By Indunil Madhusankha
(Previously published in the international anthology of poetry, “Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze” on 12th March 2016)
Loku Naenda sitting still on a bench
watched the framed photograph
of her son, my cousin,
that made an exhibition of him
in his army uniform and fortitude
My puerile questionnaire had its flow
One question of mine
received an answer,
which obviously touched my heart
“Wouldn’t you prepare some kevun for the new year?
The nicest, your konde kevun.”
“No putha, I am not going to prepare kevun this time,
What kevun for me?
I have already lost appetite.”
As her speech came to an end
she returned to the photograph
and traced the contours of his figure
with her quivering fingers.
This time the koha didn’t sing
its ritual new year song
in its seminal tone
Only the strident,
reedy tune of the crows
hobbling in the compound
Kevun Oil-cake. It is a traditional Sri Lankan sweetmeat made of rice and sugar and is served particularly in festive occasions. The village folk are used to consider it as a taboo to cook or eat kevun in sorrowful situations especially when there is a funeral.
Koha The cuckoo bird. It announces the arrival of the New Year in the beginning of April.
Konde Kevun A type of kevun or oil-cake (See kevun)
Loku Naenda This is how somebody calls the eldest sister of their father in Sinhala.
Indunil Madhusankha is currently a Lecturer in the Department of Decision Sciences at the Faculty of Business of the University of Moratuwa. Even though he is academically involved with the subjects of Mathematics and Statistics, he also pursues a successful career in the field of English language and literature as a budding young researcher, reviewer, poet and content writer. Basically, he explores the miscellaneous complications of the human existence through his poetry by focussing on the burning issues in the contemporary society. Moreover, Indunil’s works have been featured in many international anthologies, magazines and journals.