Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The DHL Package

DHL delivers packages door to door. It’s expensive but we are assured of fast and safe delivery. The package goes to the other end of the world but it is totally unaware of how it got there.

The Sri Lankan child is like a DHL package. He is taken everywhere by his mother. The safety and wellbeing of the child is of utmost importance to the mother. She only wants the child to study, pass exams and enter university. The child has to face a lot of competition and is under a lot of pressure. The mother does everything for the child. As a result the child is unable to do anything for himself.

When the child leaves school he is expected to transform himself miraculously from a helpless and pampered package into an independent adult.

Recently a caring university lecturer told me that her students have problems because of their emotional immaturity. I was not surprised since I am an over protective mother like all the other mothers I know.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Love for UN

The teens of Sri Lanka seem to be big fans of the UN

1300 teens participated in the Sri Lanka Model United Nations (MUN) which concluded yesterday. I expected all Sri Lankans to hate the UN because of the troubles created for us by the Secretary General. Looks like I was wrong.

Talking the Talk
My daughter Tish was a delegate representing a western nation. She did research, wrote position papers and used jargon like passing resolutions. I was in a state of euphoria. I imagined an era of world peace in the near future. I imagined all these teen peacenics at MUN being the leaders of tomorrow. Well which mother does not imagine her child to be a future leader?
My euphoria was short lived. This morning Tish informed me that she was on Face Book discussing with her friend the best method of destroying the country they represented. They were discussing the best weapons to use ( the most potent weapons of mass destruction) and if or not they should buy weapons from Iran. I asked her why she wanted to destroy the country. She said they had learned a lot about the country and had come to hate it. I suppose everything has unforeseen consequences.

Teens Would be Kids

Tish looked smart in a suit and gorgeous in saree - a mother's biased opinion. I think these teens were only playing dress up like little kids do. Maybe for a little while they feel they have power and so have a good time.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sea and Sand

I spent idyllic holidays in Kuchchaveli and Nilaweli.
There was a little house called the Shanty in Kuchchaveli made of timber. Previous occupants had drawn the the fish they had caught. The little house had only the bare essentials. We managed without electricity.
We spent endless days floating in the beautiful sea with inner tubes of tires around our waists. Nobody cared about sunburn. We used to buy crabs when the pots were taken out of the water. We played cards or read by lamplight in the evenings.

When the war I ended I started dreaming of going to Trinco. I don't think the little holiday homes survived the war. Today I tried to book hotel rooms for a couple of days in August when my husband is free but both hotels are fully booked.
I feel very sad. It's more than the disappointment of not being able to go to Trinco. It's the inability to recapture the innocent happiness of my childhood. It was a time time before sickness, death and broken marriages. I wanted my girls to experience the same happiness as I had experienced in Trinco.

I am still dreaming of Trinco with hope of walking on her beaches and watching the sun rise in the cool early morning.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Are Sri Lankans turning into a nation of Kissers?

I am getting kissed by Strange Men
When I was a kid I got kissed only by my parents, aunts and grand mother.
Later cousins and good friends I saw after a long absence kissed me.
Now people who are virtual strangers have started kissing me. It's like everybody has suddenly turned into French. I am suffering from culture shock.
It takes some getting used to.

I first noticed the trend at a family get together . Relatives of my mother whom I hardly knew kissed when greeting. I thought it was because I lost my mother. These peopled loved my mother so I thought it was OK.
Kissed By Men

At a recent Old Boys get together the men were talking and drinking - thrilled to see each other. The wives sat around the tables trying hard to make conversation. It was very hard with the noise the men and the band were making.

Then the men started coming over to talk to us. They went around the table hugging and kissing the women. I do not like to be kissed by sweaty drunk strangers. I realised the women were sitting ducks. I joined my husband and circulated with him. It was much more interesting and surprisingly even though I met more men they did not kiss.

Being Trendy Is not Always Good

Is hugging and kissing an international trend? I am not used to it. I don't like being touched by strangers or even strangers coming too close to me. I like to have some personal space. The Sri Lankan greeting is bringing the palms together or worshiping there is no physical contact. I think I prefer it that way.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Boys Are Creatures

They are compared to animals, aliens and even body parts. There is a Lizard, an alien and a Ephron in my daughter Tish's school. Thats the way Tish describes the boys in her school.
Who's That?

Tish was in an all girls school till OL's. I got to know her classmates and their families. When she talked about her friends I knew all about them. Now when she mentions somebody I am lost. So I ask her "who's that?" . She has no problem describing the girls. She describes their physical appearance and personalities. I can visualise them

What's That?
The descriptions of boys are completely different. One is a lizard. I don't know what a lizardy boy is supposed to look like. Another is like Betty's nephew. I know it's Ugly Betty's nephew Justin, so shouldn't have been a problem except for the fact that the boy doesn't actually look like Justin but only talks like him and has his mannerisms. The Alien poses anther set of problems since I don't know which type of alien the boy is supposed to look like.

