Last week, a new series was introduced in Free and that is ‘Life of a Vagabond.’ Each week, Free will offer its readers a peep into the lives of the kind of people newspapers tend to miss out on.
Free carries interviews of poets, musicians, actors, activists, people and youth who are making a name for themselves or who already have. If you look at the other sections of The Nation, you will see similar articles. Achievers get their share of publicity. Meanwhile, so many other people with great stories to tell don’t have their stories published.
If you read the blog icaruswept.wordpress.com which is maintained by Yudhanjaya Wijeratne, you would have read a post published on April 9, titled ‘The Colombo People.’ The post talks about Kolombians, as they are called, or the ‘Colombo Seven crowd.’ There’s no denying that these affluent people exist in Colombo. These are the people who seem to live in a world of their own.
However, Colombo is so much more than these people, cafes, restaurants, vehicles and branded clothes. Colombo is also the salon with the broken glass, where haircuts cost 80 or 100 rupees. Colombo is the garbage truck that makes its rounds in the morning, making people cover their noses and breathe through their mouths. Colombo is the old lady sweeping the pavements and stepping aside when ladies in high heels, clean shirts and short skirts walk past them. Colombo is full of people who we miss out simply because we aren’t looking.
You can go beyond Colombo. The suburbs and the outstation areas are full of people with great stories to tell. The singer with five great hits and an album on the way is interviewed, his picture is chosen as the cover and you read about him and maybe even listen to his songs. And yet, no one talks to the two guys playing the guitar and bongo and singing in the bus or train. Is it because they aren’t popular enough? Is it because they aren’t worth interviewing?
Each person has a story and these stories teach us different lessons. We learn about hardship, overcoming challenges, love, friendship and anything and everything from the people we meet. ‘Life of a Vagabond’ hopes to bring you these stories and we hope you are able to learn from these stories and embrace the real Sri Lanka, instead of only a certain part of Sri Lanka.