Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to find a man (help for the single ladies)

*includes major spoilers of Aathma*

Aathma, which aired on Swarnawahini, just ended, leaving me quite lost and confused. I depended on it for ways to win the heart of my Fake Crush. So basically Aathma goes like this. Muthu Manika, who always wears these teensy weensy dresses, lives in a great big walawwa and hates Daham, the boy who works for them. Her hate is really intense, which is a sign that things will change soon because any idiot knows there love behind hate. So one day Muthu Manika is bitten by a snake and Dahan sucks the venom out of her (this scene is a mere excuse for Daham to touch/lick Muthu Manika’s fair legs). Daham is now in a life or death situation, but of course survives and it’s during this time that Muthu Manika realized she loves Daham. While most of us just love from a distance, Muthu Manika doesn’t keep silent. Instead she tells Daham she loves him and when Daham says something like ‘dude, I’m your servant boy. I can’t love you’ she threatens to jump into a river and of course, Daham then hugs her and says he loves her too.

I honestly think this scene is excellent and I’ve decided to play this out with the Fake Crush at Norris Canal

So the two start ‘dating’ until Muthu Manika’s uncle decides to marry her off to this chubby man, who is only after her money and also happens to get Daham’s sister pregnant (the sister commits suicide because this chubby dude is an inconsiderate moron.) When this happens, Muthu Manike runs away, meets Daham and they start running away from all the people who are chasing behind them with loaded guns. Somehow they are both shot and then die in each others arms. THE END!

Aathma had the potential of teaching many a single woman how to find men, however, its abrupt ending left most of us befuddled. It did teach me a few things about winning a man’s heart though. Below are a few ways to find a man, based on observations I’ve made and movies I’ve watched and books I’ve read.

(Warning! I don’t know if these work.)

  1. Talk with a whole lot of guys
So I’m really really bad at talking with people, especially if I’m interested in them. However, looking at those who are either in relationships or those who are asked out often, the key to success is having an inbox packed to the brim. However, each guy can’t know you are chatting with others and you need to make them believe they are the only one you are talking to. 

Your notification bar cannot look like this

2.       Compliment them

A compliment every now and then helps. It shows that you notice them. However, don’t overdo it. That’s so not cool. 

3.       Flirt

Now I can’t flirt. Hell, I can’t even carry on a normal conversation. I went to to find some pickup lines, and here’s how I would respond to them

Are you an interior decorator? Because when I saw you, the entire room became beautiful.

I think someone just switched on the light. And the color of the walls is amazing!

Are you religious? Because you're the answer to all my prayers.

Actually no. I mean, I don’t even believe prayers are answered.

I'm not a photographer, but I can picture me and you together.

I don’t know, dude. I don’t really pose for pics.

So you see that I’m not really good with flirting or responding to flirting. However, if you can, go for it. And if you can’t, oh well...

4.       Be hard to get

In Gamperaliya, when the dude asks the girl out she says ‘amma kamathi nam math kamathiyi.’ She doesn’t mean ‘I do like you but I need my mother’s approval.’ Instead the girl is saying, ‘getting my mother’s approval is close to impossible. So if you actually succeed, then ya, sure thing.’

5.       Hint, hint and hint

This doesn’t always go that well because men take ages to understand things and may not get the hint. But do try, and if you are lucky they might actually get the hint and understand what you are saying.

6.       Threaten to do something risky

This is exactly what Muthu Manike does in Aathma. However, I honestly think she acted too fast. Ask him, give him a few days and if he still doesn’t give the response you are looking for, then threaten to do something risky. If you plan to do what Muthu Manika did, make sure you aren't wearing your Sunday best and that the river isn’t that deep. If you can’t swim, go for classes and you would be better off having one of those floating doughnuts close by. There's a chance the dude won't catch you before you fall in.

7.       Not very coincidental coincident

It is not coincidence when you just happen to be in the same event as your crush. Stalk them and find out where they’ll be. Make sure you get there too and pretend to be surprised to see them. However, don’t overdo this or they’ll get suspicious.

8.       Talk about them

Say both of you are on Twitter, well, tweet about him. Don’t mention names, or anything too obvious. Slowly he’ll get the hint and you two can live happily ever after.

9.       Get help

If nothing you do works, get a few trustworthy friends to somehow befriend him. They will tease him enough and somehow let him know you are interested.

