30 July 2010


Do you remember 

seated at her feet 
in her loving embrace
spread much beyond the portico 
beyond the gravel  yard 
past the small shrine for Buddha and the million of deities 
even beyond the wathusudda plant
of deep green leaves and the whitest blooms

Do you remember
the fragrance of temple flowers
Sandalwood incense 
swirl  around 
in a haze
The solitary flame
of God’s lamp
glows red on her furrowed face 
when the she says her twilight prayers
in an ancient language
only god’s would fathom

Do you remember
her  stories
and tender 
that gave flight to a child’s chimera 
Tranquilly to a naïve youth 
Soothing to a weeping heart
Wisdom to an all known sage  

on many a monsoon  dusks 

This was taken at Pollonnaruwa . Think these are cranes of a very common variety, and the picture is not the best of it's kind. And the photo does not do justice to that morning and the way they floated across.

Pollonnaruwa in the distance

27 July 2010

One of my favourites

This was taken at the Dalada Maligawa in the morning.

For some reason , I love this one

Between two sunsets and the never ending blue (Musings from Trincomalie)

They started speaking  to me again . The elusive poet, the radical thinker and the ardent traveler, the voices in my head. 

I was thinking to myself ,at last I am standing here.

In this place where my dreams unveiled during many confusing half slept nights , while I lay my head on my palms . Feeling the cold beads of sweat of my nape on my palms. Feeling the  warmth of my hands on my neck.

There I was  , at the very place whose haunting image made me write many poems to clear my mind . After 450 + words later, it still remains etched deep.

The  afternoon before , the old gypsy woman at the Trincomallie town , read my face .  “You are bound to find a happy place” , that was just before I hid my palms in my pockets and declined her offer for a full reading . 

Yellow , orange red , green , pink , purple saruwath gleam in the noon sun. 

  “This might be that happy place”. The thinker opined

What the man with a grey haired ponytail told me at the bar that night, between the clinking of the glasses and the last gulp  ,  plays in a loop  somewhere between my ears  .

“ No other island like this mate”.

The sand burns my heels . The foamy edged blue waves heal them . 

I close my eyes and muse about the  narrow parallel lanes, all ending at an azure blue backdrop. How the lime walls run the full length of each lane , hiding years of stories , years of memories .

The poet recites one of his half poems
“First comes the poem
of white sand
of rushing waves
and their hushed secrets
hidden in a deep shell
all what you saw in an autumn dream
and grew slowly in to a longing
Then comes the itch
to travel to places
where you have
already been”

The thinker catches the last line and repeats it to him self “where you have already been..” . 

I walked deeper in to the water . All those fish , butterfly fish , clown fish, those colours . And that blue. 

“You remember what was written on the wall at barefoot ? , every red was once a pink “ . The traveller query.

“ What do you think a blue was before? “

“This blue was once a grey”, the thinker says picking up a seashell and pressing it against his ear  . Trying to hear the sound of the ocean.

The evening before, I was standing on a shore dotted with sea shells of every shape and every shade of white  and grey, a little beyond Nilawali.

While the sun yawned and spilled it’s glory in amber, purple , pink hues against the backdrop of brandeis blue sky (the same colour scheme as the saruwath), the seagulls  plunged to water to catch the fry. Absolutely breathtaking.

Nearby, a fisherman was getting his equipment ready to ride the waves to the deep , to cast his net. His net of hope.

“ Years ago , nobody would stand here after six , the tiger boats used to patrol the shore and fire at anything that moved“ he says nonchalantly. And smiles. 

I can not help but ponder, whether  he once prayed for the day to stand on this beach and watch the sunset with his children . “May be the day when the war is over “ he would have said to him self. 

Today war is a memory , peace is the unfamiliar present. 
Yet he has not the capability nor the time to spare  to watch the sunset from his backyard . 
But  I was there having spent thousands of rupees for the time and the place  to enjoy the show.

I ponder what has actually changed in the lives of these people .
While they are trying to make sense of this peace , are they being beaten to benefits of peace , by us .

Are they still trying to find something to fill the void created by the fleeting fear .

“ Fear is a slow dying habit mate “

“ And peace is a delicacy. It is an acquired taste and should be consumed in small portions “
the thinker thinks out loud.

PS: This was written from the various scribbles I have done in Trinco. I have never visited Trinco before . But now I am in love with the place. Hand full of photos , a bag full of sea shells lying in a shelf and a head full of memories later , here I am , until the next time I feel the white sand an the Indian ocean on my feet. 

23 July 2010

Sunsets collection

Pollonnaruwa , dusk

Trincomalee. My new favourite place. This place has a special story , will write a long post on Trinco. 

And if the time is right will let you in on a secret too.


Sunset to a tea plantation.

What's the story Colombo

These were written within 4 days in Colombo . Between mandatory visits, chunks of Shehan's amazing book, 32 degrees of sweltering heat, lumprice and lime juice from green cabin (try it), a lazy afternoon at barefoot garden and looking forward for a wonderful holiday. (sulk..that seems ages ago). The photos and writing might not seem connected to each other , but they do.

What's the story Colombo dawn
what do you bring in today
to this town
of long names and long waits

What's story ?
You who smiles at me from the church window
Your face divided to quarters , by the tempered church glass
Your stained teeth smile
Helplessness, hope
a child in general hospital
or a dying kidney

What's the story?
you in faded army drab
peering through my half rolled down shutter
very timidly asking for the identity card
You happy it is over
You lost
You trying to keep the fast dying custom alive?

What's the story ?
Of you
telling me
of lumprice deal
"famous" you say of lime juice
You trying to sell an image of a country
or just a packet of rice
A colored cotton shirt

What's the story you two
Discussing theory
beneath the frangipani tree
It is not theory in your eyes sister
I can see it
you playing with your tussles
You hope sister you hope
he will

What's story?
Of this guy WG
or this guy mathews
who spins it both ways

22 July 2010

A slight warning

I am back from a three weeks of bliss. Sand from serendib isle is still on my feet. Memories etched deep in to the heart . Feeling sick to the pit of the stomach, of having to leave the lovely times and loved ones.

The familiar question is trumping in the head again . " Then what are you doing there?".

The answer is not simple as that. Home is here facing the south china sea , now .


I digress, this short note is to warn you that for the next few weeks this space is going to be filled with memories , writings and photos that are prone to cause accute homesickness. Might not be the stuff for the faint hearted.

18 July 2010

Things that make me go :)

It was an open tag and I am still having Colombo sand on my flip-flopped size 11 feet. I tell you it is damned hard to find size 11 flip-flops in Colombo . But that's another story and I digress . So here's my list

A long dip in trinco sea (early morning and in pigeon island preferably.

Followed by a long lazy afternoon. Some pashona & vodka would be nice

White rice, mallung, fish and chillie prawns

Wearing well worn jeans and flip-flops

Getting the time to write for 1hr, getting something good after the hour

Catching a perfect sun set and enjoying till the dark pulls over

String hoppers

A good photograph


Good old rock music

A hug from my little girl

Got to go my vodka pashona awaits