We were actually not lucky enough to reach our destination yesterday. But we could because of few Hambayas who helped us out.
Until we passed Mawanella on our way to hill country, everything was according to plan. And then the car broke down. First we thought it was trivial, and it could be unless yesterday was Vesak poya day. Things were not that easy on a public holiday which is celebrated by most in this country in one way or another. After asking from few, we were directed to a home garage managed by Irshad & Sons (who supported their dad with random hugs and screams). He could easily say “no” to us on such day but he said “yes” in the first place. Moreover it was not just “yes”, it was “we’ll find it and do it”. We, or more precisely he, needed to find a belt to fix our ride. Again the fixing part was easy, finding that damned belt was the thing of the day! After a quick look and few calls, he hopped into his tuk-tuk with me for a ride which we hoped, would be the first and last of the belt rush. Sadly we were mistaken, a lot! It took a second time, third time, fourth time, fifth time and might be a sixth time, I can’t even remember how many times to Mawanella town and all around, to Motor shops, their owners houses and some random cousins’ houses looking for the belt! Each of these quick but long enough rides was followed by a time that Irshad was under my car checking whether the new one matches. All together it took good five hours and finally he was done! Meanwhile the only lady stayed at home was busy making everything home-like for my fiancée with what they got. Other ladies (Irshad’s brothers’ living nearby) were off to help dansala happening in the evening. According to Irshad’s words with pride, this time they are trying something new, Pol Roti with Katta Sambol. Last time it was manioc with Sambol.
In early hours I was bit worried about how much this long fixing would cost. But later on I was ready to give any amount he would ask. Shockingly when I asked for it his reply was “ganak balala denna” (you decide some fair amount)! I had to urge several times to get some amount out of his mouth and more shockingly it barely covered the cost of all our tuk-tuk rides! After handing some amount which I felt fair enough, we were literally out of words to thank him and his family. When we somehow put our thoughts into words, Irshad apologized for taking time to fix our ride. Well that was embarrassing! I’m so glad that I at least took some chocolate bars (she also really needed this) for those kids when I’m returning from our first tuk-tuk ride to town. Sadly we had to refuse their request to stay for lunch since we were already too late for our destination. Those godlike human beings just made our pilgrimage to Sri Dalada Maligawa possible. I wish I had a selfie or something with them to attach this post.
That’s one type of hambayas we meet in our everyday life. No matter whether you believe in Allah or Buddha, when you are only bounded by humanity, your beliefs won’t keep you away from doing good.
PS: If your car breaks down near Hingula, Mawanella ask for Irshad’s garage. He is at your service 24/7/365.