On Sentiment Lost – II

I was once a collector. I collected everything one could possibly imagine of and also couldn’t imagine of. I don’t know why I collected, but I did as a child with the hope of thinking that it will be used, someday in the distant future. Or I would need at a crucial moment in my life and when I realised that I had it with me, I would be able to pat myself on the back and say, “Atta, girl”.

This fascination of collecting things was something I cultivated as a child. Before starting “big” school, I would collect rocks, leaves and random elements of nature that I would later be disappointed to have found decayed despite the care I gave them. When I was a little older, my sister and I started collecting stamps. The stamps came down from my grandmother and back in the 90s, we had many relatives living abroad as well. Of course the Internet was still taking form here in sunny Lanka that we would still write each other. When a letter arrived, we will carefully tear out the bits of envelope containing the stamp and let it stay afloat on a little Astra cup filled with water. The next day, we would go back to the Astra cup and claim our precious little stamp. My sister and I categorised the stamps as per the order of countries, which we in turn listed out in alphabetical order.

Funnily enough, I still have our stamp albums sitting with me.

As I grew older and was able to read and write in incorrect English, I would document things. I spoke of this once before if I recall correct. The elements of nature that I once collected as a four-year old was now replaced by airplane tickets and entrance passes or the first plastic spoon we ate from when we had ice cream while Bangkok in 2004. These little bits and bobs were also accompanied by photographs that later found themselves put in with the keepsake souvenirs and notes from each day, into what travel bloggers would now refer to as a “travel diary”. I did this for about two trips in total. There was no need for me to continue working on these diaries manually as in the mid 2000s, the Internet was a big part of my life and I started blogging.

There was this blog I started in 2003 however, I think I deleted that WP username because of well, I honestly don’t even recall what.

An image I thought might be (ir)relevant via unsplash.com

However, as I grew older and circumstances overtook one after the other and I had to leave to India and I realised that these collections were not a practical thing. I simply couldn’t take everything with me.

It was sometime between packing to leave for university and the completion of my first year in India and coming back to Sri Lanka did I start to realise the gravity of these “collections”.

It was also about the same time that I lost my sense of sentiment.

The gravity of these collections was suddenly a burden to me. Since that day where I began unpacking the things that remained in boxes since moving into a new house I kept asking myself, “Why do I have so many things?” It’s something I struggle with even today and I constantly find myself wanting rid myself of clothes, books, jewellery and things I own.

I am often told that some of the decisions I make and the paths I choose and some elements of the lifestyle I lead are very attuned to the philosophy of Buddhism. And this was even before my yoga days.

Of course don’t get me wrong. I am neither no saint nor a Buddhist and a part of me still likes bling and other materialistic aspects. I have not yet renounced all the worldly possessions and attachments and dear to me and truth be told, I still do buy “material” things for me to use and sometimes to just please myself. However, while purchasing these items there is this little voice in my head that surprisingly calms me with a “nothing lasts forever” or “it’s okay if you lose this” tag.

Weird noh.

December Diaries: Adult Accomplishments

It’s been a while. I would like to think that it is work that kept me from writing here, which isn’t far from the truth because the word “busy” is nothing short of an understatement now. I have a 2016 round up post coming up one of these days, at least on one of these days I will sit down to reflect on it.

Of the many things I want to write about today, I want to focus on measuring your life’s successes or accomplishments with the results of your children’s actions. Eek. That doesn’t sound half as nice as what I actually have in my mind.

I know in the past I’ve written on childrenfailed adults and long back on parenting. The most recent I’ve written on is “On Marriage and (having) Children” that actually is a favourite post of mine.

I might probably be repeating myself here but some thoughts need to be stated a few times over because how else does a writer ensure that such frustrations are let out of their pea brains if not.

***

See here’s the thing that parents of the Baby Boomers’ generation need to understand. Your child is an important part of this society. We belong to the money-making-never-saving generation, despite the five, six or seven figures we earn now. We are to make supposedly wise decisions in life and these include calls we take on education, careers and relationship. But, your child is not the only child to exist in this world.

