Sunday, March 30, 2014


Of all the things that could happen to a person, today’s youth assumes being friendzoned is the worst of them all. Of course, there may be a few confused by the term. Simply put, the friendzone is a place for all your friends of the opposite sex who you have no intention of dating. This doesn’t sound too bad, right? Personally, I prefer being friends with people knowing they don’t expect anything more than friendship. Yes, it is nice to be with someone you think is boyfriend material, and to feel all those emotions you felt when you had a crush on some boy when you were fourteen! Yet, friendship isn’t a path that must lead to a romantic relationship.

The order of events isn’t always, strangers, friends, lovers… It can be that, and it is romantic when best friends fall in love with each other. However, you don’t make friends with people with an ulterior motive of dating them. You don’t make that friendship ‘happen’ hoping they will someday fall in love with you. There are such instances. However, the friendship either dies down or becomes something that makes you forget the intention with which you started that friendship.

For this reason, the friendzone seems like an insult. If someone tells me I’ve been friendzoned, they will definitely lose a friend in me. However, the friendzone has another side to it. This side makes the friendzoner look bad.

One is friendzoned when they are under the impression the other likes them, only to find out they are liked ‘only as a friend.’ This is when it hits them that all those favors done for them were done in vain. While one can argue that favors shouldn’t be done in hope of a reward, in a friendzoning incident, the friendzoner often misleads the friendzoned. No matter what we say, we can’t deny expecting a reward. When we do something for another, we expect payment. In the case of most, when a favor is done for a friend they ‘like,’ the reward expected is a date. And so the unassuming do everything they can for a friend only to be told they have been friendzoned.

Thanks to the friendzone, we are more cautious with our emotions. We tend to not care too much or show how vulnerable we are. We are afraid of being rejected, of being friendzoned. When you think of it though, being friendzoned isn’t too bad. It allows you to be someone’s friend without worrying about coming off as flirty. There’s no embarrassment about being seeing together, and you don’t have to worry your friend will misunderstand the teasing of your other friends. You both know your friendship won’t take another path, and this allows you to truly trust and love each other.

However, if you are being used, don’t wave it off as something you have to deal with as someone who has been friendzoned. You shouldn’t be misled and given hope just so another’s life will be made easier.

Sri Lanka, of course, has a few more zones you can get stuck in. The ‘machanzone’ is something you either love or hate. Males tend to consider each other their machans. However, some females also fall into the machan category. This is when you are one of them. Often tomboys are the ones who are machanzoned, and they absolutely love this. Its like being accepted into that world you so want to be part of. However, for someone who wants to be more than friends with her male friends, the machanzone is the worst place they could be in. This is when you know things have gone too far in the wrong direction.

There is also a brozone. The brozone is the friendzone taken to another level. Here, you are looked at as a sibling. Why people take this as a bad thing, I’m yet to understand. I would be honored if someone treats me as a sibling, and takes care of me as one. However, what people want in a friendship is quite difficult to understand, and this is why the various zones you can find yourself in will continue to baffle people.

A black and white world

Many say the world isn’t as they thought it was; it isn’t black and white. A black and white world implies a place where everything is straightforward, a person is good or bad, an action is right or wrong. It’s easy to believe in a black and white world when you are young. A child is mostly an observer of the world. However, as one grows up, one is forced to actually live in this world.

This is when the blacks and whites start fading, giving way for other colors. Or maybe they blend together, creating other colors. If it’s the former, a fading of colors, it would mean that the definitions of good and bad start to slowly disappear. However, no matter how developed a society is created, moral values, principles and religious rules and regulations will continue to label people and actions as good or bad, right or wrong. Thus we must look at the second explanation; a merging of colors. If you mix a dab of black paint with white paint, you will be left with gray paint. However, the world isn’t gray. It’s not one shade. Not everyone or everything is the same. You don’t look at the world and see just one blurry gray mess. It’s not like looking out of your window during a massive storm and seeing nothing but a curtain of rain.

Instead the world is an explosion of color. You have the blues, pinks, greens and yellows. There are so many colors that you don’t even know what to call them. During art class in school, we were taught how to spray paint using a tooth brush. The assignment resulted in a white paper covered in millions of colors. This is what the world is; a canvas of various colors, various shades. Thus actions and people cannot be either black or white, they are so many different colors. We all are of different color, and we all make up that one big masterpiece that has been perfected over years, decades and centuries.

However, in an ocean of colors, it is easy for good and bad, right and wrong to get lost. They may seem to be pale in comparison to other, brighter colors. This is why people often forget to question if their behavior is right or wrong. And this is often blamed on us, the youth. Adults tend to look at us and mock us, saying they have lived longer and thus know better. They may have a point; maybe we are blinded by all the colors. However, we don’t know less just because we have lived for a shorter period of time. Maybe we have seen more, heard more and experienced more than them.

