Archive for November, 2007

Should I be arrested for drunk driving?

November 30, 2007

Now I know a lot of you are going to jump right in here and answer with a resounding ‘YES’ to the question. but I have a differing point of view when it comes to this subject, so here goes.

To those of you who know me even a little, it’s probably common knowledge that I’m a habitual offender when it comes to drunk driving. You can rest assured that I will be committing this ‘offence’ at least thrice on any given week. Now while this may sound shocking to some people, I can assure that it’s a very common thing in Sri Lanka. Almost all the friends I know have done this very same thing at least once in their lives.

Now, while I have been arrested and gone through the whole hassle of blowing into a balloon and being locked up in a cell minus shoes and socks on a few occasions, I have also been stopped and released on numerous occasions without any bribe being offered to the police officer in question. Why is this? I believe the answer to this is pretty simple. The officers who have let me proceed on my way, have obviously more sense, and know how to use it than most other people in the country.

To explain why I say this, I first need to tell you that after a couple or more drinks, I tend to be a very cautious driver. I consistently drive slower than I would when sober and ensure to follow the road rules to the letter. In short, when I’m drunk, I know it and take extra care to be more careful. Now obviously when I have been stopped and checked by some officers of the law, they have been able to judge what level of intoxication I was in and make a suitable decision to let me go. Now this I believe is how the rule should work. If I’m not perceived to be a menace to others on the road, why arrest me?

I believe the rule of thumb that says X amount of blood alcohol percentage means I’m drunk, is like telling me the shoes that fit Mr.Perera HAVE to also fit me and I have to eat the same amount of food as Mr. Fernando in order to feel full! Do you see my point? Just because the guy next door gets cocked out of his mind on a couple of drinks, doesn’t mean the same applies to me. I could be the most sober person on the planet after exceeding the legal limit.

So what I propose is this, most definitely stop and check me, but have a system of evaluating me on my personal capability of driving. Surely there must be some simple way of checking whether I’m totally knackered or just happily high. If its the latter, then please let me proceed on my way and save the authorities the time and money spent in prosecuting me.

So I’ll be definitely raising my glass tonight in the hopes of a more enlightened and empowered traffic police. Cheers!

A land of raving lunatics!

November 29, 2007

Have just spent the first couple of hours in office browsing the various blogs on Kottu, and I’m fairly speechless with shock at the sentiments expressed in the majority of them. Most of the posts tend to deal with yesterday’s bomb blast in Nugegoda, but the opinions expressed are truly vicarious. And I won’t even try to find a word to describe the comments posted by various readers!

If the blogosphere is any way to judge what the majority of Sri Lanka thinks and believes in, this country of ours is in serious trouble! Because it shows the majority of Sri Lankans to be raving lunatics who celebrate the loss of life!!

It seems that most of the posts are more concerned with praising the on going war efforts of the present government than actually looking at the loss of innocent lives. Does the fact that a score of living, breathing human beings have been relegated to little bits of bloody flesh mean so little to these people? They seem to think that these deaths are just a small sacrifice to pay in return for the bloodied head of Prabhakaran. Would they still be singing the hosannas of the government if it was their loved ones who died? Or better still, would they in turn have died with a happy smile on their faces at the thought of being martyrs to the ‘Chinthanaya’? All these people seem to be able to see in their warped version of the situation is the fact that the ongoing war is being won, and the only things they seem to hear are the empty boasts of the militant minded blowhards in power.

On the other hand, there’re others who preach revenge and wax eloquent about the murderous intentions of the LTTE.  They put up celebratory posts whenever there’s news about attacks in the north, regardless of the loss of life. But have they ever paused to think about the pain and suffering that’s felt by the innocents who are caught up in the middle of the artillery strikes and bombing runs? Don’t they too feel the same sense of loss and trauma when they lose someone? These are probably brushed aside as the unavoidable fallout of war!

