Bags of Rice from the Paddy Fields

My dad posted this on his wall — that’s baby me in the first pic, and my mom looking gorgeous in the second. I didn’t know this story about the rice. Now I want to write a story about the bags of rice arriving from the paddy fields. Except I’d probably make it SF, and it’d be algae or some such instead. 

I have a vague memory that I’ve been told I was such a picky eater as a baby that someone (hopefully not poor Marina Aunty) had to chase me around all day, trying to get me to eat something. That certainly didn’t last!

*****

“THOSE WHO FED US
AND THOSE WHO FEED US NOW

Amma relished telling us this story–our relationship to the Iyathurai Family from Vavuniya.

I was born in the middle of World War 2. Ceylon was still a British Colony. in fact, the Japanese dropped a few bombs on the Island.

there was food shortage, especially of rice.

Papa’s friend Proctor Iyathurai and his Family owned extensive acres of paddy fields in the Vanni area. Proctor wrote some of them in Papa’s name. as a result, bags of paddy started arriving at our home; no one starved in the Village.

the friendship between our families continues to this day.

around the time Amirthi was an year old, Proctor, his nephew, and his oldest son, Ketheeswaran, my friend,visited us in Trincomalee. Proctor fell ill, and had to stay with us for some time. Muthu Aunty and their oldest daughter came and stayed with us, until Proctor was well enough to return home.

Janaki and her growing family are well settled.

the girl in the pictures is one of Cintha’s sisters; she came to live with us for one year.

now, Marina is the one who makes sure that we don’t starve, in our old age. same old smile to this day!

good people are hard to find. we have been lucky.”

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