Posted in Racism, True Story, Inspirational

Serena Vs Mark Knight

serena-cartoon-1
By Mark Knight

Couple of days ago I started a conversation on Facebook about this cartoon. I started the conversation or opinion as following

” I am probably going to get slammed for this, but I don’t think this is racist nor sexist. If your argument is that men behave badly too, well I’m sorry that’s no defense. Did Mc Enroe behave badly, yes he did. Great player but bad loser. I don’t recall if he was reprimanded by the umpire the same way or not. But I do know that current players do get punished for similar offences. Actually I don’t think our two tantrum boys Nick and Tomic got this bad, their behaviour seem rather pale compared to this. I am sorry but Serena did no service in fighting racism nor Sexism.”

As expected I received mixed views and opinions on the subject.  I realised for those who opposed and thought this was nothing but pure racism, one line answers were not going to suffice.  They were pretty strong with their views I might add.  I think I even have room to bring out the ‘Sexism card” or and “I was bullied card” out.  However, that’s not me, even if I am going to lose, I will play fair till the end.  Also wanting to know the wider communities views, thought I might open the conversation again, but this time with more research and ammunition.


I think I will start from the very beginning.  My google finding for the word Cartoon or Caricature as follows:

cartoon meaning

So I guess, we can accept that this was a cartoon or a caricature.  It is not very complimentary to the subject, however, that seems to be a common thread. I wanted to investigate how other Tennis players or others in the public eye in general were treated by various cartoonists.

Other Serena Cartoons:

sarena cartoon 3 sarena cartoon 2serena4.jpg

For me Caption two is very disturbing.

So was wondering if such poor treatment was only reserved for Serena.  Just maybe I am wrong, maybe the world is a racist and sexist place. (By the way I think it is in many places but my argument is that Mark Knight’s cartoon isn’t.  Also Serena accused the umpire of being a sexist.  And again my point is he wasn’t).

How did the others fair in the hands of the Cartoonists.

mc enroe
John McEnroe
cathy freeman
Cathy Freeman 

rafa3rafanadal 1

Roger Federar
Even Good Boy Federer Couldn’t Escape
tiger woods
Tiger Woods
wog boys
Aussie Dumber and Dumber Nick and Tomic

I then thought I need to see other Mark Knight cartoons to see if he has a racist streak. The following are Sample Mark Knight Cartoons.

mark knight 2

 

pauline-hanson-0410

I am only attaching two as most of them relate to Australian Politics.  He seems to have a go at both Labor and Liberals.  For those who don’t understand Aussie Politics, the female in the picture is Pauline Hanson who is considered to be a Racist, homophobic and extremely Islamophobic.  So the two pictures are taking a dig at her.  If Mark Knight was in fact a racist I wonder if he would have drawn these cartoons?

Is Mark Knight a Racist?  I don’t know him personally so I couldn’t say if he was actually a racist in his personal life.  If I am to make judgement on his cartoons past and present, it doesn’t appear to be so.

Do I see a resemblance?    black

sarena

I see a massive resemblance of her actual photo and the cartoon, actually the way she was acting up on the match was very similar to the cartoon.  There was no hiding that she behaved like a spoiled two year old brat.


Honestly I have not seen such a display by any other sports person, I was rather young at the time of McEnroe’s early matches.  I can’t recall him behaving this badly.  Even if he did, the poor man couldn’t pull the race card because he was a so called privileged white male.

The only other person that I could recall is Muhammed Ali.  But in his case he was really fighting racism.  Whether his methods were warranted, if you agree with him or not is another debate for another day.  But one thing we cannot disagree is that he did genuinely fight for racism and paid a very personal loss.  Even the “baseball players kneeling during the national anthem’, however, controversial it maybe, it is still an act to showcase their grievances of racism.  Who’s agenda was Serena fighting for?

Alize Cornet was fined for changing her T-shirt on court.  The player as well the fans demanding that be changed is fighting for sexism.  I remember as a young child a female player was sent back to change her skirt as it was deemed too short.  I don’t  recall the name of the player.  But I remember the incident.  We have come a long way from that.  Still it is a constant battle.


I don’t find the word ‘black’ offensive, I don’t find the colour ‘black’ offensive.  For me when you do that, it is a submission of inferiority.  I am brown/dark, I am short and I have big bosoms.  It’s not a necessarily a statement of pride but rather a statement of facts.  And I am very comfortable with all that.  I may want to change some of the characteristics, such as my height, but not a biggie.  A step ladder and high heels does the trick anyway.  So if a cartoonist wants to draw me I expect and demand the picture to be all of the above and not to a draw me a 6ft white blonde.  I would find that very offensive.

