Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rather Scary

yesterday of all days , on the way home,I forgot my wallet , meaning no ID (and no money...)
plus two good friends of mine (who happen to be Tamil) were dropping me home...
so I had this scarey experience of being on pins and needles all the way during the trip...
of shuddering every time we passed an army uniform...
of wondering what to say or do ...
and mind you this is in spite of the fact that I have excellent contacts in the forces who will vouch for me and bail me out of any problem within minutes....
this got me thinking about my friends who dont have that security...who have to always worry each time they pass a checkpoint...who get stared at coldly... who even if they do have an ID card, get penalised and suspected because of their names...
this is so sad, my friends , I know how you feel and I do feel for you.How do we solve this? when will it end?

on a lighter note my buddies in the car were thankfully not too worried about the predicament I had put them in and were joking about what they would say if they were caught (they would probably be in trouble for trafficking some unidentified female object -)
things like
* oh sorry thats just my mentally retarded domestic assistant she has let the dog chew her ID again...
* sorry officer, but the people at the previus checkpoint put her in and told us to take her to Kandana
* oh, officer- you mean theres a woman in the back seat ? wow?

yes there was a blast

and its in Nugegoda in what has always seemed to be the busiest crowdiest place a blast could possibly hope for; for those of you monitoring Sri Lankan websites from abroad, the stuff we see on TV is lots of people milling about and quite a lot of broken building plus a small half hearted fire.
I also just saw two people walking really briskly and purposefully with the lower half of a person on a streatcher. Sometimes I wonder idly whether this is really the priority at a time like this. I think we should have a lot more First Aid Training on what to do in Energencies , instead of focusing on body parts which ostensiably cannot be resold( but then knowing Sri Lankans - anything could have been on their minds-) shouldnt we be doing more about the half dead...
the official count is ten injured so far but i think I saw at least 3 dead on TV and this IS Nugegoda.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Last week I felt crushed.
Really, I mean it- I don’t know what hit me. One day I was smiling, glowing, happy ,joking handling anything that came my way with the aplomb of an Amazon, my blog profile said “ contented, happy go lucky & placid” in description of me, then – suddenly I woke up at 3 am one night in a cold sweat of depression and panic, and it was officially the beginning of an all time low. My whole personality crumpled inwards as if its superstructure had collapsed. It was horrible.

Before you direct me to the nearest reputed psychiatrist, or send me links on the subject please let me assure you I have handled this sort of thing perfectly well previously and emerged visibly unscathed but somewhat older, so from afar this isn’t as serious as I make it sound; but when Im in it, this is genuine tangible depression as black as tar and as scary as Voldemort – and, what’s more , I’ve noticed this is what happens to me each year around November!

It’s when I realize another year is almost over and I can’t even remember what I set out to do this year in the first place, but there are more crows feet and less teeth, plus my toes are looking worse and there is more grey in my hair. Weight is becoming progressively more difficult to shed and my knees are beginning to act funny.

I honestly feel grouchy, self pitied, selfish, mean, low and totally anti social in November. I suddenly realize that I still don’t posses any of those critical success factors that society judges you by- a swanky residence, a posh set of wheels, a handy spouse (ok not necessarily in that shallow order) and a large impressive Doberman or two… the fact that I don’t has never actually bothered me from January to October so I cant for the life of me figure out why I feel like a total and abject failure in November….perhaps it’s the weather…if I believed in demonic possession Id say this was a classic example of standard low intensity interference and probably my friends in the medical profession would sign me up for a month of contraband Prozac. – but the good news, dear friends, is that one way or another each year I beat it, each year, by myself .

Religion has always helped me. Any religion. You sit inside a temple or a church or heck you even sit in front of a shrine in your own home ,alone with candles and beads, there is beautiful magic in that.

Empathy helps me, involving me in the problems other people have , some of which make mine seem laughable, trying to help other humans and animals in this difficult obstacle course called life, making old people smile again, and doing something small for someone which they didn’t expect.

My friends help me; year after year I find that there is always someone, it doesn’t have to be the same set , but inevitably I have been blessed with friends who go out of their way to lend me a helping hand and pull me out of this strange darkness. To scold me out of it , to drag me away from it, to distract me and cajole me – my precious friends are a formidable team that no obscure condition can ever hope to beat. Thank you all, you know who you are!

And of course, family.
There is family I had from the time I was born and there is family I discovered recently, there is family who joined me a few years before. There is also family that I have adopted. What makes them family is how dependable they are, how close, and not necessarily the ties of blood. That first and last refuge for the weary, a place to rest ones soul.

