How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time-Morgan Freeman
Most of the holidays in school was spent in my village, stealing mangoes, climbing up the rocks, attending fairs, relishing home cooked meals, climbing trees, playing local games, getting drenched in rain, ploughing field, jumping on hay, phew the list can go on! As I grew up, number of visits to village reduced and eventually faded away. But I have always missed that life, a life without worries, a life without responsibilities, a life without deadlines, a Life that had a meaning for Life!
To re-live that life again in many places is why I travel, and subconsciously when I make my travel plans I have always been inclined towards staying in villages. This is where flavors of the culture can be tasted, this is where life of every creature is treated with respect, and this is where unsung stories can be heard. Weerawila located in Hambantota district of Sri Lanka is one of them that I was drawn to; on my drive to this village I was virtually taken back to my childhood memories. This village is surrounded by Weerawila Lake and the only lake in Sri Lanka that has a road built over connecting from Matara to Wellawaya.
There were few setbacks before I reached Weerawila as the care taker was sick and the place was under renovation, I was just too stubborn to not give up and insisted that I would like to visit at least for a day. Punchi Aiya was taking care of the place as Mr. Riza who owns lives in a different town; I did not know the severity of his sickness until I reached. He had undergone breast cancer operation few weeks ago!
I was too embarrassed for being so stubborn, at the same overwhelmed to meet a kind soul like him. He was there with me taking care all around by providing coconut water, lemon juice, coffee, tea! Although, I tried explaining several times not to and he wouldn’t stop serving food. He couldn’t speak English and I couldn’t speak Sinhalese, we managed to communicate non-verbally! Non-verbal communication skills takes a step ahead when you travel, don’t know the language! Body language comes for your rescue 🙂
Thin line of breeze sway from the dry paddy leaves as I stroll around the fields watching the lake, staring at the really far off mountains. I sit next to a pile of hay (didn’t jump on it) watching sun slowly shed light across the sky! Watched every phase and mesmerized on how skillfully color changes every few minutes just before sun was gulped by the flip side of the earth! Departures are always beautiful, aren’t they?
So are arrivals J I see this orange ball playing with the lake, lazy buffaloes just chilling by the side, hundreds of birds flying and there the sun emerges to brighten up another day. Punchi Aiya then took me to herd of buffaloes to get milk for coffee, oh so far the best coffee I have had. He is also an expert in night fishing in the lake, he has a unique technique of burning fire on a coconut shell, this is used as the light in the dark to attract fish and when they come closer he hits them with his lance.
I have mentioned this several times in many posts that Peacock’s are my favorite bird, everywhere place I have visited in Sri Lanka has Peacock’s at every corner you turn into. I was sipping coffee and trying to have some non-verbal communication with Punchi Aiya and there comes a peacock next to us screaming. One of the best nature’s creations is these colorful birds.
I happened to meet Arjuna one of Punchi Aiya’s relative who is a BCom graduate, worked in Japan for 3 years. Now he is undergoing a training to become a tour guide and he is also a certified Japanese teacher. When I asked him why towards tourism, he said he likes traveling, meet people from other countries and would like to improve his English. We were discussing on how tourism has emerged in Sri Lanka for the past few years and the impact that this island has witnessed!
He shared his travel stories in Japan and how much he likes traveling within his country that made him switch his career towards tourism. Every time I have second thoughts about me quitting job, I meet someone like Arjuna who keeps my decision strong to pursue my dream. Arjuna is also a huge fan of bolywood movies and he says Aamir Khan is his favorite actor.
He explained why the village is called Weerawila, Weera is a tree that grows in this area and Wila is small natural lake, there is a port in Hambantota which was mostly used by migrants those times, one of those boat named as Hamban and Tota is Port and hence the name Hambantota! We went for a walk by the lake sharing our travel stories and how similar the culture is in India & Sri Lanka.
For the first time, I have seen a huge lemon like this. Punchi Aiya, made us fresh lime juice from this lemon. Peacocks were gazing and screaming in front of us, as we sipped the lime juice it was time for me to leave! After having met Punchi aiya, faith in humanity has restored and has shot up to many levels high! Of course it’s a beautiful world out there, would have I learnt all these in my cubicle job! No, this is why I travel!
Always remember that one little act of kindness can tilt the balance of an entire situation. One little act of kindness can ripple out in countless ways that you many never know about. (Read this on the net)