The sun beat down hard on my brow. 48 hours to go of this hell. I mentally checked my supplies.

Three eggs
Six slices of bread
Some butter
Some frozen packeted stuff
Bottle of chillie paste
An old toffee I found in my wallet whose expiry date I couldn’t find on the cover… do toffees have expiry dates? I’ve never seen an expiry date on a toffee wrapper. Omg toffees are immortal.

But I digress.

My stomach was making sounds. I looked up at my roommate shiftily, but she was engrossed in her laptop and had not heard the guttural roar of my belly. Okay.

I went inside and contemplated whether I should break my fast early. I felt weak. Oh god… the end… it’s near. I can see the light. Grandma is that you?

‘You is funny,’ said the seven year old in broken english at the door of my room, shining a torchlight in my face. It was the landlady’s kid. Not Grandma. I was still alive. I saw a packet of chips on the table. Oh god, chips. Sweet chips. Come here I shall eat you.

NO YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHOSE CHIPS THEY ARE. Stop stealing people’s chips, man, get a hold of yourself.

Ah screw it.

I grabbed a chip. The door of the room opened and my roommate stood there looking at my hand in a packet of chips like O__O

‘Oh, crap. Are these yours?’ I said sheepishly. I was about to tell her my hand has a mind of its own, it’s a medical condition, it is spastic and does things, evil things. But I just said ‘hehe’ instead.

HEHE? THE DELIRIUM OF HUNGER. It is messing with your ability to come up with credible and ingenious lies. Oh god this really is the end.

She shrugged and said ‘it’s ok, you can have some.’ I put two chips in my mouth and tried not to look like a ravenous rabid squirrel. ‘I’m fasting and I’m feeling a bit faintish, had to eat something,’ I weakly explained. She smiled and went to her work. She probably thinks I’m a refugee now. A sri lankan refugee who eats other people’s chips.


Now before you judge me this isn’t me whining about Ramadan. This is me whining about the consequences of losing my PIN number. Yes, I am a big panditha idiot who thought I’d never forget the PIN number of my ATM card – no, not even after a three month long vacation – and didn’t bother to even write it down anywhere. Big surprise, I forgot it.

And now I was in 40 degree weather in Delhi with a total of about 150 rupees in my pocket, a few groceries in the fridge and a presumably immortal toffee. I had had two sandwiches and a handful of dates the previous day, and that was all I’d had for the past 24 hours. Some people can live on this much.

I, however, had been spending the previous two months getting spoilt back at home aka eating a 2 foot tall pile of rice ala  mouth watering curries, and that too, at least twice a day. And this is not counting the trips to eat burgers, ice cream and other cholesterol inducing items at random. There’s an obese person living inside this skinnyass frame of mine.

Anyway back to my tale of woe.

After this self deprecating act of chip-stealing, I took this box of dates that my mum had sent me and just sat on the bed and started eating them one after the other. Dates are not that tasty, they’re dry and sweet and starchy. I didn’t care. I just kept popping those dates. At one point though something snapped.

I wandered the apartment with my arms outstretched like a zombie making deathly mumbly sounds.
Then I slapped myself in the face, GET YOSELF TOGETHA MAN, and ran downstairs, borrowed a cup of rice from the landlady, and came back and made a rice meal like a boss with that and some of the stuff in the fridge.

Not too shabby no?
I am such a show off. When it comes to my culinary skills. Which were a mythical thing, before this awesome meal was born. What can I say? Desperate times…

I can’t just borrow rice and wait no, so that was just one lovely lone tasty-meal-involving day. I used up the rest of my money and bought more groceries. I have cornflakes for Ifthar now. IRON SHAKTHI! No, srsly, I feel the ironz in ma bonez.

Someone bought me a brownie today. I think I wept a little into my pillow from the joy.

I emailed my mum about my state of famine and impending doom and she replied like ‘hahahahahaha! eat more dates and you’ll be strong as an elephant!’ That’s a direct quote. Who even says that? Strong as an elephant? Do elephants eat dates, mother? I THINK NOT. She’s not completely heartless though, I’m getting money tomorrow and a new ATM card in a week. Yay.

It was a fun week though. I secretly enjoyed near-death. Made me feel like Robinson Crusoe. Except like, without the beard… and with electricity… and stuff in the fridge…

Happy Crappy Ramadan!

