31 July 2011

No machan, she’s not pregnant

If I am where I want to be, why do I so badly want to be back where I used to be?
As part of the Hungarian Grand Prix pre-programming BBC ran this segment with the Ferrari team. Fernando was the guinea pig. He tested his F1 car both with F1 fuel and the petrol we use in our cars. Surprise, the car was one second faster on F1 fuel. Pick up being faster was the only discerning difference that Fernando found. It was surprising and pleasing to know that the petrol we pump at a Garage is close to F1 fuel.

Of course the petrol they used would not have been from the batch that last year had many vehicle owners in England moaning as it was of extreme poor quality and caused many cars to seize up. I remembered of course the recent occurrence in Sri Lanka where a similar kind of petrol made its way to the pumps. Both I hope more coincidences and chance than deliberate sabotage.

What struck mostly though is the fact that almost everything that happens in my life now in England, I compare with my past in Sri Lanka, never with my past in the US. But in Sri Lanka I was many ways guilty in comparing my then present with the past in the US. Either way I was never a person who worried much about the future.

A good rice and curry, company of friends, a bottle of arrack, two baths a day and fresh linen are the main priorities in my life. Simple fellow no doubt the reader will reflect, but this kind of attitude has served me well in life for I do not fear change. I just go for it. If any life situation does not offer opportunities or the problems do not promise solutions in the near future I just get on with it. Get on with something new that is, not stuck in that gives me the biggest dissatisfactions in life.

But suddenly facing a mid-life crisis of quite gigantic proportions I am finding that whatever decisions I have made in life, many have been mistakes. False bravado will compel me to say they were my mistakes to make.  But every decision but very few have been mistakes and a mistake is what it is nothing but a mistake. An incorrect act or decision, an error. Usually one that cannot be corrected, erased or tipexed.

So more and more I no longer believe in humanity, morals and ethics. For all those who succeed around me, all of them seem to have none. So while I refuse to directly copy them and become successful myself, I more and more grow to soon become a crotchety old man. I am doomed with a lifetime of bad decisions and bad luck.

So there you are my mid-life crisis, I believe soon to be the mother of all mistakes. I join now those who pray for Armageddon, a world living life underground. Apparently no one wants to live in mountains due to the nuclear clouds floating around in the sky.

No machan
She’s not
Not pregnant.
We may have
But she’s not
Power machan?
“For without me thy hearth will forever stay cold, thy fires never lit in passion or agony”
Never ever never
We did                                 
With me
Without me
It’s called IVF
So, if I am where I want to be, why do I so badly want to be back where I used to be?

25 July 2011

Sri Lankan Diaspora's terrible war. Whose children died in war? Surely not theirs.


My thoughts are with you Norway, so are my prayers for the one’s you lost

My thoughts are with you Norway, so are my prayers for the one’s you lost

There were many incidents, but when it all started in my little world of Colombo was that famous night in July 1983. A good friend lived right across from A F Raymond and his view from his bedroom was the Kanatte (cemetery) Junction and the Borella Kanatte itself.
Lucky immediately called me wanting to know if I could come to view the excitement. The rumours had already started and parental approval to leave the house was impossible. He however narrated how as the 13 soldiers burial commenced angry crowds demonstrated their displeasure of their deaths by a Tamil Tigers (LTTE) bomb in Jaffna. A famous well-endowed and much feared Superintendent of Police was an auxiliary victim at this demonstration. When trying to control protesters they rewarded his efforts by beating him up and throwing him among the soldier’s graves. Half and hour afterwards everyone had started to run ‘Kotti Gahanawa’ (the Tigers are attacking).
 Mass hysteria was common then amongst the majority in Sri Lanka, so was the loathing of the newly formed terrorist organisation LTTE by Tamil fundamentalists in northern Sri Lanka. The next day actually marked Sri Lanka’s international shame. The day Sri Lanka erupted in communal violence. One, which I first hand, experienced the actual effectiveness of mob violence.

As I grew older the LTTE grew stronger. I watched many sportsmen of Royal College true sons of our soil join the armed forces. I envied how they became overnight heroes and worried for their safety. Sri Lanka’s fertile soil became stained with blood; the night sky lit up in fire and day became night from the smoke. My classmate, Stubbs shield champion boxer and major in the Army came back home to Gampaha without both his legs.

The next attack I remember well. It was an early Colombo hot, humid afternoon. Jo our CD and I were chilling out in her office, one of the few nicer offices to hangout in as her upper floor windows brought in much needed coolness with large tree and its branch’s looming outside. Suddenly there was a loud boom and the windows to her office shook violently. Jo characteristically screamed, all of us proceeded dreading what we were about to see in the boardroom TV. The drivers who continuously listen to the radio informed us of the suicide bomb truck that had driven into the Central Bank, taking down along with it the surrounding building and Colombo’s famous Ceylinco Tower. Over 100 people died and millions of dollars damage was caused. We worried the most as our agencies Ceylinco advertising team were there for a meeting. They arrived back safely and their tale was more harrowing than what we were seeing on TV.

