I realized may be I am a bit weird but then again the world needs a few weird folk like me to have some colour I suppose.
Well, its about this thing about me and books. I love reading and for me I never get bored of reading.. except, may be occasionally all those soppy love stories.
But I do have an issue, I do tend to get bored of reading a single book at a time and have put multi-tasking to the best by reading more than one book at a time. If I am not alone in this trait, I would love to hear from you.
While I was happily reading Chart Throb by Ben Elton, I saw this insta post about book based on true events at the times of Auschwitz and thought it would make a perfect gift for my husband.. Of course as usual I didn’t bother to find out its genre and ordered it a week back. He loves reading old English/ History etc.
My husband gets excited about the book but I realized that he is not going to touch it, as unlike me, he reads one book at a time, even if that meant a year! He is very committed in that way. Faithful to the book I would say.
So I put my Chart Throb away and get hold of The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. It has been a crazy week for me. And all I think of is “whats going to happen next” whenever I am not reading this particular book.
The good news is I only have a few more pages left – So it is based on a true story of love between two people who met at the camp. Its sad at times, but also very uplifting. It is a page turner! The best thing about this book is it is a real life story.
I enjoy reading all kinds and types of books from history to science fiction to fantasy, even documentary types. The Authors I enjoy vary from Stephen King, Arthur C. Clarke, Ben Elton to John Grisham.
Meltdown by Ben Elton really is a great read. It is a page turner with lots of humour, wit and ofcourse realtity.
I just finished reading it a few weeks ago and found it to be very timely, entertaining and obviously an eye opener. Going through a slightly similar situation faced by lead role Jimmy, about his unwise financial choices made such a big impact on the general wellbieng of himself and mostly his family of wife and 03 children.
The book is a great read for those who want to relax end of the day with a good read with lots of serious and practical stuff in it. Seriously, you must give it a try as it was very entertaining and enjoyable to to core. I love the fact that it is sometimes subtle and otherwise very direct with plenty of sarcasm, the practical life of a married man with kids and a wife and all that jazz following his misfortunes. The sense of creativity that goes on his mind and his wife’s along with the ‘circle of friends’ that he grew up with. It is hillarious at some points and some places I did have a tear or two.
So with all the ecnonomic crunch that most of us are experiencing, this is a great read to start of your 2019! Happy Reading!
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) is a great movie in my opinion. It’s all about Freddie than it’s about Queen. Many fans would have expected it to be more of Queen but I thought otherwise and I loved every bit of it.
For obvious reasons its hard to get the real Mr.Faranheit but Rami Malek was the closest you can get I guess and I thought it was great effort put in by the actor though his eyes were so far from being Freddie.
Born in the 80’s, a person such as myself was completely exposed to the madness of music in the 80’s and 90’s. I don’t think that my palette had a taste of Queen or Freddie as a youngster in early teens in the 90’s but I do remember seeing this woman with a moustache in the video “I want to break free”
I immediately loved the song but had no clue what it was all about except the part ” God knows… I want to break free” as that is exactly what I accustomed to growing up in a family with very strict disciplinarians. Believe it or not I was not even allowed to watch music videos on TV programmes as it was considered evil and unholy.
Later in life I became a huge fan of Queen but was not too interested to know the life of Freddie himself but with the movie out I started doing a little research to read facts about his actual life.
The movie was so moving that I cried through the last bits where it depicted Queens performance at Live Aid 1985. I had no idea how big Live Aid was untill I started reading Meltdown by Ben Elton . coincidently, I just read about Live Aid in this particular book just days before I went for the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. And it really resonated with me at the time, understanding about the life of Freddie.
I couldn’t help but wonder why the rest of the band members did or did not do to rescue Freddie from his promiscuous friends and lifestyle. Even Mary – what had she done or not done. One thought just flashed into my mind of something my father always told me. “Be careful of whom you call friends”. As I said my parents, my dad in particular was always so very concerned about the type of friends I had, and his over-protective stance has worked in two-ways. As a child it was hard for me to feel inclusive amongst certain circles of friends simply because I did not have the kind of freedom. But, later as I grew up and became an adult it has benefitted me in being able to understand about making and keeping friends good vs bad. Those that are true friends despite how the world sees them; which friends actually love me for who I am – my true self! This was an eye opener.
Anyway, back to Freddie.
This is one of favourite quotes of Mr. Farenheit. “When I’m dead, I want to be remembered as a musician of some worth and substance” – Freddie Mercury
How many of us out there even think being of some worth and substance to ourselves or others?