10.   Have faith

Yes, he may be way out of your league and may not even know you exist, but there’s a chance he has been waiting his entire life to meet someone like you. So never lose faith and always believe he’s the one for you and you’re the one for him.

words said and words typed

My parents, maybe because they were mostly unaware of what we did during the day or because they wanted me to have the same carefree childhood they had, let me spend my days outside, bruising my knees and playing till the night was upon us. They weren’t too picky about what we ate, and I remember eating at McDonalds and also having those various sweets from the shop at the top of our lane. We had a lot of junk food, collected money for soft drinks and had achcharu and rata cadju from little shops. Our lives were simple; we played with mud, let the mosquitoes suck our blood and hadn’t even heard of mosquito repellent.

We were mostly barefoot, and rarely wore shoes or slippers. Our clothes were always damp with sweat and we didn’t care about what we had to eat. No one told us back then that certain types of food could give us cancer and we weren’t overweight.

We were happy eating fried manyokka, instead of the fancy potato chips. Not that we didn’t have the latter. My parents let us have the best of both worlds.

We didn’t grow up with mobile phones and only watched TV for an hour or two a day. This too was to watch cartoons. However, we didn’t watch Spongebob or any of those fancy cartoons. Instead we watched cartoons dubbed in Sinhala, Kumbichchi, Api Raja Ibbo and Pancha. When we did buy a computer, we used it to play Age of Empires, Sonic and of course, Super Mario. But mostly to draw on Paint.

I had new clothes, but most were hand-me-downs. This wasn’t because we couldn’t afford brand new clothes, but because it was a waste to throw away still-wearable clothes.

When we knocked our heads and bruised our knees or cut our palms, our parents didn’t rush us off to a hospital. Instead they gave us a long lecture, cleaned the wound and bandaged it. If we had fever, we were given Panadol and told to sleep it off. And we had no choice over going to school. They let us stay at home, but we were happy going to school. I went to a semi-government school, which was extremely dusty. A small classroom was packed with 40+ students and the grounds had no grass. We ran around in the dust but rarely fell sick. We drank tap water and ate food from the canteen that came from god knows where.

When we went on trips, we sang or we watched the passing cities, towns and villages. We didn’t have devices to listen to music and very few of us had cameras.

But most of all, we spoke. We preferred verbal communication as opposed to textual means. This was mostly because we didn’t know about texting or chatting. Those things didn’t exist back then. So we talked about anything and everything. We talked about the good things in life and the bad things. We talked about happy days and sad days. We used words and we listened.

This is why we can still meet for lunch or coffee and talk. This is why at least a few of us still know how to truly listen and appreciate the sound of words. This is why we still have friends in real life.

I don’t know who is better; online friends or friends IRL, verbal communication or textual communication, reading or listening, speaking or typing.

I’m not saying the generation I belong to is better than the next generation. I’m not saying my childhood was better. However, I do think we value words more than those born after us. Back then, we took down notes, pages and pages covered in ink. Slowly, electronic devices are taking over and kids can type notes on their phones, tabs and laptops. Teachers don’t read out notes anymore, they don’t write on blackboards and instead give out printed notes. Bristol board presentations have been taken over by PowerPoint presentations.

And most of all, words said have been replaced by words typed. People are not familiar with how words sound. They don’t appreciate speech.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Fault in Our Stars book and movie

*no spoilers- at least nothing I consider spoilers. If you haven't read the book, the spoiler-ish things won't make sense anyway, and if you have read the book, you probably expect these scenes*

I usually despise or at least dislike books adapted into movies. As the number of adaptations increase, my faith in them decrease. This is why I didn't want to watch the Fault in Our Stars movie. What if it turned out to be such a disappointed that I fell out of love with the book?

However, despite my lack of excitement about the movie release, I did watch a slightly crappy camera copy of the movie today... And I loved it.

Basically, the story is about the relationship between Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters. It is not a cancer story. It does not make you feel sorry for them just because of the cancers that have taken over their lives. Instead the story talks about these two people who don't let cancer define them.
IMDb says the following about the movie:
Hazel and Gus are two teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them on a journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that Hazel's other constant companion is an oxygen tank, Gus jokes about his prosthetic leg, and they met and fell in love at a cancer support group.

Regarding scenes, there were a few missing scenes that I honestly would have loved to see. However, the important scenes were there. Like the airplane scene, Anne Frank museum, Funky Bones, hospital scene, literal heart of Jesus, Isaac and Monica's always. The ones that made it to the movie were beautiful, and except for a very few details I wasn't disappointed.

The script included many words from the book, which was just amazing. There were the over-quoted things like 'pain demands to be felt,' metaphors and the bit about infinities. The eulogy was beautiful and so was that last bit. Simply amazing, and at times it seemed like someone was just reading the book to us. I listened to John Green read that first chapter at around five in the morning, and it sounded amazing. Watching the movie felt the same.

