Wednesday, December 27, 2006

To trust again

About a year and a half ago, my friend and I were searching for topics to base our honours theses on. My friend took about a month to settle down with a topic, but it took just half an hour web-search for me to land on something that got my mind drenched in ideas – computer forensics and network security! I always had a thing for ‘investigating’ and an obsession with ‘defence strategy’ that ran back about half a decade, so I had a healthy appetite for what I was going to bite. Now, with my degree way behind me, my daily experiences and qualms has made me look back at my research in a different light.
Reading and keeping up-to-date with the latest tech-news is something I get paid to do, so I always had a good idea about the various dangers that were associated with the Internet. But when I started learning about the inner workings of computers and computer networks, things became a bit more serious. The curtain of enchantment that hid the principles of hacking and sending emails under someone else’s identity were burned down by simple logic. The technology that seems magical to most, turned out to be primitive and so easily exploitable when dissected. I would have expected all that knowledge to make me feel powerful, but it didn’t. Subconsciously, it made me perceive the Internet as inherently untrustworthy. I could not bring myself to trust anyone that I met exclusively online. I’ve heard of too many scams, phishing and cyber stalking to make that leap of trust.
Then came online communities – I got an invite from a friend to join Hi5, which I did. I liked the idea that it was a sort of easier and more fun way of keeping in touch with my friends, yet never ventured into cyberspace in search of new ones. When I browsed through the many networks of friends, I found out that most of my generation of Sri Lankans were more closely linked than I could ever have imagined, yet it did nothing to make me trust anyone that I didn’t know already. I came across a few interesting profiles and there were times when the temptation to share an idea or a suggestion overcame my reluctance to interact with strangers, but interestingly enough, I never expected to make new friends out of it and I never expected them to trust me either. It's almost funny when I think about it now, but I have often tried to explain to total strangers that they should not be so willing to trust me. I may have seemed like a psychopath!
Maybe, after devoting a year and a half to studying how the Internet can threaten my privacy which I covet a great deal, I may have become too self-conscious, maybe even paranoid. The fact of the matter is that, I live in a foreign land separated from family and most friends and the Internet offers the only practical mode of keeping in touch. SO, whether I like it or not, most of my social interactions now take place online. Maybe I am a victim of my own knowledge and maybe I am still unable to see these things in perspective. Maybe… I will have to learn to trust all over again…

Walk in the rain

O dark and heavy cloud
Wash me and refresh me
With your rain drops as I walk.
I am tired, yet I have far to go.
Pierce the dull gloom of the sky
With your needles of lightening.
Spark happy thoughts in my heart
With the shivers of a cool breeze.
Shake me and drench me like a tree
And awaken with your moist winds
The sleeping buds in my soul,
Then calm my weary eyes, to sleep
In the warmth of her dreams.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Today, I will remember

Today, I will remember you
For the love
That you poured generously for me
And burdens you bore willingly with joy
So that I may dream

Today, I will remember you
For the moments
We didn't have each other to share with
And the lonely tears and laughter we lost
To the cold winds of night

Today, I will remember you
For the thoughts
And little words that set me alight
For the beautiful inventions of our minds
And their inspiration

Today, I will remember you
For the strength
That you shared with me generously
The words, the laughter and things we did
And memories we made

Today, I will remember you
For the joy
And pride in the things we achieved
The simple and lasting happiness we found
Within our own hearts

Today, I will remember you
For gunshots
That you fired and those fired at you
And the deep trenches you dug in your soul
For me to take refuge

Today, I will remember you
For the waves
You battled against, and drowned
And each and every heartbeat and dream
The ocean stole from us

Today, I will remember you
For smiling
That sincere and warm smile
And the generosity that flowed from your heart
That uplifted another

Today, I will remember you
And pray,
That tomorrow I may not forget

Monday, December 25, 2006

Of kites and dreams

There was once a time when it was warm and humid in July and yet December would bring along with it the cool dry winds for my kites to fly. I was still careless enough to run barefoot along the little streets with the excitement that only a fragile kite made of bamboo and tissue paper could bring. Its red and white frills dangled just below the electricity cables and telephone wires. Yet I never wanted to fly like a kite at the edge of a string. I wanted to soar like an eagle and breathe in the purple air of the sunrise.
I was young and so were my dreams. They were about kites that flew at the edge of a long nylon string and about airplanes that flew above them. I treasured the string, because even though a kite was just for a season, the string would remain in my closet for another year and then another. I may have spent half of my school holidays untangling its knots; because I enjoyed the puzzles they took solving and it taught me to be patient. So the string grew in length every year with new additions that seeya brought from the market, but it never grew long enough to let the kites fly as high as the airplanes.
One of seeya's joys was to see these simple and colorful creations of mine in flight, when I flew them from the little hill near the house. Perhaps it took him back to his boyhood and the simple dreams he had then, because the dreams of a young mind are simple and they don't dictate to you what you ought to need and how you ought to live. Dreams then were happy and ambitious. As I grew older, my dreams became more complex. They began to take the shapes and forms of people and things, and dissolve in the anxieties and worries of real life. Life has become a kite, flying under the impression of freedom in the sky, yet no further than the length of a string. It becomes almost impossible to fly against the wind.
As a boy, I flew the object of my dreams and as an adult the objects of my dreams fly me at the edge of their strings. I was once the creator of my dreams, but now I wonder, whether I have let myself become one of their creations.

Friday, December 22, 2006


I think I have finally bailed out after a few months of "writer's block"...

After Life (draft)

Chapter 1

I realise what it means now. I now understand why thousands of sweaty hands carried banners and why their coarse voices shouted through those dusty streets, even though they themselves still don't. I know why young men wore green uniforms and polished their brown boots. I know why powerful men gave speeches from lecterns and why millions of powerless men applauded. I know why some men wrote and spoke and why others did not listen or read. I understand why they would sometimes try to cover the red blood on the ground with thick black ink on paper and later glorified that same blood with the same strokes that their heavy pens had made. I know why pages of magazines and books once overflowed with their stories and ours and why people paid to read them.
I understand peace, because now I feel it, like I used to smell the sweet scent of flowers and burning incense at the temple. I know it surrounds me like the wind, because I breathe it in. It flows though me now, like a river through a dessert, fertilising its path through my soul, then eroding it and carrying it away like sand and loose rocks, on its way to the greater depths of the universe. It has become my sustenance, the same way that fear once was. After a lifetime of searching, I search no more. Through all the tribulations of my short life, I have at last found life's purpose.
Men strive to carve out their own space with their own tools and their own skills, during their own lifetime. Some do so with their speeches, some with banners and coarse voices, some with their pens and yet others in their green uniforms. Many of them believe as they struggle, that they will have more than a lifetime to benefit from it. My struggle has led me to my life's fulfilment and its completion; for I am dead now.

My world is dark now, but I see my place in the universe more clearly than ever before. I did not know God, but I know him now. My loved ones and friends do not recognise me anymore, but I have carried their memories with me. I did not march out of the battle the same way I marched into it. I do not yearn anymore to give or to take, for you take, only to give back and a lifetime is all you have; to give or take. The battle field broke my life before it mended my soul. I walked through a gate of violence to enter the world of peace. There are those who enter this world from different gates after wearing off their own tools, but mine weren't worn off. There are those who are never remembered beyond their lifetimes, but when I died, a nation stood up and remembered me in silence for two minutes, because I once held a gun against my chest.
That gun was my tool. Life had assigned it to me and I carried it with skill and honour. They told me it was mine, but it belonged to another man who died before me. The fire within it was responsible for the deaths of many. I kept it at my bedside and carried it on my shoulder. I stood with it at attention and guarded their peaceful world as they quietly slept, for I never had any peace in my own world. It was there to protect my life, the lives of men who marched beside me and the life of my nation. I never considered it vulgar or brutal when I held it with the same fervour with which I held my wife and my first born son. I did not see the irony then, that it would be such a weapon in another man's hands that would end their dreams and spill their tears. I did not understand how that which was commissioned to save lives, would eventually destroy them. I did not know then, that the path to my peace lay inside a metal barrel of fire and violence. But death takes as much as it gives and recreates what it destroys. Soon the time will come, when the life of the one who took my life will also be taken. But not yet.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Words under threat of extinction

21st December 2006
A severely homesick Harendra Alwis (who is also mildly depressed about not being able to come home for Christmas) reports from his little corner of the world in Melbourne, Australia