Looking at this list of precious resource I have, I wonder how I could ever possibly feel dejection in the first place - but then considering the laws of Universal balance, perhaps just to make up for the optimism I feel eleven months of the year, I must experience one month of inexplicable somberness.
That would be November.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Long long ago , Egyptians actually worshipped us as Gods. …I’m lucky in this day and age, to find a nice, amendable biped.

So folks, if Ive heard it once, Ive heard it a hundred times. The account of how I was found. On a roof of all places. After two days of mewling and almost getting croaky and incoherent in the throat. How I got there no one knows (we suspect it had something to do with Colombo crows, evil , devious critters aren’t they ) but I guess something sad had already happened to my dear old mother, god rest her soul. Luckily I was picked up by a biped (that’s a two legged upright walking anthropoid of primate descendent, in case you don’t get the word ). A nice warm blooded, gullible one.

Between you and me , when you pick a biped, or, as they think , allow one to pick you, there are a few things you have to consider. Does he live alone, and does he wear baggy pants and does he look like a doggy person. See, if he has a mate, one that doesn’t like cats , you’ve had it from day one – I mean Ive heard these women wait till the chap is out to do mean things to you like throw you out of the house or forget your dinner. And they don’t think its funny when we squirt at the laundry basket. Nasty. And about the baggy pants , well its easier to climb up his legs and watch what he is cooking without having to actually sink your nails into him- they react to that with strangled-cat like howls and you may get thrown across the room by the scruff of your neck by mistaken reflex, so after a few weeks I learned only to climb their legs if they have long lose pants on. Let that be a lesson to you young, potential biped owners.
As for the doggy person look, if you have to share your biped with a dog, seriously this takes much of the joy out of life. They are noisy, clumsy and smelly and they have rotten breath and they constantly try to whine their way in to your biped’s heart by being unselfish and constantly devoted! Disgusting.

Although they are sometimes not exactly maternal,(and sometimes sit on you by mistake if you are the same color as the dining chair upholstery ,) male bipeds make much better catches than females, because the latter may actually reproduce themselves and that involves cunning little offspring bipeds who sometimes purposefully do horrible things to hapless cats, regardless of which religion they are brought up in. I have heard nasty urban legends about kittens , freezers, microwaves and Barbie Dolls…I wont go into the depressing details here. Males are also about 3 degrees warmer because of some obscure biological detail as in they don’t have to grow layers of fat for childbearing. This is good news for any cat, you will agree. When I was a kitten I would sleep in the crook of his neck until I grew so big and furry that one morning, January the 1st I think , I honestly thought I had asphyxiated him - and so decided to move onto his stomach for both our sakes.
To be honest, life wasn’t all plain sailing – I did have to train him in a few aspects of good bipedal etiquette .He now knows to pick the best chicken parts from the local supermarket and pressure cook them to that degree of perfection any gourmet would envy (otherwise I puke all over his bedroom tiles or lose my voice.) I’ve organized for a special entrance for myself, hand picked flannel for our bed and organized regular cleaning of my toilet. Also it is considered rude to move until I say so, if I’m sleeping on his chest. And I’ve impressed on him that he should STOP bringing home more cats, because this cramps my style. (Meechee and Matty Pooz are quite enough for me to feel species companionship with)
And female bipeds has been out of the question, he tries once in every couple of years but I give them a beady eyed look and sit radiating hostility at them and they get the idea and clear off . This is in spite of him being a very presentable specimen all round, or so I hear.
Afternoons are the best. My biped uses his treasured tubes of pigment to create lifelike representations of me and of larger cousins of mine and hangs them on his walls, to further revere me I suspect. And then people come over and admire the visualizations and look at me in Great Awe too, and some even supplement his chicken purchasing power by BUYING his realistic visualizations. He sure has thought about everything, wouldn’t you say?
Suffice it to say, Ah, we have a good life, my biped and I….as my hero Garfield once said “John and I have everything I could possibly want .”
But to be honest, at times I regret the selfish way I own him and wonder if it is better to let him find a mate too since he has been very nice about me and not snipped me anywhere and Im sure in time he will need those of his own kind, plus off springs to look out for him (and us) when he is old and beyond it.
So maybe one of these days I shall actually approve of one of his pretty visitors and give them my blessing.
But probably not just yet.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


