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.
Yoshini Mendis, the wife of talented spin wizard of cricket Ajantha Mendis, joins in this discussion with the Rivira Group.
Q: When did you meet Ajantha first?
I met him, when I went to watch a cricket match with some of my friends at the Keththarama cricket ground.
Q: Did you get an opportunity to speak to him?
I loved to speak to him. A mutual friend of us introduced him to me. I felt that he was an innocent and shy person.
Q: Did the love start on the first day?
We met as friends on that day. We exchanged our phone numbers too. Thereafter we started chatting regularly over the phone for about five or six months as friends. Two or three weeks after our first meeting Ajantha had to go on a foreign tour and we couldn’t call each other during the period. Ajantha called me soon after his return. In the course of time, we felt that we were made for each other. So, we both decided to inform our parents about our affair.
Q: Did your parents agree to your love affair with a cricketer?
Five or six months after our affair, Ajantha visited our home and informed my parents about our love affair. Ajantha was well known to my father and my parents showed no objection to it. Both my parents and his parents gave blessings for our marriage. We were lovers for about one-and-half long years. We tied the knot on January 6, 2011.
Q: As you see him, what kind of a person is Ajantha?
He is very simple and deeply religious. He has a strong character and a friendly attitude. I love him for all these humble qualities.
Q: What was the first gift he gave you?
On the Valentine’s Day he gifted me a ring.
Q: Being the wife of a busy cricketer can you fulfill the role of a housewife alone satisfactorily?
As a busy person Ajantha has little time to devote for domestic chores. So, I am the one who fulfills his role too. He is always with the family when time permits. Earlier I was worried I might not be able to cope with domestic responsibilities single-handedly. But now I feel that if both partners have a good understanding of each other, life is not as difficult as one imagines.
Q: Do you get a helping hand from other family members to cope with household responsibilities?
Indeed, my parents are a big help. They take care of us and attend to our needs. It is a big strength to me.
Q: Do you notice any difference in Ajantha after marriage?
He always takes care of us however busy he is. His loving care has never changed even a bit.
Q: Don’t you feel bored or irritated when Ajantha frequently travels abroad or don’t you feel neglected in his preference of work?
Before the marriage such notions hurt me much. Ajantha hastened the marriage because he felt that we should start our life together as we had our parents’ blessings. I was able to get over the feeling of boredom as I also toured with him every time he went abroad. Despite his busy schedule, he gives top priority to family life. These days he has a lot of free time to be with us.
Q: How do you feel about being the wife of a popular cricketer?
I have a humble pride about his hard-earned achievements in life. I am very happy about it as everyone is not lucky enough to get such an opportunity.
Q: The married lives of celebrity personalities usually end up on the rocks. What’s your comment?
Peace in family life depends on the mutual understanding of the couple. Unity prevails in the family if both are amenable.
Q: What are your future plans?
We have two children. The elder is son Ayan aged five. The second is daughter Ananya aged one-and-half years. I want to devote my full time to the wellbeing of my family.
(Translated by Ananda Elkaduwa)