Posted in Daily post, True Story, Inspirational, Word prompt

Punishment – nuns

school

If there is a word that I truly understand the meaning of, it is Punishment. Punishment and nuns were in de facto relationship.

I was born a Hindu, but was sent to Catholic Boarding School. Not because I was a naughty child or my step mum didn’t like me.  Well in fact I didn’t even have a step mum.  It just that we lived far away from any decent school.

At school and in the boarding, you are constantly preached about forgiveness and the prodigal son etc, but we were never too far away from a Punishment. At least in Hinduism, there is no such thing as absolute forgiveness.   When you think about, it’s not a very forgiving religion at all.  You will have to pay for your actions.  If you were spared in this birth, you will be hounded down and will be paying for it in your next birth or there after.  “Karma” was our favorite word.  But at least the messages were clear. If you do the crime, you pay the time. Christianity is all about forgiveness and love, and most laws in most countries are founded upon Christian beliefs.  So how does one fathom, the death sentence?  Don’t get me wrong, some vermin’s do deserve to die.  But I am not sure if we can legislate that.  Anyway I got side tracked from my story from the past.

We didn’t get caned or anything, but standing out side the class room, standing on a chair, and sometimes kneeling was all sanctioned and prescribed punishment.   Public shaming without much proof or substance was also well administered.  And our crimes could range from uniform too short, slightly turning our head to look at a boy that had just entered our school premises etc.

Time to time they would like to crack down on some major issues as well.  After school holidays,we would usually arrive at the boarding the day before the school starts.  For what ever reason some boarders, would take another extra day off and come to school a day later.  I guess the theory was that most times, the first day of school was really a fudge day as nothing happens, other than new teachers, time tables etc.  I was one of the “goody two shoes” type of kid, so religiously got to school  from the first day.

But just this once, due to unavoidable circumstances I missed the first day.  My little cousin (from my mother’s side) accidentally tipped a big pot of boiling water on to her.  I was very fond of her, she even lived with us for a little while.  Anyway she lived in a farm in a place called Mannar, a small island off the main island of Sri Lanka.  Dad and I left as soon as we heard the news.  Couple of trains, a few buses, a van, a ferry and every other vehicle was boarded to get to their house, which was in the middle of nowhere.  This is Sri Lanka, so nothing was running on time.  So, although we planned to be back on time for the school restart, it just didn’t happen with the last train cancellation.  With no sleep and proper food, we got their a few hours late to the start of the school.  I asked dad to come with me and talk to the Principal and explain.

Sister Letitia was all so sweet to dad, she even said a quick prayer for my cousin.  With a hug and a kiss dad parted (hug and the kiss was for me, maybe that’s where we went wrong).  By the time I dropped my things at the boarding, got changed into my uniform it was lunch.  So after lunch I went to school.

I did see Sister Letitia in passing.  I couldn’t say if she was happy with me or angry with me.  You couldn’t usually read her face.  So, just a nod from both of us and we went our way.

The next day dawns.  Still tired and hungry, although by now I had sat for a few meals in the boarding, I haven’t actually eaten much.  I managed to sneak in most of my food in my mug and had shoved it down the sink.  This food would is so special it would make Oliver Twist to never ask for more.  Just after eating my mum’s for a month the body was completely shutting down and refusing to eat the “boarding food”. Anyway, after the morning “hail mary” and we had forgiven our trespassers, platting my hair, looking for my pencil case, and I rush to school eventually.  Still tired, hungry and coherent.

Announcement comes that all who were not at school at 8.30am yesterday had to go to the Principal’s office.  Well, technically I was not there at 8.30 so I thought, I will just go to the Principal’s office and get the okay nod and then return to my classroom.  Well, it is the right thing to do.

So Miss Goody Two Shoes gets to the office, and is met by some casualties already, there was a row of girls knelt down in front of the library.  My goody two shoes brain is kind of very smug at this point.  “well, they should have been here,  even with all the difficulties I managed to get here.  they do this every year, I mean seriously”. Sister Letitia sees me from the end of the corridor.  She waves to me and ask me to come to her.  I don’t want to have eye contact with those who are kneeling.  I didn’t want to show that I was sympathising with them.

I smile at Sister Letitia, there was no smile back.  I start to speak, “I was here by lunch time and Dad spoke to you..”  No, I didn’t get to finish my sentence, “yes, yes, yes good story, but you can kneel down here”.  “But ..” she had already walked away.