I do not wish to be judgemental about Freddie. He left this wolrd when I was just 10 years old. But since I have made an effort to research of his life and works one thing is clear.
Above all, above fame and the limelight, he required only one thing and one thing alone in his life – LOVE
He had so much love inside of him – But he did not know himself or how to express it! Its sad that he is no more!
It is all about Love end of the day! If there is no love – there is only one thing – Hate!
She left her home in the middle of the night with just pack of cigarettes and a matchbox. This is a strange land that she had been living in with this stranger made lover. She had no clue for how long she could be trapped; everyone else thought she was wrapped in his arms.
Hastily walking away she pulled out a cigarette and lit it up, inhaling the it deep in and the smell of nicotine arousing her senses mixing with the cold nights air. She thought many things to herself even I couldn’t express them here. She smiled, she laughed, she cried, she screamed. She was just a silhouette just breezing through the pitch dark night with the flickering of her cigarette. One by one they were emptied from the box. It kept her warm and alive as would oxygen to the lungs.
She kept walking, at times a brisk and at times just lazy slow strides; but she kept walking. She thought of her trapped life which was misinterpreted as a wrapped up life in love and care. What a miss! A morphed picture.
I still do not know what she is thinking about. But I can see her now walking in an open field nothing to look down upon, but all up in the sky. The night sky lit with millions of stars twinkling away. Some brighter than others, but they chose to twinkle until their dying day. At the end of the field lay a lake she is familiar with. The night sky put on a spectacular show on the quiet dark waters just glistening and swaying as though synchronizing with the cool breeze. Now she took a break from her hours of aimless walking- She has finally reached the place of tranquility. She took off her jacket and lay it on the grass, lay down her head and closed her eyes. She started humming a tune I am so familiar with it just takes me places.
I didn’t know what I was going to miss when I desired of getting back into the Corporate lifestyle with a desk job. Its been a little over a year and I cannot help but think to myself of the things I miss doing the most away from this all.
I miss watching flowers bloom, the dust in my fingers, planting something or the other. Photographing insects on plants, bugs and snails and other slimy things on plants. Butterflies and caterpillars on the citrus trees. I miss inspecting their ways and keeping myself fascinated.
I miss find my corners in all sorts of places to just indulge in a good read. An actual book that has pages to flip and bookmarks to include. I do miss that.
I miss experimenting ingredients and trying to make a dish I’ve tasted in Turkey or in England. Baking cakes and little things the way I like it. The sweetness to my taste and not as per the recipe.
I miss spending time learning to play a new song on the piano or the guitar. Some new tune in my head on to my fingers and then record it so I won’t forget them.
I miss writing sweet notes of surprises to the one I love and leaving them only to be found by him alone. And then enjoying the innocence in his smile when he finds them.
I miss my little time and space with my handwork. My little DIY projects sometimes gets messy but I do miss them.
I miss travelling places, meeting people, eating and drinking and treating my taste buds. I miss not being able to travel like before. Its what they say. When you have time you don’t have money and when you have money you don’t have time.
How I wish and pray for the life I once knew; full of laughter life and love! My true identity of being who I am – I miss myself.
You are unique and there is none quite like you; you may have a sibling who might look just like you, everyone might say you look like your mother etc, but, that does not mean you are your grandmother, mother, aunt, sister or friend.
Girl, You are Unique!
You are you and that is how God has created you with much care and love! Even if deny the existence of a creative God, please read on as you may find some useful tips.
Growing up, I was at times considered as a weird child who always wished for one-of-a- kind of things from clothes to shoes and even stationery I couldn’t bear the thought of wanting to dress and be like someone else (this excludes certain role models I had in my life) I had the practice of observing others and then absorbing what was best for myself. I remember, how I would not too happy if someone copied my unique style of clothing or the way I did things.
From a very early age as young as 5 years, I knew and believed that no one had the same fingerprints as me and I wanted to maintain my sense of uniqueness and identity as much as I could. But, I had problems! Teachers thought I was selfish, parents thought I was stubborn, friends thought I was weird.
What am I trying to say here?
Girls, be yourselves not matter what you think of yourselves, especially if you think you are not in par with other girls and feel that you are not in the zone!
Growing up wanting to be loved and accepted is a basic human need but with little or no tangible real love prevailing in the world, you are expecting too much trying to depend on others to receive love and specialization. Especially, if you must lose yourself and be someone else to be loved!