The third one, not the last or least amongst the many terror attacks in Sri Lanka was the one I experienced best. It was a lazy weekend. Suddenly far away I could hear the sounds of gunfire. We lived in Kynsey Road and our apartment was on the top third floor. From the back balcony it sounded to me that the gunfire was coming out of Galle Face. Again a rush to the TV and this time around we all had cell phones. Mine rang immediately and it was my friends from the Ministry of Justice. It took Prabath, Ranga and Chaminda ( You were in Germany, Blacker, otherwise they would have picked you up too) about 20mins to arrive home and for me to quickly jump in the car with them. These were what I call my glory years when a sibling had the dubious powers to have a car with full security clearance that said such most clearly on that cars windscreen. Also Prabath, Ranga and Chaminda of dubious Policeman or something like that fame(Chaminda’s OK and now drives the Sectary to the Treasury).

A gunfight had developed between LTTE suicide terrorists who had attacked the Government newspaper offices, the Lake House. With clearance to enter the Presidential Security Zone and the Treasury we had the stupid pleasure of driving through all the roadblocks set up to control traffic around the attack area. With so many PSD and MSD men in plainclothes it was easy for us to park in the treasury and mingle freely. Finally we got to view three of the suicide bombers who blew themselves up. Neither a life experience I will never forget nor the smells of burning human flesh.

All through these senseless attacks what strikes in my mind most are the civilian casualties. If you are a terrorist they are civilian casualties, if you are the US and their allies, they are called casualties of war or collateral damage.

I skim only through my three decades long life with terrorism as my shadow. Guns, bombs and mayhem were facts of life. 
Great Sri Lankan leaders being assassinated by suicide bombers became a part of my life.

The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, 

9/11 in New York

 and 7/7 in London changed the world’s perception of terrorism.

Now one of the gentlest countries in the world, Norway has suffered a devastating loss. Homeland Security, Border Controls, Scanners, X-Ray, Checkpoints, Barricaded Buildings, and the everlasting memory of those they lost to terrorism will become part of their proud Viking history forever.

My thoughts are with you Norway, so are my prayers for the one’s you lost.

My greatest regret is when the Sri Lanka government last year defeated the Tamil Tigers, I was not there. My biggest happiness is that I was there when Sri Lanka went through such loss of property and life.

Terrorism must stop all over the world. Civilian casualties, collateral damage and human rights violations are part of defeating terrorism. You can never win against anything being nice. Sport provides us a good example, look at the aggressiveness of any sport champion, they never got there being nice or becoming second.

When you meet people like me who are not fundamentalist or a terrorist but fiercely love our country and it’s sovereignty, I hope you will begin to understand our pride and horror of terrorism. You will also understand our the importance we place in protecting our country against anything or anyone. So when you complain about your manufactured 'are you with us, or against us' Sri Lankan mentality, and then turn around to profess great love for Sri Lanka, your sincerity doesn't quite ring true. 

I of course am making ready to celebrate England’s test victory over India at Lords, two more wickets to go! Common England!

24 July 2011

There was no dear Amy letter...

Dear Amy, with all the money you made from selling records, couldn't you have at least ensured you didn't buy any dodgy shit? Like that you die from?

You stand for everything that is great and then really shit in Britain.

A simple girl from Camden became world famous by singing. That is very much the best, not many people from other countries can quite do that.

Then you couldn't handle all the fame and decided to get plastered. 

For someone like me who has never been rich in his life and always had to struggle in life, I just don't get it. The post mortem apparently showed Cocaine, Ketamine, Alcohol in your blood. A dodgy Ecstasy pill in the mix has been the one that killed you.

I feel mugged for your death defies my existence. Me the poor, the untalented, the struggling. Your loyal servant. I would have died for you.

Just a couple of joints and some Vodka, wouldn't that just have been enough?

You have passed. Your music will live forever. In our hearts, in the digital world.

I for one disbelieve all this RIP nonsense. Once you die, you either become ashes to be scattered and finally part of mother earth rotting away in a coffin. 

I however believe in whatever demons that bothered you and made you seek oblivion. As one who would never have the courage to die but wish to all the time, I can imagine the sense of relief you would have felt in that final moment when somewhere in your drugged consciousness, you knew this is it, you were dying. 

I envy you for that one moment of release. 

19 July 2011

Living in England

IMG_0035IMG_2329IMG_0362IMG_0348IMG_2137photo 3-1
Borderline , a set on Flickr.
July 2005 to July 2011. My favourite pix for the last six years. I am not technically good, if the camera's with me, I see something nice I click.

I complain a lot about having to live in England. I am glad I chose all the photo's I like. Then I realised that although I do miss Sri Lanka miserably, the past six years have been not too bad for me!