This doesn’t give us a reason to go against our parents’ wishes. Instead, we must sort through the colors of the world and identify what colors are best for us. It may seem difficult or too big a task. However, it is worth it. And as the years add on, and as you see more and more of the world, you will understand what our parents were talking about when they warned us against one thing or the other.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Stop being a hater

Since being introduced to the wonders of the online world, people have been sharing their creations in various ways. For me, it has been through text posts, tweets and blogs. However, there are so many ways to share your thoughts, your creations with people. There was a post on 9gag about the topic of this post, but I really don't know how I can find it in ways that do not include going through my tweets to find it.

Posting stuff online takes a lot of courage. I remember how I first started blogging. Took me years to move away from a personal blog I knew people don't read. Even once I started sharing my posts with people, I would be quite careful. Why? Because there are a whole lot of haters out there.

The comment in the following picture is spam because they had no reason to hate that post. I won't be sharing the post here because it's quite private, but trust me, the post didn't really call for such a comment. Especially from someone I don't even know.

I could have clicked on that 'abuse' button, but why do so? It would achieve nothing. They may take the comment off, but what has been said cannot be unsaid. This is what you need to remember when commenting on the work of others. Once you say something, no matter how many times you apologize, you can't take it back.

Why do people have to even make such comments? What do they achieve? I don't force people to read what I write, and if you don't agree with something I say, you can tell me this in a nicer way. There is so much hate in today's world, that it makes you question those religions and religious texts that attempt to dictate your life. Why are people so angry? So spiteful?

Are they frustrated? Scared?

If so, why?

What went wrong for them to feel that way? We are all scared. We have very little self-confidence. We worry. We are afraid our work won't be received well. These feelings are acceptable. Understandable. But what happens when someone insecure about their work is insulted? Criticized? What happens when some internet troll who has nothing better to do leaves a hateful comment on their first post?

We've lost enough artists, writers and singers. We've lost them to war, to drugs, to a thousand and one other reasons. Do we really want to lose more even before they are born?

Maybe they will never be famous. Maybe their words, or strokes won't change the world. But it will change their world. It will change someone's world.

Don't be a hater. Don't stop people from going places, from doing what they love.

That comment didn't hurt me because I've stopped caring about what people say on that site. However, this isn't a reason to be abusive, to hurt people. If that comment had been made three or four years ago, I may have stopped writing. I may have stopped doing what I love the most.

Think before you comment, think before you say something.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

To friendship, food and live music

A seemingly-mismatched group at Galle Face for a concert, but enjoying music from afar. That’s one of the pros of folk, Brazilian and carnatic music. You can listen to it with the volume high or you can listen to it from a distance. We decided to start the night with the music in the distance mingling with the crashing waves. The ships sailing on the great ocean making us stare at the horizon. Night fell as we munched on various types of wadey and blew soap bubbles.

Pic by Sakuna Gamage
We work together, spending at least four days of the week in each other’s company. There was another we don’t see a lot of; a rare sighting, but a friend nonetheless. It didn’t feel awkward, we weren’t made uncomfortable by each other’s presence. We got along so well, it made me realize that our past, common interests or beliefs aren’t what really matter. What makes friendship possible is what we have to offer. Often, we choose to keep to ourselves and don’t make an effort to make friends. We are stubborn, and yet, our stubbornness only brings loss to us. We gain nothing out of it.

That night, we weren’t stubborn. We were young and free. The night was ours and we had no distractions or deadlines coming up. We were there on a work assignment but it sure didn’t feel like one.

The warm breeze and the slight drizzle made us hungrier and happier. Our clothes were slightly damp but we weren’t bothered. Our hair was messy and feet dirty, and yet, we didn’t care. This is something we can afford at our age, not caring. We can turn our backs on the world and say the stares, comments and opinions don’t matter. We could blow soap bubbles and laugh at lame jokes because our minds are still empty of worry, responsibilities and duties.

Galle Face or any other beach is a place we visit often. However, we go to such places with family or close friends. Rarely do you hang out with people who are your friends but who you don’t see much of out of office. When you have mostly unplanned meetings of this kind, you learn a lot about them, and you learn a lot about yourself. Your guard is down, so is their guard. There is no pretending, no trying to impress and no forced smiles.

“That’s who you really like. The people you can think out loud in front of.”  - John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

That night we did think out loud in front of each other. There were moments of silence too, however, when we enjoyed the silence. However, silence too, speaks, and that night we spoke even when we weren’t using words.

This is when you find happiness. The kind that makes a day so special you don’t care if the next day will be terrible. You tease each other; create your own inside jokes and also a memory to treasure. You realize that you never knew these people two years ago, and yet, now, they are who make life worth living.

When the night ended, and we went our separate ways, I should have been tired. I knew it was past my bedtime and I had to wake up early the next day. And yet, as sleep finally clouded my senses, I couldn’t help smiling.