Even though I will be 47 years old (in 10 days) and getting closer to leaving the planet than holding onto it, I feel that I should write something romantic on this Valentine’s Day. Similar to the other young men who do on the blogosphere, even though the incident below did not happen on a Valentine’s Day I am writing it here for the romantic aspect of it. I will not rule out the intention of ridiculing the cultural police too
These trees are on the bund of Tissa Wewa (Lake) in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. It was here that I used to meet my beautiful, hazel-eyed ex-girlfriend more often than not during a less than 1 year of courtship between March 2002 and 2003. To reminisce about this short romance and courtship which ended abruptly is still hurtful to me.
Well, to come back to the story, we did not have any other place to meet each other other than this Nature Park in Anuradhapura where I first saw this charming damsel by chance while she was walking in the park with her older sister. I had the first romantic encounter with this charmer but was banned from the park the next day, not only us but also the rest of the courting couples in and around Anuradhapura. Maybe because we two were more amorous than the regular couples in the park, the administrators of the park thought it should not be open for ANY couple, even for the decent ones anymore!
With no access to the Nature Park, our next destination was Tissa Wewa (lake) bund, there was no cultural police there, well not as yet. We used to take a tuk tuk here and spend hours under the shade of a tree talking endlessly. One fateful day, suddenly around 20-30 STF (Special Task Force) personnel – the elite police commando unit that was created to fight the ruthless Tamil Tiger terrorists surrounded us. They advised us that courting couples are not allowed in the area since this was part of the
Sacred City of Anuradhapura. They ordered both of us to go to their vehicle, a huge military truck and they stated that they were going to request her parents to come to the police station and then get us married. But we both were 18+ and sitting under a tree holding hands cannot be a criminal offence. We both were shocked with this intrusion and the intimidation. (Well, now I feel that I should have let them marry us off so that our romance would have ended beautifully. But it was not to be.)
Anyway, my girlfriend was smarter than I was. (Well, every woman is for that matter.) She told the chief of the police commando unit that she doesn’t want to influence the law enforcement authorities, but her elder brother also was in the police force. Then the Chief asked what his name was. She said A. S. P. (Surname.) A. S. P. stands for Assistant Superintendent of Police, a higher rank in the police force above that of a senior inspector. They then immediately released us and as we were walking back to the city, holding hands once again. I told my girlfriend, that had I known before that her older brother was holding such a high rank in the police force and I would have had second thoughts before starting a courtship with her (Like every other place, some police officers in Sri Lanka too could be obnoxious). She then laughed out loud and said, “A. S. P. is not his rank. They are his initials. “Too bad I lost such a smart woman as my partner for the rest of my life.”