Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gifts of Love


Image from here: http://cdn.sheknows.com/


A deep, mutual love
of a man and a woman
creates a path for an Angel
to come down from heaven
and become man
leaving the comforts of paradise
to transform into flesh and blood
growing inside a mother’s womb
dreaming of a world outside
and the love of fellow man
a blessing upon a man and a woman
the ultimate gift of God’s love

Monday, April 07, 2014

Spare the rod and spoil the child

Recently I’ve heard several instances where teachers who punished students gets blamed for it by the parents, while the culprit goes scot free. The most famous incident was where that Pradeshiya Sabha member made a teacher kneel down for punishing his daughter for having a short skirt length. I put that down to total mental retardation. Wouldn’t expect much more form a politician these days. Sadly, this seems to be becoming the norm, rather than the exception.

Our parish priest gave a sermon recently on the same theme. Before mass starts, he goes around the church and checks if children are hanging outside of the church and drives them inside. He has reserved the front pews especially for Sunday school students. Apparently some parents are not happy with that. I mean, he’s just asking them to come inside the church during mass, but that seems to be a big problem for some. He used to ask the adults to come in too, but adults being adults, never listens, so he gave that up. It’s the same at the school too. Punish a student and the parents come crying foul, without even considering what the child has done.

I don’t think it’s wrong for the priest to ask people to come inside the church during service. Regardless of your religion, if you are participating for any religious observance, shouldn’t you participate whole heartedly? Nobody forces you to come to church or temple. If you don’t want to participate in the ceremonies with devotion, then why bother to come at all? Stay home without becoming a distraction for rest of the worshippers.

A teacher I know says a similar thing. If they punish a student and the parents come and make a big fuss about it. Yes, teachers shouldn’t be allowed to punish indiscriminately or dole out severe punishments. There should be some checks in place with competent supervisory roles established to control them. But teachers should have authority and freedom to help students rectify their mistakes.

Someone can argue that it’s better to teach the child the right from wrong rather than punishing them. In a perfect world, children would listen to adults and behave accordingly. But in the real world, saintly children like that are a rare minority. We were all kids once, and we know all the things we did back then. I was punished by teachers, but I didn’t go home crying ‘boo hoo I got punished’. If I had done that, my parents would’ve said “you probably deserved it”. Think about it. Would you have not done certain things back then if the threat of punishment was not hanging in the air?

If a child doesn’t listen to good advice and keeps doing the same wrong thing, shouldn’t they be punished? What happens now is that children know that they can get away with anything. If someone punishes them, they go running to their parents, knowing very well that the parents will blame everyone except the child.

This is even happening with grown up children. A family I know runs a Pharmacy and employ two young girls for sales work. It’s not a high paying job, but the employers are very lenient folks. The girls on the other hand are not that reliable and tends not to show up sometimes without prior notice. Recently, both of them had gotten late coming in the morning and the employer had bit sternly suggested that they try to come on time. One of the girls has gone home and said this to her father, and the father has decided not to send the daughter to work from there afterwards. The girl actually wants to keep the job but the father seems adamant. It’s like that they have no work ethic, and when the employer tries to rectify it, it’s somehow the employers fault. If you don’t want to work according to rules, then fine, it’s your loss. It’s funny, but people complain that it’s hard to find a job, but then they don’t make the effort to keep the job they have. The topic of work ethics is a whole another discussion.


Parents today are too result oriented. First, the scholarship exams, then the O/L and the A/L, the whole target being getting in to a university. So they are forcing kids to study from the day that they start school. Add to that, they are white washing the wrong doings of the child. You don’t have to be a psychologist to know that there is something wrong there. We are just nurturing a generation of insensitive, immature people who will have unrealistic expectations of society, and who will not have the necessary skills to survive the real world. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Siripa Karuna


Sri Pada is an important place of worship in Sri Lanka, and I believe that most devout Buddhists try to make the climb at least once a year. As a non-Buddhists, the chance never really presented itself until a few weeks ago. In my opinion, hiking to the peak of Sri Pada is one of those things that you should do at least once in your life time.

