23 November 2011

Budget 2012- Second reading

Gunapala  dragged a plastic chair to the shade of the Mango tree . Years ago Gunapala  was a temporary cook at an Army camp in Anuradhapura. 

When the war ended, Generals got imprisoned . Brigadiers became diplomats .Majors, Colonels got promoted and temporary cooks were dismissed.   That’s how Gunapala went from a temporary cook to being permanently job less.

Gunapala collected his cup of plain tea from the Tamil boy who makes tea , and peered over the top edge of  the paper that Amare was reading . He was interested in the news in the inside pages , with pictures.. 

 Amare is a retired teacher , whose good deal of the day, like Gunapala’s, on most days  is whiled away  in the garden of this  tea kiosk cum grocery  .  

අමරේ අයියේ , ඊයේ බජෙට් එක වෙලාවේ කට්ටිය ගහගෙන නේද 
( Amare , did you see how  the folks fought at the budget reading yesterday)   
Gunapala broke the ice. 

මේ පත්තරේ තියෙන්නේ පින්තුර "  (The pictures are in the paper) Amarasiri responded. 

ටීවී එකෙත් පෙන්නුවා . අපේ ඇමති තුමා ගැහුවා අරුන් හතර පස් දෙනෙකුට "  
( They showed it on the TV. Our minister hit 4 ,5  people) Gune related.

ඒ වගේ තැනකවත් හැසිරෙන්න දන්නේ නෑ නේ "  
( They don’t even know how to behave in a place like that )

ඒ උනාට අර යු එන් පි කාරයෝ , අපේ මහින්ද මහත්තය ඉන්නවා කියලවත් බලන්නේ නැතිව හූ කියන්න ගත්තනෙ"
But the UNP fellows hooted at our Mahinda Mahaththaya) 

Gune tried to justify .

 “ මේ පත්තරේ තියෙන්නේ , මන්තිරිනියකගේ සාරියෙනුත් ගැලවෙන්න  ඇද්දා කියලා"

( In the paper it says that a lady’s sari was also pulled) , Amare reads over his reading glasses.

ෂාහ් ඒක පෙන්නුවේ නෑනේ " ( In vain they did not show that over the TV)  Gune’s tongue beats his mind to it.

අමරේ අය්යේ , මම හිතන්නේ අර ජෝන් බාස්ටනම් හොඳ පාරක් වැදුනා. පත්තරේ නැත්ද කව්ද ගුටි කෑවේ කියලා  ? "

( I think one blow landed on that guy John. Does the paper say about who else got hit) 

Gune was eager to know

ගුටි කෑවේ කව්ද කියලා මේ මුල් පිටුවේම තියෙන්නේ "

(Yes the the first page has the details of  who has got hit )   
Amare’s finger stops at  the  big heading in red 
 2012 Budget proposals. 

Then grows a deafning silence . Gune could almost hear somebody hooting at them.   Amare and the boy  watch Gune’s  right hand reach  to his gut , as if to make sure whether a blow has landed there .. 


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