Posted: July 25, 2012 in Uncategorized

So I’ve been having a crappy start to my Ramadan. For the noobs, Ramadan is a month during which Muslims fast from about 4am to 7pm to experience the hunger our less fortunate brothers and sisters go through and all that cheesy stuff, and everyone is extra nice during this month, and at the end there’s this awesome festival where everyone eats gulab jamun and high-fives each other.

Why is my Ramadan crappy? Well in a few words: my 2.5 month long summer vacation in Sri Lanka just came to an end. I’m spending this month all by myself (cue that song!) in Delhi, India. I lost my PIN number so I have barely any money on me. I’m basically living on a bottle of chilli paste, bread and date fruit (I cut my thumb on a date yesterday, oh god the horror).  The temperature of an average day is about 40 degrees. Dehydration while fasting is such a party.

Yep that pretty much sums it up.

I skipped the first two days of class since landing here because it’s so hot out there you can fry an egg on the sidewalk. Today I went to class and everyone was like, hey how are you! And I’m all, life sucks, get out of my face.

Then while I was looking out the window and wistfully imagining I was in a sad music video, the lecturer told us she wanted to check out our writing styles and asked us to take out a sheet of exercise paper and write down in about 300 words why we picked this course to study. It sounds so dumb and silly when I say this but I felt so much better after writing this. It took all of five minutes but it reminded me of some important things I’d forgotten. Here’s what I wrote.

Why I Chose This Course

I was eighteen, fresh out of school; naive; confused. I was a dreamer, I wanted to paint, I wanted to write. Painters and writers starve, said my mother. So I conceded defeat – and took that pipe dream of studying books, words, stories — studying literature — and shelved it away. I became a journalist – it was writing, sort of, just not the type I was passionate about. The next year I got bored and entered architecture college.

A year later – I had completed a diploma course in journalism, a diploma course in abnormal psychology, had become part of the local media network, had delved headlong into photography, had kick-started an NGO, and had dropped out of architecture college. I was back to where I started at eighteen — confused. I asked myself why I felt so dissatisfied — what was that missing thing that I felt a pang for, when I woke up with no particular sense of purpose just to exhale a sad sort of apathetic sigh as I sipped my cup of tea? 

I don’t ask myself these things today. I’m in my second year of a degree in literature – in Delhi, a three-hour long plane ride from my home in Sri Lanka. For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing. The fish has been returned to the sea. It may sound like I’ve just narrated to you a series of random disconnected events, but isn’t that what life is anyway? Random events strung together. I love it. And I guess that’s why I chose this course – literature, to me, is the study of life itself. 

It’s all true though! All so very true! </sheepish>

Sigh. I am such a dork.
Ramadan Kareem, everyone!

Diabetes, Here I Come!

Posted: June 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

A poster was published some days ago on Facebook, with words on it that wrenched a tear of joy to my eye. I had been dreaming of this day all my life.

Pay 150 rupees. And eat ALL THE ICE CREAM YOU WANT. Dear god.

So there I was with a party of seven at the Majestic City food court – ready to devour all the ice cream I could between 5pm and 8pm. Flailer and I ran over to the Hub (Elephant House) and stood there in front of the cashier, like total dorky perethayas, at 4.45pm.

‘Shouldn’t there be like a starting signal for this like a gunshot or something?’ I asked Flailer as we twiddled our thumbs, anxiously waiting as the minutes approached 5pm, tensing as the icecream-hungry mob slowly grew around us. I overheard school boys who had strategically sat at a table right next to the Hub talking in Tamil, ‘See will you, with so much difficulty we got a table near the ice cream place but these two girls took our spot!’


It was quite satisfying being at the very front of a longass queue, paying our Rs. 150 each, getting our hands ink-stamped, collecting our ice cream and walking off like the cool kids. Yes, that’s totally what the cool kids do OK.

The first serving has 3 scoops, and every serving you get after that has 2 scoops each. I thought they’d let us pick which flavours we wanted, but then there were about 60 people queuing up at the time and giving preference to each person’s flavours would just take too long. So they served us variations each time, of Fruit & Nut, Vanilla, Chocolate, Mango and Strawberry. I didn’t get any Hakuru or Butter Crunch unfortunately, though I spotted those bins in the freezer. Though it was a long snake of a queue that wound right and left and sideways at all angles inside the court from the cashier to the door – thankfully, it moved fast and efficiently.

