A dream where
…..as a child I together with the neighbourhood kids would scamper down to the beach to collect sand and mix with cement which was 3 or 4 cents a pound and make our own fish tanks.
…..in the school by the sea where we were taught the beauty of languages Sinhala ,English and latin and the romance of literature by a faculty of teaches who thought it their life’s sole purpose was to educate us ruffians,not for one moment stopping to think of remuneration.
…..money was a dirty word not to be spoken of in public, so it did not matter if you had it or not.
…..scribes wrote fast and furiously without fear or favour and these editorials were read and reread and read all over again not only for their value of content but also for the value of language.
…..politicians laughed at what was written about them and laughed among themselves at themselves.
…..it did not matter if you were tamil, sinhala,muslim, burgher,or malay all were one.
…..it did not matter if you won or lost but how you played the game.
then I slept in bliss and what nightmares followed
…..a man being burnt alive under my neighbour’s porch by an angry mob. His only crime that he belonged to a minority community.
…..a beauty queen in the prime of her life being dragged by her hair naked along the street and shot dead by the army in full view of the public.
…..a pyre of smouldering tyres by the roadside burning human remains the stench
of both hanging heavily in the air.
…..the wail of sirens as they transported injured soldiers to the hospitals.
…..he screams of the innocent trapped in their vehicles burning. set alight by blood thirsty mobs.
…..the sadness on the faces of known people as the walked to refugee centers, their homes burnt.
…..worshipers of all faiths being shot to rags in their places of worship
…..unborn children ripped from their mother’s womb by bombs placed in railway carriages and buses
and I slept NO NO NO I was awake NO NO I was asleep but with my eyes wide open,too afraid to close them lest the nightmares will recur.
but I still dream. Of a land
“Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free
Where the world had not been
broken up into fragments by
narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the
depth of truth.
Where tireless striving stretches its
arms towards perfection.
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit.
Where the mind is led forward
by thee into ever-widening
thought and action;
into that heaven of freedom,
my Father ,
let my country awake”