There is a common saying that behind every successful man there is a woman. But often we don’t talk much about these heroines behind the man. This time we allocated some space for these unsung women behind the success of outstanding cricketers in Sri Lanka. In this column the present writer focused on the romantic times and interesting incidents in their married life.
Tamara Kapugedera, the wife of national cricket super star Chamara Kapugedera, joins in this discussion with the Rivira Group. Tamara Kapugedera reminisces about their love match and romantic past.
Q: Can you remember the first day you met Chamara?]
I met him for the first time when I went out for dinner with a friend and her boyfriend. Chamara came with him and joined us for dinner.
Q: What happened that day?
My friend’s boyfriend introduced him to me as one of his close friends. That day we both had only a brief chat. Though he had asked from my friend my contact number, I asked her not to give it. He offered me a lift home but I politely declined it as I felt that he was still a stranger and went in my friend’s car.
Q: After that incident how did you meet him again?
A week or so later, my friend’s boyfriend phoned me and told me that Chamara wanted my contact number, and whether he should give my number. I consented to it. Later Chamara telephoned me and we had only a casual chat. I never bothered to ask about his career at the time as we were not so close. One day, while having a conversation over the phone, he told me that he was going to Bangladesh. Since I thought the tour concerned his duties I did not object to it. I was employed at SriLankan airlines at the time.
Q: That means you were not aware that Chamara was a national cricketer.
I only knew he was playing for the CCC, as I was not interested in cricket matches. On the day our cricketers were attacked in Lahore when they were travelling in a bus I was on a flight to London. My friend’s boyfriend inquired from me whether I contacted Chamara to know whether he was safe. I replied that the attack was on the Sri Lankan Cricket team, and asked why I should call Chamara. “What the heck? Don’t you know Chamara is on the tour to Pakistan and he is a player in the national team,” he retorted. Then only I knew Chamara was a Sri Lankan Test cricketer. Later when I telephoned him he said that he was quite OK and at the moment he was busy with helping others and promised to call me back later. But I completely forgot about it and he also did not return the call.
Q: How did the acquaintance turn to love?
Two weeks after the incident when he returned to Sri Lanka he asked me over the phone whether he could meet me. I consented and met him with my friend and her boyfriend at the usual coffee shop. That day we both had a long chat and all of us went to the movies afterwards. Even on that occasion he never asked for my hand in marriage. On a subsequent day when we met he dropped me at my home and on the way he asked for my consent. I did not give an answer right away but agreed to continue our friendship for some time. As we both had busy lives we hardly had the opportunity to meet often but kept in touch over the phone regularly. That is how our relationship turned to love. Later we informed our parents about our affair.
Q: What was your parents’ reaction to it?
When I informed my parents that Chamara proposed to me and asked if he could meet my parents, my father refused it pointblank and asked me not to invite him, but my father is a cricket lover and knew Chamara to be a good cricket player.
Q: How did you get their consent ultimately?
My father was dead against me marrying a cricketer. I told Chamara my parents’ decision and did not proceed any further. But Chamara continued to call me. One day I went to a wedding with my parents at Cinnamon Grand and as there time before the wedding we went to the coffee shop. I received a call from Chamara saying that he was staying at the Taj Samudra after a Test match. He said that my parents only wanted him not to visit me at our home and could see no objection to meeting me anywhere else and therefore came to meet me and my parents at Cinnamon Grand. My father nevertheless cordially welcomed him. Chamara boldly asked my father’s consent to marry me to which my father finally agreed. My father was much impressed by Chamara’s frankness.
Q: How long were you in love?
Not so long. We had the blessings of both sides within five or six months. After about one and a half years we planned our wedding and were married on December 16, 2010. As we both were busy with our careers we had hardly any time to meet regularly. Chamara hastened the wedding as there was no objection from both our families.
Q: Can you remember the first gift from Chamara?
It was a mobile phone. The story behind that is also interesting. While I was chatting sweet nothings with Chamara over the mobile when he was out of the country my phone fell into the pond, because my sister’s baby was engage in horseplay with me. So, he bought me a phone.
Q: Do you see any change in Chamara after marriage?
Now, I feel that I took a wise decision when I decided to marry Chamara and I never regret it. Today, I am happier than ever. He is a very busy person, yet he spends all his spare time with our family. He is a considerate husband and loving father. He has a calm character. Though I maybe a little temperamental, he never loses his temper. We have been married for seven-long years. Only on a few occasions have we had little arguments which lasted only a few minutes. I am proud to have such a good husband.
Q: What are your future plans?
I resigned from my job to dedicate my life to my family. We are a happy family with our three sons – Akshan, Jenith and Yawinth. We are all content and our sole concern is the future of our children.
(Translated by Ananda Elkaduwa)
Pics by Mayantha Perera