Posted in travel

An unusual destination for a holiday (Part 5)

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Point Lowly Light House

It has been many moons since my last post.  That lovely holiday is just a vague memory now.  How I wish I could be back there again leaving all this humdrum.


Our week long stay in Whyalla came to an end and it was time for our return drive back to Adelaide.  We left early so we could stop at a few places that was recommended to us.

First stop – Point Lowly Light House.  Spectacular views in abundance and all for free.  Mother Nature really asks for very little.  And it is sad that we take her for granted and fail to preserve her.

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Next stop was Port Augusta

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Interesting fact – Port Augusta does not have a Port.  Just a Jetty.

These were rather quick stops and the flies gave us the necessary nudge to get back on the road.

And then came Port Pirie.  It’s a bigger town than the other’s we had just passed.  We grabbed our first coffee and the toilet break.

Going into small ports and towns for work, hubby does meet many interesting characters.  One of them is Craig.  Craig is an avid fisherman.  One of his tales is now part of the Port Pirie Maritime Museum.

He accidentally caught a Shark

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An exact replica with all the scars, wounds etc

Well she wandered into his net. As always it happened on a weekend, when officials were scarce, and knowledge of what to do was even more scant.  Initially he was told he could have the shark and an interested party was ready to part with some good money for the teeth.

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Then the officials changed their minds.  By then Craig had brought the shark to Port Pirie spending money and elbow grease.  The shark story was a big hit in the town, and it even hit the news papers, but without any mention of the hard work by Craig.  Hubby related this story to me and took me to see the museum.  Like the officials I may have completely got the entire story wrong or at least some parts of it. But the long and short of it is that a big white shark got caught and Craig took it to Port Pirie.

Many a things have been learnt from the carcass.  She had a sting ray spine caught in her teeth.  And they believe that could have been one reason why she got caught in the net.  She was unwell and was trying to catch the fish from the net rather than go hunting.

Next visit was to “The bridge to nowhere”

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The bridge to nowhere takes you to a little island.  It may be the bridge to nowhere but once again, natures beauty is everywhere in this part of the nook.


Hubby wanted to catch up with Grant, a shipping agent who has his office based in Port Pirie.  It was going to be a quick hello and we were going to go on our way.  The quick hello turned into a big chinwag and then further extended to an invite to Brett’s new home.  We were talking about great places to retire.  And I think this was Brett’s subtle lobbying for Port Pirie for our retirement.  Definitely worth putting it on the list.

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I think around 150 acres of it
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And that’s the view from his veranda – The Flinders Rangers

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Thank you Brett for this treat.


The final verdict for Whyalla and it’s surrounds –

Simply spectacular.  This region is so misunderstood.  Well, it ain’t Paris or Hawaii. If you go Bali and you were looking for the Eiffel Tower,  you would be told that you are in the wrong country.  Same goes for Whyalla, don’t look for the Shangri la, if that’s what you want, then this isn’t the place for you.  But, let me just remind you that, there is no Shangri La on the summit of Mt Everest either.

Whyalla gets a big thumbs up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in travel

An unusual destination for a holiday (Part 4)

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Whyalla Locals’ Hang out

Sun is feeling shy to make it’s appearance. Dolphins feel the same way.  Of course I am disappointed.  But this is nature.  It is a stark reminder that we don’t control everything.  The water is choppy, wind is present.  The Beach Cafe has it’s entrance to the beach side closed and operating through the garden side door.  I find refugee inside the cafe and start my writing.

I have a 180 degree view of the beach and the Garden.  And of my favourite tree.  Met the gardener on the way to here.  Finally found out the name and the possible age of the tree.  It is a Fiscus Elastica, commonly known as a Fig Rubber tree.  Whyalla seems to host a few varieties of these trees. He believes the tree could be as old as 100 years. It had it’s first stay at the cemetery.  Due to it’s large root system and not wanting to disturb the residents they moved the tree to beach side location.  As per one of the locals, the council had wanted to cut this tree not long ago. Fortunately the locals put a stop to it.  I can never understand the logic behind these councils.  When you want to cut down an infected tree in your backyard, they will make all the fuss, but then they will want to cut down a perfectly good specimen such as this.  Anyway I am glad that this tree was saved from their ignorance.