I know it’s contrary to our local culture and how we are brought up, but the idea of independence has always been important to me, of which financial independence takes priority. It’s a way in which I’ve been brought up and as far as preaching goes, I try to replicate it on all those around me. It’s fair for my folks to be proud of how my sister and I have turned out but truth be told, they have bigger accomplishments of their own that are unparalleled to ours.

And this is great.

It’s great that my folks are still individuals in their own right and have their own accomplishments to celebrate and NOT COMPLETELY PIGGY BACK ON THEIR CHILDREN’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND THEIR ABILITY TO BREED.

I apologise if the capital letters got in the way. It’s been coming a long time.

If I were to ever have children, of course I would think they are the greatest on earth and as a parent I would put their needs and wants before my own. However, being a parent does not mean that it is a loss of identity and individuality of who I am or what my Mother is.

Any marriage or child that my sister or I may have, will NOT be a measure of accomplishment for my family’s success.

and fuck you to all those who think that way.

While life in general should be celebrated, it doesn’t mean that you need showcase your family’s only “accomplishments” to the world around. Trust me, this looks as bad as wearing new clothes at a less-fortunate environment or showing your child extra-affection in an orphanage. Your unintended actions would not only be hurtful but a sad reminder of what the others around you have not yet “achieved” as a result of you make it seem as though having something that another person doesn’t, is a sense of accomplishment in this world.

If you have no purpose in life, I hope you find some in 2017. After all New Year’s are all about resolutions, finding yourself and all that shiz.

I get all my images on www.unsplash.com now :)

I get all my images on http://www.unsplash.com now 🙂

Let’s Talk about Prostitutes

A lot of people have already begun talking about it and clearly this post will not necessarily make a difference, but there are rants in my head that need to be written somewhere and if you don’t feel like reading it, no worries!

This is totes obvs with reference to the piece of shit writing on The Sunday Leader yesterday, which was shared by the lovely Aisha. I strongly suggest you read the ridiculous article by The Sunday Leader either way, in order to add some context to the story. 

Let’s start by saying that I, for a long time have been bias towards the cause of prostitutes. I’ve always thought that there was nothing wrong with selling your body and making a living out of it, because a) at corporates people tend to sell their souls anyway, haha and b) the way men leer is actually no different to the “male” customer that goes in search of female prostitutes.

Few disclaimers too (because the world gets ridiculously offensive at everything we have to say now):

  • I’m not going to call them commercial sex workers because it makes no difference anyway. Or maybe it does and it doesn’t really matter to me. It’s different to the differently-abled / disabled debate. Let’s just call a spade, a spade okay.
  • All supposed relationships in this are for heterosexual people. I don’t know too much on homosexual / bisexual prostitutes to speak as much on it.

***

download

Dear Ashanthi,

As my friend Aisha points out, “young girls are suffering from the loss of virginity” is not a disease. Sometimes girls, if not women, lose their virginity at a young age due to rape. Or maybe due to consensual sex with their teenage boyfriend. You don’t “suffer” because of this “loss”. Such sufferings occur in the “loss” of a family member.

More on the “loss”, you don’t really “lose” anything. True there is the story of the hymen breaking and what not, but really it’s not a loss man, grow up for fuck’s sake. It doesn’t even work the same way for all women.

“In most cases innocent but naive young girls, seduced by their boyfriends, lose their virginity due to their affairs. But then, instead of coming back to the right track, they wander away in life astray dipping deeper into the abyss.” 

Like what the actual fuck. What if these girls who have gone “astray” have done so because it is a choice that they have made? Just as the misogynists would say that rape is something women bring upon themselves because of the clothes they wear (another rant for another day), sometimes women go astray, sleep around with multiple men, BECAUSE THEY WANT TO. Grow up lady, the world is not as rosy as you think it and there are women who enjoy having sex with one man or multiple men, and if they are sexually consenting adults who would do it for a fee, what on earth is your problem?