Semantics Task Force (STF) inspectors of the Department of Words in the Ministry of Communication have discovered millions of cases where certain words are being misused and abused. In a series of raids carried out worldwide, the ministry says it has collected alarming evidence of the deterioration of language, right out of the lips of offenders. Senior analysts at the department say that this is a very dangerous threat to communication that requires serious attention on a global scale.
In an effort to educate the public about the misuse of words, the ministry has released two comprehensive reports; one listing expired words that are being cheaply recycled and used with distressing frequency and the other containing a list or words that are under severe threat of loosing their meaning.
The first list include words such as 'like', 'whatever', 'love', 'so' (alternatively spelt 'sooo') and also phrases such as 'shut up'. Investigators who managed to successfully infiltrate a group of school girls in a bus, found statistical evidence which suggest that teenage girls are the most common offenders of this mass abuse of words. However, 'gangsta rappers' and their brain-dead followers and nincompoops who don't read are also among those who have been held responsible for this severe degradation of semantics.
Four letter words such as 'shit' were found to be abused mostly for swearing. However, evidence suggests that illiterate thugs and idiots whose command of language is limited to a few hundred words are using these words to convey their narrow spectrum of thoughts and ideas. The findings suggest the possibility that, these words have evolved into super-expressive tools of communication for their users, as such words offer versatility in the use of language for people with a limited vocabulary.
The second report covers more serious issues that may even effect our perception of what it means to me human. Investigators have found instances where politicians and even religious leaders had misinterpreted words as fundamental as 'war', 'peace', 'freedom', 'God', 'good', 'bad' and 'justice'; arbitrarily choosing their meanings to manipulate public support for unjust causes and to promote their personal agendas.
While acknowledging that at least some of these changes could be considered to be part of the necessary natural evolution of language, the investigation also shed light on the fact that words such as 'love' and 'respect' have all but lost their meaning. Previous studies have proven that human thoughts and feelings are shaped by words and their semantics. The range of human emotions and sentiments are limited to the availability of words that can represent them and convey their meaning. Therefore, if this process of abuse is allowed to continue, humanity may soon loose its ability to experience even the most profound of all emotions and sentiments.
Commentators on the subject argue that the loss of emotions and positive sentiments is already taking place causing dire consequences. They point out the increase of domestic violence and divorce rates and the decrease of goodwill and cooperation among individuals, groups and most notably among nations as a direct result of the degradation of words and the meanings.
In its final analysis, the report suggests the invention of new words as a possible solution among others such as making it compulsory for people to read old books and legally enforcing the dictionary definition of words that have been identified to be under threat. Experts point out that the latter will cause more harm than it aims to prevent, by limiting the creative use of words. They also warn that such moves could even be a threat to sarcasm and humor; the cornerstones of entertainment and laughter. In reply, the ministry emphasized that the contents of the reports are open for public debate, iterating the need to find creative solutions to the problems they aim to highlight.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


The stars are silent. The moon has waned.
Even the busy street has gone to sleep, tucked under a blanket of scarlet lights. It is the hustle of the trees and the songs of crickets and beetles that fill the air.
The ocean crashes on a desolate beach, but its hum has already faded into empty space.
I wait here as I have waited all my life, wondering whether I will see you in my dreams tonight... wondering whether I will hear your voice and smell your hair... unsure whether I could feel your hand slip into mine or see the way you part those tender eyelids to spare a glance for me or smile back when I smile. I wait for a touch I have never felt, a light I have never seen and a warmth that has never shielded me from the cold winds. Hope keeps me company.
I try to imagine the conversations we will have one day, the quarrels we will resolve with a kiss, and the prayers we will pray together cuddled in each other's arms. I try to invent new words to draw a portrait of you. Simple, beautiful, timeless and honest words that would describe the cheer in your laughter, the grace with which you walk and how the rhythm of my heart would change when you smile.
I need you tonight, even in a dream. I am tired... tired of receiving too many blessings when I don't have you to share them with... tired of days passing by too fast without a sincere smile. Friends stand by my side. Time offers me a hundred adventures. Freedom promises a thousand thrills. Sometimes I search for you in a verse that flows out of my heart or in a book I take up to read. Sometimes I see your radiance in an image that flows out my camera.
Yet they can no longer fill the emptiness in my little corner of the world. I try to be brave, to deal with the speculations of my mind and the yearnings of my heart. This night will pass, and another as I wait here... I will wait, and I will smile... always.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Balance brought forward

Four years ago, I marked the completion of my 21st year of existence without much ado, but I vaguely remember being a bit excited about legally being considered an adult for all practical intents and purposes. Or perhaps it was just that everyone else was all excited and I am sure part of that excitement rubbed off on me too, but I already felt ‘grown up’ enough to despise the idea of a birthday party, because that seemed too childish and therefore too embarrassing to even consider.
But hitting 25 just four years later was different. Well, I am alone in a foreign land and nobody can hug you over the phone even if they wanted to. But its not just that - things have changed a lot... I have changed. I have no idea as to why I am blogging this, but it probably has a lot to do about the fact that I am just ‘me’ and I can’t help it.
Being 25, I realise perhaps for the first time that, I am not just ‘old enough’ to do anything, but sometimes ‘too old’ to do certain other things that I may never have had the chance to do… or never made use of the chances I had. I started taking stock of my life and the way I have lived it… wondering whether I should have been a bit more foolish at times… a bit more irresponsible and careless… a bit more rebellious… a bit more daring… perhaps also a bit more brave? Well, I guess it takes a brave person to wake up each day and face it with confidence, and you have to be brave to hold on to your course when others change their direction with the wind...
Looking back, I am proud of what I have done with my life so far and the way I've lived it. I probably won't change most if I got a chance to do it all over again, but I wonder whether a part of me regrets the fact that I didn’t make as many mistakes as I should have… taken chances without so much fearing their outcomes… wondering whether it would have been a tad better if I hadn’t been so focussed on living life the 'correct' way and dared to challenge my perceptions and beliefs a bit more. I always played it the way it was inscribed in ancient texts and was at times a misfit among those who embraced the version of 'modernity' that flowed out of American soap operas on TV.
Life has started to accelerate now and it will eventually catapult me into careers, mortgages, marriage, kids… as I battle to squeeze through time and space without as much time to stop and think as I would like to. Decisions have to be made in haste. My friends and I have all but lost the innocence of our childhood, each fighting for his or her place in a world where we have to win just to survive. The transition of best friends into adversaries may have started a few years ago, but the process is nearing completion now and only a few remain friends as we've always been, even as new ones come and go... a few of them might remain.
So I guess, when you turn 25, you just have to brace yourself for the future... close the accounts of gains and losses of the past and just carry the balance forward.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Victoria Bushfires

My four-day holiday at the edge of the bushfires turned out to be one of the best ever... had a feast of a time caving, catching the surf and bushwalking... and came back with some nice photographs in the bag...
These pictures are exactly the way they were taken... I have not enhanced their colours or edited them in any way.

The days were dim and the sun was a purple disk in the sky behind a thickening cloud of smoke...

when I set up the tripod at the edge of the freeway...

to capture some fiery shots...

driving by the 100km firefront

and taking in sights of the cloud of smoke that only the 600,000 hectare fire could create (and also the ash and black rain drops)...

the fires at a distance and the smoke covering the landscape...

a lone windmill seemed unconcerned about the advancing flames, swaying its arms in the wind and smoke...

with fire trucks whistling past in both directions with us scambling behind them...

but even with all the fires around them, people would still pay to eat fried chicken

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's a matter of trust

Last week, the CEO of the online auction site eBay boasted that his company had taught 13 million people to trust each other – almost all of them total strangers! Contrary to any conclusion that ‘pure reason’ may take us to, most of us would trust a stranger with our money – given the right conditions and circumstances - even though we have little or no clue about their identity. It is tempting to reason that people trust eBay and therefore anybody who is selling something on eBay would ‘inherit’ part of that trust, but that may not be the ‘whole truth’.

The fact is we are far more willing than we can even imagine; to trust anyone who is in a position to give us something we want or need at a reasonable ‘price’. What is meant by ‘price’ may not necessarily be a monetary figure, but anything we deem valuable such as social acceptance or even love and reputation, because that is the force that has propelled ‘social networking websites’ into one of the most active realms of the Internet. While a considerable number of members on social networking sites seem to shun interacting with strangers, even most of them are likely to initiate interactions with a stranger who may have common interests or a ‘profile’ that seems very interesting or attractive in some level.

So is the Internet telling us that trust is not something that always needs to be ‘earned the hard way’? What would the word ‘trust’ mean if it is something we would trade willingly to buy the desires of out hearts and minds?

Saturday, December 09, 2006


When old trees creek with happy songs
And the sea kisses the beach with delight
Shall we trace our steps through the woods
And sit by the sea shore on a starlit night?

When old roads wind up along a lonely hill
Lined by old houses with limestone walls
Shall we walk up the hill on rainy afternoons
And stare through windows at candlelit halls?

When old stars die and with blasts in the sky
On a distant dark corner of the Milky Way
Shall we lie on a little tuft in a grassy plain
And whisper little secrets and tangle in fray?