More on the tree, as per my Wikipedia search these trees are mainly in Asia also in US the state of Florida.

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The warm cup of tea comforts my frozen fingers.  I smile at the waitress while adjusting my disheveled hair.  No words spoken, but its understood that my hair looks terrible but she understands.  The long bushy grass looks like my hair or my hair looks like the grass.  It depends on which way you want to look at it.  Same outcome different out look.


The above was all written a few weeks ago while we were still in Whyalla.  Last day of our stay and the internet gave way and the post got drafted.  I am home and in the real world now.  As always writing took the backstage while I cleaned up and got back to the normal humdrum.


We stayed in Whyalla for almost a week.  It was an interesting kind of holiday as hubby was working till late everyday, almost like when we are home, but this was different. When he got back, we either went out for a meal or at least a drive.  There was just the one TV, so we had to watch what the other was watching.  Made way for more cuddles.  Somehow less was more.

During the day, I would roam around the town – taking pictures, and talking to the locals.  It was a quirky little town.  But so badly misunderstood by the rest of Australia.


Whyalla and was and is a town that was built by the Steel industry.  Ironically the same industry became the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’.  Collapse of Arrium Mining nearly turned the town into a ghost town.  The town is slowly being revived thanks to Sanjeev Gupta of Simex.  Morale and outlook of the locals seem rather positive but none have forgotten the gloom days.

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The signs of the collapse is still evident throughout the town.  There is nothing other than iron ore in the region.  As a very arid land, no farming or winery either to support the town.  However, digging up iron ore and making them into steel was a very big industry.  Along with the locals many professionals worked on a ‘Fly in, fly out’  basis.  So with closure of Arrium Mining, many support businesses such accommodations, cafe’s and restaurants took a hit too.  It created a horrible chain reaction. Those who supplied to the restaurants and hotels, anyone who works at these places, everyone suffered… it must have been so hard.


Thanks to an entrepreneur with a vision and the locals resilience the town is reviving again.

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But there is more to Whyalla than just the steel industry.  And that was a total surprise for me.

A strong sense of doing their bit for the environment, local pride and local Comradery is very evident.  This is a shop I found on one of my outings.

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Inside the shop was even more interesting.  uma phone 6oct 015.jpg

You can bring your own container and fill up.  Whether it be Dish Washing liquid or Tea bring your own empty Jam bottle or any other bottle or container and fill up.

This is just a small country town, and in the big smoke Sydney and Melbourne there is resistance for just getting rid of shopping bags.  Who is backward now?

 

 

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I want to write more. However, real life is nudging me.  So I shall pen off now.  Promising to return soon, knowing very well, that I might break that promise too.  If not tomorrow, another day I will bring you more photos that would make you want to take a trip to Whyalla.

 

 

 

Posted in travel

An unusual destination for a holiday (Part 3)

 

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Sea Gull Musical Chairs

It’s a balmy day. It’s windy too. No sign of the boats nor the dolphins.  But it’s still beautiful. I sit myself on a seat overlooking the boat ramp. Still in hope for a returning boat and the dancing dolphins.

No ripples on the water, but my hair is being blown away to all directions.  Then I see the somersaults in the water and my heart leaps again. They weren’t interested in coming to the boat ramp today.  I am a tad bit disappointed.  I settle for watching their somersaults.

They were oblivious to the troubles outside.  They don’t have to stick to a clock, just fish and eat when they please.  No argument to do the dishes or to take the trash out.  Don’t even have to worry about paying for the roof over their heads.  Just keep swimming as much as they please. It’s not about ownership, it’s everyone’s to share.

The little one’s not as clingy today. She has got the confidence to roam on her own.  She still comes back to check on her mother now and then.  Mum too keeps an eye on her.  Mothers of any breed are a special breed.  Whether, it’s a dolphin, lion or an ape they all seem human.

Thank you Whyalla for giving me this opportunity to watch and muse these beautiful creatures, your stunning landscape and the down to earth locals.

Having a salad and cake at ‘Whisk Away’.  Yes life is about fifty/fifty. Because I had the salad now I can spoil myself with a Choc Caramel Pecan Roulade.  Well I am saving half of it for later.  I am sure the Dolphins’ doing the same, work when they have to, eat what they should, but not denying themselves a treat when they could.  Life can be pretty simple when you don’t complicate it.  We think we are the superior animal just because we know about the moon and the stars.  The Dolphin fails to know about the moon and the stars but it happily dances under both. Why can’t we make our life simple and just dance under the moon and the star?