All in all, Flailer and I went about 5 rounds, and I had approximately eleven scoops of different ice cream flavours. My memory of some of the details of the evening are a blur, but I know the sugar rush took its toll and took it well. Flailer described my behaviour as the several stages of an alcoholic in a bar.

Stage 1: Beginner’s
The first cup of ice cream. Satisfying. Enough space for more.

Stage 2: Increasing hyperactivity 
High pitched cackling, wide eyed grinning, tapping the spoon on the side of the cup excitedly.

Stage 3: Delusional behaviour / spacing-out
Once, I raised my hand in the air and was like, why is it so orange… At some point I held the plastic ice cream cup with my mouth. Apparently at another time I firmly held my face between my thumb and fingers and stared into the distance for a good minute, till Flailer was like ‘what the fuck are you doing?’ and snapped me out of it. The spacing out was usually accompanied with short intervals of elfish giggling and making ambulance noises.

Stage 4: Wanting to do stupid shit
‘I want to put that motorbike helmet on my head’ I told Flailer, while standing in the queue in the food court, and then looking at the floor and laughing at it like a fool. ‘I want to poke random people in front of me in the queue but I’m restraining myself’ and ‘I want to punch somebody’ were other common lines used.

Stage 5: Doing stupid shit
Aggressive and weird behaviour. I had this sudden urge to get into a brawl. Or like chest-bump somebody. I saw some stupid boy trying to jump my line and I was all ‘EYY what is this ah?’ and he’s all ‘I’m jumping’ and I’m all ‘NO YOU AINT’ and elbowed him in the face. Ok not really, but I awkwardly pushed him out of my way. While Flailer and I were in our 5th round of serving, the ice cream man told us, ‘Hey you guys have 7 people at your table, but only 2 of you have paid 150, and you’re letting them eat from your cups, that’s not allowed, you can’t do that…’ He was only saying this ’cause he resented the loss of profit, as opposed to if all 7 of my friends paid 150 – but there’s no such thing about it in the rules on the event’s Facebook page. So I was all, ‘HEY, YOU can’t tell me who I can or can’t share my ice cream with, maaan’ and got all GANGSTA on his ass, and then left with my ice cream cup in a huff, with Flailer following closely and highly amused by my shenanigans. I also ended up drinking a cup of some funky strange potion made of Fanta, Coke, a piece of onion, chocolate fudge cake pieces and other miscellaneous items, stirred with an ice cream spoon – on a DARE. I won 250 rupees for the feat from the pockets of the audience at my table. So worth it.

Stage 6: The crash
My head and arms were on the table at some point, and I was mumbling things like, I love you guys, man, before falling totally silently into little spurts of sleep.

All in all, Elephant House’s All You Eat Ice Cream Fiesta was pretty damn awesome. They should make it an annual event. Ice cream tastes better when it’s practically free. And if you love things with sugar in it I think this is the most fun you can have for Rs. 150. Isn’t it awesome how there’s no legal limit to the amount of sugar we consume?! I mean, it turned me into a little maniac, waving her spoon around in the air in the middle of a food court and making helicopter noises… and I could still ask for two scoops more please.

1. Dancing and singing in my own room.
2. There’s always plenty of food in the fridge for a midnight snack.
3. Shampoo or toothpaste is over? No problem, a new tube will magically reappear the next day.
4. Having a huge double-mattress to roll around on even though I really just use one-third of it.
5. Sexy intelligent Sri Lankan boys.
6. My green garden with the big trees.
7. Skipping through the railway tracks on Marine Drive from Bambalapitiya to Wellawatte.
8. Not too hot, not too cold, just right, weather.
9. Strolling down Galle Road on a weekday.
10. Swearing in Sinhala.
11. A quiet beach on a Monday evening.
12. Sharing a sofa with someone you’ve known for more than a decade.
13. A cup of tea and chicken sandwiches made by someone and waiting for you when you wake up.
14. Comically bad acting on local TV.
15. The paan-man’s truck song early morning.
16. Asking the shop guy for a phone reload in Tamil.
17. Getting a seat on a crowded 154.
18. Calling middle aged strangers Aunty and Uncle.
19. The smile of recognition from the neighbor you’ve had for years but have never talked to.
20. Unexpected rain.
21. Stopping at Cargills for iced Milo for 35 rupees.
22. The godayas leaning on the rails inside Majestic City.
23. Perera & Sons chocolate cake.
24. Standing with a friend inside a moving bus.
25. Complaining about the number of Maldiveans in Bamba.
26. The chilli in all my food.
27. It’s not weird to wear a brightly coloured kaftan.
28. Dismissing things with an ‘aney just go men’.
29. Crossing the road wherever, whenever, screw the yellow lines and steel fences.