When old friends hide in the shadows of time
Leaving old memories and their happy tales
Shall we just hold hands and find our place
In each other's hearts, in love that never fails?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Digital touch

I explore the world
From my little corner of the world
Through a seventeen-inch window
Browsing my own thoughts
And dreams
That has condensed
On a flat-panel
Where I can increase
Their resolution and depth
Or make them a bit brighter
If I wanted to
But I click my way through
Until I see you there
And pause, because
I see those eyes in my dreams
And you are in my thoughts

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Evening rite

When the sun retires
In the western sea
And the horizon
Is hemmed with a purple seam
I run to meet
A little gravel road
That treads along a little stream

The road is busy,
Many weary faces pass me
And disappear
Around a distant turn
My heart is pounding
And sweat pours down
Like dew drops from a fern

The world
Suddenly grows old on me
As the warmth of day
Turns into dark cold night
One by one, little stars awake
As if stirred
By bright moonlight

The trees whisper in the wind
While I lie on a tuft
The back of my T-shit; wet
With sweat and evening dew
And hear insects
Burst with happy songs
Like and orchestra
On their conductor's cue

The clouds part
And I see the face of God
He whispers gently in my ear
Secret dreams take flight
And I trot back home
As hope replaces fear

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


One of my best friends got engaged last weekend, up in the hills of Paradise Isle and her friends were nice enough as always, to mail me pictures of the engagement party. Lo and behold, I noticed that one of our friends was wearing a sari that had a stark resemblance to a set of bed sheets and curtains that my mother had bought sometime back! Even though women's fashion had lost its ability to 'shock' me anymore, I was a bit puzzled and so asked my friend as politely as possible why her friend (and mine) was wearing something that looked like a bed sheet to my untrained eye (making sure she understood that I was not suggesting for a moment that our mutual friend had stolen my mother's bed sheets). After the usual complaints about the limitations of the "male psyche", she proceeded to explain that it was just a "handloom" sari. But, calling it a cool name like "handloom" could not do much to make me logically conclude that what our friend wore was not a bed sheet.
With all due respect to the ladies, I personally don't think there's anything wrong about a girl wearing a bed sheet to an engagement party - for all my wit's worth, I would even call it a bold fashion statement and I am sure I could find something in my good senses to admire the lady's daring sense of adventure and spirit of non-conformity. But then again, I know my observations are going to be blamed on the testosterone and my sanity is going to be questioned.
Honestly the friend in question could even be said to have good dress sense. If there was ever a problem about what she wore, I would blame it on some narrow-minded interior decorator who suddenly thought he/she could be a dress designer...! Let's catch the bugger and sentence him/her to a lifetime of wearing a pillowcase made from the latest set of 'handlooms' my mother had bought... what do you say?

Friday, November 17, 2006


Ballad on poles - Melbourne during the Commonwealth Games

Hunger is trying to squeeze in through my belly-button... because I hadn't cooked in a while. I was down with a cold and mild fever... It’s ironic that my body temperature went up while I was actually suffering from a 'cold' but blowing my runny nose in to a cloth (and the surrounding furniture at times… LOL… ok ok… I’ll wipe them all as soon as I get better!!!) didn't leave much time or energy for me to ponder on the paradoxes in the terminology that was being used to describe my health condition. Feeling a bit better now at last... so should cook up something decent today...
Miss. Lecturer-at-Law-who-is-about-to-get-engaged wrote in, ending her letter with a brief one-liner about how hopeless the situation in the motherland was. I have been thinking about the state of Paradise Isle myself... ironically, it is only when you leave the place that you begin to really miss it... and I mean REALLY miss it – and not just the kottu or the mountains and lakes or the Perahera or the warm beaches…
This time, it struck me a bit harder on the skull, because I will soon have to decide how long I am going to stay here in Australia before I return home for good. (God forbid me from having to decide "whether" I want to go back at all... I have already made up my mind that I will definitely go back for good, simply because I don't see how I could possibly raise a family here... but then again, "raising a family" has a finite window of opportunity... which I might miss by a pretty big margin if things don't improve soon...) do I want to stay here for a couple of years…? Perhaps a decade?
I think, in the face of such decisions, I have been forced to consider the facts more deeply than I ever thought I could... and it is only when I think about them at a certain depth that I begin to realise what "home" actually means... honestly, factors like 'the economy', ‘political environment' and all such blabber matter much less... What really matters is that home is where the people you love live... the people who love you the same way... your support network or family and friends - the people you can rely on even if the whole world crumbles around you... the people you trust...
When all of that is missing, nothing else matters as much. It doesn't make a huge difference what the more measurable components of "the quality of life" you enjoy are. Even war and peace matters less.
To me, that does not mean I can afford to completely disregard the social environment I live in. I mean, it is only after I came here, that I realised the amount of violence that I had been exposed to - and gotten used to as a result – growing up with a civil war in Paradise. It made a HUGE difference for me, not to be exposed to stories of "so many dead on one side and so many dead on the other side" and not to see the jubilation of some people when there are more deaths on "the other side" and the mourning of deaths on their side...
hopefully, I will get to go home soon and I may get a little opportunity to experience life at home again after almost a year and a half... Honestly, I am quite nervous about the future I am stepping into - not personally but as a nation and as a global community... and of the world that the process of human “civilization” has created... But to know that there are good men and women - within my own circle of friends and way beyond, gives me reason to be a bit optimistic... because I believe - maybe it’s more a stubborn and dogmatic belief than an affirmation of facts - that we can make a difference...

Destined to be

These scientists are trying to go back in time... or something like that…

Even though what I am going to say is also a bit geeky, you should read on - if you are not totally brain-dead - because I am sure you will be able to pick the general idea. Actually, the first guy who thought about this is Richard Feynman while he was studying under John Archibald Wheeler. Those were the early days of quantum physics.
Nobody is still quite sure of what exactly ‘light’ is… they say it behaves like a wave at times and as bits of matter/energy at other times. (Einstein’s E=mc2 technically means that matter and energy is basically the ‘same thing’ in two different forms) they came up with a cool name for these waves/matter/energy things and called them “photons”. Anyway, stars emit light or any form of radiation as photons and these photons travel vast distanced through space. When we look at the sun, these photons from the sun directly enter our eyes, and they are in fact absorbed by the eye in the end (that’s why the little dot right in the middle of the pupil is always black – because none of the light that enters through it is ever reflected back). Some of the white light from the sun is reflected off objects that may absorb all the colours except green and so that object appears green (sorry if I am dumbing this down too much). The idea is that these photons are absorbed as light or heat or some other form of radiation by things on earth and their energy is transformed into other forms such as chemical energy, heat and so on. When you look at a star at night, you see it because light from that star just entered your eyes.
What happens if a photon that’s emitted by a star travels through space for ever without being absorbed by another object? Does the energy of that photon leave the universe? If it leaves the universe, where does it end up then?
Feynman, being the smart-ass he is, said that it is not possible because none of the astronomical observations supported the possibility that the Universe was loosing energy through radiation. So he explained it the only way he could by saying that a photon essentially had to be an exchange of energy between two atoms. This sounds simple enough, but what it means is that when you saw that star, it was as a result of a specific exchange of photons between that particular atom in the star which emitted that photon an a certain atom in the retina of you eye!
But think about the time difference! What this theory means is that the atom in that star which emitted that photon – say fifty thousand years ago – had to know that the particular atom in your retina would be precisely in the position that it was after fifty thousand years to absorb it!!! Could that be possible? Well, Feynman thought it was, because he agreed with Prof. Einstein that time was just another dimension and two different points in time could virtually merge - just the same way that one could bend a piece of paper in such a way that any two points on it could fall on top of the other.
But then, does that mean we are robots of destiny – doing precisely the things we were always destined to do and being precisely where we are destined to be? I don’t know and I don’t give a damn right now… I am off to bed… and for heaven’s sake, don’t wake me up unless you are absolutely destined to do so!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

If only...

(With apologies to Rudyard Kipling)

If you can float in life without your morals drowning
And never in vanity, struggle with time or age.
If you can smile, when the whole world is frowning,
Knowing the veils and candor of laughter and rage.
If you can commit each day and hour to learning
And be wise enough; not your inanity to conceal,
Be brave enough to surrender your heart to yearning
Yet have strength, never to yield your soul to zeal

If you can remain faithful, through life ever changing
And equal respect to wisdom and emotion grant.
If you can know the edge of calm and of deranging
And appreciate the power of silence and exploding rant
If the colours of a rainbow can stir and inspire you
Or to quench your thirst from morning dew drops dare
Know the hearts that secretly admire and detest you
And brilliant minds by the magnificent dreams they bear...

Then i guess you are pretty cool...

