Friday, March 29, 2013

on beliefs

Religion.
Such a simple world.
Such a simple answer.

Religion.
The cause of hate.
The cause of war.


Sri Lanka has just woken up to a time of no war. Sure, the war and conflict ended in 2009, more than three years ago. Does this mean Sri Lanka has been a peaceful country since 2009? Ah, that's the one question that makes us stutter, look around for words, change the subject.

So the racial issue which was originally a fight for power was brought to an end. The Tamils and Sinhalese hugged and kissed and stopped killing each other. Now we have a new issue, a new fight for power. And that's where religion comes in.

Because any unwise comment will only put me behind bars, I will not go into the details of this conflict. I'll simply say that it has become a religious issue. A religion that is known for its hate-free nature using words as a weapon and not a shield and a religion that is often [wrongly] blamed for violence around the world that only wanted a prayer said for the animal that was about to be slaughtered.

Why do Buddhists claim the Buddha's doctrine isn't a religion? Because, it isn't. What makes Buddhism a religion are the traditions and rituals that surround it.

What is expected from a religion? Relief. Some way to unburden your self of various things. This is why, I think religions with a God, especially a forgiving one, has so many followers. The idea of a God gives the faithful a friend, a listening ear, someone to lean on.

Creation? Religion shouldn't be about proving things of a scientific nature. Leave creation, the end of the world and what not for science.

Putting down a religion or belief just because it hasn't proved anything isn't needed. We read fantasy books, watch various movies and play unrealistic games without burning down buildings or hating people. Religion is in a way a fantasy. A soft pillow that will comfort you and will offer some thing to live for.

So no matter what your religion is, no matter what you believe in or rather, don't believe in. Be tolerant and patient. Accept and love.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cause pigs can fly!

‘Cause pigs can fly
By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya

The challenge was a simple one. All I had to do was prove that pigs can fly. Why I had to do so is also simple. First though, I need to introduce the friend who challenged me.
He is someone who like Peter Pan, never grew up. Nearly an adult, he’s just a kid in a very tall and thin body. He’s someone I tell nearly all my problems to, and he knows he can always tell me anything. There are times when our conversations, that is on facebook or skype, are serious. More often than not though, we talk about very seemingly useless and childlike things. On most days we argue who is more awesome, which is something we have agreed to disagree about. It was a conversation like this that gave way to the challenge. I said I was awesome, he said, “and pigs can fly.”
To anyone who is not familiar with those words, it means something is impossible. Dripping with sarcasm, it is not meant to be taken literally. I firmly believe that pigs can indeed fly. Again, not literally. I believe in the possibility of the seemingly impossible. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was challenged to prove that pigs could fly.
Accepting the challenge I got to work that night. All I needed was some paper and my felt pens. I found a somewhat yellowed drawing book, sat on my bed and started drawing. The pictures of the drawings were posted on facebook and I had completed the challenge.
There were four illustrations. I will explain them briefly.

Illustration 1: “A cow jumped over the moon, so obviously so can pigs” with a drawing of a flying cow and pig. Going back to those days when nursery rhymes were much cooler than the rock and pop music we listen to now, I remembered ‘hey diddle diddle’ where a cow jumped over the moon and a dish ran a way with a spoon.

Illustration 2: “Unicorns are horses who can fly” which obviously meant that there were in fact pigs that can fly (illustrated by a pig with wings)

Illustration 3: Here I went on to portray other methods of flying. Although my friend argued that it could be considered animal cruelty, the drawings showed pigs strapped to rockets, jetpacks and parachutes.

Illustration 4: a few words, which I will discuss later.

The first three illustrations demand a lot of imagination. People say that when a child enters adulthood, the most important thing he leaves behind is his imagination. This is not all that true. A cinema screening a superhero movie like Fantastic Four or Spiderman or even an animation like Hotel Transylvania or Ice Age, will have an audience of which the majority are adults. Rarely are any of them accompanying any children. Wouldn’t a movie that is not at all realistic be of no interest to adults, who supposedly have no imagination? It does because we all, young or old, love the mix of reality and imagination that is life.

The challenge to prove that pigs can fly wasn’t a serious one. And I didn’t complete the challenge in a very serious manner. Many people would have looked at the pictures and thought that I was being childish or that I have the mentality of a five year old. They have the right to, but they shouldn't. We need to use our imaginations and we need to do silly things like drawing pigs with wings to survive the real challenges life throws our way.

The fourth illustration had no drawings in it. It simply said, "pigs can fly 'cause we... need them to! Explanation; we need to believe in the possibility of the impossible in order to survive."
For me, this is the reason that completely proves that pigs can fly; because we need them to. Life is a labyrinth we are constantly trying to get out of. With each step we take, we stop believing in something. It could be Santa Claus or love. When we stop believing, our journey is stalled. And most important is to believe that pigs can fly.

The illustrations don't embarrass me. Whatever negative comments I received about them don't bother me. At nineteen, I am not really an adult. I don't understand adult issues, and I don't plan to claim my place in the adult world anytime soon. My friend may also do the same. We are just kids, our biggest argument was on who is more awesome. Our friendship may change, life may change but for now, I believe that pigs can fly.