Friday, December 31, 2004

The year that was

Today is the 31st of December. Looking back at the year that was, my life has changed dramaticaaly during the past year. This is an attempt to list the things that affected and changed my life during the year. Some are happy, some sad, but at least for my reference I am trying to list them all.

1st March - The first event that I recall happening this year was change of jobs. I took up a new job as a Project Manager for a software company.

2nd April - The darkest day in my life! My beloved father passed away. He died of a heart attack. The strength that I had was gone! I was lost beyond words, we all were.

4th April - My fathers funeral. He was cremeated at 2.00 pm at Borella Kanatta.

8th July - My brothers wedding (Grand Oriental Hotel). It was both a happy and a sad day. Happy because he was marrying his sweetheart of 6 years. Sad because, my father was not around to see him the poruwa.

11th July - Malli's home coming. Wasn't a big do. Just a small function at home to welcome the newly weds.

5th August - My engagement. We made it official! Only one thing was missing - my dad!

20th August - My Wedding (TransAsia - Pool Side) - The day that I had been waiting for! I was marrying the person who stood by me durin g the darkest period of my life and who gave me the strength to carry on. Could'nt believe I got married. An year ago, I would have never thought of getting married around this time. thank you thaththi, the girl you found for me, reaaly made a difference in my life! Wish you were around!

22nd August - My Home coming. Well, it was the culmination of things! Things went on cool! Thanks bro, for running around and getting things done! You were a great strength to ammi!

05th Dec - Convocation for Keele University. I got my degree of M.Sc in IT. The result of a couple of years of fun, hard work, good times, sleepless nights and above all, a few good friendships!

26 Dec - Survived the Tsunamis that hit Sri Lanka. Was mighty lucky to be amidst of the waves and to survive to tell about it!

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

~ ~ ~ Waves of Tsunami ~ >-^o ~

26th of December 2004. Boxing Day; A full moon poya day; the darkest day of modern Sri Lankan history; the day tens of thousands of people in Sri Lanka lost their lives to a sea that had gone crazy! The day, that I had a narrow escape from the deadly tides; the day I had a brush off with death; the day that I had the deepest feeling of helplessness, the day I felt the fear of DEATH!

I was at a hotel at Hikkaduwa on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, having gone there for the weekend, with my wife, mother, my brother and his wife and her brother. We were planning to leave the hotel after breakfast on Sunday, wanting to pay some of our relatives a visit too.

Me and my love were already late for breakfast on Sunday, the others had already started eating by the time we joined them. We served ourselves some food and went and joined the others. Midway through I wanted to go and serve myself a fruit punch and got up to go. Lush also joined me cos she also wanted to go get something. It was around 9.15 am.

Then we heard a "Look" and a "Wow" and people were all looking outside of the restaurant. Following their gazes we also looked outside. The garden of the hotel was being kissed by a large wave from the sea. I thought "Wow! A big wave!". And I was turning around to show it to my mother and glazed through the far end of the restaurant that was facing the sea. And boy was it a sight to sea! The tide had risen and the waves were splashing onto the glass windows. They were crashing in with ferocious force. Just then I realized that the windows were a good 8 feet above the normal sea level and these waves were no high tide.

They were high all right. But they were crazy. Something was definitely wrong! The sea has gone crazy and was trying to drown us in it! By this time, water was leaking into the restaurant, and everybody panicked and started to run out. I grabbed Lush's hand and shouted to others to run. Somebody yelled to run out of the building. And everybody ran toward the reception to get out. By this time water was flowing into the reception area as well.

Coming to the entrance we saw people running into the building and looking outside, we got the second shock. The road in front was flooded. Sea was running down the road splashing waves. A boat was flowing and it flew over the gate of the hotel and flowed in to the car park.

Then everybody turned back and ran toward the stairs. To make matters worse, the staircase was a spiral staircase, forcing people to climb up one after the other. By this time there was no electricity, rendering the elevators useless and also putting the staircase also in darkness. Somehow we all managed to get to the first flow without stampeding on anyone. My mother fell on the stairs but the people behind her helped her to get up and helped her climb the rest of the steps.

