බින්තැන්නේ විත්ති – පියසේන කහඳගමගේ


binthenne-withthi-cover

binthenne-withthi

පියසේන කහඳගමගේ ලියූ “බින්තැන්නේ විත්ති” මම ඉතා ආශාවෙන් කියවූ කෘතියකි. මම කිහිප වතාවක්ම දඹානට ගොස් වැදි ජනතාව සහ වැදි නායක ඌරුවරිගේ වන්නියා නායක ඇත්තන්ව හමුවී ඇති නිසා මෙම පොතේ තිබූ කරුණු වඩාත් ලෙහෙසියෙන් අවබෝධ කර ගැනීමට පහසු විය. එසේ වූයේ කාලයත් සමග වැදි ජනතාව භෞතික වශයෙන් කොපමණ වෙනස් වුවත් ඔවුන් අධ්‍යාත්මික වශයෙන් ඔවුන්ගේ ඇදහිලි ක්‍රම සහ සංස්කෘතිය තවමත් පවත්වාගෙන යන හෙයිනැයි මට සිතේ.

මේ පොතේ කතුවරයා වන කහඳගමගේ මහතා 1968 සිට 1983 දක්වා අවුරුදු 15ක් ම වැදි ගෝත්‍ර සහිත ප්‍රදේශවල ගුරු වෘත්තියේ යෙදෙමින් ලද අත්දැකීම් වලින් ලැබුණ පන්නරය මත පොත ලියවී ඇත. වැද්දන්ගේ යාදිනි, මන්තර, කවි හා වැදි ගී මෙම කෘතියට අයත්ය. එමෙන්ම වැද්දන් වීම නිසාම ඔවුන්ට මුහණ පෑමට සිදුවූ අනේකවිධ අතවරයන් සහ අසාධාරණයන් ගැනද කතුවරයාගේ අනුකම්පාව මොනවට පෙන්නුම් කරයි.

වරෙක නවකතාවක් මෙන් රසවත් මෙම කෘතිය තවත් වරෙක පර්යේෂණ ග්‍රන්ථයකි. තවත් වරෙක එය ඉතිහාස කතාවකි. එමෙන්ම එය මානව විද්‍යා (anthropology) ග්‍රන්ථයකි.

වැදි ජනතාව දකිනවිට ඔබට සිතෙන්නේ ඔවුන් ඉතාම ගොරහැඩි රෞද්‍ර ගෝත්‍රිකයන් පිරිසක් ලෙසය. එහෙත් ඔබ ඔවුන් සමග මද වෙලාවක් ගතකරන විට ඔවුන්ගේ භයංකර කෙස්වැටි වලට සහ රවුල්වලට යටින් ඔබ කෙරෙහි ඔවුන්ගේ ඇති ලෙන්ගතුකම මතුවෙයි. කහඳගමගේ මහතා බොහෝ කාලයක් පුරා වැද්දන් නිරීක්ෂණය කළ වැද්දන්ගේ සැබෑ මිතුරෙකි.

ශීඝ්‍ර වෙනසකට භාජනය වන මානව හැසිරීම සහ සිතුම් පැතුම් වැදි ජනතාවට ඒ වේගයෙන්ම නොපැමිණේ. ඔවුන්ගේ වෙනස ඉතා සෙමින්ය. එහෙත් සෙමින් වුණත් ඔවුන් වෙනස් වෙමින් සිටින්නේ වෙනසට සංවේදී නොවන ජීවීන් සොබාදහම විසින් ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කරන බව ඔවුන්ට වැටහී ඇති නිසා විය හැක. දඹානේ ගුරුකුඹුර ප්‍රාථමික විදුහල සහ දඹාන මහ විදුහල මේ වෙනසේ පෙරගමන්කරුවන් කරුවන් වී ඇතිවාට කිසිම සැකයක් නැත. නාගරීකරණය සහ වැදිගම්මාණය සංචාරක ආකර්ෂණයට ලක්වීමද මේ වෙනසට දායක වී ඇත. ඒ සියලුම වෙනස්කම් මධ්‍යයේ අතීතයේ වැද්දන් ජීවත් වූ අයුරු කහඳගමගේ විසින් මෙසේ වාර්තාගත කිරීම ගැන අපි සැවොම ඔහුට කෘතඥ විය යුතුය.