“However, in Sri Lanka, this has become a serious issue due to the ignorance of the authorities for many years.”

Dearest Ashanthi, have you stopped to realise why there is an increase in “commercial sex workers” and an increase in rape? Because men are fucking frustrated. I’ve always thought (and I know that I’m not alone in thinking so) that if prostitution was legalised that there might be a slight decrease in rape because of the increased number of sexually consenting women? I might be wrong, I don’t know, because I don’t have the numbers. But logically, this works out well in my mind and in my utopia, male and female prostitution will always be legal and girls can walk home in mini skirts at eleven in the night. (and so can men, without being harassed or mugged, because we are all equal here, Jesus.)

“But the second group which consists of the majority, are women who have become helpless without anyone to look after them…. The opinion in the society about these women varies as some have criticised their work while some have felt sorry about their misfortune. When we look into the real reasons that have compelled them to become sex workers, we too tend to justify their fate.”

I actually agree with you on this statement. When men who are husbands, fathers, care takers, breadwinners or whatever else you feel fit to call them, fail to do what “society deemed them to do”, women have to take on their role of providing for the family. Some women, who are fortunate enough to have basic education, finds work at a minimum-wage job and the more fortunate middle or higher-class ones are able to find work in the private sector. The rest of the women who are not at such an advantage have to fall back on either daily labour or prostitution. Those who are able to would naturally choose the latter because it’s human to want to make more money faster. I work three jobs, you see.

“In a corrupt society, the lack of solutions for their social problems have compelled many women to become sex workers.”

Our society is corrupt for a number of reasons that I think include: those who come in to power, mismanagement of people’s money, greed, lack of solid foundation for education (and the necessary tools that come with it) that can lead to things like prostitution yes. (I can rant on infrastructure and inefficient government services but I don’t think that’s what we are ranting about now).

Besides your blatant ignorance, supposed reasons for gallivanting at three in the morning in the name of trashy investigative journalism and most importantly the lack of really good sub-editor, I am yet to find enough reason as to why The Sunday Leader would run something on these lines. Or perhaps, they were needing a publicity stunt and thought that this trashy piece of writing would make us buy the paper despite the terribly cheap print quality they have.

Go get laid woman.

From, a lot of angry women.

On Dealing with Shitty Weeks

Last This week was a shitty one. Actually so was the week before that, but the week that just ended more so. (Clearly I wrote this post on Saturday but never got around to publishing it) To say that it’s over and a new week to have begun, is more than I could ask for right now. The past few weeks (or month or two as my planner tells me) were ridiculously busy. It’s been a constant struggle of running, running and more running that the shitty week came as no surprise. The week was preceded by copious amounts of socially harmful substances that gladly welcomed its way through out the rest of the week as well. Given that I had to keep running, I found myself planning less, committing to vices more, writing less and all of this combined to a spike in anxiety and rise to other subconscious-hidden conditions. Gah. I found myself watching an undetermined number of planning and organisational videos and actually learning that I already put them into practice without even realising so. Life can be a real win at such times. But here’s what I did to not get over, but deal with myself as I worked into a bad week.

N.B. – It’s a bit of an extensive list and I didn’t even realise that it would be this long up until I listed it out. Also it’s not as though I have written on motivation before or even before that, but sometimes I guess it doesn’t hurt to revisit these things.  

Continue planning, especially if that’s something you are used to doing

I’ve always been a big planner. Since I was in my mid teens. I did however stop making extensive long-term (read anything that goes beyond six months to a year) at some point in my early twenties. For me day, week and sometimes, month plans matter. The latter becomes important for things like budgeting and planning holidays etc.

Towards mid this week, I found myself planning less, writing less and just literally going with the flow. But not in the good way. Things happened because it happened and I clearly made no initiative to stop or start anything because I was just too tired.

