Amidst the colonial structures that abound the landscape of Sri Lanka, the lighthouses that dot the horizons in the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean and the new skyscrapers that crop up by the minute, we find ourselves breathing easy in this land of the Mythic and the Epic.
Bearing witness to the streets of Colombo and Galle ( a short train ride away from the capital), every-day activities provide us with a snapshot of life in this architectural marvel of culture and colors!
A week there and we merrily took on to the streets every day dressed in our Basanti Best, springing forward delightfully in a new city with a lightness in our step and laughter in our eyes. And as we took in the city, we noticed that daily life gushed past us like the waves crashing on to the sand at the Dalawella beach: frenetic street markets with vendors selling “isso vadei” ( red lentil cakes topped with shrimp), samosas and local crabs; devotees in the Buddhist shrines, which by the way are SO replete with the scent of incense- atypical and plentiful- that it laces itself onto the Bamber fabric of our Basanti clothes: the convivial cafes and their gastronomical pleasure, the characterful shops and the emporiums with their Sri Lankan artifacts, the blue sapphires and the elephant tusks.
Our bright and sunny travel days have a certain delight in them (helped a lot by the weather, for sure!) and a certain liberation: tossed over hair, a bag freely slung across the shoulder, the heaviest possible pair of Basanti earrings our earlobes could muster ( yes, that’s the silver in our armor!) and our carefully chosen attire to match the vibe- within and without.
What’s more, we discover that Sri Lanka is mosaic of colors! The primary colors of our vicinity- the green of the palms, the azure blue of the beach, the stark white and deep red of the buildings are (of course!) further helped by our Basanti pastel palette. During our sojourn there, we jazzed up the streets with bright dhoti and kurtas, printed shrugs and dresses of the gray and pink family, bejeweled, embroidered chandbalis etched on our wardrobe and real delight etched across our face as we satiated, if just infinitesimally, our pet travel bug within.
The picturesque streets, the real-life scenes, the energy and the vibe of this neighboring land refreshed us and we rejoiced in the adventurous exploration of all that Sri Lanka has to offer to us. Our friendly invasion of this territory has synergized with our spirit so much so that long after our return, we still dream of the smells and of the sights of this adventure, happy in the knowledge that it is these moments, this serendipitous pleasure of travel that finally makes us evolve.