Monday, July 8, 2013

Dinner at my friend Deepika's new dream home in Colombo

Visiting the famous singer Deepika Priyadarshani
at her new home in Colombo

Last night, I visited Deepika Priyadarshani, Sri Lanka's most famous singer, in her new home in Colombo.

She's a national icon in Sri Lanka, especially after the release of her video single with songs about the end of the war and the reunification of Sri Lanka. This video single moved many people to tears.

There's not a single Sri Lankan on this island who doesn't know who she is.

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She'd spent three and a half years designing and constructing her dream home, which was literally a labor of love, she says. She worked so hard for these three and half years, with the goal of her dream home in mind.

Ten days ago, she moved into her dream home at last.

THE FIRST GUEST IN A DREAM HOME

I was her very first guest, and she cooked me dinner herself, serving a full course of her Sri Lankan specialties and using heirloom plates that were over 100 years old.



I came all the way from Galle, after passing the seaside village of Bentota, and I made it just in time at her home for our 7 PM appointment.

Her home was large, airy, modern and very lovely.

It was a combination of traditional Sri Lankan design from the cultural capital of Kandy, and a contemporary style which I like to call Sri Lankan modern.

She'd employed a young and promising architect who looked to the great South Asian architect Geoffrey Bawa for inspiration.



GROWING UP WITH A WAR

We had a very nice time catching up.

She'd also invited a doctor friend of hers to join the dinner, and it was sad but very fascinating to hear their stories about the war and how they lived and survived it.

During the long civil war, life in Colombo was not at all normal, and suicide bombings were practically a way of life. Basically, you left your home in the morning not knowing whether you'd be returning to it.

Families took extreme measures such as riding in separate vehicles or buses to the same destination, just to avoid getting killed together.



From Deepika's home, I left straight for the airport to meet up with some friends and readers of Travelife Magazine who were arriving that same evening.

And just like that, another breathless day that began in the hills around Galle and continued by the sea in Colombo ended, in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.




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