25 thoughts on “OLD PHOTOS- Rani”

  1. Dear Rani,
    Thanks for these old photos.
    Belated happy birth day wishing from me.
    Unfortunately I couldn’t open the comment page sent by Sam on your birthday !


  2. Hi Rani
    We also could not open the web page sent by Sam Belated birthday wishes and i am sure you would have had a wonderful day full of celebrations
    Satha & Selvi


  3. Thanks to Seelan and Sathaand Selvi,, for the birthday greetings. I too was unable to open it. Yesterday was Rani (Sydney)’s birthday. I am certain she will appreciate your thoughtful greetings


    1. Rani

      Please accept our delayed Birthday Greetings.

      Maharojani and Sreetharan.

      UNO has declared 31st May as “WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY” – as I understand from this year.

      We must admire your parents for bringing you down to purify the earth on 31st May and let us hope for a poem from Ariya incorporating this new WORLD DAY AND YOUR BIRTHDAY.

      Maharojani and Sreetharan.


      1. Thanks Maharojani and Sreetharan for the greetings , it was not my birthday SYDNEY Rani “s birthday I am In Melbourne. Any way thanks for the information about the world environment Day


  4. Thanks Rani for the pics of Bullock carts and a Rickshaw.Regarding our rickshaws,it was a sad plight to see Indian cooolies pulling children and sometimes heavy adults across Colombo in the midday sun,for a few cents.In fact the term comes from Japanese( Rikin Shaw).Rik = man & In = force/ pull & .shaw= vehicle.In essence a mode of transport pulled by a man.!.It’s origin in Japan is dated to 1869.And it was a Christian missionary who had invented it to pulll his invalid wife on the streets of Japan.Here you have the missionaries making men beasts of burden.!,It then came to Singapore where the poor Chinese were pulling them and then to Calcutta and Colombo.Here again the poorest were doing the hardest job for a few cents.This was at a time when most of us could not afford a motor vehicle and the next best mode of transport was the rickshaw.Many parents had a favourite rickshaw man to take their precious daughters safely to school and back.Yes, they did serve a useful purpose for the gentry. Eddie.


  5. Dear Rani

    Sorry for the belated Birthay greetings. Hope you had a lot of fun and celebrations with the family. Did you take these pictures yourself ,they remind me of the good old days when my mum uses her favourite rickshaw man to get the monthly requirements for the family from the co-op shop a little away from home and my grandfather takes it to collect the monthly pension . We as children overjoyed on their return,!obviously they have bought our favourite fruits and food.


    1. Dear Marina thanks for the wishe it was Sydney Rani’s birthday thanks for sharing your views no I did not take the he photos


  6. Dear Rani
    I wrote a comment on the lovely photos from the past but it has not appeared on the blog😭😭😭😭😭😒😒😒Praxy


  7. Thanks Rani for bringing back memories of childhood- the rickshaw,bullock cart, buggy cart, and thirikkale. My memory of the buggy cart is amusing. I was being taken to Girls’ High School, Mt. Lavinia in a buggy cart- age less than five years. I noticed the pilot hurrying up the animal by tickling its privates. One day he did me the great favour of placing me next to him. I tried to do the same with my short legs, but failed miserably!


  8. It’s good to know that the old photos have evoked among our batch mates so many memories of yester year.
    Apart from the stories posted, I am certain that many more of you must be silently recalling those nostalgic memories of your time related to these photos,and your childhood experiences?

    I am more than happy to say that as a child ,I have enjoyed being a passenger in all those modes of transport shown in the post except the “Thirikkela”

    ThaBullock cart with two Bulls “Bara Karrathe “(cart) was used to deliver our stocks of Paddy , and other heavy goods to our house during the 50’s.once the goods were unloaded it was the practice for us (Siblings) to get in to the cart and demand a short trip in it from the carter . It was so much fun , one has to experience it to tell the tales.

    Bara bage” the bullock cart with one bull was the means of transportation of fire wood to our houses.

    Ps . Please note that these modes of transport are being used the bullock cart for tourist safari tours in places like Minneriya . They enjoy the natural flavour of the transportation with a difference.