However, what got to me were the characters. Shailene Woodley was too perfect to be Hazel Grace Lancaster. For some reason I didn't picture Hazel as an iphone user. When she's in hospital, her hair still looks quite good. However, anyone who has even had fever for a day would know how our hair looks after that. So those little things annoyed me. But I love how the nail polish and clothes just suited the character.
I also didn't like Ansel Elgort from the beginning. He just didn't look like the Augustus Waters. And I hated how Hazel calls him Gus. Those who have read the book would know how during the last bit Augustus comments on how Hazel calls him Gus instead of Augustus.
Van Houten's character was played well, although it was a bit difficult to hate him. And I feel we should have seen more of Isaac.

Regarding how the characters were played, well, I can't really complain. They did seem like the people in the book.

The little things that matter
I missed those little scenes that made TFiOS special. Like the swing set. That scene between Augustus' father and Hazel. How Hazel is a vegetarian and Augustus remembers this in Amsterdam.

Do not, I repeat, do not read the following paragraph if you haven't read the book.
We all know how the story is going to end. And I must say Augustus Waters' death is as quick as in the book. One minute he's alive, the next he's not. Its quick, which makes his death affect readers and those watching the movie feel it more deeply.

If its a question of book or movie, the book is definitely what I like the most. It was deep, amazing and honest. It was more real. However, this doesn't mean the movie is a disappointment.

TFiOS as a movie is something you will love. To be honest, I didn't cry. I did smile, laugh, and felt a little down. But the movie wasn't strong enough to make me cry (and I easily cry when watching movies.) It isn't a movie about life, and surviving. It's instead a movie about romantic love, which I felt isn't all the book is about. It's a movie that is worth the watch, however (that's if you like those sort of movies.)

Sunday, June 15, 2014


I've always had my various issues with belief. At times I was without religion. At times I was a Buddhist. Even now, I'm not sure what I am. But that doesn't matter.

Faith is a funny thing. It's something we can't explain. It's trust, hope and so many other things put together. Faith is something that we always have, something we remember during tragedy. I've had faith. Not always though. There were times when I got by without this thing called faith.

However, I recently found my self going to the temple more and more. This happened at the beginning of the year, I think. Throughout my life, I rarely visited the temple. Even on poya days, I rarely went. And even if I did, it was for an alms giving or some puja. I never got to really think about the Dhamma.

I tend to be skeptical about most temples. They are concrete jungles. They are foreign to me. However, I've been going to more and more previously unvisited temples these days. And they all give me hope. If you are seated before the Bo tree, and close your eyes for meditation, you will open your eyes to a different world. However, it's not the world that has changed, but how you look at it. You notice the little things, the things that make you realize great things.

People may laugh at the flowers we offer to a statue. The oil lamps we light. The water we bathe the Bo tree with. For many, they seem like silly rituals.

However, with each step around the chaitya or Bo tree, I seem to have more faith. I don't know what or whom I have faith in, but I do believe in the power of something. I do believe that if our minds are clear, our thoughts pure and our wishes true, the world, or nature, will do everything it can to make our wishes come true. And it doesn't matter if we offer ten flowers or no flowers at all. As long as you have faith, you can also have hope.

With all the issues and questions I've had regarding temples, monks and temples, I've avoided places of worship of other religions even more. I used to spend time in our school's chapel, and I used to visit kovils/dewalas. However, as I kept believing that no god or gods exist, I avoided these places. It seemed unfair to spend time in a home of god/gods, all the time questioning their existence.

When tragedy strikes, you hold on to whatever belief there is. This is why I found myself in a kovil recently. Looking at all the people doing pujas and praying to all these gods, I couldn't help thinking, "if there is a god somewhere out there, may he..." and my wish. I mayn't have believed, but I had faith in that great something.

This something I believe in, well, it has no name, no religion. It makes me question my beliefs more. However, I'd rather have faith than get lost in manmade laws, rituals and definitions of good and evil. I'd rather not think about heaven, hell or whatever awaits us at death. These things don't matter. Be good, do good.

Most religions, if not all, say that believing in a different religion is a sin. Mithyadushtiya, or false belief, is something found in Buddhism. So many people say they can't take part in rituals of other religions. I've been to kovils. I've been blessed in a chapel. And of course, I've been to temples. I don't believe in all these religions, all rules put down by these various people who lived centuries ago. I don't think religion helps us when our lives are falling apart. It's faith that matters. It's faith that gives us the strength to go forward, to wish, to hope. And it's faith that makes us see those answers to our questions, it's faith that makes our wishes come true.

Have faith. We often can't afford not to

Thursday, June 12, 2014


When I wanted to leave, you, instead of telling me not to, gave me reasons to stay. They were the reasons that made me not leave, despite the many reasons that made me not want to stay.

