eLanka | The good old days in good old Ceylon*


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, a 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 thosi 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.
These were the good old days.

Zellers, Knickerbocker Glory and Bambalapitiya flats.
Perhaps,some of you are too young to appreciate this…
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.
And 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 and the Majestic and 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, lay 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 the 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, in 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 our 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,
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?

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