Unpopular Opinion: Why I despise Avurudu

Journal of an Eccentric

Another Avurudu has come and gone, and with it, a number of “relatives”, an unquenchable tiredness and a sense of impending doom. Don’t get me wrong. As a child, I loved the season. I faithfully followed all customs and threatened ayya with bodily harm if he so much as nibbled at a kokis before the nakath time. I was up at 1am, welcoming avurudu; I was up at 8pm welcoming avurudu.

But since of late, I have started to see the hollowness there is to this festival. You spend days upon days cleaning the house, making sweetmeats (if one does that anymore. Most of the people I know are only too happy to drop into the supermarket and buy them on the 12th), and tiring self out. Then on the actual day itself, you starve yourself (hello, gastritis!) and then binge eat on oil and sugar. And then, the cherry…

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Don’t give up on your self, never!

I’m sure there are so many instance in our live we feel like ” I’m done. I can’t do this anymore, I’m going to give up… ” And you may have given up in so many times listening to that feelings in your head thinking you can’t do it anymore,

I was like that, sometime I still am like that. In some cases when I feel like I can’t do this anymore, when i feel like I can’t make this work anymore I give up, try to find an alternative solution thinking I did my best But I failed, But Did I? Did you ? Have you really did your best before giving up?

Yesterday I found this article on Medium..

How a password changed my life.

 

This article thought me something, something that I wanted to keep in my mind as long as I can, that you don’t have to give up.. You still might have the chance to make it work.

 

 

Because I don’t know what else to do…

Starting to write this entry because I’m trying to understand what else to do, In one night while I’m scrolling  through so-called so connected social media channels I see this image.

 

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Tsk Then I start to think, what the hell we doing. What the hell all the human beings doing. From the day we born we’ve been  trained to achieve something, Something related to our profession. To be a man someday world will recognize as someone decent which measured by money, position etc etc, but why?

 

It’s not like you gonna live forever. It’s not like working is the best thing that makes you happy in your life but still we are bound to do so, we are bound to the system and we don’t have an escape from it. Happiness is something we have forgotten forcefully to achieve these systematical positions, If life was much more simple wouldn’t we be happier?

Change Makers!

“ChangeMakers” , it was the title we came up for our newest project on Stitch. After a long long day full with activities in the midnight while trying to sleep on a bunker bed i felt like writing about this “Change Makers”

Stitch The Exchange Project is a project initiated during end of last year. Here I’m really not going to tell you lot about what this project about, If you click on that link you can find more about The Exchange Project. 

This is the third night I’m spending here at Camp 100 Mundal while helping stitch team to organize this project and it wasn’t comfortable experience. Long long train rides, bus rides , staying away from your home, well mostly sleeping on my bed and junk food items in the city ( At least Kottu) is not easy. But genuinely I can say that it worth the trouble.

Trying to mingle different cultural backgrounds together is new experience to me. And it’s not an easy task as it sound. Obstacles coming through our ways is new and challenging. Language is an obstacle. Culture is an obstacle. But overcoming all these problems we manage to mingle with them so far, but hey long days are not over yet. So many interesting and challenging days to come up with project and I hope our team can go through all these hardships to achieve the target of this project.

Well I think it’s better to sleep now. Tomorrow early morning sessions starting up. Wish us best of luck 🙂

 

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I remember how it was during New year…

I live in a village, we still take water from our well, we still use our well to drink water, wash cloths and have a bath. We still take some stuffs to cook from our garden, we grow plants, for fun and for our day to day meal. But We don’t have the beauty of Sinhala and Tamil new year we used to have few years back.. not anymore.

 

I remember 10 years back , end of the march is the period for bird singing, I remember every morning when I woke up I can hear the song of cuckoo. I remember watching blooming flowers in my garden, cashew trees with full of cashew and squirrels who compete with each other.

Not to forget the smell of sweets my neighbors used to make for New year. Every house was getting ready to celebrate new year, not only by cooking sweets but cleaning houses, painting them with various colours.

 

I remember how i used to bother my father to get some fire crackers for New year, I remember how much he insisted saying I would hurt my self but in the end he will buy me some. I remember my two cousin brothers who always come during the new year period to play with me. I remember endless fights with them for silly reasons like dividing cashew-nuts during April.

 

April… Used to be a month full with happiness, laughter all around me. Happy faces, even though they are rich of poor. New year was spring for everyone and everything..

But it’s been a while now.. Things have changed, even in the village. Kids who bother their parents to buy fire crackers is a rare scene now. No one bothered any more on making various type of Sweets anymore. The unique smell that used to come from houses during New year time is not there anymore.

 

Life changed, Village changed and simple happiness people used to have during new year time changed…

Sadness behind the smile – Polonnaruwa

Last week was special to me. For the 1st time I traveled to Polonnaruwa with some friends in Stitch Movement for the initial stages of Stitch Exchange Project. The journey wasn’t comfortable, not due to the luxury of traveling medium ( Train rides are one thing I love)  but because of the view and experience I had on the way to Polonnaruwa. Rail track to Polonnaruwa ran through a series of tropical jungles. Most of the tress seems to be suffering without rain.  I felt like most of the trees were looking at me with sad faces. But the real sad faces were not of the trees, it was of the people who tried to sell vegetable in the train for a very cheap price! After talking with them I realized they are farmers in a nearby village who didn’t want to sell the crops to shops in the town because they pay a very low price for vegetables .  These farmers’ only expectation was to sell a few bags of vegetables so they can find some money to survive the day!

