17 November 2011
This is one of the best TVCs/Viral I have seen after a longtime. Deserves the Cannes Grandprix. Fantastic idea, well executed.
The ad was directed by Dougal Wilson from Blink Productions and dreamed up by the creative team at Adam & Eve London, who include creative director Ben Priest and writers Matt Gay and John Long.
16 November 2011
15 November 2011
Less is always more. The dilemma I faced and then the new FB page. It all makes sense now. Good read, have a go.
13 November 2011
5 November 2011
Reflections of my soul
The dogs run ahead of me. I am not as sure footed as them on the foot trail from Elstree connecting to Red Road Park. Autumn leaves carpet the path underfoot. The stillness of them signifies to me that at least for today, I jog down a virgin path.
The clocks have gone back by an hour. Autumn has been kind to us so far. The temperatures in the day have rarely dropped to single digits. Although this early in the morning it is bitterly cold and windy. The hood of my sweatshirt keeps moisture out and my face warm. The jogging bottoms are completely wet up to my knee from last nights rain on the leaves. My shoes brand or colour wiped out with the mud that completely cakes them.
Despite the cold, the jog has made me sweat, so I don’t feel it as much. I check my heart rate on the watch – 130. Not bad at all considering I have been jogging for a couple of miles now. The endorphins have kicked in and I feel good. Finally we arrive at the park. The dogs now mere dots in the horizon as they have raced away. I finish my stretching. Undo all the exercise by lighting up.
The first cigarette of the day and nicotine burst makes my head almost float away from my torso. Two more long, hard drags and I quietly sit down on the damp bench and reflect.
Everything’s about me. My excuse to that is I am an extremely sensitive sod. A wee bit of a Hippy Che Guvera type. My wife always says that one day I will withdraw to being a complete recluse and go live in the jungle. Our only agreement in it would be somewhere in the jungles in Kattaragama. This can of course be as much as my winning the lottery. Of course then building a shrine to Lord Skanda and living in seclusion. Other than for a flock of dogs. How I would cope without my arrack, vodka, and pork curry is of importance. The bonus of course is I could smoke more weed, an important aspect when especially praying to Lord Shiva.
I digress, my apologies, these are all but part of my recent reflections. I am an old man now, 47 years. Old in comparison to most of my friends. Them still young, me still young to those who are in their 60’s. All relative really.
But as I grow old, I have continuously explored reason to my time on Earth. Selfishly I know that whatever anyone may say, my best times in life are gone. I have been diagnosed with a lifelong condition. I can’t run as fast as I used to now. Occasionally the gears of the car grind when I shift from 2nd to 3rd. My arm and foot coordination not as fast. If I over exercise, I take longer to recover.
On a plus, I am a Grandpa to a beautiful Grand Nephew. My daughters in sixth form (A/Ls to us Sri Lankans) and academia assured. She’s a brilliant student. So the stuff I look forward to has changed. I celebrate more the accomplishments of those around me much more than mine. I have failed as an ad man. My own set up nothing but truly just a long, dreary and sad dream, a nightmare.
I reflect more about life now, to be. Peace within myself. The fact that I am mortal. Maybe too early, but expecting the fact that my time on earth is not eternal.
I have done enough good, what more mayhem can I cause?
The dogs come running towards me, soaked and covered in mud. Jumping at my pocket where the yellow ball is. I butt out my smoke, throw the ball as far as possible and scramble after them.
A broad vista of rolling grassland jotted by an occasional tree stretch out into the horizon. The first train of the day goes hooting by. I am ready to head home. Everyone will hose themselves clean with the back garden hose. Breakfast, wash and back to the life of a rat.
“When old words die out on the tongue, new melodies break forth from the heart; and where the old tracks are lost, new country is revealed with its wonders – Gitanjali, Rabindranath Tagore”
28 October 2011
26 October 2011
“People easily forget where they came from, how they got there or who helped them get where they are. This is yes a fact that is recognised all over the world, but I can’t help but wonder am I saying this because I am no longer where I was or where I want to be?”
Diwali today. For many just another day, for over one billion Hindu and Sikh people this is the start of a new year. This is the day that culminates the victory of good over evil. Justice over injustice, etc., etc. The Goddess Mahalakshmi a combination of three Goddesses Durga, Kali and Saraswathi is revered and celebrated all over the world as today is the one-day she walks amongst the people of the world. Hearths are cleaned; oil lamps lit to light her way and door steps are decorated in Rangoli. Homes are extensively cleaned as the Goddess known as Mata will not enter a home that is dirty.
I am not a Hindu, but as far as I can remember a legacy from my parents, I have always prayed for the blessings of Lord Ganesha, Vishnu and Skanda. The journeys to Kattaragama are so many I no longer can count then. Even as far away in England, one of my first acts upon landing in Sri Lanka is to pilgrimage to Kattaragama. For the last ten years I have also begun to pray to the Goddesses: Durga and Kali. After the birth of my child my prayers have always been for her protection and to give me strength to provide for my family. I have given up eating beef for 16 years now. From the day my first wife was pregnant with her.
