Meer Ali and Nanda Wanninayaka at Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
In August, 2016 I finished a 5-day-long motorcycle journey with Meer Ali, the first volunteer for Horizon Lanka from India. This was the longest sojourn I embarked on a bike so far. It was high fun riding the bike through all those cities, towns and villages with Meer Ali, my friend from India. We took turns while riding and after the long ride with Benjamin Pages from France who was an excellent rider, Meer was the next one to win my admiration for safe riding. It was very comfortable to be at the pillion of the bike when his turn came. I have never been comfortable like with Ben and Meer so far in the pillion of a bike.
Day 2 – From Naula to Nuwara Eliya via Katugasthota bypassing Kandy (129 km)
Day 3 – From Nuwara Eliya to Tissamaharama via Bandarawela, Ella, Wellawaya, Thanamalvila. (143)
Day 4 – From Tissamaharama to Yala National Park and back and to Thissamaharama. Then to Mount Lavinia through Hambanthota, Matara and Galle. (310 Km) – The longest distance I rode by bike within a single day.
Day 5 – From Mount Lavinia to Mahawilachchiya via Colombo, Ja Ela, Minuwangoda, Narammala, Kobeygane, Padeniya, Thambuththegama and Anuradhapura (263 km)
Total is 962 km within 5 days. It cost Meer only 2500 (LKR) worth petrol for the bike for the whole distance. It was close to 20 liters of petrol. Still half of the last 500 LKR remained in the tank after we returned home. This is a good advertisement for my Bajaj Pulsar 150.
Thanks to the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, all the main roads are completely renovated wherever we went. I think almost all roads are like this everywhere in Sri Lanka. Hope the Maithripala government also continue the good work of Mr. Rajapaksa and renovate the remaining by roads.
We never had any life-threatening moments while riding a distance close to 1000 km. Well, except for the scary moment when Meer lost the balance when he went over a pot hole which we traveled in Kobeygane – away from the main road to see a sick child. But Meer took the bike back in control before we fell and I don’t think it was his fault. Meer is an excellent, fast and mindful rider. In fact, if one has ridden a motorbike in a country like India where drivers’ discipline is hardly heard of, one can ride a bike even in Mars too.
I was surprised about the cleanliness of all the cities, towns and villages during this epic ride. I didn’t see much difference in the places of the developed world and in Sri Lanka. Drivers were also fairly disciplined despite the cliché of bad Sri Lankan drivers. Only problem was that some buses and trucks never dimmed the headlights when they saw we were coming from the front.
During all these 5 days my friend Meer had to tolerate my singing of Hindi, Sinhala, Tamil and English songs while riding. According to my son Abhilash, my voice is too deep that it comes close only to Fred Flintstone, supposed to be the world’s second worst voice. (Well, the worst voice is supposed to be Cacofonix. Meer must have been surprised of the huge number of Hindi songs I sang. I remember more than 500 song lyrics since my elder brother Nayanasena bought us a high-quality Akai cassette recorder in 1980s. With my deep voice, the only singer I can come anywhere close to must be Kishore Kumar. But I can never compare myself with the legend.
I know I am not a professional in any form of arts. I love drawing, music, singing, dancing but never had the luxury of having a proper teacher for any of those fine arts. I did the drawing above when I was 23 years old. The girl in the drawing, I met in my early 20’s whom I admired immensely and also “loved” truly, deeply madly a lot, not because of her amazing beauty, but because of her charming smile and the refined qualities one can never expect from a young girl of her age. But I never let her know my innermost feelings or at least that I was interested in her. I did not want to lose her as a friend in case she happened to reject my love. She still doesn’t know I “loved” her and probably won’t know it till my death I guess. It is too late now anyway!!! There’s something terribly tragic about unrequited love. Some have even ended their lives over it. Yet in a sense what could be more romantic? An “untried” love is virtually without limits precisely because, never really having begun, there’s been no time for disillusionment to set in. The beloved — frequently distant, uninterested, unavailable, or unapproachable — can remain an object of indefinite idealization. For there are a few subjects as peculiarly subjective, or ambiguous, as love in general — and unrequited love in particular.
As a lover it’s difficult not to project your boundless feelings of fondness onto the beloved. But when it becomes blatant that these feelings aren’t recognized—and if so, certainly aren’t reciprocated — the ensuing disappointment and hurt can be immeasurable. The famous line, “She doesn’t even know I exist,” is so familiar because the experience itself is so common. Which one of us hasn’t at some point of time experienced the pangs of a love that’s not reciprocated?
It’s no wonder that so many poets have written about unrequited love. For when their emotions have become so overwhelming, so agitating, anxiety-laden, or consuming, how could they not be driven to search for just the right words, images, and metaphors to express — or better, release — such intense feelings?
The song I have copied on the attached page is a Hindi song I fell in love when I first heard and sung by the legendary singer Kishore Kumar in the film “Kalakar” which was released in 1982 – 10 years after I was born. The song is “Neele Neele Ambar Par” and it is still popular and there are some new remixed versions too. But I feel the original sung by Kishore is the best and the guitar music in this song was amazingly creative and beautiful. I tried to learn to play guitar, just to be able to play the long guitar music in this song, but had to give it up as I discovered that I have no aptitude for stringed musical instruments. Earlier I have tried the sitar, esraj and violin with not much success, so I gave up all and stayed with electronic organ.
I found the Hindi lyrics of this song in a Sri Lankan youth’s weekly and it had a Sinhalese translation too. All I did was translating the Sinhala version into English with the limited English knowledge I had when I was 23 years old. I would have done very much better if I did the translation today, but I will stay with what I wrote at first. It won’t make any sense by upgrading it with the newly found language skills I possess now. Although with flaws, I prefer the first translation as it came from deep within my soul.
