Author Archives: Hasitha Adhikariarachchi

About Hasitha Adhikariarachchi

Hasitha fell in love with this profession when she was a little girl who loved writing her heart out. Instead of shouting her heart out when she is distressed, she wrote. She loved reading too. It opened her to stories from lands that are far away and her passion arose. Her passion to the world of books never died. She scribbled something during her leisure time such as poetry. She started Queen of Sea in 2013 and now she shares its’ space for publishing write-ups with her friends who love writing as much as she does.

Happy Mother’s Day!

The team of writers at Queen of Sea tells how much each of them love their mom and why.  Happy Mother’s Day!

Madhu Senarath:

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To me my mother (Nandani Senarath) is the most selfless person I have ever met. She has scarified many luxuries in her life to bring up my sister and me. Being a school teacher for 30 years, she knew exactly how to raise us to become persons with great values. She is my inspiration in almost everything in my life and I can always count on her support to achieve my dreams. She’s a person with great courage, who wouldn’t give up in anything in her life unless it is for her children. The worst thing about growing up is seeing my mother getting old. I would do anything to keep her happy so that the pretty smile on her face will last forever. May she live long life!

 

Ladini Ransirini:

“අම්මා” (Mother) the most precious person in the world for everyone. For me my mother is special because she dedicated all her life for me and my brother and for sister. Though we have grown up now still she cares and does everything little thing. All her life was sacrificed to take us to the place where we stand now, without thinking on her. My mother, K. Ariyawathie was a teacher as in occupation which she did with her all passion. She never was like an ordinary teacher but did her best to educate poor children since she was a person who had the idea to help the people who need the help most. I remember how she talked about giving lessons to them. Not only for us, she wanted everyone out there to shine in the society with goodness. My mother is the pillar where I learned so many stuff rather than the education. She is the role model of me where I gained the power to talk the truth no matter what, to be brave even as a woman to talk against the wrong. The way how she helped anyone who needs the helping hand guided me to see the other peoples’ sadness and made me to think and act for helping others. No matter the situation my mother really cares and helps the others all the time. And her love towards her mother is so precious where all these good qualities molded into me as well because of seeing all these characteristics. My Mother is precious for me since she is one wonderful woman out of all the world since she gave everything into my life, since she never gave up on me till now.

Do whatever you can do to make her happy because Mothers deserve the best in the world, and the best you can do is to treat her with happiness, comfort and make her to think on the religious view as well. Then you’ll gain the most wonderful feeling ever since you did the best for her.

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Thalatha Wijerathna:

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When I think of my mother (Jayakodi Manike) the words that flow into my mind are “Beacon of my life, Pillar of strength”. My late mother was a teacher. She was kind , but strict. She was also my first teacher. She taught me to read & write. I was reading historical novels when I was in grade 2. She loved not only us. She loved and helped children of her relatives by giving them accommodation and helping hand in studies. She was a loving grand-ma for my kids. I know no one can take my mom’s place. She helped me financially for my education and gifted me a house. She was not stingy. Her memories are cherished in my mind forever.

Charitha Adhikariarachchi:

We all need a foundation for our life. I see my mom (Thalatha Nandani) as the foundation giving me the strength to hold on amongst storms. She is my guiding light. I remember when I was schooling, she used to get up early in the morning and complete her house hold work despite of being a working woman. She cooked delicious food for us. I can’t believe how she managed those multiple roles in her life. My mother is the greatest influence in my life. I learned to work hard from my mother.

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Nadiya Amith:

My mom is more than a friend to me. She understands my needs even before I tell her. She laughs with me like a sister and takes Care of me like a guardian angel. When ever I am in trouble she always stands by me. I know all mothers are special but mine is extra special and I love her to infinity.

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Now I Love Him Even More ♡♡

When I was small I had crushes on two celebrities – Michael Praed who played the role of Robin Hood in the British TV series “Robin of Sherwood” and Bryan Adams. I loved Bryan Adams’ voice and found him very handsome! Bryan Adams is one of my favorite singers up-to-date.

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Recently I was going through a Bollywood news site and a heading caught my eye, “Bryan Adams shoots Priyanka Chopra’s first Guess campaign”. Brian Adams? I was surprised.

No, that can’t be him.

But curiosity made me follow the link and read the full article. It was him! My favorite singer has found a second career as a photographer! I kept surfing the Internet. Although Bryan Adams’s popularity in the music world never diminished, he has started working as a photographer.

