Tuesday, October 7, 2008


I was at a wedding last Saturday, and thinking "why is this couple getting married?" I was only a part of the choir that provided the music at the 'ceremony' so I wasn't known to them and don't have the real answer to this question. Maybe even the newly-weds themselves don't have the answer. See, there were ten people on the bride-grooms 'side' of the church and four on the bride's. I'm not saying there need be a huge congregation at a wedding, but the number of the congregation was noticeable because of the looks on the faces of each and every one. Not happy.

The boy was obviously from a Dutch-descendant family. His mother was white and looked like one of those dumb fair-skinned women who think they're still the shit. (Ok, maybe Dutch was the shit in this country; centuries ago, but not anymore.) The rest of the family probably thought the same. The thing that read the gospel at the altar (presumably a relative of the groom) was dressed in a piece of cloth which reached as low as six to eight inches below her crotch. A bloody disgrace I think. So that's the boy's family, and they are not happy. You wouldn't have had to look far to figure out why.

The girl is probably very smart or very talented or both, but she also probably is originally from a rural area. Her father wears the national costume, and her mother an osari; both faded and probably quite old although it's their daughters wedding. They're dark-skinned from working in the sun, and probably very simple. They are also nervous about stepping across the altar to the back of the church to sign the registrations.

So during the registration we (the 'professional' choir) turn to face each other and build the love-story. The girl either because she passes A/Ls with flying colors or through an influential person known to her managed to secure a job in Colombo. She meets the boy. Boy decides girl is good, so they have something. Then they want to get married. Or does the girl get pregnant? But nobody likes it. Either way they end up doing the thing. And we were called in to sing some decency into the whole affair (ha ha yeah right!)

This is obviously the first time that the pastor has seen them, and his homily is addressed to the world in general and applicable to anybody; even somebody who's not getting married. Honestly. The boy watches him intently while the girl smiles self-consciously at the camera which the photographer is aiming at her. The homily is nothing and the whole evening is about her classless dress with pink sequins, her tasteless makeup which hides the face behind a mask of pancake, and the bloody photographer. At some point though, she begins to sweat and daintily wipe her face with a tissue which she hides behind her bouquet. I am fifteen feet away from her but can see the color of the paper change from white to cream-brown. The she begins to wipe her eyes vigorously. At this point the boy gets annoyed and turns to look at her. He gets terribly worried and goes red around the eyes and nose. She's crying. So the homily ends. The choir performs the next hymn and that's about the end of that. The two hurry out of the church and the congregation follows them, straight to their vehicles and presumably homes.

The experience left me wondering what's wrong with our people. All these bloody traditions and meaningless ritualistic habits of ours are what make us a dead and boring nation. If the families aren't happy about the wedding, invite friends. If even friends aren't happy, don't have a wedding. Get a house, register and spend the money on the kids' education or something.

Aiyo! And my research paper is waiting… :(

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Personal Essay

I believe this Earth is flat and that photographs taken from outer-space which display the Earth as a globe or sphere are false; 'maya'. The Earth stretches down infinitely beneath us. The limit of the Earth is the limit man has dug. If someone today digs deeper than any man has dug before, then the bottom of the pit that this man digs is the depth of the Earth. It stretches as we push ourselves towards it. The deeper we dig, the further it gets from us. It is the same with truth. That is why philosophers who began searching for an embodiment of truth now search for the definition of truth. We are a backward 'advancing' species that believes it is ahead of all others. True, we move fast; but we move in the wrong direction.

So, beyond the depth of the Earth is Hell. That is where the man who has dug his own grave goes. The depth of Hell is also limitless. The man searching for truth falls into it and never ceases to fall until he reaches its depth. But truth is nothing – We are only figments of God's imagination – so the man never reaches it. He keeps falling. I know this because I know everything. God told me so.


*The use of the words "he" and "man" here should not be taken in sexist terms: I myself am a female – the writing would be OFF if I kept saying "he or she" or "person".

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I have a problem. Well of course I have a problem, but that's not what I mean, I really have a problem. I don't have anything to write about; and that has hindered me from keeping my oath to write at least a sentence each day.

I just realized I lied. I DO have things to write about; it's just that I can't be bothered with spending time thinking about these things enough to write an interesting post.

  1. An issue popped up recently about just how personal these public posts should get. I started the argument staunchly supporting not giving a shit what you say where as long as you're comfortable saying it, but realized that I had to change my stance once it was made clear that although I'm generally ok with saying anything anywhere, I'm not okay with handling whatever (unpleasant) repercussions being an 'open-book' might have.
  2. Identity. Gehan talks about it in "Pardon Me, But Who Am I Again?". I'm not really concerned with the race, the caste, the language, the type of music you listen to etc., but the last quote from the bat-man-guy is close to what I've been thinking about. What would be the better measure of a person? What he or she IS or what he or she aspires to be? I wanted to base an argument for Writing Skills on this, but my lecturer thwarted the idea. I believed that a person would be better measured by what he or she aspires to be than by what he or she has already done. But does a murderer aspire to be a murderer? So then it seems to follow that it's better to measure a person by what he or she does. Right? Wrong. Because what a person does is not limit to actually doing it, it also involves justifying it. So it's possibly better to look at why a person does/has done something before you measure them. This kid at Bible class put it nicely today. A friend of his has a weird form of encouragement apparently. He just says "why do you do it"? Some of you will understand the beauty of this, some of you may not. What we are is defined by what we believe in; our reasons for living.
  3. We also discussed punishment at youth today. Why are people (children specifically) punished? What does it achieve? Is it effective? I propose rewarding 'good' things as opposed to punishing 'bad' things. Positivity always seems to work. I've read a little about this in terms of behavioural psychology for school, but obviously haven't read enough to actually say anything about it or develop a strong personal opinion. Not that I have a strong personal opinion about anything
  4. Homo-sexuality has been addressed in my hearing at least four times in different environments this week, it's funny.

