Royal People

A dedication to those wonderful people who served Royal Primary School & Royal College, in Sri Lanka, since 1835, and, who will be remembered for their committment, sincerety and unselfishness.

Friday, April 14, 2006


A Grand Old Gram Lady, remembered

by Eardley Lieversz

When we joined College in 1959 there used to be an old Tamil lady, referred to as Achchi, clad in a dark green white sari, seated under the porch of the East Wing Lobby in the junior school, selling gram and other fried titbits that the boys used to enjoy during break times.

She was dark in complexion, rather heavy on the physical side, not very tall, had rings on her nose and ears, and was a very talkative and vibrant person.

Some of the chaps used to steal gram from her when her nose was turned the other way and many are the stories of teachers finding out and reprimanding them for their misdeeds on this poor old lady who was simply making a living by selling her gram.

It is reported that Kadalay of gram fame too was a member of Achchi's family or community and that both lived in the same town and it is possible that Kadalay actually came into Royal through Achchi's contact.

When Kadalay was allowed to sell his gram within the school premises, also in the East Wing lobby area, the two of them used to be seen chatting most times, whiling away their time until the bell for the breaks rang out bringing the customers in.

Many of the boys who joined Royal prior to 1960 must surely remember good ole Achchi and must have many wonderful tales to tell about her.

Achchi passed away in 1960.

After her, it was Kadalay who was the kingpin of the vendors at Royal.

Received from Hapu by email on April 13, 2006
Dear Chaps,

Sinhala New Year holiday period has just started. We are closed till 18th. It's driving me crazy. Children have left the nest. Only the two of us are at home. Could have gone somewhere to spend the holidays, but all those places are filled to capacity. I hate when there are too many. Life has to go on.

Achchi died by 1960/61. First Kadaley was her assistant. But the man soon started on his own. He was always there to help her.

Quarter Soda (QS), used to steal small packets of bola kadalay from her. At the 10.20 interval they both come to the WW lobby to sell. Kadaley sold under the arches while Achchi was seated on the left corner, inside. Kadaley always had an eye on Achchi. I can remember one day as QS closed in on her, Kadaley shouted Kallan! Kallan!! (hora! hora!!). Achchi soon got up with a broken broom stick. QS was hiding behind a pillar shouting, "Achchiee Pochchi", making gyrations at her. Pol Tokka Samararatna, who was waliking to the staff room saw this and took QS by the ear. Just then the bell rang. QS returned to class after a good canning from Cow POX Abeysinghe (Head Master). More when time permits



Post a Comment

<< Home