I found many celebrities’ photo shoots in his official website http://bryanadamsphotography.com/

More than that in 2014 he has published a book, Wounded: The Legacy of War, which is a collection of portraits of young British soldiers who have suffered life-changing injury in Iraq and Afghanistan or during training. The book is available on Amazon.

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Follow this link to view some of its photographs, http://i100.independent.co.uk/article/these-moving-photos-of-wounded-soldiers-were-taken-by-bryan-adams–ekVtINzZDx . I bet once you go through those images you will get tears.

Well, now I love Bryan Adams even more!

He will always remain my crush. ♡ ♡

A Man with Scars and an Empty Garage

Empty Garage

The cobwebs have formed dusty clouds inside the garage. The garage is now a sanctuary for insects. The wheels of my car used to draw patterns on the grass path. Now the path is full of weeds. The dust carried by the breeze soiled my face and clothes. One of my hands rubbed my face. The skin of the scars on face felt rough to the fingers. My fingers searched for the unharmed soft skin in between the scars that were caused by the car accident.

It must have been a cursed day… the day I bought my car. It was a jinxed vehicle! When I was planning to buy it, some friends warned me. Most of its former owners have had faced a chain reaction of troubles.

Since that unfortunate day my life was not the same again. ‘Beauty is only skin deep’ I have come across that proverb many times. I used to assume it preaches people not to judge others by their appearance. Now with experience I certainly know what it means. It is a reminder to maintain your ‘looks’. Because no matter how good you are, the people still judge you by your face.

I had the means to pay and arrange for a cosmetic surgery. But then I sensed a riot in my mind. The voice in my head told me, if it was meant to be then I should learn to live with it.

After the injuries caused to my face got cured, I was allowed to see myself in the mirror. A hideous expression has been fixed on my face. I was not shaken. My state was better than the Erik of The Phantom of the Opera.

“I don’t know how to help.” Those were my father’s words.

“When you were injured, I was hurt too”. My mother was in tears.

I sighed “When will we get back to normal life?”.

The days were dark. Not even a firefly beaconed along my way. The huge scars had formed a constant dreadfulness.

The emptiness of the garage seeping through my eyes forced me to walk away. I stepped towards the gate. My neighbour and his little daughter passed by and he waved. The little girl looked at me with fearful eyes and turned her head away. She was scared of my appearance…

I had not imagined this twist ever before in my life. It is true my face was maimed… Still I did not feel less about myself. But people gradually made me do so.  Most people pitied me which I disliked.

The reaction of strangers when they saw my injured face emerging through a door… I better not talk about it.

Surprisingly most strangers guessed that I was not born with the scars. Each one of them popped up the same question “How did you get those scars?”. In their eyes I saw sympathy. Those were the moments I felt worse than the first time I saw my face with scars in the mirror.

The scars made me look gruesome. I knew some strangers assumed that I am a trifling criminal. I did not waste my time to clear their doubts. I knew the happy days would not return. But my soul was waiting for a green light.

I applied for a transfer in my work place and it was approved. Perhaps the management understood my plight. It was hard living with endless comments and condolence messages.

“I could start afresh”, I said, “If I am transferred to the plant in upcountry”.

“It’s true. But why do not you go for a cosmetic treatment. I believe a surgery can fix the scars on your face.” My boss said.

“Well, there must be a reason for this to happen. May be it will find me a true lover, someone who loves my soul”. I winked and smiled.

My boss looked into my eyes with a sarcastic smile. “How old are you boy? Thirty five? Do you believe that true love exists? Life is not the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ fairy tale, I must tell you. But I wish you luck.”

I got transferred to a plant located in the upcountry. The upcountry always has its own refreshing fragrance in the air. The humidity of the atmosphere was a healing balm to the skin.

I got boarded near the plant. The window of my room overlooked a yard full of sunflowers. As immature flower buds moved to face the sun they turned their back to my window. My roommate had been lamed due to an accident. He was living isolated because it hurts to see his family and friends sighing over his misfortune.

“We cannot blame them. I too would have treated you that way if I haven’t gone through the same.” he said.

I was able to expose my worries to him. He was unstinting. In spite of his despair he listened to a stranger’s fear and uttered consoling words.

The employees of the new plant had eyes reading my life through my scars, except one. The girl sitting in the corner of the office was not interested in my scars. She often wore yellow and appeared as lively as a sunflower. The office colleagues called her “Batti” because she was small made. She was not willing to blend with the rest of the staff. She rarely spoke to me. Our conversations were limited to weather forecasts.