On the first flow we were watching the waves evading the ground and washing everything within its reach with shock and dismay! The waves were running through the land as if it was chasing its worst enemy. And people were running away from the waves to save their lives. But the waves, in more instances than not, beat the humans and sucked them into its wrath!

The waves descended to the sea with a force that seemed even mightier than the force with which it hit the sea. And whatever that was flowing in it, be it humans or objects were all dragged on to the sea. Those who were lucky and had the strength held on to what ever that reached their palms to save their lives. Those who could not, perished in to the sea. The force with which that people were dragged (the waves were said to have hit at a speed of 700 km/h), bruised and broke limbs of those who got caught!

The worst part was having to watch all of this, helpless, not being able to do anything to save them, feeling powerless against the ravaging sea!

When the first wave died down, receding back to the sea, carrying the sea several miles along with it, everybody ran amok, trying to save those who were hanging on to their lives from trees and buildings and some even on the coral reefs that had surfaced up by now! They reached up to those who were within reach and carried them to higher grounds and tried their level best to breathe life back in to them. And the good new was these efforts paid off in most cases. People were running around trying to asses the damage and trying to help out in whatever way they could. Consoling others, clearing debris, running around with first aid!

There were a few stranded in the hotel basement and they were crying for help. They were also rescued, with the help of the staff, guests and life guards. There were cars piled on top of one another. Damaged and submerged in water. There was a van resting on a structure which was around 10 feet in height as if it was lifted up and kept there! But luckily, the cars in the front car park were safe.

The sea started to rise again as if it could not stand these acts of humanity to wards our fellow humans. The water level as rising, and since the level had fallen below the normal sea level, everybody was hoping the rising would stop once it reaches the normal level. But it was not so, it kept on rising and then again, the ferocious waves started to batter the coast. The tide was flowing in to the country. This time around the waves were even more ferocious; meaner and harder.

It was flowing in with such a force, what ever that was left standing after the first wave seemed to be falling for this second wave. We were all scared for our lives. Smaller buildings that were left standing fell one after the other and drowned in the tide! We were scared about the ability of the building we were in, to withstand this attack.

This time the waves filled up the car park in front as well. The cars started to float and knock on one another. The owners watching with dismay. Not because they were possessive about their cars, but because they were losing their means of getting out of their; their means of going inland, away from the sea that had gone mad!

This time around people watched helplessly as fellow humans fought helplessly with the killer waves and perished in to the heartless sea.

After the second wave which was worse than the first, there were several more. But they were relatively smaller and weaker. There was nothing much left for these later waves to wash away, as the first two had washed away whatever it could that was standing in its way! These other waves were more or less scares which hampered any efforts to save those who have been dragged on to the sea!

Little by little the tides receded. But it still kept coming back till about 3.30 pm. Had kept people fearing for their lives for more than 6 hours. Then, those who could started to leave the hotel premises for higher ground. Everybody wanted to move further away from the sea as much as possible. Everybody was tired of seeing the sea. They wanted to get away from it. Any place where the sea was not in sight would have been fine!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Choose your attitude

"There's always a choice about the way you do your work, even if there's not a choice about the work itself".

The more you think of this, the more it makes you realize how much control we have over the things that we are used to lament about. We are too used to complaining about our jobs, about how boring or over worked we are! But does all the complaining solve the problem or does it makes things worse?

I think it makes things worse because all the negative vibes are going to leave us with a negative attitude, making us hate what we do more! Actually it makes us react to the situation rather than being proactive and taking control over the situation.

If we choose an attitude that is positive and productive, then I am not saying the external conditions will change overnight, but at least we will enjoy what we do a little bit more. If we enjoy what we do and start taking a little more interest in it then the quality of our work will improve and gradually this will have a cascading effect and lead to a change in the external environment as well.

