A tale of love and timeless tradition

A tale of love and timeless tradition

A tale of love and timeless tradition

May 7, 2024

In the serene village of Kandy nestled among the emerald hills of Sri Lanka, the air was filled with anticipation. It was the eve of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, a time when the entire community came together to celebrate the dawn of a new beginning. As the sun dipped low on the horizon, casting a golden hue over the landscape, families prepared to usher in the auspicious occasion with joy and fervor.

Elisha and her grandmother, Amara, bustled around the kitchen, their laughter mingling with the aroma of traditional sweets wafting through the air. Elisha, with her dark raven hair in two plaits, eagerly helped her grandmother shape kokis – occasionally sneaking one here and there into a brown bag carefully so her grandmother doesn’t notice.

“Grandma, do you think this New Year will bring us happiness?” Elisha asked, a soft smile on her face and her doe eyes filled with longing.

Her grandmother laughed warmly, her eyes twinkling with affection. “Oh, my dear Elisha, the New Year is like a blank canvas. It depends on how you want to paint it. You can paint it with tears, your sweet laugh, good memories and some sad ones too.” She patted Elisha’s head adoringly.

Turning back to the kokis on the stove, Amara had a knowing smile on her face when she said, “Who knows? Maybe you can paint it with love too.” Elisha’s face turned crimson red as she hastily turned the other way so her grandmother wouldn’t notice. Or did she know already? For the next few hours Elisha couldn’t wipe away the smile on her face as she helped her grandmother.

Meanwhile, across the village, in a bustling marketplace adorned with colorful streamers, Kenan, a young Tamil merchant, meticulously arranged his stall, showcasing an array of vibrant saris and intricate jewelry. His eyes gleamed with anticipation, eager to share the beauty of his culture with the world.

As the evening descended into a tapestry of hues, the village square came alive with music and laughter. The rhythmic beat of traditional drums echoed through the streets, beckoning people to join in the festivities. Families clad in their finest attire gathered around a majestic bonfire; their faces illuminated by its warm glow. While arranging the saris in order, Kenan couldn’t stop looking over at the bonfire as if he was looking for something or someone.

Amidst the celebration, Kenan heard the soft jingle of an anklet and whipped his head in the direction of the sound so fast he was surprised he didn’t break it. Their eyes met across the flickering flames, and in that fleeting moment, their connection sparked so brightly – a bond woven by the threads of tradition and shared heritage.

There she was so beautiful, looking so lively in a gorgeous pink and orange flowery dress. Elisha skipped excitedly in his direction with something in her hands. When she came to his side, she whispered softly, “Hi, Kenan.”

Kenan couldn’t stop the smile on his face even if the President himself came down and asked him to. His reply goes unheard as a large boom startles them both, and they look up in time to see a myriad of colors painted in the sky as the sound of firecrackers going off surround them.

Elisha watched Kenan as he watched the fireworks. Her heart was going at 180 miles per hour, and surely, she would die young from a heart attack at this rate, but she just couldn’t stop.  As if Kenan could feel her eyes on him, he turned to her.

“Happy New Year, Elisha,” Kenan whispered, his voice tinged with warmth.

“Happy New Year, Kenan,” Elisha replied, her smile illuminating the dawn.

She pressed the brown bag which she held earlier in her hands to his chest, “I got something for you.” she smiled shyly. He suddenly remembered that he had gotten something for her too, he went to the back of his store and got the neatly wrapped green and gold sari, the colors she was wearing the first time he saw her.

As the first light of dawn painted the sky in hues of pink and gold, the village awoke to the promise of a new beginning. Elisha and Kenan stood side by side, their hearts brimming with hope and possibility.

Together, they watched as the sun rose majestically over the horizon, casting its radiant glow upon the village below. In that moment, amidst the joyous celebration of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, Kenan and Elisha turned their heads to see Amara walking towards the bonfire. Elisha knew it was time for her to go. But she didn’t want to leave it just like that, she hastily pressed her lips to Kenan’s cheek in a quick kiss and then dashed off in her grandmother’s direction.

Next to her grandmother, she sneakily peeked at Kenan to take in his flustered state as their eyes met and both of them smiled warmly at each other as the village echoed with laughter and song, Elisha and Kenan embarked on a journey of love and camaraderie, bound by the timeless traditions of their shared heritage and the promise of a brighter tomorrow. For in the embrace of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, they discovered that love knows no boundaries and that together, anything is possible.

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