Walking around this place, you feel the camaraderie of the community.  The locals are a friendly bunch.  Most very ready for a yarn.

Very hard to go past without telling the story of Karen and Sam.  On one of my travels back from the Beach, I was aiming to get to the local supermarket Food Land.  My phone battery was on it’s last few bars.  Trying to evoke the Google Maps seemed a challenge.  That’s when I met Karen and Sam.  At that time they were not Karen and Sam they were just two strangers whom I felt comfortable to ask for directions.  After a few attempts at “turn left at the round about and after the Hospital” they both looked concerned that it was a fair walk away.  They were unaware that I was trying to dissolve the ‘salt and pepper squid’ I had for lunch. Karen offers to give me a lift to the Food Land and she insists.  So does Sam.  After my initial reluctance and feeling terrible about imposing on her generosity, I eventually agreed.  Even though it might have been an imposition I am glad I took her offer.  I truly met a gorgeous human being.  It is a set of bizarre coincidences and circumstances that makes us cross paths with certain individuals.  Well this was one of those circumstances.  Karen ended up staying till I finished shopping and dropped me back at my apartment.

We exchanged phone numbers and now we exchange text messages.  We have met up couple of times after that.  This couple have definitely made me believe in humanity. I like to share a video that popped in my Face book feed.

But sadly for Karen I am not Mrs Waldorf.  So she is not going to be coming into any good money or fortune because of me anytime soon.  Other than making a special request to ‘Karma’ to take care of her and her equally gorgeous husband, I have nothing more to offer.

Like most things in Whyalla I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to meet such a person in my life.


Signing off for today, more about the town of Whyalla to follow soon.

PS

Pecan and Quinea Salad and the chocolate Roulade was fab at Whisk Away.  Keeping up with the Whyalla theme, the staff were very friendly and helpful.  Fresh Food and Great Service never goes wrong.

Photos from this beautiful nook.  Once again my endorsements are voluntary and honest.

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Yes Life Doesn’t need to be Perfect to be wonderful

Sneak Peek – tomorrow’s blog

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Yes, interesting I know.  Well that is Whyalla.  It comes in all shapes and sizes

Whisk Away –  https://www.facebook.com/whiskawaywhyalla

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in travel

An unusual destination for a holiday (Part 2)

Kangaroo sign

Starting from where I left off yesterday.


We had another hour or so on our drive.  Until now we were on major alert and on look out for any Roos that may jump in front of us.  Another hour to go the feeling of we are nearly there creeps in, giving us that relaxed feeling.  Just then..

We both at the very last minute see one big Roo on guard duty right on the edge of the road.  Thankfully, he had the sense not to jump in. Just before we could catch our hearts I see another on the other side of the road.  Once again we were lucky, he too didn’t see the need to cross the road.  Hearts in our mouth we continue our drive.  Hubby was driving very slowly.  We were doing 80kmph on a 110kmph road.  There was a car behind us, and he did  not hurry us either and I guess he was thankful that we were taking the brunt of the risk.

Another fifteen minutes into the drive we see another Four or more of them by the side of the road, having a good chin wag.  Finally we get to our apartment sweating buckets, just past 11.00 pm.

‘Good thinking ninety nine’ due to her past experiences luckily had brought a few items such as home cooked fried rice, Chinese BBQ roast pork etc, which became our makeshift dinner.  Our Apartment was very spacious and comfortable.  A major shout out to Whyalla Playford Apartments (more on the apartment later).  Soon after, we went to bed as Hubby had an early start.


 

Day 2 – Whyalla

I heard hubby leaving, but decided to continue my sleep, or more like start my sleep.

Early morning Epiphany – Whether I am in Whyalla or Paris, Whether we have rose petals on our pillows or not, what happens in the bedroom will remain the same.  Yes, I did not get a wink of sleep.  My very virile man kept me up all night…

SNORING


 

After a few failed attempts at sleeping in, I decided to start the day.  I slowly emerged out of the apartment and started to venture out into the nearby streets.  I checked out a clothing outlet and ended up buying a top.  So much for not wanting to do shopping in Whyalla, shopping ended up being my first activity.  Had a good chat to the ladies there, the sales assistant as well as a fellow customer.  Then I headed to the Beach.

