Farewell to a good friend and an angel of a man

Farewell to a good friend and an angel of a man.

We are heart-broken with news of a tragic accident yesterday, which instantly killed Bandu, our dearest Sri Lankan friend, an angel of a man, tuk tuk driver and overall problem solver in our daily lives in Sri Lanka.  His tuk tuk was hit by a fast-moving train when there was no attendant at the train track crossing  during a heavy rainstorm.

Those of you who read the blog fairly regularly will know who Bandu is. For those who have not read that post yet,  you can find it here: Bandu the game changer.

Bandu was the kindest, sweetest, nicest man we met in Sri Lanka and it is hard for us to come to terms with his sudden, tragic death.  He was such a GOOD person and they were such a loving happy couple.  Just 2 days ago he and his family were at our house sharing their dinner with us.

Bandu was the bread winner for his family and he leaves behind Nilu, his wife, and their two young sons, Dimalsha (7) and Isuru (16).  We are so very sad and we would like to help them in this time of great distress as they move forward in their lives without their father and husband.

Bandu was the type of dad who drove his teenager to his exams and then sat outside in his tuk tuk waiting for his kid to finish so he could find out how it went and take him back home. The younger son, is a chess champion at school. Bandu was so proud of both his boys and clearly they loved and respected him as a dad.

Bandu was the type of husband who helped Nilu in the kitchen. He would go and buy the coconuts and other things she needed, bring them back, crack open the coconut and get it all ready to be made into coconut milk. Then he would go to where Nilu was working and see what else she needed help with. The two of them would be happily chopping and cooking in our little kitchen, together. They clearly had a great relationship and really liked each other. Nilu would often tell me how good a husband Bandu was. And she didn’t need to… we could see it.

We will be setting up a fixed rate savings account which can hopefully generate monthly income for Bandu’s wife Nilu, going forward.  Interest rates in Sri Lanka are about 10% per year, so in order to generate  $200 per month income, the minimum that she will need to keep afloat, we ask anyone / everyone’s help in building up a deposit amount.  Any contribution would be enormously helpful to Bandu’s family.

It will take a couple of weeks to set up this account, but in the meantime, if any of you wish to/ or can help Bandu’s wife Nilu, and their sons, please send contributions to this paypal account (petakaplan@hotmail.com).  And please email Peta (petakaplan@hotmail.com) as well with your name and the amount you have contributed and the country you live in.

ANY funds you can contribute will be enormously appreciated by the family.  Nothing will replace Bandu of course, but if we can help alleviate the daily survival challenge his wife and family now face, it will be SOMETHING.

Thank you.

Peta & Ben

52 thoughts on “Farewell to a good friend and an angel of a man

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Yes we are definitely both shocked and saddened. We have been twice to the family as part of the pre funeral rituals and tomorrow is the funeral. The family is obviously devastated.

  1. Lynn

    Oh Peta, this is so tragic. It is times like this when it is truly difficult to make any sense of why such a beautiful human being is taken from us. Sending hugs to you & to Nilu & her boys during this very difficult time.

    Can I do an e-tsf to your email rather than through paypal?

    Lynn

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thank you Lynn for such a thoughtful message. If ever there was in illustration of the Buddhist concept of impermanence. Just like the beautiful colorful mandalas made of grains of sand which can be wiped out in one gust of wind, so was Bandu’s beautiful life scattered in one sudden “gust of wind”.

      We do not have the account set up yet for the family as Nilu will need to be the one to go to the bank and it is too early for that… But once we do, we will post it here. Thank you in advance for your contribution… Much appreciated.

      Ben & Peta

    2. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Hi Lynn,

      Thank you for your kind offer to help Bandu’s family.

      The bank account is now open for Bandu’s wife Nilu. Here is the info required for a wire transfer:

      Account Name: N. H. G. D. KARUNARATHNA
      Account Number – 8270074659
      Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC
      Galle City Branch
      Swift Code – CCEYLKLX
      Bank Code – 7056
      Branch Code – 027

      If you cannot do either a wire transfer or a contribution through paypal, here is my personal bank account info for an e-transfer:
      Chase Bank
      Name of account: Peta Kaplan
      Routing #: 071000013
      Account #: 665807723

      Thank you.

