Chronicles of time

Denzil Jayasinghe
4 min readDec 3, 2023

In the singular photograph that captures the essence of a spirited friendship, Rajakaruna and I emerge vibrant and undaunted. The image conjures memories of our unconventional lives, etched with tales of late-night escapades and the warmth of shared camaraderie.

me and Rajakaruna

Rajakaruna, a bold and boisterous companion, would return from the hotel’s demanding night shifts, his vigour defying the late hour. I recall the abrupt awakenings, the white sheet yanked off my bunk bed, the jolt from sleep, and the lively conversations in the dimly lit room. Even in tipsy moments, after a few quick shots of whiskey, he had a captivating charm in embracing life’s simple pleasures.

Our sleeping quarters mirrored our unconventional paths — perched atop two bunk beds, our lives unfolded in stark contrast. I, the planner, charted courses for the future, occupying the upper bunk, while Rajakaruna occupied the top of the other bunk bed. He revelled in the present, a comet streaking through the night sky alongside me. Nicky and Sena, our senior roommates, grounded below, served as guardians, their advice a beacon in the fog of youth, weaving unspoken bonds of camaraderie. Seniority played a big part in allocating bed space in the tight apartment. Young guns Rajakaruna and I were given the top while the two seniors comfortably occupied the bottom.

Rajakaruna, who knows how to keep the party alive, got into a sticky situation after a lively argument about street food at the eatery next to our apartment block. With Rajakaruna’s temper, it turned into a full-blown food fight with the owner. The whole scene at the restaurant was like chaos unleashed — people staring like they’d never seen a fight before.

In panic mode, the scared restaurant owner rolled his sarong up and dashed straight to the cop station nearby. Meanwhile, at the food battleground, Rajakaruna’s friends (he had plenty), realising the cops would be on their way to snatch Rajakaruna, sprang into action. They managed a rescue that any professional team would be proud of. They took Rajakaruna out of our apartment window and moved him to the lot next door as if he were a bag of playful potatoes. All in the thick of the night, past midnight. It was the rescue of the decade.

As the cops closed in, it turned into a wild game, with Rajakaruna playing the world champion of hide and seek. Sena, the quiet hero who happened to be at the eatery with Rajakaruna, ended up in the hot seat, innocent but not singing like a canary. A night of detention at the cop station for Sena, the room’s elder. The following day brought a wake-up call for Rajakaruna, who, now sober, had to face the music at the police station. Surprisingly, the officers, maybe amused by his youthful antics, let him off with just a finger wag.

Also, Sena, the protector and the unsung hero was set free, and the friend network breathed a sigh of relief.

Rajakaruna continued his antics, waking me in the middle of the night and occasionally pulling my pants down to annoy me. We remained close until I left the hotel a few short months later.

Among my assortment of photos with friends, a particular picture holds significance. It captures only Rajakaruna and me. This lone photograph is important to me as a poignant reminder of the enjoyable moments and the robust camaraderie we once enjoyed. The photo with him and me was taken at my parent’s house during a holiday, not long after I left the hotel in Dubai. It’s different from other group photos with many friends because in this one, it’s just us, and we’re not lost in the crowd. It shows our special friendship.

Rajakaruna ond me on the left, Rajakarune and me with our other friends including Nicky

Where are my characters today?

Today, the characters are scattered across the globe — Nicky in Melbourne, Sena in Toronto, and sadly, Rajakaruna rests in peace after a fully lived life in Austria, his vibrant spirit immortalised in the cherished photograph that is a testament to our enduring bond.

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Denzil Jayasinghe

Lifelong learner, tech enthusiast, photographer, occasional artist, servant leader, avid reader, storyteller and more recently a budding writer