Tales– from– the– past– Deepthie

Good Convent Girl

Year -1903- 1906 or there abouts .
Place – An old Christian Missionary 4 Roomed , Thatched Roof School  in Colombo .
Once upon a time, there was this little girl- about 8- 10 yrs old at that time ,  and  lets call her- Cecilia 🙍🏼, who lived with her parents, siblings and the rest of there vast extended family,👨‍👩‍👦‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 down a street in Bambalapitiya .
There was no name for that dirt side road back then .
Cecilia and her sisters were the first batch of students to attend this newly minted Christian  Girls School.
Now, little Cecilia was a real cute thing- with a nice hot temper🤷🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ to match, and a no nonsense attitude – a  “ spoilt brat’ in today’s terms .
Back in the day ‘exercise books ‘ pencils etc  were too costly for these young ones to learn the 3 R’s .
A Gal Lella held firmly together with a rectangular wooden frame  and a Gal koora ( stone slate, and a stone stick ), was the  Magic Coloring   Book ,and the gal koora was the Magic Marker , together with perhaps some colored ‘chalk ‘ .
The Class Teacher gave the her young chargers an assignment  and each child was supposed to take the assignment done on the slate  up to the teacher for marking .
It was Cecilia’s turn .👩🏻‍⚕️
The Teacher- looked at it, and gave Cecilia a Failing Grade, and made some very non complementary remarks in front of the whole class .
Little Cecilia  would have none of it .
She grabbed the slate out of the teacher’s hand, raised it over the Teacher’s head, and slammed it on the teacher’s head !!!
There was this teacher- totally horrified,  eyes googling out of her sockets, mouth open , totally tongue tied, with a wooden frame around her neck, and bits of slate on her head and where ever it fell .
Must have been a pretty sight !
Little Cecilia- was  equally mortifed  at what she did .
Too Late !
She did the next best thing –
Ran out of the class,🏃🏾‍♀️🏃🏾‍♀️🏃🏾‍♀️🏃🏾‍♀️ out of the little school gate, and onto the dirt road, as fast as her little bare feet could carry, with a cloud of dust, trailing behind her !!
She ran all the way home along the  main dirt/ cart road , ( now called Galle Road Bambalapitya )  a distance of about 2 blocks , 🏢🏢and down the dirt side street right up to her home .
She never went back to school again .
I think,🤷🏻‍♀️🏀  little Cecilia  had a learning disability – some form of Dyslexia
This was Cecilia’s School Time Adventure .
Fast Forward –
 1953 January 8th  – another little girl- same age, who now is Cecilia’s grand daughter , with very similar personality to match – wormed her way into this same school- which by now  was very prestigious ALL Girls Convent – Aka- Holy Family Convent- Bambalapitiya .💒💒💒
Lets call her ‘ Grand Daughter  ‘ .
In 1953- the school was celebrating its Golden Anniversary- and photos of all the students were being taken , and Grand daughter tells this to Grandmother Cecilia, who then re- counts this crazy story, amidst much laughter !!!🤣🤣🤣🤣
Grand Daughter- failed the first her  attempt at writing the Admission Test in 1952,   as she handed a  blank paper for English, as she did not understand a word of it,📖📖📖 but, aced the Arithmetic  and Sinhala papers .
 Grand Daughter  was given special private tuition in English to pass the Admission Test to enter this high class school, by a very nice lady in Keleniya called Mrs Gunesekera – a very kind lady, but a very good and  tough teacher .
Grand  Daughter  stuck around this upscale Colombo  School , with many Adventures along the way,  being ,thrown out of class, spanking by teachers and Mother Superior  many times, during the  10 years  she spent there .
But she was a very  tough and determined  persistent brat- a real chip of the old block  one might say .
1964—Grand Daughter- finally made it into The Class of 64 .👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦👨‍👩‍👧‍👦
Her name is — Deepthie Seneviratne !👩🏼🎓
Mrs Gunesekera-  Anslem’s  mother who was the English Teacher at the St. Paul’s School in Keleniya .
Grandmother Cecilia who had only a grade 3-4  education , who knew only how to read ,  and not write , – she passed away in 1965 – in the Merchants Ward- Colombo General Hospital and was really happy to see her little Jewel in the Crown grow up in to a fine young lady ,  now a Medical Student  .
The  side dirt road- is now known as Nandana Gardens – where  some of my extended family still lives, in their ancestral land from the mid 1800’s .
The main dirt / cart road- Galle Road – Bambalapitya .
Hope you all enjoyed my  Tales from A  Long Ago !

16 thoughts on “Tales– from– the– past– Deepthie”

  1. Dear Deepthie,

    Enjoyed reading every word,of your personal ,relatable, anecdotes ,reflecting the events of three generations,expressing dramatic, colourful,sharp and accurate descriptions

    I am certain , that The original, fresh details , will spark raw,,emotions, and humour,in the reader’s mind


    1. Thanks Rani for the appreciation of my crazy story !

      I never forgot the humble origins of my grandmother who could read, but, could not write, and had only a grade 4 education I presume !
      She had the most awesome sense of humour — but beware- Never Cross Her Path . !!

      As a child, I had a lot of fun with her- in that old house in Matara, that she lived with my grandfather.
      All these memories makes my own twilight years , a good one to look back on- half a world away, half a century later !
      Anyway Rani- see you in Beruwala 2018 Oct- which will be a great event – in more than one way- as now, we seem to ‘know each other ‘ more than one way .


    1. Hey Eddie !
      Thanks for the complement !
      Glad you enjoyed this story- crazy as it is- every word is true !!!

      YOU know some of my stories- so, you write the book !!

