Monday, September 19, 2016

An arborist who communicates with gods

The arborist

They say reality is sometimes stranger than fiction, not sometimes I feel if you closely observe reality  most of the time is weird and wonderful. Close observation of course is important , because if you don’t observe it up close you tend  you  miss the most interesting component that makes the story interesting.

Like reality, there are real people who are sometimes more interesting than fictional characters in fiction in novels or movies.

He is an Arborist, not for recreational purposes but for living. An arborist is a tree expert , this guy, lets call him  Wimale  climb trees to cut trees down or spruce them up because they are overgrown and blocking the sun from other trees or for safety reasons.

You don’t get contracts for cutting down trees every day, because of government approval processes and also trees take long time to grow.  The approval process for cutting down trees and transporting the logs to timber mill is so cumbersome many people just don’t bother, they allow trees to age and die.

So our wimale gets a contract to cut a tree like once in a fortnight. And depending on the dangers involved especially how close the tree to houses the charges range from 2500- 15000 Rupees. He doesn’t bring an assistant so the customer will have to find a guy to hold ropes etc if the owner himself is not willing to do that. I decided the sacred fig to is too sacred to cut.

He wouldn’t back down  from any tree unless it is infected by Dimiyas(Oecophylla smaragdina) but increase the fee if tree is precariously placed. Other sole reason that he would not accept a contract is if the subject tree is a sacred fig tree, but his refusal in this case is conditional , once he told me he has to perform a 7 day puja before he cuts it and it would cost me 30000 rs for the puja alone.

He had two sons and elder son became a brick layer  and the younger joined  navy. The younger son died in action in the war. When a son dies like that his full salary until he reached the age of 55 if he was alive , is paid to parents 50% each. And then his retirement benefits the same way. Nowhere in the world, including USA ,has this kind of generous compensation scheme in the world. I think it was president Premadasa who introduced this .But later the parents learned that a month before the son died he had married a girl from a nearby village and the total salary will go to her lock stock and barrel. The girl at the beginning agreed to give them half of the salary but later decided to cut it down to 5000 Rs.I wonder whether she has cut it down further.

Wimale has weakness for arrack. When he gets a good contract he buys a bottle of arrack and a KG of beef and drink to finish both the bottle and beef I have heard. But he doesn’t smoke.

He has  another vice. That’s horse races. He rides his bicycle everyday to the bookie in the morning and in the evening. Morning to speculate and evening to see whether he had speculated right and if so to collect the reward I suppose.  
he also dabbles in faith healing . in these occasions he wears a white sarong and a shirt goes to the house of the family who invited him to bless a family member who has been sick , because of an angry god,  the family feels. he blesses the patient for about one hour with many orisons and family pays about 500 rs for his service. 
one day I asked him why isn't  he using  his ability to communicate with the deities to elicit the results of the races beforehand  to win at the bookie , and his answer was that the deity that he communicating is a local god and he influence is limited to Dumbara area and turfs in UK are  way out of his jurisdiction.


  1. ## His influence is limited to Dumbara area and turfs in UK are way out of his jurisdiction.##...No, he is wrong...there are three branch offices in UK...connected to network !.

  2. are you sure sarath? Pitiye Bandara is just a provincial god , I dont think ha has brnches in UL, even colombo for that matter

  3. Somedays ago, I have written a short story about a arborist, who victimized after uprooting a sacred diyathalliya tree.. Good to see you often presenting in English..


    1. can I read the short story, I write in english these days because my wife is busy otherwise in the mornings, and i cannot type in sinhala

    2. ඇයි සිංහල ටයිපින් ට්‍රයි නොකරන්නේ.. ඉතා පහසුයි.. ඕන නං සිංග්ලිෂ් සිංහලට කන්වර්ටර් තියෙනවා.. නැතිනම් කෙලින්ම විජේසේකර කීබෝඩි් එකෙන්ම ගහන්න පුලුවන්. මම කියන්නං මුලින්ම ෆෝන් එකට හෙලකුරු ඇප් එක දාලා ට්‍රයි එකක් දාන්න..

      ආහ්.. කියවන්න පුලුවන්. අර දියතාලිය කියල ලින්ක් කරල තියෙන්නේ ඒකට.. ජය


අන්දමන් දූපත් සහ සනත් ජයසූරිය.

 මා ශ්‍රී ලංකා නාවික නෞකා ශක්ති නැවේ අණදෙන නිලධාරියාව සිටියදී ඉන්දියාව 1997 වර්ෂයේ බෙංගාල බොක්කේ තදාසන්න රාජ්‍යයන් ගේ නාවික හමුදාවන්ග...