So, remember. We do have a choice. We can either choose to be grumpy, lazy and irritated or we can be lively, happy and enjoying what we do! We may not have a choice about what we do, but we certainly have a choice about how we do it.

The choice is ours, lets make the right one!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

A poem

The look in your eyes,
With that tender smile,
Melts my heart down,
Making me helpless.

The tenderness in your eyes,
Glows under candle light,
They sparkle like the stars,
In the clear skies.

That smile on your face,
Speaks a thousand words,
Makes me realize again,
The love that you shower,

That smile brings out memories,
Of that precious moment,
When I totally fell in love,
With the smile on your lips.

The roses shy away,
Cos they cannot compete,
With the sweetness you emit,
With a smile on your lips.

I can never imagine,
A life without your love,
I will be as good as dead,
The minute you walk out!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Passed my MSc in IT with a distinction

I received a very good piece of news yesterday. I have passed my MSc in IT from the Keele University in UK with a distinction. And there are only three distinctions for the batch.

My project has earned me a mark of 82. This is what has earned me the distinction. I was very fortunate to have Chaminda Ranasinghe as my project supervisor, who is the best supervisor a student can get. When my father passed away during the last stages of the project, he bought me more time and also guided and motivated me to put my sorrows aside and to finish the project.

I just wish that my father was around to hear the news. He would have been the happiest out of the lot to hear about my achievement. Thaththi, this result is a dedication to you!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

A confession

Being married is complete and utter bliss. This is true no matter how people make fun about the idea of getting married or, how many jokes there are about being married and being trapped! My guess is those are written by people who have undergone very drastic marriages, or by people with one heck of a sense of humor.

Well, a few things need to fall into place in order for a marriage to work out. Firstly, you have to be married to the right person :) By right person what I mean is that you need to be in harmony with your partner. But if you can understand your partner and accept her for who she is, and if she can do the same, then you are married to the right person. I am married to the right person, simply because we understand each other and we have accepted each other! Thank you my love, for accepting me as I am and not trying to change me into someone that I am not :*)

Well, being married to the right person is only the beginning. It's like landing the perfect job. Just because you land the job it doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to be a success unless you perform. In other words, you need to work, hard! If we work hard to succeed in our jobs, in our exams, etc, why not we work hard in our marriages. Leave aside the hard part, how many of us actually work on our relationships. We tend to take our partners for granted once we get married. I am sure that I do the same at times. When pressure builds up at other fronts, the first thing we do is neglect our partners. I know that you would have felt at times that I have taken you for granted. But trust me, I have not.

The secret to a successful marriage is to keep the flame burning. Not just keeping it burning, but also making sure that (s)he knows it's burning inside you. When I was courting, I showered her with little gestures and actions. But since of late, I may have been romantic as I was. I know that the little things matter to you most and those little things have been a little slow to come by!

I think I am learning the art of making a marriage work. It will take time and effort, but I am looking forward eagerly, cos I know the rewards are well worth the effort. I am going to do the funky dance with you in my golden wedding anniversary. That's a promise that I give myself!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Birth of jangama portal

I have had this idea of creating a portal for the mobile users in Sri Lanka for some time. Since I have been sitting on my idea and not doing anything about it, I went ahead and purchased a domain name to force myself to do something about it. I purchased a few months back. Jangama means mobile in sinhalese. I thought it was an apt name to call the portal which was essentially going to be a user community for mobile device users. I actually wanted to create a strong consumer lobby of mobile users.

Now I was sitting on the domain name as well. It is still pointing to un underconstruction page. But this time around the reasons were partially financial. I need to purchase web hosting space.

I was quite determined that I was going to base my portal on the dotnetnuke portal engine. More than anything else, it was going to save my time spent on developing the portal. Besides I found that DNN had almost all of the stuff (modules) that I needed to have in my portal (and a few more). But the problem was, as I mentioned earlier, was web space. I needed to find web space of around 17 MB's that supported ASP.NET.

