My Real Home is my Mind

oldman_J2I1S77J2

Here lies my beautiful home
My right to be here and to be on my own
No one can doubt, query or challenge
But why do I hoard calling everything mine?

The six windows in my home
Continually active, incessantly inform
Of outside world, comings and goings
Why the desire to hoard everything as of my own

What I call, ‘Eyes’ are windows to outside
‘Ears’ bring me noise but I hoard every little sound
‘Nose’ and ‘Tongue’ smell and taste freshness or foul
Touch I feel softness of a flower or sharpness of a thorn
Should not let senses fool, as none of this is for real

Butterflies do come through
Just to check that I’m not yet through
Bees work hard, rain or shine
To store honey for their kind to dine
How cruel it is, that I take all those as mine

Flowers in rainbow colours
Smile day after day just to cheer me
On the tree tops, branches and twigs
From the centre all round to the sea
In everything I see, hear, smell, taste and touch
How dare I have
Put as their owner, my name
Am I the lord of all What my senses grasp?

O solitude your immense charm
Better than angelic songs; not a dream
I am the lord of the fowl and brute
I start and end the day with sound of my own

The beasts that roam over the plain
I know are searching for me in vein
They are unacquainted and are mean
But I am smarter, I am a human being

Society friendship and Love
Divinely bestowed upon man
Willingly I left all that mess
Just being myself, in my bliss

Have no sorrow, depression can assuage
By knowing that birds here sing only for me
The droplets of rain make a pretty rainbow
Silently I watch as it is meant for me!

The sallies of youth cannot bother me
I am well healed, desolation no more
My friends do not know how serene it is
To be in the wilderness, the master of flora and fauna

Now I know why sages chose solitude
The place where demons have no grasp
Beautiful flowers, birds and bees
Twinkle your eyes, serenade ears

Soft winds roam around me
Convey to friends desolate
Their land I shall visit no more
The solitude is where I belong

There is mercy in every place
There is suffering if you want to make
Living in solitude in my space
Realised, mind hates crazy race

Every worry and lamentation
Has none to do with rest of the world
They are all imposters, not our own
Solitude taught me, one good lesson

One who interprets love is me
One who plunges into hate is me
All my life crazed as beauty
Is only a fickle of imagination by me

When I make my mind to make my home beautiful
It becomes the most beautiful place for my mind
Just like I remove the dirt to make it pretty
So should I do with my mind

Why do I have this crave
To own everything I see,
Smell, touch and hear
For them to be there, none I’ve done
Why do I have to be the owner of everything

Is it not this desire of mine
To own and control of things surround
Firstly myself and then the world around
Which when I fail do suffer in pain,
So, is my suffering a making of my own?
173
Ariya 

‘ A RECALL’ To all my mates of the greatest batch of medicos

 

RU

Memories are the glistening golden threads
To keep patchwork of friendship, together
When we met after a lapse of fifty long year
All agreed that we had kept it for far too long

By that time some mates had already chosen
For celestial comforts and domicile in heaven
None would call anyone of us ‘a spring chicken’
Time and tide would not wait for a septuagenarian!

On the twenty fourth October in 2014
Hugging each other being very keen
Announced in an unified loud voice
We have kept away for far too long!!!

Every year from now onwards
To keep intact the fond memories
Before we lose our last neurones
Must relive beautiful friendships

Surely mates, while us were deliberating
Fifteen valuable months have already gone
For a less elaborate than the golden union
Time is now ripe to get the tracking shoes on

Thanks to Sam, batch 64 has its own website
To discuss pros and cons of a venue and date
When you receive this blog every single mate
Hope will respond, before it becomes too late
Ariya

Tribute to Dr Nisal T. Kurukulasuriya (BUNTY) – An icon in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Dr Nisal T. Kurukulasuriya

 

I was bewildered and dumbfounded to see the obituary notice on the internet of my venerable friend and acclaimed Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Dr Nisal T. Kurukulasuriya (Bunty) on the early morning of the 13th January 2016. According to the obituary, Bunty had passed away peacefully surrounded by his wife, children and grandchildren on the 21st December 2015 and had been cremated on the following day according to his wishes. To relieve my anguish, I sent an email immediately to his beloved wife Dayaneetha, conveying my shock and profound sorrow to which she replied almost immediately.

