Tag Archives: Colombo

The 1947 “The Laws Of Cricket” Booklet, Published 1952 By The MCC For 1 Shilling.

by Anura Guruge


Click to ENLARGE.



Click to ENLARGE. From Wikipedia.


My daughter found this buried in one of our many bookshelves. Easy to get lost. It is TINY; 4″x5.4″ & just 30-pages. So, it is incredibly thin.

Cute. My name, written rather shakily, cracks me up. I think this was when I was about 8. That would mean I got this sometime around 1961. Somebody must have got it for I.

1 Shilling in the U.K. No idea what it cost in Ceylon. It was sold by “Diana & Co. Ltd.” in Colombo. WOW. I just looked it up. They became “Cargills“!

I do not recall any other books that were STAMPED with the name of a shop. Strange. Kind of defacing it. Maybe this was their shop copy!

I knew a new Code of Cricket had come out ‘recently’. I had to go check. So, that was 2017.

Wow. Not many since 1788.

I am glad I have this cute little booklet.


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by Anura Guruge


 

Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” From Jaffna, Sri Lanka — Is Likely To Upset Some.

by Anura Guruge


Click image to access the official “Parts Unknown” Website.


I happened to see the “Sneak Peek” on CNN this morning — and the words that struck me were “trying to rebuild after the long civil war …“. The version I ‘heard’ (more than ‘saw’ because I was also reading something on my pad at the same time) did NOT mention Jaffna. I made a note to check it out online when I got on my PC — and possibly do a post. So, here it is.

This episode, Season 10 Episode 5, to be aired this Sunday, October 29, 2017, is from Jaffna and is to feature Tamil cuisine.

That is where enough in that Jaffna is indeed a part of Sri Lanka (and has always been so) and Tamil cuisine is very much a part of Sri Lankan culture.

But, I am not sure whether Anthony Bourdain, who prides himself of his ‘mischievousness’, is trying to be intentionally provocative and, in this case, potentially divisive.

Just focusing on Jaffna is not going to present a balanced view of today’s Sri Lanka and many who watch the show will go away with images of a rundown, decrepit country. That will not please many Sri Lankans.

So, you have had a heads up.

To be fair, Anthony Bourdain, appears to have done an episode from Colombo 5-years ago. I haven’t seen it. “Parts Unknown” is not a show I watch much since I am not that inclined to spend my time watching gluttony and wanton consumption of alcohol.


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by Anura Guruge

Today, March 3, 64-Years Ago (1953), Was The Beginning Of The End Of The de Havilland Comet (4).

by Anura Guruge


comet1

Click to ENLARGE and ADMIRE here.


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Click image to download and read complete PDF from the NTSB.


The de Havilland Comet, in particular the Comet 4, was my first love when it came to planes — and it has been a lifelong infatuation starting from when I was about 2. The Comet 4, flown by BOAC, was the first jet plane I ever saw — in Colombo, Ceylon. I never got to fly on it. My adopted parents did. I saw them take-off in one. It used to have this amazingly steep climb — much steeper than today’s jet.

This March 3 crash was the 1st in 26 — which eventually led to it being decommissioned.


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by Anura Guruge

Would You Like A Colorful, Batik Sarong For Father’s Day?

by Anura Guruge


sarongkapruka

Click to ENLARGE and view here. The sarong, if you haven’t worked it out, is the lower part. The shirt, quite literally, goes on top, unless, as is common in tropical Sri Lanka, you are habitually topless. The price, however, seems a bit steep. From Kapruka. Use the link below to access Kapruka.

Click to access ‘Kapruka.com’.


My grandfather in a formal sarong on being made a JP by the British. Click.

I have never, ever, worn a sarong! That is yet another reason why I was never a true Sri Lankan.