      NO- I dont want get into the ‘book writing ‘ thing , as I know all about this stuff, as my husband was a writer , many years ago, on Meditation and Buddhism .
      I will try and bring a few of his books , when I come to Beruwala – as complementary copies .
      eaglestoryteller !!


  2. What a lovely story Deepthie. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I see your grand mothers spark in you . You would not take any bull crap from anyone either. However we were taught to respect our teachers.

    As you know we did despite some of the insults we received from our tutors in Med School.



    1. YOU are dead right Nisantha- we did take a lot of crap from our teachers / Nuns, and Priests , and kept our mouths and temper in control — at least I did at school !
      I did have a few ‘run ins ‘ with Sen Registrars’ though at Med school – dont want to mention names here – lets talk about all those fun things, when we meet in Beruwala – 2018- October .

      Do something like this today- or even back i the 50’s when I was at HFC_- Expulsion Stat !
      I think, my grandmother knew this and that is why she ran all the way home, and never returned to school–


  3. Hi Deepthi,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your story, beautifully written. You have told me so many stories but not this one. I am sure you have some more to share.



  4. Web Master- !- YOU have done up a GREAT Cartoon- !!

    I laughed sooo much when I saw it– the TALL Teacher, with the Gal lella frame around her neck, Little Cecilia jumping up in pure horror, the little one next to her, sitting rooted to the spot , out of sheer fear !

    Getting better everytime!

    Praxy– LOVE your digital art work — tells the story the way it should – -adding a lot of ‘spark ‘ to it .

    Thanks Sam and Praxy for the help .


    1. My dear ‘Dilisena tharuwa’, Let me congratulate you for the very fine story

      Now we know the origin of your toughness and committment, which all of us envy

      What a beautiful narrative, keeping us in suspence, cradled in an exciting delvery

      Having given the taste please continue at least a tale a day, as we have gone crazy



      1. Thank you my dear Poet of The Class o f 64 for the kind words !
        I dont think, I have any more REAL stories to tell — – I must sit back and think a bit and make up some !
        eaglestoryteller !


  5. Dear Deepthie,
    This is my fourth attempt at sending some comments on your blog. I tried to send the three earlier ones using my I phone but for some reason they did not go through. I think it is something to do with the reception and the I phone. I am using my laptop now to send it.

    Your story is fascinating and enjoyed reading it for the second time. Reading your stories and comments I cannot for a moment think that you could not do the English paper for the admission test. Whatever it is you definitely have been passed some potent genes from Cecilia with the good looks, intelligence, humour,wittiness and everything else. We too have to thank Cecilia for giving us a good friend like you who can keep us all entertained. The class of 64 is happy to have you as one of their friends. I am sure the good old nuns at HFC have helped us to be who we are. Their spanking and scolding and strict discipline have done us a world of good.

    Talking of spanking I can still remember how Mother A ( Deepthie you know who I mean ) pulled me in to the tent on sports day with the help of her long hooked handle of her black umbrella. Those days all the nuns used to carry these. On Inter-house Sports day I was just outside the tent cheering my friends and there was a slight drizzle at the time. Suddenly I felt a wooden hook round my neck dragging me. When I looked around it was Mother A using the hooked handle of her umbrella putting it round my neck and pulling me inside as I was getting wet. I never said a word as we respected them so much. But still I feel I needed that discipline and it has definitely helped me as I was a real tom boy being brought up in a family where all five brothers were older than me. Being the youngest and the only girl,in the family, with five boys before me I got away with all the naughty things I did. But I think discipline helped me.
    But your fluency in the English language and being a walking Encyclopaedia one would never think that you had a problem with thh English language. Thank you for all your stories that keep us entertained. Looking forward to the RU 18 to reminisce the past.

    Sam as always you do a wonderful introductory cartoon. Your efficiency and competency in the computer knowledge is fantastic. We appreciate it. Thank you for same.

    Cheers. Praxy


    1. HI Praxy !
      Thank you for your persistence in writing a comment – I do appreciate it !

      Well- I dont know if I deserve all the good stuff you have said about me- But, I must say- I learned English the hard way- by listening and NOT talking as my pronounciation was awful .
      Later on I learned to speak it well – and never stopped talking !

      Yes- I do thank Grandmother Cecilia for All her Blessings bestowed to me– the Good ,Bad and the Ugly !!

      Your story of Mother A- it will make a nice cartoon and a great story- with a few added notes .
      Sam- will do a great cartoon on this one for sure !!!

      I can never recall Mother A ever being nice to me- she just hated my guts- she would have let me get soaking wet in the rain .
      With 20- 20 Hind Sight Vision- I think, those Nuns beat me into ship shape form !!!!

      You and Ranjith —- Have a Good Trip to Burma and back, with Chandra- Sheila Herath .
      Deepthie .


  6. Dear Deepthie,
    I was busy working last 2 days. However I managed to read your fantastic story. Another writer is discovered !! Can I reserve a copy now itself – Opps! – I got to be careful. I must wear a Helmet, in case if you carry the genes from your granny Cicilia. Is it easy to buy a helmet in Beruwala or should I carry it from Australia?


  7. Hey my dear Seelan !
    Glad you liked my Granny Cecilia Story – she was quite the character I must say .

    No need for a helmut- I am now a septugenerian- and has mellowed out quite a lot !!

    Also- I am NOT going to write a book on ‘Funny Stories “–too much work and I have gotten rather lazy now .

    By the way- I hope you saw Ariya;s Entertainment post on a certain nice old song –
    You and Ariya have to Act it Out on the Stage in Beruwala — it would be one hilarious Act with a lot of Audience participation for sure !!

    Baila Kumari .


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