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

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


If there was a fear of that underlying threat, it wasn't evident on the flight. Singapore-Colombo aboard SriLankan Airlines was fully booked. There were traders, a big group of them, who make weekly trips to Singapore. Ask them about the business, "it can be better but it's good." There is optimism, hope and a radiant smile. It's the way to land in Sri Lanka.

When I ask my driver, Sumanacna about the bombings, he tells me "nobody cares about it anymore. See so many people are visiting." The shadow of the gun may be there right outside the airport, but it isn't scaring people off. Things seem perfect till I yank out my camera. There is a rush followed by a stern warning, "no pictures." Later in the night Mihiri Weerasinghe and Lakshman enlighten me about the dangers of wielding the camera. Lucky to have got off with just a warning.

How else could I have seen the beauty of Casa Colombo?

Driving on Galle Road, nothing gives away what awaits you. A vintage car pulls in ahead of us. "That must be the one," Sumanacna says before turning in. He is here for the first time too. "It's very nice, Mam," he tells me. It's breath-taking. It lives up to its top star billing. As the sun sets, the last of the day's rays make this 200 year old The sun is setting, the 200 year old Moorish mansion shine in all its beauty.

The lights are switched on. Pink bounces off the white, the short walk way looks like its lit up in gold. More surprises await. Ambra makes me feel like I've always known her. Amila won't let me head to Odel alone. It's past 6:30, he tells me. How easily one forgets? Along the way, there are tips on what to see, what to do, it almost feels like I never left home. The room is so gorgeous, that I feel sleep is wasted. I could go on looking at the ceiling, the gold leafed wall, the little touches that blend modernity with tradition. Like this laptop that's letting me say all of this. Soon there shall be pictures to complete the rest of this tale.....

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