eLanka | *The good old days in good old Ceylon*


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Off to School in red Double Decker.

The ride was a must in a CTB bus, One leg on the foot board.

The other dangling free.

Imminent danger

Was a mere glee 20 kids plus In a space for three

Hung on the silver pole.

How many could it hold?

Galle Road to Maradana

5c half price ticket.

Cost was not so dear


Cut school on a lazy Friday, Off to the show at 10.30, the Liberty, Queued down the street not long to go Braving the sun for ten thirty show

ABBA the movie, the latest release in 70mm.

The gallery destination please

The cheapest seats, a 55c each,

Dripping sweat from our chins to our knees

Gallery was for the lower class

Rs 1.10 for the second class

Never could afford the first class

ODC was for the upper class

Been there free of charge.

Once thrown out by security guards

Balcony was certainly no go.

There was always not enough dough.

Friend drove a Morris, we’d all pile on in.

His friend had Ford, a little more space

Uncle too had a car

That kept us all fit

With a “thallu” start to gain more pace.

Waited for March, big match day

And the Cycle Parade was before that day

Collect the money for thosi kade

And the fun was to ring the College bell before the end of school time.

First stop was the belfry, to ring the bell then run like hell,

laughing all the way.

Then the man in charge shouting and start chasing all the


Meet the girl friend for a chat.

Holding hands was the most we got.

Bus halt the preferred place.

These were the good old days.


Zellers, Knickerbocker Glory and Bambalapitiya flats.

Perhaps,some of you are too young to appreciate this…

You may however ask your parents and they would agree.

When the worst thing you could do at school was smoke in

the bathrooms, fail a test or chew gum.

And the banquets were in the tuck-shop,

And we danced to a gramophone later, and all the girls wore fluffy pastel gowns,

And the boys wore ‘longs’ for the first time,

And we were allowed to stay out and watch a 9.30 PM show at

the Liberty and the Majestic and the Savoy

And the biggest thrill was holding hands…!When a Sunbeam Alpine or an MG was everyone’s dream car,

To cruise, peel out, lay rubber and watch the road races and people went steady.

It was the greatest weekend to go to

the Galle Face Hotel’s ‘Coconut Grove’ with the JETLINERS,

Or The Ceylinco Ball Room with the SPITFIRES

Or The Little Hut With the AMAZING GRACE

Or The Akasa Kade with Sam the Man! / Sun & Sand

And no one ever asked where the car keys were ’cause they were always in the car, in the ignition, and the doors were never locked, and you got into big trouble if you accidentally locked the doors at home, since no one ever had a key.


Remember, lying on your back on the grass with our friends

and saying things like “That cloud looks like a…”

Playing cricket with no adults to help kids with the rules of the game.

Back then, cricket was not a psychological group learning

experience –

It was a game!


Remember when stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals ’cause no one had yet tried to poison a

perfect stranger?


With all our progress… Don’t you just wish… Just once…..

You Could slip back in time and savour the slower pace…

And share it with the children of the 80’s and 90’s…


So, send this on to someone who can still remember;
Bill Haley and the Comets,
The Hardy Boys,
Laurel & Hardy,
Roy Rogers and ‘Trigger’,
Famous Five,
The Galle Face Green,
The Lone Ranger, Kinross….
The Otters,
The Piccadilly at Wellawatte,
Jam Sessions,
Zellers at Bamba,
‘The Blue Leopard’ and of course Sirisanda…
Bill Forbes and The Jay Cee Shows at Mount Lavinia Hotel
And Evenings filled with bike rides,

Playing in cowboy land, and visits to the pool…
The ‘Bamba Flats’….
Fish & Chips & Sundaes with that special Chocolate
sauce at the ‘Fountain Cafe.’
Mouth-watering “knicker bocker glory”, and the
jaggery sundae.
Biriyani at Pilawoos, Mayfair..
Lion House …


_When being sent to the principal’s office was nothing compared to the fate that awaited a misbehaving student at home._

Basically, we were in fear for our lives,

But it wasn’t because of terrorism’….

drive by shootings,

drugs, gangs, alcohol and road rage…etc.


_Our parents and grandparents were a much bigger threat!_

*But we all survived….*
*Because their love was greater than their threat.*
Didn’t that make you feel good? .

Just to go back and say,

_’Yeah, I remember that!’_

_*And was it really that long ago?*_

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