Martin Wickramasinghe
Martin Wicramasinghe,  The Great Author of Nation
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Short Stories

  Eve of the New Year      
  Siman Mudalali has assets amounting to nearly thirty thousand rupees. The value of his land and property alone is between ten and twelve thousand rupees. No one seemed to know how much he had hidden away in hard cash.  Some say that once in six months he takes out his hoarded cash, and warms ten rupee notes and fifty rupee notes over the fire, before returning them to a hiding place in his wardrobe, unknown even to his wife.  
  Exploits of Andoaiya      
  I flung my school-books and the slate on the small side table and  hurried to the round dining-table. I lifted the inverted saucer on the tea-plate. Two slices of oil cake and a ripe banana lay on the plate. I sat down and gobbled one slice of oil cake. My little sister brought me  a cup of tea. She carried it  with both her  hands, and  carefully kept the cup  on the table.  I picked up the remaining slice of oil cake from the plate.  

The row of little houses standing on either side of the road reminded me of a line of squatting women, huddled close to each other. I live in the house at the very end on the right side, with my wife and little child. When I return after the day’s work, the sight of the houses and the road evokes in me, not pleasure, but a feeling of dissatisfaction that I cannot properly express. This has  nothing to do with the ugliness and squalor that I see around me.


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