To be fair much of that probably had to do with the fact that I left Sri Lanka (Ceylon at the time) when I was quite young, 13 to be precise. You didn’t get into sarongs until you were a bit older — especially if, like I, you were from an aspirational upper middle-class family, living in the capital Colombo — particularly so if you had an adoptive mother who was an out-and-out anglophile. I wore shorts (most of the time), tailored longs for special occasions and pajamas to sleep in. It was (thank Buddha) very British and I was very comfortable with all of that. My adoptive father, when at home, and not meeting with the myriad visitors we had each day, would wear a sarong. He too was very comfortable with that. But he came from a different background to my mother. All my older male relatives, in private, wore sarongs.

My paternal grandfather wore only wore sarongs.

But not I. I have no problem walking around with a towel around my waist but I cannot see myself in a sarong. Kind of funny.

Again, this is Kapruka. So this a Father’s Day gift to be delivered in Sri Lanka.

But it you need a sarong it is not difficult to make. Start with a bed sheet and have someone sew it into loop. That is it. Differs from a towel in that it is a sewn together loop of fabric. Happy Father’s Day.


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by Anura Guruge


Honestly, YOU Did NOT Think That The West Indies Women Would Get A 1st Innings Lead v. Sri Lanka … Right?

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by Anura Guruge


losersOther Related posts:
1/
Letter to London Times.
2/
West Indies Women’s Team.
3/ WI wins a Test Match.
4/ WI v. Eng & parallel IPL 2015.
5/ IPL 2015
opening ceremonies.
6/ WI v England 2015 on Willow.  … … …

++++ Check Category ‘Cricket’ for many other related posts >>>>


I KNEW that this bunch of pussies, masquerading as the West Indies, would NOT get 200.

They are so pathetic it is hard to comprehend.

Marilyn Samuels is taking way too much ‘ganja’. He should be deported.

I gather Gary Sobers is in Colombo to see these girls try and play cricket. I feel bad for Gary. He was a man. And these these are a bunch of girls presents him with a problem. He can’t go into the dressing room and kick each of them on their bum. You can’t kick women.

I am so disgusted with this bunch. Yes, some of them batted like I used to — BUT that was why I NEVER played Test cricket. I am so disgusted. Don’t know why I watch.

When they bowled out Sri Lanka for 200 I was thinking that it was such a shame that it wasn’t 202 or even 201 BECAUSE I had visions that Sri Lanka might have still been able to get these (and I am trying very hard not to use a derogatory term to refer to the genitalia of this bunch) to FOLLOW ON!


U.S. Police Really Should Be Better Trained To Handle Diplomatic Immunity Claims — In Light Beverly Hills Qatari Clown.

qartar

Qatar — a rinky-dink flyspeck.


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by Anura Guruge


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dimunity

Click to ENLARGE and read here (with incredulity). Use link below to access original.


Click here
to access U.K. “Daily Mail” original.


OK. I understand and appreciate that the police could NOT arrest him because they did not see him race either one of the cars. Got that.

But, it says that he, this clown, told them that he had Diplomatic Immunity. And here is MY POINT.

They, i.e., the police, should have been able to verify that, within minutes, with the State Office. There has to be a SYSTEM. We need such a verification system.

I speak of one who did have bona fide Diplomatic Immunity for 3 years (maybe 6) — and even after that, with appropriate authorization, drove ‘CD — plated’, i.e., ‘Corp Diplomatic’, cars in D.C. and Paris (since my adoptive parents were real Diplomats).

I even remember the first time I heard the phrase — ‘diplomatic immunity’. It was in the early 1960s in Ceylon. The Burmese Ambassador to Ceylon chased his wife, down the road, in central Colombo, and shot her dead, in public. Then he, quite rightly (as was his due), claimed diplomatic immunity and just walked back to his residence. He left Colombo a few days later. The police could not touch him. My parents, who even then were staples of the diplomatic scene, knew the Ambassador and his gunned down wife. There was much consternation in our household.

