The Compassionate One recently went on a pilgrimage to Kataragama. The religious observance over, he was about to leave for Colombo when he received two separate invitations to lunch.
One host-to-be was a provincial Minister and the other a Cabinet Minister. He attended the lunch hosted by the one who was the first to invite him.
On arrival for lunch, the Compassionate One was surprised to find a large group of his relatives both close and distant waiting to greet him. And the situation was a challenge to a lesson he had learnt through bitter past experience -- the wisdom of keeping relatives at arms’ length. He also had in his mind that relatives largely contributed towards the undoing of his predecessor as well.
At the lunch table, the Compassionate One calmly helped himself to a slice of fruit and addressed the host with an apologic smile: “It is too early for me to have my lunch. Please invite the other guests to go ahead.”
He later called at the other Minister’s residence where he had his lunch after a brief rest.