Clean, declutter, organise

Saturday last evening was a mad mess off all things listed above. I cleared out and reorganised the kitchen shelves and cupboards, dressing table, bathroom and cleared out some stuff on top of my almara. I’m not a big fan of having stuff on top of cupboards and shelves unless I can help it. And up until I get the rest of the shelves made, it’s very likely that it would be remain this way.

I was lazy and saved this off Snapchat

I was lazy and saved this off Snapchat

Not-so fun fact though: four hours of all this gave me a terrible backache that hit me like a wrecking ball when I tried to forward fold during yoga time. Clearly the yoga for the day stopped there.

Workout 

I know this seems obvious and oh-gosh-not-you-also, but if you do regularly workout, continue doing so. Obviously, working out releases endorphins and they make you happy and ta-da! But if you are not the type to workout, go out for a drive (because “walks” are not always possible in most places we live, unless you are all geared up to walk and lose weight or drive to some place like Independence Square to actually take a “stroll” before 1800h, which is also not an option for people like me who live far far away). But drives help clear out your mind and just let you go into a nice blank corner in your head. I highly recommend driving at 60 km/h on the expressway on the left lane. Not a single person is bound to piss you off because most people adhere to the basic lane discipline over there.

Tick off to-do lists, work on backlogs

I love working. I always have. The past few weeks I found myself gradually working on some of the stuff I’ve had written down for a long long time. It’s not a lot of work compared to the amass of work awaiting you and you might not be too keen on finishing up, but it’s something and it’s also another one in your list checked off. Yay.

Go shopping or indulge

I’m really not a big shopper. I do shop online for clothes and all, but overall I’m not a big shopper. I am capable of reasoning out and shopping for clothes, shoes and bags. My impulsive buys are mostly limited to rings or groceries. I do like homeware too, but these too are rational purchases and need-driven. Over the weekend though, this need-driven thing happened.

This tho. I love giving pedicures, fyi :D

This tho. I love giving pedicures, fyi 😀

PS – These were all from Lady J. Total bargain 😀 Thanks Shana for the tip! 🙂

Spend time by yourself (or others if you don’t like being alone)

I like being alone. I think I’ve spoken of it before and my head tells me that if I go on talking about it that it would most likely be a bad idea, teehee. But over the past few weeks, I’ve been trying to make time for myself, whether it is to meditate, journal (see below!), drink, cook (also see below) or even sleep (I do sleep alone anyway, but I mean sleep the stress away, hahaha).

Cosmopolitans at 7* leads to wonderful Instagram worthy pictures like these.

Cosmopolitans at 7* leads to wonderful Instagram worthy pictures like these.

Journal

I said that I’ve been writing less, no doubt but I’ve been trying to feed in at least three-lines of journaling a few times every night. It helps with the anxiety, stress and other demons in my mind. If you are not into journaling, talk to someone who would be willing to listen. See, I’m not the type to open up and talk to people so writing on a book that won’t talk back actually works for me.

Sleep in or go to sleep early

I’ve been doing a bit of both but mostly sleeping early. I don’t enjoy sleeping in as much as I used to #adulting unless we are talking of a very heavy night, which also doesn’t happen as much as it used to #adulting Moderation, my friend, is key.#adulting But sleeping in early, helps me wake up easier and earlier-ish that helps me get by my day as fast as I can. This means I have more time left for, please see below 😉

Engage in social vices if that makes you happy (or do whatever that does so as long as it’s legal)

If you haven’t seen my Instagram feed, I don’t know what you are doing with your life. Haha. But jokes, aside, I enjoying indulging in my cosmopolitans (among other drinks) every once in a while and I don’t see any harm in it!

See what I meant? :D Totally IG-worthy.

See what I meant? 😀 Totally IG-worthy.

PS – If you are in for a bit of a long read, this one from Quartz is highly recommended.

Cook!

I know right. But cooking has always been therapeutic for me and I even baked for the first time and it was actually a win, if I say so myself 😉 But if cooking is not what’s in store for you, find something you truly enjoy doing and hopefully, you will find solace in it as much as I did.