Many decades later, in August 1992, the phrase again cropped up this time in ‘our’ household. My adoptive mother, 62, with various illnesses (though none truly life threatening), died, unexpectedly, in her sleep, in Paris. The French authorities wanted an autopsy performed. My adoptive father said there was no need for one — and reminded them that ‘they’ had immunity, i.e., French laws did not apply to them. I did NOT have a say, and all this happened even before I knew of the death — because I was in the U.S. (and had my phone ‘off-the-hook’ because I had just got back from a gruelling trip to Israel and did not want my Israeli colleagues calling me, as they were wont to do, at 6 am). I really would have liked to see the results of an autopsy.

So, I speak with someone who knows a bit about D.I. — Diplomatic Immunity.

I have a feeling he did NOT have Diplomatic Immunity. Just because you are a royal does not give you immunity. Immunity goes with an official ‘post’ — e.g., an Ambassador. Yes, then his family get it — but I am sure it only applies to children who are minors. Immunity is granted, in each country, by the State Department of THAT country and they sure have a list.

IF this idiot did NOT have immunity he should have been arrested for making a FALSE claim to the police. That is my point.

Police in Paris, from my experience, were very savvy about D.I.

Police in D.C., from my experience, were not as conversant BUT knew some of the basics.

Police in Alton, New Hampshire, where I now live probably would never have heard of it. And that is WHY all police should be given at least 15 minutes of training SO that they know enough to call somebody …

Get it?


Yet Another Hospital Mix-Up At Birth (In Italy) — Same As What Happened To Me In Ceylon (Sri Lanka), 62 Years Ago.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> I Too Am “The Other Son”.

>> Ananda College: prize list.
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


hospitalmixup

From the U.K. Daily Mail from August 4, 2015. Click to ENLARGE and savor the ‘headlines’ here. Use link below to access original.

Click here to access the U.K. Daily Mail original.


This what happened to Lorena Cobuzzi and Antonella Zenga, in Puglia, Italy, 26 years ago was also, exactly, what happened to me — 62 years ago, in Colombo, Ceylon, at the “Private General Hospital“. Except 62 years ago they, I am sure, didn’t use bracelets — and to exacerbate matters, 90% of the babies born at that hospital would have been uniformly brown, with black hair and black eyes.

I explained my story in June of this year in this post.

I was told of this, nearly daily, since I was around 5. I guess that is why I grew up used to the idea. I was a hospital mix-up and the folks I called my parents were NOT my real parents. We could NOT have been any different. It was like a black couple having a lily white son. Chalk and cheese. That is how my adoptive parents worked out, quite early on, that I was not their son. There was no way I was related to them. C’est la vie.

Yes, I would like to meet the ‘other’ me. My kids, who still can’t quite work out the implications, calls ‘him’ the real me!

I am trying to make some inquiries. The hospital is no longer in existence. There were NO computers in 1953. The births would have been entered into a ledger. So we are looking for another brown boy, born between September 2 to September 5, 1953 at the “Private General Hospital”, Colombo 7, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).


Alton, Where I have Lived For The Last 8 Years, Ranked 9th Worst Place To Live In New Hampshire And I Won’t Argue.

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by Anura Guruge


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Deanna saw this on Facebook this morning and sent it to me. I didn’t have a problem with it. I looked at the 10 names, knew them all, and concurred that the list, WITHOUT going into any of their numbers, looked ‘about right’ just in terms of gut feel.

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Click to ENLARGE and read here. Use link below to access original in its fully glory.

Click here to access original at “roadsnacks.net”.


I have lived in New Ipswich (NH) for 12 years, Meredith (NH) for 4, Gilford (NH) for 8 and owned a waterfront place in New Durham for 7. Of all the places I have lived in New Hampshire — and not counting the other places I have lived such as Colombo, Buffalo, Paris, London, Swansea, Winchester, Southampton, Woodbine (MD) etc. — I can say Alton does rank as my least favorite. We moved to Alton without giving much thought. We were homeless in 2007 and needed a place. So we came to Alton assuming that it, though it did not have a Walmart, a cinema or a liquor store, wouldn’t be that different to Gilford or Meredith. Oh BOY, did I get that wrong — to my cost.