As a woman, as a person with a permanent tan, as a woman who has passed the age of 50, do I face discrimination?  Of course. Almost everyday I have to stand up for some woman or another, in my own house hold.  Women are questioned on what they wear, how much they weigh, how they look.  She has to excuse herself if she chooses a career over family. But then again she is looked down upon if she doesn’t have a career. She can’t win either way.  How many failed relationships could she have before she is considered ‘loose’ or ‘easy’?  A man is a play boy. then why can’t the woman be a play girl?

So, it’s not just getting a job, or the right pay also in our personal lives we have to justify ourselves constantly.  Some cultures/countries are progressing a bit better than others.

Let’s take a culture that is very close to my heart – The Sri Lankan Jaffna Tamils.  They are the minority group of Sri Lanka who have been marginalised and have suffered enormously in the hands of the Sinhalese Government.  But, there is another type of discrimination in this community, that no one fights for.  Their own caste system.  The world condemned the South African Whites for the Apartheid system.  What happens in Jaffna (even to this day by many) is no different to that happened in South Africa.  The main difference is, here it is not about Black/White.  We are all Tamils, We are all of the same colour.  But we belong to different caste.  The higher class, will not allow their progeny to marry anyone from the lower class.  Many have been disowned by the family for standing their ground.  It’s not just the immediate family even the extended family has to disown them.  They will not be allowed in to your houses.  If they come to do any work in your property, they will have to consume their meals and water outside in the yard or on the back stairway.  The main house will have separate plates and cups for such people.  In some villages they are not even allowed inside the temple.  Some of the so called ‘lower caste’ have got themselves educated and gone on to become doctors and Engineers.  However, they remain lower caste, unable to marry into the upper class.

For me that is a bigger sin than another race looking down on me.  My own kind are the bigger bigots. Is colour an issue, only for the white man?  I am considered to be of lighter shade of the brown.  I am almost considered to be white among my people.  It is a desired feature, especially when it comes to marriage.  In India some of the darker shade actors are demanding change in their industry.  Fair and lovely a cosmetic product for skin lightning is now receiving a bit of back lash.  When a new baby is born, one of the questions asked and discussed is the kid’s colour.

My point here is,

before we demand equality,  we need to feel equal no matter are colour, race, religion, caste, occupation, gender and every other differences and uniqueness we may posses. 

sarena cartoon 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Racism, True Story, Inspirational

Week That Was (Part 3)…

As usual I didn’t stick to my promise and I am few days behind from where I left off.  Then again I am talking politics, so to keep with the theme of broken and abandon promises, I am doing my best here to match the theme.

Last week when I was writing, I had a lot passion and a lot of anger and frustration. But for now, just like our parliament, even though nothing has been resolved, but in our minds we have put the issues aside, at least for the moment.  We the public are taking a break.  At least until the next circus show starts.


 

Before I go further I like to advise to my readers that the following contents may not be politically correct and may offend certain highly sensitive people.  You have the choice not to read it.  The following are my opinions, they may be more closer to the truth than those of, who call themselves Journalists or Politicians, however I do not claim my comments as facts.

You are free to form your own opinion.

global warming

I am still angry.  It is exacerbated by watching news on TV.  A comment about Pauline Hanson – apparently she is saying what everyone is thinking but not saying.  Obviously she is the Hero, the person with guts and glory. A woman responsible for murdering the Queens English everyday is our spokesperson for the nation. Shoot me now.

When did it become your bravery is measured by how rude and callous you can sound? When did it become your eligibility to rule a nation is measured by how racist you could be?  Far right White Supremacists hold your horses, you don’t have the monopoly on this.  This is a ploy used by most weak leaders of all races.  Yes the same thing was used back in my mother country and it worked swell.  These leaders may be weak, but you lot who vote for them are weaker.

Okay let me say what I am thinking and maybe the rest of Australia is thinking but not saying.

  • Democracy is great but has a problem.  Idiots get to vote as well.  Maybe we should have an eligibility test for voters (and maybe for the parliamentarians as well) – they need basic education. (Then again Tony Abbott is a Rhode Scholar).
  • The above test may eliminate our Queensland voter problems.  The whole Liberal Leader Saga was due to the bloody Queenslanders.
  • Pauline Hanson, Bob Hatter, Barnaby Joyce and last but not least Hon Peter Dutton, and lets not forget our Final Solution man Fraser Anning that is our sample Queensland Politicians.  Our Brains Trust.  God save us PLEASE.
  • You want my tax dollars to help the farmers (mainly Queensland).  I really do sympathize with their situation.  However, most of them are climate change skeptics. Just like their leaders I may add.
  • Therefore I will humbly offer my “thoughts and prayers” and keep my money for myself.

The above rant is not exactly a continuation from last week.  This was more of an outburst from last nights TV show.

I left off last week with the following line

Muslims/ Islam –  well at present you cannot say that you are completely blameless.

