Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)
I still miss Heen Aiya
It is with great sadness I write this appreciation of my lovable cousin Heen Aiya. I still can’t get over the fact that he would not be coming over to our place for lunches and dinners and to banter about our future travels plans or of our school days at the Best School of All.
Heen Aiya, his brother Rihal, our cousins, including my brother Ranil and I grew up together as brothers at No: 291, Trincomalee Street in Kandy, because that is where we, as well as many generations of Trinitians resided during their school days. During our days at No: 291, Heen Aiya was like an elder brother to us.
However we spent our holidays most often at our home in Nawala.
When Heen Aiya left school and started planting (his first job at the tender age of 19), I will never forget the numerous invitations he extended to us to come over to the many estates he was managing, to spend our holidays and the wonderful evenings we spent in front of the fire place, and also the delicious spreads we had. When any of us got married, it was understood that we go to his estate first, where we would be treated like royalty by Theeks [Heen Aiya] and his wife Sita.
To Jenny and me, it was like only yesterday that they came over to our place and had lunch with us before leaving for Sydney to spend time with Chamilka, Rajiva, Dilakshan, Olga, and their 3 beautiful grand children- Aryn, Shael and Nadia, who were everything to them. None of us ever guessed that this would be the last time we would see our beloved Heen Aiya.
If I have just one wish — I would sincerely wish to have Heen Aiya back with us in our midst again. My thoughts and prayers are with Sita, Chamilka and Rajiva.
Heen Aiya, may the turf lay gently over you until we meet again.