I do wonder however, especially on days like today why my life has been so hard. If I look at my lifetime, in all honesty, my only real highlight has been my child. I may have studied in the US, travelled to many parts of the world, now live in England, but my life overall has been incredibly hard.
Sometimes I wonder is it because I travelled to all these places, seen so much, that I can never settle for enough. What is enough anyway?
The last six years have been really shit. Some of it completely my fault, but most of it beyond my control. Now as someone who has always prayed, I keep praying. Nothing drastic to the extent where I went helter skelter, I pray as usual. I faced untold suffering, but still while I did not overcome myself with religious favour, I pray.
I believe in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. May the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha protect me from all evil.
I lost everything I had in Sri Lanka after I came to England. I neither blamed anyone for that but just got on with it.
Praying as usual the strength to protect my family and care for them.
Last year my life changed forever. Although I exercise and eat way more healthier than in Sri Lanka in England, I found that I was losing a lot of weight. A visit to the doctor confirmed my worst fears, I had Diabetes. Which I now control with medicine. But my life as I know it changed for far worse than I could dream. I am a man who loves his food, drink and sweets. I finish a tin of Cadbury Roses in one evening watching TV. No more.
What do I have to look forward to? A really messy and painful death. Most diabetics get some sort of infection and die from it. If its one in your foot, basically they start to cut it to stop the infection and by about when they have removed your whole leg you die. The same can happen with an infection in your mouth. It’s not going to happen today or tomorrow but as I age I know it’s a coming.
Now for someone who prays with such devotion and regularity is this fair? My life has been and is shit although I have always endeavoured to be fair by everybody. I have given my services freely to anyone who wants it. I have always looked after anyone who worked for me in any capacity. I have always tried to be fair.
I divorced my first wife. But I did not abandon my daughter.
I was a bloody bastard in a suit. But I have been the architect of the success of many people who sit in the highest honours today.
In many little ways I have always helped people. From my domestics to the drivers I had. I still do although they no longer work for me.
I have little friends, but I am fiercely loyal to them.
But my life has been shit.
I will never question my belief for I have been blessed to feel the presence of Lord Skanda.
But on days like today, where I am home early and alone, typing this post, I wonder why the Gods and Goddesses help only those who are wily, deceitful and wicked.
The Goddess Mahalakshmi I know will not be making a visit home. That’s all right. That is my burden.
In Sri Lanka, Britain, as in India, Diwali is a time for:
Spring-cleaning the home.
Wearing new clothes.
Exchanging gifts (often sweets and dried fruits) and preparing festive meals.
Decorating buildings with fancy lights.
Having huge firework displays to celebrate Diwali.
I am just trying to conjour up the will to get off this couch and go work out at the Gym.
Jai Shri Skanda!
25 October 2011
"Om Shri Mahalakymaye Namah"
A celebration that is powered by lots of fervour, vigour and enthusiasm, Diwali is a significant Hindu festival welcoming Ram & Sita from their exile of 14 years. This exuberant festival of lights dispels darkness and lights up every single life. For many, it marks the worship of Goddess Lakshmi and also the beginning of the new financial year. This day is considered the harbinger of auspiciousness and eliminator of darkness.
May this festival of lights be the harbinger of joy and prosperity to you and your loved ones. May the atmosphere be filled with the spirit of mirth and love, here's wishing this festival of beauty brings your way, bright sparkles of contentment, that stay with you through the days ahead.
Best wishes on Diwali and New Year.
20 October 2011
3 October 2011
October will be steady mostly and some amount of clarity would emerge in the economic markets.
Two major festivals Dussera (6th October 2011) & Diwali (26th October 2011) take place this month.
This month will bring very positive results for Gemini, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Sagittarius and Capricorn.
The going would be average for Aries, Taurus and Pisces.
Cancer, Scorpio, Aquarius natives could find the going tough, so take care.
28 September 2011
Cumulatively it’s been the past 20 years of my life. Solidly it has been the last 12 years. Where other than for the occasional ‘hangover’ (literally) days, from Monday to Friday I have woken up at 5.30am. Maybe an occasional 15 minutes more in bed.
Five years of these 12 I remember at LDB’s. Where I would arrive at work by 7am even before the proverbial tea lady. I had keys to the building and my office. The discomfort of my A/E’s when they arrive anywhere between 8.30 – 9am. David’s IDGAF glare when he casually saunters in at 11am to LDB’s. Where no one could complain of my long lunch hours (pick kid up from school, lunch at home, 30 minute nap, shower, change and back to work) other than still the occasional complaint to LDB. Bless you Lil for allowing my transgressions!