Hear me out before I get branded as Islamophobic.  I have no issues with those who practice Islam or any other religion. However, I take religion with a pinch of salt, again I believe each one to their own.  Until, they shove down their ideas to everyone else.  And please don’t bring religion into the Parliament.  Many countries have tried and are left with it’s disastrous out come.

Abrahamic religions have been forefront of shoving down their religious beliefs to the world for many centuries now.  Christians probably are the front runners of  this exercise, now Muslims are trying to catch up and it is upsetting the Christians.

Those of us who are standing on the side line are thinking the same thing.  Just take a chill pill, or better still read a science book.  Take your bible or the quran as a guide.  When you read your holy book, if your interpretation makes you a hurtful, rude, unkind human being, ask again is that really what your god wants you to be.  Religion is meant to make you a better human being, not an ass.

I have nothing against what anyone wants to wear.  If it be the Burka or the Bikini.  Neither of them are my choice, and feel there are places that both should be avoided.  The courts, The Parliament, The Airport to name a few.  To some the burka is offensive in such places. As a woman in her fifties with not so perfect of a body, the Bikini is more offensive and threatening than the Burka.  I doubt that I would lose my husband to a woman in a Burka.  Just saying, just think about it.

Seeing a woman in Burka for me is similar to standing next to a obese person in the lift.  A lift that has a mirror.  Oh yes, I am not that fat.  Just admit it, you’ve done it too.

I understand for many the Burka is offensive, because of what it stands for,  another religion taking the reigns.  If we were to go by history and understand what happened when Christians went around the world converting and setting up missionaries, well I guess we have reasons to be concerned.  History has a way of repeating.  Blood shed seems to be inevitable.

My only final solution is ban all religions.  I am who I am, not because of my religion.  I am nice to my neighbor because I feel good when I am nice to them.  It’s not because the bible said “love thy neighbor”.  What I am saying is I don’t believe those who hide behind a religion for their actions.  Unless religion can do good to this mankind I can’t see a place for it.

Coming back to the real world, so this my call to the Muslims and the rest of the migrants who enter this beautiful land Australia.  We’ve all come from troubled lands to start a new life.  The earliest boat arrivals, most of them convicts, kicked out by their own country, had a tough journey to come here and then set up life.  The convicts were the good ones, the one’s who came on the first fleet did a lot bad things to the natives. Let’s hash that story another day.

I am not a native and I don’t have the right to say “that’s all, water under the bridge”.  However, I think we need to move on.  We are all here.  Let’s leave behind the baggage and start anew.  We all left our lands because they were burning, because there was bloodshed, because there was corruption and because some of us were marginalised. Let’s not start all that all over again.

If you see a Christmas tree at the shopping center don’t be offended, is just a decoration of a joyous time.  If that is your biggest concern for the day, it’s a sign that you are far from harms way.  It is time to enjoy your stay in Australia. If you want others to accept you, it is time you accepted them too.

If you hear about the ‘Sudanese Gang Violence’, don’t join the band wagon and don’t panic. Again grab that pinch of salt. Find out the details before you cast your stones.  Each time a new set of migrants came in we had issues.  It was the Vietnamese gangs of Cabramatta, Lebanese from Cronulla (Bob Hatter’s relo’s) and the list goes and at present the flavour of the month seems to be the Sudanese gangs in Victoria.  I am not saying that we don’t have issues with these youth. Teenagers can be a handful in any home, but definitely from displaced and marginalized homes and environments it is going to be a bigger issue.  So new communities and it’s leaders have to tirelessly work with these youth to make sure they don’t veer off into the wrong paths.

By marginalising them you would feed them directly into radicalization.

Let’s build our great nation, let’s not divide and feed it to the hyenas.

Posted in Racism

The Week that was… (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my rant from a couple of days ago.  I am trying to decipher, analyse what went wrong in my beautiful country.  Feels like Deja Vu.  I have been here before.

Life is good, life is peaceful.  But I slowly feel the undercurrent.  Makes me uncomfortable.  Still, the fully loaded optimism in me refuses to notice the change, change for the bad.  I fail to recognise evil.  Most times you have to bring me kicking and screaming to notice evil in others.  One failure passed on from my father.  He always believed that everyone was born a nice person, he vehemently believed that it was the society and its pressures that makes some to take the wrong path.  He likes to give the benefit of the doubt and say you never know what decision you would take unless you are at the same cross roads.  I guess he hadn’t read the bible.  As per Christianity you are born a sinner.  My ignorant dad believed the other way.  I am not a saint like my late dad to forgive everyone, I claim not to be as naive as him as well.  But time to time I am given a rude awakening to realise maybe I am too much like my late dad.

one decission

It was that one decision that brought me to this beautiful land Australia – I’ve had enough of my birth place and it’s politics when my dear friend was killed in Sri Lanka which made me finally pack my bags.  Until then many of family members and friends demised by a bullet, being burnt, shells, land mines and other means of torture.  None of them were my own brothers or sisters.  But uncles and friends brothers and parents – people I personally knew.  People I spoke to a week ago.  The suspects were the Sri lankan Army, Indian Army and some inside killings by the Tamil militants. But no one was investigated and no one was brought to justice.

