Nanda Mendis is my grandmother, the eldest daughter of Nomis and Magellin De Silva, founder of the Ebert Silva bus company and the wife of Wijayapala Mendis, MP. On this first death anniversary, I look back at this lasting memory of a supportive wife, a loving mother and adorable grandmother.
My grandmother was the eldest sister of eight siblings, growing up in Dehiwala, attending Musaeus College and spending a brief time in Ratnapura during the Second World War. My grandmother’s daily routine was grounded in her faith, along with many of her generation; she would start the day with Buddha Puja followed by a reflection, and end with reciting gathas. This consistent practice of faith and belief continued through when she married Wijayapala Mendis on January 5, 1953, and moved to live in Negombo.
When I look back on my grandparents’ marriage, I am reminded by the famous quote that “Behind Every Successful Man Is a Strong Woman”. To me, this quote is the perfect summary of my grandparents’ marriage, with her quiet support and devotion my grandfather became the successful man in both his public and personal life. During my grandfather’s time as a cabinet minister, my grandmother presided over the Sewa Vanitha Movement. It was at home though, in the presence of family, my grandmother’s true love and support for her husband was exemplified.
As a mother of three daughters and a son, my grandmother raised her children with great affection and resolute discipline, always supporting and guiding them throughout their lives. She showed this same love and affection towards her six grandchildren. I will always remember her warm smile and love she showed to me and my cousins.
It was always important to her to be kind and generous wherever possible.
May she attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana!
Malin De Silva