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When Mala Fernando came to visit from Sri Lanka, her daughter, Ashanthi, brought her into our mobile booth in Rochester, New York.
Here, Ashanti asks her mother about the early days of her parents' marriage.
NPR's Morning Edition 11.13.09
Mala: I got married on the day of my 22nd birthday. It was tough you know? Your father used to treat me like another little girl. I told him, I’m not your daughter. I’m your wife. Treat me like a wife.
One day he asked me what would you do if I die? And I told, “Don’t talk about death.”
Ashanthi: Didn’t he joke around and say you should marry a wealthy mudalali which means seedy businessman?
Mala: That’s right! That’s right! You should get married again, he told me. Oh no, I’m not going to get married again. Then after that he just…died about two weeks later.
Mala: He got a heart attack and he suddenly died.
Mala: And within that year I grew up so fast.
Ashanthi: Because you didn’t even know how to write a check before that.
Mala: Yes, and I was so proud of myself. I found myself as a person, for the first time. That’s the beginning of...
Read the full transcript
Intro and OutroINTRO:
Time now for StoryCorps.
This project has been recording conversations between loved ones asking each other about their lives.
Today, we'll hear from Ashanthi Gajaweera [uh-SHAN-thee gah-juh-VEER-uh] and her mother, Mala [MAH-lah] Fernando.
Ashanthi [uh-SHAN-thee] had some questions for her mom about the early days of her parent's marriage in Sri Lanka.OUTRO:
Ashanthi Gajaweera [uh-SHAN-thee gah-juh-VEER-uh] with her mother, Mala [MAH-lah] Fernando, in Rochester, New York.
Their conversation will be archived along with ALL StoryCorps interviews at the Library of Congress.
Get the podcast at NPR-dot-ORG.
[STORYCORPS FUNDER -- on ME Shelf]
This is NPR News.
NPR, Corporation for Public Broadcasting