I feel strongly about this subject, because I know first hand what racism does to a country.  I will be damned if I am going to let my chosen country to have the same demise.  My voice may not reach many, it may not reach any, but I have to try.  I owe that to this country.  This beautiful country and it’s people adopted me with open arms.  I owe this country so much and I love this country very much.  I would argue that I love it more than those who claim to have the best interest of this country.

Currently Burma is on the radar for similar atrocities as was in Sri Lanka.  But makes me wonder why Burma has caught the eye of the world, while atrocities in Sri Lanka and the likes escaped world scrutiny.  I came to these shores twenty eight years, long before the so called end of the Sri Lankan war.  It was at this point Kevin Rudd struggled with the ‘boat people’ and Tony Abbott came up with “Stop the boats”.  I guess politically it was far better to use these refugees for your political gain than to question or show your displeasure of the then Sri Lankan government.

Have you ever wondered why no one from Australia gets on a leaky boat and sets off to another country.  Because this is a great country.  Our lives are not in danger. Instead of waging war at the refugees, why don’t the big nations and its powerful leaders put sanctions on those corrupt governments.  It’s not like we have not waged war with another country before for the same reasons.  I recall the hunt for Sadam Hussain was such a noble cause.  I know it’s not your responsibility nor jurisdiction to interfere with another country and it’s issues.

I understand that as a leader of a country you have no choice but to shake hands with another countries leader, even if you suspect him to have blood on his hands.  I guess as a politician they are always on cross roads, but as citizens we hope that they would take the right turn at most times. There is no evidence of that in the recent times.

War is never pretty, most times it is unnecessary.  My plea for my Australia is to avoid war and conflict like the plague.  We know how to fight bush fires.  I would think it would be similar methods to avoid war and conflict.  Keep a tight eye on the known arsonists.  Keep the public up to date with any signs – smoke, weather etc.  Prevention is always better than a cure.  In fact if we need to look for cures, it’s already too late. So prevention is the only way.  Who comes under the category of Arsonists – there are from both sides inciting violence, I don’t really care if they Muslim or Christians, religion is for peace, if you want to wage war in the name your religion

PLEASE PISS OFF. Obviously you are unhappy in this peace loving country, so PLEASE PISS OFF.  I humbly ask this of Rupert Murdoch and his crony’s as well.


 

In all this argument it may come across as I am mainly angry with our right wing ideologists.  Well, I am no big fan of theirs.  However, I always believe that there is two sides any issue.

I acknowledge that language is a very powerful tool.  In order to change the way the society thinks and acts, many changes have been made.  This has definitely helped us deal with race bias, religious bias, gender bias etc.  However, I think the pendulum has gone too far to the opposite.  The word ‘black’ has become a taboo word.  It’s just a colour. People just take a chill pill. You don’t need to go to the extreme of changing the lyrics of “Baa Baa Black Sheep” to Rainbow sheep.  This is where I think political correctness has taken a ludicrous turn.

Extreme of anything is bad.  Whether it be religion, even when fighting for a good cause, you can lose your way when you fail to see the other sides issues.  Most of us believe that the weather is changing and the humans are a major cause of this.  Most of us are happy to contribute towards a solution, however our ‘Greens party’ goes way over board.


 

Muslims/ Islam –  well at present you cannot say that you are completely blameless.

I prefer to usually leave my blog at a cliff hanger. So I am going to do the same today.  So tune into my next blog if you want to know what I think.


Some of my older posts on similar subjects

What it is to be Australianhttps://uma197.wordpress.com/2017/09/02/what-it-is-to-be-australian/

Remember it’s water not oil to calm the burning fire – https://uma197.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/water-or-oil-or-let-it-burn/

Ode to the Aussie Voterhttps://uma197.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/ode-to-the-aussie-voter/

 

 

 

 

Posted in Australian Politics

The Week that was…(Part 1)

politics aust
By David Rowe

The week that was…

What a week it has been for the Australian Parliament.  Many words got thrown around. Fiasco, Circus, insurgency – yes it was all of the above.

We the tax paying citizens are scratching our heads, while the master minds rejoice- I am not referring to Tony Abbott, I will come back to him later, in my opinion the real vermin no the eroding termites are Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt.  Maybe lets give some credit to Ray Hadley as well.