But if you are the type who fall in love with strangers
Yet act as if your heart has been locked in a deep vault
And avoid crossing roads, perceiving threats and dangers
Of navigating through traffic or a careless drivers fault
If you drink wine, boasting of alcohol's medicinal assets
Or whenever you are contradicted, argue, debate and run
You are a part of society and one of its intriguing facets
And, which is more; you are also a hypocrite, my son!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The bright moonlight
Is outshone by neon glows
Another starry night
To an unseen horizon flows
As a wet chilly breeze
Sweep through restless lanes
A heart shines a smile
In hope through hidden pains

Monday, November 06, 2006

Great expectations

Peeping through the ribs
My heart lies waiting
For another dream to come true

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Sometimes the wind is hot and dry
And at night it blows a deadly chill.
No matter how far I venture or try,
I cannot see beyond that little hill,
So I ask the wind if it dared to pry
Whether you're thinking of me still
It wraps me in hope, myth and wry
I wonder if it does the truth conceal

Is it your heartbeat that I often hear,
When the city clamour faint and cease?
Sometimes the soft whisper in my ear
Brings me comfort and a happy lease
When the sun comes out and skies clear
I can hear the busy banter of the trees
As the wind takes away a lonely tear
With a secret promise across the seas

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Our 'one candle prayer'

I dreamt of the day when our eyes shall first meet
In a moment I thought I had the world at my feet
Holding your hand; it was the most blissful treat
It’s amazing how a dream made my night complete

A candle was burning with a dim crimson flare
Sweet music flowed, I know not from where
I kissed your cheeks through waves of glossy hair
And cuddled on a cloud we whispered a prayer

Friday, October 20, 2006

'Glorious' Hates War

This is a Multimedia assignment we did at APIIT in 2002. Personally, my attitude towards war has slightly shifted since then, but I guess this still bears a timely message that's worth thinking about.
The music is from one of my favorite hymns which is ususally sung at weddings. This is a rendition of 'O Perfect Love' by 'Jenna' on a Cello and Harp, but the words of this hymn are extremely powerful in its poetry and meaning...

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

In my place

Reuters photo by Buddhika Weerasinghe

The empty boots and blackened helmet
Could have been mine
Streams of tears flowing through a hamlet
Could have been mine
The fallen corpse, lifeless and shattered
Could have been mine
The father lost, leaving a family tattered
Could have been mine
The loss of love that tore another life
Could have been mine
Their little corner of the world in strife
Could have been mine

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Social experiment #2

I have been crashing in on a few stranger’s blogs lately… lets call it a social experiment – but the last time I undertook such a social experiment was when I decided to click through the profiles of my friends and their friends and their friends and their friends on Hi5, to find out how closely linked our generation of Sri Lankans actually were… surprisingly enough, almost all of us at least had a ‘friend of a friend of a friend’ in common!! But no… this it about my blog crashes… it all started when I Googled to find out what actually happened at SAG 2006 and ended up in cynically yours.
As a result, I stumbled on a few remarkably interesting blogs (Manshark's Random Rantings, with a few old friends among them Paxified), many refreshing ideas that almost cured this severe attack of writer’s block that I am going through at the moment and also realised that the Internet is probably the best place where one can stumble into the most intelligent and refreshingly creative young Sri Lankans… I mean, apart from a very few friends, who are intern scattered around the world at the moment, it is not easy to find a creative, intelligent and funny human being among our generation of Sri Lankans…
Or is it just me???

Free hugs

Last week, Google bought for 1.65 billion US Dollars. Against a backdrop of many debates that were sparked off by the deal, there lies one very noticeable fact – that the Internet is slowly but surely becoming a multimedia phenomenon in the true sense of the word. Take the story of the ‘Free hugs’ campaign that was started by Juan Mann in the streets of Sydney, Australia and ‘The sick puppies’ - a rock band that barely had a crowd of more than twenty people for their gigs around town. Simon Moore, the band’s lead guitarist and singer saw Juan and his ‘Free hugs’ campaign which he recorded on his video camera, and later dubbed with their song ‘All the same’. Simon posted the video on YouTube last September and in a phenomenon that surprised even YouTube, the video was viewed by hundreds and thousands of people every day, launching the ‘free hugs’ campaign and the little known Sydney rock band into world attention.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Strength & power

Dear nangi, malli, cousins, nephews and niece,
I hope all of you are keeping well. As you may already know, the past few weeks have been full of rewards and blessings in my life – even more than I had prayed for. I am looking forward to the coming months with a lot of optimism and also a hint of anxiety caused more by expectations rather than doubts.
This time around, I thought I’ll write to you about a few lessons that I feel I am just beginning to understand only now. Unlike in the past, where I have been sharing my past experiences and thoughts with you, I hope we could learn these lessons together throughout the duration of our lives – because it is the nature of many real lessons in life that we can never fully understand them, but we continue to grow with understanding through each experience and the learning process continues throughout our lives.
First I want to share a few thoughts on ‘power’ and ‘strength’ (it may be a good idea to stop reading for a moment now to look up the actual definitions of these two words in a dictionary).
The physical sciences as well as the social sciences have precise definitions for what is meant by the word ‘power’. However, the word ‘strength’ has no place in our scientific exploration of the world – the word that comes closest to it is ‘energy’ but that has an entirely different meaning. In terms of physics or chemistry, power is the rate at which energy is converted while performing a useful task and is usually measured in “Watts”. You may have seen the power of a light bulb indicated as “60 Watts” or “100 Watts”. In scientific realms, energy is of no use if it cannot be converted into power; or in other words if the energy cannot be used to do some useful work. Therefore, scientifically speaking, power is a very useful thing that we, especially in modern times, cannot live without. Cars, toasters and refrigerators need power to perform their tasks and they usually get that power through electricity or by burning fuel. In fact, the per capita power consumption is an indicator of how developed a country is in comparison to others.
Sociologists on the other hand define power as the ability of one person or group to impose their will on others, even if those others resist the imposition. This sort of power is usually categorised as political power, military power, legislative power, judicial power and so on. If you have an interest in law, you will be able to find out that three fundamental divisions of power is necessary for a nation or state to function effectively. These three powers are; legislative power – the power to make laws; executive power – the power to enforce those laws; and finally judicial power – the power to judge whether the laws have been abided or not. If you decide to investigate further, you will also find why these three elements of power in society need to be separated and balanced and how the collapse of any of these powers could lead to a “failed state” such as what has happened in Iraq at the moment, where there is no law and order in society.
An individual may gain power in many ways. Painters, actors, singers and writers have the power to influence people’s thoughts and emotions. In fact in writing this letter, I am exercising my power to influence you in some way. A politician may have the power to take decisions that impact the lives of the citizens of his or her constituency. A corporate executive may have the power to employ or sack an employee. I suppose it won’t be too difficult for you to see already, that power – metaphorically speaking - is a double edged sword that can be used for positive as well as negative purposes.
Strength, by definition, is different. It implies the possession of power but not its use. ‘Strength’ is also the opposite of ‘weakness’ or ‘fragility’ and therefore implies a desirable quality in a person. You can think of the strength of an object or material too. With exceptions such as Kevlar – a bullet proof fabric - strong objects are generally not very flexible. Engineers often have to choose between deferent types of material in construction projects. Sometimes a task may require a material that is both strong and relatively flexible such as fibre threads for a safety net. I think modern cars are amazing feats on engineering because they are made to be very strong and durable, yet in a crash, they collapse rapidly – absorbing the shock of the impact – to maximise the safety of passengers. I sometimes wonder whether a person could be like that too – strong enough, not to let its strength harm or hurt others. Here, I am reminded of the famous prayer of General Douglas McArthur for his son when he said; “Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.”
I have my own thoughts on ‘strength’ and ‘power’ and about the ‘strong’ and the ‘weak’ and the ‘powerful’ and the ‘powerless’, but I will not cloud your minds with my thoughts. I would rather give you that space for yourselves to think about it at depth and form your own thoughts and opinions about them. I want you all to think about what it is that makes a person strong. It is physical strength? Does knowledge and talent make a person ‘strong’ or does it rather make the person ‘powerful’? Does the secret to a person’s strength lie in his or her belief sysem of ‘faith’, ‘courage’ and ‘morals’? you may come up with different views about these things and I would be delighted to read about your thoughts on it. I will write to you soon about ‘trust’ and also about trusting what we have been taught and trusting our own feelings. As I conclude for now, I have a wish for all of you; that you may learn to see the difference between ‘strength’ and ‘power’ and that you may always respect a man’s ‘strength’ but never his ‘power’.
Yours always,
Haren ayya/mama


I wish you could see
The magnificence that’s you
Through my sleepy eyes

Monday, October 09, 2006

Golden wings

O little butterfly
Perched on my trembling palm
I wish you'd never fly away
Seeking the soft petals of spring buds

Enticed by their sweet nectar
Would you to abandon me here?

Often I secretly wish and dream
That you would find your garden in me
Where the parched rosebuds will flower
With the flutter of your delicate wings
The trees will shade you from the sun
While I gather the dew from my heart
To quench your thirst

For you have shaped my dreams
And my thoughts fly with you
Wherever you flap your wings in the wind

Yet I fear that I may never hold you
For I know that your place is among the flowers
And their sweet fragrance belong to you

But let this little dream linger in my heart
At least for another day
Which I submit to God with every breath
A sacred wish with golden wings

Angel eyes

A little star on a silent night
Fell from a dark and cloudless sky
Turning itself to a streak of light
That beamed on me from heaven on high
I made a wish on that fallen star
So that through its burning sacrifice,
I may gain new strength to travel far
And catch a glimpse of her angel eyes

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Mergers are in the air

A vain attempt to cure myself from a severe attack of "writers block"...