Ah… for time to discourse!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Honestly, University is not something I'm doing by choice. It's something I've been forced to do because of something I promised myself sometime back. The time between my ALs and University entrance was spent in search of "what to do next". The decision was that if I found something worthwhile (i.e. a full scholarship to music school in the US or something similar) I would be allowed to take that path; if not, I would to the Special Degree and get a BA from the University of Peradeniya. This was in order to please my mother and the rest of family because I remembered the disappointment they suffered at my OL results. I didn't wanna let them down ever again. So, that time between my ALs and University entrance was spent searching, but nothing was found. (Actually, an almost-full scholarship to the US was found, but a sense of patriotism and the fact that the school wasn't all that good led me to decline the offer.) So, I was left to keep my word to myself and start Uni.

Two months down the line, I'm looking at the whole experience and I'm still seeing it objectively. It's not as awesome as I expected it to be. It's not as "unforgettable" as people said it would be, and I can't see how I could have "regretted" not doing it, but it's ok. I'm learning something; here and there.

But I still wanna play piano. I want to be able to drown in the strength of my fingers. I want to be lifted up on Mozart's genius. I want to be enveloped in the darkness of Beethoven. I want to be lost in Sculthorpe. I want to be recreated by Blake. I don't even mind some Chopin at this point. But I can't.

It's not that I can't play the piano anymore; it's just that I can't play as well. I know this might be just 'making excuses', but honestly, to play the way I want to play, I need to put in more time than I can afford at this point. It's not that I chose it. I just chose it. I didn't realize that university would mean no more six to eight hours of sweat-inducing, heart-wrenching, gut-pouring piano. I didn't want this. And I don't want to be just another 'somebody' who plays the piano. I don't care what this sounds like, but I'm more than that with my soul on my fingers.

So don't act like I chose this. I chose this, but not by choice.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


In sticking to the resolution I made last night, I got out of bed and switched the computer on to write my sentence for the day. The result was this.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Breaking glue

I'm procrastinating. I'm lazy. Like my only real lecturer says, I'm too self-indulgent. I'm going to write at least a sentence every night. I swear.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Origin and Purpose of the Bubble

Love is the offspring and mate of Time, born of Time himself, in order to mother his other offspring. Yet as Time grew, Love grew tired of Time and went in search of other Elements. In order to win her back Time devised a plan. He brought together his most powerful faculties and planned the greatest performance in all time: Creation. Calling Love to view his awesome powers, he formed before her the darling of the universe: Earth. In a final act of gallant hopefulness Time gifted Earth to Love. Completely overwhelmed, Love was full of adoration for Time. Yet Time soon came to realize that this adoration was not for him, but for his creation, for Earth. When Time gifted Earth to Love, he had made the biggest blunder he did not know he was committing: he had given her power. She looked at Earth and saw in each and every being that dwelt therein, a reflection of her self, for they were both of One. In every creature that walked the lands of Earth, in every shadow that swam its seas, in every spirit that soared its skies, not one was not she - except the humans. In the humans she saw a certain uniqueness she despised, in them she saw Time mock her. This made her yearn to claim the humans as her own. To achieve this purpose, she disguised herself and came to Earth: The Bubble. Time, in his anger at having lost his fight against Love, claimed a price from The Bubble: its freedom to expand without limit. Considering this a fair price, The Bubble now exists to entrap humans and absorb their identity, that it might erase the marks of Time from their faces, claim them as Love's own and redeem Love from her mockery.

Thus The Bubble waits, in many places at once, for 'ready' humans to entrap and claim. The humans The Bubble claims always come in pairs. Some willingly step in while others must be forced and some others are completely unaware of what happens. Either way, when two people find themselves within The Bubble, there can be seen either of two reactions: "trapped!" or "safe :)". When both humans react with "trapped", The Bubble finds its captives unconquerable and immediately frees them. When the two react differently, The Bubble waits until they are at harmony with "trapped" or "safe". When both are "safe", The Bubble takes flight and Euphoria begins to set in. Drunk on this hallucinatory gas (which probably sparks off the luminosity and the 'glitter of the stars'), the inhabitants sense nothing except each other. While the effects of Euphoria last, and The Bubble is expandable, they adjust according to one another's wants and needs, getting comfortable in the illusion that Time cannot claim them. These adjustments happen in different ways, in different degrees, in different cases. The general rule though, is that to accommodate the other, one must shift one's place or push against one's wall, forcing The Bubble to expand. This moving around requires energy, and this energy is acquired through the inhalation of Euphoria, which creates the illusion of greater necessity for expansion. Thus the cycle continues, Euphoria creating an illusion of need, need requiring energy, energy acquired through Euphoria, Euphoria creating an illusion of need etc… What one is kept unaware of is the fact that the inhalation of Euphoria causes the discharge of personality. This discharge of personality is what allows The Bubble to absorb its inhabitants' identity. Once the inhabitants' identities are completely absorbed, The Bubble bursts, Euphoria expires, and the inhabitants fall to the ground. Some continue in a false sense of the state they were in while they were within The Bubble, living in an illusion of the original illusion. Some recover, forget and continue as they were before they were entrapped, only to be caught again. Some accept the truth, wake up from the illusion and walk away, determined not to be caught again. Yet these are the most likely to be recaptured, for they regain much of their identity and because The Bubble is transparent.

