He had never wanted to stand all day in the blazing heat of the early-noon sun, but when he was called out he queued up obediently as he had done all those months ago when he first arrived there. White shirts, clean, crisp and reflecting the burning light into other eyes around him were all crowded up, little soldiers awaiting their turn to fling down their weapons and let loose the doves of peace. Everywhere silence reigned around him, a heavy sheet lifting and dropping onto the crowds.
They even forgot about the blaze above them.
Even forgetting their playmates, their compatriots.
Little flags in the image of the one they all beheld, majestically battling the currents of hot air, were waved by little hands in the crowd.
A maroon center, a snarling lion raising his sword in triumph, having won all the battles his beautiful nation had to go through. He was their champion, their guardian, and his sightless eye put a chill through the minds of all who beheld him.
Fluttering in tune with the chorus of prayers, the flag kept flying. No birds were in that sky this morning. It and its partner would fly unhindered by any of nature’s punishments. The air itself was made today for celebration. Some higher powers that the boy would never understand, had breathed down onto the institution today.
A powerful master.
The prayers were all unto Him.
Four faiths, one master to watch over all that was fading and mortal.
Again the little boy looked at the crowd around him. Prayers to the nation swelling from devoted hearts. Applause from everywhere he stood. Teachers standing sentinel over their little students, chiding occasionally and advising at times whenever something went wrong.
He had never really thought why all this would be necessary. The most oft-repeated words at the gathering were “Freedom”, “God” and “Independence”. What these were, he couldn’t know now. Maybe sometime later.
All he knew was that there was both happiness and sorrow in the vast crowd of thousands. Happiness that once upon a time, the chains of slavery had been melted away to create one land of thinkers, a land of greats who would rise up to any challenge, to extend their claws like a vicious lion on the hunt. But also to draw away and rest like the great cat would at the end of the deadly race, all the while bearing his noble majesty.
This was where he was born. This would be where he would love, learn, fight, play and run, with the countless others that stood beneath the two flags that made them family.
One bearing the lion warrior’s crest.
The other one blue, slashed in black.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”
You don’t need to be someone
To love something
You can be anyone
And love anything
Poem by Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
Photo by Rochelle Silva @ Galle
This pitch darkness
It seems to be like
Witching hour is up
Through the dark clouds
Something could be seen
It is a ray of light
Beaming on the world
The darkness is banished
The world happy again
Thank you Almighty God
For listening to our prayers
Poem by : Vijini Mallawaarachchi
The photograph is the property of UmbraDeNoapte-Stock(http://umbradenoapte-stock.deviantart.com/art/Stock-209-390240138) and has been used with his direct permission.
Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya @ Panadura