Wednesday, March 31, 2010

One for the road

It's been a few days since I put up a post, and I'm putting this up from uni due to the fact that my internet connection at home has been busted due to lightning... Me without TEH INTERNETS! I KNOW!!! :/ *rants*

Anyway, some friends and I visited a friend that I've been wanting to a long time, and took some pics at his place. Can you guess who the friend is? ;)

Beach panorama

View of Colombo from up north

Sunset clouds

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Akon and the Buddha

I copied this off The Book Baker's blog. A good lesson to all those people who are going insane over Akon's alleged insult to Buddhism. Learn about the peaceful philosophy that you claim to represent before you go doing stuff that bring disgrace to it!

From the Akkosa Sutta:
Once the Blessed One was staying at Rajagaha in the Bamboo Grove near the Squirrels' Feeding Place. Now the brahman Akkosa Bharadvaja heard this: "The brahman Bharadvaja, it seems, has become a monk under the Great Monk Gotama." Angry and unhappy, he went to where the Blessed One was. Having approached the Blessed One, he abused and criticized the Blessed One in foul and harsh words.

Thus reviled, the Blessed One spoke to the brahman Akkosa Bharadvaja: 'Well, brahman, do friends, confidants, relatives, kinsmen and guests visit you?"

"Yes, Gotama, sometimes friends, confidants, relatives, kinsmen and guests do visit me."

"Well, brahman, do you not offer them snacks or food or tidbits?"

"Yes, Gotama, sometimes I do offer them snacks or food or tidbits."

"But if, brahman, they do not accept it, who gets it?"

"If Gotama, they do not accept it, I get it back."

"Even so, brahman, you are abusing us who do not abuse, you are angry with us who do not get angry, you are quarreling with us who do not quarrel. All this of yours we don't accept. You alone, brahman, get it back; all this, brahman, belongs to you."

"When, brahman, one abuses back when abused, repays anger in kind, and quarrels back when quarreled with, this is called, brahman, associating with each other and exchanging mutually. This association and mutual exchange we do not engage in. Therefore you alone, brahman, get it back; all this, brahman, belongs to you."

"People, including the king, know the Venerable Gotama thus: 'The Monk Gotama is the Worthy One.' When does the Venerable Gotama become angry?"

Said the Buddha:

"Where is anger for one freed from anger, Who is subdued and lives perfectly equanimous, Who truly knowing is wholly freed, Supremely tranquil and equipoised? He who repays an angry man in kind Is worse than the angry man; Who does not repay anger in kind, He alone wins the battle hard to win. He promotes the weal of both, His own, as well as of the other. Knowing that the other man is angry, He mindfully maintains his peace And endures the anger of both, His own, as well as of the other, Even if the people ignorant of true wisdom Consider him a fool thereby."

When the Lord proclaimed this, the brahman Akkosa Bharadvaja said this to the Blessed One: "Wonderful, indeed, O Venerable Gotama! Herewith I go to the Venerable Gotama for refuge, to his Teaching and to his Holy Order of Monks. Most venerable sir, may I have the privilege to receive at the hands of the revered Lord Gotama the initial monastic ordination and also the higher ordination of a bhikkhu."

And the brahman Akkosa Bharadvaja received at the hands of the Blessed One the initial monastic ordination and he also received the higher ordination of a bhikkhu. And within a short time of his ordination, the Venerable Akkosa Bharadvaja, living alone, secluded, diligent, zealous and unrelenting, reached that incomparable consummation of holiness for which sons of noble families, having totally abandoned the household life, take to the life of homelessness. With direct knowledge he realized the ultimate, then and there, and lived having access to it. He saw with his supernormal vision: "Ceased is rebirth, lived is the holy life, completed is the spiritual task and henceforth there is nothing higher to be achieved."

The Venerable Akkosa Bharadvaja, indeed, became one of the Arahats.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Politics and apathy

The coming general elections might be the most apathetic we've had in quite a while. The general public doesn't seem to give 1/100th the shit the candidates are giving when it comes to voting. People are still facing hardships: the cost of living is high, wages are low, and the Maharagama cancer hospital has run out of drugs and has to reuse catheters because the government isn't properly supplying them. Yet candidates are building massive campaign halls (reminiscent of what MR had built at Temple Trees during the Presidential Elections) all around, and spending massive amounts of money on campaigning. In the Colombo district Pachaayudaya, R. Duminda, Boggles and Wayima (a.k.a. Ayomaya Shakthiya) seem to be ahead on the spending. Where the money comes from is anybody's guess, but why the public isn't more concerned about this extravagant spending is even more worrying.