I was so furious.  Good Story!!  did she think that my dad lied too.  What was that prayer for?  Ah! you woman on a broom stick, you two faced woman on broom sticks cousin whose name starts with a B, yes I called upon a few  (inside my head).

Did the Punishment fit the Crime?

Daily post word prompt: Punishment

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

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Posted in Australian Politics, Daily post, Sri Lankan Politics, True Story, Inspirational, Word prompt

My Uncle, My Surrogate Dad

frail skantha

It’s now four years since we said goodbye to my uncle.  Just recently we had a prayer, remembrance and a family dinner filled with many chuckles on his behalf.

I like to share something I wrote for this day.

I wanted to utter these words at his funeral, but I didn’t.  Is it because I was overcome by sorrow?  Is it because I felt that I was saying goodbye to my father all over again?  Is it simply because, I didn’t think my words would be good enough? Or is it because I knew I should have told him these words when he was alive?  I guess it was all of the above. 

For whatever its worth, I need to say them now.  Today is a good day as any other. 

I will start with the funeral.  I was filled with much sorrow as well as guilt.  Periyya (uncle in Tamil) passed away the day I returned from Singapore.  When Ganesh picked me up from the airport, he said, “your Periyya is not well, we will go and see him once you have a bit of a rest”.  I didn’t think it was that serious.  I thought here we go again; the Old man is pulling another one.  He waited till I got back from Singapore, but it wasn’t that important for him to say goodbye to me in person.  He passed away that afternoon. 

I felt guilty that I didn’t go straight from the airport to see him, I felt guilty that I took that nap.  I felt guilty that I didn’t go to see him more often.  More than anything I felt guilty that, I never told him that he meant so much to me than he will ever know. 

As each eulogy was being read, I was reciting my own in my head. Deja vo, why am I saying goodbye to my dad again?

It’s taken me nearly four years to make peace with myself and get the courage to speak up.  Knowing my Periyayya, he would have been utterly chuffed with any word that I had grouped together.  The card that he sent me for the first Depavali after my dad’s passing, just signed “Periya (appa)” two words, that’s all.  He didn’t need to quote me Shakespeare or Nietzsche, it told me in abundance that, he loved me, he missed my dad, he wishes my dad didn’t die, and more than anything he has got my back. 

I am not sure if I totally believe in the possibility of spirits, souls and after life.  But, I take comfort in the possibility of Rasam and Skantha having a chuckle, and keeping watch from up there.  Or it could be down there.  There are more magnets down there than up there. Who knows.  

I am not sure if it was fate or a just a mere coincidence that the two families in tandem decided to move to Adelaide.  But it feels as if, it was the grand plan of the man up there.  Whoever, or whatever the reason for the reunion, I am truly grateful. 

I got a chance to spend quality years with this larger than life personality.  More than anything, my kids got to enjoy a surrogate grandfather. 

I like to wrap up now but with a special request for a visual.  Can you just imagine if he had the farm in Australia and the two monkeys?  We would have ended up with monkeys named Barnaby and Joyce. 

Here’s to my Periyayya.  To a man who was the biggest pain in the Ass and but had the biggest heart as well. 

I will give you a little bit of a background into who this man was so you understand some of the references.

I was very fond of this man, who was a larger than life personality. He was dad’s older brother.  In a family of extreme academics, he was not one of them.  He was probably dyslexic or suffered from a learning difficulty.  But nothing was diagnosed in those days. Just considered as a problem child by the teachers and maybe even by the parents at times. Still he achieved a lot more than any academics in the family.

He joined the Agriculture Department and was rising through the ranks as he was coming up with novel ideas to solve the problems of the region.  Also he was a stubborn pain in the ass to all who didn’t have a vision.  He didn’t mince words when he had to say something. Once after a heated discussion with the then Minister for Agriculture he came home and named two of his monkey after the Minister.  At a later date when the said minister and his yes men visited his Farm, he introduced the monkeys to the group, without skipping a beat.

He was also big on yoga and magnet therapy.  He used to carry a big block of magnet in a back pack.  Once leaving a restaurant, he walked away with a good number of cutlery.

My dad was the youngest of eight kids.  But unfortunately he was the first to depart at the young age of Fifty Three.  The day after the funeral my uncle sat me down and explained a tamil word. “Periya appa” means Big uncle.  “Periya” means Big “appa” means Dad .  He said just remember that and he left back to his farm.  For the outside world he comes across as this rough and tough guy.  But in reality, he was the biggest mush.