Yes I refer to them as termites.  Termites/white ants are the cause of the demise of many imposing structures and buildings.  They start the erosion from within the structure, rather quietly.  They do it slowly, one nip here and another bite there.  Slowly gathering momentum.  Racism and hatred evolves the same way.  It doesn’t happen over night. It is slowly and carefully fueled.  Until they know the frame work is under threat, then they come out guns blazing.  By then it’s too late to save that building or structure.  Same goes for our country and its progress.  Just like, termites never build anything other than destroy perfectly good structures, racism and hatred never builds anything either, just destroys a perfectly good society.  Sure, the society may have it’s issues but racism is never the answer.

Media plays a very important role in having a fair and successful democracy.  In some countries their is no free press.  Journalists in those countries and even from our country put their lives at risk to bring the truth to the public.  My youngest son who aspires to be a foreign correspondent in the future holds such views in spite of  my fears and reservations.  I wonder if all this is worth it when you have the likes Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt undoing all the great work and sacrifice of true journalists.

I feel Democracy is in serious crisis.  It’s not about what’s good for the country anymore.  It’s about big businesses making deals and running the country the way it profits them.  They have become bullies and politicians have become their puppets. Hide everything behind – politics is the art of compromise.  You can only stretch that BS so far.  And why  are we the one’s who have been compromised at all fronts?

If a Muslim Mufti got on the airways and spoke the way Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt spoke could you imagine the back lash.  If they had spoken the way that idiot MP (no one knew him before and I am not going to aid him to get publicity being a racist) spoke about the final solution, well the mufti’s final solution may have been the Sharia Law – the punishments for criminals would be arms being chopped off or worse.  That would certainly bring down the crime rate.  Unfortunately these people are great orators (both the likes of Alan Jones and the Mufti) they have the ability to steer people to listen to them and slowly convert them.  They are vultures who are similar to cult leaders.  Why is it when the Mufti speaks that’s hate speech, and the like of Andrew Bolt speaks that is freedom of speech?

Don’t be fooled people.  None of their cries are for your benefit.  It is purely for their own benefit.  I come from a country where it was torn apart because our leaders decided to win the elections by playing the race card.  Pearl of the Indian Ocean is now battered and torn and it’s citizens leaving it in drones.  Once you have witnessed war, you will not invite it again.  And this is why I am more than eligible to say what I am saying and going to say to both sides (to the far right white Supremacists and the new migrants).

I love this country so much.  I have nothing but gratitude and I feel indebted to this country forever.  I will do anything for this place. I will watch cricket at the wee hours of the morning.  I wept when Steve Smith wept.  I have watched so many reruns of the movie ‘Castle’ and many references are played out quite frequently at home.  Still recovering from last nights Wallabies game.

But on a serious note, I pay my taxes, maybe grudgingly and yes I do everything I can to minimise what I have to pay.  Well just like Kerry Packer said, I don’t think the Government is doing such a great job that I need to give them so generously.  My 76 year old mother works 5 days as a volunteer.  She takes multiple buses and trains to get to her destinations and spends her own money at times for these activities.  The reason she says is that this country is so good to her and this is her small way of saying thank you.  I have met so many others with the same attitude.

Let’s Mathias Cormann as an example, he was born in Belgium and migrated to Australia and became a Australian Citizen in year 2000 on Australia Day.  My husband and I became Australian Citizens in year 1992 on Australia Day.  So in terms of seniority I have 8 years on him.  Then why would he be more of an Australian than I am just because he is a tad bit lighter in shade than I am.  So this is my answer to the Right wing dinosaurs,

sorry mate, I am here to stay”   

I will do everything in my power, even if it is a small voice to keep this country as pure as it was when I reached it shores twenty eight years ago.  I know mine is just a muffled voice compared to that of Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt.  But, It is still a voice and if I could get the support of a few other muffled voices we may gather momentum.  Who knows.  But we can’t keep silent forever.

So above bashing is mainly about the issues of racism whites over black or Christianity vs Islam.


As person of colour, as person who is rather tanned, as person who might be considered brown or what ever other politically correct or incorrect way to refer me I would say I have earned the right to say the following.  (In my next blog)

There is never a one sided problem.  The other side, the new migrants, Islam, Burka are all issues that I will talk about in my next blog.

I leave you with the song from the Rolling Stones “Nobody wants yesterday’s papers”

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Moving to Adelaide (Part 2)

SA-map

Sorry for the slightly long silence.  Let’s blame it on my health.  I am someone who believes that it is my duty to keep the medical industry well funded.  Nothing major this time, just minor repairs.  But happy to report that I am on the mend.

My fingers have been itching to tap that key board for sometime.  Finally free from heavy pain meds and confident I wouldn’t sound like a druggie and thought of continuing where I left off.


There are many theories on Money.  ‘Money is not everything’, ‘Money cannot buy happiness’ ‘wise man should have money in his head and not in his heart.  the list goes on.