The fight for preferential votes do provide us with the laughs though. Pachaya had a huge cutout in front of the Pannipitiya flyover, and some Duminda supporters had decided to plaster posters of their candidate over Pachaya's mouth! And I wouldn't trust anyone who tells me that they didn't laugh when they saw Niroshan Padukka's poster, where he's posing like a flower girl! ;) At least the level of violence in Colombo seems to be close to nil, whereas in areas like Rathnapura (where Premalal Jayasekara, a.k.a. Choca malli, is running a campaign of terror) even candidates from the ruling party have found it difficult to campaign, so you can imagine what the situation is for the opposition.

The outcome of the election is not apparent at the moment, but I'm willing to bet that the UPFA will win. My best case scenario is that the chauvinistic elements in the government (the NFF and the JHU) as well as those in the opposition (the JVP) are eliminated in the election, and the centrists change the constitution to something with a more decentralised power structure and a weaker President and stronger parliament. The government doesn't need a 2/3rds majority to achieve this, since everyone will support a good constitution. Teamwork and bi-partisanship will produce better results and achieve a solution that's acceptable to all segments of society, instead of just the UPFA voter base...


Sunday, March 21, 2010

This guy's got talent!

I really love this song ('The Lion Sleeps Tonight') and that style of African a cappella music (he does it nicely in solo voice though...). Check out some of his other videos.

Thanks for the link, Sai! :)

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Of the past, present, 'feelings' and lau...

Not my longest title ever, but yeah... prettttty long! ;)

I'm in a I-don't-wanna-eat-anything mood today. I was going through some old photos from the good year that was 2008. Me, classmates, brothers forever, class trip to the beach, fun... you get the picture right? I miss that brotherhood. I'm not saying that I don't have good friends anymore (my friends are awesome) but the thing is, those uncomplicated days of having fun whenever we wanted to have fun are over. I mean, at uni it's gotten to a point where my friends and I can't be happy even when we want to be, as if a swarm of dementors are forever hanging over us.

This started a few weeks back, during the midterms and just after, and (predictably) involves some girls. They had been dropping hints to a mutual friend that my friends and I don't talk to them and that we're apparently 'big headed'! :S Hello!!! You don't even know us! :/ Things have gotten into a muddled soup as they usually do when girls, guys and relationships are involved, and it has got to a point where I had to write a post about it.

I really don't know how my friends (Me-shak and Y) feel about this matter, but it's deeply bothering me. I've never felt this kind of inability to just be happy and laugh my worries away. Very unnerving. And what's even more discomforting is that it's affecting my ability to think straight and write code! :/

Ok, 'nuff ranting. I hope this passes, and whatever Monday brings, I'm going to smile, be my sweetest self and laugh at everything that happens, for better or for worse! I might get slippers thrown at me, but at least I'll be laughing! :D

Thursday, March 18, 2010

random post #61

I haven't written one of these since this, and that was ages ago.

So, you know, I have too much time on my hands! ;) So I conducted a quick survey this morning, going to 25 blogs at the top of my blogroll (my blogroll is ordered according to time of latest posting) and looking through their archives for their first post. I put the month they started out and the year separately. This is not a scientific poll or anything, the sample size is too small. But it was fun looking at the results nonetheless!

Here's the date of first posting, categorized by year:

(Ignore the parchment-like colours. I did some shtooopid image manipulation on them to make them look old! lol)

I also categorized them according to month:

So, in conclusion, more people tend to start blogging at the start of the year than at the middle of the year. The explanation that I've come up with is that the start of the year brings many changes: New schools, new places of work, etc. and this leads to bloggage! :O Anyway, should do a proper survey someday with all the blogs on Kottu or something... :)


I also wanted to get rid of these two photos that I've had but didn't get a post to tack them onto. They're vertical panoramas (stitched together from multiple images).


I shall finish off with this. I had to, absolutely HAD to, include this in the post...