Dear Madam,
I do not know whether the thought ever crossed your mind, but I have considered the possibilities of a merger of our business ventures. I have made the following observations as a result of a brief study of our businesses. Of course it is impossible to conclude on the probability of a successful merger based on the facts at hand. I will place these facts before you anyway, so that you too may consider the propositions that would help you make an informed decision.
Based on current market statistics, you cost my mind one thought every six and a half minutes. The figures also show that I earn one blissful dream of you every 3 nights on average. But you also cause me additional risks, because I find that I am 60% more likely now than before to meet with an accident while I am driving, as a result of thinking about you instead of concentrating on the road. To balance that risk, I will have to spend an additional fifteen Dollars per month on insurance – which I cannot afford. I admit that you have increased the number of “ecstatic” days in my life by 7%, but on the other hand, you have also increased the number of anxious days by 54%, so it is actually a net loss of 51% in the number of dull and uneventful days in my life – and I am still unable to decide whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.
My intuition predicts that a merger will increase thoughts of you up to a thought every 3 minutes and reduce the returns on dreams as real life will actually be better than my dreams. The new business opportunities that will be created, such as; having someone to hold, someone to be with and talk to, someone to share the deepest secrets with and someone who will always be there for me and vice-versa also look promising. My business has undergone structural changes in preparation for major developments in the market as I have successfully finished my studies. I am now in the process of preparing myself for a challenging climb up the “corporate ladder”. I understand that your circumstances may be different, but I am confident that you are an accomplished individual who has a good grasp of the daily complexities of life. The only significant risk I foresee is the geographical separation of our operations at the moment. Even though I have sufficient expertise in designing Information Communication Technology solutions to such business problems, my assessment of the current situation is that it would be best to take the time to understand each other’s business operations in depth and develop a healthy level of trust and reliance on each other before we commit to a formal merger. This will also give us enough time to plan on how we could overcome the geographical barriers and build a healthy partnership. I would be much obliged if you could also do a similar pre-assessment of the threat matrix of a possible merger and analyse the results.
A merger will demand substantial investments from both of us mostly aimed at long-term returns. I still have very little business intelligence on your business plans and strategies, and therefore I am still unable to decide whether it is safe to merge our resources and risk the stable operation of our individual businesses. I also need to complete an assessment of the tax environment – but the ultimate decision on whether we would get any tax exemptions in the future lies entirely in our hands. I acknowledge that a merger is partly about taking calculated risks in good faith. I can assure you that I will focus all my resources on the success of our merger – should we decide to have one – as the rate of our individual growth has peaked and a merger holds exciting prospects for further growth.
In the event of a merger, we both need to decide what sort of capital investment is needed before we can begin operations. We also need a basic estimate of how long it will take us to break-even and start making profits. Most importantly, we have to commission a thorough study of the ongoing operational costs and additional capital investments that are needed to keep the business profitable.
Having considered the facts so far, I am confident that a merger will be mutually rewarding and very profitable for both of us. I am confident that it will be the best business decision we will ever take in our lives, provided that we streamline the management process, reduce costs, ensure employee satisfaction and adopt sound business ethics and best practises. With the hope that you too will carry out your assessment on the matter with "objective optimism" (that's not an oxymoron), I remain,
Faithfully yours

Thursday, September 28, 2006

In your name

Lord you have bestowed
More blessings on me than I can bear
You have crowned me with glory
Let the dew of humility seep through me
And nourish my soul
Shield me from the winds of pride
As it may dance with me today
Let it not strain my roots
Or shake my firm grip on the Earth
As it carries my fragrance with it
Let it not drain my heart of its gentleness
For the winds dry and burn moist buds
And remove their fiery petals
From their clinging to your soul
But let me sing and dance in the sun
For you have given me mush reason
Yet I am still a little bud
A helpless speck in your garden
Still waiting to blossom
Waiting for a fleeting dream to come true
Let me share the labour of my roots
With the bees and your whole creation
Let me find in the barren soil and dry air
The ingredients of pure sweetness
And dispense your perfume to the world
That I may glorify my creator
Through eternity

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Carve your finest rhymes in me

O angel of my fleeting dreams
Carve your finest verse in my lowly heart
Labour not on pillars of stones
For they erode away and gather moss
And the hardest iron rust away in the rain
Even the pages of time will run out one day
But carve your rhymes with the chisel of love
With those delicate little hands of yours
On this lone and pensive heart of mine
I shall bear the bleeding and pain with joy
And my soul shall carry your words
Beyond the realm of eternity
Stash your tools and rest
In the secret chamber of my heart
There is a peaceful dwelling place
That I have furnished with the finest dreams
And etched on the walls is a secret wish
That you too may dwell there eternally

A torch of silence

Dark and silent night
Embrace me like you have always done
Even when my heart had been forsaken
You kept me warm and tucked
Under the mist of your silence
The countless stars kept me company
As we sang and danced
And shared each other's secrets

You light up my world
Sometimes with moonlight
Sometimes with a lone firefly
And at times with lightning from the sky
The music of falling rain drops
Still echo in my ears

You still greet me with the cool breeze
And I welcome you with a smile
For you know my hearts desires
I borrow my dreams from you
And you bless me with peaceful solitude

Tonight she is in my dreams again
But my thoughts are lost
A heart that floated freely among the stars
Is trapped and lost blissfully in another

Let me not leave your bosom of dreams
You have been my dearest friend
Through the tufts and trenches of life
The hours I spent with you on a rooftop
Drenched in rain
Watching light streaks bolt from the sky
And listening to the ensuing thunder
Those days are still etched in my memory
Like little diamonds on a necklace

Teach me now, the meaning of silence
The noise of the day has deafened me
And drained my ears of sweeter music
Nourish my soul with your words
And take me to God in a silent prayer
Let me be your offering
Burning like a candle at God's feet
And I will be the prayer
On your silent lips

I want to see through your darkness
Let me never despised it
For it explains to me the mysteries
That my eyes cannot see
And my heart cannot grasp

Then, lend me your dreams once more
Even for a fleeting moment
I have no dreams of my own, but hope
That I may wake up once again
Through this enchanted silence
With an eternal smile in my lips
And an angel in my heart

Monday, September 25, 2006

Arundhati Roy - We

This is a 'must see' 64 minute documentary. I have not verified any of these facts myself, so I don’t know how much of it to trust. And I also found that even though the celebrated writer claims in her speech that it is not her intention to attack anyone or cause anger, the message ends up doing just that. I find it hard to decide whether it can still be justified or not.

But if any of you thought that “God of small things” was a treat to read, try and get hold of her political writings. If you have any interest in political science or law, you are bound to feast on them… if you don't have an interest in politics or law, reading those articles will convert you! (Do a Google search for “Friends of river narmada” or vist this page for a glimpse)

Stars don't lie

My heart beats faster
I feel the acceleration
And the exhilaration
Of a moment shared
Thoughts borrowed from each other
And returned with love

The wind blows across the seas
Carrying loads of promises
And blessings not prayed for
The stars twinkle with delight
And I dance through a cold night
With absurdly beautiful thoughts

There’s nothing rational about this
Reason has been overpowered
By intuition and wild feelings
I think I know, but I don’t
I think it is, but it may not be
But I feel this is

Soft spring raindrops kiss my face
The new moon with its wide grin
Is smiling down on me
As I loose myself in a dream
I may no longer lie among the stars
Though I know not whether I have
Found a place in her heart

I will dream for another day
Let hope flourish
And carry me above the clouds
Even if it means that I will fall again
From the skies to a cold hard ground
And break my heart
Because pain
No matter how unbearable
Is a little price to pay

And the sweetest songs spring up
To engulf me in their mirth
And their sweet melodies will echo
Forever in my heart

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Recursive reality

A Soldier marches towards the setting sun
His short hair firmly gripping a slanted beret
Turning his head away from the path ahead
Towards another, at a single command
Yet his feet carry him onwards to destiny
Holding the dead metal of fire bolts
Close to a heart that is full of passion
He grips death with the same hands
That once cuddled the innocence of new life
The camouflage cannot hide
His love for the land and its people
And the future of his own children
That he has vowed to protect with his life

A nation sleeps in blissful ignorance
As the land drips with blood of her children
Neither the people nor their leaders know
That liberty has kidnapped innocent lives
And held them hostage for a ransom of freedom
Justice is imprisoned behind bars of betrayal
While dignity cries out to a host of deaf ears
Battles still rage in entrenched minds
Their dreams bordered by battlefields
Thoughts haunted by memories
Full of images from the depth of human cruelty
Ideology had extorted a heavy price
Even from the liberated minds

The powerful and the helpless join together
Like a holy union of love and hatred
The righteous and the immoral hold hands
As they march for peace with even steps
Amidst the chaos and struggles of daily life
Their's is an unceasing battle to comprehend
That war and peace are merely instruments
Of the many manifestations of human nature
Both bearing stories about the human capacity
For love and violence beyond description
The soldier returns home to his family
A hero, draped in a revered flag
His life is handed over to the loving memory
Of a weeping and forgetful nation
As another marches towards the setting sun
His short hair firmly gripping a slanted beret
With his head turned away from his destination
And his hands gripping a helpless gun


I am forced by a heart’s longing
To fill the clear blue skies
With rhymes of a distant angel
And her dark piercing eyes
Yet, I cannot yield to cravings
In fear that I may expose
The deepest of all my secrets
In the verse that I compose

Friday, September 22, 2006


This is a tribute to my first teacher at Trinity College, for all that she has done, who she was and what she stood for. May her soul find peaceful rest with God.