The remarks dropped by other guys during the lunch hour together with the banters of the gossiping women helped me visualise the past of Batti. She was a divorcee. Batti looked a lot younger than her age. She reminded me of a few alluring female undergraduates that completed the internship in our plant. Little by little I was daydreaming at the office, lost in sunflower dreams.

“After knowing all the juicy stories about her do you still like her?” My roommate did not favour my hopes.

I kept silence. If I had someone else to turn for advice……

It was the urge to step forward in life. And yes, my gut feeling assured me she does not sympathise me.

“I’ll tell you why you choose her. She has been less fortunate just like you”. I closed my eyes tightly and buried my head on the pillow.

Sunflowers

The next day morning I plucked a few sunflowers from the yard and went to the office holding them with a trembling hand. The pollen grains floating with the flowery breeze got stuck in my woolen jacket. I heard the sound of my footsteps. The pace of my footsteps has changed…..

Once I reached the office I put the flowers on Batti’s desk.

“I bet your favorite colour is yellow.”

“Oh yes. Thank you for the flowers.” She smiled warmly. I felt a rapid pulse in my veins. I stepped closer to her. She looked upon my face with a questioning gaze through timid eyes.

“By the way, I wanted to ask you, how did you get those scars on your face?”

I felt a blow on my head. The skin of my face quavered. I was standing next to her looking worse than I usually do. I briefly told her about the car accident. Then there was the common gleam of sympathy in her eyes. Her glance fell on my face.

Her eyes were searching for a story on my scars..

 

UNWRITTEN HISTORY – Battle of Ladies

This article was collaboratively written by Milani Buddhika, Nusra Afzal and Hasitha Adhikariarachchi.

Long time ago in my school days, I had taken part in the western band and the drama crew, but never sports! On the contrary, my three classmates Milani, Nusra and Chandima had too much blood pumping in their veins and had joined the school cricket team. Guess what, they played leather ball!

These three girls were always on the ground, whenever they came back to classroom, they were sun burnt! They were dedicated, disciplined and fun. And they were among the very first school girls to play in a big match in Sri Lanka.

Yes, the very first female big match happened in 1999, between two girls-schools in Kegalle, namely St. Joseph’s Balika Maha Vidyalaya Vs Kegalu Balika Maha Vidyalaya. If you are willing to know more, here you go:

  • 1999 – Soft ball test match
  • 2000 – Limited over match, soft ball
  • 2001 – Limited over leather ball match, first ever in Sri Lankan women’s cricket
  • 2002 – Limited over leather ball match.
  • 2003 – Limited over leather ball
  • 2004 – Limited over leather ball
  • 2005 – didn’t pay a big match due to Tsunami disaster back in 2004
  • 2006 – Limited over leather ball

UNWRITTEN HISTORY – Battle of Ladies

The first Inter School Big Match was held at Kegalle Public ground on 5th of November 1999, between St. Joseph’s Balika Maha Vidyalaya Vs Kegalu Balika Maha Vidyalaya. The former Sri Lankan Cricket Captain, Mr. Arjuna Ranathunga was the chief guest, and my friends brought back a stump autographed by Arjuna. In 1999 and 2000, the matches were drawn.

My classmate Milani, walked down the memory lane with me;

“Honestly, playing cricket for my school (St. Joseph’s Balika Maha Vidyalaya) is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I gained so many things thanks to that. We have played seven big matches”.

My other classmate who played cricket, Nusra also shared her memories;

“Battle of Ladies’ leather ball Cricket encounter was played at the Kegalle public grounds on 13th of June 2002. It was a historical moment for the country. This was considered as the first leather ball Cricket encounter match played between two Girls’ schools.”

“We should thank Mrs. R.M.C.K Athapattu (our former principal of St. Joseph’s B.M.V) and Mrs. R.Malawana (former principal of Kegalu Balika M.V.) for starting such an event. At the same time, we thank everyone who helped us to grow and build ourselves and identify our talents, so a special thank you goes to our coaches and teaches in charge. We cherish the students of both the schools for being present at the match with us, and encouraging us by cheering up.”

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“Do you know why it didn’t continue after 2006?” I asked some other girls of my school who had played the game.

“Probably lack of interest in the management. Leather ball cricket is not easy, kids in our school still play Cricket, but just soft ball cricket. They now play some district/provincial matches using soft ball.”

