Saturday, 21 August 2021
Sunday, 15 August 2021
Sunday, 8 August 2021
Zizek did not tell this story in Sri Lanka
A female teacher went for a coffee latte. Barista told her "Sorry madam, we don't have coffee latte. I can give you a coffee without milk. We don't have milk powder”
But teacher was adamant she wants coffee with powder milk.
"I will bring it to you. Where I can buy it" She asked the barista.
"The shop across the road sells milk powder. But they don't have it." Barista replied.
"I am a teacher. I am so tired teaching online since the morning. Can you please give me a coffee without milk then? Anyway, where I can buy a gas cylinder." teacher asked.
"The shop next to the shop selling milk powder sells gas cylinders. But they don't sell gas to the teachers. " Barista says.
"Why is that? Isn't it illegal!" Angry teacher asked.
"Not at all madam, they don't have gas." barista laughed.
When the teacher finished her coffee, another teacher called Mr A. Lover took her to a "One night stand in Australia" hotel.
The receptionist at the hotel told them there are no rooms because the hotel is surrounded by the ministerial security division.
"Why on earth is that" They both screamed together.
"Mr Raheliya Kembukwella is practising polygamy" Receptionist replied.
When the T- shirts clad CID officials heard that, they immediately arrested the receptionist and bundled her to an official three wheeler to take her to the police station, for the grave crime of disclosing a government secret.
“It's not the same thing: coffee without cream or coffee without milk.
What you don't get is part of the identity of what you get.”
Saturday, 7 August 2021
Saturday, 31 July 2021
Monday, 26 July 2021
There is a new TV series in “All 4” with glamorous Russian actresses and Russian dialog with English subtitles. It is candidly showing off Moscow's social elite. The theme did not change from Soviet days that much except that oligarchs now have more money and new and exclusive homes. At that time Communist party high officials lived with wife in the large flat and lovers in numerous small flats around the suburbs in Moscow. They took their lovers to dachas at the weekend (summer house). Now it’s just changed to large palace like houses owned by nouveau riche oligarchs in subburbs of Moscow and their lovers in Moscow posh flats. Ah yes, rich have a way of dealing with police too. They can get away with murder even.
The name is actually misleading. Russian name for the series is called sadershanka (содершанка ) , which means the keeper. German series calls it "Russian Affairs".
Mistresses wants only the money and easy comfortable life in Moscow that their rich lovers pay generously. And the rich lover will keep their marriage lives intact. This supposed to be a crime thriller by the way.
Director, the script writer and all the cast are Russian and it was filmed in Russia. Why the Russian president Putin allowed such a film series to air in the first place? Perhaps he had enough of the antiques of some oligarchs and "clearing out” operation is on the card? The series depicting the decadent nature of the advanced capitalism to allow president to manoeuvre freely?
waring: You cannot watch it with the family as one can confuse it with an erotic movie.
Saturday, 24 July 2021
Sunday, 20 June 2021
Today my lovely daughters
gave me a father's day gift with flowers
with hugging and kissing
they are making a cake with my wife
she bought me flowers and Champagne
she is doing schichtkraut for lunch
It's a German affair
This father's day
I remember my poor father
There were no father's day
I have no idea
how he raised us
on his meagre allowance
When we passed exams,
doing well at school, and out
That's his father's day
he left us early, at 62
My Mother was younger
than what I am now
I can't imagine, because
I think I am still young
at least at heart at 56
I can't imagine how lonely for her
how sad its for her
I can promise you,
We will look after
Love of your life
For the rest of our lives
The least we can do
For all you did for us
your four children
only treasure you left
Thursday, 3 June 2021
I had my second Astra Zeneca jab recently. About week and half ago, my head started constantly aching. I took paracetamol (Panadol) 3 times a day to ease the pain. To make matters worse, my blood pressure started going up as well. By Thursday and Friday, it had gotten much worse and I called the GP. They advised me to call the NHS using their 111 service, who in turn told me to see the GP. On Tuesday, I called GP again and the doctor advised me to go to the nearest A&E in order to get a blood test done now that I had taken the vaccine. This was to check D-Dimer levels in the blood to rule out possibility of serious blood clots forming.