      Ben & Peta

      1. Lynn

        Oh my goodness, for some reason I didn’t receive notification of your reply to my inquiry. I was just commenting on your latest post & decided to look back to see if any info had been added & there it was! I plan on going this week to wire some funds for your dear friend & her family.

        Regards,

        Lynn

  2. Lexklein

    Of course, I instantly recalled his name and his wonderful relationship with you, and I am terribly saddened by this news. A kind man, a helpful man, a loving man, and a young man – it just doesn’t seem fair. It never does. Sending deepest condolences and will be in touch regarding some help.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thank you Lex for these lovely words. You said it exactly right. Thanks so very much for your meaningful contribution to his family, it really means a lot to us and it will be survival for them.

      Peta

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Julie, thank you. We will be setting up an account for the family but it will take about two weeks before we have an account for etransfer. Once we do, we will post the information on our blog for contributions.

    2. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Hi Julie,

      Thank you for your kind offer to help Bandu’s family.

      The bank account is now open for Bandu’s wife Nilu. Here is the info required for a wire transfer:

      Account Name: N. H. G. D. KARUNARATHNA
      Account Number – 8270074659
      Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC
      Galle City Branch
      Swift Code – CCEYLKLX
      Bank Code – 7056
      Branch Code – 027

      If you cannot do either a wire transfer or a contribution through paypal, here is my personal bank account info for an e-transfer:
      Chase Bank
      Name of account: Peta Kaplan
      Routing #: 071000013
      Account #: 665807723

      Thank you.

      Ben & Peta

  3. Sue Slaght

    Peta my heart breaks at this news. I so loved your recent post about Bandu and his family. As others have mentioned is an e-transfer possible? I would very much like to help.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Sue, it is very heart breaking. We are hoping to get the bank account set up tomorrow and soon as it is I will post it on here. Thank you so much for offering to help Bandu’s family. It means so much to us.

      Peta

    2. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Sue,

      Thank you for your kind offer to help Bandu’s family.

      The bank account is now open for Bandu’s wife Nilu. Here is the info required for a wire transfer:

      Account Name: N. H. G. D. KARUNARATHNA
      Account Number – 8270074659
      Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC
      Galle City Branch
      Swift Code – CCEYLKLX
      Bank Code – 7056
      Branch Code – 027

      If you cannot do either a wire transfer or a contribution through paypal, here is my personal bank account info for an e-transfer:
      Chase Bank
      Name of account: Peta Kaplan
      Routing #: 071000013
      Account #: 665807723

      Thank you.

      Ben & Peta

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thank you so much for your lovely message and offer to help. Once we have an account set up for Bandu’s family we will post it on here for contributions. Many thanks for your offer to help them. Alternatively it is pretty easy to sign up to paypal.com, you just have to register your name and credit card info and that’s it. The paypal account we are using in the meantime is: petakaplan@hotmail.com

      Peta

    2. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Dear Janis,

      Thank you for your kind offer to help Bandu’s family.

      The bank account is now open for Bandu’s wife Nilu. Here is the info required for a wire transfer:

      Account Name: N. H. G. D. KARUNARATHNA
      Account Number – 8270074659
      Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC
      Galle City Branch
      Swift Code – CCEYLKLX
      Bank Code – 7056
      Branch Code – 027

      If you cannot do either a wire transfer or a contribution through paypal, here is my personal bank account info for an e-transfer:
      Chase Bank
      Name of account: Peta Kaplan
      Routing #: 071000013
      Account #: 665807723

      Thank you.

      Ben & Peta

  4. Darlene Foster

    This is very sad news. I remember the post about this wonderful man and can understand how upsetting this must be. Please pass on my condolences to his wife and sons. I know the two of you will be there for them. Sending hugs.