I remember cheering for my friends in the ground, “Come on Milani! Come on Nusra!”. My classmates and I would scream till the end of the match, and the next day our voices were strained. And we would gather around Milani, Nusra and Chandima to tell how much we adored their talent!

We were tomboys, energetic and carefree but dedicated for what we believed in. I believed in the pleasure of arts, and cricket was the religion for Milani and Nusra. When we look back after all these days, none of us have anything to complain about those moments. We just hope that the two leading girls-schools in Kegalle will make plans to have the big match again!

How we see Valentines’ Day

995594_201216020069215_134138452_nThe team of writers at Queen of Sea shares their opinion about modern day love and the much celebrated Valentine’s day.

Lilani (first year student of the University of Colombo):

Love is for sale. Yes, you read it right. Love, is for sale and in this society, you even get discounts, based on your level of commitment. People say “I love you” without even having a clue of what love is. They think that ‘Need’ is love. They think that ‘Touch’ is love. They do not know, that love is holding one’s hand and holding it till that hand wears out with the course of time and age. So then we come to ‘Valentine’s day’. And that is where we all go wrong. It has to be a celebration of true love and commitment.

Charitha (Journalist residing in Sydney, Australia):

Love is important but you have your own life as well. True love happens when you can grow with the other person. So career dreams of a woman should go hand in hand not passing her. Education is more important than anyone.

Sandunika (PHD student studying in Japan):How we see Valentines Day_3

I haven’t seen a better love story than my parents’. As far as I know, it’s not a so called ‘love marriage’ but a proposed one. But it’s amazing to see their relationship. I’m not trying to paint it with an extremely rosy hue, every relationship has ups and downs. Yet, as I learned from them, the basis is trust and faithfulness. Durable and healthy relationships need those two ingredients more than any other. Love is a feeling that doesn’t arise all the time. It comes rarely, slowly but suddenly and we don’t feel it all the time toward all the people. So, it’s such a unique feeling that should be protected and nurtured with trust and faithfulness.

Thalatha (retired school teacher):

My generation has never heard about the Valentine’s day when we were young. To my knowledge this day has a religious origin. I feel young lovers should enjoy this day not only by exchanging gifts, but participating in religious activities together. I think now this day has been too much commercialised. Young girls will end up in hotel rooms with their lovers under the influence of booze or drugs. So girls should be aware of the dangers of being in love with the wrong person. They should identify true love from lust. Also parents should warn their children. Actually, this Valentine’s day concept is much new to our culture. Most of flower shops and gift shops tend to earn profits by luring young kids to buy gifts for their crush. Young girl and boys should be aware of it. School children should focus on studies. When students get hold of such romantic ideas, it disrupts their education.

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Ladini (postgraduate student employed in IT industry):

Valentine! Indeed everyone is so excited about this word and I hope February 14th is the date that they have in the mind right now. But, I wonder how many people know the history behind this date. Why such date is announced and all. There is a history for everything so I invite you all to search and see what the legend beneath this date is. But unfortunately today, this date is just another marketing date where lovers are marketing their love while the business men market their goods. In my opinion it is good that the lovers even have a day to show their love, but why this single day? Can’t you all show the love each and every day? Every second you can show your love even from a single word or a single action. So my message for you is to love the people around you and all the living beings every time you breathe. Show your love even with a single wholehearted smile. That’s the simplest way to spread and convey your love. Don’t ever get caught by the traps in the society and don’t make your selves to be slaves of the society’s’ needs by going with the trend all follows.

Nadiya (Business Analyst employed in IT industry):

When the word love is mentioned most of us imagine of the significant other or better half. It is nothing bad, as human beings that is what we yearn for. Love is something more than that if you have a closer look. It’s a mothers love for her baby who haven’t yet seen the world. It’s a father’s protection for his little prince and princess. A sister’s care and a brother’s hug. And a friend’s support in good and bad. Grandma’s food and grandpa’s stories. They all sum up just the love of family. To define love in a single phrase would be injustice. It is a common language shared by souls whether human or animal, old or young, rich or poor, alive or dead. And if anyone says ‘I can’t find love’, ask them not to look in every corner of the world but around themselves with their heart not their eyes.

Pictures by Sandunika Hasangani and Uditha Rajasekara.

