Buduruvagala Stone Sculptures

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Seven statues sculptured on relief on one gigantic rock in the 9th -10th c A.D. The 51 foot high Buddha is in the centre and is flanked by three smaller statues on either side. Photo ©Chulie de Silva circa 2000. The photos of Buduruvagala (also spelt Buduruwagala) taken nearly two decades ago tumbled out of a shoe box of old ...

With Love Father

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My father Bennie Kirtisinghe as a young man. The photo he gave my Amma when he was courting her. Photo©Chulie de Silva Every 13 May I wake up often far away from my town of birth Hikkaduwa, my mind clouded by memories, fragments of conversations drift past, and my brain’s neural networks are on an overdrive. This was the day ...

Analytics of a Wedding Photo

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Bennie Kirtisinghe married Manel Chitra Fernando on 8 June 1944 at the Dissanayake Waluwwa, Panadura. Photograph© Chulie de Silva It was on a day like yesterday, 8 June 1944 Manel and Bennie, my parents got married in Panadura, at the Dissanayke Waluwa, home of Manel’s illustrious Great grandfather. Yesterday, was spent looking at this photo, thinking of my parents, reading old ...

Kularatne of Ananda: biography to be launched soon.

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The first comprehensive English biography of P. de. S. Kularatne will be launched shortly.   Kularatne of Ananda  The Life and Work of P. de S. Kularatne by Kamalika Pieris Sarasavi Publishers 400 pages Rs. 750 Please direct all correspondence on this matter to: skgsenanayake@gmail.com P de S. Kularatne was 3 months shy of 25 years when he took over ...

My Mother’s Ambul Thiyal 101

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Originally posted on foodkatha: When we first took a young friend of ours for a sea bath and lunch to Hikkaduwa in the early 1970s, my father was surprised that the visitor was already a Professor at the University of Colombo. My father being from the earlier generation where they wanted to know the roots of the people, then ...

Peaches & Port for Desert!

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Originally posted on foodkatha: This recipe goes back to our days in Brunei, when my two sons – the heir & the spare — were in boarding school in a town called Kooralbyn off Brisbane. I used to get them to buy me magazines, when they came for holidays. The cookery ones were purchased with much enthusiasm as they ...

Homemade Malaysian Chicken Rice

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Originally posted on foodkatha: Chiken rice lunch with cucumber, ginger & Chillie sauce. Photo copyright Chulie de Silva The chicken for this favourite dish must be fresh said my teacher in Penang. Getting a fresh chicken there was not a problem. All I had to do was call me favourite Chinese grocery store and they would deliver. “Male or ...

Sydney Diary: Lunch at The Greens

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It’s day 3 in Sydney, still a tad sleep deprived and jet lagged and waved Tara off to school very bleary-eyed. Manage to wake up and tagged along with Granddaughter no 2, and daughter-in-law where she introduced me to The Greens – a North Sydney Club, set next to a beautiful park with plenty of shady trees. Best of friends ...

Tracing Ancestors from Great Grandfather KH Babun Appu de Silva

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“Memory is not exactly memory. It is more like a prong, upon which a calendar of similar experiences happening throughout the years, collect.” –Stephen Spender. There is a deep yearning and a hunger in me to delve into the past and trace my ancestors. In many ways, we are who we are, because they were who they were. I look ...

Enter Freya Amelia de Silva

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Welcome Freya Amelia de Silva, the latest addition to our family. You burst into our lives yesterday and it was joy unlimited after an anxious 24 hours or more wait. As photos of you, my new granddaughter came through late last night, the years fell away as I saw in you a replica of my son, your Daddy. Through the ...

Remembering Amma@1 year after

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A year without Amma has flown past. Early on 17 morning I could hear the sounds in the kitchen as Padmini, the resident chef Prema & the consultant chef hired for the event started the preparations. I wandered outside on to the verandah. It was still inky dark, a sliver of the moon was still visible. By the time ...

Meeting Ananga, the God of Love at the Telwatte Temple

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There are about three stories jostling in my mind, each one wanting to be the first on the blog for 2015. Not quite good to have my own thoughts hustling to win like the politicians. Cut to the chase, the decision is to leave the sadness of 2014 behind, embrace the new and do a happy post. Post tsunami 10th ...

Unboxing the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004

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A  slightly shorter version of this post first appeared on the World Bank Intranet and the End Poverty in Asia blog.  It was happy days when I snapped this photo of Prasanna, Padmini and the young Kanishka and Matheesha. Photo copyright Chulie de Silva. My mother Manel Kirtisinghe encapsulated what the loss of a loved in the tsunami meant, when ...

The Nikon D810 debuts:The Brown-headed Barbet

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The bird call was different — rather monotonous and louder than the chorus of chirping of from the regular visitors that I knew so well.  So, I leave the computer, peep through the window and I see the rustling of a pair, but the green of the feathers and brown of the head is such a good camouflage. Perfectly camouflaged. ...

Ambalamas & Medieval Travellers of Ceylon

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In medieval Ceylon when a man takes a bride and walks with her to his village, its customary for the woman to walk in front and the man behind her, said Robert Knox, who chronicled the life and times during his capture here. The reason for this tradition, he says is that once a man walked ahead of his bride ...

Fading Murals of Bihalpola Raja Maha Vihare

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Information is pretty thin stuff, unless mixed with experience said the American author Clarence Day and so it was with the Bihalpola Raja Maha Vihare  located off the Kurunegala-Narammala-Madampe Rd, Sri Lanka. We had been warned that the climb to the top was tedious but I was glad that I huffed and puffed and dragged my aching, creaking joints to the higher ...

The Good Son – Vinnie Kirtisinghe

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“We’re all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us.” ― Liam Callanan, The Cloud Atlas “He was my most obedient good son, but he did the most disobedient thing,” my grandmother Pinto Hamy  had lamented, talking of my uncle Vinnie. Born on a day like today 102 years ago on 20 Nov. 1912, Vinnie or Vincent as he ...

President Roosevelt’s Pet Scottie, Fala

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Boy and his Dog at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memoria, Washington DC, 18 May 2008. Photo copyright Chulie de Silva. The immortalising of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ‘s Scottie Fala in a statue at FDR’s musuem caught my eye instantly. As I was focusing, a young boy moved to sit next to Fala with his own Scottie.  A quick ...

President Roosevelt’s Pet Scottie, Fala

Chuls Bits & Pics
Boy and his Dog at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memoria, Washington DC, 18 May 2008. Photo copyright Chulie de Silva. The immortalising of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ‘s Scottie Fala in a statue at FDR’s musuem caught my eye instantly. As I was focusing, a young boy moved to sit next to Fala with his own Scottie.  A quick ...

The Grandmother & the “Kabakuruththuwa”

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Sri Lankan grandmother  by Shahidul Alam One burnt saucepan, 20 pages of editing, half a dozen lumosity exercises later am bored. This is life after retirement. I should probably jump on the treadmill but it is easier to turn to FB and there she was — a portrait of a Sri Lankan grandmother  by the Bangladeshi photographer Shahidul Alam.  The years ...