“Acomodador: There is always an event in our lives that is responsible for us failing to progress” – Paulo Coehlo
Recently I read Paulo Coehlo’s ‘The Zahir’ and it moved me in many ways. I am not a big fan of novels like that, but for some reason I had to read it. Coehlo has always been one of my favourite authors, although I haven’t read many of his books. (The Alchemist is not my favourite).
In fact, this book is one of the reasons I decided to start writing on my blog again. When I first started my blog a couple of years ago, I was enthusiastic about updating it with interesting bits and pieces from my life, but soon I figured nobody is interested in reading it and there are far better blogs with more hits everyday. That is my giving up point of the blog.
A couple of months before I read the Zahir, I had started writing a journal about my life (with no intention of publishing), to help me review what was going on with my life. I was at very low point in my life and needed to do a serious analysis about what I have done wrong to be at such a point. However, I stopped writing the journal, partly because it reminds me of the past and things I didn’t want to think about. Now I realize that it actually helped me a lot, it was like telling my life story to someone and else and reading about my life. It’s always easier to read something and see where things have gone wrong.
So, this blog is going to be the beginning of that review. The best way is to tell your story over and over again, until you find what exactly you did wrong or why you gave up.
I know there are better writers out there who can say all this in three words (I’m just being dramatic), but I don’t care. I just want to write about everything I feel like writing about. That’s why this is going to be where I’ll express my opinion on things I come across and write about my shadows or things that follow me.
Monday, February 19, 2007
i was in galle last weekend with a bunch of friend to watch the world's biggest, slowest and weirdest sports. i've known about elephant polo since my first trip to thailand a long long time ago. but never had the chance to watch it. so i was quite excited and was more than happy to drive down to Galle to watch the Elephant Polo Tournament hosted by Ceylon Elephant Polo Association.
we arrived in Galle late friday evening, as you can imagine rest of the night and morning was spent on the beach with food and the famous 'lion' of sri lanka. next day everybody was woken up earlier than needed by the most enthusiastic among all of us to go and watch the game. however, we never made it before it started.
once we got over the excitment of seeing the elephants on the field, we were faced with a very slow boring game. the elephants hardly run. but i was impressed by how the mahouts (drivers) controlled the elephants and brought them to the exact spot the players wanted. by the way, the players sits on the back of the elephant and there is a second (or first) person who drives the elephant around.
luckily a game doesn't last very long and when they had the break, we got the chance to ride the elephants. that's an experience. it felt funny in a way too, because if you are ina real polo game you can't get on the horse back during the break. but it was a good experience. worth the drive.
the winners of the Tournament are Tickle and Ivory. they had their trunks popping out of their pants. he he he.
Friday, February 16, 2007
i read in Times Online that something like 800m pounds is spent every year on the run-up to Valentine's Day celebrations. can you believe that? no wonder men are excited and worried about the Day. some men worry about this day more than their weddings and first dates. even some of the most smooth talkers among my friends stutter on Valentine's Day. the sweet gesture of giving flowers become an embarrassment of roses dumped on girls' doorsteps or office desks.
guys, give yourself a break. this is all commercial pressure. seriously. i live in a country where they take celebrations to the next level. Christmas decorations can be seen from the beginning of October. so i wasn't surprised to see Valentine's Day decorations in ODEL in January this year.
i'm not saying that you shouldn't celebrate it. do it your own way. in a unique way. a gift is not what matters. how many flowers can you give? how many heart-embedded bears can you give? shoes? dress? there is a limit to all this. besides she's probably not going to wear the dress you got for her. it might be expensive, but i doubt it'll fit her perfectly. the research shows now that girls crave attention and affection. that's what you need to give them on Valentine's Day.
this struck me last Valentine's Day. since i started dating my fiancee, it’s never important to impress her with a extravagant restaurant booking and a hundred dozen flowers. (yep, been there done that. i know. it's embarrassing.) everyday day is Valentine's Day. we've spent three valentine's together and only once we celebrated it on 14th. otherwise we pick the nearest weekend and do something together. i prefer cooking a nice meal and enjoying some nice wine and sitting out in the garden, talking about what we like. now i feel better. no pressure to deliver. the point is, once you are in a serious relationship, you don't really try to impress the girl, yet the somple things you do mean a lot more to her.
if you must do something on the day, avoid restaurant and all the advertisements in newspapers and gift vouchers. restaurants are the worst, because there is a strange vibe there. one third is just looking at each other and not eating, one third don't really need to be there but they ought to, the rest are wondering and worse trying to listen to what sweet things other couples are talking about. so it's better to be in a more personal and quiet place. try your regular coffee shop, where they don't have Valentine's Coffee and sit with your girl and order a hot chocolate and some cake and talk. or just enjoy a walk while everyonoe else is inside wasting money on restaurants and buy some ice creams from the roadside and enjoy it. the choices are endless.
i vaguely remember a verse in Hamlet that talks about a lady standing near a window, waiting for the her valentine. appearantly they used to do that and they believe that first person they see will marry them whithin a year. since then i always had this picture in my mind of Valentine's Day naturally being a day for lovers who are soul mates and they didn't know about it. there is some sweet history to it. the martyred priests and their final love notes. but a lot of people don't know about the disturbing connection to the Lupercalia festival in which naked Romans ran through towns whipping women with goats' thongs. with all that, the commercial media only portrays the sweet side of it and we grow up thinking what we read in Hamlet in school is the truth and that is how it works.
you should chuck those commercial ideas and do something on your own. if you are just trying to establish a relationship a nice home cooked meal would do. if you are already going out for a while and done home cooking, a day out walking will make a difference, if you've been going out for long and are already living together, how about opening a joint bank account?
the song 'my funny valentine' says it all.