another of my favorite pictures (Sigiriya). when i look at the picture, it feels like mother nature is trying to say something to me :)
Saturday, July 26, 2008
pollonnaruwa awanhala (rest house) a ceylong hotels cooperation branch, one of my favorite places in SriLanka. the building u seen in the picture was built to welcome queen elizabeth when she visited SriLanka. i got to stay a night all alone in this beautiful hotel once. (ofcourse there were two care takers :)
it was a dream come true!!!! i never knew much about the religion or the people. just the idea of a golden temple in the middle of a tank made me dream about it, and my spirits were higher than the highest point they could ever reach when we finally planned for the trip.
the moment i saw the temple from top of the road, i felt peaceful and relaxed. it was so magical. our Indian friend bought me an iron bangle (i chose the heaviest for no particular reason) from a shop near the temple and i'm wearing it from that very day. it helps me to get into the 'light' mood when ever i wish. it feels like i'm carrying a bit of Golden temple with me always :)
i could also visit a few Hindu temples in Amritsar which were very different from the temples in SriLanka. all in all, Amritsar brough me back my spirituality which was on hybernation for quite some time.
it was a time of mixed emotions. i neither felt Indian nor Pakistani, but still....there was something strange going in my mind through out the evening. i was excited to be there fianlly to witness the event, confused as i couldn't identify myself with the people around me, and there was something else stiring within me, something reminded me of home. i was seeing my country with gates inbetween!!!!! at that moment, i couldn't deal with this fear, i couldn't stop it from tormenting me. i was dreaming of going to Waga for so many days, but felt a great relief as we fianlly left the place and got back to the hotel.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I have known, seen and heard of the family and social pressure on single women. ‘Single’ in my society refers to anyone who has not signed on the dotted line, said ‘I do’ in church or got the triple knots/thaali around the neck. I haven’t heard much about the pressure on boys, and I don’t know of many men who are single at their late twenties or thirties. But I’m sure there are single men who face the same “So when are you going to get married?” questions.
I have heard people talking to my mom “you have pretty daughters…..THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THEM, but God has not opened his eyes on them”. At hearing this, my mother who was all these days proud of her pretty, independent, well accomplished girls, would have tears in her eyes.
I’ve noticed something interesting, it is only the ladies who are so very bothered about who and who is ‘single’, not a single gentleman I know, walks to my father or mother to enlighten them on certain child rearing tips “it is high time you get your daughters married. Three daughters in a house, you should get rid of one at least”. What makes women so inclined to this ‘mission’ of getting everyone on earth ‘happily’ married? Nature or nurture?
An old aunty visited us on New Year’s Day. As she entered the door she said “on the next new year I should see you girls in ‘doubles’, I’m sure there are boys waiting for each of you somewhere in SriLanka. May be Sinhalese, may be Tamil; good boys for sure”. I melted inside at seeing her being so concerned about us, the girls. And I also liked the way she mentioned the possibility for an interethnic marriage which my mother rarely liked to talk about. But, aunty is yet to finish her dialog. “Good marriages come at right times for good girls, unless of course you didn’t break other people’s marriages in your previous birth”. At hearing this, my melting mind caught fire and started burning flames of rage. I looked at akka, she was seated next to me, looking so passive, with a smile across her face (!!!!!) as if she didn’t hear what the old lady was saying. I turned to look at amma for any traces of empathy on her face. I was disappointed again. Aunt left happily since her new year mission was over. As she left, I decided to do something about ‘this’ before the next new year comes.
Marriage is something very special, even something so divine I would say. Marriage is a personal choice. It is not a choice someone can opt for another person. Marriage is an agreement between to souls. It is not a matter for social chat in a temple festival.
If people can think of million reasons why one should get married, why can’t that person have another million reasons why he or she should not get married? And, being single doesn’t mean that he or she doesn’t WANT get married at all, does it? May be they just don’t NEED to get married right now. Why on earth it is assumed every single person on this earth is unhappy? If one can be so unhappy about being single, that person would have got married long ago. Will someone choose to be unhappy?
I’m just thinking aloud. Please do help me with my thoughts. Help me to put them in order. I’m on a mission to create a stage drama script on this subject. I may even be able to invite some of my friends together and stage this drama (if at all I succeed in making a good script), which can be a birthday gift for my sister’s 35th birthday. Who knows, we may even play it on her wedding day!!!!!! I humbly request all of you, from different parts of the world, from different cultures, religions etc to help me understand how things work in your society. Share your ideas on ‘single-hood’. Oh common, you don’t need to be ‘single’ to talk about it, do you??? (“,)
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Thursday, July 10, 2008
Recollections of the article – facts are interpreted in my style with slight coats of metaphors and similes here and there to help you visualize things as I see them.