Saturday, 22 May 2021
Saturday, 8 May 2021
Sunday, 21 March 2021
Saturday, 6 February 2021
I was given the Astra Zeneca Vaccine and I posted it in facebook. I said thank you to NHS. It riled some people.
One reason I posted in here that, I was given the vaccine against the Corvid 19 is this, I was talking to a young man about 24 years of age and who is still believing in fairies. I seriously thought he is one of Peter pan’s long-lost sons. He told me that vaccine has a small chip that is very difficult to detect. Through that chip government can dictate to us what we should do. We will be fed wrong information. I told him that’s already happening through YouTube, face book, twitter and other media anyway. They don’t need a chip to insert.
Saturday, 30 January 2021
These days, Ines enjoys testing different types of food recipes on the family. I call them Lockdown Recipes. Yesterday she tried out a recipe we’ve never had before. She told me that it was an easy old GDR recipe (GDR standing for German Democratic Republic, or the former East Germany, as it is better known).
Apparently, it is called ‘Schichtkraut’. It’s pronounced ‘Shiçt-kr-out’* (see below) but for the sake of convenience I omitted the ç. I was lucky Ines didn’t throw the spoon at me.
What I like about this simple recipe is that it only has 3 main ingredients: minced meat, cabbage and sliced potatoes. Ines added goat’s cheese on top, as well as cumin and other spices, and then put it into the oven for half an hour. And that’s it.
I call it 2 in 1 food because you can drink the sauce afterwards as if it were a nice cabbage soup. My stomach has very high acid levels, so this dish is ideal for me. It’s not very heavy on the stomach, and the cabbage and cumin make it easier to digest.
Try it if you’re interested.
*The ç is pronounced like the hissing sound between the ‘h’ and ‘yoo’ sounds of the 1st pronunciation of the word ‘huge’. It’s difficult to learn, so can be substituted for a ‘k’ or ‘sh’ sound instead.
Thursday, 3 December 2020
I have always had a soft spot for Cuba. It is partly because of the Cuban Revolution and its charismatic leaders: Che Guevara and Fidel Castro. In our youth, we had somewhat romanticised that revolution and its leaders. In somewhat of a pure ideological dream-world, we assumed Cuba was a socialist paradise, and that the USSR was a socialist heaven. To my utter surprise, some Labour party members in the UK also regarded Cuba as a model socialist country.
Few years back, some even said they wanted to move to Cuba, and some still say that today. I think to myself, 'would you really enjoy living there when the mass media shows you how much they still don't have? I mean not only the freedom to chose your rulers, but comfortable life in the West. What's wrong with life in UK? Yes, it's a capitalist country but you still have the NHS as a free healthcare facility. If you don't have a job you are given government benefits. There are problems but housing is still decent.'
Although I have never been to Cuba, I studied in the socialist USSR during the '80s. I soon realised that it was no heaven, nonetheless we loved the Soviet Union in our own way. We enjoyed the hospitality of the Soviets and appreciated the free education given to us. It was a unique country. Coming from the island of Sri Lanka, it opened our eyes to the world.
Living in the UK gave us the chance to progress and earn money. It was same for most of the other foreign graduates who ended up in western countries like the USA, Australia, New-Zealand, Canada and EU. They have now built new lives in these countries and settled in nicely. Some studied further and became educationalists, scientists and specialists in their respective fields. They used the opportunities they were given in the western world. But the nostalgia and yearning for the socialist USSR still exists among them.