I hope you'll excuse the randomness! ;)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

On Police brutality

This post is not about the Trincomalee incident. Details of that are still hazy and we will have to wait to find out what really happened. The editor of the Divaina yesterday had a hard hitting editorial in which he said something along the lines of "While man came out of the jungle years ago and attempted to shed his animalistic instincts to become a more civilized creature, the police is on a course which has taken them back to the jungle clad in grass skirts, and they have proceeded to remove those skirts and live in the nude" - Ouch! He went on to warn that "...If police brutality continues to grow onto a point that the general public cannot take it silently anymore, we will see the public taking up arms to protect itself, and therein lies a great danger". He also paints a picture of a dark future where law and order have broken down and armed gangs (with public support) and police will be engaged in a civil war. A bit over the top, but based on what we see today, it is entirely possible that something of this nature could happen.

The Tibetan-Sri Lankan monk and poet S. Mahinda thero was a freedom fighter involved in Sri Lanka's struggle to gain independence from British rule. His poetry aimed to awaken our sleeping nation and create a virtuous and just society. To quote one of his poems:
උස් තැන් දැක හැකිලෙන්නෙ
මිටි තැන් දැක පුප්පන්නෙ
නිවටුන් බව සිතමින්නෙ
මගෙ පුතා නැලවෙන්නෙ
...which roughly translates to "My son thinks that those who become meek before the powerful, and those who become aggressive before the powerless, are indeed cowards". Isn't the Sri Lankan police force a good example of that? Do they not attack the weakest segments of our society in the most unjust ways? School kids, mental patients and the disabled and elderly have all been victims of police brutality. And is the police force helpless when it comes to fighting the real criminals, who also happen to be powerful? Don't they become meek when they see the drug lords, thugs, Mafia bosses and Politicians and their families?

If the Police force isn't reformed, and the public's faith in the criminal justice system is restored, the bleak days predicted in the Divaina editorial might not be far off...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday Morning

Me-shak and I are sitting side by side in a hall, stuck in a lecture that won't end for another 3 hours. The lecturer drones on and on about some Simpson guy and his law, and how matrices are multiplied or something. As if we care. The brain cells refuse to work, the beat of the papare ring inside our heads. The centre of the universe is calling out to us. And as soon as the lecture finishes, we are off... off to where we should've gone 3 hours earlier!

The centre of the universe: A panoramic view (click to view larger)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's ROYTHO Taiym!!! :D

I'm about to make a shocking revelation. Recent polls have shown that most people don't go to the Roy-Tho to watch cricket! This might be shocking, but it kinda makes sense too.

A wise man (I can't remember exactly, but I guess it was a blogger) once said "The Roy-Tho isn't a match mate, it's a freaking Carnival!", and I couldn't agree with him more. What sets this 131-year-old annual spectacle (the second longest running continuous series in the history of Cricket) apart from any other match is the carnival-like atmosphere that prevails. The segment of the match that most people really look forward to isn't the cricket, but the breaks - for lunch, for tea and after play has finished - when everybody takes to the field and goes around and around, meeting old friends and making new ones. The huge Royal and Thomian college flags make their laps, and old boys singing their school songs lustily. Everyone joining in on the fun: the old, the new, the Royalists, the Thomians, the boys and of course, the lovely ladies that the big match never fails to attract.

Play will get underway in a couple of hours time, and I'll be missing the first day due to some unfortunate circumstances. But all I can say right now is "I'm glad to be a (tiny) part of this!". May the brotherhood and the friendly rivalry between these two great schools last forever! :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

The one after that

I'm terrible at this form of writing, but I hope everyone will forgive me for writing this little n00bass tale! :)

"Do you remember the first time we met?"

The girls giggle.

"You were soooo bigheaded, man!" Penny says, in her jovial tone.

"Was not... we were really normal kids" Will replies.

"Haha, were we?" James says, barely concealing his laughter... "The others might have had a different idea about how we looked"

"I still remember that shy smile you put the first time you talked to us" Lily says, looking at James.

The girls giggle again.


It was their first major test after joining. The kids were streaming out of the classroom, but Kim just lay there, face hidden behind cupped hands. It was obvious to Chris and Will that she was crying.

"Go and tell Sean", Will told James.

An hour later, her tears were falling down harder than ever.

"I can't do this anymore guys. He doesn't want me to continue... He says we have enough money to last 5 generations now, he doesn't want me to finish this..."


It was a warm and sweaty March afternoon, much like the early March drought of 2010.

"You guys sure you want to do this?" Sean asked.

"With pleasure mate" replied Will.

"There, her car's coming in. She's getting down!" James points at the black Mercedes Benz.

