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Archive for the ‘Newsy’ Category

Pardon the rather rude title but I’m at odds as to how to react to a bit of news I received a few days ago. It’s been stewing around in my head for a while and I thought I’d let you in on it to see how you’d react to it as well.

A certain church of the folk plans to open a TV and radio station to further help spread the good news to the people they haven’t been able to reach by now. Or at least that’s the assumption I’m making, because why else would a church want to venture into owning their own media if not

Jesus & Elvis in space by Vernavulpes

Jesus & Elvis in space by Vernavulpe

Now my first reaction is that if an entity has that much money, shouldn’t they focus on if there was a bigger need for it? I was thinking of the IDPs who have no homes to go back to. I mean you read posts like this and you wonder what you can do yourself. Far be it for me to make a decision on how someone else should spend their money, but when it’s a church I guess it becomes a matter of public interest.

Now I’m all for spreading the good news. A friend of mine, non-Christian of course, asked me why the Christian church was so adamant about shoving their religion down the throats of others. I told him that it was the foundation of Christianity. Some know that a man called Jesus, the son of god himself who died that we can all be absolved of sin. This amazing piece of news needs to be spread to the corners of the earth. True, I agreed that some groups can be radical in their approach and thereby come across as forceful or annoying, but I told him that at the heart of it was good intention.

But the more I thought about it, another more crucial quote from the Bible comes to mind. One that will solve everything. End wars. Feed the hungry. Change the world. All the epic stuff. Only if it was believed in. “Love one another as I have loved you”. For me, this means more than spreading the good news of the next life. What’s the point if we can’t get along and help each other in this one? Even Jesus focused on feeding the 5000 before he preached to them after all.

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The agency I work for turned 10 yesterday. The boys & I spent many sleepless nights putting together someting that was truly amazing to showcase what 10 years really means when an agency pays no heed to conventions and makes waves from the word go. I’m exhausted, but feeling quite passionate about it all.

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Inspired after brilliant open mike night, my friend Buddhi’s performance and another on of WDR’s brilliantly worded posts… This is part of a huge initiative by the Times of India’s campaign called India Poised and I wanted to post one of the essential pieces of copy that made it such a huge success. This is an ad which replaced the front page of the Times of Inida on Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday… It’s called D.O.

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This campaign, launched on independence day 2007 started off as a single press ad called “India vs India” and overnight turned into something even the client and ad agency didn’t foresee. As a result an unplanned second phase was launched called The Lead India movement, which called for people to take a stand for what they believed in for their nation and  saw 30,000 people from all walks of life stepping up to the plate as possible future leaders of their country. Through a rigorous process of interviews, tests etc they were narrowed down to 8 people who campaigned all over the country talking about what they stood for. Finally India as a nation picked one man to become their future leader. This man will be a registered candidate at the next general election and probably become the nation’s next prime minister.  

 

Here’s the first ad, which replaced the front page of the Times of India on Independence Day that started it all off…

 

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It’s quite easy to replace the word “India” with “Sri Lanka” which instantly evoke the desire to slam your head against a wall. Hopefully after that, we’ll also feel the desire to march.

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Is a nation truly the sum of its parts or merely the sum of its leaders? You could say that they are both intertwined in a sense. Our leaders, democratically or otherwise, are voted in by us, are they not? And we do so in thinking that they represent our thoughts and ideals. Sometimes even our hopes and dreams.

Over the past few days everyone’s in a bygones type of mood, it seems. A radio show host who thus far didn’t hesitate to throw an insult or two at the present government in the midst of his morning chatter said its time to forget all of it and look forward once more as one united Sri Lanka. That this independence needs to mean something. Peace after many moons in finally at out doorstep and so forth.

I couldn’t help but not get caught up in all of it. Is it a simple case of the cost of peace and the cost of the rehabilitation of this country been too great? It has taken its toll on me too sometimes. I lost a cousin and a friend both to this great battle. It may have been 13 years ago, but I still remember how I felt. A young girl wondering what this huge sense of patriotism they felt was that they both wanted a career in the air force. To date, I still don’t have the answer. And maybe that’s a fault of mine.