I look at that list and I see Berlin and Rochester towards the top. Laconia and Wakefield above Alton. Claremont below. The only point I would argue is that maybe Claremont should have been #9 and Alton #10 — though to be fair Claremont, the last time I drove through, still had shops. Alton has Hannafords, three premium-priced hardware stores, a number of parochial banks (not capable of dealing with any foreign transactions such as pension from Europe) and not much else. We don’t have any fun shops! Period. Think of Meredith, Wolfeboro or even Gilford. You can go browse for things other than bread, nails and expensive bicycles.

C’est la vie. The die is cast. My dire pecuniary status ensures that I can’t afford to move away from Alton. I am stuck. So I soldier on. It was my mistake and I need to pay the price for it. But, bottom line. I don’t have any gripes with that list or where they put Alton. Others I know will disagree — but I have a feeling than many of them haven’t lived much outside of Alton.


Sri Lanka: Birth Certificate From 1953 & A Birth ‘Chit’ From 1960.

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by Anura Guruge

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Related posts:
>>
I too am “The Other Son”.
>>
Ananda College: prize list.
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


Click to ENLARGE.


This is my birth certificate (hospital mix up, that made me also “The Other Son”, notwithstanding). It was issued on September 15, 1953 — 9 days after the day of birth. Actually, if you want to be pedantic, it is a certified copy made on January 3, 1959 — probably when I was ready to go to school. Wonder what happened to the original.

Note some very interesting things:

1. It was issued at a office in “Slave Island“! (That is at the top.) Yes, that was a fairly well known part of Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka).

2. It asks for the race — Sinhalese — of each parent.

3. It asks whether the parents were married.

4. It asks for father’s “rank or profession”. Mine says “Assistant Secretary to the Prime Minister“. [This is why the first car I was ever in was a Rolls Royce! The Prime Minister’s car. He lent it to my father, with the official driver, to bring me home from hospital — safety — given that there was some communal disturbance going on in Colombo.

5. The hospital mix up happened at the “Private General Hospital“, Colombo 7 — which is a rather ‘exclusive’ part of town.

6. The ‘tattooed’ “IBM WIN 06” denotes that I must have made this copy while working for IBM (at Hursley, the ‘Win’ indicating Winchester, the nearest city — while the ’06’ was the number of this copying machine. IBM had this ‘id’ engraved on the glass so that it could keep track of copies that were made!).


Click to ENLARGE.


This is a Birth ‘chit’ — issued by a midwife to certify the birth. The birth certificate would have come later. This is not mine. It is for my new friend, from Sri Lanka, who went to the same school as me, Ananda College, Udeni Wijegunaratne. He is a lawyer. We were talking about my birth certificate and he sent this over (and gave me permission to post it). You can make out his mother’s name.

It is hard to make out at the top because it is ripped but he was born at the “De Soyza Lying in Home“. That is SO British — Victorian era. “Lying in Home” for pregnant women. How brilliant. I remember that term. Weight of the placenta? Wow. I notice it is not filled in. 

I guess you have worked out what I am doing. I am preserving these documents for posterity.


I Too Am “The Other Son” — Ceylon (Sri Lanka) Version.

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Ananda College: prize list.
>> Ananda College prize giving 1969.

++++ Check Category ‘Sri Lanka’ or search ‘Ceylon’ for other posts >>>>


People get confused as to why I call myself adopted and make references to my adoptive-father and adoptive-mother. It is because I too was “The Other Son“, the Ceylon version; “The Other Son” a very powerful Israeli movie about babies accidentally swapped (i.e., mixed up) in a hospital shortly after birth.

So that is what I am, a hospital mix up.

How do I know?

