Tom is a Sri Lankan citizen born during the rule of British in Sri Lanka which was a hard time for all the poor people to live. Tom is benevolent, ardent, and candid. But he also had some negative attitudes such as he was begrudging people who have possessions more than him. As his mother died when he was young, his father remarried as he felt that there should be a mother for his children to raise and to give the affection of a mother. As the step-mother was cold, abrasive and biting cruel, Tom ran away from home when he was in Grade 5.
After he left from home, he did many odd jobs and he also worked as the watchman of a school even though he was underage. But since education was not free during his schooling period, after he ran from his home he had to find a way to earn his living and was not able to pay school fees on his own.
After passing the age of 18, he started working as a lorry driver for many years transporting vegetables to different markets. During this time he met his future wife and fell in love with her who was the most affectionate, adoring and he was very fond of her. As Tom was indulgent and a child-like adult at that age they got married. They went through hardships in the beginning because her parents did not approve of Tom at first. After getting to know him, they agreed as he had lot of good qualities. And after the marriage, Tom had to work hard as he was poor and did not earn that much for a standard of living.
After marriage Tom settled down in Wijithapura, Batticoloa in Eastern Province where majority living in the area were Tamils. Even though it was a village where majority is Tamil families while there were only few Sinhala families, they lived happily together in peace. After two years of living together they had a baby boy and gradually his family expanded to the number of children comprising 4 sons and 2 daughters.
Terrorism began in Sri Lanka after few years of settlement in Batticoloa by Tom. As LTTE was focusing on separating and building a Tamil nation in Sri Lanka, all the Sinhala families in Batticoloa were killed by them and destroyed houses they lived. Tom and his family hid themselves in a shop right in front of their house which belonged to a Tamil businessman; they were safe with no harm. The next day after the destruction of Sinhala families in the area, Tom and his family sought refuge in an internally displaced camp run by Government with the help of the Sri Lankan Army Force. For more than 5 years he had to spend time in the IDP camp without a job as they were not allowed to go out as a safety measure because the Army Force can only assure safety inside the IDP camp only.
When it was not safe to live in the IDP camp as terrorists were attacking the area, they were moved by Army trucks and taken to another IDP camp, which is a closed down school in Madiwela, Mahiyanaga and dropped them. They felt sick as they felt that they are living without being productive to the society. Afterwards they had to find a way to live after staying again for 2 years in an IDP camp in that area. Again he started working as a lorry driver and worked very hard to earn their living as his wife did not have an occupation. He worked through day and night battling with time to earn money so that he can raise his children and give them a proper education. Time passed by when his children were educated and all were married and separated from their parents except the eldest of the family, who took care of his mother and the youngest of the family who was still schooling.
In 2007 when his youngest son, Peter, when he was 18 years old, without the permission of his parents he entered the army to fight against the terrorists and free his home town and Sri Lanka from terrorism and bring peace back. After 3 months of service in the army when he was trying to cross a shallow river with the company of other soldiers, an underground bomb blasted and electric currents were passed through the soldiers and all the soldiers who tried to pass were killed. Peter who escaped with few others was able to cross the river with minor wounds but just after coming to shore was shot dead by the terrorists, LTTE. Therefore when his body was brought to his parents they grieved and were aghast over his death as Peter went without their permission and death rattled to him after 3 months of service to the Army and to his mother land, his country, Sri Lanka to uplift and bring out peace and freedom to the people.
Tom was suffering tremendously after the loss of his youngest son which is a horrifying situation as he is the most amusing child he had. Peter was closed to his family because he was humorous and enthusiastic which made him fond to everyone. But after suffering from a bitter situation, Tom had to face another similar feeling as his eldest son died due to a vehicle accident while he was riding the motor bike with his wife on the way to the hospital.
After the loss of both his eldest son and youngest son, Tom is despairing, grim and indifferent as he grieved beyond the limit which made him a critic. He felt that briars have grown down in his path way forever where he goes. Days and weeks and months and years past, memories are still alive in the mind and pain has no change.
© Copyright 2016 Kenisha Liyanage. All rights reserved.
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