With mixed feelings we got down from Polonnaruwa (Kaduruwela) Railway station. Ina  minute, we were traveling to a village located 37km away from the Polonnaruwa Town. One of our partnering organizations was conducting a two-day workshop for the youth there and we were suppose to do a leadership development session for them.

After traveling another hour in a tuk tuk, we reached our destination. I should say I was surprised when I saw the place (School). It was in the middle of the jungle with no electricity ( Well at least it was powered by a solar panel)

However the workshop was filled with energy, there were participants aged from 14 to 29, but most of them were less than 18.  I have to tell you this workshop was filled with energy. Everyone wanted to share their opinion, everyone had something to say and they were not afraid whether it was right or wrong!

After listening to some of the sessions, I got a chance to have a chat with the Gramasewaka officer in that area. According to him most of the youth/families were suffering from many problems but the main thing was economy! 90% of the families there lived through farming and this time results weren’t so good due to the lack of rain.

He was pointing out that what this society need are “jobs”, and not any other “useless” workshops. It was sad to see an officer like this think that providing some kind of job would solve these problems.

Later on I got sometime to talk with the family planning guys in that area. Well, the work they do is outstanding. They were organizing “Happy Family” Programs for newly married couples educating them about birth controlling methods and giving away free condoms! One interesting thing he said was that many people in that area were willing to buy condoms from anywhere because they were shy or afraid. To prevent this, these guys started mobile health caring centers and anyone can come and get free condoms from them. Pretty interesting.

After talking with the young people who participated in this program, I realized even though they smile and had some genuine fun through these kind of workshops, their real life is filled with poverty and related problems. Schools without electricity , youth without proper jobs but smiles hiding the sadness!

 

Fooling everyone except for commuters (Highway bus economy part 2)

I was so excited when the bus service starts at Katunayake- Colombo Highway. Too much excited that  I end up writing a blog post about Highway bus journey. After continuously traveling for few month i felt like that post should be upgraded, because the situation on the highway drama is completely different from it was several months back!

Soon after Government starting running their new posh volvo buses in the highway Private intercity bus owners income went down like an arrow. In the end they wants to approach highway also, and they did! for a lower cost! While CTB bus chargers being Rs 130 Private AC buses start running on the highway for Rs 110/. First few days it was very neat. Conductors and drivers with uniforms , bus departure on time. With passengers or without passengers. But with the miracle of the Asia this only exists only for a week.

Private bus became usual private buses, In highway they take passengers in the foot board in intercity Rosa buses and of course door closed. I think our dear police officers don’t notice these or they actually do but don’t give a fuck ? Well i don’t know! But fine we all knew private buses had this history for long time in this miracle island. But soon after second miracle happen. CTB buses start talking standing passengers in highway buses, that also without tickets!! And i believe our officers don’t notice this also! This continues for months and non of the drivers or conductors give a fuck about their safety or passengers safety neither commuters care!

But who am i to complain?  Just a random bus commuter!

And suddenly week ago CTB buses change their bus fare to Rs 75! Lower than normal intercity bus. Everyone was like Whaaat the fuck.. even while i was working as journalist i always knew price hike is inevitable in Sri Lanka, public or private transport service it happens. And we understand. But reduce the price from 55 rupees! Well someone might say hey Miracle is happening in Sri Lanka. Too good to be true! but it did happen…

Next day when I’m watching TV i saw almost every government television channel shout out price reduce in Highway buses. It’s ok,  It’s ok to talk about it because they actually did it!

And after a lazy weekend at home I’m back in the road. Usual work trip for Colombo. I walk to Airport and get in to Highway bus and here Price is again back to Rs 130!! and reason? is nothing! Non of the  conductors know why price being increased again.

But no one shout in the Television again saying they changed the price again to normal amount. All the people in country except for the people who travel in highway public transport think that prices being reduced! That also from Rs 55/ But no one knows that miracle only exist for one week!

Surviving through CHOGM as a random person.

CHOGM wave hits Sri Lanka few days back and let me tell you as a normal person it surviving through it while living in Colombo is not the happiest thing to do.When someone say CHOGM first thing comes to your mind is Traffic. Roads from Katunayake to Colombo closed down whenever our Government feel like doing just to make sure the safety of these important delegates. Flying 10+ security vehicles and 50+ security personals in the closed roads with “One” delegate to ensure his/her safety. Ah yeah to see beautiful Sri Lankan sea view while traveling in E03 highway,Of course they can’t see anything else than beauty because all the other “Stuff” being covered by walls. May be it never hits these delegates mind why some areas being covered with these giant walls ? Oh may be they also just like us who here to do their job and get away from this 3rd world country ( Or so-called paradise/Miracle of the Asia)

 

Daily travel through Katunayake to Colombo made me notice enormous nos of flags displayed in the side lines of roads.Well not only in the Highway that delegates travel also in the normal Negombo-Colombo bus route.But hey why complain its to raise the #CHOGM spirit eh?

When reaching to Japan-Sri lanka friendship bridge (Aluth Palama) usually it packed with traffic these days and this traffic is unpredictable.Why? Because you never know when the road going to be close. So best option i had these days was get in to a highway bus and sleep until you reach to Colombo.Make you away from getting heat up by looking at CHOGM drama.

 

Before finishing this writeup i must mention my office Lane – Rosmead place which supposedly the hotel that all hail prince Charles gonna stay.Two days before his arrival road was full with cops and all sort of security personal.Seems like government don’t care about residence life style there? (Or its a stupid question to ask when considering what’s going on)

 

Apart from wasting Peoples tax money on useless fireworks,Fake development to wasting Peoples time by road closing to all sort of thing i hope CHOGM will bring in something for this country.