This is the penultimate day of our visit. We woke up early for the morning puja, after the puja we came back to the rest house.
The lady had prepared breakfast for us, as we had planned an early travel. During this time, she was making garlands for the deity and sharing some titbits from her life. She had studied B.Sc. chemistry from Trichy, India and during that time used to visit the Ganesha (pilayar) temple in the Rock Fort daily. She was teaching Tamil, English and Sinhalese in college. It is not strange for a Tamil lady to speak Sinhalese, as everyone has learnt the language, but to teach it is something different. In all of my travel I came across only one Sinhalese who spoke fluent tamil, in Ramboda, enroute Nuwar Eliya and Kandi, he had learnt the language from his friends there, he runs a small Hotel just opposite the bus stop.
The people who are supposed to take us back to Mannar had not arrived in time, so this gave us an escuse for another visit to the temple. They were to come at 8.00 am but had called us to tell that they will be there around 9.00 and added + or – 15 minutes. I did not know it was in Sri Lankan Standard Time (we say in India, IST does not stand for International Standard Time, but Indian Streatchable Time).
Finally the arrive at 10.00 am to mannar, this was when we decided to leave in a bus. When after their explanations and sorries I quipped “samaya patru iruku anal samaya pattru illai” (you people have attachment towards the religion (samayam) but not attachment for following time (samayam)).
We did not know of their design, we were brought to Mannar. And after telling us there were enough bus to Colombo, as they had already spoken with the principal and who had requested our visit, we visited the only Hindu School of Mannar, Sithy (sic Siddhi) Vinayaka Hindu College. The principal received us with whole heart; it showed the amount of love and respect they have for the monks. We spend some time in his room, discussing various subjects and took leave from him. It was a pity, we were not able to spend enough time with them, as they rightly deserve.
From there they took us to a Hindu orphanage, this is also for the kids who are affected by war. It is not a new story, that wherever there is this kind of situation (badder the better) the Christian Mission uses of for the conversion purpose, and it is no different in Sri Lanka, therefore there is a necessity for this kind of organisations. In this place, they wanted to inaugurate the vocational computer training center, which we gladly did. After this I was asked to give a Asirvacana, which brought the function to a completion.
After this, finally, we came to the bus stand for the bus to Colombo. There was a nice semi-deluxe bus which we boarded and so started our journey towards Colombo. The bus started at around 11.am from mannar, unlike the other bus from Trinco, this bus had a video, and here too they had a different culture. In all the travel by bus we did, and in the video bus especially, they do not play movie as they do in India, but they play the stage music program, and this too from Ganga Vision group.
The surprise does not end there, they play in the beginning itself (invariably in all their programs), the Punjabi song by daelar mehendi that goes like this “na re …” and hindi movie song from R… Rajkumar “catch kiya re…” which is very famous. But of all the songs, I did like a song “ambaa or Amma”, which is on mother, and is sung by different person in different programs.
Our last leg of the visit took us to places which we had not visited, through Anuradhapura that is one of the famous Buddhist seats. Finally we arrived at Colombo at around 8.00 pm. Since our food in the travel was only baked corn and biscuits, we decided to eat before going back the Shiva temple. We informed the temple priest about our plans and had our dinner in a hotel close to circle.
We arrived at the temple, the priest had kept the room for us, after a small discussion about our successful tour, and we retired for the day. Started early at 7.00 am in the next morning for Colombo Airport for our flight back to India.