(Like it happens with most of the nostalgic songs such as this, the original video from the movie does not do the justice to your imagination.)
This will not be of much importance to my readers, but to me it’s of great consequence and importance. The scanned page is now old, torn, disfigured and discolored. But can’t help it. I found it recently in a heap of old documents that were still intact in an old box.
In fact, I drew this picture to present it to the girl that I have mentioned in this article but, I could not muster the courage to give it to her. I am not certain that I regret for not doing so or just be content that it kept in an old box without giving her as unreciprocated love is always sweeter till death. Maybe even after death for that matter.
Anyhow, here are the best quotations I could find about unrequited love. I think you’ll find them not only suggestive, but evocative as well.
“To burn with desire and keep quiet about it is the greatest punishment we can bring on ourselves.” ~ Federico García Lorca, Blood Wedding
“Unrequited love does not die; it’s only beaten down to a secret place where it hides, curled and wounded. For some unfortunates, it turns bitter and mean, and those who come after pay the price for the hurt done by the one who came before.” ~ Elle Newmark, The Book of Unholy Michi
“Every broken heart has screamed at one time or another: “Why can’t you see who I truly am?” ~ Shannon L. Alder
“Unrequited love is the infinite curse of a lonely heart.” ~ Christina Westover
“When unrequited love is the most expensive thing on the menu, sometimes you settle for the daily special.” ~ Miranda Kenneally, Catching Jordan
“Unrequited love is a ridiculous state, and it makes those in it behave ridiculously.” ~ Cassandra Clare
“He could remember all about it now: the pitiful figure he must have cut; the absurd way in which he had gone and done the very thing he had so often agreed with himself in thinking would be the most foolish thing in the world; and had met with exactly the consequences which, in these wise moods, he had always foretold were certain to follow, if he ever did make such a fool of himself. ~ Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South
“If music be the food of love, play on, give me excess of it; that surfeiting, the appetite may sicken, and so die.” ― William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night
“I have to admit; an unrequited love is so much better than a real one. I mean, it’s perfect… As long as something is never even started, you never have to worry about it ending. It has endless potential.” ― Sarah Dessen, The Truth About Forever
“One is never too old to yearn.” ~ Italian Proverb
(The blurred picture on the top right side is me on the railway bridge just opposite “Madol Doowa” in Koggala. My friend Amal Bopage captured this and I don’t have any of those pictures with me now.)
I never knew today was Valentine’s Day when I got the editing support for the above write up from my friend, Mr. Lionel Balasuriya, California, the USA last night. It was he who reminded me of the importance of the day hence it would be ideal to post this today.
Nile Nile Ambar Par Chand Jab Aaye – Hindi Lyrics in Romanized English
Song: Nile Nile Ambar Par Chand Jab Aaye Movie: Kalakaar Singer: Kishore Kumar Lyricist: Indeevar
Nile nile ambar par chand jab aaye, pyar barsaye hamko tarsaye Aisa koyee sathee ho aisa koyee premee ho, pyas dil kee bujha jaye
Nile nile ambar par chand jab aaye, pyar barsaye hamko tarsaye Aisa koyee sathee ho aisa koyee premee ho, pyas dil kee bujha jaye Nile nile ambar par chand jab aaye, pyar barsaye hamko tarsaye
Oh… unche unche parvat jab chumate hain ambar ko Pyasa pyasa ambar jab chumata hai sagar ko unche unche parvat jab chumate hain ambar ko Pyasa pyasa ambar jab chumata hai sagar ko
Pyar se kasne ko baaho me basne ko Dil meraa lalchaye koyee toh aa jaye Aisa koyee sathee ho aisa koyee premee ho pyas dil kee bujha jaye
Nile nile ambar par chand jab aaye, pyar barsaye hamko tarsaye
Oh… thande thande jhonke jab baalo ko sehlaye Tapatee tapatee kirane jab gaalo ko chhu jaye thande thande jhonke jab baalo ko sehlaye Tapatee tapatee kirane jab gaalo ko chhu jaye
Saanso kee garmee ko hatho kee narmee ko Meraa mann tarsaye koyee toh chhu jhaye Aisa koyee sathee ho aisa koyee premee ho Pyas dil kee bujha jaye
Nile nile ambar par chand jab aaye, pyar barsaye hamko tarsaye
Hey… chham chham karta sawan bundo ke ban chalaye Satrangee barsato me jab tan man bhiga jaye chham chham karta sawan bundo ke ban chalaye Satrangee barsato me jab tan man bhiga jaye
Pyar me nahane ko dub hee jane ko Dil meraa tadpaye khwab jaga jaye Aisa koyee sathee ho aisa koyee premee ho, pyas dil kee bujha jaye
Nile nile ambar par chand jab aaye, pyar barsaye hamko tarsaye La la la…………
When the moon is rising in this azure sky, It’ll rain the rain of love – my mind will panic. Is there a partner – or a lover, To put out the flames of love in my heart?
When the high mountain range kisses the sky, The thirsty sky will kiss the sea. My heart long for, To dive in love – to touch the hand, If there is one such, let her come.
When a cool breeze touches my hair, When the warm sun-rays kiss my cheeks, When the warm sighs sigh, My mind will like to feel the pleasure of a soft hand. If there is one such, embrace me.
The singing clouds will send the arrows of raindrops. I’ll be freshened, By the raindrops that fall from the rainbows. My mind will like, To get wet in that drizzle – to dive in love. Such dreams will be born in my mind. (August 23, 1995)