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 focuses on the romantic times and interesting incidents in their married life.
Rangi Prasadi, the wife of master cricketer Dilruwan Perera, joins in this discussion with the Rivira Group. Today, Rangi Prasadi recalls their love affair.

Q: Can you remember the first day you met him?

Some friends of my sister organized a party one day. I also went with her to the party. Dilruwan was also at the party.  That was when I saw him for the first time.

Q: What was your first impression about him?

I knew nothing about him. I only knew him to be a friend of my sister. I was attracted to him from the first  day saw him.

Q: Did you get an opportunity to have a chat with him?

I felt that he was an innocent but arrogant person. So, I did not talk with him, neither did he with me. Later I inquired after him from a friend of my sister. At the time he wasn’t such an outstanding cricketer.

Q: Though you had a soft corner for him how did you know whether he liked you?

Though I had feelings for him I never expected him to feel the same way. A few days after the party Dilruwan had phoned my sister to tell her that he has feelings for me. I could not believe it. I was in cloud nine, because he was just the kind of guy I’ve always dreamt of.

Q: Can you recall the first day you spoke with him after this proposal?

Those days mobile phones were unheard of. He fixed an appointment to call me over the landline and called me on the dot. We had long conversation, lasting about an hour, mostly about our schooldays and family life. Thereafter on the pretext of various fake reasons we often had chats over the phone. That is how our romance started.

Q: Does this mean your sister
supported your love affair?

She did not show any objection. As my sister knew about our affair we were not afraid to chat over the phone freely but I did it behind my mother’s back. I was in my O/L classes at the time and I was too young to tell about our affair to my mother. We had no opportunity to meet in person, so we only had chats over the phone but he never called on me at my classes.

Q: How did your mother come to know about your affair?

I was schooling at the time and it was too early to inform my mother about a love affair. My mother stumbled upon a photograph of Dilruwan inside one of my textbooks. That is how my mother sensed that we were having a love.

Q: Did you receive the blessings of your mother?

My mother is a kind-hearted person and did not make a fuss about it. She never asked anything about him from me but she had asked about Dilruwan from my sister. My mother wanted Dilruwan to inform his parents about the affair and subsequently he had called my mother. My mother still recalls Dilruwan’s assurance to my mother’s query whether he would forget me if he was to prosper in future. He made my mother a firm promise that it would be the last thing he would do. With that guarantee she consented to our affair which opened the doors to his visits. He then looked after me like one of my own brothers, sometimes even helping me in my studies.

Q: How long did it take for you to marry Dilruwan?

We had been in love for six long years. Meantime, Dilruwan made good progress in cricket and had to go on foreign tours frequently for cricket tournaments. That made us hurry our wedding. We got engaged on December 03, 2010 and had our wedding on January 28, 2011.

Q: What was the first gift you received from him while you two were in love?

I have a sweet tooth and love chocolates. His first gift was a chocolate slab. Next most precious gift was the wedding ring which I wear with immense pride. The greatest gift in my life from him are the two loving kids in our midst.

Q: How did you feel when Dilruwan’s cricket dream became a reality?

When I met him he was an ordinary employee in Sampath Bank and was playing club cricket. His first love was cricket. Not even in my wildest dreams did I expect him to become a national player. I was jubilant when he was selected to the national team. We had a tough time during that period and Lady Luck smiled on us when our first kid was born. Now our family is in a stable position.

Q: Have you seen any apparent change in his life afterwards?

Hardly. Though he is busier than before he always tries to make time for me and the kids. I am very happy about him. He is humble to the core, despite his achievements.

Q: Don’t you and your kids miss him due to his busy schedule?

I do miss him at times. He is in the public eye due to his cricketing talents. He is lucky and I am lucky too, to be his wife. Cricket is his first love and I wish him well in his cricket life. I cut him a lot of slack to engage in cricket. I pacify myself knowing that he would be with us for good when he retires from cricket. I never let the family feel his absence.

Q: How do you feel when you look back?

We are a contented family with our two kids – Dehen Hansaja and Ayan Mandeev. These days we are busy moving to our new house. We are both quite proud of our long and arduous journey in life, facing ups and downs to achieve success.

(Translated by Ananda Elkaduwa)

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