There are two types of personalities in the world; the perfectionists and the sloppy.
Sloppy people still hold onto the greeting cards they received on their 1st birthday and collect every faded, softened, yellow, or grey page of letters that look older than the person that sent it, while perfectionists only believe in reading letters and keeping their desk clean. They don’t have to dig into a pile of wonderfully smelling pages to find an old college friend’s address for two reasons.
1. They don’t have such a pile of papers.
2. They have the address clearly written down on their address pad along with the telephone number.
You know that the house has a sloppy mother the moment you step into her house. You see drawings on chairs, pastels on the floor and pens in pastel boxes. Perfectionists send their children to boarding school and have clean carpets at home.
A perfectionist’s desk is organized, very well organized in fact. Organized in such a way you see a well designed city market with big parking slots. A sloppy’s desk is an unplanned city market with sky scrapers cramming into each other. This is the only place you can see Pisa, Eiffel, London Bridge, Sydney stadium, the Pyramids and the Sigiriya rock all in one place. There aren’t any parking slots as such, but you may find spaces to push your car through by the side of the pavements or under a tree.
Ask the later for a copy of something your company published 10 years ago. It is there, as there’s nothing a sloppy person doesn’t have. He or she just needs some time to figure out where exactly it is right now. Ask the same from a perfectionist, he or she knows for sure it went through the shredder on Dec 31st ten years ago.
Perfectionists discard things after sometime, the things they think won’t be needed anymore. Sloppy people collect everything from nuts and bolts to biscuit rappers and gift rappers. It takes the same time for the perfectionist, to go to a hardware shop to by nuts and bolts to fix a door that has come off, as it takes for a sloppy person to dive in to the precious collection of knick knacks.
There are different arguments on what exactly is ‘perfectionism’. When I Googled for definitions of perfectionism and sloppiness, I found a few for the earlier and none for the later. (May be that is why I love being sloppy. It is much easier as you are not complicated, just simply SLOPPY).
These are few words and phrases I saw on the Google search results:
There are three types of perfectionists and none of them are conducive to healthy………..
Virgo: overcritical and harsh perfectionists and conservative. Dislikes: sloppy workers, being uncertain, anything sordid.
Unhappy? You may be just a perfectionist
It is interesting to me that out of the ten personality types; perfectionists have the highest rate of depression. Sloppy people are sometimes happier………..
I also found few pages advocating on striking a balance and being neither this nor that. If I collected all the tips available on internet for achieving this neither this nor that balance state, it would count up to more than a million I guess. I didn’t do it, because, I would rather be a perfectionist than putting myself on a strenuous task of putting some million tips together where not even a single one managed to impress me.
As I see it, there are only two types of people; the perfectionists and the sloppy. Perfectionists are perfectionists and all others are sloppy. I am sloppy and I am proud of it.
I admire and respect perfectionists as I see the hard work they are putting up, to keep the discipline going. I admire their notebooks and address pads. I just love their houses and their bookshelves. I admire and adore the whole concept of perfectionism. My admiration for perfectionism is like the admiration of a snail in Srilanka for the Mount Everest. It will never finish climbing the mount; wont even get coser. I don’t believe in ‘try, try one day you can fly’ theory here.
