The turning point
"What did you bring to me as Valentine Day gift?" asked Nalaka from
his girl friend Nethra. They were seated on a bench at the Galle Face
Green in the morning hours under a parasol.
"I have brought a small gift as I could not afford to buy something
valuable as I am still unemployed" said Nalaka, stretching it to her.
Receiving it with both her hands, she said, "I do not mind whether it
is a small or valuable gift. The gift itself speaks a lot about your
love to me. Thanks dear".
"My neighbour, Joy uncle, told me that he would very soon get me a
job. If I get it I will give you a gift on every salary day." He assured
her with so much of love and kindness for which she pleaded, "Please do
not think of spending so much for gifts. Think of saving for our
Cuddling her closer he joked whether her thoughts were so deep
towards the marital life.
She asked him, "Should not it be so? The sooner the better. You are
handsome and some other girl may try to attract you and then you will
He was a bit worried about the doubt she had on him. He said,
pointing his finger towards the sea, "Those waves may leave the sea, but
never will I desert you. The sea may swallow me but never will my mind
erase you. The sea in jealousy may rise to physically separate us but
will not succeed in it."
His assurances were many. She held him tight for such loving words
and then they departed from the Green.
"Amma, Nalaka said that he will get a job soon, therefore you need
not worry about our affair. We could arrange the wedding in early
January, next year", Nethra said to her mother at home. Mother was in
great fear in regard to her love with Nalaka who was unemployed. Though
she tried to discourage Nethra in continuing the love, she failed. The
love appeared to be very strong.
Uncle Joy found him a job in a tourist resort at Beruwala. He was
satisfied with the work, salary and of other benefits, specially
financially. As he had to stay in the resort he could not meet Nethra
often like earlier but once or twice a month. Hand phones were helpful
One evening when they were at the Mt.Lavinia beach, Nethra told
Nalaka that her mother wanted the marriage to be held in January. "Why
wait for January, why not make it next month itself", asked Nalaka.
"Are you in such a hurry to eat the meals prepared by your
mother-in-law?" she questioned in return.
"That means, you would not prepare them".
"No. Mummy will attend to it. I will only be with you before you go
to work and then after your return."
"That means, active in love and lazy to work".
Thus they enjoyed their petty questions and answers.
Suddenly there appeared a few women, a couple of men and some
children on the beach. They rushed towards the sea to enjoy themselves
tugging up their dresses up to knee length.
An unexpected high wave rolled towards the beach and on its return
took away a small child. All of them screamed for help and Nalaka rushed
to rescue the boy. But neither Nalaka, a good swimmer, nor the boy could
It appeared both to have been carried away to the sea.
Nethra could not believe that Nalaka had gone forever. She pleaded
from the gathered crowd to find him, but nobody moved.
They only consoled her. Divers tried their best till dusk and it was
in the morning the body of the child was found and of Nalaka missing
The memories of the last Valentine's Day they were together would
appear in her mind every Valentine's Day. She never got married despite
her mother, relatives and friends requesting and advising her. Part of
her life she spent on involving in religious activities.