There is also a boy who looks like an Ephron. I know what a nephron is, it's in the kidney but I am yet to figure out what an Ephron is. If not a body part it has to be a mythical creature in the Harry Potter series or the Lord of the rings series.

Why's That?

Tish is an articulate child. She spoke in sentences at 12 months. Her creative writing impressed her teachers. So her inability to describe boys was puzzling.Now I think I have figured out the reason. Tish grew up with girls so she does not consider boys human. To her they are Alien creatures and animals.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

For My Husband

Hardworking Public Servant - It's Not a Oxymoron

It's a description of my husband. My husband never takes a break. He comes home after work only in time for dinner. He says he is not entitled to a single day's leave. It's a shocking violation of human rights. It's speially shocking when you consider the fact that he is a poorly paid public servant. Totally different from the stereotype of the lankan public servant. I would have got him to take legal action for human rights violations if I believed him.

He is never at home during weekends because he goes to his village to take care of his family business. He says it's so he can give us a comfortable life. Forget about Poya days, they are for the temple society meetings.


He is tired when he is at home so he does not want to do anything fun with me and our daughters. On the rare occasion I get to go out with him, like to the neighborhood Food City, I am very excited I think it quite romantic. Then I feel embarrassed. I am not used to sitting in the front passenger seat. I feel like I'm out with an illicit lover. I can hardly look at the Food City employees in the eye. I think " now they know who fathered my daughters".

I feel sorry for my husband

He is missing the best part of life, spending time with his children. In two years time our elder daughter will be an adult and will be leaving home. I enjoy every minute I get to spend with my daughters. I feel lucky to be a full time mum. So actually I am grateful to my husband for enabling me to do so.

So it's happy May Day to my husband and all the other hardworking people especially the public servants because they don't get paid enough.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Shopping With Nerds

Steve Jobs Has Nothing On Me

I can't understand all the fuss about the i pad.. My products, my daughters, are much more useful and smarter than the i pad. They look better too. I don't have to worry about charging batteries. Well the best example for their utility value is when shopping for DVDs.

I can get the following info from Tish
1. The names of the 10 top grossing movies
2. The names of Academy award winning movies
3. The award winning actors and actresses
4. The relationship status' ( actual/speculated) of actors and directors
5. The movies she thinks I'll like

Tish gets all this useful info form E News. Who says watching TV is a waste of time?
I don't have to push a single button to get this info.. My product works on voice recognition. I don't even have to carry her around. The only problem with my invention is getting her to go shopping.
No Time For shopping

It's near impossible to persuade my daughters to go shopping. I expected teen aged girls to love shopping for cloths and accessories. I thought that they loved to hang out at malls. That's how girls are portrayed in movies and sitcoms. I now know that these girls are unrealistic stereotypes.

A conversation with real girls, i.e. my girls, goes like this

Me : Lets go shopping.
Tish: Why?
Me: You need clothes.
Tish: I have clothes.
Me: then why do you go around in rags?
Tish: Ha ... I like my clothes. Then she comes up with an excuse

Following is her usual list of excuses
1. I have to start an unit
2. I have to finish an unit
3. I have to do a paper
4. I have home work

I don't buy these excuses because
1. It's all to do with maths. Girls are not supposed to like math.
2. If she is too busy to go shopping how come she has time for TV and Face Book?

In the Clothing Shop

On the rare occasion I persuade my girls to go shopping there's not much shopping done.
Tish hardly looks at the clothes - she daydreams. When I frown at her she moves the clothes along the rack a bit. Then she says there's nothing that she likes. I wonder how she know that if she doesn't actually look?

If it's a mall I have to take the girls to the bookshop first so that they can read while I look at stuff. I lose all enthusiasm for shopping because they look so bored and unhappy. Then we eat. At least they love to eat out. So though the purpose of the trip is shopping I spend mostly on food. I leave buying CDs tiil the end because the girls want to return home as soon as we buy them so that they can watch them.

Visiting Relatives

During the New Year holidays we visited relatives as tradition dictates. My husband's relatives are old fashioned, prim and proper people living in the Wayamba province. Although we are supposed to wear nice new clothes on these visits my girls were in torn jeans and rubber slippers. They claim this is the latest trend. They must think I am really naive. There's no way that worn-out black Bata slippers could be in fashion.

The relatives love my girls anyway. Maybe it's because they love my husband or maybe it's because my girls get on their knees to worship every relative older than them, on arrival and when leaving. Everybody praises my husband for training the girls so well.

As for the raggedly outfits of the girls.... there's no doubt on who will be blamed for that. These relatives are too polite to mention it so I don't have an opportunity to give excuses.