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It was just simply stunning.  I do live near beach. However, I was once again in awe.  Australia on the whole being the largest Island in the world (it is not considered the largest Island as it is considered a continent, but technically this would be the largest Island in my books) we are spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches.  Each one unique in it’s own way and this was no exception.  I slowly walked around, taking it all in and just soaking in the beauty and calmness of this paradise.


I was caught breathless again by this beauty.

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How could you have such an amazing tree, right next to the beach?  But there she was.  I have asked many locals, including the Whyalla Council about the age and name of this beauty, but unfortunately not much is known about her.


It was time for lunch, and I was told that I couldn’t go wrong at the ‘Beach Cafe’ for a spot of seafood.  Recovering from Acid Reflux I dared to have some Salt and Pepper Squid with Salad, accompanied with a pot of tea.  It was just perfect.  On my way out, I thought the chef deserves a compliment, so I approached the guy at the coffee machine to convey my message.  Turns out he was the chef and the owner.  Lovely guy, who was very proud to let me in the secret that he learnt his skills from his mother.  I mentioned that it was the best Salt and Pepper Squid I’ve ever had and the Tartare sauce was to die for.  He also parted with the secrets of the salad.  This is not a cash for comments section, I am giving credit where it’s due and maybe it will help the next visitor to chose his or her dietary destinations wisely.  Fresh Ingredients,  homemade sauces, pride in what they plate out, accompanied with friendly service, you really cannot go wrong with that kind of business ethos.  Well done to Nick and the crew.  Needless to say I have become a regular at the Beach Cafe now.  ‘


After my nice meal, wanting to unload some of the calories, I start exploring the rest of the beach.

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I was walking on the left side of that archway, the entrance, when heaven just opened up and showered me a preview.  From up there I see six or seven Dolphins frolicking in the water below.  I excitedly followed them to the tip of this arch. There were two local girls siting on the point and watching both the dolphins and me with interest.  They told me that it was a pretty common occurrence and they come up to the boat ramp below, each time a boat comes back in. They follow the boat in hope of receiving a treat or two.

Armed with this information I headed back, keeping an eye on the boat ramp below.  Heaven was now prepared to air the main event.  A boat was heading back and was surrounded by a few Dolphins.  This is when I wished I was a bird with a pair of wings.  The young lad on the boat could understand my anxiety and was enticing the dolphins  wanting to keep them there until I arrived.

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Words cannot describe what I was feeling.  I was surrounded by these adorable creatures.  This experience is like none other, when you see them in the wild like this, it far exceeds any Sea World type experience. I am rather surprised that this town hasn’t capitalised on this well kept secret.  I guess that in itself becomes the uniqueness and beauty of the place.

Wyalla is so misunderstood.

Rest for tomorrow. Yes there is  more to this town.

Beach Cafe – http://www.whyallabeachcafe.com.au

Whyalla Playford Apartments – https://www.whyallaplayfordapartments.com.au/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in travel

An unusual destination for a holiday (Part 1)

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Whyalla Foreshore – View from Hummock Hill

Perched on the edge of Hummock Hill overlooking the beach and it’s activities, I start writing, shooing the flies, time to time.  I look at the terrain right below me, it’s rugged and unattended. The steel dusts has it’s imprint in the making of the terrain too.  Fortunately, your eye refuses to stay there, it wonders yonder to the water.  It’s not Hawai or Bali, but this hidden gem is just spectacular.  The flies are a tad bit annoying, but I am willing to ignore and continue on with the writing and occasionally glancing back at the water.  It’s still there looking so perfect. The weather is perfect too.  If I could ignore the flies, everything would be just perfect. But that’s just ain’t life is it?


 

I have been pining for a holiday, some time together with hubby. It’s been a challenge to get any time off with him lately, as the man has been working too hard.  He travels a fair bit for work as well.  Suddenly on Thursday, I started my journey on google to look for a weekend getaway. Just hoping that Hubby wasn’t working this long weekend.  I was thinking going South, Aldinga, Mclaren vale or Goolwa were some places I was looking at.  But, he comes home late around 9.00pm with a long face and utters, “I have to go to Whyalla tomorrow”.  With disappointment I asked, when he was back.  And I explained that I was hoping to go to Mclarenvale, Aldinga or Golwa for the long weekend. He jokingly said, “well you can come to Whyalla”.