“Dear Sunil, Thank you so much for your message. The children and I are devastated. I lost the love of my life and a wonderful husband and my best friend. He was a great father and grandfather. We miss him so much. Sunil he was only 69. We had a very happy 45 years together. Bunty was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. We spent over 2 months in USA with our children and grandchildren and had a great time. We even celebrated his 69th birthday on 01 June 2015 in Boston. He has done so much for so many people, he did not suffer and that was the gift to him from the Gods above. He passed away peacefully with all the family around. Sunil, I looked up your e mail as I wanted to let you know because you were a sincere friend to him.” 

My association with the now renowned Bunty commenced in the early 1960’s, over 56 years ago, having grown up in the same neighbourhood in Mount Lavinia and been of similar age. Until the time of his untimely demise we remained close friends. We were both instilled with the noble Buddhist precepts from an early age at the Daham Pasela of Mallikaramaya Temple under the tutelage of the Venerable Weligama Gnaratna Anunayake Thera.

He was a proud product of the prestigious Royal College where he had an illustrious academic career coupled with a passion for cricket, having represented the College Cricket X1 in 1964 with distinction and awarded Colours. He was an all-rounder, a left arm “chinaman” exponent and a left hand batsman who pulverized the Trinity College attack in Asgiriya prior to the traditional Royal -Thomian encounter, scoring a record swashbuckling double century. He was a gifted cricketer who had an equal flair for any other sport like swimming, tennis, badminton and table tennis. Playing cricket for Royal College first X1 did not deter his academic career as he was one of the best students at Royal. Having excelled in the GCE A/L in the Bio stream, he entered Medical College on his first attempt.

Bunty was the son of Charles and Alice Kurukulasuriya. He was the youngest in a family of five children. His father was an Assistant Superintendent of Mails at the Postal Department. In 1971, he married Dayaneetha, the younger daughter of former Chief Justice G.P.A.Silva and Mrs. Soma Silva.

In his inimitable approach, he breezed through the Medical College and was recognised as one of the best students in his batch. A few years after completing Medical College, he proceeded to the UK. He worked in several hospitals in England and Scotland; these include the Warrington Infirmary, Royal Infirmary Stirling, St.Mary’s Hospital, London and Hammersmith Hospital, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh and a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Upon returning to Sri Lanka, Bunty worked as a Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the De Soysa maternity hospital and the General hospital in Colombo. Bunty was also a Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Colombo for approximately 10 years. Under the guidance of titans in his field like Dr A.M. Mendis, Prof. D. A. Ranasinghe, Prof.T.Visvanathan, Prof D.E Gunatilleke and Prof.S.H.P Nanayakkara, Bunty further honed his surgical and clinical prowess. From this enviable platform, he worked tirelessly and eventually rose to become an eminent and popular Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in his own right.

Apart from his work with patients in the wards, there was a terrific demand for him in the private sector. He cared for patients in his private practice largely at St.Micheal’s and McCarthy. He treated all his patients equally irrespective of their status, creed or religion. The attention and time each patient received during his ward rounds depended exclusively on the severity of the illness or how puzzling the clinical dilemma was. He had a remarkable aptitude of just looking at a patient and making a spot on diagnosis.

Bunty refused consultation fees from friends for his services and used to tell us not to waste time outside his consultation room, just show our face by peeing in, so that he could call us in. Similarly, he did so many operations sans his fees to his many of his friends. I myself had this experience in 1994 when he performed a hysterectomy on my wife and did not charge me although I was covered by an insurance scheme. We are indebted to him.

Perhaps of greater significance than all his professional achievements was his unwavering devotation and dedication to his wife, children and grandchildren. He cultivated a unique and enduring bond with his sons and their families overseas, visiting them often. His doting daughter continued to live with him after marriage and named her son Nisal as a fitting tribute to her father whom she considered a mentor and living inspiration.

