Fish

Fish
My babies - last of the Mohiccans

Monday, July 9, 2018

Space and Time


Time,
binds us closer;
In seeking,
paths that lead to solace.
She dropped by
through space
and we have journeyed;
In warmth and cold,
battling issues,
enjoying sweetness.
Always staying close,
together.
In gardens of scented roses,
streams of blue waters,
among the singing of birds,
fruits, trees, and paths.
Walking,
hand in hand.
On the metro, in dreams,
holding tight.
So we wont fall.
Jogging along.
sharing nonsensicals.
Evoking happiness,
even sadness, sometimes.
Listening to lyrics,
the twinkling of keys,
Exchanging glances,
in shyness.
Within a myriad of moments
that have become
a home that keeps us longing
to dwell
in thoughts
and exchanges,
even though far apart.
The ticking, takes us
into beautiful moments,
where, we will eternally be
together,
in hearts, minds and dreams,
now and forever,
across divides,
through a black hole
that remains a warp of
our own space and time.

Tue, Jun 12, 2018

Friday, July 6, 2018

From a 70s senior to a his own 16 self


My dear teenager,

It is a great feeling moving into the seventies. Time has flown past you and reached me now. Looking back seems wonderful

What would I long to share with my own 16 year old self, after 5.5 decades?

You will surely remember that we were raised in a middle class family in Colombo on a secular path. Three excited siblings. Our grandparents lived with us in adjacent homes. Dad’s family was large with ten siblings. They all lived next door. Mum had four, and they lived with us in the same house.

Life was awesome then. School, the daily commute by bus, Cricket, Table Tennis, Cycling, Books, Homework, Movies, Kinross on Sunday mornings, the garden with all its goodies, and some great food prepared by the matriarchs at home, was the order of the day. The love of our grandparents was unique in that it filled up so many voids left behind by Dad and Mum, who were always busy with whatever they had on their plate.

Learning new things through curiosity and questions was the way we lived. School was a great place to be. Our mentors were magnificent. They made us into mighty men.

Music was a huge part of life. The Radio at first dished out by the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation served us the very best in music. Everyone at home enjoyed the programs. The turntable came next and record collection became a part of life.

Reading was a critical part of every day. The bookman used to come trudging on his bicycle and we were lavished with a whole host of material, from comic strips to history, to bite on. The library was a safe haven to take shelter in. The school library at Royal, The Public Library, The British Council and The American Center were heavenly abodes to seek reading contentment. They opened up highways of information that still remain stored inside my mind.

It was 1964. O Levels was the most important thing to get by. It was the first hurdle that we needed to jump over successfully. University seemed still so far away. Computing and Music were alluring. Math was magical. A levels popped up in 1966 and away we soared into the skies of a College education. Moving from a totally same sex environment in school to a mixed gender populace at University was an interesting learning curve in life.

Relationships came and went. Some were sweet. Some tragic. They left all kinds of voids inside us. We were romantic and often dreamed about meeting a special soul mate someday. We had our own criteria etched in our mind of who, what and how she should be.

People come and go. Some are beneficial, some not so. You have to pick and choose who you want to swing with. Either, they will make you or break you.

Death brings sadness. Grandpa went first in 1968. I cried. Parting was tough after so many wonderful years of togetherness, learning and love. The other oldies left too, one by one over the next few years. Some things had to leave. Time shadows the sadness and life goes on.

Work, travel, family and kids enter your life. It’s a new beginning.

It is so fascinating when you meet and recognize the way people behave and respond. There will be naysayers, soothsayers, teachers and preachers. Listen to them all but make up your own mind. Learn that we all have great potential in what we may choose to do in life, if only we can harness it. Just follow your passions.  Don’t forget to teach while you learn.

Underneath it all, it will be seen that the core values we develop growing up are intrinsically the same. Continue to treat people the way you want to be treated. The  strong family values passed on by our parents will be integral to the way we live. Remain open to learning and curious about the world. Keep on growing and expanding your mind, learning so much about yourself and others around you. Catch up on history. Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat the mistakes that were made.

Old patterns and conditioning and that old story of not being good enough rears its ugly head at the most inopportune of times. Understand that you are so much more than your thoughts and ego. RFelish the times you feel and know this, even though your anxiety and fear can get in the way at times.

Be so proud of yourself for the times you step out of your comfort zone. Don’t shy away from challenges. Embrace them and through them you’ll become stronger and more resilient. Learn to be kinder to yourself and appreciate them now rather than looking at the what ifs and being fearful about the future.

Patience can be tough but becomes very necessary. Always think before you say or act instead of having to regret your knee jerk actions later.

At 16, you may think anyone in their seventies is ancient and is probably retired anyway but I can tell you, my own 16 year old self, that this notion is so far from the truth. Your desire to contribute and make a difference will remain, very much, the theme of your life no matter what age you are.