Because ever since I can remember, say around age five onwards, I would be told AT LEAST once a day, usually many times more, that I was a ‘mix up at the hospital‘ and that my REAL FATHER was a ‘GAMBLER’. Wow. Doesn’t that explain it all? I later worked out that ‘gambler’ in 1950, still very Victorian, Ceylon meant that my real father, my biological father, was a rake (in the British sense). A playboy. Yes, Yes, YES. It all adds up. The very boring, teetotal, academic, with zero interest in sports, who was afraid of dogs, could NOT have been my father. It all made sense. Yes, it would be my adoptive-father who told me, daily, that I was ‘mix up at the hospital’ and how much he regretted that he never got his real child. But, my adoptive mother would also tell me the same thing, as did other relatives, and sometimes even the servants. I was the MISTAKE. And I am proud of it.

Why they did NOT fix it when they discovered the mistake — which was pretty obvious since I was nothing like my adoptive parents — is a mystery. I never asked. I guess I thought it was outside my control. Plus, I guess, deep down I did NOT want to be taken away from my “Ambili Amma” — Moon Mother — my adoptive mother’s mother, the person who brought me up.

My adoptive parents did NOT have much to do with me when I was growing up in Ceylon, 1953 – 1967. It was very Victorian. But rather than a nanny, I had my Ambili Amma. She is the one who brought me up from the time I came home. She is the one who made sure I had food, clothing, care and some amount of love. My adoptive parents were very busy. My father was a hot shot with multiple VIP jobs — Assistant Secretary of Education, Vice-Chancellor of a Buddhist university, a famous author etc. etc. My mother taught Pali at a Baptist Girls School. But they had a beyond hectic social life. They had engagements every evening, every day. They were part of the creme de la creme of Colombo society. So every day around 4pm my adoptive mother would start getting ready to go out. My father would arrive from one of his many jobs around 6pm and then they would be gone. Did not matter. Ambili Amma was always there. The house, a BIG house, was never empty. My adoptive mother’s youngest sister lived with us, as did a female cousin whose father had died. Plus we had servants and on top of that, at any given time, we might have another distant relative, usually male, living with us.

I saw my adoptive parents on a strict schedule. They would take me to school. That was when I mainly saw my adoptive father. 75% of the time we would pick me up, at 1pm, from Ananda College. We would then pick up my adoptive mother and her sister and come home for lunch. Those two car trips was when I mainly had interactions with my adoptive father. The rest of the time he was gone or working. Between 2 and 4 my mother, a teacher, would TEACH me. It was formal. That was basically the time I spent with her. The rest of the time she was gone or getting ready — and ‘getting ready’ was an elaborate process with lots of make up, getting hair put up etc. Think Victorian Britain and the Lady of the house. That was our house.

Then, when I was about 18 my adoptive father came up with a new line. He would tell people, most people, referring to me: “the devil looks after his own”. Nice. He was making it very clear that he was NOT my father — not that anybody needed to be told that. He, a very religious man (though 40% was for show because it helped with his politics), was disowning me and assigning my parentage to ‘the devil’. Yes, remember that gambler? I was always confused as to which devil was my real father — whether it was the rather ineffective Buddhist devil or the more, potent and interesting Christian devil. I was just glad that it just wasn’t the real devil that made my life a daily hell, i.e., my adoptive father.

So that is the story.  I am a hospital mix up.

I should have done this earlier BUT I am now going to try and find out who my biological family was. It would be neat to meet the ‘real’ me! I assume he must still be alive, if not my biological parents. If they are alive I would love to meet them. Thank them for making me what I am. My real father has to be a character. I owe so much to him. He gave me the DNA that in the end, despite all the hardships I endured at the hands of my adoptive father, allowed me to lead a life where 99% I had a grin on my face.

Yes, one of my four kids, as is somewhat plain to see, is adopted and I made sure that I would try and be a good father to her because I knew, at first hand, the misery of being brought up by a father who hated you because you were not his — a hospital mix up.

I, Anura Guruge, the very proud and grateful son of a gambler that, alas, I have yet to meet.