In Loving Memory of a Mother: Sithy Fowzia Razak

BY IMTIYAZ RAZAK

rose redJanuary 14, 2014 marks the 70th birthday of my beloved late mom–Sithy Fowzia Razak, a simple woman who was born in Sri Lanka and gave her best to her kids after her husband [my beloved dad, Razak] passed away at Mecca while he was performing Umrah in Saudi Arabia. [Read more…]

A space to remember

GAYA FERNANDO

Far away from Sri Lanka I gaze at the swallows with underbellies golden-glazed in the evening sun dip and swirl in abandon. I watch a white giant magnolia unfold.

Screen shot 2013-06-04 at 11.23.58 PMAnd then I think of all that is grief, all that is not now anymore but has gone before and wonder how in a hundred years someone will say what were they doing, thinking saying, all of them around the world who supposedly had lost something to war but had no human courage, largehearted unity and creativity to imagine, create and embrace a memorial space. [Read more…]

Chivalry of a Muslim brother on Hill Street, Dehiwela…

hands

In 1998 I was visiting a friend who lived off Hill Street one sunday afternoon and was driving off home around 5pm. A stupid tryshaw driver overtaking on the left made contact with my car with a shriek, squeak and left a nice little dent in the car and much more damage to his. I had no qualms at all, told him that it was his fault and  I would need a police report for the insurance claim, so to please accompany me to the Dehiwela Police Station. I then realised that we were not two, but three or four cos his friends had gathered. None of em meant me any harm and I never worried about it. He was strangely reluctant to go to the Police cos his tryshaw was not licensed or whatever. His friends scratched their heads… it was a bit icky for him I realised.

Behind me pulled up a car from the same lane and out stepped a young guy my age ish, and walked over to show some solidarity with me. I tried to tell him that I was ok but he wasn’t convinced. [Read more…]

Simple Joy

NATALE DANKOTUWAGE

I picked up the pail and flipped it over my head. The cold water rushed down my face. Nearby a cat scrolled along the tall walls that surrounded the Maha Gedara. A crow flew by while the mango tree’s long arms stretched out above me.

It was a sunny day on the outskirts of Colombo. One of those beautiful days that made all your worries subside. It was one of those days that made me want to bathe outdoors, donning a sarong around my body.

Once more, I ran the pail through a larger bucket of water. I raised the small bucket above my head and flipped it over letting the water fall over my head and down my face. Next door I could hear the neighbor’s running water and the splash of cloth against a flat surface. Someone was doing their laundry.

My mind ran off to stories of my mother’s childhood in this neighbourhood. When she had grown up here there’d been no running water. Rather, they’d have to venture off to the nearest river to bathe or wash their clothes. On odd days, government trucks arrived with tanks of water to distribute to the houses. People would rush to the trucks with their large buckets.

My mother and father have simple beginnings. Both were raised in large families of nine siblings by parents with a limited income. When they lived on the Island, river or outdoor baths by a well were a common occurrence.

When I visit, I relish these little things that they once did and do no more because wealth has gifted them with other facilities.

They’d gone West in search of material pleasures unfulfilled on their tropical Island. And, in many ways, they succeeded in appeasing their thirst and the journey was well worth it. Yet, sometimes, I find myself judging otherwise, especially on those days I bathe outdoors with the sun against my back.

There are literally some things that money cannot buy. And what’s most astonishing is that often those moments are far more fulfilling than all the material luxury the West has blessed us with…

The West has given them many comforts this Island couldn’t provide. But, the simple warmth this Island provides is surely irreplaceable. As I spend my summers here and when I discover a simple pleasure of no monetary value, I always think – they must miss this. Because somewhere deep down inside of me I hear an ancestral cry – I missed this.

Maha Gedara – the home of your grand parents, parent and their siblings

Read more from Natale Dankotuwage

 

Natale Danko is a recent graduate of the University of Toronto.

I fell in love the moment I got off the plane. I wrapped my soul around it and tied a knot…

NATALE DANKOTUWAGE

I remember I was four getting off the plane and having the warm air brush against my face. Young men that looked like me called out to each other in the foreign language my mother spoke as well. A foreign language I had heard too sparsely in the land I was born – Oh, Canada.

I fell in love the moment I got off the plane. I wrapped my soul around it and tied a knot. I was bounded and I would love it forever. It was perfect in so many ways – A home away from home.
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DD’s Blog : The most beautiful girls in the world

 

 

It’s racy, poignant and the poetry not included here is steamy …!!  see DD’s Blog. DD was and is one heck of a spoilt kid …;)
 

My first memory of bikes were the Suzuki ST125’s on display near the Bamabalapitiya bus stop. Sleek gleaming colours, the proud trail bikes standing tall with their circular gas tanks and the stand up handlebars. Barely a teen, making my father promise that my 18th birthday present would be one. I still remember then when the rupee was valuable they seemed dear at a mere Rs.13,000 each.

Consequently the bike craze that spread like wildfire through Colombo. My childhood hero’s; Dallas Martenstyn, Milinda Halahakoan and Tissa Wimalasekara. The races in Katukurunda when we used to just remove the muffler from Lucky’s KH125 or my dad’s Mark11 and just track them.

At a mere 16 years, when my dad refused permission for me to travel to Nuwara Eliya, locking my bedroom door and having the domestic boy shave my head bald in protest.

Soon the norm, all the accidents. Leading to complete parental refusal to even consider buying a teenage son a trail or road bike.

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Train-riders of my childhood inspired by reading Malinda Words: A short story about Route 167 and parallel lives

 
 

Colombo, Sri Lanka (2010)

Gaya: Sometimes people tell you mula amathaka karanna epa. Don’t forget where you began, literally.
 
Sri Lanka was a wonderful childhood place ( I was born in 72 ) cos we were all relatively dependant on each other for entertainment – telling stories, traveling in the train together and climbing over garden walls to play with the neighbour. There were no organised holidays to exotic destinations in my neighbourhood nor iPhones or isolating entertainment devices that reinforced my own individuality. So yes, my remembering where I began is bound up with a whole lot of people and funny memories. 
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Skype in the time of Avurudu


AMALI, London: “We went on skype just before 7.20 pm SL time, my mum had already prepared everything on a traditional wooden stove with a pot and milk.

She told me to put milk and rice in a small pot and let it simmer on the owen. We live next to a temple in Sri Lanka, so we could hear the bell and pirith starting at 7.20pm. [Read more…]

Are you feeling angry today ?

AUDIOBLOG by Meena Serendib

 
For whatever reason, I have been so angry lately. And I mean like angry. My daydreams have turned into fantasies of punching passerbys who piss me off. Old, young, men, women. I’d like to punch the world in the face.  Punch it in the face, the stomach…and then in the face again. Now I’m not normally a violent person. In fact for the last three years, I have been studying Non-Violent Communication.

Listen to Meena Serendib’s Audioblog

 


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