By Sharmini Serasinghe –
“Kamalini my dearest friend
your smile and the magic of the aura,
that radiates around your vibrant self
always lit up the darkest of times
Though in your new world of the unknown
you no longer know me
yet you greet me with that charming smile
you gave so freely to friends and foe
in better times
And so, it breaks my heart to know
you don’t know me, once your friend, anymore
in this strange new world
your God has made for you!”
Forgive me my friend
but understand your God
I do not
He took away your soul
and left me a living shell
Did he not find one
more worthy of his wrath?
Kamalini Selvarajan, my friend and colleague at Rupavahini- Sri Lanka’s national Television, has been diagnosed with Dementia!
Kamalini is an iconic TV personality and film star. She was, and is still loved by all, irrespective of caste, creed or race.
She is best known for her role as an Indian teacher in the film ‘Ordinary Magic’ and ‘Komaligal’- the Sri Lankan Tamil film, where Kamalini acted with her late husband SillaiyurSelvarajan, as lovers.
The following testimony was sent to me by her family:
“It’s three o’clock in the afternoon. My sister Kamalini is sitting on a sofa staring at the TV watching ‘Tom and Jerry’ without any emotions or reactions to what she sees.
While I tidy up her room, she asks when she will have lunch. Is this the seventh time she has asked this question today? Eighth? I’ve lost count. Yet I take a deep breath, repeat silently to myself to be patient, and try to smile as I remind her that she had her lunch just over an hour ago.
She smiles back, and her eyes gaze vacantly, once again, at her surroundings. I don’t know what she is thinking, it is hard to tell. Kamalini is now sixty years of age. She is quiet, subdued and thinks I’m her ‘Aunty’. She no longer knows who she is or where she is!
Kamalini is a graduate in Mass Communication from the University of Kelaniya, and hails from an affluent family of highly qualified professionals.
Alas, disaster struck when a cub-reporter from a local newspaper, with no knowledge of Dementia, visited Kamalini at the apartment where she lives with her son. Posing off as a computer professional and part time translator, he had inquired after Kamalini’s health and financial situation.
This journalist then went on to air his ‘views’ in a newspaper article violating journalistic ethics, falsely claiming that Kamalini’s condition had been caused by her sudden dismissal from her employment at a TV station.
His false story goes on to claim that if sufficient money was spent, Kamalini’s condition could be treated. He then goes a step further, claiming that Kamalini’s son was not in a position to work full time as he has to look after his mother.
Some opportunists who were quick to grab this chance to make a fast buck, started collecting ‘donations’ in Kamalini’s name, not only in Sri Lanka but also overseas, such as UK, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Norway and the Middle East.
But as far as the real story goes……..
Kamalini’s housing loan is paid through a standing order at her bank by her family members, and is not in arrears. All meals for both mother and son are provided, and costs incurred thereof, are met by Kamalini’s family members.
In addition cash is also provided to the son, to meet expenses such as utility payments and other incidental expenses. Clothing is also provided on a regular basis. The total monthly expenses in this regard are borne by her brothers and sister.
Kamalini’s family members wish to inform all those concerned about her welfare, that she is presently under expert professional care, with those possessing decades of experience in treating patients with Dementia.
The monthly cost of care alone is approximately Rs 164,814/-, excluding the cost of medication.
For obvious reasons, her family members do not wish Kamalini to have any visitors, until satisfactory recovery is observed.
Whilst appreciating the concern to assist Kamalini, we her family members are of the view, that she requires complete rest, which will ultimately pave the way for her stability.
Any fund-raising activities with dishonest motives, both locally and overseas must be discouraged in toto.
We her family, hereby request friends, well-wishers and relatives, not to be misled by rumours, and therefore be cautious in falling prey, to nefarious fund raising attempts.
Sincere well-wishers are requested instead, to make their contributions, only to Mrs Kamalini Selvarajan’s current account number (039010001955) with Hatton National Bank, Bambalapitiya Branch, and to no one else.”