Moreover, a unique quality in Bunty from his formative years to the time of his passing was his low profile simplicity, very unassuming mannerism, his commitment and compassion and the immense love for humanity. He never accepted invitations to be Chief Guest or as attesting witnesses for weddings. My own experience of inviting him to act as attesting witness to my daughter’s marriage is testimony to this. He did participate and told me that he prefers to maintain a low profile at these functions. All these unique character traits were abundantly demonstrated during his unblemished career for well over four decades.

Bunty retired from medical practice in 2010 to enjoy even more time his family. He continued to read widely across many disciples including the Dhamma where his knowledge was extensive.

His family members, friends and patients will always remember with love and profound gratitude his deep commitment to his chosen calling, unparalled skill and above all his generous and compassionate nature. All those who hear about his untimely passing would no doubt be grieved as there would never be another individual in the calibre of Bunty.

“The flower blossoms and fades. The sun rises and descends,. But the memories, dignified and gracious deeds and accomplishments of Bunty would linger on, never to die away.”

Bunty’s passing has left his ever loving wife Dayaneetha, sons Nuwan and Channa daughter Shalini and their spouses Ayesha, Erandi and Nikita and the grand children devastated. It would my fervent hope that his journey walking through sansara would be short until he attains the supreme bliss of Nirvanna.

Sunil Thenabadu, ,

Bahrs Scrub,Queensland ,Brisbane

e mail sthenabadu@hotmail.com

16th January 2016.

Mr and Mrs of RU 64

Mahilal

We saw glamour at the RU, saw drama and fabulous dances of all kinds
We heard melodious songs, heard scientific speeches, laugher and jokes
We saw beautiful people in extravagant dresses in eye catching designs
We listened to talks of our glorious past, friendly chats and even gossips

We saw flamboyant gentlemen, in their flashy and most eye catching outfits
We saw butterflies, saw Angels, among the smart guys a few shining Knights
Mahilal and Mahila, at the RU golden, looked like the most matching couple
One is a healer, the other an artist, both were charming and extremely polite
Nearly of the same height, seeing on the dance floor was a sheer delight
Both very pleasant beautifully attired charming and equally glamorous
So my choice of the most matching couple of the RU, beating the rest of us
To offer the accolade to Mahila and Mahilal as the batch RU 64, Mr & Mrs.

Ariya

Men’s Common Room

Men’s Common Room of a Bygone Era

Lakshman Abeygunawardena

 When I entered the Colombo Medical Faculty in June 1962, the “Freshers” as the new entrants were called, were debarred from entering the Men’s Common Room (on their own) during the first two weeks when they were subjected to the traditional rag. It had been so in previous years and was yet another tradition maintained by all medical students in years that followed. However, it is to be noted that most of the ragging took place in the Common Room itself! All alumni of the Colombo Medical School are familiar with the place where many unforgettable events that I am about to describe took place. But for the benefit of anyone who has already forgotten where it was, the Men’s Common Room occupied part of the ground floor of the Main Administration Building abutting Kynsey Road. Main access however was through the quadrangle near the Koch Clock Tower which served as a parking lot for the students’ vehicles. It was also accessible through the canteen which was right next to it.

The Common Room provided many facilities to the male students who spent almost all their free time in the relaxed atmosphere it provided. The unofficial custodian of the Common Room was “Marker” (so called because he had originally been recruited to mark scores at the billiards table), whose real name Ranasinghe was known only to a few. In a previous issue of the CoMSAA newsletter, I had written more about this character who was known to generations of medical students. The Common Room was well furnished with a large number of wooden arm chairs, some cane chairs and small tables. The “miniature” billiards table which occupied one corner was replaced with a full-sized “Tournament Model” during our time as students. An ancient radiogram with a few 78 rpm records and the Marker’s personal cupboard were on that side. Marker’s cupboard which had a number of drawers was kept under lock and key at all times by Marker himself, with his heavy bunch of keys safely tucked in at his waist. The Common Room provided facilities for a number of other indoor games such as table tennis, carom, bridge, draughts and chess. In one corner was a telephone booth, next to which were the day’s newspapers that were fixed on the familiar wooden structure against the wall. “Marker”, trudged daily from the Maradana Railway Station. Come sun or rain, he CoMSAA Newsletter, Vol 4: Issue 3 Page4 used to be at the Common Room sharp at 7.30 in the morning, each day. One of his first duties was to place securely, the day’s newspapers on that wooden structure.

