Category Archives: Uncategorized

Bible Rock Hike

ImageI went on a hike in the weekend. The destination: Bible Rock a.ka. Bathalegala situated in Kegalle district. It was wet and a perfect example of what a “slippery slope” is. It should have been a moderately difficult climb. But it turned out to be hard core, thanks to the elements. Some of our crew had nasty falls while the weather gods made sure we don’t get a good night’s sleep by flooding our tents.

Anyway, it was an excellent hike made possible by Hike Sri Lanka. The crew was excellent and friendly and that’s what made the hike a memorable one indeed.

The pics are at Hike Sri Lanka FB page. You might put a “like” to the page if you “like” the pics. LOL.

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Being a racist isn’t easy

SwastikaI tried to be a racist. I am a Sinhalese.  My parents are Sinhalese and all 3 of us are born and raised in Sri Lanka and my mother tongue is Sinhala which I think is enough proof that I’m a pure Sinhalese. FYI, yes, we are all Buddhists. With that confirmation of my racial identity I needed to join a group which has similar credentials. After all, where’s the fun being a lone racist? The easiest way to find such people is among the family and friends because I already knew where they come from. Pretty easy, don’t you think?

My “Sinhalese” cousins who live in UK have a daughter who was born there and doesn’t speak word of Sinhala. I bet she cannot tell apart a ‘konda kewum’ from a ‘mung kewum’. When I argued she’s not a Sinhalese, the whole family ganged against me. But, whatever they say, in my book, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and doesn’t quack like a duck and, it’s a not a duck”. Sorry kid. You don’t belong in my club.

Then there’s my good friend Amali who has married a Tamil and has a 2 year old son. Sorry Son, your mom can join my club. But your father and you should not come.

My old neighbors, the Perera family fits the bill just fine with all the requirements for being Sinhalese except they are Christian. But most of my family agrees they are actually Sinhalese. My other neighbors, the Mansoor family doesn’t speak a word of Tamil. They, however, speak fluent Sinhala and English. The children were educated in Sinhala medium. But everybody says they are not Sinhalese? How come the Pereras are Sinhalese and Mansoors aren’t?

Oh boy, what a mess, I thought. Then there’s this person I meet every day on train that is unfortunately deaf and do not have the ability to comprehend any kind of sound. He doesn’t speak any kind of language but his parents are Sinhalese. Everybody think he’s a Sinhalese. But a person who doesn’t comprehend or speak Sinhala can’t surely be a real Sinhalese. Or can’t he be?

Then there’s the Gunawardena family. The kids were raised in US. They don’t speak the language but they understand it when they hear it. I was told, they are Sinhalese.

My good friend, Amali’s in-laws who are Tamil, has a dog. The Pereras has dog. They understand Tamil and Sinhala respectively but they both don’t speak the language. Will that make one dog a Tamil dog and the other a Sinhala dog?

At this point I gave up being a racist.

Obama Wins

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Barack Obama has won the 2012 US presidential elections. 

The early results shows he has won the elections despite the the 2 candidates were entangled in a brutal and close fight.

Obama has already thanked his supporters via twitter saying, “We’re all in this together. That’s how we campaigned, and that’s who we are. Thank you. -bo”

Meanwhile Mr. Mitt Romney conceded defeat and in an emotional speech to his friends said it was time “to put people before parties” to solve America’s problems. “The nation as you know is at a critical point,” he said to friends, staff and other backers squeezed into a hotel ballroom. “We can’t risk partisan bickering. We citizens have to rise to the occasion.”

Fantacy and Taboo of a tattoo

I’m back. Not only I’m back, I’m back with a tattoo, the first ever for me.

This was one of my all time fantasies and I guess most of the Sri Lankan men in my generation secretly wants to have a tattoo. I know the generation after mine has no prejudices or second thoughts about having some needle piercing  through their skin and having some outrageous picture printed on the them for the rest of their lives. But for me, we’ve been brought up in an environment and an era, both in home and school, where having a tattoo is considered taboo and often fed with the notion only the thugs and low lives have tattoos. But, I have passed that age where I have to listen to my teachers and parents. In fact, I have passed the age of being crazy or careless. Yet, somewhere deep inside I always had this thought of having a tattoo. But that wasn’t enough to push me off the edge and actually go do it. But with some very personal recent emotional shake up I couldn’t stop my self from doing it. I couldn’t stop my self from being under the needle. I wasn’t fun though. The pain was excruciating and I had thought of stopping it before it was finished. Somehow I survived and the sense of achievement at the end was heavenly. I guess that sense of achievement is the reason why people keep getting tattooed with bigger and extraordinary designs all over their bodies and they can’t stop it. It is that addictive and I may have my second tattoo sooner than later.

PS. The place I had the tattoo is called Jasmi. It’s a cool and a fun place with a competent young tattoo artist (I regretfully forgotten his name). The shop is located in the ground floor or Reality Plaza, Ja-Ela. Call Mahesh on 077 8947410 or 077 5522444 for appointments if you are crazy as me.

Send Unlimited SMSes for Just Rs.1 a day

FreeText app logo

Finally, I’ve finished my app on kodeincloude and got published on Etisalat App Zone.