A Cute Tale of Mother’s Love

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“Will she ever settle in one place and concentrate on learning?” an expression of worry is marked on Thalatha’s face. Her beautiful small eyes with long lashes are sleepy. Her thick curly hair long up to her waist is messed up. Her days have been like this for the last two years since the birth of her younger daughter. Her two daughters were born with a gap of six years. With the youngest one’s arrival Thalatha once again felt the tenderness of a newborn’s skin, the smell of baby cologne and the joy of an infant’s smile.

She remembers her first baby girl as a two-year-old, she was gentle and quiet. She didn’t run around. Thalatha could keep her on a mat on the floor and sit beside her. Thalatha would give some soft toy to the baby and she would be in one place playing with the toy letting Thalatha also sit on the mat, relax and even read a book.

The youngest daughter on the contrary runs everywhere. She cries when she is sad, hurt or angry. Thalatha had to run around those little feet, if she misses to keep an eye on them they will run somewhere. Everything is a toy for her, even the metal vessel for making pittu (පිට්ටු බබ්බුව). Thalatha started to write about the younger daughter in the diary in her first year, Thalatha wrote how her little pink fingers look like a rose bud, how she would cover herself in poop! But this year Thalatha could not spare anytime to write as she was always busy running after the youngest one.

Only god knows how Thalatha had been scared for the little one! Recently she came running to Thalatha and said “තෝත තෝත පාට කෑවා” (“I ate the pink ones”). The only edible pink color thing at home was Salbutamol, a medicine her husband had been taking for asthma. Thalatha could not imagine the effect of such strong medicine on a two-year-old. She picked the baby girl and ran inside the house and inspected the pills in the plastic box. Well, all the Salbutamol pills were there, but an entire pack of fish oil was empty.

Thalatha had been giving prescribed dose of fish oil to her daughters as a food supplement, and the youngest one really loved it. Thalatha knew what had happened. Her little daughter had swallowed the entire pack of fish oil! Thalatha remained calm, took the girl to the bathroom, lifted her to the sink and put the finger into her throat and made her vomit. The little girl vomited and Thalatha noticed the pieces of fish oil capsules. She took the girl to a doctor and the doctor told her not to worry as now she had vomited out all the fish oil.

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Thalatha could not imagine how her younger daughter managed to reach the box of medicine. The baby was growing fast and she was curious of everything. Thalatha knew she had to be extra careful with this girl, unlike with her older daughter, the gentle and sensible girl.

Today Thalatha had given a set of Sinhalese letters made of plastic to her younger daughter. Thalatha had used the same set with her older daughter, and she could read a part of the Sinhalese alphabet even before she entered the school. Thalatha wanted to teach some letters to her younger daughter as well, because the traditional ceremony of reading letters (නැකතට අකුරු කියවීම) had already held by that time. Thalatha can’t stop smiling thinking about what happened during that small ceremony. The ritual is to get someone educated and respected to read and write the first letter of the Sinhalese alphabet “අ” to the child. People believe this ceremony brings good luck for the kid to excel in studies.

Thalatha wanted her mother (both Thalatha and her mother were school teachers) to read the first letter of the Sinhalese alphabet “අ” (as per the ritual) to her daughter on the auspicious time. They had bought a new book with Sinhalese alphabet, a new writing book and a new pencil. However, her naughty little girl refused to read the first letter with her grandmother, she took the pencil and started drawing on the book, and the auspicious time passed by.

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No matter how hard they tried, she refused. “ලොකු දුව, කොහොම හරි අයන්න ලියවන්න” (“Somehow make your sister write letter ‘අ’ ”), Thalatha told her eight years old elder daughter who was already in school by that time. The older daughter managed to guide her little sister’s right hand to write the Sinhalese letter “අ”.  Ok! Writing was done but the ceremony is incomplete until this naughty little girl reads “අ”.

They again tried to make the little girl read the first letter with her grandmother. “එපා එපා” the little girl pushed away her grandmother’s hands and again started to draw on the book with the pencil. The open pages of the book which are supposed to have the Sinhalese letters written on them are now filled with scribbles. Thalatha’s husband suddenly pointed his index finger to the letter “අ” printed on the alphabet book and said “අයන්න” (letter අ) and the little girl repeated what her father said. “Yey! Finally, she read it”, the ceremony was then complete and Thalatha was happy.

Today Thalatha had been trying to teach some Sinhalese letters to the younger daughter but the little girl threw-away the plastic letters and ran to her sister. “Will she ever settle in one place and concentrate on learning?”

