’Kusal’ our friend

18 July 2020 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Our dear friend Kusal was a unique person, who gave unstintingly of his time and energy, to support, not only his family and friends, but also those acquaintances with whom he may have exchanged pleasantries along the way, as he journeyed through life. Sadly, this carefree soul, having suffered much pain from his last battle with illness, finally departed to happier ‘hunting grounds’ at 12.55 a.m. on  June 23.


Nimalasiri Kusal Warusavitharana was born on September 19, 1946, the fourth among a band of five brothers. After the early demise of his father, Kusal’s mother, ‘Aunty Dayo’ to many of Kusals’ friends, and Sudu to some members of the family, took on the challenge of feeding, nurturing and advising her five growing boys. Widowed in 1961, she took things in her stride and guided the boys and their many friends, to 
young adulthood.

 

Kusal was a keen Jaycee in his youth, having held national office, and the President of Rotary Club of Colombo West. In both these institutions, he gave freely of his time and resources


Aunty Dayo, a wonderful lady who was adored by all and lived ‘Panchala’ at 27/1, Pedris Road, was warmhearted.  She welcomed everyone and made her home a friendly place to visit during lunchtime on Sundays or dinner on weekdays. A highlight of spending an afternoon or evening with Kusal after a visit to the cinema, was the ‘bonus’ of  ‘mus’curry with loads of ‘pol sambol’ and oodles of salted butter with fresh ‘Roast Paan’.  Thank you Kusal for sharing Aunty Dayo and Panchala with us, and for making some wonderful memories.


My friendship with Kusal started in Royal Primary (RPS) and grew whilst we were Cadets at Royal College (RC), and subsequently, at the Colombo Rowing Club. We were both fortunate to have been selected to represent the Colombo Rowing Club at a Regatta at the Madras Boat Club. The Rowing Club was a ‘Gathering Place’ where we enjoyed days out with friends, the Elephant House Sausage Rolls, and the traditional ‘gunner’, the special non-alcoholic brew at the CRC, 
after rowing. 

 

Kusal was a trusted resource to a wide range of friends, many living overseas, on whose behalf he undertook many a task, always going the extra mile  to see things through to completion, all to help out a ‘friend-in-need’


Although I was  not in Sri Lanka at the time, when I was on a short trip to Sri Lanka, many a person told me of the wonderful work that Kusal was doing at the Freight Bureau. 


Kusal, who had a travel bug, made friends with a Greek Ship’s Captain and sailed with the ship. His foray lasted several months including a stay in Greece. Regrettably, time and space will not allow me to recount the many ‘hair raising’ yarns recounted by Kusal. 


From Greece, he had made a quick visit to the UK, and I believe, had stayed with Rohantha and met with Harindra. Sadly, I was on a work visit overseas, and missed Kusal’s surprise visit to London.


Kusal not only had a successful career at Unilever, as a Buyer, but also made some lasting friendships at the ‘Lever Family’. Demonstrating his hallmark selflessness, he gave up a potentially successful career at UniLever, to be of more support to his mother. 


Kusal was a trusted resource to a wide range of friends, many living overseas, on whose behalf he undertook many a task, always going the extra mile – to see things through to completion. He coordinated with architects, engineers, designers and contractors, to complete the construction of a residential bungalow, disposed of the produce, from a plantation ensuring the owner received a fair outcome, sold property following legal protocols, and even  coordinated with lawyers and police to resolve a conflict between an employee and employer – all to help out a ‘friend-in-need’. 


Kusal was a keen Jaycee in his youth, having held national office, and the President of Rotary Club of Colombo West. In both these institutions, he gave freely of his time and resources, to help the 
less fortunate.


In recent years,  Kusal started playing Bridge, with his school friends, frequently commenting that playing Bridge was the highlight of his week. Bridge was played in rotation, once a week, at the homes of each player, and the fellowship and dinner that followed, afterwards, was a time of camaraderie for his Bridge Group,  Asoka, Changa, Nalin and Mallika, Rohantha and also Harindra. Sadly, as his sight deteriorated, along with his health, Kusal found it increasingly difficult to stay, and eventually stopped his visits altogether, in the last few months. Suffice it to say that It was heart rending for us, his friends, to watch helplessly, as Kusal battled with the many issues troubling him.


Kusal, however, continued to enjoy having breakfast, or Brunch at Pedris road, until the very end. I am sure his older brothers Mahinda and Ana, kid brother Pali, his sisters-in-law and nephews will all miss him.


He leaves behind, a host of friends from the Class of 58, from Royal College, UniLever, Oberoi (now Cinnamon Grand), a few other commercial establishments, the Colombo Rowing Club, the Jaycees, and the Rotary etc. Sadly many of these friends were unable to say ‘goodbye’ to Kusal, given the country’s situation. 


Kusal also leaves behind his loving and caring wife, Yasmin, who resides in Melbourne. Though she had tried to make it back from March 2020, she was unable to be with Kusal, in these last few months, with the travel restrictions in place in Melbourne and in 
Sri Lanka.


Adios my friend. Rest in Peace and finally - without pain.
We your friends will miss you, but will always treasure the memories we’ve made, over a ‘lifetime’.
Changa.

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