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Friday, February 24, 2017

There's a Road

There’s a Road …… 

In memory of our beloved
Colleagues who are no more

 1. S.R. (Sunil) de Silva
2. A.R.K. (Russel) Paul
3. Dawne de Silva Paul
4. Bernard Randeniya
5. NiriellaChandrasiri
6. V. Ganeson
7. L.G.D.K. (Irwin) Herath
8. V.Kunasingham
9. B.L. Perera
10. B. Somasunderam
11. K.Sunderampillai
12. Tudor Wickramarachchi
13. K.N. (Kiththa) Wimalaratne
14. Anna PonnambalamSathiagnanan
15. A. Satchitananda
16. N. Sivakumar
17. T.A. Dayaratne
18. SidathJayanetti
19. N. Balakumar
20. KamaliNimalasuriya de Silva
21. K. Sri Kantha
22. P. Lucien Perera
23. Priya (Gunaratna) de Silva 
24. Arul (Sivaguru) Balasubramaniam
25. W. Punsiri Fernando
26. W. Rajasooriyar
27. M.P.C. Jaimon
28. S. Vedavanam
29. Farouk Mohamed 

There’s a road that’s made of memories
Starting from our med school days
Each colleague left us souvenirs
As we happily went our ways

Our hope was that, of everyone
Having a rich and fruitful life
Work to be mixed with a bit of fun
Not much in the way of strife

Then, news of loss ofthe very first life
We thought they were playing the fool
‘He died with his kids and wife!’
Next, ‘who could just drown in a pool’?

More losses unexpected
By heart attack and accident
Each sad news left hearts dented
Were they an unfortunate precedent?

Lucian rang me out of the blue
I am in the UK and very soon
I’ll visit you! Yes, it’s true!
Next there’s an accident and doom!

Bala was in real high spirit
Get post-grad exams fast he can
He will top the list of merit
And bring pride, to his great clan

He too met his death too early
Then followed by Bernard and Dawn,
Hearts broken we cried dearly
They had just reached, life’s first morn

How ‘bout BL I met at a meeting
Anna would come if we could take her
Arul was sorry but sent a greeting
Then they went to meet their maker!

We spent time with such great mates
What can be, the best five years
Suddenly they go through Pearly Gates
Leaving us, in real sad tears

Siva, Satch, Sidath, Irwin
Leaving too early, were our fears
Didn’t you know we’d be grieving?
Crying till there’s no more tears?

Priya,Kamali Arul, you gave a shock
To us all, you’re such close friends
Sri Kantha, Bala you were our rock
Never thought your time here ends

Tho’ each name not get a mention
Your faces are truly carved in stone
You are in a ‘period of detention’
We’ll be with you, you’re not alone.

Zita Perera Subasinghe(the poem) and Mahendra Gonsalkorale (the rest!)
Feb 2017


  1. Zita and Mahen
    What a lovely tribute to remember those who have crossed the vale. I do not know who wrote it but feel greatly comforted reading this poem. It gives me that feeling they haven't gone but very much alive in the beauty of nature around us.
    We will always remember them

    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glint on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.

    When you wake in the morning hush,
    I am the swift, uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circling flight.
    I am the soft starlight at night.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep.
    I am not there, I do not sleep.
    (Do not stand at my grave and cry.
    I am not there, I did not die!)

    1. These words are really comforting, Nihal. It is philosophical too. 'I am the gentle autumn rain' is a good way to way to think. We've treated people, helped some to cheat death, but it has always been a mystery. Zita

  2. Many thanks to you Zita and Mahen for this splendid tribute to our friends who are no more.
    Thank you ND for reminding us of Mary Elizabeth Frye's elegy.Surely one of the most beautiful poems ever written.

    1. Our generation was immensely fortunate to have had English teachers who were taught by Prof EFC Ludoxyk, Professor of English at Peradeniya and the Classics scholar Prof JLC Rodrigo, a contemporary of SWRD at Oxford. I recall being mesmerised by the poetry of Byron, Shelley and also Wordsworth. Remember Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the ancient Mariner and the dark overtones of the doldrums and the flight of the albatross that brought doom and gloom. My English teacher brought them back to life by his brilliant recitation.

      Thankfully we have our own resident poets for the blog in Mahendra and Zita and I enjoy their poems enormously. My poetry skills are non-existent but I appreciate the wonderful poems modern and old. They have that special power to reach the parts like 'Heineken'.

  3. May be I should have made it clearer. Bottom says Zita (poem) Mahendra (rest)! The poem was written by Zita and did the picture and suggested adding the list of our departed colleagues. I was very much the minor player and didn't want my name to go at all but Zita insisted, and I always do what I am told!

    1. Mahendra, you are the inspiration behind it all. And thanks, Kumar, Nihal, we can only talk in loving words about our friends who have gone but we can't talk TO them. So let's hope all celebrating our golden anniversary are enjoying every moment and making the most of it meeting and talking to one another. And thanks to those who put themselves forward to do the hard work so this great occasion is marked with a golden tick on our calendar of medical life! Zita

  4. I have just sent out an amended Batch Directory and list of deceased members by e-mail. The late NCDM Gunasekara who joined us from Peradeniya has been added to the list.

  5. Dear Zita and Speedy,
    Thank you for those beautiful words that brought back memories of our dear departed friends.
    We are all in the "Departure Lounge" now, but each time I tell this to my son-in-law, he says that I haven't still been issued with my boarding pass!
    Thank you once again for keeping our blog "alive".
    Sriani Basnayake

  6. Dear Zita and Speedy,
    Thank you for your beautiful tribute to our friends who are no longer with us. Speedy, I am glad that you do as you are told! Somehow, our gatherings are always tinged with a bit of sadness, because we cannot help but remember those who are gone. But, as the Elegy contributed by ND reminds us, they live on in our memories. Sriani, I hope we will be able to get you off the "Anonymous" list after the reunion. Cheers!

    1. Well said, Srianee! That's the important thing. They never will die from our memory. And I agree with Sriani (anon). The Departure Lounge is a great analogy. I have been there a long time. Zita