I ride on the middle most times on most issues.  I am not ready to give up everything and live in Nimbin.  It sounds great in theory.  Smoking pot and singing Bob Marley, yep sounds like heaven. But it ain’t me.

Moving to Adelaide – South Australia seemed like a happy medium.  Hubby and I started to do our research on Adelaide.  Our main concern were the kids.  Will there be good doctors to take care of their medical needs? It has taken us move heaven and earth to bring them to this condition, will they slip back? Hari is rather a reserved kid will he find it hard to make friends? Will this affect them socially? Will their education be hindered by moving to a small city,  a city that the rest of Australia laughs at.

My heart still kept prompting me to take the plunge.  But there was so much at stake.  Our decision to leave our mother nation and migrate to Australia seemed an easier decision than this.  At that time we had no kids.  This time around it was not just about us.

The kids were not happy at all.  The main reason was the “The Roaches”. Even for us the main reason that was keeping us back was some of our friends and family.  There are many, I am not going to list them all, but they know who they are.  The Roaches get a special mention because of the type of relationship we had.

We met them when we first moved to Castle Hill and Hari was just an year old.  I was working full time and mum was taking care of Hari.  She would take him to the local church once a week for a mothers play group.  On my day off’s I would join in too.  Met some really nice mothers and kids.  This is where we met Sylvia.  Her eldest Michael was a few weeks older than Hari and the two got along really well.  The youngest Anthony was an infant.  It just happened that they happened to live behind our house on the street parallel to us.  Sylvia was very helpful to mum.  She would make it a point to bring an additional baby seat to transport Hari and would give them a lift home or when they went on picnics etc.  In return Sylvia enjoyed mum’s Sri Lankan goodies.

Gradually our friendship grew.  The older boys were very close.  They had now moved onto the same Pre-School (Montessori).  Sylvia was now back at work.  She was a theater nurse.  She initially enrolled Michael at a pre-school near her work.  It was hard getting him to settle so she decided to join him in to the same pre-school as Hari.  The two boys were rather inseparable.

I was now pregnant with my youngest. After all the hiccups and scares finally the day came to pop the bundle.  Sylvia was already at work.  Not sure who rang who, but Glen (her hubby) found out from mum that I had left for the hospital.  The same hospital Sylvia was working.  A few hours after I had Arj, (about 3am) Sylvia rushes in with her gown and gloves, elated to see the new born.  She sheds tears of joy while hugging me.  At this time only my husband had seen the bub.  Mum nor Hari had seen him.  Hindu’s don’t have a ‘god mother’ system, if not I would’ve asked her to be the god mother.

 I think the happiest was Anthony, he had a play mate now.  In a world where class, colour and creed matter we remained friends in spite of all the glaring differences.  Sylvia hailed from Germany, Glen was from New Zealand and we were from Sri Lanka. Our boys learnt that was more than the normal ‘Coles’ brand sausages and those two kids learnt to eat rice.  My mum gained another two grand kids.  My boys now had an ‘Oma’ (Grandma in German) and ‘Uncle James

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA‘.

Both families had their trials and tribulations and both helped each other out.  We took turns to take care of our injured or at times sick soldiers. Michael and Hari had their tonsils out.  I think all four boys had grommets put in.  Sylvia was paramount in saving Arj on his 2nd birthday.  The four boys took turns to fracture a limb or get stitches. Anthony poured hot honey on himself. Sylvia sometimes joined in with getting injured too.  It was normal for the boys to have a shower and sleep at each others house.

Once all four started to go to school things became more of a routine.  We couldn’t see the point in two cars heading towards the same destination.  So all four kids drove to and from the school together in one car.  It was usually myself or Glen as we had more regular and flexible working hours.  The boys didn’t even notice whose car they were getting into.  Each morning they were too excited to see each other they would just start to yap as soon as they are together.

After school most days they would go for sports together.  So in the morning we would exchange their relevant sports bags and snacks for after school. It was usually banana’s and ‘Up and Go’.  They did swimming and Karate together.  Most times Glen would pick them up after swimming.  As after the swim the boys will go into the men’s side to have a shower and change.  The boys don’t get the rush of the parents. It’s not for them worry that the parent has to go home and start dinner etc.  They just loved more play time.  So we decided it was better for Glen to pick them up as he can go into the men’s and hurry the boys.

Even on the weekends it was rather normal for us to meet up again.  Just like the car which car they got into, they didn’t care whose pool they jumped into.  I still remember watching the 2003 Rugby finals England Vs Australia where Jonnyy Wilkinson snatched the victory from us at the last minute.  We were watching the game together with food and drinks and as time went along it became just drinks. Well we had to swallow the grief.  It was a great night.  Don’t remember much of the finale.  Well our boys slept over there while hubby and I crawled back home after my hubby’s failed attempts at cartwheels.