Your life will continue to unfold in a variety of ways. Yes, there is no doubt you will become a lot wiser as you move older in age but you have still so much to learn and experience. You have different paths to take and will continue to challenge yourself and try new things, even though many of your family and friends can sometimes be puzzled by this way of thinking.

Those old limiting patterns continue to rear their head but you are becoming so much more aware of them. You accept they are there but you aren’t consumed by them.  They are just thoughts and are not the essence of you.  You know life will continue to give you curve balls and they end up being your best teachers.

Life, eventually, is a sum total of all our experiences.

My dear 16 year old self, finally, let me share a powerful quote with you that held me in good stead and sums up how I am living my life now, at 70.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
— Victor Frankl (1905-1997)

Violence



War and human suffering have always been a very significant factor in life since the beginning of time. Individuals and groups who challenge authority, abuse power, and oppress others are always here to stay. Countering violence demands sustained intellectual engagement. We are all watchmen and watchwomen, guided by the lessons and cautions of centuries of unnecessary devastation.
No viable critique of violence can deduce its justification from any singular, sovereign academic who might offer reductive explanations of its causes and propose orthodox solutions. Such a stance leads to the domestication of thought, often in the politicized service of a select few. Instead, we need to have a serious conversation among thinkers, advocates, artists and others that leads to a new textual borderland of open inquiry, where poetry slips into the demands for human dignity and the importance of trans disciplinary conversations are not simply focused on revealing the crises of contemporary political thought but encourage a rethinking of what it might mean to be human in the 21st century.
Facts worth considering are:
1. All violence has a history. Understanding the cyclical nature of violence is crucial if we are to gain a tangible grip on its contemporary manifestations and look to engage in the difficult and fraught process of breaking the cycle.
2. Violence is all about the violation of bodies and the destruction of human lives. For that reason, violence should never be studied in an objective and unimpassioned way. It points to a politics of the visceral that cannot be divorced from our ethical and political concerns.
3. For violence to take hold there is a need to suppress the memory of historical persecution. This weaponization of ignorance points to the violence of organized forgetfulness.
4. Violence includes the destruction of the customs, spaces and rhythms that constitute a person’s life. Nowhere is this more evident than with the plight of millions of refugees who are fleeing unimaginable devastation — often the destruction of all they could wish to return to.
5. The overt politicization of violence can render certain forms of it rational and tolerable for public consumption. Violence, in fact, can consist of demeaning processes intended to disqualify lives and ways of living from deserving safety and rights. It marks out some as being naturally inferior, disposable and expendable.
6. Addressing violence requires rethinking what constitutes a crime against humanity. Since the human is necessarily dependent upon thriving environmental conditions for a sustainable existence, the problem of violence also points us toward an entire ecology of thought.
7. Violence is not simply carried out by irrational monsters. Sadly, most violence is not exceptional or deviant. It has proved, time and time again, to be integral to civilizations’ conceptual claims to truth, harnessing the discursive power of human progress, while appealing to security and order and even taking place in the name of freedom and justice.
8. Violence brings us directly into ethical relations. The key here is to identify and disrupt forms of ethical hierarchy, which allow violence to be committed upon a given animal, human or otherwise, as it is naturalized by authenticating frameworks of biological designation.
9. Violence begins in the minds of people, and mostly men. As such, the problem will remain poorly understood if it is accounted for only in terms of how and what it kills, the scale of its destructiveness or any other quantitative measure. 
10. Despite the tragic nature of the human condition, there is resistance to violence everywhere. The problem, however, is to convey the power of that resistance, or the barbarity of the violence it faces, in a way that galvanizes action rather than abets the status quo.
Humanity is undoubtedly at a dangerous crossroad. We are being forced to ask whether we have the ethical fortitude to save ourselves from our own veritable extinction. The previous years have certainly been challenging in the search for answers. As the world said goodbye to some of the best of us, it also witnessed the resurgence from the shadows of new forces of hatred and repressed anger and rage. But let us not forget, the future is yet to be decided. Now more than ever, we need to find reasons to believe in this world, for it is the only world we have. So as we look toward the future, let’s acknowledge the downtrodden who refuse to accept the oppressive weight of history, the writers who bring tears to our eyes, the artists who resist the graying of existence, the poets who dare to write about a love that cannot be put into words, the musicians who rock our souls and the children who are never defeated by the limits of present.

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Journey

"She took me away,
on a journey;
Through streams
and hills and dales.
We walked by paths
and streams and things;
Holding hands
all the way.
The night was filled
with yearnings,
To be close and so carefree.
Let this journey
Never end for me;
Cos I want to be
In her arms
everyday."

Do all men have a mistress in their mind?


Do all men have a mistress in their mind?
Mistress, is usually, a woman who has a continuing relationship with a legally married man. Becoming a mistress is not something that is easy for any sane, common sense thinking woman. More often than not it is the man who makes the initial move to seek a mistress and many women do fall prey to this approach. There are no "right or wrong reasons" to induce someone to engage in an affair, be it with a single or married person.