I don’t think I’ve ever felt very patriotic if patriotism is about what the great leasers of our nation tell us it is. What I’ve felt and still feel, I think is nationalistic. I don’t think there needs to be a desire to lay down your life for your country when it is a case of 2 factions within the country itself that are doing the fighting. Fighting for independence is one thing, but I’ll never understand the oxymoron of fighting for peace. For a time I understood both sides of the story. But a refusal to come to the peace table made me change my mind. It’s a time when one has no faith in either side. There really wasn’t a cause left for quite a while now. All I felt was the fact that the North and East coasts were opened for a while finally and I soaked in many beautiful sunrises in Trinco. And then it was grabbed away from me all over again. That’s what I mean about nationalism. I love this country. I will never live anywhere else. I have a purpose here.

I love exploring every corner of this island and meeting the different types of people. In a matter of hours from Colombo, you feel as if you have entered a different world. People talk different, live different. Towns and little hamlets are so diverse from one place to the other. Isn’t that a miracle? To have such extremes, such diversity all packed up in one little island?

And I want that preserved.  But at what cost? Do I want it preserved for my children, whilst someone else will never have children who will grow up to witness it because he died too young on a battlefield? I always have been and I always will be anti-war. And if that makes me unpatriotic, so be it, Mr. President.

We have all been called to action this Independence Day. But which form of action will we follow? I won’t play the patriot game. Because I don’t want to win this mad new competition of who flies the biggest flag outside their home on Independence Day. After all, are we called to celebrate independence or the government’s victory in this sad war? I just love my country. For her people. I refuse to judge a nation’s faults in the multitudes. We are all not collectively to blame for the errors of a few. Our biggest fault maybe ignorance. But in the midst of it, there is also unwavering hope and that immortal Sri Lankan smile. It maybe used by some for their own betterment, but lets not fault a nation for her innocence. Let’s praise her for her virtues and move ahead. If that is what it takes to be a patriot, then I am one.

Patriotism has never and will never be about a worthless war whose leaders on both sides let hundreds of thousands perish for their personal desires. Patriotism isn’t helping them live out their personal dreams and fulfilling their personal agendas, especially when it conflicts with that of the collective of the nation. The saddest part is that so many people in Sri Lanka are so unaware that they are striving towards someone else’s dream with the false hope that theirs will also be fulfilled. 

For me, patriotism, nationalism, or whatever it is that I have felt, is about wanting the best for the people of a country. It’s about letting those grudges go and hoping for a better life for all of us and for our children too. It’s about being able to wake up in the morning knowing that this country and its people have made it possible for you to chase your dreams and live them. Its about wanting the overall quality of life improved. Its about a collective adventure to rebuild a nation.

My one wish this Independence Day is independence of thought for every single human being in my country. And I hope I live to see the day it happens, because it surely must. 

FYI, from dictionary.com :

Patriot – a person who loves, supports, and defends his or her country and its interests with devotion 

Nationalist – One who advocates national unity and independence

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This is an update of sorts since I have been snowed under with work. And since this occasionally becomes a pimped out diary like that of RDs, I feel it is only fair to share the sordid and shameful things that I have done and that have happened to me in the past few weeks. And trust me, this is juicy. In an embarrassing sort of way that is. Simply because I have found myself digressing back to my juvenile delinquent days. Of course this has been interspersed with some rather delicious happenings in the process as well.

Firstly. Work is not as pleasant as it used to be. And it has nothing to do with the excess of work at all. Its just suddenly turned into an environment that doesn’t seem to be conducive to lost sandwiches. And I know this because I wake up hating the day because I have to go to work. Its not something that I am at liberty to discuss at this point so lets just leave it at that shall we?

