|Dr Nireka is in the Middle, Between me and Shakila. Vigitha first from right, next to Shakila , the girl who seated before me currently works in Ambuldeniya (?) DS 's office|
And we were near the Parakkrama Samudraya
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Dr. Nireka Weeratunge Starkloff
There are human (yes I like to use this term ‘human’), that I always like to remember with so much respect and gratitude.
Dr. Nireka Weeratunge Starkloff is one of them. I actually met her in the latter stage of my carrier - life.
She looked strict to me at the beginning. She is very strict in the work she handles. She does not want to keep any room for complains and errors unless they are unavoidable. I met her at the CEPA, (Centre for Poverty Analysis) Gregory’s place, Colombo 07 that was for the first time. I was introduced to her by Mrs. Sonali Gunasekara. Since then I worked for her in almost all her projects that she handled with.
She is one of the researchers that I met on and off of my field research rounds of my life. She is one of the rare ones that I admire a lot and who always respects ‘the support’ and ‘assistants’ given to not only to her but also to any research teams to any projects by RA’s (Research Assistants)
I know that she always think and believe that the data that they (RA’s) bring from the fields has so much value. What she always expect is honesty in data gathering
And in all the projects that she alone or teamly handled, she never stayed in
Colombo or in her office just sending her RA’s to the field to collate data. She always wanted to get the picture of the area herself before sitting to write the report using the data that her RA collated from the relevant fields
She is an Anthropologist her understanding about the socio economic situations of different eras of certain societies including ours is amazingly high. She is a good traveler. She travels across globe. What I like about her is that she forgets all her work of course when there is no urgent tasks to finish or any deadlines to meet.
She goes to such places when she gets little time away from her days task, when she is in Polonnaruwa or in the places where history teaches us lessons she just enjoys sitting somewhere among the ruins or near Buddha statues and in between she does not forget to share the things that she knows and have learned about such places, the importance of such places. If my memory is accurate she was in Russia with her family for sometimes as a kid.
Her father was a well known scholar who has worked in Jaffna as well a medical doctor. I guess my memory is rightly functions so far. Correct me madam if I am wrong and if you get any chances to read this my essay.
My sister and I too got few opportunities to visit most the places thanks to her. When ever we get some relief from our work she takes us around such places.
I remember that we used to spend a lot of time in the ancient memories of Polonnaruwa. Even as a kid I have never been to all such places except I come to visit my aunts and uncles who live away from Kandy, in Colombo that was only with my father. Thanks to my Carrier I have chosen I got opportunities to travel around my country. There are still a lot of areas and places to be explored though.
She is always a well wisher, a benefactor for me. I think I last met her about a year ago. Though we don’t write to each other very often, she holds a very special place in my heart as a well wisher, a friend and of course I learnt a lot from her. She has sharpened my knowledge in a heavy way I must write. She is always pay her RA a good pay and I know that she never keeps what she gets, a lump sum for her RA ‘s for her use. There is always encouragement and she often advised me to study further it was me who was a little lazy to study at academic institutions sitting for exams.
She was with the ‘world fish centre’ I think that she still works them on and off as a consultant /researcher /anthropologist.
I was a little careless in handling my finances or the pay I get I was not a good saver. Once I heard of a land that was be sold for a reasonable, affordable price in Horana. I had only a little money saved I know that if I work with her about two weeks I earn half of the land value. So I thought of asking her some money to pay agreeing to pay back about 10 000 each month. She agreed to give me the money I needed. So I paid about half of what I took as a loan. The deed was written as a mortgage one. There were a few months I could not pay her money at a one stretch, I write to her normally when ever there were some money shortages indicating that I may not pay the money on time but little later. She always said that ‘‘Sandika land is not going anywhere that will be there and you will not run a way with this land. It is alright pay me only when you can’’
Couple months later ……………….
She phoned me and asked me to come and meet her. She wanted to release me from the mortgage and have asked her Lawyer to write the deed to my name.
I know that it is little difficult for any individual to take such decisions people kill each other even for a thousand rupee or even for a hundred rupee.
This world is like that though it is not applicable to every one of this world. Sometimes I know what people do such hazards to others for a tiny bag full of raising including getting such things as the pay for insulting the ones they don’t like accompany with.
For me she is a beautiful heart. For me she is a guide, for me she is a person who came to help me in many ways when I was little struggling to come out of some situations of my health. I met her little after I came out of the trauma of my father’s suffered dead. She never looks down upon me. And she never thought twice to introduce me to her colleagues, carrier and others. And the words she uses in such occasions are very heavy for me. She is that kind.
She is a good hearted person
I think I took little longer to write this about her, about her kindness and generosity
She is married to Mr. Ralf Starkloff – a sociologist, easy to work with I have worked for him as well in few of his projects that he handled. They have so gorgeous daughter she is Naima, a ballet dancer she is very good in that I have watched few of her videos and they have a smart son Chendru who is currently studying overseas I can’t remember whether he moved to USA from Germany or still stays in Germany. One of the IT experts of the country Mr. Jeewaka Weeratunge is her brother others I have not really met.
Mrs Jeewaka Weeratunge used to send various quotes and useful emails to me earlier now I don’t receive any : ( I am not sure whether there is aany particular reason for that. She is a stunning lady.
I don’t think I wrote all about her Dr. Nireka Weeratunge yet I think I should keep something to talk of her in the essays that I am planning write in the future
Until then I like to wish her good health and happy life