Getting ready for the trip back to Colombo is always depressing. The moment the bags come out Buster, Rocky and Bruiser hang their heads and mope. Their eyes are so expressive it hurts. They do not understand why I want to leave – and all the petting and cajoling will not alter their mood. I feel awful as well, as I begin to pack. 

Lissenup maaan… 

Not now, Java – please! But he is not to be dissuaded …    

Hey maaan – ‘sno good being down jus becos you have to leave. You gonna be back soon and tink of all yo buddies back dere in da city and da fun an games yo have wit dem – tokin an jokin an havin a good ol time. An den deres yo dancer – she be waitin on you too, right? An what about yo work, an makin a livin?

I don’t reply. It won’t make any difference to the way I feel, although he’s on the button – as usual! 

No response maaan? You know all about da cause of sufferin maaan. You be into all dat philosophical stuff. You know what Buddah say about it – all come down to attachment maaan. Da bigger da attachment, da greater da sufferin – all proportionate maaan. Make a lotta sense, right?  

Right! But does that help? Sure, intellectually one does realise that the root cause of sorrow, pain, loss, and all those other emotions that bring the spirit into low ebb is caused by desire. And when the object of the desire is taken away the negative response is in direct proportion to the quantum of desire. So, the greater the desire, the greater the ‘suffering’. Simple! But to rid the mind of this is far easier said than done – as we all know. 

Da trick,maaan, is not to rid da mind of da object of desire maaan….

I’m not looking forward to continuing this discussion. 

Da trick be to ’not attach da mind’ to  da object when you ain’t around it, maan. See, if you don tink of da dogs an dis place when you be back in da city, you gonna stop feelin so down. You know dis well – it happen all da time, right? 

Right Java! Good advice man. He’s obviously bucked that I acknowledge his wisdom and gazes out of the window to watch the early morning glow through the mist. It’s a chilly 14 C and the first shafts of light are piercing the trees that surround the house. The coffee is hot and Worldspace’s Maestro channel has the most appropriate early morning classical orchestral music on. 

Perfect – except of course that I must get back to packing.