Sunday, May 22, 2011

The helpless and the powerful - a true story

Helpless sits alone twiddling her thumbs at the Mirihana police station.
The police enquiry was supposed to start at nine. But powerful had called the HQI on his mobile and postponed the meeting by an hour. Of course no one thought of informing helpless. After all she was someone powerless not worthy of consideration.
Powerful drives into the police station. Walks jauntily in to the main inspectors office. Scolds helpless in absolute raw filth right in front of the HQI and threatens her with death. The HQI smiles ingratiatingly and looks on. He does sweet nothing. Finally helpless leaves. Tears in her eyes. Her kids cringing in fear holding onto her arms. Tomorrow they have to go to Powerful's house and live with him till the weekend. They are scared that he will do them harm because he is angry with them. For wanting to be with their mom, For missing her. Just a couple of days before he had scolded them in raw filth and thrown their books and threatened to kill their pet dog because they had spoken to her on the phone. She is scared for their well being too. Will he hit them just like he used to hit me? Give them to eat properly? But she is powerless, peniless and quite literally helpless. She says to herself "I tried to protect my kids but only god can help them now"
This is a true story. Helpless was quite a well off individual who was married to powerful sometime back. Today, thanks to the manipulations of powerful she is left with absolutely nothing. Not even a sense of self respect. Powerful was once an international cricketer. His fame has reduced over time but he still remains powerful. Powerful enough to bend the laws to his advantage.
Sadly there is nothing anyone can do. Only God can help helpless.

The gate crasher..

This happened to my wife. But it was so interesting and heart breaking in a way I thought it was worth writing about.
She was attending a get together dinner of a small group of people who had gone on a pilgrimage together. It was a simple dinner function held at a parrish hall where everyone new one another. However there was a stranger amongst them. She was an old lady quite conspicuous because she had a little girl on her lap and kids were not supposed to attend this function. Anyway she sat through the initial portion of the get together and once dinner was served fed herself and the child heartily. So much so they had to bring additional string hoppers from out side. Then helped herself to dessert and moved out. The beauty of this was non of the people who were present said anything to this lady to make her feel exposed or uncomfortable in anyway. They were kind enough to allow her to enjoy a simple meal in peace.
Because they all realized that she would have been desparately hungry to resort to something like this. And hunger is something which everyone can relate to.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Experiencing heaven and hell in a single day!

It was a beautiful day.
The drive to Hikkaduwa absolutely amazing and as always with company I cherished. The entire beach stretch was empty as all the tourists has packed and gone and the season had ended. But the beach was glorious as it had not receded yet and we were the only people in our hotel which gave us an amazing amount of freedom. It was absolute paradise... until we had to head back to Colombo. And then all hell began to break loose.
We drove out of the hotel gates into a major traffic jam. Apparently there was a perehera and boy weren't we stuck. After two hours we heaved a sigh of relief as we passed the perehera and we thought our encounter with traffic was over. But we were sadly mistaken. Every kilometer of the way we encountered bumper to bumper traffic. It seems all the people who owned any form of transport be it lorry car or trishaw had decided to bring their vehicles on to the road. The fact that also there were thousands of people walking about the road and that most of the dansalas and pandals had encroached onto the road did not help to make things better.
Things really became bad when we got to Kalutara. For over three hours we had not progressed more than one kilometer. In the end it took us seven and a half hours to get to Colombo. Which was more time than we had spent at the beach. It seems I was lucky I met two people who had spent even more time on the road getting back to base the next day.
Note to self: Never ever plan to make a long trip on a wesak evening.

She Said... contd.

Liquor was all I had…

I was alone…

No friends…

No mate…

No one to turn to…

No one by my side

But a cabinet full of bottles

So once the kids were asleep

I sit alone…

And drink…

To forget…

To try and erase…

The pain…

A book I wish I had read ten years earlier…

In fact I can firmly say that I think if I had done so my marriage and relationships would have been in far better shape than it is now. I believe this book is essential reading material for any modern couple and anyone else who would like to see their relationships improve with those who are important to them.