As of late all we seem to be able to talk about is the alarmingly rising cost of powdered milk; whose direct “fault” this is we have yet to stay up late nights to figure out –and in quite a few homesteads this may indeed be the scenario if a sizeable percentage of the population is below the age of two, due to the time honored traditional emphasis on reproducing first and then worrying about financial stability later…
Ah , Sri Lankans…,
Anyway ,dear Citizen, neither the wails of the milk-less mites nor the profusion of cartoons and media critiques on the subject, nor late night political chat shows ,nor ranting nor raving nor whining nor kutukutu is going to make a jot of difference here (as if it ever has! ) so as a nation we might as well buckle up, and resign ourselves to being compulsorily weaned of the glorious substance in future . And hey, maybe that isn’t such a bad idea after all. In time honored sour grapes tradition lets blast a few of those myths about that lovely liquid symbol of love, peace and prosperity…
The Facts on Factory farms: here’s where the cheaper imported milk comes from….
Factory farmed animals are trapped inside large, stinking, windowless buildings on factory 'farms'. They never feel fresh air and their natural freedoms are brutally denied. The goal is meat and dairy products as cheaply and quickly as possible like tins of beans. Intensive farmers forcibly generate their animals via rape racks, artificial insemination, etc and this industry produces animals so cheaply that although they die by the millions - from disease, suffocation or maltreatment - profits are still not seriously hurt.

The dairy cow is forced to keep producing a calf (or two, or three, artificially, by Caesarian) every year until she dies or is killed (within 5 years).

The calves she gives birth to are taken away from her after only 12-24 hours. If it is a male calf (a 'byproduct') it may be exported and forced to endure 16-20 weeks of torment in veal crates.

In her natural state, a cow's udder produces enough milk for her calf, holding approximately 2 litres of milk containing about 3 times as much protein as human milk - in intensive farming conditions she has to produce 10+ litres. Every year over 50% of dairy cows suffer lameness due to deformations caused by huge udders (which may be so large that they drag on the ground), poor housing, and very painful diseases such as laminitis and mastitis. Symptoms of systemic mastitis include hot, swollen, acutely painful udders, fever, loss of appetite, and mammary glands so inflamed they are as hard as stones and bubble blood into the milk.

Sometimes milking machines give cows repeated electrical shocks, causing them prolonged trauma, sometimes leading to death. A single farm can lose several hundred cows to uncontrolled electric shocking. Milking machines are used anyway, because they enable a single farm worker to milk 86 cows in 2 hours.

And every year in UK alone 150,000 pregnant cows are slaughtered for hamburger meat, many approaching full term. The calves, unwanted by farmers, may still be living when their mothers are disemboweled. When the womb tumbles out onto the concrete floor, the still-living calf thrashes and drowns in the pile of bloody organs.
Source :
Other lactose intolerant websites you can visit:
and that mother of all animal rights sites:

So although the advertising people show you contented looking animals in lovely rolling green fields, that’s actually cow – hollywood and/or bullshit. For the most part powdered milk does not come from organic farms. For the real scenes visit any of the websites mentioned in this article and be prepared for a few unholy surprises.
Moot point- this milk of “human kindness” is extracted through a process that causes untold animal trauma on an unbelievably large scale. For a majority Buddhist and Hindu country, whose fundamental tenets are avoiding causing suffering to any living being, and indeed positive veneration of the cow, respectively, factory produced powdered milk is an abominable hypocrisy. Why then do we continue to be so fixated on it?

Myth No 1
Milk is nature’s ideal food! That’s what your mother always said, and for a nation of middle aged juveniles who still get their mothers to cook and do their laundry for them till they are fifty, mother knows best. It is nature’s perfect food—if you are a baby calf, have four stomachs, and are trying to weigh 1,000 pounds by your second birthday. Otherwise, it’s not so perfect. Think about it: No other species drinks milk beyond infancy or drinks the milk of another species. It’s just not natural! Medical studies indicate that rather than preventing the disease, milk actually causes osteoporosis and leads to cancer. Dairy products definitely contribute to the health problems of the one billion people worldwide who are obese. Cow’s milk is also the number one cause of allergies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.
Myth No 2
Dairy products are a main source of protein! In practice protein deficiency is actually rarely heard of unless you live in a famine-stricken country. You will get all the protein that a human body needs from legumes (beans, peas, and peanuts), vegetables, nuts, seeds, yeast, and tofu.
Myth No 3
But our babies need milk!
Actually the average human female is still perfectly capable of supplying her child’s milk requirements for as long as they are necessary. The benefits of breast-feeding above expensive unhygienic indigestion inducing substitutes have been recounted at countless forums down the ages. What remains is to engender a paradigm shift towards responsible procreation where young people make long term plans for the off spring they intend to produce, which include some quality family time where young mothers do not work, but take time off for the important first years of a child’s life, and where this is VALUED. Unfortunately in our society rat race the fact that a woman stays at home lactating could set her career back by four or five years for the average two children family. Tragic isn’t it. But on the bright side, she would save quite a packet on milk food…that’s some recognition of our value at last! Not bad.