Lalith died of complications of the lung
Pneumonia they call it. Haemophilus pneumoniae
And water in the lungs. He inhaled sooty smog
And air conditioned with Legionella
He ate koththu roti with Staphylococci and cockroach droppings,
He kissed with Herpes and made love with a strain of Gonorrhea
He ate MSG filled Chinese for all three meals,
And had plain tea with ginger and three teas spoons of sugar.
In his life, he had two bouts of dengue – in two serotypes
But survived to be bitten by a thousands more mosquitos.
He left behind a diabetic wife, and two children
Whose past-times are attending tuition classes
And he lived his life to the fullest, saw cricket on TV,
Watched the 8 PM news and Sirasa superstar
He switched political parties 8 times, and contested
As an independent candidate in the 2006 provincial council election.
He was an armchair critique of just about everything
And a de-facto selector of the Sri Lankan cricket team
And his legacy will go on, of a loving husband
Who knew how to flush his commode and use the bidet,
And a loving father who knew how to drop his kids in school
And a loving sibling, who contested his own father’s will
And a charitable human being, who fed the street dogs
And gave a 2 rupee coin each time, to street beggars
And during the last days, he complained of having
A migraine in his conscience, it seems he finally grew one,
Just before he died. And he wished to give his body
To the medical students and wanted his children
To become members of the GMOA, just so his grand children
Could get the best of Colombo schools. He loved fair women,
And was a lifelong champion of cheap alcohol.
Anything Rockland was his choice spirit.
He found love from a paper advertisement, where he was mentioned as fair
And handsome; and yet he grew darker due to climate change.
He was of a Govi caste, although the only agriculture he knew
Was an agricultural shot of a cricket ball over cow corner.
Never did he hold a hoe or udalla, while the only whore he knew,
Was his wife inside their bedroom, or Santa shouting from a chimney, “Ho Ho Ho”
And he had a horoscope and a lifeline that predicted a long life.
And now at 58, he leaves his loved ones behind.
He called his wife “Hallo”, and phone calls “hello”
And all his friends “macho” and any Indian “Ado”
He lived in a country, where personal hygiene is a luxury,
Street etiquette a rarity, body odors are aplenty
And crows are a ubiquity. How he too was called Kakka
For his dark complexion. How he loved to smile, to appear fairer.
He took Allegra for his allergies, Viagra in his naughtier 50s,
He knew cheap motels, ironically called Solid,
He was full of compassion, to the dogs, chased
A dream, like a dog’s tail, and lost.
He lost his virginity, under an umbrella at Uswattakeiyawa.
He was a Tuk-tuk king, calling it a rickshaw,
He was a dipshit with horses, a dickhead of decisions,
A dirtbag at paying a restaurant bill, or simply going Dutch,
And still, he saw himself, as Mr Darcy to his wife,
How his pride bothered him, in those moments of
Cunning-linguistics and cliteracy, and still he died,
Shaped by his own prejudice, his preference,
A man with a rare capacity,
To go, with one woman, the whole distance,
Love, his redeeming grace.