Picture 1 – common room and billiards table Hanging on the walls of the Common Room were photographs of past Medical Students Union (MSU) Committees. I wonder what happened to the old photographs (picture 2) including the one that accompanies this article! They were not there when I visited the place some time ago. Picture 2 – Medical students’ union committee – 1965 – 1966 Coming to the important events that took place within the four walls of the Men’s Common Room, pride of place has to be given to the annual MSU elections and the grand finale where the results used to be announced. It was at this event that prizes were awarded to winners of the indoor games tournaments that had been conducted in the preceding weeks.

MSU election night was looked forward to by many as it was about the only occasion when alcoholic beverages were officially permitted to be served in any building of the Colombo Medical Faculty. As a member of the MSU Committee in 1966, I remember accompanying a few colleagues to a pub on Chatham Street in Fort (either Globe Hotel or White House Inn) one afternoon, to purchase a couple of barrels of draft beer in preparation for the great CoMSAA Newsletter, Vol 4: Issue 3 Page5 event that evening. We took time tasting “samples” of draft beer which were provided to us free of charge by the management. All MSU meetings (which often turned out to be controversial and stormy), were held there.

I very well remember the late Consultant Thoracic Surgeon Mr. A.T.S. Paul, who was then President of the GMOA, addressing the students as a guest speaker at a specially convened meeting during a GMOA strike. Among other such great occasions was witnessing Sri Lanka’s World Snooker champion M.J.M. Lafir playing an exhibition game of billiards and some fantastic trick shots on our own table right there in the Common Room. Even during the prolonged period when I was domiciled abroad, I never failed to visit the Colombo Medical Faculty during my annual visits to Sri Lanka. I always spent a few minutes seated in a chair in the Men’s Common Room, nostalgically recalling my student days. The place has undergone many changes (see Picture 1). My saddest visit to the Men’s Common Room undoubtedly was in 1988, when perhaps for the first time in its history, the Men’s Common Room was the place where the body of the late medical student Thirimavithana was placed for public veneration when it was brought to the Colombo Medical Faculty. Padmasiri Thirimavithana who was a prominent student activist, was brutally killed during the failed insurrection which took place during that unfortunate period in the late eighties.

Reprinted with permission from the author

(Sorry, the pictures in the article could not be reproduced due to formatting issues. If any one can provide me some pictures, either old or current,  in Jpeg  format I will insert them in the article, Sam Samarasinghe)

Ariya’s Thoughts for the New Year

Life throws back at you, what you give

It is one of the most beautiful compensations in life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself

(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Whether it is a thought, action or behaviour

Life has a habit of returning it to the doer

If one treats people well, whenever they can

Pleasantly, goodness will boomerang

Sooner or later, absolutely from nowhere

Treat people with respect and compassion

If there is a chance on your way up

Because you are likely to meet them again

Probably when you are sliding down

Many years ago two American bright boys,

Studied at Stanford University

Once their funds got desperately low

Making it impossible to continue studies

A bright idea came to these two anxious lads

They had heard of a great Polish Pianist,

‘Ignacy Paderewski’ who became the target

Plan was to engage him on a public recital

Make enough profit to continue their courses

 