More important information on the captives when I return (maybe tomorrow)!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Bubble

I've just been trying to explain to Haren that I'm acting "weird" right now. The definition of "weird" here is, reading long emails written to the ex-boyfriend in the middle of a relationship crisis and appreciating HIS position. Now, why I'm being this definition of weird is this: Love has died. The relationship which was the long-standing definition of the phenomenon among our friends, ended. There are no clear-cut one, two, three reasons as to why she decided she doesn't want him anymore, and he is still pressing her to give him ONE. This exasperates her, and has led her father's phone bill for this month to rise considerably.

She believes she spoilt him by giving him everything he wanted – in terms of intellectual space, authority to take decisions etc… – and ended up feeling cramped and sick of the whole thing. Thus she made a little hole in their happy existence, found it was big enough, and escaped, leaving him to handle the crashing shards of the once-expandable bubble that was their relationship. I want to look at this bubble. I want to discuss its properties and their functions, its purpose and its result, the creatures that get caught in the beauty of its transparent luminosity, and their purpose and result. Maybe one day a few years from now, I can expand this post into my final dissertation for my Philosophy class. But saving the dreams for later…!

The properties of these bubbles are:

  • Transparency
  • Limited Elasticity
  • Growing hardness (no pun intended)
  • Probably contain a hallucinatory gas which runs out fast

The Bubble just hangs around our environment, our society, our culture, waiting to be occupied. The transparency of The Bubble makes it invisible to anyone without, yet to someone looking out from within, there is that special luminosity, that glitter of the stars, which makes everything without seem dull and lifeless. Limited elasticity allows inhabitants to feel a sense of being accommodated, and combined with the transparency, a feeling of unlimited space. Once the elasticity has run out, The Bubble begins to grow hard (again, no pun intended – this is a scientific exposition), fixing itself in a certain shape and position until it is unchangeable except through destruction (or explosion – pun intended). Reasons for the elasticity to run out are still being debated upon, but there are two possibilities. The first would be the simple passage of Time, which claims this property from The Bubble as payment for not being subjected to him. This exchange seems justified, yet it appears that once Time has claimed the fee for being free of subjection to him, The Bubble is subjected to him. While this paradox is being considered, let us look at the second option we have as 'reasons for growing hardness': a certain mysterious gas contained within The Bubble. It seems scientifically inaccurate to state that it is the gas (let's call it Euphoria) itself which is the cause for the growing hardness, as it is the expiry of this gas which is the actual cause. Euphoria is what initially keeps the occupiers of The Bubble alive. Yet the nature of the gas is such that it is addictive, making the desire for it insatiable, leading to acceleration in the consumption patterns of the inhabitants. This is, in its essence, accelerates of the expiry of Euphoria, which, substantial evidence proves, leads to the expiry of the inhabitants of The Bubble and thus The Bubble itself.

This brings us to the Origin and Purpose of The Bubble, which I will discuss in my next post.

Happy blogging! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Initiation… right.

So after abandoning orientation or 'inauguration' as they liked to call it, I decided I wasn't going back until the beginning of class. Wise decision that, cus apparently Tuesday through Friday were just the same; speech after speech after speech and then randomly walking around the campus looking for a place safe enough from raggers to breathe.

Day one, leaving the Arts Theatre before I was supposed to, proved to be a slightly annoying experience. The moment I stepped out, a guy who looked pretty much like just another student (but one of those "OMG I'm finally at Uni!!!" types) came up to me saying "nangi koheyda yanne". Double take. WTF? I'm thinking I'm gonna tell the guy to bugger off and then feel like I wanna be a generous soul, so tell him I'm not feeling well and I'm going home. Big mistake. What commenced was ten to fifteen minutes of him trying to convince me to stay and not go home because I might miss something important. Hell yeah. A security guard who recognized me thankfully saved the day, making room for me to go home (and then gallivanting, but never mind!). Now I go home fully peeved, wondering what on earth the feller was trying to do when my mother puts the situation in a whole new light. The guy didn't want me to go out alone, simply out of the concern that I might get ragged, the local version of initiation.

When I first got the letter of acceptance to the University, I was surprised by how interested people were about my stand on ragging. I really didn't think it was important. Initiation is alright, seniors have a little fun with you, you laugh and swallow the embarrassment. You are now a fully fledged University student. That's what I thought. Even when my mother and a friend of mine who I believe is very psychologically secure and stable asked me whether I was gonna be pro-rag or anti-rag, I failed to realize the full impact of the situation. I mean, who cares? What's with all this anti-rag shit? What, you scared of getting called names!? So you gonna wear floor-length skirts and plaits? Either way, I decided I was gonna be decidedly undecided on the whole thing, it wasn't something I was gonna face with a political stance. If somebody teased me, I'd brush it off. If someone fucked with me, I'd fuck them back. Simple.

Not so.

Being the daughter of a lecturer automatically makes me an untouchable. I know my way around the faculty pretty well and most of the staff recognizes me on sight. I also know a sizeable number of seniors. All this put together makes it possible for me to avoid being approached. Act de-la nonchalance, I was just going to school.

But today I realized that it wasn't so totally nothing. Walking down the road with a classmate after a Psychology lecture that didn't happen, my disgust with the whole place just grew. Being a pretty girl, she had obviously been noted by the seniors who had named her 'Kadupul' after some flower or the other. She laughed as she related this story. We crossed the road, and I notice about eight boys walking down the road in the same direction we were going in. They were obviously rather nervous students just walking down the road, so I was very surprised at my companion's reaction. She started, did a double take and began walking in fits and starts, not knowing whether to run or stop walking and stand. I chose to let her explain her behavior without prodding, if she wanted to, and just continued walking. Two boys overtook us and one turned back and glanced at my friend. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, and I understand it's a funny phenomenon, this turning-and-looking-but-not-daring-to-approach thing, which is an accepted norm in this country. But something struck me about the look he gave her. It wasn't teasing or inviting, it was plain murderous. The girl stopped, mumbled that this same guy had ragged her the day before and turned and fled towards a group of seniors. They in turn simply took her into their circle and comforted her, while the fuck-bag in front of us continued to walk ahead, periodically turning around to stare at the girl.