Why am I saying this?
Its because, I too at a certain phase in my life compromised trying to be everything ‘other than myself’ to be accepted in society and among peers; friends and family! To be what they wanted me to be, in order to be included in their circles.
I tell you, its not worth even the try, because once you have been there and done that, you look back and wonder what you have become and what all those pretenses has done to your true identity.
You end up looking at the mirror as asking yourself ‘Who are you? I do not know you?”
Remember, Girl! You are unique and there has never been, or ever will be someone like you! You are unique!
04th of February 2018 – Independence Day of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is celebrating its 70th Independence Day on 04th of February this year and as a Srilankan citizen whose lived since the 80’s I thought of penning some thoughts about what national independence truly means to me.
With receiving its Independence status after the British Monarchy in 1948, Sri Lanka then known as Ceylon had bloodshed in all other forms, devouring the lives of many who once lived here. The rivalry between ethnics within the country and the discrimination towards minority led Ceylon into a gruesome civil war for almost 30 years.
In my opinion, racism truly has its upper hand over the 22 million citizens of this island nation. Racism has also stemmed into religious upheaval during the past decades. I see no difference of being racially afflicted back in the early 90’s as a child in school, nor as an adult who’s now employed as a professional. Ethnic and religious differences are strongly rooted in our nation. Words are exchanged, comments are made, and if you happen to be the minority among the majority, you do have to live a few days here and there having to tolerate with what comes out from the majority. The least of the minority is afflicted the most with this “deeply unsettled yet peaceful on the surface” scenario in this country. Children are brought up the same way as they were in the 70’s and 80’s giving them a strong identity in their ethnic and religious roots, encouraging evil into little hearts. The perpetrators have no respect, nor do they even fathom the idea of ‘discrimination’ in any form.
And now, I move on to gender discrimination. As a female child, I grew up dreaming of being an astronaut, a scientist or soldier- a title that was ‘thought to be most suitable’ for that of a male child. Why was this? perhaps, I felt in my inmost being that women were treated less and that they too deserved to be an astronaut, a scientist or a soldier. (Maybe it was just put there in my spirit when I was born in to this world). I saw it in the behavior of the adults, the way women were treated in the societies which I grew up in. And then, I realized its not my upbringing, this mentality was not restricted to a particular society or a culture – its global. And it was very normal for an island nation like Sri Lanka, to be so. Men rule the world!
As a Professional I see the need of women more than ever in the workplace. Where have all the qualified capable women in our society gone? They are in hiding in their homes taking care of their children, having other responsibilities or cleaning up someone else’s mess. This does not portray the God given female qualities that will benefit the economy of this country.
By now, you may picture me as a feminist. I am not! But, I feel for my sisters and friends have who are burdened with responsibilities of a woman. Flip the coin, and you will find women heading their households. The civil war has left behind too many women heading households. What they faced with during their lifetime, I do not know and cannot even imagine their frustrations in being the breadwinner of their homes.
Well, back to topic of Independence. Looking at life in general in Sri Lanka for the past 30 years, I mostly feel that we actually don’t have the kind of Independence that we desire or anticipate. We are merely celebrating the liberation from a monarchy – that’s a harsh statement, but I believe it’s the truth. We are still slaves to the very things we have created for ourselves, the religions, the cultures, the way of life etc.
Independence to me will be the day I experience true liberty in our Sri Lankan societies where cultures will have no barriers, religion nor ethnic roots will not interfere with true liberation and camaraderie. Women will be treated equally. Children will be loved and protected. Every child will attend school and have access to excellent basic education. Only Love can give us the kind of liberty we hope for!
This is what I call Independence. After all, we are humans and we were never created to live independent lives; but inter-dependent lives. We need Love! Sri Lanka May Love Find You!
“Let there be loved shared among us – Let there be love in our eyes
May now this love sweep this nation to arise
Give us a fresh understanding of love that is true
Let there be love shared among us – Let there be Love!” (Quote: from a song)
This year I thought I will start blogging about my travels. So here goes.
First Saturday of 2018 – 06012018
I have been an avid bird enthusiast, but didn’t make much effort to study more about them, like their proper names and identification (ID) until I met my husband whose serious birding enthusiast from a very young age and knew quite a lot of information and proper ID’s of the birds as opposed to what I knew them to be, taught by adults.
Migratory birds flock throughout Sri Lanka from the months of November and linger on until March. I’ve heard that they travel from afar; some even across the Himalayas.
