Sri Lankan Friendship: This Unconditional Love

Sri Lanka is such an intoxicating experience. Just when I start to believe I know my life and I love it, I go to Sri lanka and it turns me inside out, upside down. I can’t tell if I have my priorities straight.

My friends can’t be called friends. (Friends is such a silly, overused word, a word now used to describe a number on Facebook.) No, my friends are a force. Their love is unconditional and all encompassing. If they could, they would bend the will of the universe to make me happy; and this time, more than usual, they had many opportunities to do so.

They orchestrated strategic and complicated scenarios to make my little wishes come true. Even when they didn’t think it was the right thing, or the good thing for me, they made it happen for me. Because it’s what I wanted and it’s what made me happy.

Knowing there are all these people on a small island in the Indian Ocean who care so deeply about my happiness, it’s the real life version of magic.

I’m drunk on their love and support.

Namali ran around like a crazy person making sure I looked my best for the wedding.  We spent a few hours here and there, just basking in each other’s presence. a 20 year friendship that only seems to grow with time.

Before I left I sobbed into Nadeeni’s shoulder and we held each other and I knew her shoulder will always be there for me to cry on.  We graduated from crying over toilet bowls, to crying on each other. A drastic improvement. If I ever need a fierce woman, a good bitching session, someone who will support me, even if I’m being unreasonable, I don’t have to look further than Nadeeni.

Eshan fed me with his own hand to make sure I had eaten well. The night before, when we left Nadeeni’s house I was sobbing and crying and I couldn’t stop. He pulled over the car, and held me in his arms, and even while he yelled at me, and told me its time to let it go, he comforted me. He held me so that I would know, even when I was most broken, there are still a pair of arms that would hold me together.  He has always done this for me; and I know he always will. 

Sujan made sure  he got me a bottle of alchohol I’ve always wanted to try. He made sure my cellphone was charged, and that I didn’t forget it and when it was time for me to leave he walked me to my car with his new wife. They tucked me into the car, and with tearful eyes waved me off.

Sitting in this cold room, light snow flurries outside I wonder, like I’ve wondered after past trips to Lanka, is this right? Is it right to have such an environment but to leave it and come here? Not that here isn’t warm and full of life and happiness. There is a lot of happiness here for me. But right this moment-so fresh the memories and still basking in the warmth of my friends love-it’s hard to remember what is here.

If someone told me there is a kind of unconditional love and that it survives time and distance and posterity. That is has the force to heal, and remain strong, loyal and true for decades. I wouldn’t believe it. It’s not logical or reasonable to believe that people are capable of this kind of power. Eshan, Namali, Nadeeni, Sujan, Dinith, Bathiya… they have proved that this super power isn’t just reality, but that I am the subject of such a powerful love.

I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this love. I don’t know if anything I ever do for them will be enough to match what they are, what they’ve done for me.

All I know is that I will hold on to them, and match their permanence in my life, with a permanence of my own.
Thanks guys.


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