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Header image: Courtesy Prof. Rohan Jayasekara, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo (2011 - 2014).
Recollections of a bygone era by the 70 plus- Part 2
all the ones that you remember, not the ones you were told about.
Compiled by Mahendra (Speedy) Gonsalkorale
1.Clothes were laundered by Dhobies who called at home to collect
dirty linen and deliver cleaned ones The clothes were heavily starched so much
so that when school kids were administered corporal punishment, the cane
strokes on their starched shorts sounded like balloon bursting.
2.Repeating grooves on 78 rpm records were so funny to hear.
3.The best gift a kid would expect for their birthdays are Meccano
4.When a kid gets through his/her OL's, the normal gift the kids get
from parents is a Raleigh bicycle from Hunters costing Rs 100/.
5.Black and white striped candies for 2 cents.
6.A hundred Rambutans sold at Alexandra Place costs Rs 2 and 50 cents.
7.School kids were allowed only fountain pens to class. 'Fights' among
kids were spraying of 'Washable Royal Blue' ink on others' uniforms.
8.Cial fountain pens used by school kids was Rs 2/50.They carried
their books in suitcases, which were used as chairs after school and also as
wickets for cricket.
9.Naughty children used to cut school and go for 10.30 shows.
10.Pocket money, about 25cts, given each morning is sufficient to buy
10 string hoppers or 2 thosais with 'hodi' and a wadai with a plain tea for 20
cts. at the school 'tuck shop'. Balance 05 cts. is for an
ice palam from the vendor at the gate
11.One cent toffee sold at Cricket matches.
12.England Vs Australia cricket commentaries on Short Wave radio
typically waxing and waning with something like the rush of wind always
screeching in the background.
13.Mobile “Bothalkarayas”(Bottle collectors) who used to go from house to house collecting empty
bottles for which he paid a small sum of money.
14.“Cheenaredivelenda” wearing Khaki shorts and safari hat selling
textiles plying on bicycles and calling at homes.
15.The Maaluvelenda with two round flat baskets at the ends of a
flexible pole which was balanced on his shoulder selling fish and calling at
16.The "sastarakaraya", sarong clad with leather shoes and
black umbrella calling at homes to read horoscopes and advice on best times to
embark on new ventures etc.