Would like to take you back to the good old days, because they are worth reminiscing and so eloquently portrayed by Therese Nilmini:
Here we go quoting Therese Nilmini
Off to school in red double decker. The ride was a must in a CTB bus, one leg on the foot board, the other dangling free.
Imminent danger was a mere glee, 20 kids plus in a space for three, hung on the silver pole. How many could it hold?
Galle Road to Maradana 5c half price ticket, cost was not so dear. Cut school on a lazy Friday, off to the show at 10.30, the Liberty, queued down the street not long to go, braving the sun for ten thirty show, ABBA the movie, the latest release in 70mm.
The gallery destination please, the cheapest seats, at 55c each, dripping sweat from our chins to our knees.
Gallery was for the lower class, Rs 1.10 for the second class, never could afford the first class, ODC was for the upper class - Been there free of charge.
Once thrown out by security guards, balcony was certainly no go, there was always not enough dough.
Friend drove a Morris, we’d all pile on in, his friend had Ford, a little more space, uncle too had a car that kept us all fit with a “thallu” start to gain more pace.
Waited for March, big match day and the Cycle Parade was before that day.
Collect the money for thosai kade, and the fun was to ring the College bell before the end of school time.
First stop was the belfry, to ring the bell, then run like hell, laughing all the way, then the man in charge shouting and start chasing all the way.
Meet the girl friend for a chat, holding hands was the most we got, bus halt the preferred place, though 70+se were the good old days.
Zellers, Knickerbocker Glory and Bambalapitiya flats, perhaps, some of you are too young to appreciate that.
You may however ask your parents and they would agree, when the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in the bathrooms, fail a test or chew gum.
The banquets were in the tuck-shop, and we danced to a gramophone later, and all the girls wore fluffy pastel gowns, and the boys wore ‘longs’ for the first time.
And we were allowed to stay out and watch a 9.30 pm show at the Liberty, the Majestic or the Savoy,
And the biggest thrill was holding hands...!
When a Sunbeam Alpine or an MG was everyone’s dream car, to cruise, peel out, burn rubber and watch the road races and people went steady.
It was the greatest weekend to go to the Galle Face Hotel’s ‘Coconut Grove’ with the JETLINERS, or The Ceylinco Ball Room with the SPITFIRES or The Little Hut With AMAZING GRACE or The Akasa Kade with SAM THE MAN! / SUN & SAND!
And no one ever asked where the car keys were ‘cause they were always in the car, and the ignition, and the doors were never locked, and you got into big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home, since no one ever had a key.
Remember, lying on your back on the grass with your friends and saying things like “That cloud looks like a...”
Playing cricket with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game.
Back then, cricket was not a psychological group learning experience - It was a game! Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals ‘cause no one had yet tried to poison a perfect stranger?
With all our progress... Don’t you just wish... Just once.....You Could slip back in time and savour the slower pace...
And share it with the children of the 80’s and 90’s...
So, send this on to someone who can still remember; Bill Haley and the Comets, The Hardy Boys, Laurel & Hardy, Roy Rogers and ‘Trigger’, Famous Five, The Galle Face Green, The Lone Ranger, Kinross....The Otters, The Piccadilly at Wellawatte,‘house-dances’,
Jam Sessions, Zellers at Bamba, ‘The Blue Leopard’ and of course Sirisanda...
Bill Forbes and The Jay Cee Shows at Mount Lavinia Hotel and evenings filled with bike rides, playing in cowboy land, and visits to the pool...
The ‘Bamba Flats’....Fish & Chips & Sundaes with that special Chocolate sauce at the ‘Fountain Cafe.’
Mouth-watering “knicker bocker glory”, and the jaggery sundae.
Biriyani at Pilawoos, Mayfair.. Lion House ...
When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home. Basically, we were in fear for our lives, but it wasn’t because of terrorism drive by shootings, drugs, gangs, alcohol and road rage...etc.
Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat!
*But we all survived....*
*Because their love was greater than their threat!
Didn’t that make you feel good? Just to go back and say,
’Yeah, I remember that!’...And, was it really that long ago?
*ABOUT OUR TIMES*
My mum used to make chicken sandwiches, chop eggs and spread butter on bread on the same cutting board with the same knife, but we didn’t seem to get food poisoning.
Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers and stayed that way till lunchtime but I can’t remember anyone getting a colic.
We dipped our feet in lakes and ponds and didn’t come home half dead with infection.
We all took PT..... And risked permanent injury with a pair of white keds from Batas, instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors that cost as much as a small car. I can’t recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now if we spend thousands on branded running shoes.
We got a slap at home for doing something wrong at school, they used to call it discipline, yet we all grew up to accept the rules and to honour and respect those older than us.
We chanted the tables and all learned to read and write, do maths and spell almost all the words needed to write a grammatically correct letter.
We all said prayers in school irrespective of our religion, or sang the national anthem and no one got upset.
Staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention and we tried not to mention it at home.
I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.
I just can’t recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations. We weren’t!!
Oh yeah ... And where were the antibiotics and sterilisation kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!
We played catch or cricket on vacant sites and when we got hurt, mum pulled out the bottle of iodine and we dreaded the sting.
Now it’s a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of antibiotics and then mum calls the lawyer to sue the site owner for not putting up a fence.
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that?
We never needed to get into group therapy and/or anger management classes. If there was ever anything psychologically wrong with us there were ten people at home waiting to tell us.
We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn’t even notice that the entire country wasn’t taking Prozac!
How did we ever survive?
LOVE TO ALL OF US WHO SHARED THIS ERA.
AND TO ALL WHO DIDN’T, SORRY FOR WHAT YOU MISSED.
I WOULDN’T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING!
AAAAh, those WERE the days!!!!