I had nothing to be worried about and since the girl wasn't a particular friend of mine, and due to a change of attitude in the recent past I really didn't want to get involved, I bade her goodbye and continued walking home. All the way though, I kept seeing the guy's face as he turned to look at her the first time. He was angry and disturbed and almost threatening, and the fact that the girl began to shiver was honestly, no real surprise to me. I cannot imagine what would have been going through her head and what she thought he would do to her, but it couldn't have been pleasant. I couldn't help wondering how any of this could be fun and what these people were doing at an educational institute instead of leading some defeated troop that belonged to the LTTE up North. These assholes are terrorists. And terror is what we come to University for.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


She stands on the corner waiting for a bus that does not appear. Half an hour ago the street was deserted, only one other person visible on the motor-less road as far as the eye could see. A cold wind rushed up from some deep secret place, forcing her to admit to a sense of foreboding by putting her arms around herself. Some renegade leaves escaped from the haranguing brooms of the meticulous street-sweepers skittered past, running from the approaching darkness. Her straight-cut grey jacket and pencil-line skirt provided no contrast against the lifeless buildings or the mourning sky. Nothing much changed.

A door opened nearby, making way for two women. Their animated conversation was subdued by the pressing gloom and one quietly bade the other goodbye as they turned in opposite directions. Another door opened and more people began to emerge. Her eyes search the visible end of the road for transport. Her purpose in leaving work early is beaten as the bus-stop begins to fill with people waiting beside her. A quiet ride home is not on the agenda today. The trickle of cars that had begun to appear with the people earlier grew to a steady stream, filling the air with a monotonous subito rumble. The street had become busy, but busy without the bustle.

The stream of cars grew to a thickly packed stew and still her bus failed to appear. She switches her bag from one hand to the other and draws her hand back through her hair; brain now calculating and considering other options. Still her bus failed to appear. She takes the final breath.


The street suddenly becomes an upside down jar. Nobody knows what happened. Everybody runs in the same direction; towards it. The sound stopped her halfway through making the decision to start walking towards the callbox. She hesitated, thinking. The darkness quickly escapes, letting the angry sun through to examine the damage. The mass of vehicles has stopped moving completely. Some drivers step out and start running, others stare in open-mouthed confusion.

If she ran with the others, that would be the good thing; if she ran alone, that would be the wise thing. If she ran with the others, she could be a victim; if she ran alone, she could be a suspect. If she walked alone, nobody would be the wiser. She calmly proceeded towards the callbox, threading her way through the mass of people still running in the opposite direction.


Late in the evening she sits alone in front of her TV, a warm mug of coffee in her hand. She watches the screen as bomb victims scream and bleed, dying in the arms of volunteers who disappear with the flames of the second blast. She smiles at her wisdom, frowning at the guilt.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

First Steps

I woke up on Monday morning worried. My first worry was that I hadn't got enough sleep. My second worry was that I wasn't going to be able to do what I wanted to do that day. What I was talking about in my first sentence here though, was the fact that I would head to the orientation at The University of Peradeniya Arts Faculty and come back with a bad first impression.

I have lived inside the campus grounds for fifteen years, and nothing that happens inside it ever motivated me to join and get a degree or whatever. The staff at the University is a mixed lot. Some are deeply intellectual, self-less and inspiring; some are shallow, mercenary and dull; some are in-between. The vast majority though (as is the case with the rest of our country) belong to the second category. The students are also a mix of kinds. Some are highly motivated young people with independence, well-functioning minds and understanding deeper than their age or experience; some are self-important and politically influenced; some are wasted and wasting; some are aimlessly wandering inside the campus following whatever course, taking whatever exam simply because their parents and the system taught them that the only way they can find themselves a future is by getting a useless degree in something they're not interested in. Here, the majority are from the last category. Then there are the campus grounds itself. The University of Peradeniya has by far, the largest campus in South Asia, spread across 750 hectares of prime land in the Hill Capital of Sri Lanka. Only a tiny fraction of this land has been utilized for the purposes of the university, and the remainder still rests as beautiful pine forests and grasslands, home to many wild creatures. I cannot say anything about the education offered at the University, because I have not experience it yet, but all that I have experienced has taught me that it doesn't have much to be appreciated. I knew this was a useless excursion.

All the same, I had promised myself that if I had no other plans of educating myself further by the time my letter of acceptance came through, I would sit through the three, four or five years I had to in order to get my degree. So I had to attend the orientation, and get oriented.

Saying my first impression of the whole thing was 'bad' is a serious understatement. I am a person who doesn't stick for impersonal bull longer than necessary, and after two hours of speeches, decided to walk out. The other 1000-something students (like the rest of the nation) decided to stay glued to their seats because they were told to. For four and a half hours, the Arts Theatre was a mass of freshers listening to one idiot with nothing to say after the other ranting in front of a malfunctioning mike. The first woman who came onstage was supposed to 'welcome' everyone. What she actually did was recite a list of names and titles which took about ten minutes and then add "on behalf of the Arts Faculty of The University of Peradeniya, I warmly welcome you to the Inauguration of the New Students 2008/2009" in Sinhala. This might have been alright and bearable if the woman was aware of how to make sounds using her vocal cords and related organs and how to move her lips. She was obviously oblivious to both possibilities.