So this week, on vacation, I challenged myself to learn to ride the bicycle.

Yes, I can’t ride a bicycle. Laugh it up, bitch.

I think I tried it out when I was about 8, but I fell off. It was brutal. Naturally I shunned the contraption forever, and rode my tricycle around instead.. till that got too weird, socially.

Now I wish to face my nemesis again. Besides the obvious glory in conquering the two-wheeled creature, there’s also that fun feeling of flying down my lane on the bike with the wind in my face! Whee!

At first, I advertised for a tutor for bicycle-riding. The tutor would have to be friendly and patient and kind and stuff, because being on a bicycle is pressure enough without having a mean coach blowing a whistle in my face and yelling at me for failing. So after lots of offers from friends to teach me (most of whom just want to laugh when I fall and secretly YouTube the entire fiasco), I finally picked my cousin who I know won’t be mean. Before he starts lessons down my lane next week, I thought I’d try it out by myself in my garden.

The aftermath of a violent struggle between me and the bicycle

Firstly I consulted  my father on technique. Dad, what do I do when the bike tilts to the right – I guess I should tilt my body to the left to balance it out? I asked him. And he said, No, nothing like that, it’s all about momentum, you just have to not look at the wheel and keep peddling and gain speed. 

I tried this, by the way, the not looking at the wheel and randomly peddling thing, and I almost died. DIED.
i.e. got my pajamas stuck in the pedals.

So far my quick cat-like reflexes have kept me from falling though. But this riding a bicycle thing is really difficult, man. How are you supposed to balance this thing?! There’s like zero structural stability, it’s practically like riding a unicycle. I googled ‘how to ride a bicycle’ and everyone’s being so VAGUE about it. Keep your back straight. Increase speed. Keep your balance. No shit, Sherlock.

Today I couldn’t ride it for more than about four seconds, and it ended with the front of the bicycle crazily careening into the wall on my right, but I didn’t fall off either. I think I’m making progress. I did this about 10 times in the concrete part of the garden, within a small 25 foot long space, trying to gain balance. I get it, the idea of maneuvering your body and the bike to be perpendicular to the ground, just that I don’t have any freaking idea how. After lots of loud swearing and raging against the bicycle and its inability to DRIVE IN A STRAIGHT LINE FFS – I kicked it, and vowed to return for another round the following day. Then I went inside and played this Ludacris song and danced around making gang signs; to keep the morale up, you see.

Honestly, wouldn’t it be way easier if we all rode giant tricycles instead? They’re practically trishaws, except with just one seat. I think such an invention would greatly contribute to reducing the death toll in this country.

So apparently Aishwarya Rai had a baby this year, and Jessica Simpson is expecting one too. They’re both going to produce miniature celebrities who are going to be coochy cooed over by all loyal followers of the tabloid for years to come. Worldover, people love talking about these hot mamas and their movies and music and enviable good looks, but lately, Aishwarya and Jessica have committed a grave and heinous crime. An unforgivable sin, which has caused critics – yes, there are actually official ‘critics’ for such situations – to huff and haw about the nerve of these women, about their utterly despicable ill manners. How dare they! scream former fans and ‘experts’ on the matter in outrage in several blogs, magazines, articles.

Apparently… Aishwarya — in the process of nurturing life, a human being, inside her uterus, for nine long months of most probable painstaking cramps, morning sickness, painful hormone-induced mood swings, ending with insane gut wrenching enough-to-make-a-grown-man-cry labour pain, to produce presumably a hefty healthy 7 pound baby — had the audacity, the nerve, to get fat! That bitch. Who does she think she is?

I mean, just because your body is completely transforming itself into a rapidly-growing-baby’s nest, and demands a crazy amount of food to nurture it, just because you are experiencing motherhood for the first time, and have decided to (irresponsibly) express more concern for the nutrition of the precious life growing inside you than for your looks, just because the only momentary solace from 9 months of unpredictable physical and mental ups-and-downs is a bit of soothing feeding, just because it is basic biological convention for all mother mammals to put on pounds during the birthing process, just because you think you have the right to spend some post-birth time nurturing your child than slaving on a treadmill — it is no freaking excuse, lady, to not look like a runway model a week after squeezing a seven pound baby out of your body.

