Monday, January 31, 2011

She Said....

"Of course I know you can take a cab home... and I also know its a lot easier.. but I have been on long flights throughout the world and know it is always nice to be greeted by someone who cares for you when you step off the plane...
And there she was a vision of beauty and grace a complete opposite to his sweaty weary disheveled self after an extremely long journey...
A welcoming smile... A big warm hug... A gentle touch... and he leaned back on the seat luxuriating in her presence and thinks to himself she is right. Absolutely right.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Boys will be boys (even in Japan)

The sounds of “Siri pade samanal Kanda wage” fill the air as the bus moves through the highway. Even though you are supposed to sit in your seats while the bus is driving everyone is standing together in a group and enjoying a sing song with a drink in their hands. If not for the thick snow falling down and covering everything in a blanket of white one would be forgiven for assuming that this was a typical Sri Lankan trip with a bunch of typical Sri Lankan guys.

But it is not.

I am in freezing Nagoya to attend a training in Japanese Management techniques along with a few senior people in the corporate world of Sri Lanka. Our group includes two CEOs of companies whose turnover is in Billions. All together thirty of us (which include two females) are travelling together. It is not even two hours since we landed in Japan. After a long flight with three stopovers everyone is tired.

But the moment we get on the bus first thoughts are about having a drink. We convince the bus driver to stop at a convenience store to buy some plastic cups and shandy and the bottles are open and glasses are clinking. And as our souls warmed up our voices loosened and the songs started coming out thick and fast. I couldn’t help but have a warm feeling in my heart as I observed all this and think to myself it feels good to be Sri Lankan!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mankada - So easy to miss... but try not to.

If you have driven passed the Uda Walawe national park I am sure you would
have passed a place called Mankada and wondered what it was all about. I am
sure you might even have seen the sign about the tinkiri tea which Dilmah
has put up on the road. I have passed it many times but had not stepped in
cos it always seemed empty and desolate. Last week I decided to take the
plunge and step inside.

For a moment I was wondering if I had made the right decision. All I could
see was some empty mud huts. But then someone came to greet us and show us
around and I realized I had stumbled across the gem of a find.

This project was set up by the man behind the pottery shop at Majestic City
whose name I cant remember for the life of me. It has a restaurant plus arts
and crafts center which manufacture amazing pottery stuff some of which you
can buy at the places like Odel for much more. The entire proceeds from this
scheme goes as income to the rural ladies who work in this facility.

I was delighted by the array of cute stuff which was on display at the sales
center. Which included some nice clay jewelry. I ended up buying some stuff
and was thrilled to see the lovely cloth bags they packed them in. Also the
Tin-kiri tea I had was awesome though at 175/- bucks a cup I thought it was
a tad too steep. Well still it was for a good cause and they did give us
some free kevum with it. And once again the presentation was great.

Here are some pictures of the place for anyone who is interested