Ameen Sayani & Colombo

The two nouns in the title are pretty well known. The later one is obviously the Sri Lankan capital city. And the former, a well known celeb from the good old DD/AIR days, whose voice any Indian (from the DD era ofcourse) can recognize. But why do i mention the two together? For the uninitiated, Ameen Sayani shot to fame with “Binanaca Geet Mala” which was aired on radio ceylon. Which is quite strange, because sri lanka doesn’t even have a sizable hindi speaking population. Bit of wiking let me to this piece of information .
So i always had this desire to see how different Sri Lanka really is. And my recent trip to the land of sinhalese (also of tamils of indian origin, Moors, Burghers and Malays) led to me the conclusion that the country is not much diferent from India. Probably the only difference was clean roads and imported cars (casinos also, but they are not that gr8 over there, so dropping it). The people, their dressing style, the language, the auto rickshaws … everything is same or bears resemblance to their counterparts in India. One feels at home over there. The city is like any other british established indian city (like mumbai and chennai). It has an old fort area, crowded markets with small bylanes near it, best hotels-offices-govt building in the same vicinity, temples, churches, mosques, autoricks and lots of BATA showrooms.
However, the place is bit expensive compared to india. (Imagine paying LKR 40 or INR 17.4 for a newspaper!!!). And the only thing cheap over there is liquor (that too bcoz its heavily taxed in India). 

The next time you visit the place, take my advice and expect an extension of India. The place is as desi as any indian city can get.


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