One cannot say that life is a consistent process of fortunate events. It’s a mix bag of good luck and bad luck. However, as she says, her life was shaped by the continuous and complex childhood experiences.
She is the youngest daughter of a family of four. Apart from the mother and the father, there was another sister who was older to her. She was a very active little girl who didn’t show much interest in girly toys. She was mostly interested in boys’ activities like playing cricket or riding a bicycle. She thought it was lame to play with the dolls like other girls did.
She studied at a girls’ school. She didn’t enjoy going to school much. She didn’t have much friends, but it wasn’t an issue since she wasn’t anyway a sociable person. Her parents didn’t pressure her as well. Her father was a civil engineer where her mother was a medical doctor.
She mentions that her mother was a respectable woman. Although she didn’t have much time to spend doing house chores, she was always busy being a doctor. The respect she had earned was wide. She may never do private practice, she may never treat a patient outside the hospital, but she managed to perform her duty to the best of her abilities.
She was a great doctor loved by many. She adds that although her mother was a busy doctor, the responsibilities of her children were also in her hands. She took care of their needs as a loving mother. She mentioned that her father has only been to the school for four or five times whereas their mother was the one who would come to school daily.
She was only nine years old when their mother died from a car accident. That was the beginning of a series of unfortunate events, and the relationship with their father was also affected. Her grandmother always tried to fill this void.
This separation affected her badly. Sometime she wanted to cry and she could hardly control this. She would go to her sister’s classroom to cry, if she was at school. Although it was the period where other students worked hard for the grade five scholarship exam, she didn’t seem to care much about this. But, no one pressured her.
School was not whimsical to her. She always saw school as a weird place where she didn’t belong. Although she didn’t attempt much, she was always among the top ten students of the class. When she goes to the school in the morning she would wait till the day is over to get of this place.
A friend she meets when she was in grade nine influences her for good. Her grades become better and her thinking becomes different. She becomes a better student as she competes with her friend. By the time she faced ordinary level, she was confident about her life and studies. She knew that she would score 10As at the exam. Yet, couple of days before the exam, her grandmother too passes away doubling the voids in her life.
However, she manages to go and sit for the examination.
As her elder sister goes abroad for her higher studies, she becomes isolated at home with her father. Maybe because her father was trying to take up unfamiliar responsibilities, they didn’t get along well. As she says, there were frequent fights at home during her advanced level classes.
However, he believed in his daughter’s education. She made friends with a couple of new people and they used to come to her place to study. As she developed a keen interest on chemistry, her home consequently becomes a chemistry class. Although she didn’t have an exact aim for a profession, she says that she assumed that her father has plans for her.
Two weeks before her advanced level examination, her father falls ill and he goes to the hospital with the promise that he would return soon. There was no clear diagnosis but his condition was not primary. Unfortunate, things seem to follow her that her father passed away the day before her chemistry paper.
Although she faced the most unfortunate event a person could ever face and she had no loved ones around her, she makes up her mind to face the chemistry paper because it was the only thing left among the things she loved. However, she passes chemistry with a distinction whereas she gets credits for the other two subjects. Today, as she recalls her childhood where she lost all her loved ones, she is an isolated student at Colombo University.
Pic by Ravindra Dharmathilake