Four years after the tsunami the trek back to Siriniwasa is filled with poignant flashbacks. Sadly, the memory is as sharp as ever, the pain a trifle dulled by a stoic acceptance, but the eyes still have a mind of its open and fill with tears.
The road just before Peraliya, where the train got swept away is now repaired.
but the road sides are dotted with the graves of lost ones.
I think the young hip crowd call Hikkaduwa, Hix and thay are the ones now taking over Hix. Walking across from our house to the smart little cafe, I asked the lass there how people are faring after the tsunami. “Oh, they are waiting for another tsunami — all the poor made money, and only the better off were losers.” A pointed reminder that everyone has built back better, except us.
Across the street I see Lily, my mother’s loyal friend, in the traditional “kabakurutthu” worn in the South and reflected in the glass behind her was the reflection of our house now occupied by the Coast Conservation.
Behind our house divers were pushing off for a dive.
The sea was azure, clear and the water inviting.
Oh, how I miss thee Siriniwasa.
If you haven’t read: Ashes of thoughts what the tsunami took away is my story of the 2004.
And the brother I lost in the tsunami:
All Photographs© Chulie de Silva