I mean you’re a celebrity. We, the random people all over the world who you’ve never met in your life, own you. Your job, like that of a circus monkey, is to entertain. And as a hot female celebrity who is glorified for her great looks, you are not allowed to go around having normal human experiences that affect those great looks — turn into an efficient robot, I mean if Madonna and Victoria Beckham can pull it off why the hell can’t you? You gotta buck up and stop being a selfish slag, and go to the gym and start working your ass off RIGHT NOW. What? I don’t care if you were on a hospital bed two days ago and think you’ve experienced the most profound thing a woman can experience and you’re going through a vertigo of overwhelming emotions — you’re FAT. Quit your whining and give me 10 push-ups, fattie.

Your kid is beautiful and all that, but look at what that thing has done to your hips, your calves, your chin! Disgusting! I can’t even bear to look at you. And as a responsible citizen who is campaigning for the holy laws of Stardom to be respected (article 34 of the holy laws of Stardom states that being pregnant is not an excuse for a hot celebrity to look fat), I will whine like a little bitch about your offensive girth till the cows come home, achieving nothing much else besides the 200 hits got by my crappy slideshowy Windows-Movie-Maker-made YouTube video about your detestable pregnancy fat, and congratulating myself on getting published my pretentious articles about the same. It really doesn’t matter that most of us ‘critics’ are 18 year old high school brats who think pregnancy is ‘like, so not sexy’, or 35 year old male tabloid editors who deal with the meaninglessness of their lives by bitching about richer and more successful people, before later crying themselves to sleep at night — both categories of which, have no idea in hell what you’re going through. Why does that not matter and why should you still just do what we, the Critics, so rightfully demand of you? Because you’re fat (not obese, but still fat). And everyone knows fat people (which in our context usually means people beyond a 25 inch waist) are just a waste of space.

Anyhoo. On a serious note, people, I would just like to take this opportunity, to say on behalf of Aishwarya Rai and Jessica Simpson (even though I aint even a big fan of either of their work), to the self-declared aforementioned ‘critics’ who demand these stars focus on the superior priority of Getting-Stick-Thin rather than on motherhood and their babies – specially since I doubt they can say it to them themselves – Fuck you very much. 

I was packing last night for my flight back home, a long vacation, and this is what my luggage looked like:

This is not counting the first layer of library at the very bottom.
I had to close it and sit on it and bounce on it a few times to be able to bring the two edges of zip together. My roommates are always immensely amused by this ritual.

Some of my friends were like, what is wrong with you? Buy a Kindle! I’ll admit that the Kindle, I think during the time it just broke into the market, appealed to me — the idea of being able to have a thousand books in your bag without carrying the weight, the options available when you’re commuting, or travelling out of the city, the prospect of reading books you can’t find at the local store.

But at the time I was thinking all this, I was going through a temporary no-time-to-read-books phase.
When I got back into reading a new book every two days, I decided that yes, the Kindle was an excellent invention, and it’s great for people who are constantly on the move and still want to read a lot, but…

1. You can’t smell a Kindle
I do some really weird things (this goes without saying if you’ve been a regular reader of my posts, but still) one of which is going to the bookstore and sniffing books. The smell of a library gives me a high. When I’m walking back home and I’m in a bad mood and I happen to be passing by Makeens or Vijitha Yapa I’d literally walk in to take in the scent of bound pages to cheer myself up. The store managers know me well as the weird Muslim chick who sniffs books and leaves. Kindles smell like dry plastic.

2. You can’t turn pages with your fingers
I like the feel of paper between my fingers, and turning the page, and folding corners or reaching for the bookmark lodged in the middle of a chapter. The Kindle has a button for page turning. Now, usually I love pushing buttons (the elevator button, telephone buttons, calculator buttons) but in this case even buttons < manual page turning. Plus, the plastic barrier keeps you from marking out your favourite parts with a pencil or pen. Also I think you have to keep scrolling up and down a page no? What a pain.

3. There’s no last page
You know, that feeling of coming to the last page of a book, with the hard cover in your right hand, and you’re like, damn that was a good book or what kind of stupid ending is this or I wish there were more pages or phew glad that’s over or you’re thinking other deep thoughts? A book in a Kindle ends with an anti-climax, with probably just a defunct Next button to indicate it’s over, or an abrupt Back to menu option. It just isn’t as satisfying.