The spontaneous tour to Anawilundawa required a bit of sacrifice waking up at 0330hrs when you have only gone to sleep past midnight after a long day and night out. We started our exciting journey at 0400hrs with some essentials; Bird books, camera, some goodies, a hot water flask to make black tea, plenty of water and a mat, just in case we decided to just lounge somewhere on bare land and take a nap or rest.
Thank God for the freeway from Peliyagoda to Katunayake; if not leaving home (south of Colombo) at 0400hrs would make no sense to reach our destination in time to catch up with the morning birds.We drove through the Colombo baseline road (a very straightforward one) to reach the starting point of the freeway at Peilyagoda. Next, headed out towards the Negombo road heading North.
The usual self as I am, in my sleepiness mistook the location we intended to visit but thankfully managed to identify the correct location thanks to googlemaps. We reached the turn off point to Anawilundawa Wetland Sanctuary by 0630am. Since the pathway from the main road into the sanctuary is a circular path we decided to take a turn off from the main road earlier than the indicated road pathway on maps.
We drove in our car and it was just a narrow path way with wetland on either side. So, if you plan to drive it’s advisable you take a smaller car just in case another vehicle approaches you; you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a stalemate nor keep reversing on a narrow-elevated path with sharply stooped on both sides into the waterways. Since we are experts having driven around many places including narrow paths in the hill country and sandy off-road paths to beaches in Sri Lanka on our Prius, this was not challenge to us.
However, cycling on these paths would be the most ideal and scenic experience as it’s so quiet and peaceful with hardly any other sounds, but that of nature itself.
Unfortunately for us, the wetlands were completely dried out due to the prevailing drought in the country, giving us very little opportunity to locate the birds which we were expecting to sight at this location. If you are on google maps you would see a few tanks termed as ‘wewa’ – (the Sinhala language term for lake or natural water body and in Tamil language it will be addressed as “Kulam” )However, there were approximately 100 of lesser whistling ducks in some of the wetland where was significant water; it was such a pleasure to watch a juvenile duckling being cared for by the adults.
We also witnessed 02 Brahminy kites dashing after a juvenile white breasted sea eagle who seemed to have nicked their prey. They frightened the little duckling and in a matter of a few seconds most of the adult ducks flocked around the lone duckling; carefully guarding it.
With all the drama ending we decided to have a little picnic break and did enjoy the cool of the morning; it was quite windy. After relaxing for some time, with a hot cup of tea (thanks to our hotwater flask and tea bags) we got back in our car and drove along the pathway spotting more birds. Within the sanctuary we also sighted an Indian Roller, Paradise Flycatcher, Brahminy Kites, Bee Eaters, Juvenile White bellied sea Eagle, White throated Kingfisher etc.
Then around 1145hrs we headed back to the main road and just a few kilometers approached a restaurant Batuluoya Family Restaurant which was excellent for our lunch break; rice and curry and a cool drink and the price was reasonable for Rs.660/-. This location also had very clean washroom. It was clean spacious spot with ample parking and good local food (rice & curry).
Thereafter we moved onto Udappu – a fishing village close to the Mundal lagoon. On the beach where the lagoon meets the ocean,we saw quite a lot of Terns on the beach basking in the hot sun at noon.
Due to the extreme hot weather conditions we couldn’t survive out in the open and parked our car under a tree and tried to nap for about an hour or so.
Around 1500hrs we left Udappu and returned the main road towards the Chilaw town and stopped over at the Chilaw Rest house for a snack and tea. I must say that they serve really good fish sandwiches with a generous spread of butter and a very milky cup of tea. Again, this was quite reasonable for Rs. 682/- (inclusive of service charge) as we had 03 double sided toast sandwiches (cut in half in to 06 mini toast sandwiches) and 02 cups of tea plus a good wash room to use.
To our amusement and adventurous spirit, we decided to drive down the road along the ocean for about a 15Km until the car could not drive through the weather-beaten road which was semi-corroded. Then we inquired from the locals on the road conditions and decided to head back towards the main road. This could be a very promising ‘the great ocean road’ of Sri Lanka, if the authorities only saw what we saw.
Back on the Colombo bound main road, we stopped over at Dinemore in Negombo to grab a bite for dinner. This was around 2000hrs. The place was clean and not as crowded as the ones in Colombo.
It was a long day but very eventful and very rewarding.
More stories from my travel diaries across Sri Lanka – coming soon!