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Thalatha knew she had to take a different approach to teach her younger daughter. Teaching the older daughter was easier, she was calm, stayed in one place and concentrated. The younger one is dreamy and naughty. She loves stories when Thalatha narrates folk stories to her while feeding rice. Thalatha knew she had to market the learning process with some stories, unless the naughty little girl would not buy it!

The next day, Thalatha went to a book shop and purchased a new set of Sinhalese alphabet made of plastic in a different color. She also bought a shining wrapping paper. At home, she waited till her younger daughter fell asleep. She wrapped the box of plastic letters and kept it under the pillow of the little one. The next morning her younger daughter was all excited to see the shining gift!

“මනෙකා සුරංගනාවි තමයි ඒ තෑග්ග ඔයාට තියලා ගියේ. මනෙකා සුරංගනාවි කීවා ඔයාට අකුරු ඉගෙන ගන්න කියලා” (“It’s a gift for you from a fairy called Maneka! She wants you to learn the alphabet”).

The little round face with plump cheeks and big bright eyes of Thalatha’s little daughter is now filled with excitement to had received a gift from a fairy!

(If you wonder how Thalatha picked that name for the fairy, well, ‘Maneka Gandhi’ is an Indian politician quite famous in 80’s and active up to date. Thalatha’s elder daughter suggested that name).

With the fairytale approach, Thalatha could make her naughty little girl focus on learning the alphabet. She already knew most of the letters by the time she entered the school. She learned the rest of the Sinhalese alphabet faster in school, she even read the longest Buddhist jataka tale (උම්මග්ග ජාතකය) when she was just 7 years old. After all who can ignore a gift from a fairy?

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After many years Thalatha’s younger daughter learned who fairy Maneka was. Today the daughter believes her mother is the real fairy in her life! And that naughty little girl who is a grown-up woman now wrote this note to let her mother know how special she is!

Happy birthday Amma! You are the best!!

My painful affair with tooth fairy

When I was a kid I thought I would be a famouse writer and that people would build a museum in my name (I had visited Martin Wickramasinghe museum then, that’s why 😀 ) after my death. Therefore, whenever one of my baby tooth was knocked out, I put it inside a plastic jar, a collection for my museum. I didn’t ask the tooth fairy or a squirrel for a new tooth. My ideas were too matured for my age and I didn’t believe in tooth fairy. But later, I threw-away the collection of my primary teeth because they sometimes reminded me of a ghost movie.

I guess the tooth fairy was angry that I didn’t believe in her! The maxillary central incisors in my upper jaw were little by little falling out of alignment. The first one to have told me this was my science teacher in O/L class at school. It was not too visible then and I didn’t care. The next one to tell me the same few years later was my maternal uncle. By that time I was worried about my looks just like any other girl of my age. All the others of my family had perfectly aligned teeth, and they never understood my worry over my teeth.

I’ve been biting nails since I was a kid, I cannot remember when I got into that bad habit but my mother says I learned that from other kids in kindergarten. My aunt says excessive nail biting could affect teeth alignment. By the time I was employed in ‘ABC’ company, malocclusion of the teeth was very visible (at least I thought it was). Whenever I told that to my friends, they said they didn’t notice it until I told them. Perhaps, they were right. I’ve noticed with lot of my girl friends, that whatever the imperfections they were worried of, never caught the attention of others. I think it’s because we gauge the beauty of a person with their overall look, personality and their dress sense and small imperfections go unnoticed.

api-dennaNo matter how my friends assured that I looked fine, I was worried. Listening to me all the time talking about it, my boy friend helped me find a well-known dentist in Borella. I was her worst patient, because I didn’t go for regular appointments. She told I had small jaws and big teeth, so my teeth was crowded at the front. Basically what she meant was there were no enough space for my teeth in my jaws. So she decided to wear off my front tooth by few millimetre. And she made me wear braces.

I had braces on both lower jaw and upper jaw when I was 26 years old (yeah, I was too old to wear braces then but I did it). Believe me, it was painful!! It was hard to eat. Initially it was hard to sleep because my gums were hurting (dear tooth fairy, thanks for the sleepless nights!). Also it was hard to brush my teeth. Only a person who had braces on knows the pain I went through. Even if you brush your teeth regularly, people will think you don’t brush well, as little food particles easily linger in the wires of your braces.

10603437_10152194844916790_3011692153590251148_nDuring this time, I avoided saying cheese to the camera, I kept my lips tight and tried to smile. In most photos, I ended up looking as if I was pouting. I usually had dental appointments on evenings of work days, so I brushed my teeth before I left office. And I remember the puzzled look on the faces of girls in my office, when they saw me brushing teeth in ladies wash room.

