The Fifth Column
23rd August 1998
Bowled by Rupavahini
"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedara asked, "why is Dew Gunasekara so angry with Sanath Jayasuriya?"
Percy Udagedara, Bindu's father, was puzzled. "Who on earth is this Dew Gunasekara and why should he be angry with Sanath? Is he a fast bowler or something?" Percy asked.
"No, Thaaththa," Bindu said, "Dew Gunasekara is the Chairman of Rupavahini...."
"So, why is he angry with Sanath?" Percy was still puzzled.
"Why Thaaththa, every time Sanath comes out to bat, Dew stops the match on TV and puts on the news...."
"And then, when they start showing the match again, Sanath has already got out...."
"But Bindu," Percy said, "they have to show the news, haven't they?"
"Yes, they do," Bindu agreed, "but Dew and his Rupavahini boys don't seem to have the brains to realise that they can do it at seven fifteen, when there is a break in the match. After all, it was Dew who banned the telecast of a cricket match on a Poya Day....."
"When did they do things ahead of schedule in this country, Bindu?" Percy argued.
"In that case," Bindu said, "thay must give the rights of showing the match to somebody else who could do a better job of it. After all, we have nearly a dozen TV stations...."
"Why Bindu," Percy said, "haven't you heard of the saying, "Balla piduru kanneth ne, kana gonata denneth ne...."
"But Thaaththa," Bindu pointed out, "will they ever interrupt a telecast of the President's speech, for instance, to show the news?"
"Well," Percy said, "they do think that the President is more important than the news though that does not apply to a cricket match...."
"In that case," Bindu protested, "do they think that showing a Minister opening a 'Paalama' or 'Bokkuwa' is more important than Marvan making a century at Lords and beating the Englishmen at the headquarters of cricket...."
"Well," Percy said, "Dew and his boys seem to think so...."
"Then," Bindu suggested, "they could have shown the news after the match, like they did during the World Cup...."
"But then they will be late, Bindu," Percy protested.
"But Thaaththa," Bindu said, "everything and everybody in this country is late, isn't it...."
"Well," Percy said, "we do know of some people who are usally late, but should a cricket match take priority over ministers and everything else, Bindu?"
"Why do you say that?"
"What have ministers and politicians done for our country in fifty years, Thaaththa? Our cricketers, at least, over the last few years have made us World Champions and given us something to smile and be proud of...."
Just then the TV announced that the English news will be telecast after the end of the Final at Lords.
"Now," Percy said, "who ordered that, I wonder...."
"Certainly not Dew," Bindu said.
"Somebody who doesn't mind being late every now and then...."
"Now don't we know who that is?" Bindu said. "I think we do," Percy said, "but I hope, at least now, Dew has learnt a lesson...."
Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to