The next person in front of the podium and more than a thousand students was the Vice Chancellor. Honestly speaking, I can't remember a word of what he said, because my brain has decided that whatever he said was not worth remembering. I added that last bit because I was listening, since I wasn't too bored (yet!). The basic gist of the address was along the lines of "this is the best place you undeserving twits could be, so you better just do what we tell you". It's ironic how people find it easier to tell others how undeserving they are when they themselves are the same. I mean, considering the state of the country and the prospects that the future holds for my generation, the Universities are lucky they have any applicants! A few more things about the speech remain in some distant corner of my memory:

  1. It was boring
  2. The man kept saying "I'm sure I don't have to repeat myself" and kept repeating himself
  3. It was boring
  4. After every paragraph (written on a number of half-sheets) the Vice Chancellor would translate himself into Sinhala and repeat what he said in English. With the repetitions.
  5. It was boring

This pattern of practicing for some speech contest based on 'What the University can offer you and what you should give back to the University' continued from 9am to 1pm, when the students were given a break to find lunch before their English Placement Test at 2pm. Every speech was followed by a translation in Tamil. Due 'Orientation' was received.

What on earth are these people thinking? I wish I never had to go back!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Refresh, Restart… yeah Right!

I have been back in the hills for a few hours now, and those hours have taught me that goddamned drama follows me wherever I go. This blog is so full of 'full-of-myself' I think I need to revamp the whole damned thing. Obviously I need help. Anybody supplying for free?

Friday, July 11, 2008


I have been thinking about the void mentioned in my last post. Something somewhere tells me now that it was just fresh memory that made it feel like a void. Now it seems more like a scar. Not an ugly thing that distorts the features but a beautiful mark which accents them; something that defines a part of who I am.

Scars are personal things. Some are large, ugly and most disturbingly visible. People will want to know how you got them. Some will ask, some will not; depending on their discretion. When they ask, you might decide to tell them, you might decide not to tell them; depending on your discretion. It seems that explaining what caused the scar seems the wiser decision, in order to prevent speculation. These are the visible scars. The small marks in the dark places are precious; you struggle to keep them hidden. Once in a while though, someone gets close enough to discovering the writing on your skin, so you choose to pull your sleeve back and let them see it. The unspoken agreement is secrecy. Some people don’t understand.

Some scars are so precious that you covet them. They are valuable enough to lose your oldest friend over. If they were ever really your friend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pause to Reflect

It seems like I've come to another phase of blogging-everyday-before-not-blogging-for-another-century. The commencement of university is not for another few days and joblessness has made me resort to a favorite pastime. I know you all USED to have nothing to complain about, since my writing was immaculate and wonderfully entertaining, but I also know that now you DO have something to complain about since my style is cramped. Fuck that.

So one of those age-old friends was over all day today, and both of us being female, this resulted in some… drama…? Emotional trauma. For me.

It used to make me angry when people, men, scoffed at the idea of a girl and a guy being best friends; the reason being that I'm a girl and my best friend is a guy. That anger was defiance. It still makes me angry when people tell me that a girl and a guy can't be best friends. This anger is bitterness. My girlfriend and I discussed this relationship, and I decided that I need to dissect it now.

One thing that strikes me is the fact that it was always the men who were skeptical about it being a completely platonic relationship. There is something romantic about a girl and a guy being only friends, maybe in the 'non-happening-ness' of the whole situation, the static purity of it all, which appeals to the female mind. At first, this seemed to be the reason the girls gave it a chance and the guys just laughed - because they didn't see the romance in the whole goddamned thing! But then, the genius cousin came up with a better explanation (as usual). Apparently guys don't differentiate between girlfriends and girlfriends. (That's probably because they can't. They are the less intelligent species after all!) They can't see (or even if they could, understand) the huge difference the ITALICS make. On Venus, the 'regular' girlfriend is just a friend. You hang out with her, chat with her, crack sick jokes with her and do crazy-ass shit with her. You don't get emotionally involved with her; neither do you feel sexually attracted to her. These things you save for the girlfriend (with the italics). On Mars, these two types are interchangeable. Now, since the average Venusian is unaware of this, complications arise. As did with us.

At the end of the day, one of us, or both of us ended up being a fool. Now I understand that a guy and a girl can't really be very close friends and maintain a completely platonic relationship. Woe be unto you if you believe otherwise and wish to prove your beliefs. Somebody, somewhere along the way is going to get hurt. Most probably both of you.

I know I still hurt because of what happened, and I know he still hurts because of what happened. I could blame him, or I could blame myself, but I suppose I can't justify blaming anybody. I realized today, that even after almost a year, the pain runs strong. I just don't feel it often because it runs deep. What's worse, losing your best friend or losing the love of your life?

I don't know the answer to that question, but I just realized that the void created by either is very, very difficult to fill; if it is possible to fill it at all.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Returning the RagDoll

What a long time it has been since I wrote last. I finished my last post some months ago with the vehement assertion that I had "grown up". Sad (or happy) to say, my opinion has changed. Haren jestingly noted that he found it hard to believe, and four months or so after writing that post, I too can't help but laugh when I read it. A lot, I mean a lot has changed. Easiest would probably be to start with the last thing that changed.

As of Monday, the 14th of July, 2008, I will be another aimless university student following a useless course which will qualify me for a degree as a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Peradeniya. How or why I came to this position is not clear, and I really can't believe it. This, like the SATs, is another example of how I do things (ie: fill out and hand in applications), knowing fully well the repercussions, yet not expecting them to happen when they obviously will. Either way, I am now in the middle of a jumble of birth certificates, financial documents and six black-and-white passport-sized photographs with my "name and student number written clearly on the back" and a really bad cold. None of which I want.

