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I'd write more, like you said I should. If only, there was more to me.

Friday, October 05, 2007


Over the hill, over the mountain, over the tree. Can't remember what exactly it was. There were lovers and all of the above and tea. With Manuka for company, a yarn couldn't have been far behind. She had me in splits as she helped me make some careful tea choices at Lunuganga. "Lover's Leap," she urged me to pick. One minute I was attempting to settle down tea bag, tea cup in hand. Never mind about the tea, the taste of which fails me.

Then we ended up on the same little van headed back to Galle and it turned out to be the busiest 60 minutes of my life. We flitted between tales of Sri Lanka, epic Vittachi Scrabble battles, Bollywood, her childhood, then mine, her family, then mine. By the end of it all, we knew this chat would continue across continents and it did.

Manuka Wijesinghe got invited to the Ubud Writers Festival and she did the wise thing by getting her flight booked on time. We met for coffee, for a drink, for dinner. We wished we could make our rupiahs last. We did the walks in search of restaurants that would accept credit cards. I heard about her meditation, her dancing practise, her book, her life and it was fun all the way.

Readers who heard her, lapped it all up. Sri Lanka came alive, colourful tales of politics and politicians seemed to be running in the family, it was a journey for the brave-hearted, I certainly happened to be one of them.....

Picture courtesy Shelley Kenigsberg

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