|Pic courtesy www.pearlceylon.com|
There are many who earn a living catching fish on the Bolgoda Lake. People have done it for centuries. Go there tomorrow and you’ll see fishing boats. You’ll see nets. You will see fishermen. This is a short story about a single fisherman. Maybe he is unique or maybe he is typical of his tribe. Anyway, this happened about ten years ago and was related to me a few days ago by a friend who lives by the Bolgoda.
My friend has wealth. He lives comfortably. He is most comfortable when he talks with people, helps those who need help and when he is able to bring people together to work on a project that uplifts lots of people, especially poor children. He is generous. He is kind. He enjoys a good joke and is at times philosophical. Let him tell the story. The story, by the way, was related to me in Sinhala.
‘He passes my house almost every day. I’ve seen him many times. We had never talked. I noticed that he always wore the same shirt. Black shirt. One day I stopped him and told him that I had something for him, a parcel of shirts. I asked him if he would accept. He replied, “I don’t go out anywhere, so what need do I have for shirts?”
‘We talked. His wife earned money selling vegetables. He said he had a daughter who wanted to go abroad and had been trying to do so. He said he told his daughter “තියෙන දෙයක් කාලා ඉමු” (Let’s eat whatever we have and let’s just live). So she never left. They live.’