Twenty years have whistled past since the first day I walked into Trinity. Hardly six years old then, I have very few memories of that first fretful year in school. Apart from the fact that I was in Mrs. Weerakoon's class, there are a few incidents that I can recall in great detail. Still the reason why those memories and their little lessons have been engraved so deeply in my mind so clearly does not amaze me anymore. When I left Trinity fourteen years later, Mrs. Weerakoon had finished her Earthly race. I missed her very much, for as she had greeted me with that memorable warm smile on that very first day in school, she has been an inspiration ever since.

As many six year olds would be, my parents and grand parents were the only people I was intimately attached to. However, as embarrassing as it was then, I remember running up to her on many occasions, calling out "Ammi" or "Achchi". That is probably how close she was to me and possibly to all those who were entrusted to her care for the brief first year in school, throughout the decades that she served Trinity with love and devotion.

My family and I still remember the day she visited me at home, when I had fractured my leg in a car accident. For all such memories we will for ever be grateful. The memory of Mrs. Weerakoon and the way she touched their lives is still alive in many generations of Trinitians. The kindness and sincerity with which she embraced them have since found its place among the many legends that echo in the halls of Trinity.

Her passing away came as a great shock even to those who knew what she was going through. Her last message to all Trinitians was read out by her daughter a few months later at a memorial service held in the College Chapel. It was a request for "Every Trinitian to give back Trinity, at least a fraction of what Trinity had given them" These words have mingled with the beat of our hearts ever since and made us realize that when great men and women are lost, their legends inspire others to rise up and carry the world forward. The legend of Mrs. Cynthia Weerakoon will live on and inspire many.

When angels walk among us
Without the floor touching their heel
And when they stoop to bless us
So gently that we don't feel
We often fail to realize
That we still feel their loving care
Even after they have left our midst
Like the light of a long dead star

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


When I roam the great mountains
Above a silent lake
Memories of a wondrous boyhood
From their silent rest awake
I walk through granite pillars
And sit by the quiet pond
To live through that old enchantment
And unyielding bond

  The wind blows silent voices
  Of old friends I cannot see
  But the heart of a youthful lion
  Still beats in me

I learnt from ageless traditions
To tread the rightful way
And lessons of timeless meaning
In the fields of joyous play
My mind, body and spirit
Will sing this unending song
Of memories confined in the past
And legends bygone

I crossed the great wide oceans
On changing winds of time
Her honour I held within me
Preserved in a gist sublime
The continents shall echo
With roars and zealous rhymes
When I look with cheerful yearning
To the end of times

Monday, September 18, 2006

On a dreamy night

A poet writes the song of his heart
Among the stars, on a dreamy night
Sculpting his deepest desires
The most private of his emotions
And his secret thoughts
With mere words
Then he blows them away
To the wind
Fragments of his soul
Floating like red autumn leaves
They lie naked on the ground
Ignored by passers by
Trampled by strangers
Decaying into the ground
Giving back to mother Earth
What was borrowed from her memories
Paying back the due price
Of his sweetest dreams
The winter’s cold shall preserve their life
Until they are picked up with a gentle touch
By their rightful heir
Her curls will be adorned by buds of spring
The warmth of her heart
Will melt the mountain snow
In those bright eyes
She’ll carry the summer sun
That will shine in the sparkling streams
And beam a warm smile
On a little corner of the world
When she traces the path of autumn leaves
Along the stars, to that dreamy night

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Let me hold you in my heart tonight
Do not be afraid
I will embrace you with reverence
Delicately with my love

Let me sing you a song, softly to your ears
Do not walk away
I will be your warmth and shield you
From the cold winds

Let me dive into the depth of your eyes
Do not blink
Until I have replaced all your tears
With light and bright smiles

Let me take your hands in mine to dance
Do not look away
I will waltz with you through the night
On a cloud, among the stars

Let me hide these rhymes from memory now
Do not ask me why
I will keep them hidden in a corner of my heart
Until you stumble on them

Friday, September 15, 2006

These days...

Spring is in full bloom, so it's nice...
Bright 20 *C days...
Cool winds...
A call from home...
Sharing a laugh with friends...
Looking forward to tomorrow...
Morning mist...
A smile in my heart...
Enough songs to sing in the shower...
A guitar with a broken string...
Quiet jogs along a stream in the afternoons...
A bowl of biscuit pudding in the fridge...
Lying on a tuft in the middle of a park, gazing at the stars on clear nights...
Frankly, I couldn't ask for more...
Maybe except for the touch of a loved one, or at least a 'Golden retriever' or 'German shepherd' for faithful company...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Listen to the wind...

I think I heard you
Whisper a little secret
Softly, to my heart
I can’t sit still anymore
Listening to the wind
Or gaze silently at stars
For you are with me
I dance with you in my dreams
Hold you in my thoughts
I sense your heart beat in mine
And suffer your qualms
Distance may separate us
Yet I feel your pulse
I wonder if you feel mine
Trapped in our corners
Of a small and startling world
We remain strangers
Often afraid to reach out
Fearing the unknown
I clutch my heart in caution
My desires contained
But light entrapped in my heart
Escapes though the eyes
Each day brings new promises
More reasons to smile
Blessings I have not prayed for
And then I wonder
Why stars burn so brightly now
Than they did before
My guitar strings are broken
Yet I sing in bliss
Is it you who filled my heart
And life with purpose?
I will wait here patiently
And sing with the birds
Until our hearts are furnished
Then I’ll run to you
To take your hand and whisper
My heart’s secret wish

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Fearing the unknown
We clutch our hearts in caution
Our desires contained

Qualms sometimes blind us
But light entrapped in our hearts
Escape though the eyes

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Hear the distant cheer

Today is a big day. You know it better than me. But it's a big day for me, as much as it is for you. I have stood in the stands and cheered my friends in our days when they donned the red-white jerseys and the red-gold-blue jerseys. I am sure you realise that every Trinitian has an embedded memory that he holds with reverence – of the men who wore those jerseys before them with pride and honour. That is why we honour the jersey so much. I cheered my friends with that same pride, of which I was once a shareholder, when I was in school.
But today is different. Though many thousand miles away, I will no longer be a spectator in the stands, because I will be with you on the field in spirit. We are bound by blood – by the bond of brotherhood… and in you, a part of me will take the field. You will be wearing a jersey that I could only dream of. In fact, today you are living a dream that many generations of Trinitians would sacrifice anything to be a part of. Take the time to feel the glory of the moment, but let it not engulf you. You are its guardian and keeper. You are also its master; not its slave.
From the day you first played for college, I suppose I have been your biggest fan. But I am yet to see you take the field as the oceans have separated me ever since. We may have planted the seeds of high expectations in you, but you nurtured them with your hard-work and sacrifice. Today the first buds of pride will blossom on its branches.
I must tell you how proud I am of you. Whether you sit on the bench or dash through the field, I will be there in spirit cheering you on… I will take those tackles with you… I will run with you towards the goal line. If you see a tear in my eyes, rest assured that they are tears of pride.
Today and the next two weeks belong to you. You are a shining star of a humble family and also of one of the greatest institutions in the land. Uphold the spirit of Trinity and of your family and everything else you represent, with courage and honour. Remember though that this is only the beginning… the first of many great journeys and memorable times. There is still a long way to go and many more challenges to overcome… and I will be with you cheering you on through every one of them…
Respice Finem!