The above mentioned phenomenon which just happened to me has caused me to leave my job, my house, my life and my love back in Colombo and move back with the motherhood here in the peaceful hills. Not that I'm complaining though! The job was getting a bit tiresome, and as humble advice to people who can't conform: DO NOT TAKE REGULAR (OR irregular for that matter) 9-5 JOBS. I'm serious. This is a very good lesson I learnt during my after-als-and-nothing-to-do period. I can't conform, and I should stop trying to, because I only fail. My house was becoming a beautiful home (to the surprise of very many people who were aware of the state of my bedroom here in Kandy) yet the house-mate and the constant stream of visitors was starting to get to me. Those new friends of mine, the "sweet and focused" girls I met a few months ago, got a big hard kick in the rear for being paranoid religious fanatics who don't know it. Sorry. My life still goes on. Earning was fun, and I had developed to the stage of being able to handle responsibility of having to find and fund my own meals. My LOVE is the next new thing :)

It seems a bit ironic that I finally found somebody who can actually give me everything I ever wanted in my man, only to find that nobody really wanted me to be with him. Social prejudice is a weird and messed-up thing which ruins people, lives, minds and most sadly, happiness. This definition needs to get on the Oxford Dictionary. I think most of you (at least two of the three people who read this blog) will agree with me. So I decided that I was going to let social prejudice find itself a pastime (various grotesque ideas related to reproduction come to mind) and let myself be happy. I am :)

I admit, the unbeatable *wink* style has got cramped thanks to writing boring pieces on press-conference and other bored-freelance-journalist related compositions, but I plan to get back to being the awesomely talented and prolific writer I once was ;)

"Patience Iago!"

Monday, March 10, 2008


The same music pounds in your head each and everyday, the same computer screen stares back at you, not giving anything, not taking. The randomizing has ceased and been replaced by absolute randomizing; a pattern of doing the same things due to not having anything to do.

New friends are scary, but somehow always "better" than the old, probably because you don't know anything about them. But these girls are sweet, focused and not like me. I will surrender to their influence and "change". I am already a better person because I have decided this. My mind often tells me I'm hallucinating. My mind has also decided not to listen to itself. I now listen to somebody else. I sometimes tell myself I can't hear. But this is me hallucinating again. But I don't listen to myself when I tell myself I'm hallucinating. Telling myself wouldn't really help anyway, because I can't hear.

I don't listen to what I say anymore. I listen to what I think. I'm discerning between the two types of thought these days. The thoughts you think and the thoughts that occur. I suppose the thoughts you think are the second stage of the thoughts that occur; like the egg and then the larvae; which means I'm differentiating two things I can't differentiate; like black skin and white skin. But you CAN tell black skin from white skin, although we choose not to. But I choose now to decide which thoughts of mine move from the "occur" stage to the "think" stage. These are MY thoughts, which lead to actions which are MY actions, and they are MINE and I have every right to decide which thoughts go where. I have every responsibility to myself, the people I love, the community I belong to, and the rest of humanity itself, to decide which thoughts go where.

You see, I really AM growing up.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Changes and GLF continued

Three weeks away from home and it's not really obvious that so much has changed in my life. I look the same. I talk the same. I think the same. But nothing is really the same cus I feel different. Thanks to Saturday evenings at church. It's funny, I wanted things to change, I always wanted things to change, but nothing changed 'til the time was right. Now nothing has changed but I feel right.

I still don't know where my life is headed, I still don't get along with my mum, I still don't wanna be home, I still can't understand him, but I'm happy. I am aware that "everything's gonna be alright…" and that nothing can go seriously wrong, and that's good enough for me. Too good, really.

Coming back home to an over-protective mum is pretty traumatic after spending three weeks with a really cool grand-aunt who sees you for an independent individual, and I'm not really taking it too well. But it's all good. I've been designated 'celebrity' in a sarcastic tone by a certain bitter individual and so I'm living the life. I'm back home, I've got places to go and people to see, that I will go and see.

Okay, cut (the crap) to the chase, I started dissecting GLF and must finish. Thus we travel back in time to Friday the 18th of January, Galle Fort:


Event 018:    The Power of Poetry with John Mateer, Tishani Doshi, Jeet Thayil, Indran Amirthanayagam, Sophie Hannah & Vivimatrie VanderPoorten

Some of the events at the festival found the attendees disappointed that the special guests were not present due to personal/security reasons. Yet this was one event that I would have been glad to learn a speaker (or maybe even two!) absent. There's this tiny stage at the Maritime Museum and seven people stuffed on a stage is NOT pretty. The conversation was a bit random, and some of the poets (noticeably Indran!) were caught going off at tangents at length, making it rather dull.

Tishani attempted to connect the conversation with the title of the event and eloquently put forward the idea that poetry arises from a feeling of powerlessness. Some agreed, some didn't, and there were too many opinions to keep track of.

Sophie kept telling us how modern 'poetry' was not poetry. The basis of her argument was that poetry is essentially a branch of music, and music, essentially consists of regular rhythm and melody. Thus it follows that since poetry cannot have a 'melody' as such, it MUST have a regular rhythm. I argue that in the modern sense of the word, rhythm is rhythm, whether it is regular or irregular. Modern music sometimes has no set time-signature OR key, but it is nonetheless, music. Most beautiful music at that! Her argument is then continued by John, who writes free-verse. The no-rhythm man reveals that some 'poets' write prose, break it up and arrange it in lines of different lengths, then call it poetry. True. Yours truly is an addicted felon! But is that a reason to lash out against free-verse as a whole?