What’s wrong with us Sri Lankans? We behave as if the loss of a human life has absolutely no value. We give the world at large the impression that we’re just a bunch of blood thirsty savages who jump and caper around whenever we see a dead body! I remember being horrified at the stories that came out of Rwanda some time ago, but looking at the antics of the majority who are keeping the ‘Chinthanaya’ afloat, I wonder if we’re any different.

I wonder if this country of ours will ever turn sane again or will we just continue to run headlong down the path to total and absolute lunacy?

I punched 120 people…. in church!!!

November 28, 2007

Seriously. I know there are many of you out there with the most skeptical of looks on your faces, but believe me, this is the honest truth. I even have witnesses who saw me do it, and even congratulated me on a job well done!

It all started around 6 in the evening last Friday, I found my self standing at the entrance to the Scot’s Kirk Church at Kolpetty and being briefed very carefully on how I was to punch every single person who walked through the doors. Now this included men, women, children and even the elderly! Of course I was expected to do this in the politest fashion possible, with a smile on my face, and a ‘thank you so much’ after the punch.

Though I was a bit nervous about it at the outset, once I got into the groove of it, I quite enjoyed myself. They were lining up in hoardes to be punched! I was even given this very cute assistant to help me out and I generously offered her the chance to punch a few people herself. But after a couple of punches, she felt it was a little too hard for her and let me take over again, which I happily did.

The most surprising part was how polite the punchees were towards the puncher (me). Most of them thanked me for punching them and then even asked me where they could sit down!

OK….OK…..If you’ve read this far, I think you deserve an explanation. Last Friday was the opening night for ‘In the Shadow’ which was being produced and directed by a couple of friends. After being dragooned into being part of the hired help, I was given the task of being front of house and checking people’s tickets (together with the cute person mentioned before). For this purpose I was given a punching machine and asked to punch everybody’s tickets….. which I did, in effect punching 120 people……in under an hour…… at church!!!!

So there!!!

Life goes on…

November 27, 2007

After all the hulla baloo about the new budget, it seems nothing has changed in the paradise isle. We bitch and grind our teeth about the rising cost of living and how hard it is to live decently. But we still go about our daily routine, fighting our way through ever bigger traffic jams. After all, what real choice do we have right? We’re stuck with a government that has been voted in by the majority (supposedly), and is still enjoying a popularity status among them (thanks to their war dances).

So what choice do we, the upper middle class, who are most affected by the situation in the country, have, but to go on living and slaving away to maintain a lifestyle that we have grown accustomed to, but is fast disappearing? The way things are going in the country, I really don’t foresee any real hope for things to change for the better anytime soon.

The frustrating thing is, that people who have the intelligence to see beyond the campaign stage theatrics, blatant lies and false pandering are still stuck with a corrupt government! We don’t have the power to change the way things are going, because the majority are thrilled with the play acting clowns they see on stage at election time! And what the majority wants….the country is stuck with.

What surprises me is that with everything that’s going on, there are still a lot of intelligent, hard working people who stubbornly refuse to leave this country (Myself included – stubborn but not all that intelligent!). Why is this? Simply put, its because we actually love our country so fucking much that we’ll probably die of homesickness in any other country. It would be like keeping a junkie away from his fix!

Having said that, does it mean I love what’s going on in this beloved country of mine? Absolutely fucking not!!! I hate what the politicians and the majority have done, and are still doing to this beautiful island. Their inability to see past today’s plate of rice continues to push all of us deeper and deeper into a cesspit from which there seems to be no coming back.

But, as I said in the opening part of this post, life goes on and so do we. Clinging desperately to some shred of hope that our country will someday become the paradise isle again…. I pray that I will be alive to see that happy day.

Should I….. Shouldn’t I?

November 27, 2007

OK, have been very silent for the past few days. There’re a few very simple reasons for this. Was not at work over the weekend and that cuts my access to a computer, was snowed under with work yesterday and today and also wasn’t really sure about what to post on here.