Approached the manager of the musician

He was an uncompromising tough man

Though boys explained to him their plan

Price was high wouldn’t budge from two grand

Boys knew their chance was dwindling

Disappointed yet not much they could do

A spark of luck, as they were leaving

Met the hallowed pianist returning

Mr Paderewski, inquired why they looked so sad

Listening to their plight the pianist gladly agreed

To do the recital free of charge to give lads a chance

The recital was a success, rest is history, two boys

Completed their courses receiving highest grades

The years rolled by, came and went the first World War

Mr Paderewski has now become Poland’s prime minister

Aftermath of the War, many Polish people were starving

Only one who could help was in Paris, Mr Herbert Hoover

The officer in charge of the US Foods and Relief Bureau

Hoover responded immediately saving Polish people millions

After citizens were fed Mr Paderewski returned to Paris

And thanked Mr Hoover, for the relief sent saving many lives

That’s alright Sir, you’ve helped me to complete my studies

Thirty years was a long time and Mr Hoover looked different

When the story was told Polish prime minister was jubilant

Not only because the timely help his people received by an act

Of kindness which has now returned to him as a boomerang

173

New Year Resolution- By Deepthie

“Be Grateful for Every Sunrise, Lose it if you don’t use it”

So, Live 2016 like you did 2015, so, you will get to see Sunrise on January 1st, 2017.

 

“Happy New Year to All !!”

Deepthi-1-4Deepthi-1-3

Photos taken4th January on self timer, by placing the camera on big boulders called Glacial Erratics, outside temperature minus 15 degrees C, during my daily constitutional walk in the woods, in rural Ontario, Canada.

Enjoy,

IMG_0352 - Copy-cc            Deepthie

 

 

Deepthi-1-2Deepthi-1-

 

Enjoy Your Life To the Full,Says Ariya

173

To enjoy the life to the full should be our axiom
Only one chance, hence use to the maximum
All of us have transgressed at least once or twice,
Reached, now a stage fit to look back those days

Quality living surely is not ticking the boxes,,
but to be happy and enjoy each stage to the full
Happiness is the same, if measured,
whatever the age, as all is in the mind

A delightful thing to a child is different
from how a ripe ‘old Jonny’ would look at it
When one becomes mature, one may think
childhood pranks are tasteless, immature and silly

Each stage, if one looks back carefully
And relive the the pleasures, it is no folly
The quantity of happiness and pleasure
If measured would certainly tally

When I was three, most beautiful thing
was to see a colourful butterfly, flying
Still Remember chasing all over,
filling my heart with joy and jumping

Today, I equally enjoy looking at it,
When settled on a rose in the garden
Not because of inability to chase after,
now it is to me a glorious sight, soothing

Just to observe the beautiful creature,
Enjoying, yet being a part of nature
Philosophical thoughts mingle in mind,
Comparing with meaning of my own life

I get absorbed in a dreamy world,
Am I more special than the angelic insect?
The quantity of my pleasure now must be same
when I was at three, singing and chasing after it

No one should be too depressed
or disillusioned for just being old
There are grand things we can do
that is why we all are called ‘Grand’

Life is a good read worthy, book
many brilliant chapters condensed
Last chapter could be the glorious most,
To continue to read to the end, hence must

As one passes each page and chapter,
This book tells an interesting story, peach
The zenith will come always in the page last
Read through, must to get the glory you want

Most our lives are much similar,
each chapter full and exhilarating,
we should not skip or stop half way
As life has excitement built throughout
To capture, them all must tread mindfully

Life is a progressive river,
passing many a different bay
The childish pranks we enjoyed
Grand children are playing today

Each stage, ‘the river’ may unearth a gem,
if missed one no fuss, just need to be savvy
Be on the look out, not always the earliest one,
But the last to come may be the most heavy

As a tiny tot. ‘twinkle twinkle little star’
was always purring through my lips
Used to sing and dance the whole day
everything else to me was mere rubbish

Imagine how many melodious songs,
I must have enjoyed so far in life
Today a twinkling star tells me a different tale
Still though has in my heart a special place

The happiness is like a butterfly
If you chase, it will avoid you and fly
But if you rest and enjoy its beauty
It may sit by you, do not even need to try