Friday, September 08, 2006


A bright moon shines down through the clouds, but the stars are hidden behind the haze. Tonight, I do not expect to dream of you descending from the skies and walking straight into my heart. I am not strong enough even to dream of holding your hand in mine or sharing a secret with you. But I will wear this smile in my heart through the night... I will carry this smile in my eyes and on my lips... because it would suffice, just to see you smile back.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Cast me out of 'the realm of desparation'

Dear visitors of,
I am writing to you in embarrassment and modest discomfort. I have found to my utter disappointment, that the “WriteClique Top 10” is quite vulnerable to abuse and misuse by egocentric wanna-be writers who crave to have their 15 seconds of fame by voting themselves into it. That is why it disturbs me to see three of my own pieces on the list. I feel uneasy about it because it casts a light of egocentricity and narcissism on my own personality – which I despise. I know it is a sad day when a person has to say this, but I would be most grateful to anyone who would be so kind as to vote me out of the Top 10.
Thank you ‘muchly’!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Blind heart

I reach out
Like a blind man
Over the boundaries
Of propriety
I feel at my fingertips
A promise
An everlasting smile
A brilliant mind
That I could engage
And a heart
That I could indulge
Perhaps it is an illusion
My mind’s imagination
Of the unimaginable
Because I only hear
My own heart beat
Over the terrifying silence
There’s nobody else here
Only a happy tune
That seeps through my heart
Forming a tenor hum
Then the soul retreats
To its hiding place
Between the wrinkles
Of time

Monday, September 04, 2006

My secret wish

A couple of weeks ago, I was lying on a tuft in the park well after sunset and gazing at the stars. I lay on the wet grass for a few hours waiting to see a shooting star, so that I could make a secret wish before trotting back to a thesis that was nearing completion. The shooting star never came. I pleaded with God, but to no avail. A silent voice inside me said “come here tomorrow and you will find your shooting star”.
I couldn’t make the appointment the following day as I spent my afternoons typing into a lifeless keyboard that filled up a thesis with words and images of my thoughts, creations and reading. So it was only after submitting the thesis last Thursday that I had a chance to jog back to the little tuft, to watch the stars and (almost-half) moon. No sooner than I had laid down on the wet grass, a streak of light that appeared at the corner of my eye, made its way across the sky before burning up… my shooting star... a meteor... a magic ‘make-your-wishes-come-true’ machine... or just a figment of my imagination?
I made my secret wish and trotted back home with a smile in my heart.

Saturday, September 02, 2006


I am a tree in the evergreen forests
Standing tall on a green mountainside
To the wind I whisper sweet secrets
And stretch my branches with pride

With my canopy I guard a little corner
Of mother Earth I grip deep and wide
She taught me we are all her children
No matter if we crawl, walk or glide

I wake with the birds every morning
Holding their nests on my twiggy maze
Then I sip the dew from green petals
As the sun lifts my blanket of haze

An army of ants pay their homage
From a secret colony I cannot trace
Monkeys climb up and embrace me
And at my feet the dear would graze

Long I have befriended the mountain
We have shared both smiles and tears
I look down at the valley below us
With memories of a thousand years

I have grown with the sun and showers
And with ardour I have played my part
Now I await my crowning glory
Of a goddess enthroned in my heart

Sunday, August 27, 2006


When thoughts are held back
And our feelings encrypted
The secrets spill out

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Now I fall asleep
Knowing life could be even
Better than my dreams

I wrote you a song
And sang it into the wind
Like a secret wish

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Thank you

A gift is by far
Reflective of the giver
Than the receiver


Across the oceans you lie
Beyond my grasp
In this small world
Separated by a thin veil
Of unfamiliarity
Perhaps you are awake
Or dreaming
In peaceful slumber
I imagine
But I may never know
Unless you tell me now
Like you did once
On a day like this
Then I would know
That you know
What I have only suspected
Until now

Monday, August 21, 2006

Answer me...

Just before twilight in the eastern sky
I was walking back to my humble abode
All night I had made my computer fly
With simulations that ran on obscure code
A crescent moon floated over the trees
Hung like a hammock with a heavy load
Heaven was abuzz with stars like bees
And the soft moonlight shone on the road

Though for a moment I savoured the sight
A scene of such pure and reticent splendour
I didn’t know whether my mind had might
To my heart’s queries, any answers render
We know so little yet we know so much
But when in doubt, do we bow and surrender?
Doubting what we cannot see or touch;
Why should we rebuke what's true and tender?

Friday, August 18, 2006

While working on my Thesis...

Tonight I shall not write any verses
But complete these darn simulations
To break out of this spell and curses
Infested with intellectual tribulations
The past week has seen me progress
Thanks to some inspiring revelations
But I must maintain the momentum
Without seeking garrulous adulations
In the next two weeks I must focus
And on studies make a full application
The sure flow of time could engulf me
So I can't leave room for lamentation
When I am tempted to inscribe verses
I will somehow resist those temptations
Until irony of this very verse haunts me
And wreck my thought in its foundations

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I lay on wet grass
Waiting for a shooting star
To wish you were mine

Will you write to me?
I will write back like always

My Island

I was born by the mighty riverside
By the garden of orchid blooms
And grew up at the foot of a mountain
Near a lake dressed in misty looms

I danced in the monsoon showers
And played with the wind and sun
The mountain would hug and kiss me
Whenever to its rocky bosom I run

A silent city in the valley below
Its streets full of smiling faces
Hustling with unassuming romance;
Made memories with eternal traces

I dream of the grand old chapel
That floats on tall granite towers
Her walls draping with the murals
Of humanity and its divine powers

Fond memories of a magical childhood
That taught us of happiness and strife
It would make from total strangers
An abundance of good friends for life

Leaving my home in the mountains
I flew across the oceans with pride
To learn lessons that made me discover
Wonderful secrets with every stride

Yet my spirit still lingers in paradise
With the smiles that I left behind
In my dreams I cross the oceans
Hidden memories in time to find

Now dreams are drowned by bugles
Great rivers are swelling with tears
The distant rhythms of a war march
Had traded those smiles for old fears

My mind was suppressed by a helmet
Free thoughts held back in behest
They said my heart won’t be broken
As it was protected by a Kevlar vest

My comrades and friends lay dying
But a qualm their minds would smother
The land for which they had died for
Was it the lap of their weeping mother?

The moon made a wish for our nation
That fell from the sky like a star
A white dove flew in from the horizon
And we celebrated the end of a war

Monday, August 14, 2006

Hidden Art

That's me peeping in from the edge. Cloudless days such as this one are not rare during springtime here in Melbourne. This was taken in 2004 when Buths, Praveen and I made a pilgrimage to Phillip Island to see the Penguins there. Praveen took this picture. He didn't mean to take this picture. It was an accident... an honest mistake. Yet, it is arguably the closest encounter he has had with 'Art' in his entire life. So it was a nice accident. Only he doesn't think it is. How sad!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A wonderer’s song

She sends me kisses with rain drops
That land on my lips from the skies
The wind blows a silent promise
That my heart stole from her eyes
I sing with the birds every morning
And hear the echo of her sweet voice
But I wonder the earth without her
So for now a dream would suffice
Every little molecule that greets me
Is a pledge of a delightful surprise
I still remain hungry and foolish
Perhaps love will make me wise

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I thought about you

When the tea bags danced
In my brown mug
With blistering water;
And a noisy choir of birds
Sang their morning songs outside my window...
I thought about you.

When I stepped into the sun
On this glorious spring day,
The mild warmth of sunshine
And a cold wind greeted me.
As I zipped up my jacket and welcomed the day...
I thought about you.

When a glowing moon
Shot up before dusk
From a purple horizon;
Like a fire cracker,
Waiting to explode into a million stars...
I thought about you.

I may have dreamt,
Of those long dark curls
And sharp bright eyes.
So I pause and think.
I feel I do, but my mind still doesn’t know why...
I thought about you.

Do you think we will be
Unfortunate or sad
If we never even meet?
We are strangers still;
So I don’t know how you’d feel if you knew that...
I thought about you

Monday, August 07, 2006

This minute

(Under construction - Cousins working on site. Please wear protective gear. Do not trespass.)

By Namali Premawardhana & Harendra Alwis

A minute in the life of a lonely boy
Sixty seconds of agony
Do you call it a waste of time?
Can you honestly call it a waste of time?
When sixty seconds of agony
Just pass him by

A minute in the life of a lonely girl
Sixty seconds of pain
Do you call it a waste of time?
Can you honestly call it a waste of time?
When sixty seconds of pain
Just pass her by

Each minute is a treasure worth a thousand smiles
Don't spend them on tears or worthless sighs
Open your heart
Spread your wings and fly
This minute is precious
This is your life

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Betrayed (Dedicated to the smartest 11 year-old I know)

Two lives that bore another
Sleep in two distant corners
Of a remorseless world
The little nest they built
Once held together by love
And promise
Is now fractured by memories
Half truths and lies
And betrayals
Of yesterday

Their little boy
Is tucked under a blanket
Of a dark experience
He sleeps
In a forsaken Palace
Trying to hold on
To receding dreams
The only glow in his world
Is the dim starlight

He struggles to understand
How those who loved him
And he loved so dearly
Could let him down
And take away his childhood
He will have to learn again
To trust
The love of another person
And to bear the pain
That love alone can cause
In its absence

People he once loved
Commands him
To have more faith
And hope
But each rising sun
Is a test that he must pass
To survive in a world
More cruel and unforgiving
Than those who stole the smile
He always wore on his face

He wakes up
To endure another day
To win the small battles
That life has arranged for him
To fill empty minutes
At school
With friends
In the playgrounds
Along dusty streets
And long winding roads
Of time

Sometimes he sings
A soft happy tune
From a happier time
He pretends and acts
But he cannot find the script
Of this drama
That he is acting in now
The scenes roll on
But there are no awards or medals
For the best actors and actresses

He can no longer notice
Or smell the sweetness
Of flowers in his own garden
Because winds carry the stench
Of rotting garbage dumps
That a wasted city
Has thrown by the roadside
He bravely blows away
Painful memories into the breeze
But also looses his grip
On happier ones

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Beautiful stranger

I do not know what made me write
An unsigned verse to a charming dame
She replied before the dawning twilight
With adorable rhymes; mine seemed lame
She said, my words had made her day
And gently asked if I would reveal my name
I was trying to keep my thoughts at bay
Maybe she thought I was playing a game
I was nervous because I felt she might
Think I was pursuing pander and fame
My conscience raging; I was trying to fight
But my heart had already accepted the blame
I took off the mask that concealed my face
In truth and honesty I could see no shame
I pledged my amity and honoured her grace
It pleased my scruples, my mind was tame.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


On a mid winters' day in July 2006...

