Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Encounter with a Palm Reader
By Sanath Lamabadusuriya
In late 1971, few months before I left home for studies abroad, I decided to visit a palmist named Kingsley Goonethilaka who had an office in Ratmalana. I parked my car (Triumph Herald ) some distance away and walked into his office with long hair, a beard, unbuttoned shirt and in slippers (That was the year of the first JVP insurrection). I paid Rs.10.00 for the consultation. He applied Indian ink on my palm and got a palm print on to a paper .He asked me what my job was and I replied that I was a bank clerk. Then he told me that I have to be some one more than a bank clerk and if I wanted an accurate reading, I have to be honest. When I told him that I was a doctor, he told me that I have to be doing something more than treating patients, like teaching or research (I was a lecturer in paediatrics at that time). He told me some things about my past which were true, but off the mark by about an year. Then he told me that I would be travelling abroad very soon and that I would return home few years later as a single person. He told me that I would get married to a girl known to my family. I had no idea who Buddhika was at that time.
I returned home on the 1st of January 1975. In February 1976, I married Buddhika. It was an arranged marriage;(both our fathers were related to each other and were from the same village (Pahalagoda in Tangalle). He also told me that I would become a professor before my 40th birthday. At that time, it was most unlikely because both Priyani Soysa and Herbert Aponso were due to retire in the early 1990's after reaching their 65th birthday (I would have been in my late forties by then).
During the latter stages of Sirima B's government, speeches were made in parliament by opposition MPs like Gamini Dissanayake that they would do away with standardisation at the "A"level examination if they come to power. With the landslide victory in 1977, they had to honour their pledges. When standardisation was abolished, it was discovered that a disproportionate number of Tamil students would have to be admitted. That would have been political dynamite. Therefore, they decided to admit a similar number of Sinhalese students. To accommodate the increased intake, two new faculties were created in Ruhuna and in Jaffna.
The professors post in Ruhuna was advertised in late 1978 and I applied for it. I was appointed in April 1980 and I assumed duties on the 1st of September 1980 when I was provided with two interns. (I was 37 years old at that time).
So my friends, two predictions made by a palm reader for a meagre fee of Rs.10.00 was proved to be accurate several years later!