Now the last reason brings me to the crux of this post. The problem of should I or shouldn’t I post every single day? I’ve read the benefits of being a regular poster, in that you get to build up a regular readership and thus posting everyday keeps them coming back to your blog and even recommending it to others. But what about the quality of what you post? I mean, what if I have absolutely nothing interesting to blog about? In effect, after a while my blog would become so full of nonsensical drivel that people would anyway be avoiding it right?

I for one would definitely not want to be reading a blog that constantly spouted stuff just for the sole reason of having a post everyday! It would be downright tiresome. So here I am. Having just stated the most practical reason for not posting everyday, but still looking at myself askance and wondering if I’m making excuses to justify my innate laziness when it comes to putting words down on paper (or screen, in this case).

Ok….ok…. I hate when this happens, so I’ve just reached a brilliant compromise! I will definitely try and post something on a daily basis. However, I will also try my utmost to ensure that it is interesting reading as well. If for some reason I cannot do both you will see a blank space for that day.

I think that sorta settles things, don’t you?

The church pub concept…

November 23, 2007

After yesterday’s brief role of moonlighting as a zombie, i feel somewhat refreshed and not very inclined to spout flowery praises trying to sell stuff nobody wants. Which I’m sure is a relief to all and sundry except my boss…..lol

Anyways, I was privileged yesterday to be asked to watch the final rehearsal for a friend’s upcoming show of performance poetry at Scott’s Kirk in Colpetty. Afterwards, whilst the others were helping clear up the place and I was busy walking around in my own world, something occurred to me. I had happened to sit down on a pew(One of the few remaining in the church as most had been moved aside to make room for the rehearsal) and was gazing up at the roof design with its multiple arches and intricate mouldings and for some strange reason a picture flashed into my head. It was a picture of warlike Saxon chieftains in full battle regalia lounging on couches and swigging large goblets of rich red wine! Weird right?

With this picture still in my mind I lowered my gaze and looked at the people milling around the almost empty church, and then it struck me. The architecture of the church lends itself perfectly to an old English/Scottish pub! I stood up glanced around and the more I looked the more I could see the potential. If you cleared all the pews out and replaced them with massive slabs of oak as tables and benches and did some mood feel lighting, you could have one of the hippest drinking spots in the country! It would have the nostalgic feel of a scene taken straight out of the ‘Robin Hood’ movies, where you would see the lords of the Colombo fiefdom sitting around with their hounds and talking about their past conquests and glories.

Of course, I personally would name it ‘The Church’ or ‘The Kirk’ to give it a sort of vicarious twist. I mean imagine the advertising campaigns that could spring from it! Even better, imagine a conversation between a couple of guys:

Guy 1: So what did you do last Saturday?

Guy 2: I went to Church and man it was so cool… I got totally wasted on the spirit!!

 Heretical thoughts? Maybe, but you seriously have to visit this church and picture it in your mind. I’m sure you’ll be an instant convert.

The living dead

November 22, 2007

Ever wondered what it would feel like to be a zombie? well I sort of know…..at least today. Came into work today with all good intentions of writing a post, but somehow every-time I sat down to do it, the poor old mind just went blank. It seriously feels like my brain’s only there to guide my bodily functions!

It’s sad when things come to this stage. Actually I’ve heard it said that assembly line workers and certain factory workers too suffer from this syndrome. Its where your brain sort of adapts itself to only concentrate on the function that it’s required to do most of the time. Attach ‘drive B’ to ‘drive C’….. stitch pearl blue buttons on left sleeve….. or in my case, write utterly mindless drivel ad nauseum! I guess after a while of doing that, when the brain is faced with actually writing something creative or simply different, it just shuts down in shock.

I will not go on anymore as I feel this enormous and almost irresistible compulsion to fill the entire white space before me with flowery descriptions of condominiums, phones, soap and mini trucks!

