Archive for the 'me' Category

19
Sep
12

Grownups

The last few days have been pretty strange. Friday I managed to get a fever, which I thought was just some light food poisoning from something I’d cooked(more on this later. much more).  Sunday had me at a doctor’s office, sitting in the chair flashing my torso at her.

As I was leaving, the nurses clung to me screaming “But you can’t have chicken pox! Your beautiful skin! What will we do??”, to which I calmly replied that I would deal with it like a man, and that any scars would just add to the ruggedness. The doctor slowly wiped a tear as she watched from a distance.

Apparently delusions aren’t a symptom of chicken pox.

So I’ve been lying mostly in bed for the last three days. Lobbing a handful of pills down my throat every five hours; I’ve had a lot of time to think. Most of it was about how unpleasant lying on my back for extended periods of time was, or how the pox seemed to have found my face to be the most fertile ground for multiplication. Some of this time was spent thinking about this whole “being adult” business. Which probably has something to do with why I haven’t been very prolific with the updates here, too.

My mom moved to India a few months ago, beginning the Great Exodus of the Pereira’s. The rest will probably go over in the years to come. This essentially means I’ve been left to my own devices as far as feeding myself is concerned.

As you can all see, I’m not dead yet.

I just had to get that out of the way (HAH, naysayers!). Cooking has turned out to be not unbearable and definitely produces results that I’m more than glad to eat. I actually look forward to consuming the stuff. Which is a little alarming, truth be told. Among other changes involve all the rest that come along with just generally living. Like cleaning things. Washing clothes.

Ironing.

Urgh.

I’ve also finally gotten that two-wheeled transport I was thinking of for a while. Meaning I won’t look like I’ve been in a sweatshop for six hours every time I go meet up with my friends.

Anyway, all these changes have just thrown themselves at me like so many damp cats. Unpleasant. But at the same time completely do-able. This is what regular people do with their regular lives. So this is “being grown up”. A coworker doing the same kind of work I was doing got married recently. Married!

My maternal grandad never really spoke to me about anything of substance. I was too young, and rarely saw him. He probably disliked me for stealing all his vitamin C tablets every time, too. But one random thing he did say that stuck in my head for some reason was that “no one ever really grows up”, or something. That’s actually very reassuring.

27
Jan
12

A Mahara Almanac: Day 7

Routine.

Take bread out of microwave, switch on microwave and heat up meat product, take butter out of fridge, put butter in microwave, pick up butter knife from drying rack thing, take butter out of microwave, butter bread, put butter back in fridge, wash and put butter knife back on drying rack thing, take out meat product, add sauce, eat.

Today’s quote

Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.

– Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

 

In this vein, I have convinced myself that I will throw myself face first at making something that will in turn create change. From the same book, “Those who don’t build must burn”. Currently two paths exist. “Work” work, as in the regular job, and whatever the hell my friends or I come up with.

25
Jan
12

A Mahara Almanac: Day 5

Day five just steamrolled past but I have miraculously managed to slide off the track, pull out a paintball gun and spray a “PWND” on the retreating metaphor.

I was at the supermarket again the other day, eyeing the processed meat section. I’ll have to switch to using some kind of chicken or fish soon. But not right now. I found a pack of Sam’s sausages(remember that midget mascot running around with a bunch of kids?), weighing like a ton, for a few hundred bucks. I may be exaggerating about the weight. But it had way more than an equivalently priced cargills pack.

Oh good God, I’m talking about food and cooking on ASOB, NQIM. Where are the axe wielding barbarians and kick-ass ninjas? Verily, the twenty twelve prophesy is coming true.

So yes, I decided to get a little imaginative and threw in a bunch of chopped up onions, chili and ginger. It was pleasing to the palate.

Looks like I might not meet with a grisly death at the hands of a sentient food processor sent on the rampage by my refusal to use it, after all.

In other news, there’s this quote I just can’t get over.

One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree. “Which road do I take?” she asked. “Where do you want to go?” was his response. “I don’t know”, Alice answered. “Then”, said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

22
Jan
12

A Mahara Almanac: Day 2

Yesterday morning, as my mom was leaving for India again, she told me to “take care of your sister”. I was too sleepy to laugh and say she’s probably better equipped to survive than I am.

Went snooping around this “super market” thing. Lots of peculiar objects on the shelves. Bought things like bread(doesn’t grow on trees! lolwut?), sausages, cereal and cow juice to go with the cereal. I’m set-up for at least a few weeks. Days. A couple of days, at least.