With Metta
Ariya

New Year Resolution for Grand Parents

Dear Sam,
let me be the first to appreciate you in the New Year

For providing a web site exclusive to ’64 batch, over one year

I am grateful to you as it gave me an opportunity to compose

Politic contemplations which I enjoyed writing, so thanks my dear

With this mail sending a set of verses attached

Hope I have dotted, all ‘i’s and ‘t’s are crossed

Wish you and Kathy a wonderful New Year

Hope there will be another RU, soon this year

Ariya

At our age, surely none of us have many years to live,

No way can we take along anything we ‘claim’ we have,

Must put an end to the greed and stop collecting more

Empty tills and banks, put a stop of being thrifty too

Grant some gracious public servants do continue their good work

Even after retirement to uphold high standards and train the new lot

Few praiseworthy souls with compassion, and selflessness at heart

Continue to work to guide and pass skills to their apprentice set

The write up below is a hint only to those who continue with intention

To enhance the wealth of dependents, though latter are financially well off

It is painful to see, some old folks are unhappy but still compelled to work

As they cannot give up the habit of amassing wealth, at whatever the cost

My advice is to spend your dosh lavishly, so you can enjoy life to the full

Be generous to the poor, give to charities, not for fame but out of good will

Take vacations and cruises, meet nice people, see weird and wonderful places

Surely you have earned the right to satisfy your hitherto suppressed desires

Some do transfer their mountains of wealth to children long before time

Hoping to reduce inheritance tax burden, of their good for nothing kids

To prevent our children becoming parasites, eagerly check our breathing

This is the age to be selfish, spend the lot, let them earn their own mammon

Please do not worry about what would happen, after we are gone

When we returned to dust, nothing would be heard, no praises nor blame.

Time is now to enjoy life and our hard earned wealth, before eyes are closed!

Should not worry about children, it is their choice so let them swim or sink

One must resist becoming a slave, a guardian or ‘a dependable angel’

We’ve cared for them, pored affection, given plenty of comforts and guile

Remaining wealth, rightly earned and they’ve seen us work very hard

Our lives should certainly be more meaningful, than amassing for the brood

To dedicate life, from children’s cradle to our own perishing stage,

‘Unpaid baby sitters’ a poor contract, for grandparents in their old age

Unfortunate aberration, occurring far too often, which truly is a disgrace

Should not fall into the trap, let our right to enjoy life, at own slow pace.

Our purpose in life is ‘not to be ring fenced’ to share their burden

So they can have good carriers, enjoy cinema, parties and freedom

When cannot look after ourselves, we will become burdens in few days

Children should be fair, not to dump their litter, on old mums and dads

Do not expect too much from one’s own children.

When you need, they would invent a huge quandary

Filial demands and commitments will be very heavy

They’ve no obligations to us, cannot expect favours many


 Uncaring children do invariably fight over parents’ assets

When we are alive, wishing every minute for our demise

Impatient for the day to inherit our properties and wealth.

To become rich overnight with our hard earned belongings

Yet we have no claims over their wealth, time or money

If ever our need arises they are deaf, blind or damn too busy

Few ‘bread crumbs’ hesitantly may throw with considerable fuss

As a great favour, scrutinized jointly with their darling better halves

No child takes a life insurance with parent’s welfare in mind

They would hardly ever plan to brighten their old parents’ lives

Why should septuagenarians get up at five am to go to work?

Trading their health just to put to children’s coffers more cents!

Adding stress to mind and body despite, natural wear and tear

Expecting parents to work to an early grave, is thoroughly unfair

Even extra money may not be able to buy their health if broken

Doubt very much, if our kids will allow their own tills to be shaken

When to stop making money, and how much is enough

A hundred thousand, a million or a billion or even a trillion

There is no limit a philosopher or a sage can define

The nature of greed, one must recognise, is always to add on

Out of hectares of good farm land, I do already hold

I do not consume even three quarts a day of rice

All mansions, your name may be on, in many continents

Our need each is less than eight square meters to rest at night.

So, as long as we have food plentiful and enough money to spend,

Would be good enough to live happily and to get off the rat race

Every family has its own demands and one should not compare with others

But must stop when we know that we have enough, for the rest of our lives

One day passes without happiness, we will lose one day.

One day passes with happiness, and then we gain a day.

In good spirit, sickness will cure; in a happy spirit, sickness will cure faster

Happiness will only arrive when we are ready, ‘to let everything go my dear’!

173Ariya’s contemplations 01 01 2016