Saturday, May 19, 2007

To booze or not to booze

I met Swarnapala* on the 103 bus last week while on my way to visit a preggy friend. He came up to me, grinning, and assured me that he was still guzzling his daily kassippu... "sometimes only 2 bottles Nona, but what to do... cost of living is going up."

Some of you may remember me moaning about him... this is the guy who turned up at our casualty in the wee hours of 14th April - the Sinhala Hindu New Year... the sort of festive season that only the obsessed and the unlucky hang around the hospital (myself belonging to the second group). His New Year resolution was to give up his habit of drowning his days sorrows in 2-3 bottles of moonshine and he had landed at his mother's place at an auspicious hour in order to be away from temptation while going cold turkey. Unfortunately, alcohol withdrawal delerium set in... he had a seizure, fell into a glass cabinet, split open his head and developed an intracranial bleed that needed immediate neurosurgery.

When I clerked him later that morning, he was lying on a gurney, feeling very sorry for himself. He had ample time to figure out the how's why's and wherefores of what happened to him... and lay there, covered with blood, quietly determined to start drinking again as soon as he got out of hospital.

This is the most skewed argument I have in favour of boozing.
Oh well...

*His real name is much nicer

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Festival of Light

Just got back from observing sil at Kanduboda and am feeling really happy about it. It's been ages since I've stepped into a temple and even though I didn't realize it, have been totally missing the cool quiet feeling away from the everyday messy-ness.

While meditating/dreaming by the pond, I also manged to get a picture of a splendid loooking kingfisher who dove in and out of the water... presumably bathing and not doing the whole panathipatha thing. The image is very fuzzy and small, despite full zoom... but got a good shot of the waterlillies. I guess it's acceptable for my first wildlife photograph. :)

On the way back I was surprised by both the number and variety of dansals along the road. From maha buth dansalas to kadala, sherbert and popsicle dansalas manned by kids with scabbed knees wielding limp buddhist flags, the roads were bursting with toothsome good will. I even noticed one organised by Waters Edge which had a HUGE queue!! It's nice to think that at least for these two days, no-one will be sleeping hungry. Of course, there are people like my questionable little cousin and his gang of friends who canvass for donations from the neighbours and run the yearly dansala at a respectable profit... enough for a good meal and some rented DVD's. Oh well....

Peaceful Vesak to all...