The first lady of a race
Who made a burgher population
As commonplace as a mouth-watering lamprais
She was the gust on the wrinkled pages
That lamented the demise of the burghers
Who took wings of migration to domicile on unfamiliar lands.
She weaved tradition and tore stereotypes
Of the rituals of admixed colonial blood,
– How endearing they were -, yet threw out the falsehoods
Or unpatritotism and incivility. And a woman, of burgher origin,
Was carried away by angels last week
Where inside a little entrapment of wood
You could find a woman of wit, charm and a worldly presence
In a scarlet red dress, who made her kind, part of our tradition,
A must in our daily lives. How king coconut wine or
Love cake was as much Sri Lankan, as milk rice and treacle.
She will be lost to inclement times
Yet her memory will stand at every hotel
Or eatery, at every occasion, a man or woman opens
A packet of rice, embellished with ash plantain, meat
A cutlet, sambol and tempered eggplant. We are only
As colorful as the lives we lived.