Galle, Ambalangoda, Brief Gardens, Mirrisa

Day -15  - 1-Jan-2016 (I continue From Here  

Khairul left to Colombo early in the morning. I freshen up and change my room to a smaller one. I head to the bus station and take a bus to Ambalangoda. Here, they make the famous Sri Lankan masks. The road passes by the shore. Every bus stand has a memory of Tsunami in it; details of a people who lost their lives are written on each bus stand. The beach looks fresh and beautiful. 

At Amabalngoda, I walk into a store selling artefacts. Here, I meet an artist named Palitha. He tells me that the masks are made in a village by the shore but since its new year, I might not find anyone working today. He gives me the brochures he has made on his works and tells me the meaning of some of the bird masks he has made. He has also traveled to India with his exhibits. They are very impressive. He uses natural colours to paint them. I share with him the pictures of some of my paintings. He asks me to exhibit them in India. I buy a few things and request him to pose for a picture. He does, with a mask. An artist with his creation.

Next, I take another bus to Aluthagama. Hire a tuk-tuk from here to Brief Gardens. Its a long drive and to make further long, the shorter route is under construction. I ask the tuk-tuk driver to wait for me and go in. It’s a private place that was owned by an artist named Bevis Bawa. The garden is brilliant. These pictures speak for themselves.

The main house is also very impressive and filled with sculptures and colorful walls. It is  a beautiful place to live in; a place that boosts creativity, I think.

When Bevis Bawa died, he left his estate for the workers and this garden to the head Gardner. The guide here however, stressed over the point to everyone that Bawa was gay. I found no reason of why he mentioned that to all the tourists in particular. There are three paintings on the hallway that has short descriptions and tells us how creative Mr Bawa was and how he dreamt of converting this piece of land not his kingdom but it also hinted towards he being homosexual and bad tempered; that I found unusual. 

I return back to Alluthagama and have my lunch at a local restaurant. Take another bus back to Galle. Walk by the fort.

At one point, a man comes to me and asks me if I am an Indian. When I reply positively he tells me - "Welcome, you are our brothers." and he walks away. I am glad to see that the feeling of brotherhood has not changed from villages to bigger city.

Next, I take another bus to Mirrisa hoping to spot some stilt fishermen. I learn from my lonely planet book that this fishing technique has long disappeared. Now, only locals pose for tourists in exchange for some money. I watch the cloudy sunset at Mirissa and then return to Galle. 

I decide to watch a Hindi film Dilwale that is playing at Queens theatre at Galle; a movie of Shahrukh khan, Srilanka’s favourite Bollywood actor. I enjoy the movie for it has my favourite actress as well. I also see how Sinhalese enjoy the Bollywood films. There isn’t a big crowd as its late in the night but there are a few families enjoying this comedy film.

Very late in the night, I walk the deserted streets of Galle. I feel like I am in my own city back home. That is how comfortable I feel here. That is how this country has made me feel, at home!

Route - Galle -> Ambalangoda -> Brief Gardens -> Galle -> Mirrisa

Continued Here