Archive for January, 2011

It was an ordinary cool evening in Kandy, Akurana to be precise. My mother hails from there, my grandmother lives there, and it is the land of mad almost vertical roads, bumpy broken bylanes, backyards with monkeys in the trees and where everyone knows everyone. I love it.

Unfortunately it is also a land of painfully boring muslim weddings. Yeegh.

Let me paint you a picture, if you’re a noob to boring muslim weddings.

Aunties. Everywhere. Shiny scarves. Shiny bangles.
Bored looking teenagers, too much make up, flipping their hair.
Biriyani, lots of biriyani. Wattalapam.
Fanta and Sprite bottles.
Arabic music as the bride and groom walk down the aisle. Interrupted by Beethoven when they sit down.
They’re on the stage throne, a spectacle in black and white.
Mehendi. Bride blinks against the harsh warm spotlight, hoping the sweat won’t spoil the make up.
Aunties staring, nodding, smiling.
People at tables, eating. Pineapple appetizers. Talking about things to do with nothing.
People leaving, kissing and hugging, or pretending to, sniffing the sides of each other’s faces instead.

In short, it’s a lot of eating and leaving in a flurry of sequined saree hugs and crimson lipstick smiles. The couple are a mere sculpture in the room to be admired on the podium in all their weddingly glory.

Anyway, I had four pairs of shoes, but alas, two are partially made of cloth (I have a weakness for cloth-ey shoes), and they tore because I’m the walking type. All I had left were two pairs of sneakers, one was old and purple and checkered, and the other was red and new.

I wore the red and new ones to the wedding.
And my shawl didn’t even have sequins on it.

Bad move.

Of course, no one said a thing at the occasion itself, and I had a wonderfully cordial boring time. But later my mother gets a call from a concerned relative.

We need to talk about Makuluwo! The way she turned up to that wedding, in her sneakers, just like that, so casual, so nonchalant, tch tch!

And such did the uncles and aunties all discuss, shaking their bobbly heads in disapproval, their double chins quivering in despair. I am so sure they will bring it up a bunch of times for the next few months.
Apparently wearing sneakers to a wedding is a grave offense and I have dishonored the family name.
Okay not really but the grave offense part is true.

Why are people so stupid about what you wear to a wedding? It’s not like I came in my pajamas. Or in dirty combat boots. The sneakers were really new and pretty, not even conspicuous Converse ones. I was dressed smart, just not conventionally. I wore shoes with laces on them instead of straps, big freaking deal.
Needless to say, I just stuck my tongue out and rolled my eyes, in all my 20 years of maturity. I really don’t get it. How does it matter that a random girl in the crowd is wearing shoes with laces on them in a wedding hall? It’s like going to the Olympics and making a ruckus about the camera man wearing a tutu. Does it really matter?
My mother keeps thinking this is a ‘phase’ and that eventually I will grow out of the ‘madness,’ and won’t accept that ‘phases’ don’t last for ten years.

Even my brother makes a snooty I’m-older-than-you face and declares that society has certain norms that one must unquestioningly abide by, you silly naive young girl, you!

Bah.
All this over a pair of sneakers.
At least now I have an excuse to not go to these blahbaric fiascoes right?

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Well that passionate vow a few posts ago to put something up on the blog every other day didn’t last for very long did it? Sigh. I tried okay? I would blame it on being busy if I hadn’t spent so much time these days eating pudding and blowing bubbles. Fo realz.

I’m just lazy.

For others who are lazy, here are a few tips on how to dodge attacks like U R SO LAZY!!111, STOP BEING SO LAZY!1111, LAZY FOOL I KILL U, etc etc. by shifting the blame to other relevant or non relevant things.

1. “It’s how I was brought up!” – With most visibly lazy teenagers (I’m 20 but work with me here), the case is often that their lazyness was tolerated by the parental unit. Although, my cousin has a terrifyingly excellent disciplinarian for a mother and still finds the gall to pass out in bed all day instead of doing her homework, so the case may vary according to the lazy person in question depending on their level of utter sloth. But overall, this excuse will work charmingly on old people (parents, neighbors, nosy aunties), as it has so far in my case.

Mum: Why can’t you clean your room every once in a while!
Me: Well I don’t know, mother, maybe if you had trained me to since I was a toddler I might have picked up on the habit.

PWND.

Of course it is safer to run away soon after saying things like that, just in case you get something hurled in your direction. Just in case.

