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The Fifth Column

20th December 1998

Games within games

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"Thaaththa'', Bindu Udagedara asked, ''what do you think of the Asian Games''.

"Why'' asked Percy Udagedara, Bindu's father, ''I thought everyone thinks we did very well.''.

"Well'' said Bindu, "we did win gold medals after some twenty years.''

"So,'' retorted Percy, ''we have done well'' haven't we?"

"But what will happen to the winners now, thaaththa?"

"What do you mean?""Will they become Deshabandu Sugath and Deshabandu Darsha?" " What makes you think that will happen?" Why, they made 'Deshabandus out of our cricket team when they won the World Cup''.

"I hope they will not do that,'' Percy observed.

"Why do you say that, thaaththa? "Why, soon after they got their 'Deshabandus', they all became 'Deshabindus'............''

"Will Sugath and Darsha start doing the other things that the cricketers did, thaaththa?" "What is that, Bindu?" Percy wanted to know.

"Why thaaththa, for example, eating sausages or drinking a particular brand of milk......................''

''I hope not", Percy said.

"Then, thaaththa, will Seeni Bola claim all the credit for these medals also, just like when he did, after the cricketers won the World Cup?"

"He's sure to" Percy said, after all, as the person in charge, he must get some credit also?"

"Then, thaaththa", Bindu asked, "what do you think about what happened to Susanthika?"

"Why, she has said she was injured".

"But some people doubt that story"

"Why should they'', Percy argued; ''they didn't doubt Murali when they said he was injured''

"But some say she should have walked the race, just to show that she participated''.

"Well",' said Percy, "people would have laughed at her had she done that.''

"But thaaththa'', Bindu said, "I still think she could have won that race''.

"How is that"? Percy asked, puzzled.

"Why thaaththa, do you remember she made some allegations that a VIP was harassing her?" Yes'', Percy recalled, ''she did say that''.

"Well,'' Bindu suggested, ''they should have sent that VIP to Bangkok and asked him to run after Susanthika in the races''

"And what good would that do''?

"Why, Susanthika would have been so frightened, she would run so fast that she would not only have come first, she would have broken all the records too, Bindu said.''

Percy didn't feel like disagreeing with that.

Rajpal Abeynayake's Column

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