In monthly appointments the dentist would realign my braces. I remember keep staring at the ceiling and catching a blur image of shining-metal dental equipment entering my mouth. The dentist used bonding cement to place braces on my teeth. Because the cement is light sensitive,  a bright blue light is used to cure it and for that the doctor used a pen-shaped, neon-like light emitter. Every time I visited the dentist, I came out feeling like a victim that was biopsied by alien equipment in an episode of X-files. Later, I got used to that not-so-pleasant experience.

I wore braces for about 2.5 years and then came my wedding! I cannot wear braces on my big day, can I? I should be able to smile to the camera. I told the doctor that I’m getting married, and she laughed. ‘You should have taken permission from me to get married before you asked your parents for permission’, She told me 😀

dsc_1208She then removed my braces and gave me an orthodontic regulator to wear on my upper jaw. It had a wire running across my teeth and it was less painful than braces. However, I had to remove the regulator whenever I wanted to eat. Soon after I was tired of wearing it and I only wore it when I went to sleep (I was going against the advice of the dentist, don’t be like me, listen to your doctor). But now my teeth is all fine, properly aligned. Tooth fairy can be very annoying to some people, my case is a good example of her nasty behaviour!  Well, all the pain I went through because of her was worth it, because just like any other girl, I just wanna give my best smile to a selfie.

A Note to a Special Friend

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Today I wanna send belated birthday wishes to my best friend whom I grew really close to when I was working in the ‘ABC’ company. How we first met is a different story though. I first met her in the girl’s hostel of SLIIT. My roommate in SLIIT hostel was a girl from the junior batch and she used to bring her friends over to hostel, and my best friend ‘Mad Girl’ was one of them. She made pasta in the girl’s hostel one day, she played basketball – and those are my initial memories of her. In 2013 when I joined ‘ABC’ company, on my first day at work, I was placed in the QA team, and the team lead asked to follow him, he was taking me to introduce me to my mentor. A chubby girl with a familiar face came in, she was none other than the girl who made pasta in the girl’s hostel.

Our PCs were placed next to each other, and she showed me how to run the software and areas to test. The work was really interesting. Chit-chatting with Mad Girl was even more interesting. The office was in Kolpity, closer to Liberty plaza and Carnival ice crema parlour and in the lunch time we used to go window-shopping in Liberty.

Mad Girl loves reading and writing just like me. She shared some of short stories she had written and I loved them. She’s really good in writing Sinhala and English poetry – both rhymes and free style poems. Mad Girl is an excellent cook, she can make anything varying from fish ambulthiyal to fruit trifle. I’ve learned to cook few things from her and she has her own recipe for garlic bread.

Mad girl is an all-rounder! Guess what, Mad Girl is damn good in painting too. When I visited Mad girl’s place for a sleep over she had a wall dedicated to pin her drawings. I remember she once did a nice painting of two owls and she told me she didn’t use a brush but a stick to paint it. What’s next, she’s a good photographer as well! I don’t know the logic behind this, but she sometimes uses her auto-focus, amateur camera in such a way that it works as a micro lens.

Mad Girl gifted me a poetry book by Mahagama Sekara, and for her birthday I gifted her ‘Malagiya Aththo’ novel by Ediriweera Sarathchandra and its sequel ‘Malawunge Awurudu Da’.

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I’ve got a lot of funny stories and life lessons that Mad Girl and I experienced together, I will share one special lesson on manipulating people that we tested proved successful 😉

Mad Girl ones brought some homemade sweets for the testing team and we wanted to eat them while working. But the short tempered HR lady in ‘ABC’ company (she was a sweet person though) had banned consuming food on our seats – because it makes the place messy and dirty as she used to say.

Then one of the developers (he had a loud voice) told us a theory on how to manipulate people and take them to your side. “Now take that container of sweets to the HR lady’s cubicle, and give her the first piece, then tell her how you made it, what ingredients were used bla, bla, bla. Then come back and share it with your team, the HR lady wouldn’t say anything. If you want to do something outside the norm, make the people who opposes a part of it”, he told us.

We tried it and it worked. We tried the same theory several times with different people. When Mad Girl and I went to Liberty in the lunch hour, somedays we got late to come back to office. On such days, we would buy popcorn, chocolates and when we reach the office, we give popcorn and chocolates to our team lead and tell the rest of the testing team to have it too. Guess what, our team lead was never upset about us being late.