  5. Liesbet

    Oh, Peta. This is devastating. I’m so sorry to read about this awful fate for Bandu and his family, especially after your recent blog about him and his wife, which was so heart-warming and positive. My condolences to you both and Bandu’s family!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thank you Liesbet. Even though we only knew Bandu for a relatively short time, we had a strong bond with him. It is so very sad that he should die so suddenly and in such a tragic way. His demeanor was always cheerful and upbeat and that is how we will remember him.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Kelly,

      Thank you for your kind offer to help Bandu’s family.

      The bank account is now open for Bandu’s wife Nilu. Here is the info required for a wire transfer:

      Account Name: N. H. G. D. KARUNARATHNA
      Account Number – 8270074659
      Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC
      Galle City Branch
      Swift Code – CCEYLKLX
      Bank Code – 7056
      Branch Code – 027

      If you cannot do either a wire transfer or a contribution through paypal, here is my personal bank account info for an e-transfer:
      Chase Bank
      Name of account: Peta Kaplan
      Routing #: 071000013
      Account #: 665807723

      Thank you.

      Ben & Peta

  6. Johanna Bradley

    What a horrific ending for a man who seemed to be the life and soul of his community, Peta. His family must be in shock. I’m glad you’re thinking practically as they will surely need help.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Life can be very unpredictable and at times like these one certainly realizes the fragility of it all. His family are most definitely in shock and in deep grief, it is so painful to see. Today was his funeral.. hundreds of people.

      Peta

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      LuAnn it is really weird that we just wrote that and then this tragedy happened. I am glad that we have a story recording the friendship. It certainly is a reminder of the frailty of life and the impermanence of it all. Very heartbreaking… Thank you for your lovely message.

      Peta

  7. Pamela

    A sad, devastating accident that will affect so many people in this wonderful man’s life. I read about him with such interest and admiration in your Bandu the Game Changer post. And now, this tragedy, which makes no sense in this of course nonsensical world. Sending out universal spiritual thoughts of peace and hope to Bandu’s family.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Pamela thank you so much…. So tragic. The funeral was heartbreaking. Bandu was one of those very special people with a heart of gold. Always smiling always helping. We recently found out that he used to give tuk tuk rides to free to locals that could not afford to pay. Thank you for your lovely note.

      Peta

  8. Anita @ No Particular Place to Go

    Oh Peta and Ben – my heart goes out to you and Bandu’s family with the news of Bandu’s tragic death. I feel almost like I’ve lost a friend as well as you wrote about he and Nilu in a way that made them come to life. Such a beautiful, heartfelt tribute to a kind and generous man who very obviously was a friend to many. How kind of you to think of a way to help out the family in a practical manner that demonstrates another side to a true friendship. I’ll be in touch.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Anita thank you for such a warm and thoughtful message. In retrospect, we are grateful that we wrote that story about Bandu when we did, as we had a chance to put into words how much we valued his personality and help in our lives here. Thanks too for your kind contribution to the account we set up for Nilu and Bandu’s sons.

      Peta

  9. Ann

    I’m so sorry to hear about Bandu! I remember him from previous posts, and he sounded like an amazing man. I’ll be thinking of you and his family…..

  10. Laurel

    Dear Peta and Ben, I am so deeply saddened to read of the loss of your friend. I’m sorry to be so late in responding, but we’ve been without reliable internet for a couple of weeks and I’m just now catching up. I remember how fondly you wrote of Bandu, and I remember thinking how fortunate you all were to have found each other. He was obviously a very special man. It’s a great gift of friendship you are offering to his family in their time of need. I want to help, and will contact my bank to send an e-transfer. Blessings of peace to you, and to his family.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thank you Laurel for your very thoughtful and kind message. Bands was indeed an exceptional human being and he will be missed by many. Since his funeral we have met many more of his family who have all rallied around Nilu and warmly reached out to us. Ben was one of the coffin bearers at the funeral ~ we will perhaps do a follow up post about the funeral and the family. Thanks for any contribution that you can offer, it will all be much appreciated by the family.

      with love
      Peta & Ben

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