2. “It’s genetic.” – This excuse takes some level of Helen-Mirren-esque class acting and I would not recommend it to the amateurs, since it is, basically, totally unfounded. But do you find your boss yelling at you for sitting around making clicky noises with the stapler instead of working on your report? Then fear no more, a simple ‘my grandfather suffered from gibbilisitis which is an often undetected medical condition that affects the muscular system and symptomatically causes lethargy, I was just diagnosed a month ago – but I’m trying, boss, I AM TRYING TO LOOK PAST MY DISABILITY AND FORGE AHEAD’ might do the trick, if spruced with some teary eyed stuttering and with someone playing a soundtrack from Forrest Gump on a boombox a few feet away.

3. Respond with a totally irrelevant question. If you do it with a very serious and straight face, this might confuse them enough to go away.

Nosy fool: Why are you so lazy?
You: Why is your shirt so ugly?
Nosy fool: Huh? I like this shirt- but nevermind, why can’t you work more around here?
You: I know you are but what am I?
Nosy fool: What?
You: Seriously though, why is your shirt staring at me like that?

4. “It’s just who I am, deal with it, bro.” – My mother doesn’t like it when I call her bro. But besides that, this is a mythical albeit efficient excuse, if you say it with enough swaggah. Yes, swaggah. It’s like swagger except with some ghetto in it. Just pretend like lazyness is a character trait and it’s part of your bohemian laid back lifestyle, and that everyone is too blind to see the true light and nobody understands you. Try and stare off into the distance as you say this for added effect.

5. The weather.
“It’s this damn sun, it gets me all sweaty and tired and sucks out all my energy…”
“It’s the damn rain, makes me wanna cuddle up in a blanket and go to sleep…”
“It’s this damn weather that’s neither hot nor cold and thus reflects my sense of indifference to the universe making me sit around doing nothing in particular…”

6. “I’m just depressed because-” – Since lazyness involves sitting around doing nothing productive, often lying down or eating stuff, you can often pass it off for depression if you just make an emo face when confronted.

emo face: “waahhh my cat died, I’m going to sit around watching tv and eating ice cream for hours, excuse me thx.”

7. Run. Just turn around and jog, waving, with a thumbs-up, almost implying like their reprimanding had inspired you to be less lazy and spontaneously work out (when in fact you are jogging to your room to sit around and watch hours of Dexter before snickering to yourself evilly in lieu of the fools who bought your story). If they don’t buy it, it will at least really confuse them.

8. Their mama.
“Why are you so lazy today?! GRAWRUH!”
“Tired. Yo mama kept me up all of last night.”
OH. SNAP. BURN, MOFO.
Yeah this won’t work with your parents, sorry.

You’re welcome. Happy lazying around, folks!

Fish Tanks: WHY?

Posted: January 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

We have a fish tank at home, with goldfish and a fake fishville garden and all. They just swim around and stuff. Yeah.

My mum got the fish tank and the fish and says they’re her ‘pets.’ I don’t get it. They don’t fit any of my very basic personal pet requirements.

1. You can’t hug or kiss them. Even pet boa constrictors can be hugged.

2. You can’t pet them. Pets are meant to be petted, sorry, fish.

3. They don’t show affection or react to you in any way. Unless you bang on the glass. Or stick your face on the glass (that really freaks them out).

4. You can’t even tell if they’re sad or happy. Stupid fish with their frozen fish faces.

fish face

Why are you so surprised, fish? Why are you always so surprised?
When you see fish food you look surprised. You see the plastic tree in your tank and look surprised. You poop and look surprised.

I think it’s because goldfish have an attention span of 4 seconds or something.
It’s like..
Omg plastic tree! :O *swim away*
*swim back* Omg plastic tree! :O *swim away*
*swim back* Omg plastic-

Yeah.

Fish are meant for eating. And maybe watching on Discovery channel if they’re being eaten by sharks or attacking each other or something exciting like that.

It is just sad that we have them in tanks just because they come in pretty colours. I would rather have a tank full of colourful floating ping pong balls with lights in them, because it’s practically the same thing, except you don’t have to feed ping pong balls and they don’t always look so damn surprised. I could even draw different facial expressions on each ping pong ball with a marker so they’d be more entertaining than a bunch of perpetually shocked fish.

My mother won’t take heed when I present her with this infallible logic though. She assumes they’re just introverts and aren’t as expressive as cats and dogs. My dad talks to them and pretends they understand, when they’re really like-

Fish 1: Dude look at that weird moustache face outside the glass. :O
Fish 2: Like woah. :O
(4 seconds later)
Fish 1: Dude look at that weird moustache face outside the glass. :O
Fish 2: Like woah. :O
etc.

