The Fifth Column
26th April 1998
"Thaaththa" Bindu Udagedara asked, "What is this 'Senasuru Maaruwa'?
"That" said Bindu's father Percy, is supposed to be some planetary change..."
"But Thaaththa" Bindu wanted to know "what is so special about it?"
"They say it is happening after a period of nearly thirty years.."
"But why is everybody so worried about it?"
"Why, who is worried?"
"Why, thaaththa the newspapers are full of dangerous predictions; they even announced it on TV news that day with a warning from some astrologers saying that everything will go horribly wrong in the next few months..."
"Well" said Percy, "astrologers also have to make a living, Bindu."
"Why do you say that, thaaththa?"
"That's the way this country works, Bindu. When things go right, politicians take the credit but when things go wrong, the planets take the blame..."
"But thaaththa", Bindu said, "on this occasion, there were no politicians around..."
"Why do you say that?" Percy asked, puzzled.
"Why, thaaththa, most of them left the country on the day of the graha maaruwa, fearing the worst....?"
"Who are they?" Percy wanted to know.
"Why, GL was in America..?"
"Ratnasiri and 'The Moo' were in Australia..."
"They say Nimal and S.B. were also out of the country. Even the learned Foreign Minister was in a foreign country, we hear..."
"So all the PA ministers have fled the country because of a 'graha maaruwa' " Percy said, "how nice if we could have a 'graha maaruwa' every day..."
"But thaaththa" Bindu argued; "it's not only the PA ministers, even Ranil has gone to China....."
"But Satellite alone stayed back" Percy countered.
"I wonder why?" Bindu asked; "wasn't she scared about this 'graha maaruwa'?"
"Why don't you look at it from her point of view, Bindu?" Percy asked.
"What is that, thaaththa?"
"Why, child, just look at what is happening; the war goes on, everybody is on strike. We don't even get our letters now. Three bombs have exploded in three months this year. Electricity and telephone charges have gone up. There is no rain. The flu is everywhere. Susanthika is supposed to have steroids in her urine. And, the only thing that kept us smiling - our cricket team - has started losing.."
"So what has Satellite's refusal to leave the country for the 'graha maaruwa' got to do with all this?" Bindu asked.
"Why Bindu, looking at all this, Satellite would have been confident even 'Senasuru' couldn't have done worse than this. So, she must have stayed back...."
"But Satellite can still blame 'Senasuru' for all this" Bindu pointed out.
"Of course she will" Percy said.
Bindu didn't disagree with that.
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