TextFree, the app name, is an app which anyone can send unlimited number of SMSes per day for just Rs.1. The Rs.1 is NOT per SMS but for the whole day. I’m sure this is good news for young people. Unfortunately the app runs only on Etisalat and I hate to say Dialog’s SMS app platform is sub par to put it mildly and you wouldn’t see an app like this on Dialog any time soon.

My idea was to build an SMS app which can send messages to individuals and not to build another SMS chat room. The 2 parties who wish to chat should get registered to the app first. The unique thing about this app is that you’ll get a unique user name for yourself. You can choose your own user name and by sharing user name among your friends and vice versa using any method, i.e. email, phone or Skype, you can start using FreeText.

I’ve also set up a Facebook page which I intend to use as a customer care tool, with instructions and here’s a video on how to use Freetext.

Hope you could benefit from my puny little effort.

Intimacy!

President Obama has done in it in public. It was a real crowd pleaser and publically acknowledging their bond. Now, has anyone seen President Rajapakse and our first lady doing that? I don’t think anyone had seen them even holding hands let alone smooching. Can our first couple really show intimacy or affection in public even if they really want to do it? I guess it’s a big NO.

The society we live in doesn’t accept public intimacy. Most of us believe it should happen only in a confined space. Take a look at our homes. I bet most of you have not seen your parents smooching in front of you or even holding hands. Our parents think their children should not see these show of affections because the children will try to copy them. I mean for heaven’s sake, it’s not your mother giving a BJ to your father; it’s just holding hands or a little smooch. The most common question I get when I try to preach this idea to someone else is; will you do it in front of your children?. Hell yeah. I would love to see my kids learn a thing or two from their father. I’d rather see them “make love” than “make war”.

Bureaucracy or utter stupidity

5kg Bag of Compost

Ok this is certainly NEWS and makes my blog (errr… website) a “news website”.

Today, I went to my local council (UC) to get a bag of compost. I must praise their effort to do something for the environment which is converting trash in their dump into compost.

But can you believe I had to go to 3 people in order to buy just a 5kg bag of compost. Here is the process:

  1. Get a receipt manually written by a subject clerk which, believe me, wanted my name included in it. I mean, WTF? Am I buying explosives or something?
  2. Take the receipt to the shroff (the title of his job) to pay the freakin Rs.50 and get it stamped by him.
  3. Take the stamped receipt to the store keeper which he then writes down in his record book and after that he releases the compost.

All this trouble for an Rs.50 bag of waste? The time and the resources spent on such tiny things are unimaginably wasteful and can be corrected with some creative thinking. But that takes creative leaders on the top and I’m not sure we have such leaders.

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Tickle’s Blue fly catcher at my home garden

Tickles Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis tickelliae)

Ok, ok, I must admit there’s going to be a whole lot of bird pictures in this blog cos I’m a bird guy (at least I used to be). By the way, this could be news for some people, lol.

The Tickle’s Blue fly catcher (Cyornis tickelliae) is one of my favorite little birds. One reason behind that love is the distinct bird call it possesses. This one actually came to my home at around noon which it wasn’t supposed to come.

Here’s what Henry has to say about it in his beautifully descriptive book “A guide to the Birds of Sri Lanka”, à la bible of sort to the birds enthusiasts in Sri Lanka.

Found almost everywhere in the Island, up to about 4000 feet, in jungle or shady types of cultivation, being particularly fond of the banks of wooded streams. In such places it lilts about among the undergrowth, revealing its presence by its characteristic little warble, a quaint, rapid little jingle of about six notes. It is not shy, and is rather inquisitive towards human intruders in its haunts. Its food, like that of all flycatchers, consists mainly, if not entirely, of small insects, often captured on the wing. (Henry. Page 402)

Crap, do I own a news website?

Censorship for Dummies. Pic by bloggers4ukip.blogspot.com

I have a big problem. I just started this blog and before I could put 3 posts here, there was this bombshell of registration of every “news website”. Getting registered is one thing. But the fee of Rs.100,000 is absurd.

Now, do I need to be worried? I have this crappy blog which I don’t think anyone would care to read. Can a blog be considered a website in the first place?

A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a set of related web pages containing content such as text, images, video, audio, etc. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet address known as a Uniform Resource Locator.(wikipedia)

So technically and logically and in every conceivable way, a blog is certainly a website. So my blog is a website. Oh boy, I’m in trouble now. But the second part of the condition says it should be a “news” website. Is this a news website? See, this is where it is not clearly defined. News is not something absolute. Some news is “news” for someone and the same can be “no news” to others. For example, the first post I’ve put in my blog is a post on a bird. Technically that could be news for someone who is interested in birds. At this point I have to realize that this blog is a “news website”, at least for some people. Crap!

Sri Lankan Queues

Sri Lankan queues are very interesting based on who gets the priority.

The uncontested champions are the clergy and they go straight to the number one in the line. Then comes the equally important pregnant ladies and I guess they enjoy a privileged life during the 9 months of their pregnancy when it comes to queues and seats on busses. Then comes the men in uniform, mostly belonging to the country’s security, they’ll be served first. Then the best customers of the particular institute are served. Then there are friends of the service provider or the teller and this list goes on and on.

If you cannot put yourself into to any of these categories you are in for a long stay where you go in Sri Lanka