Lakshmi’s move to Colombo had been planned in theory many years ago, soon after both Leo and Ida died, but much had to be concluded before it could be accomplished. First, Lakshmi had to sell her lands in Kurunagala, which she wanted to finish before she moved, not only to have enough money to buy and build, but also because she felt that, once she moved, rapacious politicians would acquire her property in Kurunagala. Second, Old Place and the land around it had to be disposed of, which was complicated by the fact that Lakshmi owned only a quarter of the property. The rest belonged to my grandmother, since the older Goonewardene sisters had both left their own quarter shares to their younger sister. I always thought this was unfair, since it was Leo who had looked after the house and the property for so long, but no one else shared my view. I suppose this was understandable since Lakshmi was not married, and had no heirs except her aunt’s family, but that I thought was a contingency that should not have affected the principles involved.
This factor was further complicated by the fact that Bishop Lakshman had decided that he wanted to retire in Kurunagala, and live in the Annexe that had been built for his wicked Uncle Edward. The Annexe had been used on occasion over the years, last of all I think when I took Nigel Hatch and Qadri Ismail for a couple of days in 1982, shortly after I had been dismissed from S. Thomas’. Lakshmi had been a marvelous host, and sometimes I think I should have pushed her more in this respect, insisting on taking friends there to stay, because it would have enlivened her. But I am not especially gregarious myself, and valued Kurunagala also for peace and quiet, and the opportunity passed.