Jeet remains blissfully ignorant of the whole conversation, and when asked for an opinion goes "I'm sorry, I was drifting, can we read our poetry now?". Every time. But hey! He's clean-shaven (bald?), wears a sarong with hiking boots and has a geometrically constructed face. He looks arty enough to be excused. So he read. This was the first of six readings with left most of us with a striking revelation about poets: not all can read as effectively as they write. Tishani especially (no offence) killed the poem she read. The poem itself was amazing, but one had to ignore the voice and imagine seeing the words on paper to enjoy the experience the poem had to offer. Sophie, on the other hand, was an absolute treat. Being a performance poet obviously helped. At the end of the poem there wasn't a soul not laughing, at least smiling!

I went to see these people expecting inspiration. Sadly, I got a lot less, but still, the tiny brilliant moments were worth the disappointment.

Friday, February 8, 2008


"Seek the Lord while He may be found,

call upon Him while He is near"

Isaiah 55:6


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Obeying the Command - GLF

I'm half dead. seriously. I've been all over colombo today, half in a tuk-tuk, half walking, doing nothing in particular. i have also just exchanged a green piece of my heart for a pair of shades i know I'm never gonna wear. i feel like shit. but haren commands me write a full report of the Galle Literary Festival and so here goes...

the festival was the best excuse that came by for me to convince amma to let me spend some time with pavi at matara. thus monday found the two of us up at 4am, on the way to colombo. a couple of killer hours spent roasting in the mid-day sun found us on a bus to matara, a five hour journey which i am amazed at having held myself through. this has to be the worst trip i have made so far. i am never gonna do that again. take my word on this. a full two-days was absolutely essential to get over the fatigue and thus wednesdays' programmes were sadly missed. not too sadly though i guess, since it was just the opening ceremony and a tour of the Fort (which i wasn't really interested in) that day.

thursday was different though. the bus ride upto Galle from Matara wasn't too bad or eventful, except that we got off the bus a few miles too far away from the Galle Fort to feel too good about ourselves.

this was the first time i ever walked into the fort (or any fort for that matter!) and pavi's description of it's beauty and grace did no justice to the amazing moment i shared with the place as i walked out past the inner side of the entrance. it's a different world. it's impossible not to imagine pale-skinned "white men" walking down those little streets feeling terribly important and superior yet looking hilarious in their khaki "tropical" gear with faces turning slowly, yet steadily and painfully from pink to red. there is an air about the place of a terrible calm. i say terrible because it feels forced. like the peace in the air, unshaken but simmering calmly in the mid-day heat, pushing down on the dwellers-within, forcing them down with the pressure of the heat. only the occasional sea-breeze gives relief. fleeting relief, hot and salty, a painful memory the moment it is gone. the place was poetic. perfect.

and thus the first day for us began. with a moment. pavi had been here before and she was sure she could find the Barefoot Gallery. NOT. we walked and walked and the bloody heat killed us and pavi was acting so totally like somebody from the opposite sex: "we don't have to ask for directions! I know the way!!!". right. half an hour (yes, half an hour during which we had walked up and down and roundabout the fort twenty-three times missing the exact spot we needed to be and FINALLY decided it was not TOO embarrassing to ask directions) later we had discovered the gallery and the registration desk (and a loo!!! i will just mention in passing that i spent most of my time bugging pavi that i need to take a leak, i need to take a leak, i need to take a leak...) and the fact that we were gonna be broke for the rest of our lives thanks to this excursion. luckily it turned out that pavis' accent and my bandanna and my (apparently) weird sense of normal costume combined had landed us in the "tourist/resident" category. some moments of agony later during which we considered dropping the whole thing, we were allowed in the "student" category. meaning we got in for roughly an eighth of the original fee.

this brings me to a point haren made in his post about what he didn't see at the festival. (sorry! he he...) the festival WAS great, but 800 bucks seems like a hellovahellova lot to pay for an hour of sitting around and listening to some whackos listen to their own voices. that wasn't what the festival was, but I've decided to put it negatively just now, to get my point through. i know amazing people, many amazing people who can't afford to pay 800 bucks an hour. hell, even i can't!!! i can't help but imagine how many people would have walked the idea of attending straight out of their minds simply because the price-tags on the little event passes were a little too shocking. i suppose this is neccesary in a way, to keep the crowd filtered, to make sure only people who feel strongly enough about this to spend so much get in, but it does also lose the festival a lot of amazing people. imagine if i didn't go!?!?! LOL...

okay, i still haven't got to anything worth reading...

event 004: English in Sri Lanka with Michael Meyler and Richard Boyle

This session was alright, the topic wasn't of particular interest to me. the discussion focussed mainly on how the English language had been adapted over time, with use by the Sri Lankan people. although much wasn't to be learnt, many were to be entertained. Michael Meyler is a teacher at the British council who has just had his Dictionary of Sri Lankan English published. he is not an expert but has experienced Sri Lankan English in his work, and a random list of singlish words compiled for his personal use later became what he called "the first dictionary of Sri Lankan English". Richard Boyle on the other hand, knows his stuff. South-Asian English is his line of study, and Michael found himself contradicted when Richard said "actually, this is NOT the first dictionary of Sri Lankan English..." and went on to mention the title and author of the book that WAS. slightly embarrassing moment there... but it was all good.

one of the phenomenons suffered by the language, brought to light, was the "verbication" (or verbifying or whatever!) of nouns and vice-versa. example: horning. much laughter was induced by the implication of vulgarity in the sound of that word. in the UK, the driver is tooting the horn. in Sri Lanka, the driver is horning. or maybe he's just horny???