    Rickshaw- well I can remember the times ,we had to depend on a Rickshaw for short trips. Normally the trip had to commence from the Rickshaw stand which was near a bus terminus or the junction. It was a scary trip as the seat was unsteady, and there was nothing to hold on to, and I felt that I will fall out of it any time, specially when the Rickshaw man started to increase his speed by running, The only saviour was the hood of the Rickshaw,which he will open when needed giving the passenger some solid structure to hold on to.

    “Bukki karaththeya” buggy cart Was hired for family short visits at the time when we did not own a car. To attend weddings, and visit relations. It was so named because of the basin “bakki”like space at the bottom which allowed leg space for the passengers to be seated comfortably. I can remember the times when someone had to carry us , to reach the high step , leading to the inside of the buggy cart. It was an ideal mode of transport as it helped us to travel in comfort while enjoying the outside road activities.

    Thirikkela(Hackeries) was a single seater shown in the photo ,often used by the higher echelons of traditional Srilankan society. It was mainly used for racing by affluent owners . it was a regular event at The Avurudu New Year festivals ,we visited those days.


  9. Dear Rani
    I wrote a comment on our transport vehicles of yester years. You definitely have taken us down memory lane πŸ™„. Thank you for the delightful photos. My first experience of going in a Bali karaththaya was in SL was so many years ago. But we had the fortune of that same experience this year in January when we went to πŸ‡²πŸ‡² Burma. I must say that with these old creaky bones it was not comfortable but we enjoyed it. At one stage I sat by the side of the β€œ driver” and managed to control the animal . Since parts of Burma are not so developed the only mode of transport was the cart.
    Thank you Eddie for enlightening us on the origin of the word Rickshaw. You are an encyclopaedia πŸ“–πŸ“—πŸ“˜πŸ““πŸ“”πŸ“’πŸ“™πŸ“šπŸ—ž of information.
    I dincrtrly hope this will get into the blog as I wrote it twice but disappeared πŸ‘» while trying to send it .Praxy


  10. Thanks Dear Praxy for sharing your travel experience in Burma in a BakkiKarrate.I am glad that you were able to post your comments this time


  11. Thanks for the old photos of our modes of transportation in Sri Lanka dating back to our childhood.

    I do remember going to school in a Bakki Cart.

    I also remember the cart on our coconut estate being pulled by two bulls. The carter told me that the bull on the right and the left would respond to different words uttered by him.He demonstrated this and I was fascinated how the bulls responded immediately.

    Life was so simple then. No pollution – except the methane produced by the live stock. The other type of pollution was used as fertilizer or to coat Wattle and Daub houses in the villages.



    1. Thanks very much Nissantha, you have introduced a new interesting chapter to the post with you’re experience on human animal(bulls) communication. Yes indeed I too can recall all those different gestures, non verbal cues, whistles, vocalisations , made by the carter to communicate with the bull, all these sounds keep reverberating in my mind but unfortunately I can’t put it in to words.
      Amazing how human animal communication , the interaction reflect a form of spoken ,while not use of verbal dialogue ,only understood by the carter and the bull


  12. Thanks Rani for the post on how we got around in the days gone by ..
    I loved to travel in my grandparents Bakki Karattaya in Matara, year after year, as I was growing up and spending school holidays in Matara .
    It had curtains, leather seats, polished brass hardware and a small step stool for me, to get my short lets up to the seating area .
    My grandparents did not have a motor car, and this was their ONLY mode of transport – till the late early 60’s, when they got real old and were moved over to Colombo so my father and uncles could care for them .

    I loved to listen to the ‘ village news ‘ as told by the karatta karaya – News and Views Indeed !

    The Kerosene Oil was also brought over to the homes back then, at the back of a cart drawn by a bull .
    I never travelled in a Rick shaw- and thanks to Eddie- as to how that name came to be .

    My father was the driver of our old Volkswagon – in the late 50’s , taking us to school and back from Hendala to Bambalapitiya for many years, till I was old enough to take care of my two younger sisters and travel by bus – from Fort – Col 4 and back , as my father’s office was in Col Fort . – Central Bank .

    Lovely song by C.T. Fernando- Bara Bage– dutuwe, sihiwe, perekale …. lovely song with beautiful words and a haunting melody .

    Yes- Pera kale– was the Best Kale !
    Thanks Rani- for turning the clock back – even for just a little while !



    1. Thanks Dear Deepthie, for posting your anecdotes, yes no one will forget those Pal Kavi sung by the carters to overcome their tiredness when travelling Long distances.


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