They believe in meditation
Natasha and Stephen a Sri Lankan sister and brother, born in France
came to Sri Lanka this time not to enjoy the sunny beaches or
hospitality, but to develop their souls. "We came to learn meditation.
So we meditated, learned the art of meditation gained a lot.
It is something that one cannot explain in words.!," beams Natasha
Dilrukshi, a 20-year-old Dental student who carries a smart and straight
figure and is six feet tall. "Yes, meditation is a marvellous
experience," agrees her brother Stephen Dilshan, an 18-year-old
prospective Chemical Engineering student, also a strapper like his
Dressed in full white T-shirt and a pair of three-quarter length
trousers Natasha picks up words in English and Sinhala to converse.
Stephen, in full white casuals sat straight beside his sister listening
quietly for most of the time.
Their parents had settled down in France 25 years ago. Natasha and
Stephen have been visiting Sri Lanka since they were infants. After they
got use to the creche, their parents started sending them alone with a
known Air hostess They started sending us alone as they did not have
leave to come along with us every time. But they used to come down to
fetch us back," reminisces Natasha.
So little Natasha and Stephen since the age of three of four spent
their French Summer holidays with their maternal grand parents at
Moratuwa. Thanks to their grand parents they could polish their Sinhala
. Their first language is French, and have learnt Spanish and English as
They love piano music, and have excelled in many sports. Badminton,
Tennis, swimming, soccer, volleyball and you name it they have done it.
"Now we are more into studies. It will take about six to eight years
for me to become a Dental Specialist. I'm still in the first year," says
Four years ago, Natasha had followed a piloting course. "A friend of
my parents is a pilot-trainer at 'La ferta Hale' in France. It's a place
that exhibits aircrafts used in France from the very inception
(including those used during the second World war) . What I did was a
basic course, but I can pilot a small personal flight," she smiles .
France is predominantly Catholic , but the present generation leaves
a broad margin for other faiths as well. "None can show their religious
differerences in school. Muslims are not allowed to cover their heads
nor can Christians or Catholics wear the Cross. The school rules are
What they say is that children should come to school only to study
and not to display their personal religious beliefs. It is the home
environment that provides them separate beliefs and faiths," says
Stephen listens and looks calm. "Soon after I return to France I will
get myself registered for the two-years-compulsory-intermediate course
call 'Class Preparatoire' before I start the full fledged course in
Chemical Engineering. In this course the student has to work strenuously
day and night.
Maths, Chemistry, English, French history and philosophy will be
among my compulsory subjects. If we get through this only we could go
further up in higher studies. Passing A/Ls is not the only requirement,"
Browsing the Internet and painting were among Stephen's hobbies other
than sports and playing piano like his sister. "I accompanied my Akki
when she learnt piloting, but I was not interested in that," he grins.
Sigiriya, Anuradhapura and Kandy were the few places the sister and
brother have visited during this vacation.
The three-week holiday was spent in a worth while manner, they think.
"We went to Devanapatissa Vipassana International Meditation Centre,
Pallekele, Kundasale in Kandy during our last year vacation too. But
since we found difficult in the language we acquired nothing. But this
time we were successful. We stayed there for a week and practised 'Ana-Pana
Sathi' (meditating by concentrating one's own breath).
And we are going to continue the practise as it brings serenity to
the mind. And it also enhances our concentration limits which would
directly help us in our studies. Also we will share this experience with
our friends in France too," says Natasha. When asked whether they would
prefer to live in any other place other than France the duo smiled.
The French consider health as the most important thing of all, and
issue free medical cover to all the citizens. And France is relatively a
peaceful country with less colour-bar problems. Sri Lanka is good for a
holiday as most of our relatives live here. Hereafter we will be
visiting Sri Lanka not only to see our kith and kin, but also in search
of advice for meditation," explains Natasha.