When I wasn’t sure if I would ever hear his voice again, you told me I will. Even though I couldn’t help smiling, you told me I would hear his voice again because god always listened and you prayed even though I don’t believe.

When I wished for the pain to leave her life, as I poured pot after pot of water onto the giant roots of the bo tree, you couldn’t help smiling. You didn’t see how offering flowers to a lifeless statue would help.

When we looked at the setting sun, the fingers of your left hand entangled with the fingers of my right hand, we became true believers. We smiled as we realized that what matters isn’t the gods or doctrine preached centuries ago, but the love that runs through our bodies with the blood our hearts pump.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

On being young, immature and childish

I’m young. Not young enough to be considered a child, but young enough to be able to use my age as an excuse. I’ve made mistakes and many have been blamed on my age. I’m a child, I’m immature and many would even say I’m childish. I don’t deny this. I believe in this perfect world, which means that even the smallest bit of injustice hits me with full force. The smallest lies, the silliest promises broken often leave me in tears. I can’t deal with grownup issues. I don’t know how to save money, or rather, I don’t understand why I need to. I don’t see why I shouldn’t let the bus conductor or three wheeler driver keep the balance. I don’t see how buying books I may never read is a waste of money.

I am often too emotional. I don’t keep my feelings in check. When I’m lost in thought, I don’t think about ending poverty or taking part in the next revolution. Instead, I think about seemingly simple things. Puppies, friends, memories, happiness.

Things that really annoy me are simple too. People who leave strands of hair in sinks of public bathrooms. People who spit on the roads. People who smoke. People who have no manners.

And things that make me angry are liars, cheaters and people who hurt others.

Being childish and young also makes me want to complain about anything and everything. I complain about so many things. But I don’t take these complaints to the big guys because I don’t think I should put people in trouble. If it gets unbearable, I will talk to the person concerned. Most often, I just deal with it, by talking about it, or writing about it.

And words. Words are what I love the most. However, words, they are also what keep digging my grave deeper and deeper. Words, they create a heaven for me. And they create a hell too.

Love. Love gives me strength. When I turned sixteen or even eighteen, I’m sure my parents would have been worried. They may have prepared themselves for those requests to go for late night parties, to meet boys and go on dates. None came from me. I never go for parties, never to clubs, never to have a drink or two. I’ve never dated or ever wanted to. I was the girl who was never asked out, the girl who was liked by no guy. And I have no problem with this. I mean, I’m still young, too young to deal with relationships.

And yet, when words get me in trouble, when I’m too childlike to deal with the world, I feel this loneliness. I feel the need to fill the tiniest bit of empty space in my heart; the space for love.

So I miss having someone special I could run to when the world becomes too dark. Someone who would buy me flowers. Someone to defend me.

And since there is no one, I keep walking away from the problems I cause. Not because of the flight or fight theory. I don’t fight, simply because I don’t think I can defend myself. But I don’t run away either. I don’t run away from issues. Instead I distance myself from people I don’t like, and from the people who don’t like me. I distance myself from places that feel like enemy ground, where I’m not happy. Instead of complaining and kicking up a fuss, I just walk away.

It hurts to do so. To leave ten people I love because of one person I hate. But it’s easier than fighting, arguing and making things even more unpleasant.

I know I can’t always do this. I’m young enough to be blamed, to be shouted at. I’m young enough to be told that I’m always the wrongdoer. But I’m also young enough to walk away.

However, a perk of being young is that I can easily love. Easily find happiness. At least, the temporary kind. So I will continue to love; people and words. I will continue to find ways to be happy. And when I’m too tired, too exhausted, I will walk away. I won’t complain. I won’t ask for a grand farewell. I will just walk away.

I don’t want to leave a mark, in this world, in the lives of people I know. I want to be kind of person who is so insignificant, they aren’t missed. And for now, I can believe that it’s possible to live a life that leaves no marks.

It’s not easy being young. You don’t think twice before you say something or do something and people always watching you. However, being young isn’t something that lasts forever, just like the exhaustion that comes with being young. By now, you may be wondering where this post is going, what it’s supposed to be mean. However, this is just a rant, a stream of thoughts. Being young is like this, there’s a journey, but you never know where this journey will take you. There are words here, but these words didn’t tell you anything specific.

However, the following words will tell you what I wanted this post to be about.

I’m young. I don’t always apologize. I think I’m right. I make mistakes. I say things without thinking twice. Don’t hold these against me. Because someday (soon) I will grow up. I will stop being young, immature and childish. And then I’ll understand, I’ll realize and I’ll know. For now, all I ask from you is some patience.