In his latter days it was really hard to see him so frail and reduced to a small child.  Even then you would witness his personality pop up time to time.

Rest in Peace big man.

 

Daily Post Word prompt

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Posted in Daily post, Word prompt

It was 1966…

cindy. jpg
Cindy Crawford

Cindy was born in February of 1966.  About the same time the Sivapalan’s were awaiting nervously for their bundle to be born in June.  If everything goes to plan this would be their first born.  But, nothing has gone to plan so far.

Mum had a few miscarriages before me, It looked like she had passed the danger period this time.  All the prayers and vows at different temples and Churches seems to be aligning and working together. But, it was still early days to open that Champagne bottle.

Finally the day arrives.  Sun was shining.  Well, I don’t really know if the sun was shining, this is Colombo Sri Lanka, unless it was raining, sun is always shining or more like burning.  But, it sounds much better when you say, Sun was shining.  Well, to tell the truth, it was probably humid, it’s always humid in Sri Lanka.

So let me start again, most likely the sun was shining and the air was filled with a musty smell, the smell that you get when it’s a hot and humid day in an overcrowded bus.  Most likely there was no air conditioner, just a ceiling fan, barely moving.  Well, things were worse of for Jesus, so no complains here.

Finally the star was born.

The entire family/clan was waiting for this day.  Grand parents from both sides were thrilled to the core.  Not sure why my paternal grandparents were excited. They already had about 34 grand kids, and about 10 great grand kids.  But, I guess they were excited for mum and dad.  They knew of the anguish and pain they had gone through so far.  For my maternal grand parents, this was their first grand child.

Mum, was blood type RH o negative.  This is usually a problem in pregnancy, if the child she conceives is of RH o positive which then causes an RH incompatibility.  Usually the first pregnancy should be okay, but then in the following pregnancies things can go way wrong. These days there is Anti – D injection, which is administered after the first child is born.  But in my mothers time there was no such thing.  Not sure, why she miscarried in her first pregnancy, but it followed a few others.  And really not sure how she managed to carry me full term ( I am RH O positive).

To my parents I was a miracle.  For my dad I was the extra star that was twinkling in the sky, for my mum I was the extra spice needed for her curry, Curry?? well that doesn’t sound that poetic does it? Okay let’s say “extra spice needed for the world”.

The whole family/the clan was involved in naming this precious child.  Dad asked everyone to contribute suggestions. Main request was “it had to be a small name”.  Sri Lankan’s liked to name things a mile long and then shorten the name or call them by a completely different name.  It would be like naming someone Edward Anthony Brown and then call them Paul.  Well, that’s not even a good example.  White names are not long enough.  Okay my Dad’s name was Sivapalan.  We love the vowels, when in doubt just add a another vowel. His friends and work colleagues called him Siva, which is fine, the first four letters of his name, But the family called him Rasam.  His twin brother’s name is Ramachandran  – and the family called him Nesam.  Do you see a pattern here.  No, there is no pattern, just random names.  Hence, my dad’s decision to  give me a small name.  Uma is the Hindu goddess of the earth.  Apparently he called out each name ” Uma, Uma darling come here”, “Shanthi can you bring me a cup of tea darling” ” Usha, Usha”  etc. So there you go, that’s how I ended up with the smallest Sri Lankan name.

Eighth of June 1966 …

According google on this exact day and year a tornado kills 16 people in Kansas.  Two years later on the exact day James Earl Ray was arrested for the assassination of Martin Luther King.  I am looking through the rest of the statistics and information on things that happened on that day (mostly useless).

8 June 1995 -The first version of the programming language PHP is released (yep we’ve all heard of that one, probably the first and the last)

8 June 1984 – Ghostbusters (1984) is released in cinemas.

If you think the above are really useless pieces of information, well, the rest were even worse.

So, it looks like other than Moi’s great presence to this world, nothing special happened on that day.

Journey begins for mum and dad with their bundle of Joy.  First time parents.  She was so beautiful, she was everything and more they wished for.  She was their pride, She was their joy and she was everything.

I didn’t really understand how serious this journey would be, until the time came for me to have similar fears and hopes.  I went to hell and back to have my two bundles. My fears, turned to hope and finally the glimmer of hope became a reality, not once but twice for me.  I don’t know why he answered my prayers and not the others. I don’t even know if it was the prayers or just was meant to be.  I don’t know if there is a lesson in this.  All I know is that I am great full for this journey.

