Cherishing memories of “Yazhdevi”
By Dushiyanthini Kanagasabapathipillai
I was given a pleasant surprise in Oslo, by Tamil friends there, after a long journey from Copenhagen to Oslo by bus.I had the urge to have a real Jaffna Vegetarian meal for lunch.
They read my mind. And, I was taken to “Yazhdevi” restaurant in Grønland.
The place really looked like Jaffna.The lady, who welcomed us, was very charming and hospitable.
She has been living in Norway for twelve years.She served rice, dhal, maravalli kizhangu (maniac) curry, payaththangai (long beans) curry, katharikkai kuzhambu (egg plant) ,carrot salad, pappadam and morr milakai (green chillies soaked in butter milk, and dried ). Payasam was served as a dessert.The meal was delicious, with variety of curries.
I felt like, I had a “Sabai saappaadu” served for a Hindu wedding in Jaffna.She kept asking “Innum podava?’ (Shall I serve more?). We checked on each other’s well being and where are we from.There were more Tamils, who are living in Norway enjoyed their meals.
I overheard a Tamil guy, who was seated next to my table was whispering to his friend “Thamizh mathiri illai, aanaal nalla Thamizh kathikkira” (Although she does not look like a Tamil, she talks in Tami fluently.He came near, and asked me “Neengal Sri Lanka va?” (Are you from Sri Lanka?).More and more joined the conversation later.Non-Tamils visited “Yazhdevi”. I was told that “Yazhdevi” is quite popular for authentic Jaffna cuisine.
Although I miss traveling by “Yazhdevi” from Colombo to Jaffna, I left “Yazhdevi” with the pleasure of having enjoyed their food and hospitality, and with plenty of pleasant memories of "Yazhdevi" journey.
"Yazhdevi" train service from Colombo to Jaffna was stopped in June, 1990 due to war.