Saturday, September 22, 2007

Our battle...

The most recent highlight of my Facebooking adventure is the group "Unite to Solve the Sri Lankan Conflict". It was a highlight, not only because it was a refreshing drift away from the "Wipe out da LTTE Terrorists by Force" group invitations i've been getting once too often, but also because the group seem to have an intelectually driven discussion about an issue that haunted Srilankans for at least an entire generation and a half.
It is heartening to see that we as a generation realise and accept the responsibility we bare to correct and compensate for the errors of the past that we have unwittingly inherited. I have no doubt that collectively, we have the talents, resources and intellectual capacity required to carry out this undertaking and at least a few of us also share the will and resolve to commit ourselves to that cause. It serves us less however, to drown in self-congratulation, but to look inwards at ourselves and realise our own weaknesses and the numerous other challenges we face en route to this “common goal”.
We as a generation has grown up, taking many cultural and ethnic divisions for granted – in a society that – throughout our formative years – have not only justified but endorsed violence based on those differences. Most of us have only known a society that draws clear and impassable borders around these differences and therefore take them for granted – perpetuating the divisions that plague us as a nation. Perhaps the biggest challenge we may face as a generation will be to make that leap of the imagination that is necessary to break free of dogma and falsities that we have inherited through two millennia of cultural evolution and forge a new road towards truth and social enlightenment. For this common goal of justice, peace, prosperity and unity are only the by-products of a collective pursuit of truth and an intellectual bias towards broad understanding instead of narrow judgement.

Monday, September 03, 2007


"Your writing is getting political" commented one of my friends in an inquisitive tone. "Is that an accusation or just an insult?" I asked her jokingly. "Neither" she shrugged, "you should write about what matters to you, what’s close to your heart." I wanted to disagree, to make a counterpoint which would have led to another interesting discourse, but for once I couldn’t. It made me think more deeply about what I write and why.

I suppose as a writer, I have made the mistake of thinking that writing was an outlet for the thoughts and feelings raging in my heart and mind. I thought of writing as a mode of expression and a way of shouting out my silent thoughts at a noisy and sometimes deserted street corner. I found my rewards whenever my words caused a ray of laughter, or a heart to warm.

But i no longer think of writing as just an expression of ideas or feelings. It is an exploration of how I relate to the world, the universe, to trees and wild flowers, to individuals and nations. In a string of carelessly punctuated words that seems an expression of intimacy, satire or political activism, the writer in me finds a seamless connection, between different elements in me and in the world i live in, the common elements that make up love and politics, raindrops and war. They sketch out a pattern... about how I relate to the world... and to life.