It has been two years since I have moved to Colombo. Two years spent in this city by the sea, and I am not quite sure what I feel about it. I know I am not ecstatic about living here; it is hot and humid, I sweat gallons, things are way too expensive, the government is insane, the economy is swirling down the commode, and pollution levels rise every day. But there is just something about this city that is hard to describe.
Colombo is alive.
It is alive and once it gets its tentacles around you, it never really wants to let go. It is like the mixture of dust and sweat that covers you every day, it gets inside your pores and always comes back no matter how often you bathe. Once you get Colombo’ed you stay Colombo’ed.
While the country country crumbles around us, Colombo will survive. No matter how bad things are, there will always be something for everyone. There is a sense of culture, of friendship, an attraction and a satisfaction that you get from living in Colombo. I love the fact that is has its night life, it has its media, it has its drama and it has its literature. You will never be at a loss as to what you want to do here. It has ample shopping and ample ways to waste your money. You have an abundance of theatre and music to wet if not satisfy your intellectual taste buds. And the artistes we have are not that bad either. I attended Cleftomania recently and was quite pleasantly surprised with the talent displayed there. Of course, a lot of the performers were professionals (like the Revelations), and the school choirs were well trained, but there is so much good talent, and none of the fake-accented-pop-wannabes that i used to remember dominating the music scene. I enjoy the theatre productions here, both the amateur ones for their novel approach, and the more experiences pieces for their wonderful execution. I enjoy the literature that pokes its head in the city, like Ferrey’s The Good Little Ceylonese Girl with its colonial flavour. There is always something to interest and excite you here, and Colombo is so small you just keep bumping into the same people over and over. I wonder how many of you readers I have met, and will meet again.
After two years, it looks like I have got the Colombo bug and it just doesn’t want to go away. I might as well just dip my spoon into this city and see what I can find.