The Fifth Column

7th July 1996

Movie time

"Thaaththa," Bindu Udagedera asked, "is it true that satellite just celebrated her 51st birthday?"

"Yes," Bindu's father, Percy agreed. "Why?"

"Because we hardly knew about it. It's not like in those days....."

"Yes," Percy said, "those days we had Gam Udawa celebrations for one whole week....."

"Even before that," Bindu pointed out "we used to have tree planting campaigns on September seventeenth to remember another birthday...."

"But," Percy cautioned, "even though the present lot don't celebrate their birthdays they will celebrate September twenty sixth......"

"And whenever the UNP comes into power, they cancel that holiday....."

"And anyway, we don't celebrate the birthdays of D.S., Dudley or Sir John on such a grand scale....."

"Ah," said Bindu "someone must suggest that. Then we can have school holidays for every former Prime Ministers birthday or death anniversary....."

"Yes," Percy said, "they might even relax the power cut on those days...."

"Speaking of former Prime Ministers, Thaaththa," Bindu said, "Didn't they celebrate the Prime Minister's birthday with some fanfare this year."

"That," Percy explained, "was because it was her 80th birthday....."

"Then we might have similar celebrations when the old fox turns 90 in September...."

"Why shouldn't he?" Percy asked, "he has outlived them all..."

"Didn't they make a movie about the Prime Minister for her birthday, Thaaththa?" Bindu wanted to know.

"They did," Percy said, "why?"

"No, I thought maybe they should have made one for Satellite too....."

"If they made one, what would you call it?" Percy asked.

"How about, 'Weda Beri Nam Wedak Nehe'?"

"It's too early to say that," Percy said. "How about 'Hitha Honda Geheniyak'?"

"Ranil won't like that," Bindu protested. "He will ask whether she is 'Hitha Honda' when she is calling him all kinds of names..."

"Then what will you call it?" Percy asked.

"Remember, Thaaththa, the first promise she made when she came to power, to abolish the Presidency. Because of that, I think we should make a movie about the last two years and give it the title of the very first Sinhala film...." Bindu suggested.

"What's that?" Percy tried to remember.

"Why, Thaaththa," Bindu said, "it's 'Kadawunu Poronduwa'. "

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