Thursday, March 17, 2011

Is being practical considered being heartless, insensitive and cruel?

I am always surprised at how my fellow countrymen will drop everything and anything at a drop of a hat to attend to a funeral. I have seen similar articles in the local blogsphere and can relate to the frustration they experienced after my experience earlier on this week. This is with regard to the trainer who died under mysteriously tragic circumstances at the gym. A person I respected immensely and had a high regard for. Though, I would not call him a close friend.
In addition to the shock of hearing of his death what I found shocking was that the staff had just closed up the gym on Sunday when they heard of the demise of Dinuk and gone to extend their support to the bereaved family. Even more shocking was that the management had supported the action and also gone the extra mile of deciding to close the gym for a further two days. Of course none of the clients were informed of this arbitrary decision and some of them discovered the hard way – after they arrived for their work out.
Now I think this boy is a great guy and a wonderful human being who as a senior instructor at the gym deserves a lot of respect. But firstly isn’t closing an organization going a bit too far. Especially for three days. Closing a company as a mark of respect is something I have seen done only for founders. And that too only for just one day.
What is worse is it is only the clients who suffer due to this move since as far as the gym is concerned they are not losing any money. One could argue that they are actually saving money as the cost of electricity and contract labor pay are reduced. Unless of course they decide to extend all the memberships by an extra two days. But I doubt they will do that. When I protested about this to a couple of people they looked at me absolutely horrified as if I was some axe murderer who was suggesting killing his own mother? And that made me shut up as I realized my position was completely contradictory to theirs. I must say I have new respect for the other trainers at the gym because their income would have been severely affected by the closure as they earn substantial amounts via personal training fees. But these poor boys did not mind the sacrifice. And neither did those who operate the little café. But still the question remains was what these guys did right?
Now I work for a service organization myself and one thing I know is that you don’t let down your clients. Whatever the circumstances, the show must go on. And I can proudly say we have walked the talk. One of our colleagues passed away sometime back and there were no mess ups. Everyone took turns to attend to the funeral according to a plan and made sure a skeleton crew always remained to ensure that all our clients work was carried out smoothly. No one felt that this was a bad thing because they knew we had to earn money and it was this money which enabled us to pay the complete cost of this boy’s funeral. But my recent experiences have made me question my values? Have I become a heartless practical SOB? Do tell me what you think?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A tribute to a Gentle Giant

My first vivid memory of Dinuk is when I saw this big giant of a body builder reading a book which had a familiar cover. I nearly fainted when I realized he was reading “The power of the subconscious mind” by Joseph Murphy. Generally one would assume that brains and brawn are not mutually inclusive but guess Dinuk was an exception to the rule.

Dinuk was the most senior trainer at the “Body Bar” gym. Gentle Giant is the best way to describe him because thanks to his weight lifting skills he cut an imposing figure. At first sight one would feel wary of approaching him but then when you get close you begin to see the gentle smile, the kind words and the soft touch and realize here is a very good and kind hearted man. Every day I used to go to the gym I could count on his smile of greeting. He was never selfish with his advice and also helped you out without having to be asked.

Dinuk was also well read not just about physical fitness but in a wide variety of subjects. He showed quite a keen interest in personal development. In fact as I write this post I am kicking myself for not getting down to emailing him the pdf copy of “A new earth” by Eckhart Tolle which he wanted to read. Guess now it is too late.

On Sunday I got the shocking news that Dinuk had passed away due to a sudden heart attack on Saturday evening. I had seen him that morning and we had exchanged smiles and a few pleasant words. For a few minutes I thought this was someone’s idea of a bad joke. Sadly it was not a joke and it was true.

It is said that to truly judge the impact a person has made on the world one has to be at his funeral. And if you were there at that little house in Moratuwa yesterday you would have realized what a huge impact this 30 year old had made on all those around him. From top CEOs to A list celebrities to gym instructors from other gyms in Sri Lanka there were hundreds of people from all walks of life gathered to show their respect to their friend. Even though it was a busy Monday with the end of the financial year looming no one came to just condole and quickly rush off. Everyone joined the somber procession which lead to the church burial ground where he was laid to rest and even once the last mound of earth was placed and the candles were lit found it difficult to tear away. People were gathered in small groups, united by sadness talking about the little ways he had made them feel special. The clients who he used to train were the most affected. And I could see a few faces on the verge of breaking down.

Dinuk you leave us with a lot of pleasant memories. You had inspired us to great heights and left an indelible mark in our hearts. My only regret is that I could not get to know you as well as some others have. You will be missed my friend. It is the phrase “only the good die young” that gives us some consolation. Rest in Peace Dinuk.

