It was a late evening of summer, as the moon began to rise from the horizon, a baby boy's little cry was heard the birth unit of Rathnems Hospital in Colombo. Saman Sandanayake was born that evening of February 6th in 1961. He was the first child of Kusuma and Sarath Sandanayake who were a schoolteacher and postmaster at the time.
For four years, Saman received all of the attention and love until his two brothers and sister were born. He grew up in a small house, in the middle of a rubber plantation in a village. He started attending school with his mother at the age of five to Thammita Maha Vidyalaya. He was able to begin school earlier than others because his mother was highly respected teacher.
He played with the village kids in a rubber plantations and paddy fields. He played with mud and trees. He went swimming in the muddy river and went cycling.
He got punished many times for jumping into the river from trees. At the age of seven, his family moved to his grandparents' ancestral home. Isabella, his grandmother, used to teach him about the Buddhist religion and sometimes she would take him to the local Buddhist temple with her. She also took him to far-away monasteries and famous temples. He used to sleep under trees in open spaces during these long trips. William, his grandfather, taught him a lot about local plants and animals. His grandfather used to take him to village and show him all the important places. He also introduced Saman to many villagers.
At the age of ten, his mum and dad decided to move to a different school called Minuangoda Central College. It was about fifteen kilometers from his home. He had to ride a bicycle for a...