Many a days, when all four of us were unable to pick the boys, uncle James, Oma or Angela (Sylvia’s sister) took the role.  It takes a village to raise a child was very much the case for these four boys.  They were the happiest four boys.

And now we were going to separate them.

To be continued … hopefully tomorrow.

 

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Moving to Adelaide (Part 1)

Reality-TVReality TV has taken over. The remote control has been taken over  by the other half.  He wants to watch the news on ABC, but the goldfish DNA in him keeps pressing the remote control.  So we end up seeing reality TV salad.

I saw a real estate agent (possibly) he was on the phone, looked like he was negotiating the house price, then it moved on to some sexy looking people, then I think someone was cooking and back to the news, some country was getting blown off. The same cycle happens every 2 minutes.

I thought it was time to retreat behind my keyboard.  I want to write.  Reason 1 – it is part of my monthly challenge to write for a minimum of half hour everyday.  Reason 2 – I do enjoy it once I start. It’s like going to the gym or for a walk/run.  Getting started is a chore but once you get going you start to enjoy it.

I haven’t adhered to my challenge everyday but have come pretty close to it so far.  I did attempt yesterday.  However, didn’t eventuate as I was too tired to come up with a topic and WordPress was no help as there are no prompts since the beginning of the month.


career change

I have been asked this question many a times in Adelaide as well as in Sydney, “Why did you’ll move to Adelaide?”

My one line answers have been, “hubby’s work, a genuine sea change” “Yes I miss my friends and the shopping but I don’t miss the traffic”

However today and maybe days to come (depends how long I am going to ponder on this subject) I would like to delve a bit deeper on the reasons, the pros and cons and whatever else that was involved.

Maybe it would help someone when deciding a sea change or work change or some kind of life style change.


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The Ganesan’s lived in Sydney since 1990 and their family grew one by one from 1993.  By 1996, we had 5 family members residing in our little house.  This was my hubby, my two boys and my mum.  A young family with a mortgage meant that both of us had to work full time.  With mum’s help and child care, we survived our hectic lives.

Our house was in North west of Sydney and my hubby’s work was in the South. Which meant he had a pretty long commute to work.  More than the distance the traffic was what made the journey more tedious. I worked in the city until the latter years.  It was a hike for the city as well.  It didn’t matter even if you lived close by, the Sydney traffic will still make you commute for hours even if you were travelling within the suburb.

Hubby was unhappy with the industry he was working in. His wages weren’t bad. That was the only plus side.  My youngest fell ill (we nearly lost him at the age of 2) and it was tough times mentally, physically and financially too.  About the same time my eldest lost his hearing and we were shunting between hospitals with two kids and their respective surgeries.

Eventually I had to give up my career and start working closer to home with less hours and less stress.  I took over the primary roll for the hospital runs and hospital stays while hubby kept slogging away at his job, even though he hated each minute of it. I could see that stress was gradually killing him.  Neither of us had a choice.  We both had to keep going.

Those dreary days would have been near impossible if not for some family and friends.  I will revisit this subject later.

Hubby’s company had a subcontractor in Adelaide.  The owners of this company approached hubby a few times to join them.  The wages were no where near what he was earning in Sydney.  Money is not everything, but when your kid is unwell and you have choice to pay for his surgery rather than wait six months to get it done from the public hospital, would you say money is not everything?

It was year 2004 and Arj my youngest was nearly 8 years old.  He was over the worst and our visits to the respiratory specialist had diminished to just once a year.  Same with Hari, he still had a hearing impairment, but things were in place for us to manage it.

The Adelaide company made the offer again with a possibility of a partnership in the future.  Initial wages were still low. At this point I got interested.  I thought we were alright now, we could manage with the low wages.  The mortgage was in a manageable position as well.

It was not just about money.   I was almost a neurotic mum with the way the two boys fell ill.  The two specialists who looked after the boys were the best in the country.  They were just amazing and they knew the two cases so well.  The boys had to see the doctors regularly and this made me less neurotic knowing that things are under control.  So to leave the doctors and go else where was the biggest hurdle.

So, in November 2004 when the offer came again, I re-evaluated our situation.  We were really alright I thought.  The only one who was not alright was my hubby.  I was really worried about his health.  I am still, but that’s another story for another day.  And that point I was able to confidently say “Money is not everything”.


My eyes are weary, so I will continue tomorrow.  I will leave you with one thought though.  Money is not everything.  But it is definitely something.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

When life gets busy…

Kids are all grown up, the once young couple is now heading towards the mature years.  It has always been the simple things in life that gets me glowing.  But more so now than before.  With age and life experiences comes the better appreciation for such things.