I came home from church in the morning and walked to my office at the university under a cloudless sky. Fresh shoots and buds are peeping out of their hiding in barren branches in the vain hope of an early spring. The day is bright, but the winds carry winter's chill. The sun beams a mild warm grin on the southern hemisphere and my heart remains lost in thoughts and dreams... of you.

I do not know where you are, yet I know that every day and every step I take brings me closer to you. Each battle I fight is fuelled by the promise of you and your warm and comforting embrace. I try to imagine the sound of your voice and to hear you whisper in my ear... and sometimes I almost do! I hope to catch the smell of your hair in my breath, though often I fail. In my dreams I see your lips curved in a half smile... and I smile back. The depth of your eyes stirs me in the depth of my soul. Your gaze makes me shudder. I crave to be in your dreams. Tonight you will probably be in mine. In you I shall find the reasons for my existence. Every time I watch the stars and moon, I wonder whether you are looking at them too. I thank the sun every day for keeping you warm in your own corner of the world. Thoughts of you keep me warm, as I wait for you patiently in my corner of the world. One day, our corners will merge... and become whole. I think of you whenever I hum a beautiful tune to myself, with each verse I write and with every jab of my guitar. I cannot see you or feel your touch, but I live in hope. The strength it gives me knows no failing. I miss you. I miss you most in the height of my happiness and in the depth of my sorrow. I preserve those moments so that I could share them with you one day. I remember you when I am afraid or tempted; then I am redeemed. I do not know why I put all my faith in you; when I do not even know who you are. I am awed by how you inspire me merely by the promise of your existence. The promise of you inspire me to be a better man... for you.

No matter where you are or what you are doing right now, I want you to know that I love you. I love you more than my heart and mind and soul could express. I have loved you from the beginning of time; and I will love you forevermore.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

A sailor's quest

A lone ship drifting far out in the ocean
Led by a sailor with unyielding devotion
Sailing away from his golden beach
To an unseen port he is destined to reach
Guided by the stars at night in its course
The wind on his sails are his friends and foes
Braving the storms that others would dread
He sails with his eyes looking firmly ahead
At times he drifts with the ocean currents
Battered by the wind and harmful torrents
Trusting the compass of a perceptive mind
The path of his vessel he has clearly defined
The sea has proved that his spirit is fit
And the harrow of time has calmed his wit
But beacons of light in the distant shore
Tests his patience and burgeoning lore
The ocean in its grand and lonely expanse
His exhausted heart, it often would lance
But the hand of his captain on his shoulders rest
Though invisible they guide him in his daily quest

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Our lantern white...

A lone white lantern dangles in the air
Lit by a candle burning bright and bare
A heart is dreaming about a maiden fair
Her startling smile and glazy eyed stare

Four hands did make the lantern white
As two hearts danced in blissful height
One flirting look and a mocking fight
Mixed in laughter made a frendship tight

The lone white lantern; in the wind it trills
Its light spilling out through naked frills
The lantern and candle in their daily drills
Lights their hearts with smiles and thrills

(Choose your own ending)

A gust blew the candle dim and dark
Hearts had lost their dreams and spark
The hull of a lantern; now merely a bark
Dangles in the corner of a forgotten park


Dancing in the wind our lantern white
Inspiring, uplifting and burning so bright
May eyes that behold this glorious sight
Light up and share love’s blissful flight

Saturday, May 27, 2006

A scientific explanation about how I feel

I was surprised... of course it was a pleasant surprise; when my favourite poem made it to the WriteClique Top 10.

"When the wind blows" was written on a cold, cloudy and lonely day in Kandy. It was a time when I had much to look forward to and much that I had to leave behind. But what makes this special was the fact that it did not start off like any other poem. It actually started off as an equation on a torn piece of paper... an equation that I tried to solve by referring my physics books about "ideal gas law" and later even "quantum theory"!!! As a gust of wind swept past me, I was trying to calculate how many of those air molecules that brushed against me and I breathed in would actually have brushed against and have been breathed in by an 'angelic figure' that lived a few miles away and occupied my thoughts day and night...

We are ourselves made up of a countless number of atoms that make up complex molecules. We are also surrounded by so many molecules and atoms that the actual numbers border the outer limits of human imagination. Each glass of water that we drink – at least mathematically – should contain thousands of water molecules that have passed through the body of Jesus over 2000 years ago and each second, we are bombarded with perhaps millions of the very air molecules that would have bombarded the skin and lung tissues of our first ancestors, the dinosaurs and sabre toothed tigers. Some of those molecules would have also been breathed in by a most wanted terrorist leader only a couple of days ago!

From a scientific perspective, it should be possible to calculate the probability that a Nitrogen molecule that hits your skin at a given moment could have touched the skin of any living person or historical figure, but this involves many variables – the values of which cannot yet be accurately determined. For example; for two people standing close together, the probability of one air molecule hitting both persons within a time frame should be higher than if they were miles apart right? According to classical physics this should be the case but according to quantum theory, the distance between the two people may not even matter. In the same way, for simple calculations, one has to assume that all the air in the atmosphere is evenly mixed – or at least that all the air gets evenly mixed within – say for example – a thousand years. Still there is no way of finding out for sure how long it takes for the air in the atmosphere to mix evenly – and whether all the air molecules that you breathed in today would not be swept away to the north by monsoon winds and remain in the northern hemisphere for the next 200 years; in which case an air molecule that touched you would not touch someone in Australia until two centuries have passed! In that case, a person in the north may have a higher probability than a person in the south; of encountering an air-molecule that you have breathed.

The problem is further compounded by the different elements and their unique properties. Most of the oxygen molecules you breathed in last year may no longer exist as oxygen molecules. Their atoms would have split and joined up with other elements to form different molecules. Some of those atoms could be attached to two more hydrogen atoms and turned into water which could be in the air as water vapour – or flowing in a river or frozen on a mountain ice-cap or a glacier or most likely in the sea. The carbon from the carbon dioxide molecules that you breathed out last year are likely to be deposited in trees as carbohydrates or proteins making up the tree’s leaves, bark or fruits. The nitrogen molecules are the most likely to be around as they were – even though some of them would surely have been transformed into nitrates under the intense heat of a lightening strike and dissolved with the rain. There would have been molecules of other gasses that you would have breathed that are still around, but they would constitute only a small fraction.

Even though scientific investigation has uncovered some of the secrets of nature, we do not yet know the exact numbers and we are not sure of the exact quantities and the rate of these changes to be able to make our calculations with precision. Quantum mechanics shed new light on this problem yet it also compounds the solution by many degrees simply because our understanding of the universe is barely enough to even scratch the face of its most glorious secrets.

Yet the mind continues to probe into these countless mysteries and venture beyond imagination into the limits of time and space as the heart revels in its mystery and tries only to grasp what it deems to be meaningful. Would I bother with these calculations if not for the fact that I found meaning in its solution; beyond its mere numbers? Would I have cared to even think about it if I had not been so hopelessly infatuated?

Science opens up new and wonderful spectrum of thoughts about life itself, but the equations of life are more complex than those in a physics or chemistry book. The scientific method leads us in exploring the world around us and perhaps even the world within, yet exploration does not guarantee answers – but an experience and a better understanding. Each dawning day present more challenges than the bounds of the most intricate science book and science is yet unable to explain or define the beauty of the view from a mountain top. Though the logic and reason of scientific investigation engage our minds, it cannot subdue the heart – which breaks free from its binds and roams in creative imagination. Knowledge empowers us and enlightens the dull mind, but knowledge is made meaningful and beautiful only in its artistic expression through the mysteries of our hearts.

Even though the poem I wrote on that gloomy day has since become my personal favourite, I have still not solved the equation. I believe I am making progress but the solution itself will not matter.