Tuesday, September 25, 2007

now heres a picture worth a thousand words...

in fact I kept bursting into laughter whenever I saw it or even remembered it - its just so speechless...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

If I wus President for a day...ok, make it a year

Im often being asked, by otherwise completely normal and stable characters , in what they probably think are flashes of blindening witticism and humour, whether I am "not Bandaranaiyeke, no?" when I say that my name is Chandrika, over the phone.
....to this my cold and somewhat scathing reply is "I should think not,” because considering my reputation for spending time blogging, drawing cartoons, making Facebook entries and lurking on Kapuwa, I should think she had better things to do in life , such as for example... run the frikking place
....but just last week I got to seriously thinking what life would have been like if I was indeed the president of the Republic. ....hm. in a word...if I wus the President of Sri Lanka it would be a much odder place...

for example:

Cable TV would be subsidized. Research down the ages has proven that mind numbing addiction to Hallmark and HBO will keep the citizenry off the streets and unaware of the real political implications of their franchise. It’s also a accepted scientific hypothesis that Attilla the Hun, Genghiz Khan and Hitler would never have been so intensely single-minded with destructive urges if they had other ways of keeping themselves entertained, like WWF. *

Human Reproduction would need a license and written declarations that you are entirely responsible for all the arson, looting and general rapine that your decedents may engineer. Reliable witnesses** would have to guarantee that you are indeed a responsible, experianced human who can handle the consequences of your uncontrollable urge to procreate, not to mention feed, clothe and educate it. This means you would have to intern a couple of years at least, free of charge, helping bring up someone else’s children. This would solve our domestic labour problem too. See, two birds.

Dogs would never be taxed. They are our best friends and its a downright sh*tty thing to do. Ten thousand years of defending us from wolves, marauding rival tribes and the crafty little mind tricks that cats play, and you do this to your best friend? shame! Un-neutered TomCats on the other hand should be serially taxed. Ever considered the noise pollution they cause with all that caterwauling at night, not to mention the royal pong in the neighborhood, and when you run over one you have to sell the vehicle or it is inauspicious.

Dowry would be compulsory. Yup, if you wanted to get married you both would have to pay a heavy bond to the government. That’s for putting a strain on the mental health sector, and possibly burdening us with more people who look and think like you….and it will help pay for all the milk food subsidies you expect later on…

Bullock carts would be given auxiliary motors. That’s to make them stop obstructing the traffic and go a bit faster; the only reason I would not be totally banning them is that rich foreign people think they are quaint and like to take photos of them. (Anyone knows if you are going to effectively rule the place plus strengthen the economy you mustn’t negatively repercuss tourism.)

Crows would be trained and exported in batches. They are very intelligent and can carry out all manner of complex procedures. Plus we have rather a surplus in Colombo. Either that or we have to start cooking them soon. And Ive been to Bangkok , trust me they taste like chicken! What do you mean cruel? What we do to chickens isn’t, what with all the tetracycline injections and stuff?

the Capital would be Tamil Nadu, because I like the food there ,or if they objected to that on the grounds that I am messing with their territorial integrity I would at least transfer it to Anuradhapura. This is to shake up all the Colombo 7 people and make them watch land prices plummet horribly so that they stop being so elite. Imagine: Cinnamon Gardens would be the new "Grassroots” and they would have poor infrastructure .

Local Guys who married foreign women will be forced to pay large fines and give up all their property in Sri Lanka. This is cause we don’t have enough guys here what with them being involved in ethnic conflict and the old ones all being lazy, reading papers all day and getting heart trouble so they are all becoming superior about the imbalance. On the other hand, local ladies who manage to net a foreign dude and get him to stay here will be richly rewarded. Cant help it , desperate times call for desperate measures.

Elephants would be treated much more strategically .
We could farm them, you know, fatten them and export them. Just think of all the protein. What do you mean cruel? You kill one elephant its more beef than 20 cows, or 2000 chickens and its only one death! Be PRACTICAL!

And last but not least, I would appeal to the International Court of Justice to MAKE Indonesia take out third party insurance and pay a massive amount in compensation each time they start an earthquake which affects us. It’s just not fair; I just know they are digging too deep for oil or something over there that’s why this keeps on happening!