Shameless self promotion schemes.

Shameless self promotion schemes.

In retrospect, for me what worked is silence, being mindful of my surroundings and how I used my time, space and energy. It’s still a lot of work in progress if you ask me, but it’s something that lead to this post so I’m not complaining.

I hope you all have a sunny week.

On Marriage and (having) Children

This has been coming a long time but like this and many of my other writings, by the time I decided on writing, everyone else has either written on the same or the topic is now redundant. However, the recent Jennifer Aniston blog post has stir in the lost and almost given up cause on this whole female business.

Let me throw out one thing out there. I’m not a feminist. Neither am I a #girlpower “Who run the world? Girls!,” squad either. What I am, is a woman (yes, I realised that I’m too old to be called girl, lol) who just gets by life with minimum effort towards the benefit of my sex because I think my tree-hugging campaigns are more important. haha. I did have a time in life where I was pro-women, let’s not marry and kill all boys days, but no longer. Tsk.

But what I am more convinced of in life rather is this whole marriage business.

Be warned though, this post would probably be filled with tonnes of disclaimers and what nots because the world is sensitive AF.

See I have come to that stage in life where I am not insensitive to the whole idea of marriage. After the whole no-marriage, boys suck (not in the dirty way, or I’m not sure if it was just me who thought that was dirty, lol) phase in life, I read Jane Austen. Still madly in love with her writing, ideas and books but not as naive or so I would like to think. See with Jane Austen I was introduced to this whole marriage of convenience shenanigans. I was part in my religious state of the day then, and this seemed like the ideal union for me. Mind you this was despite the boyfriends. Because for me, a romantic relationship was not always equivalent to marriage. Because for me, in my mind, I had to date a “bit” before getting married or whatever. Do you know what I mean? Of course, I have no qualms against those who don’t date as much but I was one of those girls who had to. But then, as I began approaching my late 20s, marriage became a thing of acceptance. It wasn’t a milestone I had to achieve, but like a university degree, it was acceptable to be married. Of course, there are still a whole lot of people who would disagree and believe that marriage is by far one of the most important foundations of life, but in reality, it is okay to be unmarried.

Just as it is okay to not have children.

See before you tell me, I am completely aware on how this being an unsolicited post coming from an unmarried, childless person but no one is listening to you just as they don’t listen to me, lol.

See what haunts me and many other women about marriage and children is mostly the lack of it. Being unmarried or childless in your 20s onwards comes with social stigma that is neither justified nor explained in means that are explained.

While it is all well and good for the world to celebrate along with you, your little victories and the joyous moments in life, until such a celebration is up for grabs, it genuinely is no one else’s business. For if a woman wants to stay the way she is, without being married or without child, let her. If it’s her money that she makes and spends it all on travelling, ridiculous amounts of designer wear or alcohol, that’s no one else’s concern. I wouldn’t want to draw parallels on what men do and all, because that’s not really what we are talking about noh.

I’m not undermining the importance of being married. Yes, I have heard for the umpteenth time the whole concern on companionship and the similar sort when you grow old.

But now that I think of it, this line of thought makes marriage sound like a pension plan.

And that’s ironic because for those of us who work on consultancies, we don’t really have a pension or backup plan, so go lol your face.

divorce-619195_960_720

Those of us who are unmarried or childless or plan to do so till the end of our days, are not insane or damaged. Some of us might be, irreparably, but the others simply have different priorities. It’s not as though we intend to do things differently or continue to do what we do because we want to stand out. It’s just how the world has worked for us and that’s what we choose to do.

For the parents and those behind the pressure of marriage and children, if your child is happily married or with child, trust me, the rest of the whole is thrilled for you and your child. However, what I don’t understand is this innate compulsion to encourage others to do the same. It’s as though the boat of unmarried and childless people are sinking and you want them come aboard the married with children boat or something. Let’s not even start on the pressure for the best seat and view that follows this conversion.