Stupid fish.

the view from inside

Posted: January 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Falling in love

It’s not true you know

It’s easier to say

You fell

Whoopsie daisy

I lost my step

I tripped on a rock

The chasm came out of nowhere

No, you don’t just fall

But it’s easier to say you did

It’s easier to deny

That you’re crazy and you jumped

But I think we know it was no accident

I think we know you’re quite mad

Yeah you stood at the edge

Looked down

And stepped off

Delirious

Must be the altitude

The height scared you

The pavement could kill you

But we’re all masochists inside

And we all have the right

To suicide.

Today after watching Megamind at Savoy with a bunch of friends (hilarious movie btw – you must watch), me and R-underscore decided to annoy everyone by faking Cockney accents throughout the rest of the day. We were pretty convincing too.

Cockney is the type of almost indecipherable-to-the-average-srilankan-ear English that some Londoners use. Of course, we digressed somewhere in the middle and the accent tended to fluctuate between Cockney, Scottish and the queen’s accent. And maybe some Steve Irwin esque Australian thrown in.

But it was so much fun and so hard to let go towards the end of the day. A golden moment was when we walked through Galle Face talking about how “the natives appear to be performing some sort of homo erotic chanting ritual, old chap” (translation: “those boys on the beach are singing songs in our direction like a bunch of retards”).
Sometimes the accents transcended beyond our fathoming.

R-underscore: Shlwoar.. <an attempt at saying something in a strong accent>
Me: What did you just say?
R-underscore: I have no fucking idea.

Anyway it reminded me of this other time when me and a friend went around faking british accents to punk people around us and see if they bought it. They did. And the results from our experiment were unnerving.

People are so nice to you if you’re a foreigner. It’s just not fair.
I remember asking this guy who worked at the Cinnamon G, where the washroom was, on an ordinary day without an accent. And he just pointed while walking away.

With a british accent, though, a Cinnamon G guy takes the trouble to get out from behind his counter and physically show me the way to the washroom, and after we came out, he smiled obligingly, asking where we’re from and how our stay was etcetera. My ass almost filed a restraining order against his kissing.

Without the accent, it’s hard to get a seat at a popular restaurant down the Galle Face stretch of road. With it, two men came up and almost fell over themselves to get us to stay, promising a table in 3 minutes at most, all along with facial expressions that so tragically screamed ‘we’re so sorry for keeping you waiting cuz your britishness makes you worthy of owning any table in the room cuz we’re total tools who are trained to worship foreigners in the time that we are not treating people of our own country like poop.’

Without the accent, those ladies in those high end shops with pretty designs but stupidly absurd price tags, see you walk in and go back to reading their magazines like ‘k wodeva, luzr.’ But when they heard us saying ‘I feel like a cuppa tea now, with a spot of lemon! Mighty ho!’ their ears prick up and they rushed to our sides, with that annoying self deprecating wide smile, and sickeningly obliging mannerisms (and I am aware ‘mighty ho!’ doesn’t even make any sense, but string together random words and say it with a strong enough Cockney accent and you can make it sound like foreign slang.. eg. don’t be a bloody burger dingo!).

Why are people so super nice to british visitors.
They’re the reason I cry into my hands when I feel the need to pee when at Crescat and find no water in the toilets. Really, would it be so bad to have both tissue and water at places like these?

I think maybe it’s cuz they’re all believed to be rich and people feel being nice to them will earn them a big tip. I’m hoping it’s that and not because the losers who worship the ground they walk on don’t really think they’re superior to locals or something. It sucks either way. I guess it’s part of the whole tourism thing right? Come visit Sri Lanka, the land of the friendly! (If you already live here though, screw you.)

Birthday List

Posted: January 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

Remember back when I used to post about something or the other almost every day? I miss that. I’m going to start again this year. Oh yeah. Get ready for it.

Today I opted to stay in Colombo to work on stuff as opposed to go to Kandy for a week and dilly dally with the cousins. PIVOTAL MOMENT, PEOPLE.

SO PIVOTAL THAT I SAY IT IN SHOUTY CAPITALS.
Choosing productive organized work over sitting around on a paduru with a bunch of teenagers and playing UNO. I think a part of me is growing up or something.

Gross.

In similar news, I’m 21 in a month. For some reason I expected me to stop aging beyond 18, so every time a birthday comes closer I feel like it’s a notable incident worth mentioning.
Like, woah man I’m going white water rafting next month.
woah man I’m turning a year older next month.

Mind blowing stuff.

I am sick of getting stupid things for my birthdays. People, I am never going to wear those chunky necklaces and gaudy tops you get me. I’m never going to light scented candles in this weather. And the only hard copy photographs I have are the ones I took in seventh grade back when I was not aware of the marvels of modern technology, so kindly save the photoframes. Also, I will shoot myself in the face if I have to feign pure ecstasy and declare ‘oh how.. nice!’ at an ‘ornament’ one more time. Srsly, why do ornaments even exist anymore.

