A journey to Colombo

Kumar Paudel

During the end of December, I was travelling on a local bus on the very neat and clean road of Eastern Highway, Sri Lanka. It was in the morning time. I was sitting on the back seat of the bus. I did not have anything to invest the time so I decided to use my eyes to see and feel the things inside and outside the bus. My eyes suddenly stopped for a few seconds on one side of the bus where it was written “Seat for only pregnant women”. While travelling on public transportation in Nepal, I have seen “Seat for men”, “Seat for women”, “Seat for handicapped” written on. Surprisingly, public transportation in Sri Lanka is found to have given the most priority to pregnant women.

Then my attention suddenly diverted towards outside of the bus where I started seeing the different faces and activities of people, neat and clean green roads, blue sky, sunny day. I enjoyed a lot seeing and feeling the outside environment. The bus was moving on its own pace. The bus was neither slow nor fast. I had totally surrendered myself to the bus and its speed. That means I was also moving ahead on my own pace. The credit of giving me the pace goes to the bus too.

The outside strange environment was continuously moving me ahead but I did not know the destination. The outside scenarios gradually faded away from me as the sun fades away from the earth in the evening. The beauty and charm of outside environment was also gradually declining. The time came when the outside environment became completely charmless. My mind says that there is no meaning at all to see and feel outside environment. However, my heart goes sa la la la sa la la in the morning. I mean my heart did not stop my eyes from seeing and feeling the things outside despite the fact that I did not see anything interesting.

I just saw the world of trees everywhere, which did not have life within. The trees were almost dead. The trees were completely black like a coal as if black beautiful woman on completely naked status. Sometimes I would feel that I was looking at the blurred pictures wasting my time. At the same time, I would also question myself “Aren’t the pictures of conflict era Sri Lanka coming into my imagination?”. Suddenly, my mind was diverted toward the environment within the bus.

Inside the bus, there was a passenger. He was in confused mood and frequently asking questions to the bus driver. He looked like Tamil. The bus stopped in a station and he hurriedly got off the bus. The fact is he wanted to get off the bus in the previous station but the conductor did not understand the language of the passenger. The conductor was Sinhala. The miscommunication is considered as the result of 30 years conflict. I had a friend travelling with me who used to say that they have to help the Tamil people to get the room on rent not only in Nepal but also in Matara. He had made me clear on the distance between the Tamil and Sinhala. I did not know that I finally got Gale. All the passengers got off the bus. The driver was in hurry mood to return to the same area from where the journey had begun.

I took eastern Express Highway, which was just inaugurate the previous month by the Srilankan government. It only would took one and half hour to get Colombo. The road was built through a vast area of forest where the horn was strictly prohibited. The sub way and overhead bridges were built for the movement of animals. After two hours, I was greeted with the banner where it was written” Welcome to Colombo”.. I was surprised to see the development and progress made by Sri Lanka even after the 30 years of conflict.

Upon completion of Srilankan tour when I landed on Kathmandu, airport then I asked myself “why Nepal has not been able to heal the wounds of the conflict at a time when Sri Lanka has learnt a lesson from the wounds and addressed the cause of wounds.


  1. nice 1 kumar sir...its really touching...the last paragraph...made me think something..

  2. Thanks for the detail. It's amazing.

  3. Kumar, as I read it the second time, I saw it closer! It's good, but wouldn't it be far better if you covered the real purpose of the trip and what activities concerning the purpose you pursued there and how you and the team got those things done et cetera? (And there are a few grammatical errors like "Would took" which should be "would take" and "Beauties and charming" which should be "beauty and charm" etc. Never mind, such errors are absolutely okay, though.)