4. A Kindle can’t have creases or turn yellow
Now, normally, one would assume this is a good thing. But what’s better than new books? Old books. Creases in the cover, frayed edges, pages yellowed with time, the smell of old paper – this is what my Harry Potter collection looks like, from reading them 5-10 years ago, and I love the nostalgia triggered by these signs of age. The books in a Kindle show no trace of aging, the pages you look at when you are 40 will show no sign that they were turned when you were 20 and first setting off on that naive expedition into that story.

5. Kindles just aint good lookin’ 
Any book enthusiast will understand the pleasure of looking at a shelf stacked with books, of different colours and ages and sizes. A Kindle is a plain grey slab.

So basically, I’m an old fashioned godaya. I think it’s because I’ve been a lover of books for two decades now, with too much sentiment and nostalgic love attached to the form and feel of a book, that switching it for a Kindle is like throwing all that away. So I think for now, I’ll settle for stuffing 20 books into my luggage and bouncing on it.

with my Atlas Chooti pen during study breaks.


Aside  —  Posted: May 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

ANEY mata badagini!

Posted: May 7, 2012 in Uncategorized

So it’s only a week till I get on a plane back home, and as usual the last few days before take-off have me turned into a grumpy mumbling fidgety little thing constantly reminded of homely comforts. And the number one thing at home I yearn for?


Oh god. Yesterday I literally stabbed a pillow with my fist and yelled ‘CHICKEN CURRAAAYYYY’.
I’m hoping none of my apartment mates heard this. It would not bode well with my cool-foreigner status.

I am more or less vegetarian here, because my landlady cooks my meals – she lives with her mum-in-law who as a devout Hindu is like Captain Ultra Vegan and is very nazi about people who eat meat. And I remember the first day I landed in India with my parents – we went to a typical Indian restaurant, had typical Indian vegetarian food, and it was freaking DELICIOUS. I ate some curry and was literally like, this tastes like chicken, except it’s vegetarian… what sorcery is this?!

My point being. Vegetarian food in India can be really tasty, because it has a majority vegetarian population which can’t be satisfied eating salad on a regular basis. So they got super creative and invented a jillion different types of vegetarian dishes to choose from.

But what’s on my landlady’s menu? Chapati. Dhal. Every. Freaking. Day.
If it’s not dhal, it’s some weird grey or brown pulses in grey or brown fluid which tastes like dhal.
And when I say tastes like dhal, I mean tastes like soggy paper.
Occasionally she’ll make some curry with potatoes; one day while forcing myself to eat it – in order to sustain some energy throughout the day – it occurred to me that it felt like I was eating a cigarette wrapped in a chapati.

So in terms of food here I have managed to harness great self control, discipline and tolerance. I tried cooking at the very start of my stay in Delhi, but then I got lazy when classes started (plus I have quite a few battle-scars from my cooking attempts, I don’t think the kitchen part of the apartment is very fond of me). Then I tried ordering take-away everyday – Pizza Hut, McDonalds, KFC, in loop – but that isn’t very healthy at all, plus it’s relatively expensive. The awesome restaurant food I mentioned earlier is unavailable because the part of Delhi I live in – very residential and all – isn’t famous for restaurants. Also important to note, Delhi is nowhere near the sea, so if you wanna buy seafood it’s gonna be crazy expensive. So I settled for the affordable deal of landlady-meals, which were deceptively edible at the start, only to later become a routine of a daily dose of gross pulses. Once in a blue moon I meet up with another Sri Lankan friend / fellow blogger in Delhi and go eat at an amazing restaurant; and on some days when I go nuts (like the stabbing pillow incident) I give in and call up the Zinger burger guys.

Anyway, it’s a few hours before my first exam paper (end of my first academic year), and I’d like to distract myself by indulging in a little bitter-sweet masochism and go through the meals I’m really looking forward to when I get back home.

Potato perattal
I don’t know what this dish is called in english, but ‘perattal’ in Tamil means mixed up, usually with chilli powder, onions and all sorts of yummy spices. I think it’s tossed about for a while in the pan in oil. It’s a very spicy dish with no watery curry, just soft potatoes in the residue of spices. Served with lots of rice and ordinary chicken curry.

Isso vadey
What a cliché right? But I would give anything to be at Galle Face now, eating two or three fresh, warm salty-spicy isso vadeys.

Macaroni and cheese & fried chicken
This is home-made stuff made by this epic cook of an Aunty – featuring just macaroni seeped in abundant creamy white cheese, served with a coupla fried chicken legs. The dish just cannot be given justice to with a description, you have to eat it to know.