Six years in Blighty and the still frequent glares at WMIN when I would arrive before the sun has risen over the British Empire.
Evenings rushing about, making dinner (I am the official cook and no I am crap at it), walking the dog, pining the tail on the donkey, school shirts ironed in the last minute, dinner ready by 7pm the latest in readiness for the 5.30am rush the next day. In bed by 9.30pm or we would never make it out of bed in the morning – Rain, Hail, Snow, Mist or Sunshine.
5.30am. Downstairs my toilet for the first of many Espresso’s, B&H, porcelain pinnacle, shave, exercise dog, come back and rush upstairs for shower in the bathroom. Most times while one of the girls are in sitting in their PP, I jump in shower. The only ritual I am allowed in the upstairs bathroom, shower I mean. Then make sandwiches (I do make nice toasted Pastrami with Bavarian smoked cheese slices and a touch of Zensai Chinese chillie paste from the motherland). Wave goodbye to Lems, the kid and I make mad rush for the car. Back home and mad rush for train by 7.45am.
Yes the purists among you must shudder. These are alike the life and times of a hitchhiker (Roger Waters), mine are the life and times of Daddy D.
The plus side? The morning school drive. The kid and I have our own playlist:
I got you babe – UB40
Born to be Wild – Steppenwolf
Sandstorm – Darude
Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky
Minute Waltz – Chopin
Sweet Home Alalbama - Lynard Skynyrd
Another Brick in the Wall – Pink Floyd
Yes, 12 years!
Kid started sixth form this month (Grade 11-12 to you and I). Guess what? On some days she now needs to be at school only by 8.40am. On most days it is 9.40am. As part of giving her more responsibility and slowly learning to let go when she’s off to Uni I have finally discontinued the morning drive. Yes it may happen infrequently more for nostalgia than anything else (heaven help me if I play our old music playlist to her now).
Ladies and Gentlemen, Family, Friends and members of the media:
DADDY D GETS UP AT 7AM NOW! ALL ONE AND HALF HOURS MORE. NO MORE POUNDING THE PAVEMENTS OF ELSTREE AND BOREHAMWOOD AT 6AM WITH THE DOG. I MAY GAIN WEIGHT BUT HELP ME SKANDA THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL FEELING. FINALLY THE SUN HAS RISEN WHEN I LEAVE THE HOMESTEAD!
Lems and I in unspoken agreement got us a family membership at the David Lloyd Gym in Bushey in celebration.
The road has been long and narrow. I have skidded many times, corrected it and got on with it. I do not regret any second of any of those 5.30am mornings. It has been wonderful. I do not have a contract for 2012. That’s OK!
It’s now wonderful for me to finally celebrate the beautiful autumn of my life. One day when Skanda arrives to take me on that journey to sleep forever, Shiva at the entrance to Valhalla will ask me ‘Daddy D what have you got right in your life?’ I will have many, but the one most right will be:
I have been an awful son, brother, boyfriend, employee, boss and husband. But I have been one hell of a Dad.
Thank you Big P for showing me by example how striving and committing your life to your kids can be so rewarding. My commitment is but miniscule to what you do and have done.
Lil believe you me, thank you for those five years where my kid needed me the most. Thank you for the advice you would give me. I will never forget you telling me in your office ‘Dhammika all of us have coordinated our lives around work and children. You are not the only one’. I know you knew about my long, long lunches. J I know our professional parting was not the best. Most people will say after parting a company, I gave so much, all I will ever say is you gave me so much.
I disagree with you and David, on one. You both would advice me it is the wiliest that survive in the jungle, not the strongest. No, it is the truest.
My brother in law Big P and you Lil, nurtured in me that pride I feel now in every second of my life.
2012 seems far away. Things will always be more difficult than easy. I may never realise my dreams of living in Sri Lanka again. Or for that matter getting a contract for 2012!
But my autumns are beautiful.
I wake up at 7am now.
Shut up Digby and Nige, I know what time you get up at. J
Pauly I envy you. I am proud of your bravery in looking after your baby boy on your own. It’s a wonderful ride machan, enjoy every second of it.
Captain, I know you do everything I do and more for your sons. Bless.
Wait, wait, wait… did I remember to tell you I get up at 7am now? J
Daddy D has left the building!
19 September 2011
11 September 2011
Couldn't help but think maybe if the UNP did it too they wouldn't be in so much trouble? After all don't we all vote for the one's who shout the loudest and feed the masses, no?
10 September 2011
The land of the free and the home of the bold
2001-2011 A 9/11 tribute poster encouraging people to look back and reflect after 10 years.
Advertising Agency: Extra Credit Projects, Grand Rapids, USA
Creative Director: Rob Jackson
Art Director: Joshua Best
The Print Ad titled Reflect was done by Extra Credit Projects advertising agency for brand: 9/11
Memorial in United States.
“My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every
hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children,
black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and
sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
Dr. Martin Luther King