31 January 2009


Different poison for different folks. That I know.

But this evening , a warm bath, a glass of Merlot , a cocktail of Muse, Jack Johnson, Juno sound track, handful of assorted jazz tunes and the long lasting languor, I would call ..heavenly.

What the heck will throw in some Jothipala songs too.

27 January 2009

Philosophy of the noodles

Master Po once said , behold and embrace the reality of a bowl of noodles. Between sips of jasmine tea , while you inhale to make your mouth taste sweet , focus on the philosophy.

The first mouthful tastes so drab and the fetid soup is hard to get used to. The texture is a bit mire for one to cherish . Then after a while something happens. You get used to it. May be it grows on you. It does not taste that.

The people who heard this wisdom, decoded this in diverse ways. Some said he was talking about Chinese damsels. Some thought it was about the aberrant customs of the far east.

But what Master Po says only master Po knows . But every once in a while something happens and one reminisces about the philosophy of the noodles.

BTW today is the second day of the lunar new year and the cherry blossoms have their first spring shoots out.

26 January 2009

That was Lamma

It was just 30 minutes away from pier no 4. Yet it was a hamlet so different. The stray dogs , cats on tin roof tops. The narrow passages with a hint bohemia . Echoes in Scottish accents , French & Chinese , taking a form of their own in the long paved trek. Faces overflowing with smiles (may be it had something to do with numerous bars) , mothers scolding children, tiled walled houses, clothes hung to dry, banana trees , a beach that has waves . It make one feel real and fallacious at the same time.

But our burley Scottish guide on bicycle and the second-hand books seller in the town , were something else .

That was Lamma Isle.

What the waves left behind...

The book seller...

The corner garden.

The waves....

The harbour

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24 January 2009

Paper boats

Memories come back, of rain water , trickling down the canals of roof tiles. On to ground, making puddles in soft gravel. Brown floods gushing down the road , washing down all dusty sins , ankle deep, gathering to make bigger puddles , to the joy of a seven year old's heart . Holding the promise of amusement, for days. Paper boat races , jumping in the puddles, till the sun finally dries up the muddy waters of joy .

I reminisce the peculiar smell of the earth ,when the heavens stop crying and the first rays of sun spills from the clouds . The image of the last drops of rains, clinging on to the edge of the roof tile, long enough to glitter to the first rays and then letting go to many small puddles aligned with each grove. Inside the house, plastic buckets kept in the hall to catch the rain drops seeping through the cracked tiles.

I sometimes wander whether I haven't moved on from that point of my life. Like an after taste it clings to my mind. I feel like there is Peter pan, in every one of us, refusing to grow up.

Even today when I walk those lanes (once a year or so) , it is literally a stroll down the memory lane. But no more puddles , as the dusty road has since been tarred.

PS: This sculpture is not from Sri Lanka but closer to my new home …

Many faces

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21 January 2009

Me learnt today

I learnt today there is a fine line between racism and that feeling you get when you hear the words " I Barak Hussein ….". Very fine line I tell you

I learnt today that "sun dance kid" lived well in to his mid life…I kid, You not

I learnt today while dazzling good looks or irresistible wit , can, on their own right win most arguments , some , so unjustly, are blessed with both.

And it was all in a day's lessons.

17 January 2009

Cricket, anyone?

Been reading “The match “ by Romesh Gunasekare .

“He realized then that Hector was right . He had to go to Lord’s and rediscover the passions of his youth. Suddenly the most important thing in the world was to see Sri Lanka play England in a full Test match in London. He had to make his life turn the way he wanted it to , like a true spinner’s ball. It was up to him……. His head was throbbing with excitement he had not felt for years. He got his vintage Leica and a cleaning kit. He was sure that he would take the perfect picture at the match.”

Then remembered I had this photo.

Hikkaduwa beach. Jul2008
Pure Zen , Ne?

13 January 2009

It must mean something, surely

Days have passed since the surge of write-ups in the blogosphere, the eulogies in the weekend papers and many a discussions you would have had with like minds or unlike minds (if you are liberal). May be you would have read the much circulated editorial, the dead man's view, as well.

I have mulled over much, on putting my thoughts to words , but for some reason I was not impelled enough to do so .. Don't get me wrong I too have had my share of arm-chair scrutiny of the plight and I too have the perfect plan to take Sri Lanka towards Utopia (like most ). I too have had my share of short pangs of patriotism, which does give one quite a rush. (Then I remember , Patriotism, that was Hitler's excuse too.).