To his surprise and mine I quipped, “ yes, ok, I will come, I will come anywhere”.  With that planning started for the next days trip. With the aid of Google and trip advisor, we managed to book an apartment near the beach.   Hubby was still worried wondering what and how I would entertain myself during the day, when he was working.  I assured him that if everything fails I would find great spots to do some writing. I was hell bent on not staying home for the long weekend.


 

Whyalla is not renowned for it’s tourism. It’s no Bali or Hawai boasting  surfing, hang gliding and the night life the other tourist destinations include.  It’s just a quiet country town, held together by a steel industry.  For the rest of Australia it is just a hick town. Not sure if anyone outside of Australia has even heard about this town.  Well those were my preconceived notion as well. However, I still wanted to accompany my husband as I missed him too much.  I was the cause of ridicule next day among friends.  I joined in making fun of myself.

We were meant to leave at 2.00pm but as per the Ganesan family tradition we finally started the drive at 6.00pm with a 10.45pm ETA.  Hubby doesn’t usually like driving at night as he knows too well the dangers of meeting a Kangaroo on these roads at dusk.  However, having to start work early the next day he had no choice but to start the drive.  There was no convincing him to take the Jeep wrangler for the journey.  So the privileged queen boarded the Ute in high fashion.  It doesn’t matter the destination there is always a reason to wear high heals and Chanel no 5.

First song for the drive blares through the radio sounded so apt.

We were meant to be together’ by Laura Franke. 

I don’t remember the entire lyrics but it says something along the lines, how one’s a night owl and the other an early riser and how each other is opposite.  But my favourite lines are

“ no doubt each making up for what other lacks, somehow we don’t see eye to eye, if opposites attract I guess that’s why… and the chorus

“we were meant to be together, No doubt about it”. 

Yes, I think so too.  We argue, we squabble, but we know that we complete each other.  So with that song as the great omen we start the holiday – well at least for me it was holiday.

It was around 9.00 pm, I wanted him to take a break.  Unless, I said I needed to use the toilet he wouldn’t pull over.  So I said, what I needed to say.  He agrees and we pull into a pub for a toilet break and a coffee.  I think the town was Port Pirie.  We met some interesting characters and had a laugh.  Again I was the target for the jokes as they found it funny that I was going to Whyalla for a holiday.

Until now each time I had asked someone what I could do in Whyalla from the locals as well these jokers from Port Pirie, they suggested the shopping center and mentioned Woolworths.  I didn’t have the heart to tell them that, I wasn’t exactly thinking of Whyalla as my next shopping destination. So doubt was creeping in regarding my destination. I still joked with them and said that Whyalla was supposed to be the next Paris.  And with that we left to continue our journey.

They did give us a safety warning regarding the Kangaroos and told us to watch out between Port Augusta and Whyalla.  Hubby had the beam lights on and drove slower than the speed limit.  We just had another hour to go and we thought we should be safe from Roos by now.  Well we thought wrong.

Continued on the next episode…

But a little taste to come

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Posted in True Story, Inspirational

I dream a dream

dream

I have lived a dream.

But I ask for more,

I want to live my dream.

 

More, more, More

 

Whatever I have, whatever I had is just reality

Why can’t I have more?

 

I frolicked in the tea fields, and lived in a place fit for a postcard.

But that was just reality.  If I get there again that would be a dream.

 

I sailed the seven seas for years with hubby.  Again that was just reality.

If I could pay for my fare and sail again that would be a dream.

 

I live near the beach and it does feel like a dream.  But then again that’s just reality now.

So, then what’s a dream?

 

I still dream that I could be travelling again. Sailing the Seven seas and snapping the Seven Wonders.  I still dream that I am passing through Seven cities in Seven days.

 

I would do all that in a blink of an eye.  But in all my dreams my hubby accompanies me grudgingly.  So I lay down my dream for reality.

 

My reality is, we have a roof over our heads, we are well nourished (may be a bit too much), we are all still alive and there is a very good chance for a tomorrow.  Hubby is working very hard to make sure my tomorrow is a very good reality.  Do I need more?

