Monday, February 20, 2017

Monkey Business

Monday, May 30, 2011

Reproduction is below

Years gone by
Five centuries to the count
Where the present lake stands
Were the paddy fields that stretched
To the far corners of the valley
Forming the rice basin of the hill country

The commoner garden
Name for the city was Bogambara
Which literally meant
The valley with plenty (of water and produce)
Of bo (plenty), gam (village) bara (belonging)
Was a place of homage to the Dhamma Raja
The Buddha

Then there were more monkeys
Than human beings dwelling in the mountains
That stretched from Knuckles to Hantana range
And the monkeys could reign
The tree tops
Without ever
climbing down

Though the palace was built
More than five centuries ago
The lake that is rudiment
Of its former majesty
But thrice as big as it today
Was built by the last King of Senkadagala,
The Rajasinghe

With the ascent of the British
The city lost its majesty
One end of the lake
Left to be filled up
And the other end of the lake
Becoming the Bogambara stadium
With a prison nearby
Leaving behind a legacy
Sans the beauty and serenity
Of the Wadawasam age

The forest range
That overshadowed
The southern belt
Was cleared up rapidly,
Roadways and railways built around
With most of the old monuments
Demolished except a few
A British design was planted
With an armory of offense
To the west of the city

A half a century ago
When I went for
A cold bath in my birthday suit
To Raja Pihilla, the King's fountain
My mum had to worry about
Only the monkeys who descent down
To pinch our bright coloured cloths

Just in the last quarter century
With monkeys in business suits
Taking over the city
On a so called tourist drive
The lake that is reclaimed or filled
With more and more of filth and rubbish
Without any semblance or regard to aquatic life
Is it a living monument to the modern age pollution?

In fifty years from now
With the wanton destruction
Of the remaining rain forest of mother Lanka
The rains failing and the rivers drying
The lake would be a muddy field
Yet again,
Back to its original self

But million dollar question would be
Who would plough the fields?
With all the business monkeys
By then,
Would have
Left the city of Kandy

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