Life has become a pattern, sleepless nights, sleepy days, and long chats that go pass bed times.. books that wait, UN resolutions to be memorised, and answers that are sought..Life, love and loss, coming together in a monotonous thread, that weaves the same patterns on a tapestry that would never be sold or seen, just to be stuck in a head that has no solace or sleep.
“So I hear you threatened to kill him” he says.
I go “what the fuck” in my head. Why the hell would I threaten to kill an idiot, who is not even worth the effort.
I tell him, “ if I intend to kill someone I would not go around threatening them in advance.”
I mean isn’t it like the stupidest thing one could ever do? If I were serious about killing someone, I might as well keep my mouth shut, so as not to have intention for the crime present. If I were to go around claiming I would kill the individual, I am merely going to bust my own defense. One should think crime and criminal law together, at least me thinks.
“ So are you thinking of killing me too?” he asks. (I be very clueless as to where that question came from, maybe he thought I was a serial killer or something.)
My reply “well if I were to kill you, you will not know of it, till you are dead. Like I mentioned before, for death that materialises, threats will not be present!”
I think for once, I shocked the man! Success!
It’s funny how lot of people have a habit of making a sexual connotation in order to add humour to the conversation they have with another. I, while appreciating humour, do not condone the irrelevant mentioning of some word that has a sexual innuendo that goes rhyming with the word that I would have mentioned. However it seems that many of us seem to find such use to be “funny”. Call me puritanical if you mayst, which I certainly am not, it’s just that I find it plain weird to witness the habit of people to include sex in every line they speak, and at times, be offensive as well in what they say, without much hesitation over their utterances.
So while being quite open to open speech on sex, I still believe that sex should be used in rational speech which makes sense, rather than for innuendos that be crude, and make no sense.
PS. And no I am not writing about you 😛
I was seated waiting for my number to be called at the doctor when through the slightly open door of the gynaecologist in the other room, I could see two patients at the table talking to him. One an elderly woman of around 50yrs of age, while the other possibly in her early 20s or not yet out of school. In boredom I drifted off to a hypothesis and possibilities of their identities.
In my head the elderly woman was the mum, and the other of course her daughter, and the doctor was in his serious mood, a rare occurrence I presumed. The story in my head weaves as I wait, the nurse been asked to step out while the conversation goes on, awaits its end, with an expression of sullen annoyance on. After a good half an hour the two step out, and the mum instructs the girl to worship the doctor. She still remains annoyed, but looks relieved. The girl coming out, seems happy, and sans scruples.
As my hypothesis continues, the only explanation I could think of was the possibility of a mum and daughter who had come in search of an abortion, being answered in the positive. Blame me for the twisted creativity of my mind, but in my boredom, waiting in a crowded room filled with sick beings, I preferred my assumption to the possibly contradicting reality of the circumstances. I imagined that one mother and daughter who had come in seek of relief, regarding an unwanted pregnancy had been answered, or given directions as to how they could find their solace without depending on the mercy of a jackass who possibly got the girl pregnant but did not want to man up and accept his kid. I liked to think that the girl who yet didn’t seem to have the capacity to raise a kid on her own, was not to be burdened with her charge, and then in turn was not to end up dragging a kid’s life into misery in the process. I like to think of it all, in my way of thinking. Not because I am not pro life, but because I have seen what women go through in trying to find a way out of a miserable life they might end up in, thanks to morality and laws that would not evolve, while the world around has moved on.
I think of the woman I know who bore a kid from the man who raped her, her brother who took the kid into his family as his to be exposed to the world, so that his sister could continue her studies and have a life. She ended up supporting the kid nevertheless, as he was hers, though the genes of the dad seemed evident, with the kid getting into trouble since his early teens, and turning his back on any form of education attempted to be given to him. Her destiny was decided a good 18 years ago, when she could not ask for an abortion, even while a medical student. May be she was scared, maybe she was in shock, ma be I just do not know what truly went in her mind. But then have things changed much over those years? Though one wishes to answer in the positive, evidence proves otherwise. Asking the question of the possibility of an abortion is enough to cause embarrassment, to be ridiculed, preached and scolded with unsolicited lectures handed over.
I wonder when the world has moved on with the right to choose why we lag behind preaching and making lives miserable for those who cannot but end up turning for illegal abortion options, risking their lives. Why preach when ears are not open to hear, but not help when it is help that be needed? In my hypothesis of what went in that room with a doctor and two women, I gained respect for the man who would have given some hope to those two individuals of a future that was less bleak. Even had he not agreed to perform the task, I still respected the man for asking the nurse to step out and not evesdrop on the conversation which would have been difficult enough to have, and which would have been made more uncomfortable in the presence of a third party.
I respond to my calling, walk in, leaving the slightly open door behind, and with it the rest of my imagination.
I was on a road, somewhere between Kottawa and Piliyandala, when I saw a man running and a vehicle following him. The vehicle stopped and two men jumped off and ran behind the latter, into a by lane into which he had crisscrossed. The first thought that came to mind was that may be the two men were running behind a robber.
A minute or so later, the one who was running for his life was dragged to the main road, another lorry halted and another thuggish man leaping out from it, and the two who ran behind him coming, carrying iron rods. The road was blocked, the traffic had stopped, and my view was covered. All I could assume was that the fat man who ran first, was beaten by the other two fat men who ran behind him.
