Yahapalanaya makes train travel hilarious | Sunday Observer

Yahapalanaya makes train travel hilarious

I was travelling in the 6.10 p.m. train from Maradana to Aluthgama sandwiched in the middle of a huge crowd. My whole body was aching. Suddenly I heard a heated argument going on nearby.

I looked that way and saw a bunch of middle-aged male office workers arguing with one another. The topic was very interesting.

It was all about the current political situation in the country. I was relieved because I realised that I was to have some free entertainment and something to write for next Sunday’s Observer.

I hung on to a bar on the roof of the train, placed my two heavy bags on the overhead rack and adjusted myself to listen carefully to the brewing argument.

The only trouble I had were my painful legs. But I forgot the pain within seconds!

The oldest man in the group talked in a high and angry tone. “When we were young, there were no issues in the country at all.

Everything was running very smoothly. We went to school and studied well. There were no issues at all on school syllabuses, question papers, holding examinations and the like.

We were not rich but somehow we were able to manage our homes without much trouble.

Then we went to university and there was some minor issues, but not like now. Then we received Government employment.”

A young office worker interrupted him. “There was no 19th Amendment at that time,” he said.

The joke had the entire gang of office workers laughing and was intectious. The whole compartment was now in good spirits.

Not only me, every body was listening! Some even tried to take part in the conversation. The laughing stopped and the young office worker started questioning others. “Who wanted the 19th Amendment? I did not asked for it! Neither did my grandmother who is dead. She did not ask for it”.

The entire crowd was convulsed in laughter. The young office worker was entertaining everyone while taking part in the debate actively.

Then another middle aged office worker chipped in. “Nobody asked for the 19th Amendment or any Amendment or any other Constitution.

“It was a bunch of crooks who brought the 19th Amendment in. Their main objective was getting foreign funds while creating temporary employment for themselves.”

The anger of the office worker encouraged another very silent office worker to open his mouth and speak in a loud voice.

“My family and I did not get anything from the 19th Amendment or from the previous bloody Government. I had to sell my small car because I could not afford the fuel.

I am the breadwinner of my family. I have three kids, my sick wife and my aged mother to look after. Now I have to find taxis to take the wife and mother in law to the doctors.

They cannot go in a three wheeler because both have undergone surgery. The only relief is carpeted roads. Otherwise they will have to undergo surgery again to repair their spinal cords,” he burst out angrily.

“Oh no..no..don’t get angry uncle. We too got nothing from the previous Government and actually we lost many valuable things. For example, our fully paid Government pensions,” another young office worker said. “He must be a public servant,” I told myself.

“My parents are now retired, old and enjoy their lives because they have their pensions. Because of their pensions I did my degree without much trouble and lived my life until I got this job in 2014 before the evil fell on us.

But now I am worried about my future. One day my children will need to look after me,”

“Ane machan nawaththapan oya andilla” (Please stop crying). We got Wi-Fi ! Now I can stay on Facebook 24 x 7 ! The other young boy was angry.

“Does Facebook feed you and your family ?”, he retorted angrily. “It snatches your money spent on data, you fool”, he said.”Look at these ladies.

There are no belts on these trains for them to hang on to. Your stupid ‘Yahapalane’ should have fixed some belts to the iron bars of these trains enabling ladies and short men to hang on, until they get down from these extremely crowded, deadly old trains.

They spent billions buying luxury vehicles but failed to fix some cheap belts to these decayed old trains which run on broken tracks…..

I was about to miss my station! I got down hurriedly getting sandwiched again.