I always wondered what happened to my Cuban friends. They played football and never forgot to call me even in the mid winter. Russian winter was very harsh, yet we played our football. I have only found Uday, Osvaldo, Ariel and Rubén. Most of my other friends emigrated from Cuba to greener pastures. I can't blame them. Uday and Ariel live in Cuba and are happy there. Uday lives with his family. Osvaldo is working in Tenerife, and Ruben is in Argentina. Ariel, now a director in an Electrical firm, told me that life in Cuba after Soviet Union collapsed was very hard. I knew it was hard for the Cuban government because economic aid from the Soviet Union was invaluable to them. They also gave other types of aid in the form of cheap oil, military alliance, and support with the Cuban industry. All of this stopped after the collapse of the Socialist Bloc. It was a very hard time, and the existing US embargo against Cuba since the '60s did not help either.
However, there have always been two opposing opinions on Cuba. The Socialists would say that Cuba had been developing fast, and that all would be well if the US embargo were lifted. And then there were those who condemned Cuba to be a third world banana republic. Although, as we all know now, Cuba has made lot of headways in their tourism and health sectors. Where is the unbiased truth?
I watched a brilliant documentary very recently. Apparently, Fidel Castro never attacked the American people, however he always criticized American Foreign policy. He valued American achievement in science and other fields, never condemned it, and this documentary proved that. But when Castro flew to United states to deliver his speech in United Nation's headquarters, American immigration treated him very shabbily. They did not offer him any diplomatic courtesy. Castro accepted it with a smile on his face.
The film was written, directed and produced by John Alpert. He visited Cuba in
the 1970s. He was interested in Cuban history and its politics. The best days for Cuba were during the '70s and '80s; although there were shortages, generally life was good. Shortly after 1992, however, Cuba spiralled into an economic downturn when the Soviet Bloc collapsed. John documented this very sensitive time for Cubans with compassion and understanding. He didn't judge them when he met a family desperate enough to raid their neighbour's farm and steal the only 2 cows the farmer owned. Throughout many decades, he visited the same families over and over again. Some of them, he found out, left Cuba altogether after some years, like most of my friends had, who had studied with me in Moscow.
Osvaldo goes back to his village in Cuba from Tenerife and happy to be back in his homeland. But Osvaldo and Uday have very different opinions. Osvaldo believes that Cuba needs a multi-party system. Uday supports the status quo, although he accepts it has its own problems. Uday said "Cuba is a good place to live, but really our economical system isn't working properly. We have to change many things in our economic system, but we can do it with one party. There are many reasons why our economic system does not work properly, but if we think just having multi party system would fix everything, then we are wrong."
And who doesn't? Look at the USA's very own Trump: he is not even leaving his post. Look at countries like Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan, who all have their multi-party systems but with corrupt politicians. However, I must say the Western world still doing much better economically than anywhere else.
John Alpert shows with his own excellent narration how Cuba lost their socialist zeal, and how it was tourism that finally saved Cuba. They may have stopped proselytising Socialism but countries like Venezuela still give them chap oil while having economic crisis of their own. Raul Castro slowly changing the Cuban economy. People can engage in limited trade activities, own their houses and offer services in a limited scale.
I think Cuban socialism has failed, and that they must change their economic policies. There is no other way for them. We must accept the cold, hard truth, even if it is difficult. This is what John's film "Cuba and the Cameraman" showed me.
I did not understand the scale of Cuba's deterioration after the collapse of Socialist Block until I saw this film.
Pictures were taken from Osvaldo Oliva.
Photo taken at Moscow Power Engineering Technical University in 1985 or 1986. Front row Ruben and Uday, Behind them were Huertas, Jorge Benitez and Badia. In the background Omar Pino.