Home-made Pizza
Cannot be described again. By another epic cook of an Aunty. These aunties, I tell you, mad skills only.

Again home-made – courtesy of mummy! Lots of cheese and self indulgence and such.

Home-made – by the dad. His job is in Business, but his real calling and talent is the art of cooking! Master chef only. Served fresh from the pressure cooker – have not yet been able to find the equal of his pilawoo in any shop.

This sounds like a petty thing to miss. But I haven’t been able to find even a freaking hotdog stand where I live. I want to have one awesome Tomato hotdog with extra chillies from the Stardogs stand at the Majestic City food court. Or get dad to make one – with Norfolk + a slice of Happy Cow cheese + 30 seconds in the microwave = pure perfection!

Prawn Curry
Big red jumbo prawns, sauteed in lots of red chilli and onions, served with a side of rice. Mmmmmmmmmmm!

Eclairs from that shop near the Dehiwela junction
I don’t remember the damn name of the shop – but you keep walking towards the junction from the Wellawatte side and there’ll suddenly be a small flight of steps to your left, descending into a quaint little bakery. An eclair is only 20 rupees I think – brimming with chocolate cream, totally delicious. Once I ordered 20 on the spot, but there were only 10 available, so the baker actually went to the kitchen and made 10 more for me in a few minutes.

Chicken Cordon Bleu
I want to just go to Burgers King and say SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY and eat all their burgers. Om nom nom!

Oh god it’s like food-porn to think of Kiribath with some red hot katta sambol! Sigh.

So yeah. Basically, during my 2 month vacation at home I’m going to eat mountains of food on a daily basis and slowly metamorphosize into a giant ball with a face. Till then, I’m going to have to settle for a warm dish of Maggi noodles at the college canteen. And maybe some mournful binge eating at KFC later. And then maybe I’ll stab another pillow for good measure.

In other news, to read more of my nonsense, but in real life instead of on the interwebz, look for this pretty little logo in the Teen Inc supplement of Ceylon Today:

Yes, they’re actually paying me for this shit. What is the world coming to?

A coupla centuries after white Britain bitch-slapped Asia around a few times and were all ‘you guys suck, and we’re awesome, nyaaa!’ (this is how I paraphrase colonization) – everyone’s still crazy about wanting to LOOK WHITE.

I’m not even exaggerating when I say ‘look white’ – literally, they want their naturally brown skin, to be the literal shade of white. I’m saying this based on the adverts I see in India — and it’s even more puzzling because I consider modern India seemingly less colonized than modern Colombo for example, the English language and American culture is given less importance here than the Indian stuff, while they have more dominance on Sri Lankan Colombo culture.

But when I switch on the TV, almost every other advertisement is about some cream that makes your skin 15 times whiter (I kid you not, there’s an actual cream called ‘the whitening cream’). And when they’re not talking about turning you white, the people still look white — it’s an ad about music or a phone or vegetable soup, or some series, and the Indians in it have their skin abnormally bleached by some mad special effectz.

This is basically every fairness ad in a nutshell:


It’s not just ‘get clearer skin’ or ‘get brighter skin so your features are clearer’ – it’s ‘LITERALLY TURN INTO A SHINY WHITE BEACON OF LIGHT. Because dark skinned people are ugly losers who will die alone’.

The storyline will ideally go like this…

Girl (or on the rare occasion, boy) is experiencing some deep existential crisis i.e. I didn’t get that job I wanted/ that boy doesn’t like me/ I keep failing my exams/ my life is a massive black hole. And it’s all cuz I’m dark skinned, FU ASIAN GENES… Then BAM, someone jumps out and pulls out a bottle of cream and is like, TRY THIS. IT WILL MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER.

Really?! says surprised and hopeful girl.

She wears the cream and just like that, she TURNS INTO A WHITE PERSON. And she’s like, fuck yeah I’m white, them managers gotta hire me now/ that boy likes white girls. Booya!

Anyway all in all, after her face is turned into a blinding torchlight, she wins at life. And all them other dark girls go cry into their palms for being so goddamn hideous.

Here’s a must-read hilarious account by Jezebel about South Asia’s crazy obsession with being white… and not just in the face area.

And I have my exams in a week, been studying all month and limiting my internet time. But I don’t know if that’s good enough to score high this semester. Maybe I should smear some whitening cream on my face just in case.