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Monday, July 2, 2012

Tilak Dayaratne - In Memoriam

By Nihal D. Amerasekera

He had his education at Royal College Colombo. I came to know Tilak during the rag in 1962 when we both wore brinjals round our necks and exercised vigorously in the quadrangle. He accepted the rigours and the humiliation of the rag better than I did. Tilak lived in Homagama and rode his Moto Guzzi /Ducati generating noise and elegance in equal measure. As I travelled from Nugegoda he often gave me a lift. Although convenient it was a journey not without its hair raising moments when he cruised at high speed, weaving through the traffic on High Level Road. Tilak was kind and generous and never accepted my offers to pay him for the trip. He often said he should pay me for my willingness to take the risk. 

Tilak had the mind-set of a sensitive youth. He was disdainful of hypocrisy, social convention and conformity. His apparent indifference should not be confused with a lack of respect for values and beliefs. He was clever and on the mark all through the difficult years of hard grind as medical students. Tilak detested the spotlight and remained an enigmatic recluse all his life but interacted well with his colleagues and close friends. We got on tremendously well during our days at Medical College. On those rare social occasions he ignited interesting discussion and humour. 

I was on the verge of asking Lucky Abeygunawardene to bring Tilak along when we meet in Colombo in September when I heard the sad news.  The loss of a friend brings home one’s own mortality.  Simple and down to earth he never suffered from the “big ego syndrome” often attributed to medical students and doctors.  Tilak was never critical of anyone and never argued. He was always polite, kind and courteous and will be sorely missed by all who knew him. 

Some go silently into the night -

walk through the park of our humanity

with breath that parts no air -

steps that bend no grass -

disturbing nothing as they pass.  Anon

May he attain the Ultimate Bliss of Nirvana

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully written as we have come to expect from ND. Tilak's brother Deepal was my classmate at Royal and was well known for his perfect imitation of the Test Cricket commentary (which was on short wave those days) with his voice fading in and out accompanied by hissing and whistling as in the Radio! Tilak, as ND says, was a very quiet person and how can anybody forget his Motor cycle! Tilak, Ranjit Dambawinna (Perera) and Kariyawasam had similar bikes. I didn't know him as well as ND and never met him after we passed out, much to my loss. May he rest im Peace. Speedy