Friday, 6 November 2020
A Black boy walks with a White girl
Hand in hand
An Indian girl walks with a White boy
Hand in hand
A Japanese girl walks with a
Mixed Race boy
A woman with a niqab
Walking with a woman wearing jeans
An English builder with his Polish buddy
Buying egg and bacon rolls with coke
From a Chinese vendor who is
Selling German bratwursts
And American hot-dogs
A disabled man clutches loads of
Sandwiches, distributing them
among the homeless in front of the
Shopping centre, where
All the luxury goods are on full display
Meanwhile trains are passing by
From The Stratford International
A gateway to Europe
Even though the real link
Was severed some time ago
Once rundown city but
Now a cosmopolitan giant
Rising above the skylines
Beautifully as always
Showing us there is
nothing to fear because
People are together- By Ajith D.
Friday, 9 October 2020
Saturday, 3 October 2020
Wednesday, 30 September 2020
The soviet art produced in the soviet union had two main categories.One which glorified Soviet realism and other one which thrived outside of it. It was called soviet nonconformist art and it thrived after the Stalin's death to 0l the perestroika Period, from 1953 to 1986. It was also called "underground art " as well. After the perestroika era started, most of these artists came out to popular culture as soviet realism faded into oblivion.
Saturday, 26 September 2020
Sunday, 20 September 2020
Saturday, 19 September 2020
Our last hike for this year was to Scafell Pike. That was on the 29th of August after our walks in Langdale Pike and to see the highest waterfall in the lake district, Scale Force. Shania, our elder daughter, left the lake district by train to go home to fill out her university application forms and work on her budding fashion business. We were sad because only three of us were left to hike the highest mountain in England. The height of the Scafell pike is 978 meters. It's about 3209 feet and even though it doesn't look that high, one shouldn't underestimate the long winding climb to the summit.
It was supposed to take 3 hours to climb and a similar time to descend. But Ines and our younger daughter Shakyra had a slightly different idea, and revealed it to me only on the last day. The usual hike from Wasdale to the scafell and back is about 9 kilometers, but Shakyra wanted to take the longer route and climb down from the other side of the Scafell Pike, which meant there were another two mountains to hike - the total length was around 11 kilometers.
The surprise did not end there. I realised there were another 2 summits to climb on our way. That's Shakyra's great idea. The first one was Broad craig, which is 931 meters high (3055'), and the second one was Great End, which is 910 meters high (2955'). (Please see the maps).
We travelled to Wasdalean, and the car park was already full. Luckily we found a place to park by the gate. However there were many cars behind us and they all had to turn back.
When we started the climb, there were no people walking with us, as you can see from the pictures. But half way through the ascent we realised we had made a mistake. There were many people climbing as well as descending from the summit already. We had to stop each time there was a narrow passage to avoid clusters of people because of the Covid-19 virus. But I realised some people simply ignored that. Sometimes we had to move completely out of the way from the normal route because people were climbing up or coming down in groups. At that point there was no way back either.
When we reached the summit, in that small space where the last 2 meters to get up were, there were so many people crammed into those 4 square meters that we completely avoided it. Therefore I may not have hiked all the 978 meters, but only 976 meters.
Maybe this is one of the reasons that the UK government was forced to declare the 6 person rule - because people simply ignore the 'safe distance' rules.
Wednesday, 9 September 2020
We hiked to see Scale force waterfall situated in Cockermouth on the 27th of August. Scale force's name "force" derived from Norse term for waterfall. It's about 170 feet tall (around 51.8 meters) and originate from stream Scale beck. It took us about 2 hours to walk there.
When I was very young I remember walking long and hard path through a forest to see Duninda Waterfall in Sri Lanka. That was in the seventies. Sheer force of the water from Dunhinda was amusingly beautiful. It's about 60 meters high and 10 meters higher than the Scale force. Sri lanka's tallest water fall is Bambarakanda which is 260 meters tall and around 5 times higher than the scale force.
As you can see the walk to see scale force was beautiful because of the surrounding mountains and the lake below in the valley.
In my point of view there is no point of scolding at people to save nature and environment. No point of posting hundreds of facebook posts to stop people and politicians destroying the forests and wild life. You have to show the people how to enjoy the nature. Those people who enjoy the nature will love the nature and would not destroy it.