A Beautiful Lie.
Last afternoon I met a cousin for lunch near college. It was raining as we stepped out so we decided to take a trishaw to my aunts place. Most of the trishaws didn’t stop, one bastard had the nerve to say “Walk!” when we said we had to go to Dehiwela. WHAT THE FUCK?
In a couple of minutes an old Muslim trishaw driver stopped. After agreeing on a price we got in. He asked us if we were studying. He started talking about his children. I could tell that he was lying but there was something about the way he said it that made me want to believe. His older son is apparently a doctor at Nawaloka and has four degrees to his name (wow, he must be old), his other son has four diplomas and is working on a degree in Australia. I understand that he probably came from a place where everyone struggled to get their children well educated and he probably hears his friends boast of their children. This is the only way he can take pride in anything.
Then he said something that made me wonder if he was lying about what he said next. His wife died of bone cancer at the age of 56. Was he trying to get our sympathy? My cousin told him about our aunt who succumbed to womb cancer last year. Then the driver said something that convinced me. He said “in a way it’s a good thing. When they die Heaven’s gate is already open for them. All their sins are forgiven.”
He’s from Slave Island, he told us when we asked. He lives in Dehiwela, so does my cousin. He apparently has four children. He used to be a tailor. He’s traveled around the world except for Russia and some other countries I don’t remember. Once again I started to doubt his word but at that point it didn’t matter anymore. I was caught up in this story unfolding in my mind. The story of his life. The story of a lie. It all painted a beautiful picture. I imagined their family portrait. His two sons wearing their graduation clothes. The father standing in the middle with a proud grin and a picture of his wife in his hands. His other two children at his side. It was beautiful. A beautiful lie to believe in.