In the up-country surrounded by lofty hills there was a palatial
mansion known as the Bungalow. The elite in the vicinity gathered in the
evenings to play bridge. There were lots of fun and laughter even
throughout the night, under a petrol-lamp light. It was Lady Sally's
mansion. She entertained her siblings, cousins, friends and
well-wishers; even the principals, teachers and adult students in the
nearby schools participated.
Lady Sally did not live all alone but was surrounded by her nieces
and nephews of her siblings even during the day. Jith was a curly haired
seven- year-old-boy, a son of her close cousin Richy Aiya. Lady Sally
remained a spinster throughout her life, dedicated to Buddhist spiritual
ways of the Dhamma.
used to pave the way for pirith, bana-preaching, almsgiving to bhikkhus
and deities in the mansion. Others in the vicinity too participated
whether rich or poor.
Even the domestic aides, Podimenike and Punchi Kira were cordial and
loving towards little Jith. Podimenike was so fond of the boy that she
used to feed him with milk toffees. Punchi Kira used to take the child
to the cowshed to show his favourite Ratti, Thambiliya and Navasiya.
Lady Sally presented Navasiya to Jith's younger sister who then was a
One day Lady Sally asked Jith, 'Putha Jith, do you wish to be a
novice monk and stroll with a begging bowl?'
The boy did not utter a word and looked blank, but by sheer destiny
he became a lawyer in his adulthood.
Sally Nenda had put up an octagonal shrine room for daily religious
observances and offer Buddha-puja to the sacred statue of the Buddha. In
the evenings she offered rose, dahlia, jasmine and the temple flower,
all plucked from the garden.
The bungalow was situated in a four-acre block and contained jak,
mango, kithul with hosts of other trees; even vegetables were planted in
beds. The front of the residence was adorned with rose, carnation,
dahlia, jasmine and daspethiya. Their fragrance was adorable.The space
allotted in front of the residence was occupied by a few vintage cars.
Jith, as he grew older, used the garden shade for his novel and short
story reading seated on a sling canvas chair and could listen to the
chirps of loving, hummingbirds.
Sally Nenda served the children with fresh cow milk, Kithul jaggery
and the meals were purely vegetarian.
After the demise of her cousin Richey, the family of Jith returned to
their parental home six miles away. Lady Sally felt their loss very
much. All of a sudden one of her brothers' daughters Somie barged in.
She did not hesitate to bring about mental trauma and physical agony to
some extent to this religious minded lady. The lady did not live long to
bear the misery. All of a sudden her younger brother Bindu visited her
and she explained to him the agony she was going through. Finally, she
left that peaceful abode and left with the brother who resided in the
low country modest home. Never had she returned to this peaceful abode
Thereafter Somie systematically got rid of Lady Sally's friends,
relations and well-wishers. Even her own siblings were not permitted to
visit the bungalow nor were they entertained. She lived a lonely life.
The bungalow was not properly maintained.
As time passed by, the mansion's roof gave way and the rest were
exposed to elements. Tall trees grew within the walls. The rest of the
building was exposed to the deep blue sky and at times to severe
thunder, lightning and torrential showers.
The octagonal shine room was severely left alone, but its roof
remained intact. The Buddha statue, brass bowl within the glass
enclosure were stealthily removed.
With the passing years, Somie became sickly and feeble. There was no
one to look after her. One day, the people around the vicinity became
suspicious. Somie was missing for several days. One out of the
search-seekers had to break-open the door of the shine-room. There was a
decomposed body of a female with unbearable stench but who could not be
What a strange contrast. Jith being an old man happened to go down
memory lane. He could faintly recall the manner in which an elderly
cousin of Lady Sally had to say: "I am deeply concerned of her plight,
she had an unfulfilled motherhood..."
It was too much for Jith to bear that remark, he blurted out "Uncle,
at least she was a gentle, ever loving mother to me..."
After dinner, old Jith was dozing off: 'Yes! It was Aunty Sally who
got down from a white horse-driven, gold plated chariot. Jasmine
pervaded fragrance filled the air. She stood still before him, an angel
from heaven. She could communicate with Jith through her mind's eye (Divesin).
Jith's thoughts pertaining to the octagonal shrine room, the mutilated
female dead body lying on its floor, ran across his mind. This was what
she murmured in a gentle sweet voice: 'Son Jith, everything in the human
world is impermanent. The uncouth humans with their wicked ways paved
the way for utmost contempt of the human world and sober society, thus
initiating the nature's revenge to take place.
Thereafter the virtual image of the Angel vanished into the thick,
[The characters are fictitious].