I think my reality is pretty close to a dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Sitting on the fence

sitting on the fence

Perched on a fence I view the world with curiosity. I see the good, bad and the ugly on both sides. In a world where inwardly we are ingrained with “Us and Them” but outwardly we are trying hard to mold it into a one big “Us”, sitting on the fence is becoming precarious. I get abused from both sides. You have to be either ‘For ‘ or ‘Against’. I am usually For or Against. But not always to the same side. I pick the side as per the cause or as per the matter in hand. I guess it’s normal for the chair umpire to get abused by both players.

Sitting on the fence is regarded as being weak and not able to take a stance. It’s not that I am not faithful to one party or side. I am more faithful than the barking dog. But that doesn’t mean I will not call out on the mistakes of my side. I understand that it’s not all black and white, I acknowledge the existence of grey, but it remains grey in my books.

Is sitting on the fence is really a sign of weakness? I think building a wall in the middle and living with assumptions of the other side is madness. But that’s the world we are living in. With advanced technology we are not educating ourselves, we are spreading rumours much faster than before. With one click of the “Share” button, you can share away anything. No one stops to think, or verify , they believe what they want to believe. Chinese Whispers taken to another level.

I am not for the far right nor for the far left. Thankfully I don’t get paid for my position if not I would have met the same fate as our former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. I too blamed him for not having a spine, but I guess he was forced to place his spine outside the party room.

If I speak up for racism or sexism, that’s because I don’t agree with discrimination of any kind and I will continue to call out whenever I feel that was present. I am not religious but I do feel others have their right to their believes (as long as their beliefs don’t interfere with our normal lives). I don’t accept people hiding behind religion to commit crime, discriminate and be hurtful. Whichever religion you belong to, I have no room to excuse you.

I was born a Hindu. One of the oldest religions with some amazing principles. But that doesn’t mean I don’t acknowledge the mistakes of my people throughout history and now. I am brown/coloured and I know the trials my people have gone through and are still fighting for. But that doesn’t mean that I am free to do anything and blame it on racism. I need to take personal responsibility for my mistakes. And more than anything I want to acknowledge the support I get from the opposite side for my cause. Throughout history there have been many ‘whites’ who have supported and stood by for the ‘black lives’. I doubt any blackman /woman stood by the whites eg: in Zimbabwe.

I am a female from a Sri Lankan Tamil background. Yes, I know clearly about sexism. Slowly but surely I am making progress in my household. Our fights may not be as severe as in Saudi Arabia. Yes, we can drive, study and work. Sri Lanka had the first female Prime Minister. However, in society, culturally, we still have to kowtow to men. Just like using religion as a shield, culture is used to keep the women in their place.

However, we cannot deny that some women use unfair tactics to settle their personal vendetta. Main victims of rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence are women. These crimes are usually very hard to prove due to lack of evidence. The victims suffer a double tragedy when they hear the doubt in the person listening to their story. You can’t blame the person listening either, he/she listens to so many stories and some unfortunately have been nothing but false accusations. So each time one of our women use this as a weapon for their own revenge she puts the cause backwards and make it that much harder for the real victim. We the women hold a great responsibility in calling out those who perpetrate crimes against us, this includes not just the men but also the women who knowingly falsely accuse men of committing these heinous crimes. Just because I am a woman I cannot allow women to falsely hold that sexism card or false victim card.

As a Tamil who predominantly lived among Sinhalese, again I was able to take that seat on that fence. I understood and lived with the gripes of the Tamil minority. However, I believe that some of our grievances were our own doing. The Caste system, Dowry and the unspoken killings by the Tamil militants of our own people. Until we clean up our own backyard, we cannot throw stones at the opposition. If I can’t discipline my own children, what right do I have in pulling up kids at the park.

I will never apologize for the colour of my skin. I will never apologize for my ethnicity. I will never apologize for my gender. Nor for the way I dress, eat, drink, laugh and live. I am who I am because of all of that. The same way I will not ask someone of another colour black or white to apologize either. I will not ask a man to apologize for being a man. I will not ask anyone who is different than me to apologize for who they are.

I am happy to come down to the court and have a game. But when necessary I will climb on to that fence to get a better view. I see what I see.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.