gentle Gentleman is truly a rarity. And that’s what Cedric de Silva was. He was a Gentle Gentleman. He passed away at home last night (31 May) at the age of 91. He was ailing for quite a while. Three years ago, something snapped in Cedric when Sita (nee Dunuwille), his wife of nearly half a century passed away on 10th June 2018. He came to the AF Raymonds funeral parlour where Sita’s body lay. He slowly walked around the coffin, then sat on a chair and began talking to a friend. After a while, he had got up and said, “I will go home now and come back for the funeral with Sita”. Such had been his state of mind. If Sita was the wind beneath his wings, which she truly was, Cedric was then the rock on which she leant. Their relationship was


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