Googled “super simple roti recipe” and found a blogpost by a kindred spirit, explaining how to make basic chapattis. Took at least fifteen minutes, I think. The ROI on this cooking thing is too small for my taste(see what I did there? Ba-dam-tssss).

Not dead yet, so I’m guessing the chapattis were alright. Should find a few test subjects to test future meals. Next week, perhaps chicken. At least, chicken that’s been cut up by the supermarket attendants. I have no desire to handle intestines and things.

 

Note: Must find way to breed chicken without intestines and other non-appealing parts. Some form of tree-grown chicken maybe?

Note 2: Any of you want free samples of (more or less) cooked chicken? Running trials to ascertain the minimum amount of cooking needed to avoid de-… to avoid addiction to delicious chicken.

20
May
11

Wanderings

My computer is in my room most of the time. It is connected to the internet of tubes via a magical wireless connection. This wireless connection is with a router on the floor below, maybe a dozen feet or so away, separated only by a layer of concrete and sometimes my legs.

The seemingly gargantuan task of pushing radio waves through this apparently vast expanse that, according to my router, is filled with lead is sometimes too much for my standard “SoHo” router. I’ve come to despise and hate it. Among the giants of the wireless networking world, the D-Link 2640U is but a retarded child forever trying to lick his elbow.

All of that is besides the point. It’s Vesak season here in sunny infernal Sri Lanka. I fell sick on the first day and could not leave the house. On the second day(yesterday) I was still sick but also bored half to death of staying at home when the entire country had turned essentially into what I imagine the insides of a carebear look like.

So off I went, replete with camera and fever, to walk about and take in the sights of what I best understand as some kind of pagan christmas, except without the gifts. Or the trees.

I’m not sure if it was the dizziness from walking around too much or actual atmosphere but it felt so… rushed. There were crowds of people everywhere, standing around, strolling from thorana to thorana, standing in line at the dansalas or just running amok on the streets.

There were lights.

Whoever made it all happen could throw a wicked disco. Not that I would attend it. My dancing skill is the polar opposite of my being awesome skill. So many lights. It looked like my current wallpaper, which I am quite attached to.

I noticed that most of the pictures could be made to look better simply by making them look very out of focus. Bokeh’d.

Observe:


Neither is a particularly great picture, but the blurry one simply looks better. It turned out to be the case on a lot of images. Not a good reflection on my skills on taking pictures, I’m afraid. Those should be up on flickr in a few days. The regular ones.

On the way back home I was a wheezing wreck, thanks to some overenthusiastic bounding over the barriers around the Beira lake and a sprint to catch a bus. My body was too busy killing virii and generally being a jerk by increasing my body temperature so that it looked like I’d just stepped out of a shower with most of my clothes on. I kept steadfastly staring out the window and was treated to a kaleidoscope of light, colour and well, people. Sri Lanka is an awesome place to be in sometimes, even if the people on the bus crinkle their nose when looking at you and you nearly black out on your seat.

Now to hit publish before I fall asleep.

I have to get to work in about four hours. Aiyo.

03
Apr
11

I’m Happy About Yesterday

I don’t write about cricket. I rarely ever have an interest in it. The only “sledging” I know is the kind you take part in when it snows. Sports just never interested me much unless I was right in the middle of the action. You can imagine how my sporting career at school went. Knowing what matches we were to play that season was a major accomplishment for me.

I was happy to just be an observer to the major games, and usually only those which Sri Lanka or India played. Then this world cup had to come along and mess it all up. I’ve never made it a point to “watch a match”. It was just something that was on TV while I was doing something else. Just something on in the background which was fun to watch in the last innings. This time over, I found myself checking the scores on my phone while standing in a bus. When it wasn’t even our team playing.

Speaking of “our” team, I’ve always been torn between Sri Lanka and India. It might have something to do with being called out as an “Indian” most of my life. A side-effect of being born and raised here, but having Indian roots. South Indian roots. The “bad kind of Indian”, if you will, since we look just like you, worship a lot of the things you do and live in places like you, and so must be despised and called “dirty Indians”. The apparent genealogical perfection and adoration from Sri Lankans that the Northern tribes enjoy eludes us, the runts of the sub-continent who get by on call centers and software firms instead of Bollywood and software firms.