Hopefully I’ll be resurrected tomorrow….

Traitorous thoughts?

November 21, 2007

While gloomily examining my fast dwindling bank balance for the month, a thought happened to cross my mind.

‘WTF is happening to Sri Lanka???’

I mean, the prices of essential food stuffs, petrol, booze, fags and basically everything else you can think of is increasing day by day! At the moment I’m never sure if I’m going to have enough cash in hand to pay for the stuff I pick up at the supermarket. I watch the pretty cashier girl punch in amount after amount with mounting dread and then leave with the proverbial clean suit and empty pocket.

While I know I’m not the only one affected by this, I’m totally annoyed that the people who’re responsible for this situation continue to live in the lap of luxury, swanning around in their super luxury SUV’s with armed goons clearing all and sundry out of their path. I mean aren’t the politicians of this so-called paradise isle supposed to be doing something to help the people of this country, instead of playing musical chairs and skipping from party to party whenever the whim and fancy hits them?

But what really gets my goat, is whenever the subject of the COL is brought up, the ‘leaders’ simply point to the ‘war’ that is being waged for the ‘greater good of all humanity’!!! And this apparently is a good enough argument to shut up the majority of the country who in turn nod their heads wisely and then go to bed on an empty stomach!

I mean, WTF???? Why should I be made to suffer and change my lifestyle just so some corrupt officials can line their pockets for generations to come with the commissions and kickbacks that this ‘war’ is generating? Why should I have to pay for the blood thirsty ambitions of some village lout who eats manioc 3 times a day?

Enough is enough in my opinion. What has Sri Lanka gained by this decades long struggle? Absolutely nothing. It has just generated enormous loss of life and a downhill spiral that this country may never recover from. Why can’t these present day ‘leaders’ see the futility of carrying on a war that has no outcome? Probably because the ‘leaders’ from both sides of the battle know that its the only possible way to guarantee their seats in power! To them its a war of convenience that keeps them and their families safe and secure, while the rest of the country suffers.

So, to all you Chinthanaya fans and manioc eating louts out there, I have just one thing to say, I hope you fucking drown like rats when this ship sinks!!!

Darkness descends on the Paradise Isle

November 20, 2007

A land once known for sunny skies,

now sees only ominous thunder clouds.

A people who welcomed strangers with a smile,

now cower and whimper in fear of the dark.

A land that once yielded bounteous harvests,

now lies wasted and barren.

A people who once shared everything,

now greedily hoard their meagre grains of rice.

A land that once rang with the happy sounds of laughter,

now echoes hauntingly with lamentations for the dead.

A people who once were independent and proud,

now trudge like beaten cattle to the slaughter.

A land once known as the pearl of the Indian Ocean,

now resembles a glistening drop of blood.

A people who’s hands came together in greeting,

now use these hands to beg for mercy from unseeing gods.

A land once bright with light and life,

now suffocates in the descending darkness.

A lab rat’s questions

November 19, 2007

Have you ever wondered about the actual meaning to our existence here on earth?

Am I supposed to be achieving some greater good?

Is my frantic scurrying through the maze of life contributing anything?

Am I making my own decisions, or just reacting predictably?

Am i my own master, or just obeying a punishment and reward instinct?

Is a wrong turn the reason behind the pain I feel?

Is the happiness I feel just a cheap reward to keep me running on and on?

The stick and the carrot being used to stop me from giving up and dying?

Are my reactions being studiously recorded to be used at some future point?

Or am I just some mindless experiment in a mad scientist’s raving agenda?

Will I ever find my way out of this maze?

Or am I doomed to run till my heart explodes?

Will I always crave the promised reward and fear the threatened pain?

Or will I one day just give up and crouch trembling in a corner?

Will I someday no longer care how much pain is being inflicted on me?

Nor care how great the reward is to move just one more step?

And when that day comes, will I be allowed to live in peace?

Or just be tossed into another maze to be a snake’s reward?