Coming back to the titling business….. may be I should just title it as “I’m sloppy and I’m proud of it” !!!!!!!!!!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Slumber in the eyes,
Music in the soul,
Rain in the night,
A curve of smile
Lights up the sky
Puddle by the rain
Melancholy of the rain,
My indecisive heart
Last drop of water
Still clinks to the leaf
Dream as it rains
Sound of rain,
Smell of dust,
Of a free little heart
Dancing under the open sky
First drops off the black clouds
Washes the gloom in my mind
As they splash on my lifted face
I see a million rainbows
Saturday, July 5, 2008
What could have kept me away from writing anything and everything that went passed, dropped by, stayed for a while or even has got permanent residence in my little mind? Or should it be called the brain? Anyways, it has always been mind over brain for me. Getting back to the issues of writing and not writing, I didn’t have a computer, not even a typewriter then, on the day I wanted to write for the first time. But, if I say I didn’t write because I dreaded the hard labor a page of loosely knit letters required, it won’t fit well. Because, I have written pages and pages of chemistry notes, without understanding a single word that the teacher narrated in a sing song fashion. If you never got a chance of studying chemistry form a lady teacher in the Jaffna district of SriLanka, u may want to know more about this ‘sing song narration’ of chemistry notes. It is more or less monotones, with every other two syllables raised by ½ a note, without full stops, commas, question marks or exclamation marks. I know u can never have exclamation marks in chemistry notes, unless your teacher wants to dictate about an experiment that terribly went wrong and resulted in a big BHOOOM!!! Getting back again to writing and not writing, to be frank, it was me, simply ‘Rakshi’ that was stopping me from writing. I never tried hard enough to find the ‘mood’ and the ‘mind’ in me to sit and work on something that may win me a Booker Prize or a Gratiaen Prize. The Gratiaen Prize is awarded annually to the best work of literary writing in English by a resident Sri Lankan. See, this is what I don’t like about myself. I get into explaining things like chemistry and Gratiaen Prize and loose track of what I was actually meaning to write. From here on, I’m introducing you to a very helpful (it is meant to be helpful, may not serve its purpose at times), trouble free, simple (!!!) feature of my writing –“Rakshi’s foot note”. These foot notes will be something different from the usual foot notes. They will speak more of what I want to tell you as opposed to what you may want to know. After all, it is MY piece of work. Keep looking for RFNs (RFN1) at the bottom of every page. Hoping this fascinating intervention of mine is going to make both of our lives much easier and uncomplicated.
Finally, on a hot and happening (RFN2) Saturday afternoon, I found the right mood and the right mind in me to sit and type this piece of writing, literary work, stuff, whatever u may want to call it. I am going to start off by giving you a quick insight of my beloved family, that is, the people I can call ‘mine’ anytime at any place; My Appa, Amma, Akka and Janani (RFN3). I am unable to provide you with a description of myself, though I also belong to this family of Thambaiah’s, for two reasons. I don’t know what to write and even if I knew, I’m not in the ‘mood’ to write about myself.
Rakshi’s foot notes:
1. abbreviation for Rakshi’s foot note
2. There’s so much happening around me at home. Each character is busy doing her/his own thing
3. Appa-father, Amma- mother, Akka-elder sister, Janani- a name
Here we go. I’m giving only a very short description of each Thambaiah as I need to keep something in reserve to write in future. Incase I run out of topics to write about, I can always count on my family which I can call ‘mine’ always.
Appa and amma
I need to write about them both under the same title as they are inseparable. And it is very easy to put them both together as I find more similarities in them and very few differences. These few differences stand them both on the extreme ends of a single stick. When you tie a twine right in the middle of the stick and lift it up, the stick stays horizontal to any flat surface bellow. These differences are like black and white, dark and light, sun and moon, day and night, amma and appa. What I’m trying to say is, without these differences, the world won’t be as interesting as it is now to live in.
Appa and amma, both were teachers, both were English teachers (RFN1), and both were government teachers. When I reflect back into my childhood, I never remember a time I missed my parents. They were always present, physically, morally and literally. I do remember days when both or one of them got ‘out of mood’. This is when both of them went wild and shouted at each other, gave us their children a terrible time. They always got back into their moods though. I used to spend hours and days trying to figure out the whole pattern of these ‘bad days’ and never got answers. Of course, now, many thanks to all the ‘societal exposure’ and a million pages I have read in the relevant subject, I do understand the total ‘thing’ about short lived hostile periods between husband and wife/Appa and Amma.
She is the very first produce of the alliance of my parents. She is short tempered yet lovable, strangely complicated yet very simple. If there’s a person I missed the most among my family, which should be Akka. She grew up faster than all of us, the fact that she is 8 years older can’t be the only reason, and she just grew up faster for some reason. She grew up to a certain extend that permitted her leave home and live alone, which she did when I was only thirteen. I miss her when she is not physically around. I even miss her at times when she is physically present. Akka is someone who inspired me in many ways and at many times. I won’t call her my role model. We are very different. Still, she is a big influence in my life, in a good angle.
She is the youngest and the cutest. Janani and I are like the flowers off the same tree. We always have a thread running between us that keeps us close to each other even if we are in two different worlds. Janani used to be like ice-cream. She was very sweet and she melted when she was taken away from ‘home-temperature’. She started growing up very late, but very rapid. No matter how fast she grows up, her roots are always around the family and her leaves always fall into the family fence.
Rakshi’s foot note:
1. Teachers of English