The trouble with birthday cards is not that I forget to buy them but I never get around to posting them. birthdays are a good time to get mushy take another look at the baby snapshots, go down memory lane and wonder where did all those wonder years and your babies go …
35 years to this day, almost to the time of writing, there was a quick change of evening plans. My first love and I decided it was best to head to the McCarthy nursing home than the Hitchcock horror movie at the cinema. But the VIP after an initial brief announcement of arrival decided to stay where he was and delayed the screaming for another day.
Father-in-law read the horoscope again and declared confidently he will cut off his right ear if it was another boy. The first born pranced around quite oblivious that his supreme status as the heir to the family throne will get a little shake from the soon to arrive spare and the domestics were placing their bets on whether it was a boy or girl. I reminded the first love that he had to send roses — better a reminder than be disappointed!!!
Next day, the first love was outside the hospital room pacing the floor wondering whether I’ll do the honours before Noon to enable him to attend a lunch meeting with the Bank that is the World types. I did oblige — and certainly there were no conditionality that three decades later I would be happily slaving away for this very same Bank.
To go back to the events on 3 August — “It’s a baby born in in the caul” ( inside the amniotic sac), shouted the matron — There were lots of “Oohs and Aghh’s” and exclamations that this was a lucky baby, a rare occurence apparently. A few others rushed into the room to see this show but when I tried to get up Dr. Aunty growled “lie back and be a good girl. ” Thus was I shut out from my very own production of a lifetime. Back in Nugegoda, in the “Ranjana” house named after the first love, Father-in-law was pouring over the ancient almanacs trying to find a loop hole not to be the chief guest at the “Ear cutting ceremony.”
Legend has it that babies born in caul never drown, but we didn’t take any chances. Here you are Ranil with your brother and your Grandfather Benny or “Hikkduwa Seeya” as you called him, sea bathing behind Siri Niwasa.
During this holiday “Hikkduwa Seeya, ” taught Ranil three magic words — Thank you, Please and Sorry. Back in our house in Penang, Ranil all of 2 years pulled a table cloth, dropped a whole jug of water and ran out of the kitchen. Wagging my finger at him I called out What do you say, where’s the magic word — Ranil tuned back and said “Thank you.”
Yes, Ranil, thank you for the memories and Many, Many Happy and Healthy Returns of the Day.
Bedtime was “Three Billy’s Goats Gruff” story over and over and over and the ubiquitous bottle of milk
With Nugegoda Seeya, (M.W. R. de Silva) roots of the name Ranil came from his name Ranadeva and your father’s Ranjith — Ran also is gold:-)(note his right ear is intact) at “Ranjana”, 39 Chapel Road, Nugegoda.
Ranil left wth his father (Prof. M.W.R.N. de Silva) and his brother Suren at 2, Solok Glugor House, Penang
And being a mother 34 years ago. in Solok Glugor, Penang