This is my list this year. Take heed.

1. Money. If I get 1000 bucks each from 30 friends, and I couple that with my salary and some money won from betting with my dad (he always loses bets with me, that silly man), I’ll have enough money for a spanking new camera.

2. Graphic novels. The ones you get at the Vijitha Yapa at Crescat.

3. A little monkey in a sweater.

4. Chocolate biscuit pudding. Just get some at Cravings at Perera & Sons or Dessert Corner at the Galcissa junction or make it and drop it off, it will truly suffice.

5. Canvas and fabric paints.

6. Everything by Bird and the Bee, OK Go, The Lonely Island, The Feeling, Amy Winehouse, Mutya Buena, Adele. Even downloaded albums in a pendrive will do, I just fail at getting around to downloading all their albums.

I realize that some of these demands may come off as too demanding. I don’t expect anyone to get me a monkey this year. Sigh. But the rest, I’d say, rather easy to get.
Oh oh and I promise I’ll get you cool stuff for your birthday too.

I think it’s so dumb how everyone expects everyone else to magically know what they want for their birthdays. Maybe you think it shows how everyone cares so much about you that they know exactly what you want without you even mentioning blah blah blah, but chances are they won’t get you the stuff you’re silently looking for this year anyway.

So everyone needs to make a birthday list (post yours as a comment and if I know you, I shall get you it, as long as it’s not like, mad priced shoes at Odel or something) and put it up for all to see a month before their birthday. Problem solved, everyone’s happy, and nobody is going to get scented candles in 30 degree heat.

1337 cake. with 1337 bears.

Firstly, it’s been 20 days since I wrote a blog post and I apologize for my insolent negligence and lack of consideration for my devoted readers. I can only imagine how you suffered without having makuluwo-esque accounts of inane mentally deranged thoughts to keep you entertained.

I’m experiencing some semblance of artist’s block these days – where I start writing, painting or working, and then get really bored half way through and throw it away. My mother uses the phrase being a bum but I think artist’s block sounds way cooler. It doesn’t help that my new workplace tolerates this attitude, by letting me hang out on the rooftop eating pudding most of the day, blow bubbles within office premises, and just work two days a week. Albeit I’m definitely not complaining.

Oh and happy new year or whatever.
2010 was lame, I’m not even going to acknowledge its existence by talking about it.

Anyway. Today’s awesome post is about how hard it is to find a good place in Colombo to hang out at and kill time and how it makes me want to murder a carebear with a machete. Ok maybe I’m just using it as an excuse to get away with killing a carebear but still.

Coffee shops are boring. Although the most popular hangouts these days. Barista, Coffee Bean, Coffee Stop, Coco Veranda – whatever; they’re all the same. Sure, Coco Veranda has tasty chocolate cake, and one of those other coffee shop clones maybe has some delicious pudding or a big cup of awesome chocolateshake. But 1. everything’s ridiculously overpriced, 350 bucks for a slice of cake? Please. 2. The atmosphere is so… dull. So 18th century british, to put it racistly. Same style sofas and straight back chairs in all of them, with Colombo 7 ladies sipping on cappuccino that costs five times the worth of its taste, which is akin to coffee beans floating around in hot water.

Budz closed down. It was a relatively little known place down the lane next to the petrol station near Odel. It was awesome at one point – Bob Marley’s face painted on the wall outside next to a reflective pool, large posters of Marilyn Monroe and Michael Jackson in the veranda, reflective pools inside with paintings on the walls, collector’s item photoframes of the most famous celebrities in history on red walls upstairs (from Gandi to David Bowie to Mohamed Ali), one room for books and board games, another for bean bags, hand carved ashtrays and tatami mat curtains, and one large one for musical instruments (from the guitar to the tabla). Then taxes went up, the air conditioning died, the photoframes got stolen, the instruments got broken – they ran at a loss, and bam.

MC is full of leery pervs. Majestic City used to be a really fun place to hang out, being the most popular mall (or only real one, I think) in Colombo. I don’t know how exactly it happened, but it has now become the abode of MC Dudes. You know, the ones lined up on the supports at the edge of each floor all freaking day like it’s their occupation, they travel in packs, and look like they get their grooming tips from 90s Backstreet Boys music videos, with turned up collars, too much gel in their hair, boxers audaciously peeking out over ass-pants. Oh and their idea of a pick-up line is ‘hai sweetie!’ Still I’d say the food court has good food, and the shops have good stuff, and whoever’s controlling the music is playing some relatively good music these days. Too bad you can’t walk around for too long without the violent urge to give an MC Dude a belt for his pants.