I watched the match with five other friends. All ardent Sri Lankans with flags on cheeks and SL jerseys. All the way there I passed roads lined with flags, shops closed with fliers hanging on the shutters. The streets were practically empty.

Even after the game was well under way, I still didn’t know who I was going to support. But none of that really mattered as I watched one of the greatest games I’ve seen in my short, sport-sheltered life unfold on the giant tv screen. I sat there and watched the match, all astute “India or Sri Lanka whoever maann”, but inside I was giddy as a schoolgirl with a copy of Twilight when Mahela started rising to the challenge, dragging his team past the wreckage of the past overs to deliver a thumping total. It was nothing short of awe-inspiring watching professionals play a beautiful game. Even the moans of the utter pessimists I had to watch the game with couldn’t ruin the feeling of “Show the world how it’s done boys!”.

The second innings was quite a bit more confusing. I found myself the only one in the room feeling like his heart was torn out of his chest when Sachin was dismissed for mere thirties. He wasn’t going to get his 100th century in the final. It just didn’t make sense. How could it happen? The man I consider the greatest cricketer alive(not much, I know), on and off the field, sent off with nary a whiff of glory. After that it was a slow but steady journey up the scoring ladder, grabbing singles and doubles left right and center, Kohli, Ghambir and Dhoni taking their time, playing wonderfully to complete the highest run chase in a world cup final. It could have gone either way till the last few overs. Then the 47th, I think, came along and Nuwan turned out to be an expensive choice, with Yuvraj and Dhoni sealing the win.

It felt strange. Dhoni’s six was sailing through to the stands. India won. But Sri Lanka lost. Tendulkar didn’t get his century. Murali didn’t get his last wicket either. The two best teams in the tournament turned out to be my favourites, and one would expect a final like that to be at the very least, mind blowing. I was left with a slight feeling of sadness. Even if it was one brilliant game. Of course, that’s to my untrained eye.

It was a pleasure watching Mahela’s incisions with the bat and Gambhir’s determined strokes. But when it was all over I felt for them. I actually got what people were on about when they said they were “our boys”. Our boys had lost. After a gut-clenching battle, even if the victor was my other favourite team, I felt a tinge of sadness. For a few moments, at least.

Then I realized, India had won! After Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble et al back when I wasn’t even born, India finally won the world cup. And I actually felt something more than “slightly grinny” about it! I had discovered the joys of being a spectator. My friends forlornly picked up the  junk generated by eight hours of lounging in front of a television, and I could actually make sense of what they felt.

The next morning I found myself poring through cricinfo.com articles. I’ve never done that before. I was happy.

.

.

But I still don’t particularly like Yuvraj.

12
Dec
10

Do I Write or do I Write?

In an ideal world, that title would have emphasis in the right place. Sadly, I will have to keep eying those words up there warily while willing italics into existence.

So, do I write or do I Write? This was the terrible question tearing away at my mind last Saturday eve. Do I just write in the sense that people write grocery lists and ransom notes, or do I actually “write” write, in the way that people who do it for a living do?

This bout of more thought than I like being put into something inconsequential was brought on by a TNL Radio… dude, asking me if I can’t write, whether I failed my English, and if I suck at writing when I was less than enthusiastic about filling out a form that was being distributed at the lobby at Majestic City on Saturday night. I’m sure that experiment in “Aggressive Marketing” has a bright future in public relations.

In other news, Christmas is coming again. I’m starting to dread it because I will be broke by then and won’t be able to bribe Santa into throwing a few presents this way. I don’t even feel like jotting down my usual Christmastime post or even the whiny post about how it doesn’t feel like Christmas. Troubling times, these are. My parents think I’m crazy because I sit in front of the computer laughing at it. Then I switch it on and come here to write down a post and link to it on twitter. It’s so cold out that I grew a beard to combat it, but shaved it off when I started feeling chain-mail on my chin whenever I rested it on my pillow. To top it off I’m not getting tagged in any Christmas pics on Facebook. If it weren’t for the Penguins of Madagascar life would be quite dull these days.

—————————————

Also,

Recently watched “Who Turned the Lights Off?”, another FT from BeyondBorders in association with the Roteract Club of… Some place. It was pretty great. They might perform it again so keep your eyes open of you missed it. Even better than the play was a certain Mr. Kotalawela dancing to…

wait for itt…

Justin Beiber

when we went out after the play. I apologize for not taking pictures.