This is written by the same guy who wrote “Men are from Mars and women are from Venus”. A book I thought was a real eye opener. Till I read it I did not know that men and women actually process emotions and react to situations completely opposite to one another. Guess it gives new credibility to the phrase the opposite sex.

It was with quite a lot of skepticism I bought this book thinking it would be the same shit in a different saucer. But it was definitely not. And I am really glad I bought it. It gives the reader an insight into how the trappings of modern life exert a huge amount of pressure on modern couples and relationships. I could clearly see some people I know going through the symptoms outlined in this book. And of course once you are aware of the problem you can find a solution to it. I have started using some of the techniques outlined in this book and can say with absolute confidence it has made a significant difference as well as contributed to improving my relationships all round.


Seventeenth May...

A dull, wet cloudy evening

Seventeen flames

Bravely fight the wind

As they sit on a grave

However much they try

They can't light the darkness

Your absence has left

Seventeen years...

That's what you would have been...

No more a little girl...

Not yet a woman...

How I wonder

what it would be like

If you were here..

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Leopard named Ivan

This is something I picked up on a recent visit to Wilpattu. The tracker was telling us about a leopard who had lost an eye. And how everyone was referring to it as Ivan. The relevance of the name went completely over my head till some one said "how clever"? Ivan = Eye One.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Like Janis - Another great song with amazing lyrics by Sixto Rodriguez

Dee I can't thank you enough for discovering this guy. His album is absolutely amazing. I downloaded the entire album Cold Fact and every song in it was wonderful.

And you measure for wealth by the things you can hold
And you measure for love by the sweet things you're told
And you live in the past or a dream that you're in
And your selfishness is your cardinal sin

And you want to be held with highest regard
It delights you so much if he's trying so hard
And you try to conceal your ordinary way
With a smile or a shrug or some stolen cliche'

But don't you understand, and don't you look about
I'm trying to take nothing from you
So why should you act so put out for me?

'Cos emotionally you're the same basic trip
And you know that I know of the times that you slip
So don't try to impress me, you're just pins and paint
And don't try to charm me with things that you ain't

And don't try to enchant me with your manner of dress
'Cos a monkey in silk is a monkey no less
So measure for measure reflect on my said
And when I won't see you then measure it dead

'Cos don't you understand, and don't you look about
I'm trying to take nothing from you

So why should you act so put out,
And sit there in wonder and doubt, for me?

The Highly overrated high tea of GFH

I was quivering in lust!

Yes that is the kind of anticipation I had built up in my head about the high tea at the Galle Face Hotel. People had spoken so highly of it. About the variety of choice. About the great taste and of course how reasonably priced it was. Somehow when I stepped into the terrace I felt disappointed.

It was like stepping in to a home coming of a wedding from a bygone era. There were old uncles and aunties and families packed into tables placed extremely close to one another munching away frantically desperately trying to stuff as much as they could into their mouth to get the highest return on the money they spent. Adding to the atmosphere an old man in a faded coat was thumping away at a silly organ. If not for some of the tourists I would have thought I had gone back to the 70s.

Yes there was great variety. In fact the entire terrace was filled lengthwise with tables full of food. If you were someone who valued quantity over quality then this would be paradise. Sadly the taste and the presentation of the food was below average and the service putrid. In fact one of my friends had to tell someone “if you were working for me I would have fired you”. She refused to add an extra chair to our table since it was not done that way and there was no other place to sit. According to JD who was also present the quality of the food was on par or lesser than what you would find at Perera and Sons. Certainly not the food what you would expect from a 5 star hotel. Fortunately for us even though everything did not turn out the way we expected the company was great and all of us had a great conversation. But the moment the sun began to set the grubby place I was seeing become to transform into something absolutely magical. But then we were politely told to leave as they had to arrange the venue for dinner. L