Advertisements

Motorcycle Journeys – Trip to Bandarawela from Mahawilachchiya with Aleksandar Isailović from Serbia


Our route from Mahawilachchiya to Dambana

Our route from Mahawilachchiya to Dambana

I started the trip to Bandarawela from Mahawilachchiya around 7.00 am on May 15, 2017 with Aleksandar Isailović from Serbia and reached Mirahawatta (off Bandarawela) via Mahiyanganaya the first day. Despite having an international license, Aleksander could not ride the bike as my Bajaj Pulsar 150 is not a model he had any experience with. In fact, it was my fault that I did not give him enough time to get accustomed to my bike during his stay in Mahawilachchiya.

On the bund of Mahawilachchiya Reservoir

On the bund of Mahawilachchiya Reservoir

Aleksandar Isailović on the bund of Basawakkulama Reservoir

Aleksandar Isailović on the bund of Basawakkulama Reservoir

Scene from the bund of Basawakkulama Reservoir Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Scene from the bund of Basawakkulama Reservoir Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

We had breakfast at my sister’s house in Anuradhapura and proceeded to Dambulla first. From Dambulla, we took the road via Kandalama – Bakamuna – Laggala up to Mahiyanganaya. The road from Dambulla to Bakamuna was not carpeted as yet but it was still a pretty good road and we never had any problems with the road condition. We had lunch at a small place at Girandurukotte. It was a delicious lunch with fresh vegetables and freshwater fish.

Bridge of Yodha Ela in Bakamuna

Bridge of Yodha Ela in Bakamuna

Ricefields in Girandurukotte

Ricefields in Girandurukotte

At Girandurukotte

At Girandurukotte

After lunch, we proceeded to Mahiyanganaya then to Dambana where the Vedda (a Sri Lankan aboriginal ingenious tribe) people live. I have been to this place several times and hence I personally know Vedda tribal chief, Mr. Uruwarige Waniyaleththo. The houses in Dambana are very eco-friendly. They are made with mud walls and hay stacks roof. You don’t feel the heat that thrust upon the village by the hot sun. We had a chat with the chief and then came back to Mahiyanganaya and then proceeded to Bandarawela. Roads are very well done, thanks to the previous government.

Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe in Dambana, Mahiyanganaya

Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe in Dambana, Mahiyanganaya

The roof of the hut of Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe in Dambana, Mahiyanganaya

The roof of the hut of Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe in Dambana, Mahiyanganaya

With Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe in Dambana, Mahiyanganaya

We took some pictures at beautiful Loggaloya Lake. This place is so beautiful and even if you spend hours here you won’t feel enough.

The route we took from Dambana to Mirahawatta.

The route we took from Dambana to Mirahawatta.

Aleksandar Isailović at Loggal Oya

Aleksandar Isailović at Loggal Oya

Mahiyanganaya - Badulla Road

Mahiyanganaya – Badulla Road

The little tea shop we had tea on Mahiyanganaya - Badulla road

The little tea shop we had tea on Mahiyanganaya – Badulla road

We resumed the journey to Badulla and spent some time in Badulla, the small town where I spent honeymoon for year!!! Badulla is a very peaceful and beautiful small town. I love this place.

We left for Bandarawela and met my friend Nimal Gunarathna there. He is a computer teacher in Devananda School, Mirahawatta. He also conducts some private tuition classes in Bandarawela town. We spent night at his house and had a delicious dinner cooked by Nimal’s wife. We had a wonderful tight sleep as the weather was cool and there was not a single mosquito to disturb with their buzz.

Trip to Badulla from Mahawilachchiya with Benjamin Pages on My Motorbike


Benjamin Pages (Ben) was the first French volunteer at Horizon Lanka. I went on a road trip with him to Badulla via Polonnaruwa. It was a great ride as both Ben and I could take turns in the ride. To be honest, I did not think I would be comfortable when he rode the bike as I doubted his riding in a country like ours where other drivers do not drive that safe. But Ben faded my doubts away as he convinced me he was the best foreign rider I had rode with. He was very careful despite being a fast rider like me.

