The Kotte Marsh at the edge of Diyawanna River, just outside Colombo, is firmly etched in my memory. My grandfather’s old house was up the hill, beyond the rice fields. As a child, the Marsh was my favourite playground. I walked, fished, hunted and watched birds there. Today it is unrecognisable. The river now is a lake with many islands and blue sail boats. There are illuminated paths for walkers at the water’s edge, playgrounds for kids on roller skates, a fancy hotel, a lakeside café and a flower market. Environment Police make sure the park is spotlessly clean.
I visited Water’s Edge for the first time yesterday. I walked through the colourful flower market and sat in the café to drink Lion Lager and eat devilled cuttlefish, served by a shaven-headed waiter in a dinner jacket. The cuttlefish with onions and peppers was devilishly hot but the beer was cold and the cool breeze from the lake was in my face. I remembered my childhood days in the marshes. Water’s Edge however, pleased me.