To be in a marriage must have its own reasons, expectations, value, and connotations. Most often a marriage is defined by theistic beliefs, which ordain that it is a contract and institution between one man and one woman, “until death do us apart”.

Love, on the other hand, between two people can surface at any time in the lives of people, before, or even after marriage. If a man believes he loves a woman, and, the woman believes she loves him in return, then, they usually end up in a relationship that could easily end up in a marriage. Subsequent to that there is also the possibility that either of them may or may not enter into another relationship outside of this marriage.

So what happens when a man or woman enters into a personal and private relationship with a third person after they have committed themselves into a legal marriage?

Most grownups would say that the married couple should simply separate and terminate the legal contract and be free to do as they please with their lives? But, sometimes, such an action may not be the best thing for both. If the man isn't prepared to do that, then, it is very possible that he just wants to have the cake and eat it. In such a situation who is the aggrieved party? The wife, or the mistress? Does the legal paper that confirms a marriage override the verbal agreement that a man has with his mistress?

Let’s not make the mistake of equating sex with love. Therefore, we cannot assume that if a man is having sex with his mistress, he really loves his wife or even doesn't. It can certainly be one of the two. No one can tell that. Sometimes, not even the man himself.

Men can love their wives and still have sex with another woman. For a woman, having an affair with a married man is not a game or a source of fun. It certainly is a commitment that comes with a very high price tag. People can, and usually do, get hurt in the process.

Over the last several decades, sex and marriage have become increasingly, well, decoupled. One factor is that young people are putting off marriage longer and longer, causing men and women to have an extended term of premarital relationships and sex than what may be actually good for them. Many human behavior and sociology researchers seem to think and believe today that, “the link between sexual activity and marriage is breaking down.”

Is marriage supposed to handle, resolve, and manage all the sexual pressures that men and women face in life? People are also living longer than what they used to many decades ago. So, how does marriage survive that extended period and test of time?

In days gone by, marriage was a more formal institution whose purpose was to breed and reproduce children in order to maintain a family, and thereby, keep the species existent.
Cultural standards of morality have also changed dramatically. In ancient aristocracies, rich, famous, and powerful men had partners for pleasure and concubines for quick sex. In the Victorian age, prostitution was far more open than it is today. The western world is a special case. By the early-twentieth century the combined impact of egalitarian ideals and Hollywood had burdened marriage with a new responsibility: providing romantic love forever. The very first “couples therapy” in the western world began cropping up, sometime, in the thirties, when people found their marriages weren’t measuring up to cultural expectations.

Some men will claim that their wives were no longer interested in sex, hence he went and had a quick fling and maybe, sometimes, a little more too. His valid claim may be, “I can’t change my wife’s point of view.” Asked if he felt shame, he may respond, “I do, but a need is a need, right?.”

So, is marriage the real problem here? Aren’t men and women equally oppressed by expectations based on how they have been nurtured, raised up, and taught to think and believe of what a marriage is expected to deliver?

Expectations today are ridiculously high. Nobody expects to find personal fulfillment and happiness in a marriage before it happens. Marriage can be very satisfying, but it may still not necessarily be this “until death do us apart” romance for 50 years. Marriage involves routine, and, routine kills passion. Marriage has many benefits and values, but eroticism is certainly not one of them.
A long and supportive marriage may be more valuable than a sexually faithful one. Think about it. Let me ask, “Why does society consider it more moral for you to break up a marriage, go through a divorce, disrupt your children’s lives maybe forever, just to be able to fuck someone with whom the fucking is going to get just as boring as it was with the wife, before long?”

Is it possible, or even thinkable, to try and change sexual norms to, say, encourage restaurant waitresses to look forward to being mistresses as a cool option. Impossible, I would think. Wives aren’t going to allow it, and we men, usually, grant them a lot of power; they’re all as dominant as Yoko Ono, I suppose? “Look, we are the weaker animal,” most men would say. “Our wives commandeer our situations.” We men do love our wives and depend on them. “In most of our cases, the wives make our homes, manage our social calendar, bind up our wounds and finish our thoughts, and are stitched into our extended families more intimately than we are. They seem emotionally better equipped than we are. If my marriage broke up, my wife could easily move in with a sister. I’d be as lost as plankton.”

April 9, 2018 – Jeddah, KSA


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Desire



Desire is a creature,
that creeps on you,
 unsuspectingly;
Seeking to arouse,
the innermost fibers,
mysteriously;
Passion surfaces,
like a silent hand,
amazingly;
The body gives up,
and embraces it all
succulently.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Angel from Heaven


She came down, smiling;
Her face so shining, with
eyes like sparkling wine.
She reached out, caressing
and shared her feelings,
Embracing, the peace of the night.
An Angel from Heaven,
a blessing she is,
so pretty and cute as the light;
My wishes for her,
to be happy and safe;
Throughout her forthcoming life.