The boys cross the Galle Road, and what happened in the minute that followed will forever be remembered by everyone in their batch. In one swift move, Sean punched the Groom in the face, took her hand, and in a flurry of Wedding gown, they were on the run. Running down Galle Road in the midday sun, hailing down a 100 bus, and making a dash for it. Very reminiscent of 'The Graduate', yes. But Kim hated that movie, and her smile faded far quicker than Elaine's did.


It was indeed a miracle that they were graduating together on that day, but their time was up. They walked out of the little room, Kim and Sean with their hands intertwined, and Will looking at Penny in the weirdest way possible. But that, my friends, is a story for another day! ;)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

After Hours

I've been thinking (oh noes!)... The lower your expectations are in life, the happier you are going to be. Does that mean that you won't be giving it your best? Stretching yourself to the maximum possible? Yes, or maybe. Does it really matter? Not if you stop, take a look around, and enjoy the little things in life... :)

(One, two, three)
If you close the door
the night could last forever
Leave the sunshine out
and say hello to never

All the people are dancing
and they're having such fun
I wish it could happen to me

But if you close the door
I'd never have to see the day again

If you close the door
the night could last forever
Leave the wine-glass out
and drink a toast to never

Oh, someday I know
someone will look into my eyes
And say hello
you're my very special one

But if you close the door
I'd never have to see the day again

Dark party bars, shiny Cadillac cars
and the people on subways and trains
Looking gray in the rain, as they stand disarrayed
oh, but people look well in the dark

And if you close the door
the night could last forever
Leave the sunshine out
and say hello to never

All the people are dancing
and they're having such fun
I wish it could happen to me

Cause if you close the door
I'd never have to see the day again
I'd never have to see the day again, once more
I'd never have to see the day again

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hello 'sphere, how have you been?

It's a beautiful sunny Thursday morning, and I don't have any lectures today! :D YAY!

I wanted to write a post about everything that went on, but was just utterly exhausted at the end of the past few days to get around to it. My posting frequency has gone down a bit in the last few months or so, and I need to get it back up to something acceptable like 10 posts a month, at least...

So anyway, last Sunday I got onto a 255 (always a bad idea) to go to Mount, and the busdriverkakkiman took 1 hour and a lazy 15 more minutes to get there. Why go to Mount on a Sunday, you might ask. Well, it was to go see TRALE, which would be ending on Sunday, or so I thought. A quick walk from the bus stand took me to the Small Club grounds, but when I got there I found out to my utter horror that it was empty, there was a Cessna which was partially covered up and a Helicopter on a truck waiting to be taken away. The poster that I had put up had it's dates wrong, you see, and the supposed 3 day event had been reduced to a 2 day one. It was one of those epic *facepalm* moments, as fell down on my knees and started wailing like a baby. Or not.

Anyway, the day's adventures were far from over. It was Paparé Boy's birthday and the wonderful bunch of bloggers had decided to throw him a surprise party, since he was all emo and going to slit his wrists and kill himself one of these days! hahahaha ;). So anyway, I went up to ODEL and happened to see Jerry walking out, I shouted "JERRY", "GERALDINE" and "BOB THE BUILDER" but alas, my uppercase shouts went unheard. So I did what every stalker at his first stalker blogger meet-up does and followed the poor boy, ambushed him right in the middle of the road and stabbed him in the back with a bottle of Apple Soda. And then waved, said hi and smiled my sweetest little smile. What a way to introduce yourself, right?! :D Anyway, the meetup was fun, everybody was really fun to listen to. And that's what I did. I mean, it was too much fun to just watch them interact and listen to stories of how Paparé Boy did unmentionable things to fellow male bloggers and how oceangirl- errrm, nevermind! :D Anyway, in the middle of all of this I got a mad urge to shout "Wordpress SUCKS!", but it was just me and Paparé Boy against like 9 highly muscular Wordpress users so I kept my mouth shut! ;) The night ended with Makuluwo and Foxy discussing how best to kill babies with your bare hands or something sick like that, and then beating the crap out of each other Foxy. All in all, it was awesome to finally meet the people behind some of the best blogs in Sri Lanka and I can't wait to do it again! :)

Annnnnnyyyyywaaaaai, I'm really bored now. It's 11:21 and if we had uni today Y, Me-shak and I would be sitting at a table in the canteen, doing our customary ritual of cut-the-lecture-and-sip-tea. Well, they sip the tea and I sip a Milo. I never really got the concept of tea. I mean, boiled leaves and sugar? :/ And I come from a family involved in this whole tea racket also, such a traitor! lol ;D