There were free web space providers, like, etc, etc. But all of them had plenty of limitations. For example, most of the free web space providers did not support ftp access to the free accounts. Or they had limitations on the file sizes, or they expired the accounts after a while ( Hence I was left helpless.

Then I came across They are fantastic. They offer 15MB free space with ASP.NET 1.1 support. And for a free hosting account, their bandwidth seems quite good.

I have uploaded DNN and created a portal @ for my portal. I am in the process of carrying out dual tasks at the moment. First is testing out the hosting service, before I upgrade my account to a paid account (yes you heard me right, I am planning to get a paid account with Second is building up the portal, getting the modules together. So far I am pretty happy with both elements of my infrastructure, the DNN portal engine and my hosting provider

I hope to finish work on the first version of the portal by the end of the month. And hopefully, by next month I can unveil my portal to my friends for their comments and eventually to the broader internet community.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Making Relationships Work

Watched an interesting movie called "Love Actually" recently. It's an interesting movie in the sense it tries to prove that love does exist in this world no matter what may be seen from the outset. It was a pretty good analysis of relationships.

Taliking about relationships though I am still a novice (meaning being married for only a short period of time, still) I have a few ideas about making relationships work.

Like every task we do in life, relationships also require some work put into them. When you fall in love, when the relationship is still new, you see everything in a new light and you are too exitied to be thinking about the serious side of it. You are just enjoying the moment and the bliss of the events that are happening around you.

But once you mature in the relationship, over time people become complacent about the relationship and allow the relationship to take care of itself. But believe me, that is the last thing that you need to do. If you need your relationship to work, you need to work ON your relationship.

A relationship is all about adopting to the fact that your life is being shared with another. In that sense, you need to be mindful about the other person.

You will no longer be able to do all the things that you were doing earlier. The other persons tastes, opinions and ideas need to be considered as well. If you are trying to live your life just like earlier and if your partner does the same, you are headed for disaster.

One thing that I realized after getting married is that my life will never be the same. And I welcomed the change in my life. I liked the fact that now I have a person to share an opinion permanantly. I loved the fact that now there's a pesont that I need to take care of!

I cannot and will not just stand by and allow my marriage to just go on. I want everyday to be special. And I am willing to put in the work requried for that. I am trying to renew the roamance everyday! I am determined to not to take her for granted!

You can make any relationship work, if you give the other person the due consideration and put an effort to make it work. Just tell your partner how you feel about her. You know that she knows it, but I'm sure she wont mind hearing it again. If you need space, give her some space as well. But dont think for a moment that you are on your own. So, be considerate about her feeligns as well. And you will have a happy life together!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Is Balance Bunk?

I read an interesting article titled Balance is Bunk, which went on to say there is no such thing as balance between work and life. And teh author logically presents a set of arguments to say why we have to become workoholics, citing current trends in the world economy.

Reading this article made me think about what balance was actually. As the article tries to say, is this balance based on taking our pet to work? Taking dinnner home from the company cafetaria? And the author says that the balance movement is fundamentally flawed, propogating mythical ideas.

And what is suggested? To embrace imbalance! That is, to give what ever the task that we think is important, give it your full attention, neglect the rest. Over time balance a portfolio of diverse experiances!

Well the thought is good, and it may even appear as a solution to some. But if you think further, this is what most people do and what leaves them totally lost, dis-satisfied and without any feeling of purpose after some time.

The arguments presented suggests that virtues such as commitment and passion often requires one to be imbalanced. Is this really the case? Can we not strike a balance and still be committed and passionate? And without leading an imbalanced life, can we not be successful? These thoughts are scary to say the least.

The article quotes John woods, who has given up a succesful career with Microsoft to do something he finds internally stimulating, something that makes him happy. And he says, when work becomes a passion, it isnt work anymore! Good thought. But how many of us can actually do that! I have heard enough and more complains about people lamenting saying that thier jobs arent what they like doing. They would like to become an artist, a poet, or whatever else, but their commitments of supporting a family and seeing thier kids through college, keeps them in thier day jobs, whether they like it or not!

