My comfort and solace have ended after 56 years that include trials and tribulations. I married Noeline Selvanayagi, daughter of Navam Alagaratnam, a staunch Hindu from Jaffna and Jane Perera, a Buddhist from Aluthgama.
When I saw Noeline going for tuition classes in Colombo, I fell in love with this modest enchanting, shy woman. A friend of mine, the late Stanley Jayasuriya, who happened to know this family that lived in the port commission quarters in Mutwal, took me to her home.
In all these 56 years, we had our minor differences but never did we entertain a thought of separation which is a common phenomenon today. Selvam carried her chores without a mutter. We had only a modest living, just the necessities of life.
As a marketing man, I had the use of a vehicle, but used it seldom for holidays and picnics as we had financial constraints. Fortunately, both of us came from families that were not used to affluent living, therefore even our two daughters did not get new dresses for birthdays and Christmas, and thanks to God, this did not upset Selvam nor the two girls.
They never complained and compared their social status with other children. Selvam was comparatively healthy until recently when she had a toss and broke her hip bone. A surgery was done but the surgeon messed up the operation. Ever since, for the last couple of years, she was frustrated of not being able to live a normal life. She had temporal arthritis and that was a nagging problem which reduced her interest in living.
About a month ago, from nowhere, she developed an asthmatic condition and while treating for that, the visiting physician said she had a heart failure. These additional illnesses frustrated her as she had to abandon the kitchen which was her first love. She would watch all the cookery lessons off the TV and write some recipes down.
She lived a frugal life but that did not stop her from assisting her family and friends in their needs. She has left us, we cannot say hastily, as she was 86. But the age factor never played a part and the entire family from whichever part kept in touch with her. The entire family was gathered to give her a sendoff with the priest, asking God to give her eternal rest.