Liberty Plaza and Unity Plaza aren’t really even plazas. Does anybody go there today? I actually asked my dad today if Unity Plaza exists anymore.

Crescat and Cinnamon Grand are just places you go to, to do nothing in particular. You literally just hang out. The Cinnamon Grand lobby has some nice spaces to wander around, but there’s nothing to do and Coffee Stop is rather bland. You need 10,000 bucks in your wallet to go proper-shopping at Crescat, so more wandering around there, before descending into the food court, which has nothing great to eat, besides maybe a Stardogs hotdog or some pudding at Cravings. Odel is just as fruitful.

Exclusive society gatherings make me nauseous. Poetry readings. Jazz Sunday. Simplicity. Forgettable bands mimicking popular ‘alternative’ American ones at the Park Street Mews. They are the things that the same social crowd gather for, in their skinny Levis, Beiber hair, and elocution english accents. They meet to socialize, and there’s not much entertainment you can get out of the event, unless you are a 15 year old from an international school.

I’m re visiting some old joints now, the ones that have been discarded as goday and kakki-like after their reign in the 90s. Millenium Park, Vihara Mahadevi Park, Sathutu Uyana, Independence Square. I can already hear my kopi kade friends rolling their eyes and calling me an unrefined godaya. Yes I can hear the rolling of eyes. Mad skills, I know.

First of all, when Millenium Park became Excel World, it somehow dispelled some of the safe family crowd, and some of the MC Dudes relocated themselves to Excel World. But still, it’s one place in Colombo that has a food court, bowling, gaming at Ground Zero, pool tables and dodgem cars. Activities. Oh joy.

The main issue that people have with Vihara Mahadevi Park is that couples go there to canoodle under the trees, and drunks pee on them too (on the trees, not on the couples.. as far as I know) before passing out on the green, you’ll find some MC Dudes again, and it has formed a bit of a notorious reputation as a goday joint. But go there with some friends on a weekday afternoon, when there’s hardly anyone there, and you’ll notice the place is really peaceful – it’s got gorgeous towering trees, pretty flowers, a stretch of well cut clean grass, and of course, ponies.

Outside the park is that line of amazing paintings by artists who are so under-appreciated by the masses- their collective work, sometimes sold for as little as 500 a piece, is usually way better than any of the 10,000 rupee canvases sold at an exhibit at the National Art Gallery opposite. Next to it is Sathutu Uyana – and most of my friends hate me for liking the place – and I told them once and I shall tell them again, stfu. Sure, it too has a reputation for being goday, because the usual crowd there are the lower middle class and annoying children and parents with toddlers dressed like douchebags in their arms (giant bows on their heads, wtf) who cut you off in the queue to the ride with the spinning cups. But hey, there’s candy floss, there’s dodgem cars, there’s that thing that carries you in the air kinda fast, and there’s this hilariously awkward and random train ride that just feels like you’re in a tuk-tuk on a bumpy bylane. How can you not get a lol out of the experience.

Independence Square has no food or anything around, but it’s a beautiful place to hang out. It’s very quiet once you climb into the pavilion and oddly breezy even on the hottest day, and it’s a nice place to sit and stare out and think deep thoughts. Or strike a nonchalant pose when the tourists come to take pictures of the locals.

The Saivar-ish kades like Raheems near Odel, Pilawoos and Burger King, are definitely spots for great food that’s damn affordable, but alas, they aren’t very hang-out friendly unless for a short guys-out lunch break or something (female population after 4pm- zero; female to male ratio in general- 1:10).

But I found this awesome little underrated place in Bamba – delicious juices and juiceshakes from rambuttan to nelli to mangosteen, to the most unheard of  things, at just about 70 bucks a big yummy satisfying cup. I shall not tell you what the place is, because it’s so little known, and we all know what happens to great places that get good publicity – the prices go up, and they put more water and less fruit in the juice cups.

I might be more willing to speak for the price of a cupcake though.

So in a nutshell, Colombo needs to 1. put up a new mall FFS 2. come up with a hangout that has stuff to do/eat that’s actually affordable for the average Colomboan and still retains a nice decent atmosphere (imagine if Excel World and Cinnamon Grand had a baby) 3. find a way to successfully exterminate the MC Dudes who keep cramping everyone’s style with their suffocating godayness… perhaps lure them all into the food court with a moving trolley of hair products, lock the doors, and gas them. Or just pull a pied-piper and dump them all in a far away land i.e. Battaramulla.

Any hangouts here that I’m missing out on, guys?