What is the price that you pay for being a workaholic! Is it worth missing your kids first years? Is it worth missing thier special moments? Is it worth finding out that the person you married has completely turned to another person and you had no clue about it, is it worth many other things which may be worse, which I dont want to mention here?

Havent you met or known enough people who seem to have everything but still seem totally lost? Who go back to an empty home aftera very productive day at work? Who, at thier moment of glory dont have antone to share thier happiness with? I have! What do you think the reasons are?

But thinking on the topic made me realize that the issue is not on the striking the balance, but what aspects are you trying to balance? you cannot achieve any kind of balance by trying to do too many things. There's only so much you can do within any given time. Hence obviously, you are going to end up doing only certain amount of things and end up not doing some other things. the trick is to identify the things that are important to you. And that doesnt mean that you need to give up one or the other. What is more important to you, suceess, inner happiness, or both. And if both is the answer, how much of each?

It is amazing to think that all these phenomena is mainly affecting western societies. This is mainly due to the fact that they search for one-stop solutions for these. They want pre-cooked, tried and tested sokutions to make them happy and be succesful. And they are now slowly arriving at the conclusion that you cannot be succesful without sacrifice.

Asian cultures have for long managed to host balanced life styles. These were destroyed and started to vanish after the asians also embraced western everything without ever considering the suitability of these concepts. I think the trick aboiut being happy and writing your sucess story is understanding YOU! An understanding of the human species and its mind will help us strike a balance in our lives. Abd you dont have to fall short in any aspect.

And you dont have to be super human to be happy in all fronts, as some of the research cited in the article suggests. The little that I know about Buddhism has taught me enough to understand and accept the realities of life. It helped me to deal with the death of my father, it enriches my relationship with my mother, it teaches me to become a better husband, guides me to be a better employee and a manager. It teaches me to manage my time productively, teaches me to mange my anxieties and fears, etc. In a nutshell it gives me a "Way of Life". I am sure it isnt just buddhism that teaches all these things. The otehr religions would give some pointers at least!

And it shouldnt get so omplicated. After all, you should LIVE your life. Be spontaneous. Do things on instinct. Face challenges. Embrace new ideas. All of these will be possible and more enjoyable, is you have come to terms with who you are, both internally and externally! That's what religion helps us to do! To come to terms with ourselves!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Romeo & Juliet

Went to see R&J (as it is titled this time around - I think the acronym craze is hitting on the literary circles as well!). It was a theatrical marathon of over three hours, with a refreshing difference!

To start with I loved the musical score. I think Feroze had attepted to tranform the classic somewhat, at the same time, he had tried to retain the Barts' classical side in it as well.

The music was fantastic. The cast had some major singing talent (assuming it's them that sang the songs). Feroze had selected songs that suits the moments, amazing!

But I think that Romeo was not as strong as I expected. The supporting cast was pretty srong and at times appeared to have overshadowed Romeo. Having said that, I saw the drama only once and this drama has two actors playing the same part on different days, so I dunno about the other actor.

To be honest, towards the end it kinda became boring. I saw a few falling asleep, and I dosed off a few times too! I think shortening would help (just a thought)!

Last but not least, it was the first drama I went to see with my wife! And I enjoyed it throughly! I chose to go for R&J over Micheal Learns To Rock concert, and I think it was a wise decision. Watching all those romance scenes with my love next to me was a feeling I cant explain in words! Made me fall in love all over again!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Marital Bliss

It’s been a month since I’m married. And the past month has been complete and utter bliss. I’ve discovered a side of me that I didn’t know to exist.

When I fell in love, I thought I had discovered a new facet and I did! But I thought that was it. I had no idea that the action of getting married would make me discover another facet!

Just to put it in a nutshell, it’s not the same as your old bachelor life. You have another person to take care of. You realize the gravity of responsibilities and it’s not a game. I have become more responsible, sensitive, caring and loving. Things that I didn’t take seriously before are taken seriously now. It’s a completely new ball game!

I love playing house, just that it’s not exactly playing, it’s living!