What do I do? I decide to dial 119, but to be stopped by my mum who states that I have no clue of the situation, that I am carrying a week old baby in my hands, and that I should think twice before taking any action as such, as in the end, in a system which is full of corruption, the person who calls to stop such an incident would be the one at fault and be harassed by the parties involved.
I wonder what has become to the system of law, and order in a country. I have no clue what the man had done, or who he was. Nor did I know who his beaters were. But all I could see was that the people were of a rough nature and the incident was most likely not an isolated one.
The people looked on, they seemed curious, and then the vehicles moved. The man who was beaten was not seen, though the others got into the vehicles and left. I, in the car moved too, while the shock did not go away, and too many questions remained.
Later that night, I in my dilemma ask a certain someone what he would have done had he witnessed the incident. Having first stated that I should have called the police and listened to my explanation as to why it had not materialized, he says“ you should have shouted!” I respond “ how would that have helped?” His reply. “ Well, since you have a big mouth, may be the thugs would have got scared and run off!”
I find it amusing that the man either believes it to be a possibility or finds humour in observing the situation, but cannot help but wonder how a Sri Lankan would react given the circumstance. Would they believe like my mother would do, and not get involved, and watch on like those men on the street would do, or would they intervene and risk their lives to save a man who they have no clue had done what to deserve his plight on that random road.
Whatever be the response, the conclusion I could come up with is that, certain scenes of television or cinema, have today proven to me to be a reality. The question that remains is would playing the hero like in those Tamil or Hindi movies, really save the day, or would the hero end up being the beaten one in real time television that plays in front of our eyes on a daily basis?
“Why you harassing that poor woman?” he asks me.
I end up with 2 questions .
1. Who is the “poor” woman?
2. If there is such a woman, how the hell am I harassing her?
I wanted to tell him, if he is referring to a certain individual, I have no clue as to where that allegation stemmed from, and that I necessarily did not accord the word “poor” to women such as her. If he meant “poor” in the financial sense she seems to be gaining a worthy enough salary. But if he was referring to “poor” in decency and principles, well yea, then I shalt agree to the term.
As for harassing, I am not sure where it can be justified, as she is the one who seems to be harassing others with her lack of discipline and screwing around with any man she could get hold of, and any place that comes to availability.
So please, somebody really needs to get words in order, when they string them together, cz if a woman is jumping into bed with another’s husband, and is addressed “poor” what does the other woman become in return? “rich”?
The LAKBIMAnEWS cartoon on Sunday seemed to have ruffled some feathers. Going by the tweets that were critical of the cartoon, I noticed some card-carrying activists of the anti- Sri Lankan lobby, who may have mistaken LAKBIMAnEWS for one of the Sri Lankan government mouthpieces – which LAKBIMAnEWS is not – and decided to make avail of this opportunity to go for another round of Sri Lanka bashing. That is a sad miscalculation on their part, and they would have known better, if they had happened to go through the editorial content of LAKBIMAnEWS.
To begin with, the cartoon by my colleague Hasantha Wijenayake should be treated as a matter of artistic expression. Cartoons can, sometimes, be provocative, irritating and even outrageous in the way they lampoon the powers that be. Our cartoon depicts the Indian political dynamics vis-à-vis Sri Lanka, as viewed by our cartoonist. A cartoon could hardly cover the full range of the story. Our cartoon, in my opinion, did not cover the full scope of the Indian foreign approach towards Sri Lanka as per the Tamil question. But it covered a part of it, i.e. Tamil Nadu’s increasing belligerence towards Sri Lanka and a prime minister who appeared to be lost in this power dynamic.
Is our cartoon vulgar? I would say, vulgarity, like beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. While puritans would now be calling for our blood, for the subtle sexual connotation in the cartoon, my position was that it should not be a reason for censorship. Art should not be viewed through puritanical lenses and I do not believe that I, as the acting editor of LAKBIMAnEWS, a post I agreed to hold only until the management finds a replacement, should replicate the censor board of Sri Lanka’s film cooperation. It is a well thought out decision on my part to publish the cartoon and I stand by it.
Going by some of the initial reactions to the cartoon, I suspect that some egos might have been challenged, but our Indian colleagues should understand that Sri Lankans are also entitled to express themselves, even though sometimes such expressions could be mildly irritating, as our cartoon happened to be. A good dose of tolerance is a prerequisite for any healthy society and I have always believed that India with its flourishing free press, institutional democracy and newfound self confidence can be a beacon of hope for us in this part of world, which has recently witnessed a fresh wave of intolerance and extremism.
LAKBIMAnEWS has never been an Indian basher. Our editorial on Sunday stated that any attempt to reproach New Delhi for the rising pro-Eelam activism in South India was both flawed and counter-productive. We went further to suggest that Sri Lanka seemed to have learnt from its previous mistakes vis-à-vis the handling of its much larger neighbour, describing it as perhaps the greatest foreign policy lesson as far as Colombo is concerned in recent times. But sadly the reaction to the cartoon smacks of the big brother attitude that dominated Indo-Sri Lanka relations in the mid 80s. That is the most disturbing part for me in this whole episode.
PS: Indian political cartoonist Aseem Trivedi was today (10) arrested and jailed on sedition charges for his drawings that mock the government and politicians. Perhaps, the outrage at our cartoon is symptomatic of a greater wave of intolerance to criticism.
Link to the Editorial – http://www.lakbimanews.lk/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=34&Itemid=63