(don’t quote me on the medical information as I am not a doctor, just things that I have read and heard from other doctors)

Sorry for tricking you into thinking that you were going to read about Cindy Crawford, but hey, her picture may be more attractive than mine, but my life sure is more interesting than hers.  Well, minus the marriages and fame.

Daily Post – word Prompts – journey

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/a-journey/

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

How To Make The Perfect Cup of Coffee

This is by James Radcliffe

JamesRadcliffe.com

Once upon a time…

On a sunny Sunday morning I made a change to the way I make my morning coffee.  Which is not that interesting.  What is interesting is: when I took the first taste I almost dropped the mug because it was soooooo good.  It was the best cup of coffee I could remember tasting.  Ever.  Dark, sensuous, chocolatey, rich and clear, with zero bitterness and a highway maximum caffeine wattage.

It was perfect.

But!  Things are not SCIENCE unless they are repeatable.  So the next day I tried the same method and reaped just the same results; a smouldering whirlwind of orgasmically coffee-scented bliss.

When it worked for the third time I tweeted this:

…and promptly collapsed under the tsunami of messages saying: how?…

View original post 1,503 more words

Posted in Daily post, Word prompt

Fish Behind the Glass Wall

 

fish behind glass

My youngest Arj was about three and Hari is Three and half years older than Arj so I guess he would have been around six or seven or in between.  It was the school holidays so we had gone down to Melbourne.  Each day was where are we going today? We were ticking off all the Kid-tourist thing on the list.  Sandwiches were made. Drinks all packed. And then with all the hurry ups, have you been to the toilet and the rest of rushing we made it to the Aquarium at last.

I think we went somewhere before that and this was our second pit stop.  There was a cafe, some tables and chairs outside the cafe and a queue for the tickets for the Aquarium.  We decided to sit down for a bit have something to eat before going in.  Hari wanted to go to the toilet or wash his hands or maybe he had spilt something on his t-shirt, details are a bit vague.  I guess what happened after took precedence and stuck in my brain and the rest are just in various threads.

When Hari and I returned from the wash room, my hubby the responsible dad who was supposed to watching the little one was highly engrossed and his head buried in the local paper.  And Arj was nowhere to be seen.  I have to push away  my first thought “I am going to kill you” to aside to look for Arj.  I was so angry and I was so scared.  Arj has always been a bit of wanderer, but this was not good.  The place was packed, it was the school holidays. We were all looking everywhere and yelling out his name.

Hari spotted Arj inside the Aquarium, how did the little brat go inside without a ticket? Ahh!!  I was going to kill him, after I finish with hubby, no, not sure which one first, I frantically spurted out some words to the guard at the entrance, “that’s my kid inside could I go or could you retrieve that kid for me, Please, Please”.  I was pointing to my kid “which kid?” Alas there are millions of them there, he knew this wasn’t a woman who was trying to get in without a ticket, Probably he has kid who wanders too, I don’t know but he let me in.

There was this big Glass wall, from one side of room to the other. Arj was oblivious to all the commotion, he was just mesmerized by this big fish.  He was following the fish from one end to the other, running with fish.  My anger melted, not sure if it was just relief that I found him, or seeing him so happy unaware of all the dangers and living in his world where nothing is bad.

We had bought the tickets previously, so the guard and rest of the people on the queue just let hubby and Hari to join us inside.

Arj stops running and turns around and says ” I like this fish, I love this Fish”  And then loud and clear he goes “I want to eat it”

I could feel everyone’s gasp.  We just wanted to fade away, just wanted the ocean to open up and take us in, or hoping that no one heard it. Trying to make things better I said “but darling the fish is bigger than you”  no, things didn’t get any better, With his left hand (as he is left handed) made a gesture of cutting with cutlery, and said “but I can cut it”

The husband of the lady behind joined, and the lady pointing to Arj said “that boy wants to eat that fish”  Luckily she was laughing.  I still wanted to disappear. Ah!! so “no one heard it” was out.

Yes he was given the lecture of not leaving his parents, holding hands, stranger danger, etc etc.  Not that it made any difference the next couple of times he went for a wander.  I had vowed to kill him and my husband too many a times after that for various infringements.  But kind of happy to note that, Arj has made it to nineteen and knows his way home. My husband is still alive too (sometimes only just).

Daily post word – Glass

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