There are amazing similarities in the lives of Mad Girl and me. Our mothers were teachers (in fact Mad Girl’s mother had been a student of my mother). We both were the youngest kid of our families, and we had only one sister who lived overseas. We both studied in SLIIT and worked in the same company. We both love reading and writing. Probably that’s why Mad Girl and I get along so well. I miss Mad Girl. The last time I spoke to her, she was packing my birthday gift that she was planning to send via air mail. I hope that we will be able to spend plenty of girlie time again like we used to do. Even if we might not get that chance so easily again, we’ll always be best friends and will be keeping in touch.

The moon appears bigger here

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It’s been six months since we migrated to Sydney. And my mother says she misses me and that she is sad.

Then I tell her, even when I was in Sri Lanka I was not at home. I didn’t go home every weekend because I had lectures on both Saturday and Sunday in Kelaniya university as I had started following an MBA even before I got married.

If I knew earlier that I would give up my MBA and migrate I could have spent my weekend with my parents.

The struggle of being away home is common to most people after entering uni.

And it continued for me as I couldn’t find a job elsewhere other than the Colombo district.

Being an IT graduate, I had hard luck in finding a job in a place that is easy travel from home. I had once taken up a job in Vocational Training Institute in Gannoruwa as an instructor. I wore one of my sister’s saree and went to work there first day. I didn’t enjoy it much; perhaps due to the government office style they were functioning. Around 5.30 pm I got into a Kandy-Colombo bus hoping to get down at Karandupana (my home village), but I dozed off and by the time I opened my eyes the bus stopped in Kegalle town. I got down and took another bus to Karandupana. Once I got home I ponded over the first day experience at VTA, there was nothing much to complain about. But I didn’t like it, it felt like not my kind of thing to do. I knew I would be unhappy there and that I might decide to give up the job sooner or later. I told my parents that I don’t want to work there anymore and the next day I informed the VTA office that I’m resigning. That was the only time that I wore a saree to work.

I wish I had spent more time with my parents but since I became a student tin SLIIT I was mostly away from home.

And now, residing in Sydney I speak to my parents over a video call few times a week.

Other than the cold weather and public smoking I almost like everything in Sydney. Probably what I like most is the public transportation. One a full moon day when I looked at the moon-let sky I felt the moon appears bigger than it was in Sri Lanka. Maybe it is an allusion or maybe it really appears bigger, I should google about it.

My husband and I had been lucky, we both got jobs in Sydney CBD within 2 months of our arrival, and we could stay with my sister and brother-in-law. I got a software testing contract job and in October I’m joining another company in North Sydney for a permanent position.

What Sydney has in store for us, we don’t know. I’m not scared about the future as long as I have my husband with me. He had been there always for me encouraging to do the things I like. What Sydney has in store for me, we’ll get to know in the coming years. I promise I will write about them.

A Sonnet for Mother Lanka

During a creative writing workshop I got the chance to learn the form of poetry, “Sonnet” (or sonette). Probably you have already read Shakespeare’s famous sonnet “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”

The basic rules of writing a sonnet are as follows (please note this is not a complete guide for writing a sonnet, but you can certainly try writing one by following these tips).

1. You should write 4 verses. Three verses with 4 lines and the last/fourth verse should have only 2 lines (altogether it must consist of 14 lines).

2. The third verse should change the direction of the poem (a twist or conflict).

3. It must be written in one of various standard rhyme schemes.

4. The last verse should summarize and leave the reader with a new, concluding image.

The below given poem was the outcome of an exercise I did in the workshop. This was written by me and Debora (another participant of the workshop), where I wrote every other line and she wrote the rest of the lines.

The rhyme scheme we followed is,
A B A B
C D C D
E F E F
G G

Here is the sonnet we wrote (you might think it’s a very political poem, yes, it is).
A Sonnet for Mother Lanka

Oh Sri Lanka, How wonderful you look
I’ve slept in your breast, I felt your warmth
I’ve wondered in all your corner and nook
I’ve stepped through your rising charm- south and north

Buildings, high ways, hotel so beautiful
Smiles, laugh, happy faces grateful to have peace
Gardens and fountains you spring-dutiful
Let me sing merry songs swaying in your breeze

But in reality it’s nothing but tease
The thorns are still there, your wounds are still bare
Suffering, pain, crime, corruption, nothing has ceased
Will they keep your promise of love and care?

What you are is a façade, fake, and ordeal
What is my role in your journey to heal?