The flight was scheduled from Bangalore to Chennai and then to Colombo. Hadn't tried my red brushpen for quite some time. So, brushed up the love for it while waiting at the Bangalore airport.
We reached our hotel in the early evening and after putting the luggage to rest, we walked out of the back doors of the hotel to watch the violent sea knocking the ground with a thud. The light showers were beginning to shape into calm thunders rendering the horizon into a blur.
Being near to sea means eat seafood. The first dinner was arranged at 'Beach Wadia Restaurant.' A place that was decorated with a humble humane personal touch. Every inch of the wall was pasted down with moments of visitors and their appreciation towards the food served there. There was a photo of Rahul Dravid too there :) The menu came with fish, crab and prawn sleeping on the plate and we couldn't resist appreciating this transparent way of display.
It was the first morning in Colombo for me. I opened the glass windows to let my room be moistened with the saline breeze. The cup of tea held warm in my hand with the sun about to come from the water.
The first day's book ideas ended with a lunch at 'Barefoot' cafe. It's a store with plenty of good buys to lure you (toys, notebooks, clothes, crockeries etc.) and serves good food in the back. I had a local dish called 'Lamprais', it's a chicken and rice meal wrapped and baked in a banana leaf.
We all went to a beach nearby called ' Mount Lavinia.' The crowd was sparse and only a few were playful with the sea. I soon took shelter in the pages of my sketchbook while the others were in the sea.
I bought this postcard from one of the guys on the beach. He realised me as a potential customer and I also acknowledged his efforts by picking one of the cards. It shows the fishing atmosphere on the coastal regions of Sri Lanka.
The sunset that particular evening was filled with colours merging in new realms of the sky. The blue was beyond its limits and was soaked with red and the leftover purples. The sun had departed with a smudge that day.
The ISD call rates of the hotel was quite expensive for long conversations and you can only expect and wait for calls in such situations.
Thanks to the informed friends, I managed to visit good places. One of it was 'Cricket Club Cafe.' The place had its corner occupied with team flags, autographed bats, old jerseys and television showing any cricket game coming 'live'. The menu also had its nomenclature jingled with cricketer's name. On a day of good game, this place could be a perfect place for a cricket lover.
One morning, after breakfast we took a 2 hour ride to the 'Bentota' Beach. The sand was fine, clean and filtered of each wave clawing to it. There was a turtle farm nearby and we met the four species of the turtles found in Indian Ocean. Most of them were shy and stayed meditative in their water tanks.
On our way back from 'Bentota', we went on a boat ride into the elevated tree areas of the inland water. We were trying to get a glimpse of the crocodile residing in the area. But, all we managed to witness were a few monitor lizard disguised in the branches of trees surfaced above the water. They seemed unnerved of our presence and we chose not to be too intrusive in their surrounding.
Yes, the wait for Ramen met an end. I finally managed to get my hands on to it and tried to take the same pleasure out of the dish as Naruto does. Sadly, I got a stomach ache afterwards. Sorry Naruto.
It was time to roam in the local market of Colambo, Peta market. I bought some local ceylon tea from the 'Lanka Leaf' store. The Interiors kept becoming narrow with the increasing buzz of the business there. The smell of cinnamon was in the air with the fish market stench stripping it off at few junctions.
The Book ideas had also shown improvement and the figure of 50 books was roped in too. The Friday cake mindset had creeped in a bit on the last day though. We walked down to the near by hotel called 'Cinnamon Grand'. Their Coffee Shop had mouthwatering desserts, but I had a feast with my deep fried Red Snapper fish. Do remember not to wear shorts and walk in there after 7 in the evening. You won't get desserts then.
Apart from selling good tea, the packaging was largely amazing with its choice of packaging material, techniques, methods of printing, use of colour and added charms of tea drinking. I had a tough time holding myself from being lavish in tea shops.
Bought a few stamps for a friend.
The last evening had arrived and I decided to walk near the hotel beach. The crowd seemed a bit festive with a few food stalls, plastic toys, kites roaring in sky and people sharing the sunset. I realised I hadn't sketched the hotel yet. Galle face Hotel was established in 1864 and still stands dignified in its appearance with a vintage texture in its age. Likes of Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Sir Don Bradman, Yuri Gagarin have stayed here. I just had to sketch it before I leave.
The stay had come to an end. At this juncture, I would like to tell you of Kuttan. He has been a part of the hotel since 1942. He serves as the doorman and approaches you in a friendly manner even when the age has bent his shoulders a bit. But, the medals and badges on his uniform speaks of his presence that no one can do without.
It was a good trip undoubtedly with a good company. I am stocked with tea and it's time to get back to my work desk.