We started the trip after 6.00 am on April 16, 2016. As usual, we posed for a few photos on the bund of the huge Mahawilachchiya reservoir as a memory. We rode to Anuradhapura, the first kingdom (377 BC–1017 AD) of Sri Lanka. Ride was very smooth as we started early and it was fun to ride through morning rays of the sun. We stopped at Basawakkulama wewa, aka Abhayawewa reservoir, to capture the glimpse of the great stupas (pagodas) Mirisawetiya, Ruwanweli Seya, Jethawanaramaya and Abhayagiriya over the tree canopies in our camera phones. It was such a beautiful sight to capture in your cameras in the morning (and in the evening too.) Since visiting the great Buddhist heritage of Anuradhapura was not in our plan, we continued the ride without listening to our hearts (to visit the kingdom.)

Next we proceeded to Polonnaruwa, the second kingdom (from the 11th century until 1310 CE) of Sri Lanka via Habarana, the small touristic town. We visited my good old friend, Jayantha in Unagala Wehera on the way to Polonnaruwa and he offered us a very good meal. (I had jokingly told him that we will bring a Tiara cake for 200 LKR and will eat a 2,000 LKR worth meal at his place. This is a nuisance Sri Lankan families welcome during Sri Lankan New Year. We too happened to visit him during the same period.)

Jayantha was a very good computer hardware technician and used to repair our computers at Horizon Lanka for a long time. In addition to that, he is a great tabla (a South Asian membranophone percussion instrument) player and a singer in village parties. I wish we could stay at his place for the night but our plans to proceed to Badulla could not be compromised. So, we said goodbye to Jayantha and his family and next proceeded to Mahaiyanganaya passing Polonnaruwa. Mahiyanganaya is a fabulous plateau surrounded by beautiful blue mountains.

With Jayantha's family

With Jayantha’s family

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa

Beautifully laid straight roads between Polonnaruwa and Mahiyanganaya. You can't help speeding in this type of roads

Beautifully laid straight roads between Polonnaruwa and Mahiyanganaya. You can’t help speeding in this type of roads

Our next destination was Dambana, the village where aboriginal Vedda people , an indigenous tribe in Sri Lanka live. First we went to Vedda Museum and saw a lot of interesting items on display. Whoever took the decision to build this museum should be praised. If you go to Dambana, please ensure you spend at least an hour in the museum.

Mr. Uruwarige Wanniya, the Chief of Vedda tribe is a good friend of mine since 2005 and he recognized me instantly. I had visited him several times in the past and was instrumental in taking the students of the Gurukumbura Primary School in the Veddah village on an aeroplane from Colombo to Dambana and back. But my contribution here was very minute as it was my friend Gamini Akmeemana and Duncan Jayawardane, a friend of his who were actively involved in that. So, I do not want to get an undue credit here. (Read more at http://www.horizonlanka.org/en/blog/2003/12/20/mountains-flew-daily-mirror-december-20-2003/)

Ben was fascinated by Dambana and its indigenous people and wanted to communicate with the Chief of the tribe. I became the interpreter and what followed was a very interesting discussion. I was mesmerized with the way the Vedda Chief answered Ben’s queries. In fact, we recorded the discussion but lost the sound file later. Vedda chief is the most intelligent and the most diplomatic leader I have met in Sri Lanka. It is a shame that we do not have someone like him to rule Sri Lanka but confined to a chief of a few hundreds of people.

He had some indigenous medicine to sell at his hut. We asked if he has medicine for various illnesses and he answered in the affirmative. But when I asked him if he has anything for diabetes, his answer was negative. “We don’t have medicine for diabetes because we don’t get diabetes in this village life with the kind of lifestyle we live.” was his proud answer.

We proceeded to Badulla from Dambana and the more we rode to the mountains, the more beautiful the environment became and the cooler the weather. It was a very nice experience to stop wherever there was some scenic beauty and take pictures. Ben was a kind of annoyed when I stopped the bike to capture some minute things in my mobile phone camera as it disturbed the ride. But now I feel I should have annoyed him more.

By the time we reached the hills it was too dark hence we missed the Dunhinda waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka. Our yet-to-meet friend, Mr. Krishanasamy Khandeeban had prepared us a nice dinner and a motel room to stay at. We met him at night and after the dinner we went to the motel room by briefly discussing the next day’s work with Khandeeban.