Short Eats Anyone…..?


This is what we were meant to be able to buy during intermission at the Nanda Malini/Rohana Weerasinghe Concert last night, but by the time we got to the foyer, all the food was sold out. However in true Sri Lankan spirit, the family that took me there had bought an extra pack for me which they were finally able to give me on the way home…

Short Eats are a uniquely Sri Lankan concept describing food served between meals as a light snack or as canapes and can consist of all time favourites  like Cutlets (Fish Balls), Chinese Rolls (deep fried savoury pancakes), Pastries and Butter Cake as we were served last night.


A last minute change in child care arrangements meant that I was able to attend this much anticipated concert of one of my favourite artists; Nanda Malini. And it is hard to describe the experience except to say that for those three and a half hours I was in heaven……Her voice is still strong and true and you can feel in your heart the depth of emotion she projects out to to the audience. It was truly a privilege……….

She began with Mihi Madale Anduru Kuse….

I decided to translate a few of the songs to English as best as I could. I apologise in advance if I have got any of it wrong and would welcome your help in correcting any mistakes.

Mother is the spring that arises from the dark core of the earth

Mother is the rain that falls from the sky on to the deadly desert

Mother is the flowers that bloom on the trees of the blue land…..

Mother is the fruit of the flowers that bloom on those trees


Mother brings light to hundreds of thousands of eyes

Mother provides light to the full moon that has completed all twelve phases

 Mother lights up all the stars in the universe on a moonless night

Mother is the sun that rises in the east to cast light upon the world

In all she sang 27 songs. Too many to translate, but I picked Rankenden Bendi as the next one……

I chose this video because the appropriateness of the graphics….

The love that was created by the golden thread tying our hands together….

The love that bound our thoughts with the threads of love.

I only hurt my wings by trying to fly away like a bird

The outstretched fingers on my hands are meant for both you and him…..

The sun and the moon have both arisen on either side

But why is my kingdom still in darkness?

I am a fragile flower cast adrift and floating in the stormy wind….

Am I to take leave my leave from you or from him on the morrow?

The penultimate song was Udangu Liyan

I did not bloom in this land to adorn the elaborately braided and coifed blue black tresses of prideful women……..


I did not bloom to perfume the dinning tables of empty headed men filling their stomachs engaging in meaningless chatter in search of pleasure


Please throw me down on the path of the many that follow the final journey of a soldier who gave his life for his country so that I may be trampled upon by their dusty feet and die a contented death…….


That is my ultimate wish……….

The final song was a dig at all of us expats…..Thun Hele Kela Thula Sinha Petaw

There are no lion cubs in the forests of the three kingdoms of the Sinhele (Land of the Lion)

They have all left the land……


The lion cubs bound by irons have left too ashamed seeing the faces of their people….


Forsaking their fertile land they are feeding on the grass stubble….the Lions are begging in foreign lands…

Do these cubs born to the Lion King see the pain of others?


Let us take shake off the laziness that has bound our minds before the lions in our flag too leave us to go begging door to door in foreign lands

Thanks for sharing the experience with me…….



2 Comments Add yours

  1. mabhayaratne says:

    Thanks a lot, I enjoyed this collection thoroughly, but I can imagine how transporting an experience the live show would have been.
    Yeah! Cutlets, Chinese Rolls, Malu Pan those are so powerful to keep us attached to Sri Lanka – I don’t know about you, but my umbilical code is very much connected to Perera & Sons, Hotel Nipon and Chariot! I found different types of cutlets in Italy too. But they were nowhere close to the ones filled with green chillies, red onions and nice fish you get only in SL.

    1. I miss Bake House in Kandy where I have shared many a cup of tea and Short Eats with good friends trying to solve the world’s problems (borrowing a phrase from my friend Andrew).

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