event 009: From Page to Stage with Tracy Holsinger, Delon Weerasinghe, Senaka Abeyrathne and Indu Dharmasena

this was VERY interesting. definitely a highlight. the discussion started off innocently enough, with people (most of them well-known) introducing themselves modestly and all that. the line of discussion was about the process of writing a play and getting it on-stage and what comes inbetween. Delon, Indu and Senaka all three write plays. Delon made the amazing point, which although it might be obvious to the playwright, probably did not occur to the average theatre-goer: to write a play, you need to think in dialogue. that was the only point he made which is worth mentioning. no, that was the only point he made. fullstop. except of course, unless you consider the fact that he revealed a shocking secret about himself: he writes crap. he didn't really do this on purpose, he just mentioned in passing that "playwriting is all about marketting: you can write an amazing play and not get published, you can also write crap and sell millions" or something to that effect. so that's what happened to him. he wrote crap, but with amazing marketting capabilities, managed to sell. obviously this statement did not recieve a positive response from the audience. actually it didn't recieve a positive response from anybody, even those on the panel were pretty taken aback. i only wish it didn't recieve any response at all, because intelligent people who appreciate art don't need to waste time and energy debating with dumb-ass theories leaking out the mouths of artless businessmen. i want to take a moment here to question the organizing committee as to why on earth he was sitting on that panel. actually, what was he doing at the festival at all? he should have been licking stamps at some dead, fly-infested government office.

Tracy is not a writer, but we all know her as a prolific director, and she had many stories to share about going beyond the expect level of involvement, getting creative and actually working with the writer during production. she also used the opportunity to inform anybody interested about her upcoming productions and audition dates and such, but nobody grudged her opportunistic attitude, thanks to Delons' absurdities.

the round of questions brought up an issue i addressed in my previous post. the panel was asked what they thought of the belief that the Sinhalese theatre in Sri Lanka is far more advanced than the English. opinions were mixed, some saying it was absurd and some saying it was absolutely true and some saying it was a debatable matter. it is definitely debatable, but not conclusive. I'm not keen on repeating myself, and thus i won't go into detail of what i think of it.

this session was as i said earlier, definitely a highlight, and I'm sure eveybody walked away feeling (like me) that an hour was not sufficient, and with much to think about.

event 014: Writing: The Pain and The Pleasure with Indran Amirthanayagam, Julian West and Randy Boyagoda

Indran is a poet. an amazing poet. the poet. he speaks in poetry and he inspires me. he writes for the people. he writes for me.
Julian is a journalist who has had a very very eventful life. her inspiration to write came from a moment near-death, lying half-naked in the baking sun with bullets whizzing past her. she thought she will survive it. she decided she would. and she wrote about it.
Randy is a writer. meaning he is a reader. a passing sentence in a newspaper article inspired him to write about something he knew nothing about.

the three of them, as you can see, are totally different. their opinions are are similarly "totally different". since we were discussing getting a first publication through, somebody from the audience asked "what would you say to a young person who wants to give up a day-job to write?"

the responses from the panel:
Indran - it depends. you could be a terribly useless writer, thus it would be stupid, but you need to discover that you are a terribly useless writer.
Julian - do it. if that's what it takes, do it. if you need to live in a one-room shack and work by candle-light to get it done, do it.
Randy - marry rich.

Deepika Shetty beautifully managed the moderating, leaving the audience again feeling that an hour was not enough. just not enough stop listening to people with beautiful minds say beautiful things.

thus our activities for the first day came to an end leaving us tired and hungry, but impatient to get back the next day. the next day shall be described in the next post because i am NOW tired and hungry!!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Catching with the Lion

oh lord! it's been centuries. I've been totally uninspired and not taken up strongly enough to write about anything at all. the Galle Literary Festival was absolutely amazing (definitely on the first although less so on the subsequent days) and i definitely found myself inspired. at least for the moment.

i am right now in some remote corner of kalubowila, in a huge house, and a relatively small room cramped full of sound equipment, watching three middle aged (in caution) men stamp the floor and jump up and down around a mic half wispering, half screaming "rung dha gath gunda" something something... ignoring the fact that they look pretty dumb immitating a tribal dance in denims, absurdly tight t-shirts, numerous chains and bracelets plus sunglasses (the room is pretty dark mind you!) the whole thing is quite dramatic. the dim lights and the low sinister hum of the airconditioner adds to this, and it's almost possible, with a little stretching of the imagination to see a dark night, a gloomy forest, the trees dripping with the Lion King's tears of anguish, and the three fugitives, running away from their only protection, while the spirits of the underbush swiftly follow... hunting them unseen.

Sinhabahu. the tale of our origin. in english. the topic was raised at the festival last week that people have a notion that english theatre in Sri Lanka is not as rich as the Sri Lankan theatre. there were many in the gathering to agree and just as many to disagree. i think it's a two way thing. as is everything else. the sinhala language is much more developed than english, and it follows that the stories tend to be more effective since the script is more effective. yet on the other hand, the english theatre, in it's production tends to be more versatile and thus creative, making the experience of watching the play more entertaining on the whole. this particular production uses a translation of the original script by Ediriweera Sarachchandra, combined with a completely new soundtrack and a fusion of dance styles. the point being to retain as much of the original production as possible, without boring a modern crowd.

i must deter at this point to say that rehearsal has become quite hilarious right now. The Lion is overdramatizing to the point that he is melodramatic and Suppa Devi (his queen) is quite calm and lacking any sort of drama. the end result is a totally meaningless dialogue which sounds like parts of two separate conversations cut and pasted together. director Dharmajith now asks us what we think... a question greeted by absolute silence and suppressed histerical laughter.. that told, back to the original line of conversation.

the original line of conversation. i can't really remember. so let's forget it. I've got a tonne of stuff I've promised myself to do before the end of the week, but it looks like my mothers plans for me might ruin all that, but we'll see.

and thus, after some MONTHS, i greet you (nobody) with another totally uneventful and boring post about nothing, and then take my leave... to watch some more hilarious recording and day dream about... he he...