Friday, March 11, 2011

World survey

Last month a world-wide survey was conducted by the UN.The only question asked was:"Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the foodshortage in the rest of the world?"The survey was a huge failure because of the following:
1. In Eastern Europe they didn't know what "honest" meant.
2. In Western Europe they didn't know what "shortage" meant.
3. In Africa they didn't know what "food" meant.
4. In China they didn't know what "opinion" meant.
5. In the Middle East they didn't know what "solution" meant.
6. In South America they didn't know what "please" meant.
7. In the USA they didn't know what "the rest of the world" meant.
8. In UK they hung up as soon as they heard the Indian accent

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lionel's Urge by TEG

Lionel felt an urge… He had been feeling a tremendous pressure building up inside him for the last couple of weeks and he knew that if he did not do something about it he would get quite ill. He decided that Saturday night was a good night to seek a solution to his problems and he took himself off to The Exchange. Lionel had read about The Exchange in classified section of the Hustler, a magazine which he had a subscription to. He would often scour the classifieds wondering if there was anything that would attract him and as he made his way through the seedy back streets of Elephant and Castle he made a mental note to reknew his subscription to the Hustler.

As Lionel pounded the streets of Elephant and Castle he found himself wishing he was indulging in another kind of pounding and he felt the pressure inside him intensify more. Soon he was at the front door of The Exchange. There was a big burly suit clad minder who frisked Lionel. There was some initial confusion as to whether Lionel was carrying a truncheon in his trouser but the Bouncer soon discovered that it was not a truncheon more a sign of the excitement Lionel was experiencing at the thought of visiting The Exchange.

Soon he was inside the dimly lit club. The red walls lent an air of a Amsterdam Whorehouse while the males and females wondering around in a semi naked state made Lionel feel that he had come to the right place. After downing four straight 50ml shots of Vodka Lionel felt a haze of happiness envelope him. With hay abandon he stripped off to his boxers and then groaned silently when he noticed a small rip in his pants… Damn it his mum must have forgotten to darn it. Lionel at the age of 45 still lived in the family home and his mum did everything for him.

As he walked from room to room Lionel saw a woman – She was black and solidly built. She was tall and firmly built. She was in a tight mini skirt with a blouse that showed off her large firm breasts. Lionel took a long hard look at her and immediately wanted to burry his head afro and all in her welcoming bossom. After making small talk with the woman they decided that they would go to the next level of the club and soon booked a room. The excitement was palpable… Lionel was in ecstasy for soon he would be riding this woman like a Texan cowboy about to lasso a cow. As the woman walked to the bed and lay down Lionel followed . He watched her as she lay on the bed spread-eagled. The excitement was palpable he felt like a pressure cooker about to let off steam. Lionel was about to join her when he felt a warm trickle go down his leg…. Damn it fuck it he cursed as he felt his liquids against his leg… In all the excitement he had forgotten that he suffered from premature ejaculation!

Please note that this is not written by me but by a friend who I think should start her own blog. But will not listen to me as she believes no one is interested in what she has to say. Therefore I have published a humorous short story which she has written without her permission hoping that if she gets some good reviews it would galvanize her into action.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

From success to significance!

Can you remember the richest man in 1967?

Or for that matter the richest man in 1975?

Or the wealthiest guy in 1983?

Does anyone come to mind?

Nope not to me and I am sure it would be the same for a majority of the people who would read this.

But on the other hand if I say “Mother Theresa” you will immediately know who I am talking about.

Success leads to material wealth. But if we need to go beyond success and be Significant then we can achieve it only through our actions.

And to be truly significant we have to touch the life of someone who CAN’T repay us.

But still...

...I will take what ever I can she says.
I know it is not a lot yet its better than nothing.
Because when I am with you I feel safe and loved and cared for... I never thought I would love again with all the hurt I have been through before...
I thought my heart was closed forever...
till I met you...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

The peace and tranquility of wasgamuwa...

If you like to enjoy the wonders of nature in solitude this is the place tobe...

The next few views are of riverstone which you have to pass through if you choose the long and scenic drive to the park. It is well worth the extra two hours the journey takes.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Miracle in Wasgamuwa:

Screwed Dude and Tattooed!

These were the words which crossed my mind as I realized I was well and truly stuck in a mud patch in one of the less traveled tracks of the Wasgamuwa National park.

Originally the fact that this park has so few visitors was an added attraction - according to a tracker we spoke to 10 vehicles is considered a lot - but now it seems that this would be the cause of an extremely long wait for help. It was late afternoon and the light was fading fast and a
night inside a vehicle in elephant territory whilst help arrived was not something I was looking forward to. Fortunately the mobile phone signals were working in the area we were stranded in. And that was reassuring otherwise the tracker would have to walk leaving the occupants in the
vehicle completely at the mercy of the elements.

I took a deep breath and was wondering what we should be doing when we heard the rumbling of engines. And as if in the finale or an epic cinema production we saw two Land Cruiser cabs drive into where we were. All that was missing was a director with his mega phone shouting lights music action!
Everyone heaved a sigh of relief when we realized that the guys in the cab were off road junkies and the cabs had everything which was needed to help us to get out of the situation we were in. Also they were extremely nice and friendly and quite willing to help. First they tried to tow us out with a rope but that did not work then they winched us out in a couple of minutes.
So finally we were free to go home have a shower and discuss the amazing miracle of these guys appearing as if on cue over a drink. Instead of being stuck in the dark swatting mosquitoes wondering if there were any elephants lurking in the darkness.