Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cornalis Weerasinghe (Konda Seeya) the visiting barber

He is over 70 and leads a blessed life. His three sons are very well employed. Two of Konda Seeya's sons are still living with him in the house he built, while the second is married and lives separately. Konda Seeya lives with his wife, whom he wedded in 1971. Hailing from Dikwella (Matara), he came to Colombo in 1960 to join the Barber Vocational Section at the Deaf and Blind School to become a barber. During the 6-month training he was paid Rs 60/= per month and he and other 5 mates had to serve by cutting the hair of the differently abled youth who were boarded there. Having completed the course, he started working at different barber salons in Colombo and suburbs and finally ran his own one till he gave it up. For the last 35 years he has been going from house to house in the Anderson Flats (Colombo 5) and Elvitigala Flats (Colombo 8). He has served three generations at these housing schemes and he proudly announces that he has got 800 households to serve in total. He laments that his inability to walk as he used to has restricted his number of working days per week to three.