It has been many years since I Last visited Sri Lanka. Circumstances then, were very different for both me and Sri Lanka, (The Pearl Of The Indian Ocean). In those days it was engulfed in an abysmal civil war. A Nation that was once destined to a global jewel, eclipsed by cheerless clouds of bloodshed and sorrow. Myself, I was emerging from my own personal shadows, one and a half years of hospitalisation and 52 reconstructive operations had put me on my feet and brought me to this confluence of paradise and purgatory. I was still in the service and my presence there was in my official capacity, thus I was not merely an observer of the disparaging situation. My memories were of nostalgic bonds that only brothers-in-arms know of. Painfully poignant, in the fact that not a single comrade survives today.
But now, the clouds have faded away. Hope and promise shine on this land of wonder. But still I caution you.
You will be overawed by the plethora of sights sounds fragrances that saturates the senses
Mesmerizing by the diversity of scenic beauty from verdant tropical plains, to rain forests ,to pristine beached unsullied by throngs of tourists, fertile Valleys and luxuriant Hills Your palette Intoxicated by exotic cuisine.
Your soul captivated by the unique blending of philosophy, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Christian. The smorgasbord of historic cultural influences, ancient and modern Lankan, Portuguese, Dutch, Colonial British and even a hint of old Arabian and Moorish influences.
Your heart beguiled by the soft spoken friendly people, Captivated by a country that exudes warmth welcoming and congeniality.
Beware you will lose your heart to the pearl of the Indian Ocean.
As a photographer, my only regret is, that I have not been able to capture even the minutest fraction of the beauty radiating from this land.
I never fav journals but how could I not do so for this. I am sure I will never get to this place and really only know of the war (dimly perceived in the news on TV) mixed in with all the other horrors of the passing parade over the years. Your reflections on both the place and the past were a powerful improvement of my perceptions.
Thank you for your words Inayat. I know that you are a very Private person and what you have said here is wonderful. I do hope that this wonderful Country and the poor people, who got injured and killed can move onwards. I respect ALL Governments that can come out and say "sorry" on BOTH sides and eventually have the grace to make ammends. Big hugs