I had the most simplest of day-out’s with hubby today.  But it has made my heart feel mellow and has definitely put me in a good mood.  Nothing special at all about the days beginning.  It started with our WIFI not working and needing a call to the telco company.  Followed with ‘man of the house’s’ unwillingness to help and his wife speaking her mind. When she speaks her mind, she really speaks her mind.  She doesn’t use swear words, but there may have been elements of black mail.  “Ah! you cook your own dinner tonight…”  for a man who stuffs up two minute noodles this is really the ultimate threat.

Well apparently he wanted to have a cup of coffee first.  Once that was sorted, he wanted to bail out by going to work with the ready excuse “have reports to write”.  I reminded him of the shirts that I bought, that needed to be exchanged as they were too small for him. I am going to be unavailable for sometime starting next Saturday.  Thirty one years  of married bliss has made the poor man incapable of choosing shirts for himself so he caved in to go shopping with me.  I mean to just that one shop and then he had the rest of the day to attend to his reports.

The Jeep is his pride and joy.  It’s no Maserati. but it sure gets treated as one.  He likes to put on this air as a tough and ‘don’t care’ macho man.  But that’s just the surface.  At times he could sound rather callous too.  But when you peek inside you see a sentimental mush.  He is an automobiles enthusiast.  None of them due to their status or luxury.  Him and the boys regularly make way to car shows (well not so regularly but when ever their free time and car shows align together).

However  the Jeep holds a special place in his heart, especially the wrangler type ones.  He learnt to drive on a Jeep with his dad.  Although the lesson only lasted the one time as the day ended up with disagreements as usual, it still holds a special place in his heart. More so than he likes to let it out.  So this Jeep takes the special place in the garage while our regular cars are left to fend for themselves on the driveway, the curb or at times even the grass/lawn.

It was a nice sunny day but temperature was low enough to enjoy the day.  Once again we started off with a regular squabble, “where did you keep the keys? you were the last one to drive” as usual the scapegoat was going to be me.

Yes, I was the last to take it out. As on that auspicious day I had lent my car to his work mate whose car was at the mechanic.  So reluctantly he gave me the Jeep.  But, but, but … I quickly remembered that I did not park it in the garage.  So he was the last to drive. Got him on technicality.

Squabbles don’t last long (most times).  We both laughed at each other, I was happy to prove that I was not in the wrong (as usual) and he sheepishly was trying to butter me up.

We may be past our prime but in our hearts we are the same when we first met.  I am not talking about anything hot and heavy, but something as simple as holding hands still makes me feel eighteen again (well in my case nineteen, that’s when I met him).

The mirror –

Shows the grays and the wrinkles.

Shows the muffin tops that’s refusing to hide 

and that one hair that peeks out of my chin

But oh mirror!

Those grays and wrinkles are of two lives who have lived.  Of lives that at times had almost drowned to the bottom of the sea bed.  Each one of us has taken turns to resuscitate the other and together we have surfaced up to the top by just strongly holding on to each other.

But oh mirror!

You do not know the struggles I’ve been through to get those muffin tops.  Even the big tummy on my hubby, it took many years and many beers to get there.  Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day.  It is a sign that our lives were not just misery and doom, we made time for fun and laughter too.

And mirror!

Who gives a dime (You could replace it with a ruder a word if you wish) about a hair that peeks out of my chin.  Because the most important person, that is my husband, with his diminished eye sight can’t see it anyway.  So if my man doesn’t care who gives a dime anyway.

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So the young couple in spite of what the mirror was telling headed happily to the shops.  Friendly banter followed at the shops, the mood was so good and they decided to have a coffee.

We found this gorgeous cafe in the beach side suburb of Glenleg.  Struggling with reflux I am not allowed to eat or drink anything on that menu.  Decided to be a half a rebel and had a short black which later followed with ‘milanta’ (antacid).  Made a date with hubby for next mothers day.  So he is going to take me there for breakfast on Mothers day, May 2019.  Hopefully by then I would have sorted out my reflux issues.  We laughed about making a date for a year later with the waiter.

When two people are happy they infect it to those they come in contact with.  So the moth and the butterfly went on spreading the pollen along the way.  It was just a drive and coffee but feels like so much more. Life has been so busy lately and when you have no time and even the little time you get together becomes so precious.

I don’t want the moon, I just want to watch the moon with you.

And Oh Mirror! if you have ears and you hear us squabble.  Don’t be afraid.  Squabbling is our way of communicating.  It is our way to show that we are both equal.  It is our way to show that we don’t conform out of fear or lack of freedom.  You will notice neither of us are afraid to admit wrong or defeat.  We both know the value of love, life and loss. So we don’t hold a grudge and waste our time together.  I know I married a mule.  And I know mules can be stubborn.  But, I also know, when you work the mule favorably, it’s a great animal to carry your burdens.

Here’s to more squabbles(maybe little less of them), wrinkles and gray hairs.  Here’s to more simple things in life and growing old together.

TMP15

I don’t want the moon, I just want to grow old together watching the moon with you.