22nd September 1996

Beautifully hooked, the catch was missed

By Rajpal Abeynayake

Who is the beauty, who is the beauty? Who is the beauty ahh? Aiiyo, she is a good girl no! Aney, my god, I thought Nushara. Ian Healy has bowled a maiden over, good for a wicketkeeper. (Aravinda could only manage the KIA).

Being a beauty queen is difficult business. But when the beautiful Sri Lankan belle made more news than when she was selected beauty queen, the lines got blurred. Was this a matter of security, or was this a matter of morals?

Let us look this thing over. The beauty queen who made news recently (whoever she is!) has said she is a girl of the nineties and made a defence that is worthy of an award. But, why did she have to do it? Why the laborious explanation, why the gut wrenching ball-by-ball commentary that would have given Ian Chappel a run for his money?

In the first place, the real reason this whole story was supposed to have been news was that there was a security breach. The cardinal sin this pretty girl is supposed to have committed was that she didn’t bother to treat the security cordon around the Australian cricketers with the right amount of reverence.

In that case, the story should have been a security concern; what could be done to prevent such occurrences in the future?

Instead, the story became a salacious news of the world type brouhaha. The newspapers are not to be blamed for this, because the lady herself gave us her story right? Obviously, she would have known what she did, in the eyes of most Sri Lankans, was not just to commit a security breach. Her cardinal sin, was that she in the eyes of the people, had a hanky panky with Healy.

I’m not saying he who hath no sin cast the first stone, but its the fiasco of the whole Healy affair that shows what titillates us Sri Lankans. Nobody knows what happened, but the beauty queen had already been convicted of a cardinal sin, other than in a security breach; hence her lengthy explanation to the people.

I mean, she could have said she was looking for an autograph? In any event, nobody needs to bring scandal upon herself of or upon himself. Or does the captain fit?

Oscar Wilde sued a British aristocrat for defamation, because this man is supposed to have averred that Wilde was homosexual. Wilde filed suit, but in the end, the morals of that day and age ensured that he (Wilde) went to jail, where he became so introspective that he wrote The Ballad of Reading Gaol. But he was essentially a broken man when he died.

Society has no business casting aspersions on a person who is supposed to have committed nothing more than a security breach. But then comes the catch.

The explanation: It could have gone like this: I know Healy. He was wearing a red pair of socks. My scarf was red too. So I thought Healy likes to see red. So I gave my scarf to him out of a feeling of empathy. Actually, I wanted him to autograph it. But Healy said that red is a nice colour, and that the Oberoi carpets are red too. So naturally, Healy wanted to gaze at the red carpets. He had missed a red carpet welcome anyway.

So we were both seeing red when I remembered that the whole question in the movie (you know Orson Welles?) Citizen Kane was Who was rosebud? I remembered rosebuds were red. So I wanted to call my friends and say let us go and see Citizen Kane sometime. Healy might come too, because he was real curious to know who rosebud was as well. Like a 90’s captain, he is interested in wicketkeeping and movies - a good combination...

It could have gone like that, I mean, it almost did. But this is a different problem altogether. Healy is as Healy does.

Who gives a fingernails worth what so and so did with Healy? The problem is that Healy, who complained that his life was in danger, was now trying to visit danger upon himself by abetting in a security breach.

But, as for the security men, they were leery faced. They were not discovering a security breach. They were discovering a scandal. Oooh la di da. That’s why they honed in on this little girl and gloated. We didn’t catch the men who might have killed Healy, but look what we got instead. Wow!

But beauty is as beauty does. It is difficult to escape the clutches of beefy bouncers and security men who had missed their vocations.

They should have been convent keepers.

Anyway, they leered and jeered and got the lady, trishaw and all, and look what she does, she explains the whole thing to the Sri Lankan public who were blissfully watching the cricket.

Mr. Hemaka, really, how much did Singer Sri Lanka pay for this sideshow? Singer, trusted excellence, Singer, so easy on a Singer... With this kind of fiasco, who needs to tamper with balls?

On top of it all, our Cricket Board Chairman resigns. Actually, to bring a beauty queen and a Board Chairman into this, Singer must be riding the wave with lady luck indeed. Mr. Hemaka, why don’t you buy a lottery on your way home?

Anyway, lest we are accused of bringing Hemaka and company into this, actually it’s just in jest (hee-ho-ho-scratch under your armpits), but, this is the time of our lives, I mean, anyway? Or what?

Stirring times indeed. Bombs. Guns. Murders. Packages. Cricket. Now, beauty queens and Board President. Give me Sri Lanka anytime. Trusted excellence.

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