Next, in the middle of the overload at work, it leaves me with nothing left to spare for the other parts of my life other than a single brain cell which is in suspended animation anyways. So this single braincell, lets call her Ms. Juvie, happened to come across a video of Joey & Pacey from Dawson on You Tube. Yes, shameful. And then she remembered that she used to have an instance crush on Pacey (that Jackson boy was just divine!) and went on a mad search to every DVD store in Colombo looking for more. Needless to say, she didn’t find any, which was very good in the long run for me. Ms. Juvie has decided to calm down now and help me focus on other things.

One of those things being “the world premiere” aka the wedding of 2 dear friends for which she was asked to belt out the notes to show me heaven by maria mckee. A song that always reminded her of Tom Cruise running a little toy car up Nicole Kidman’s thigh. So she jumped at the opportunity. The thing is, I am the one who had to sing it, not her. I had never been able to. Had never tried. The night arrived. She downed three bacardi cokes and breakneck speed and sent me off to sing. This surprising things is that she actually did a good job with those b&c’s coz I actually pulled it off. In fact it was one of the best ever performances by the sandwich if I do say so myself.

Finally, I will be acting in a new play come mid June. A good thing indeed. The script is deliciously unusual and challenging. It was written by a 16 year old boy and short-listed for the gratien. My fellow cast members are amazing and I hope a jot of their talent will rub off on me. I was exhausted at the first reading so I asked Ms. Juvie to take over and she did a pretty decent job if I do say so myself.

So that’s that in the life and fortnight of the missing sandwich and her loyal braincell sidekick. I hope things clear up in the work front so that I can write more often. That’s one of the few things I don’t trust that Juvie with.

TTFN

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Have you got the forms yet? I have and I feel like a bloody refugee in Ratmalana. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me enlighten you. Last evening, the government officially revoked the CFA which has officially taken us into a war-torn state in its most extreme sense of the word. I returned home to a little white form called Emergency Regulation : section 23. It required me to fill in all my personal details, my reason for existence (as someone’s spouce in their minds ofcourse) and hand it in at the crack of dawn to the local temple. Why the temple you ask? Well, isn’t it obvious why not the regular channels such as a Gramasevaka or even the police station? I don’t really have to spell it out for you, do I? Either ways, this piece of paper will be used during various midnight raids to ensure that you haven’t lied. Ah yes, the regulation ensures that a score of officials military or otherwise may enter and check your house at three am and make you feel very violated by going through your most intimate posessions. Trust me on this, my mother-in-law’s house has been raided three times in a row.

All I can say is that I just wanted to sit down in a corner and have a long, loud cry. I realized that I don’t want to live like this. In this fear and panic every moment I’m alive. Soon it will effect my work and even my basic ability to function as a human being. Painc and fear does strange things to the human system.

So I did an on-line search for the safest cities/places in the world to live on my phone last night to discover that those places were Luxomburg and Vancouver. Unless I know fluent French or some other European language, can I really move there? Take the 2 four-legged rascals with us and live happily ever after cleaning toilets? Or have the cushy job here today and risk dying tomorrow…

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Ah ha!

So Santa did listen this time. Here I am typing this blog post on my very own brand new laptop. I am a happy happy girl. Even the picture of old uncle mervin in the newspaper next to me bothers me less. This morning I was in a fit of rage at the ridiculous things he had said in his interview. Some silly things like he was not aware that the person with him had any criminal record. And worse, he compared himself to Jesus, Buddha and Mohomad. Apparently he is on a preaching mission and is misunderstood by misguided people of the country. Hee hee. Misunderstood. Good one. Bothers me far less when one has a shiny new laptop to look at. Not that he doesn’t totally bother me. Plan to put the laptop to good use and come up with a strategy to quell his quench for power.

One thing though. Am utterly confused with the “wonders” of Windows Vista. On one hand it looks like its trying to ape a Mac in terms of its OS/platform and on the other, it just seems like they’ve just overdone it for no reason at all. Who am I to talk about something I have no clue about. Everyone seems to be raving about it, so maybe its just me. Sigh. Shouldn’t complain too much and make an effort to figure it out. After all, when one is gifted a laptop, one should not whine about the technology.

So this one’s a thanks to my very own, special, one-of-a-kind Santa.

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