Then I read RD's post which ended "Surely it must mean something".

The gears within started moving. I felt like an simple experiment. I started querying friends, family and myself , what does it really mean?

One simple question was thrown. What is the first image you get , when somebody says "Sri Lanka."

Despite my sample not being perfect.( I had nobody who said "Sunday fare , Trincomalee town" , within my inner circle. ), the list was extensive and diverse

Following are some examples

String hoppers
Pol Sambol,
Sipping an Elephant house Cream Soda, Barefoot Garden Cafe
Hikkaduwa beach by moon light
Mount Lavinia beach on a Sunday evening
The friendly neighborhood immigration officer at BIA
Cheese Kottu , Pillawoos
Main Bus Stand, Galle town
The old Ronio'd map of Sri Lanka map which was sold for Rs 2 in 80's
Late morning cup of plain tea on a sunny morning at the Verandah, Battaramulla
Smell of Kade Paan

Sri Lanka . The way each of us can grasp.
Sri Lanka. The way each of us like to remember.
Sri Lanka. The each of us have experienced.
Sri Lanka . The way each of us feel.

None making better sense than the other . None absurd than the other. …what is it for you?

PS: For some reason, for me , it is my mother's face …Now I kind of know , what it means to me. Surely.

10 January 2009

To be a photographer

I've bought the leather jacket.

Cause it's about the disposition for the most part.

Then an old canvass bag or even a weathered leather one would do to hold the gear. With an outside pouch for the shiny flask of rum. Moroccan .

I was torn between long hair and a shaved head, and settled on the latter. But my original choice of a five o clock shadow stays. As said earlier, attitude counts.

May be twice week I might have to lift few pounds of iron to toughen my hands. "Steady hands" , the masters say.

Now only the minor details like camera , needs to be organized.

Rest is straightforward. Through the view finder you gaze. Hold your gasp and release the shutter.

And end it with a gulp of rum.

Check the 2nd item. Memorable!!
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Like boats anchored on an old seaport (or should I have said a typhoon shelter) , they are lined up . Symmetrically perfect as it could be . Good news parked. My In box .

I jump from one to the other captaining each, moment I am in it. Like Jack Sparrow , Captain Jack Sparrow.

He writes to tell me that my two proses have been accepted to be featured in this year's edition. Hard cover. Well bound . Expensive paper , matt finish. I hope they get the punctuations right. The mandatory donation does not strike you until the last paragraph.

"You are good , but not that good". Yet he didn't press the point, such a gentleman.

But then again that should not be an issue , because Mr J H Klausse, writes me to inform about the inheritance that my long lost uncle left me in a South African bank. And now that he is dead after his Iron bird crashed on to the jungles of Tazmania .

God bless his soul. But too bad mercury is aligning with the moon this year (after 82 years) , I am told.

Memories come back , of looking at her hand carefully cup the as she brushed the crumbs of the table , then clasping it in the palm till she discards them in to the bin.

I rinse my mind out of fantasies.

"are you sure you want to move the marked to trash?" This is the last chance to change my mind.

I confirm.

04 January 2009

China (and the SAR)

What are you covering up?
what surreptitious details
concealed behind the umbrella of yours
gaze long enough

Life times of secrets?
Stench of bad episodes?
tales that would have travelled along the route of silk
,if the Camels were still coming?
lest lose the mystique

By the way
that is an attractive dog
you have there
by your side
Is it a Yorkshire terrier?

03 January 2009

01 Jan

What does a bloke who spends his new year’s eve on a tram car , do on the following day ? you would have wondered. (Well wonder no more amigos) .

He would take up on climbing 400 steps to a monastery to see 10000 Buddhas. Actually 13800 , and no two are supposed to be exact.

Well, it was meant to be in the lines of a blessing .

Yes I hear your loud bawls , of how fallacious that sounds . Especially the , “ The new year is what you make of it ..” cry punctuated by the short hits to the toms and exclamation on the crash cymbal.

Well, true …but

This ain’t mere superstition. I guess it is , more like one part habit, two parts faith . …

For long as I can remember , this is what I remember doing on a 1st of Jan . This what I remember thinking of as feckless in my 7 year old , 8 year old , 9 year old mind , every 1st morning while I derange my daily schedule. Back in colombo.

But.. Now this is what I feel most contented doing on a 1st of January .

So tell me what do YOU do ?

10000 blessings

The wise men

Door handle


The Pagoda & the monastary , Shatin