This hike was organized by some co-workers at office, and eventually about 40 people joined the group. My close friends were surprised that I too had decided to join because, let’s just say that I’m not a big fan of physical activity. I knew it was going to be challenging, and that was one of the main reasons for me to take it on.

We started off from Erathna, in Kuruwita around 12.30 in the afternoon. There are three main routes you can take, and the Erathna trail is considered as the longest, with a total length of 12km. The elevation gain is about 1850m. The climb is gradual with intermittent steep climbs. Most of the way, at least upto Haramitithenna, is natural footpath through the forest. However, there are concrete steps and handrails for the hardest sections. Lamps are erected all the way, but some have blown out. A torch is recommended.

 The Hatton Nallathanni trail is the shortest, with a length of 5km, but it is also the steepest, and about 80% of the hike consists of climbing steps. It is also very crowded and not very scenic. We made our decent through that route.  Even in the morning, there was a line of people stretching about quarter of the way down still waiting to reach the top. Some said they had spent nearly 3 hours in the line.

We reached Haramitithenna around 1AM, nearly 13 hours since we started. Haramitithenna is the last main rest point before reaching the peak. This is also where the Rathnapura-Palabadala trail joins up with the Erathna trail. We rested for couple of hours there and started the final ascent around 3.30AM so we can time it to watch the sunrise. There were a lot of people, so they weren’t letting people stay at the peak for a long time. Even at the time we went, it was pretty much packed, and we couldn’t even get a good view point facing east. We had to make do with watching the peripheral light of the rising sun.

Yes, it was very tiring, and there were times when I thought oh why’d I sign up for this. Then you see seventy, eighty year old grandmothers pass you by without even breaking sweat, and you feel ashamed for yourself. That kind of kept me going.

The only thing kind of disappointing to me was the behavior of some people. At the peak, there is an upper level “maluwa” where the footprint of the Lord Buddha can be worshipped. Because there were a lot of people, a queue had formed to go up. But some people just blatantly ignore the queue and cut in as they please. Due to that, there was a big rush, with a lot of pushing and shoving to get to the top. I can’t understand why some people act like this. I mean if you can spend 10 to 15 hours climbing to the top, why can’t you wait 20-30 minutes to reach the finish line. Have a little patience will you. I have noticed this a lot. Some people have a very hard time understanding the concept of queuing. The worst part is that they don’t even understand that it is wrong and very rude.

Lizard

Lizard

Mountain View

A Place to worship along the way

Forrest Temple

Colorful Accessories

Mountain View

Mountain View

Flower

Mountain View

Flower

Taking a break

Old Resting place

Taking a break

Beginning of another day

Capturing the moment

Sunrise from the peak

View from the peak

View from the peak

View from the peak

View from the peak

View from the peak

Lighting lamps to please the Gods

Fire

Devotees

Devotees

Maussakelle Reservoir

Devotees

View from the peak


Flags

Sri Pada

Sri Pada

Edge of sky



  


Thursday, February 20, 2014

At Days End

As the clock ticks towards eve
a swarm of men and women
flock the city roads
like worker drones out of a hive
heading back to their homes
at days end

The roads are blocked
traffic is at a standstill
engines running at idle
while occupants stare impatiently
for the traffic to move again
at days end

Public transport is a mess
passengers packed to all corners
like sardines in a tin
suffering endlessly, yet silently
borne out of necessity
at days end

heading back home
an endless nightmare
tired and trodden
all longing for rest
at days end



Image credit: newsfirst.lk

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sad :(

Isn't it sad that life of cattle has become more important than human life in this country?
How many people are murdered each day?
Home many women and children raped or molested?
How much property stolen?
How many families suffer because they are poor?
How many innocents destroyed?
Crimes against humans are on the rise every day, and perpetrators are running free with impunity. I guess these people condone it, or even approve of it. Why aren't they having sathyagrahas for justice for those who have suffered injustice at the hands of their fellow man?  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Moments...












Thursday, November 14, 2013

More Random Pics...

It's been quite a busy time for yours truly, so here are some more pics to enjoy.