* that’s da World Wrestling Federation in case you confused it with the World WildLife Fund
** ie. Government Officials/ Heads of Pirivena’s with fixed assets of over five million…

Sunday, September 02, 2007

on "Provoked"

Last week, dear readers, I’m proud to say I watched a Meaningful and Intellectually Relevant film, as opposed to the trashy special-effect-laced exorcism films I usually unwind with.
It is a film about an Indian lady in England who gets assaulted, humiliated, raped and generally treated very badly around her own home, by the guy who was supposed to care for her (that would be her husband). A common tale as ever, you would say but this time it had been handled by British film makers and Aishwarya Rai took the lead part; which unfortunately very nearly prevented me from watching it in the first place, although I have nothing against her, bless her cotton socks; it was just that her name at the start hinted at lots of gaudy and frivolous scenes by default and so it was difficult to imagine how this would turn out and whether I could actually stomach it.
But, since I had nothing much to do on Sunday evening I took the dare and managed to sit myself down with fruit juice, peanuts and a tub of citronella paste,(for the mozzies) the better to truly appreciate this tropical movie experience with, on my cheap pettah DVD player hooked up to our family Telly which needs to be started up about half an hour before you watch anything because a blown capacitor means it is “ bondha vela” for some time , till it does “heat up”…
I know its not the done thing to approach a serious topic like Domestic Violence with jokes, but since I find that a sense of humor has occasionally effectively saved me from self destruction and feel that if people spent more time watching comedies and being jolly they would not have the time to give their wives black eyes –its probably time to take a step back and take a long hard tongue-in-cheek look at the human race it self and why this whole domestic abuse thing is allowed to happen in the first place. …
Wife beating is an Eastern Tradition. No, hold on, it’s a Western Tradition too. No come to think of it , it’s an inherently human tradition . Even you kids reading this will agree with me that in the case of cats and dogs and swine and such like , apart from tenderly sniffing each other ‘s rear ends, male animals certainly would never be caught assaulting females animals -its just not the done thing!!! Male monkeys wont come up with a large coconut and bash a female monkey on the head with it , with a “that ll teach her !” kind of expression, neither to my knowledge (mostly gleaned the usual way from National Geographic by listing to Sir David Attenboruugh’s stealthy whispering and Crocodile Hunters noisy yodeling ..) would say a bull elephant trunk a cow elephant over the head with a tree branch or a guy wildebeestie stick a lady wildebeestie with his horn rack just to show them who’s boss: Its just so totally “no no” in the Savanah although it seems to be accepted among the Punjabis and the Brits and so on.*
Since this film was based on a true story, this one too was generally predictable; there are complex psychological terms for the various cycles in abusive relationships that you can probably google or wiki for, but the crux of the matter was : there’s a glittering Asian wedding and then boy meets girl, boy cheats girl, boy beats girl and after ten years of this, girl napalms boy, which really need not have happened if only society had provided her with feasible alternatives. It really need not end this way!
Token Bully Husband did a brilliantly convincing performance I must say, slit eyed, mean, and so unshaven and drunk that you could almost smell his BO off the screen and I’m sure if I was less educated and saw him walking the streets of Liverpool I would spit copiously in his direction and swear. (Plus he showed off truly hideous legs at one point, for which he simply cant be forgiven…)
The lady in the film paradoxically found real peace in prison which I quite understood after the in depth introduction to a English clapper that viewers were given. They have good comfortable facilities with clean decent cells, washing machines for the clothes, games hours and a library, although continuos exposure to British food may have constituted one of the more unusual forms of torture you could possibly overlook it just this time…
In come The Sisters, a bunch of feminist NGO ladies who unfortunately in spite of all the good work they do, have a compulsion to smoke cigarettes continuously and drink the nights away not to mention wear tons of mascara and chunky wooden beads, sending out a rather regrettable message about feminists as bossy painted women with lots of baggage…however I did like the very natural way they all act in this film , from the Cops to the prisoners to the Court people , and right down to Aishwarya whose “Englees… note good” , I found the acting smooth, genuine and generally very believable.
The rest of the story is on how to get her Appeal through and try getting a milder sentence on the basis that she was provoked due to years of systematic abuse, and this case is one of the precedents which changed British law on the subject so it’s a worthwhile watch for the legal people too.
Somewhere in all of this there are serious lessons to be learnt, for wives, husbands and mothers in law. I think its all about not getting pushed into corners where the only alternative is to set fire to your spouse in order to get some peace around the house. Divorce, while sometimes equally messy, is comparatively a less destructive way out and women should be given that alternative in practice by society they live in. Make it simpler for pity’s sake, especially when the fractures begin…
I find paradoxically that this is a film I would suggest the whole family watches, (or at least moms and kids together) unsuitable though it is for youngsters, since real life is generally more unsuitable anyway. I imagine moms will lecture sons by saying “that’s a very bad Daddy, isnt it , now when you grow up that is not the way to treat your wife , ok?” (The added threat of incineration should provide some incentive if nothing else does, I’m sad to say) and to their daughters, in a very Beatrix Potter tone , “Now my dears, that sort of patience is not called for in Marriage. If anyone tries to iron your face, you MUST report it to the nearest Police AT ONCE ” (duh?)
I don’t know about anyone else but its certainly what I intend to do…
*And the Chinese, and the Africans and the Latinos and so on and so fourth , you get the drift…