Also just because your child is capable of getting married, having children and buying cars and houses at the same time, do not think that all other children are able to do so too. Some of us might have other priorities and responsibilities that your child does not. 

Because just as much as children or young adults are pressurised into doing drugs and alcohol, so are parents when it comes to having their children married. Marriage and (having) children are like cocaine and heroine for parents. (that is for the parents who are not already crackheads, lol)

P.S. – Also if by chance anyone who responds positively to this post (including myself) happen to be married or will be married soon, it doesn’t mean that we are being hypocritical. It means that we take on additional responsibilities when we are ready to and not anytime before that.

On Insecurities and Materialism

A lot of us have insecurities. I for one have so many of them. The way I look and the way I should look, the amount of money I have (or don’t have would be the better phrasing), material possession I own (again, don’t own would sound more accurate), how much I’ve achieved and what other kids my age are doing with their lives – whether it be getting a PhD or having their third child or just been a good human being – and since of recent, how much I weigh. The latter is mostly a combination of irregular workout habits (yes, that is a thing and that does result in awkward weight fluctuations) as a result of an overload of other responsibilities and having a shit hole for an immune system.

But then the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that these are things that I dislike about myself as opposed to feel insecure about. I mean that is if there is a difference all together. No, but then there is a difference.

See this is why I am turning out to be such a bad writer and why I am feeling all the more “insecure” about this path I’ve chosen as a writer. I see other writers, lots other writers, my age, younger than me, older than me, doing wonderful things with their words and here I am trying to piece together a decent sentence without it being too long, but alas I failed at that too. I should probably go wash dishes with my many bars of Vim.

via Facebook

via Facebook

See I dislike the way I look (I mean there is nothing I can do to help the face, or at least nothing that I can afford to do) especially with my awkward hairline and the messy wavy hair that does not do the Tumblr esque high bun that I hoped for, but I am insecure about my weight, because I know that there are kilos that need to go back to wherever that came from. But then, what am I doing about it, besides ranting about it on my never-so-frequently update blog? Well, there is exercise that happens, but halfway because I feel terrible, unfit, horrendously useless. GAH.

(there was Natalie Tran video I was looking for but did not find but you should check her out either way, she’s all types of awesome)

Which makes me feel all the more worse to have complained on first world pains. But then that’s what social media is also about noh? The development world I work for and the volunteering over the years have I would like to think made me more sensitive and what not, but then there are times when hormones and self-pity beat you to it.

This in turn brings me back to my favourite topic of conversation: happiness. I usually go for “content” given its inclination towards being a relatively more stable emotion but when it is “happiness” that is question, my go-to response is it being a manifestation of whatever you make of it, if that makes sense. But then, what makes me happy? Because more often than not, happiness to me, revolves around material, I do not have.

via Dili boy on Instagram. Dili’s post meant a lot because it read a simple equation to me: simplicity (or less material) = happiness, which is probably why most of us, or at least I am finding it difficult to define happiness

I suppose this also partly revolves around the struggle towards happiness. One of the earliest “adult-ish” lessons I’ve acquired from literature is the importance of the struggle. Because if not for a struggle, one’s achievement would not be great and you would not be remembered. But in hindsight now that I look at it, I cannot help but wonder if it is this struggle that is keeping me from walking down the yellow brick road in front of me and to a place called “happiness”.

It’s difficult at times like this I suppose to focus on all the good that revolves around you and all the material that you do own, but then for now let’s just dismiss it as being influenced by hormones, miserable weather (the rain specifically), long days and the sense of purposelessness life seems to carry right now.

via some random Google search

via some random Google search

<I don’t even feel like my usual heart but what the heck ❤ >

On Sentiment Lost – I

It started with the books and the other little bits and bobs. We were shifting houses for the umpteenth time and I had come down on vacation. There were yells and screams for the trash I owned and overpowered by a force unknown, I began discarding a book here, a first date souvenir with over there, my last test paper from school into the bin and something that can be “bought again (not downloaded as this was before the time I owned one)” into the big black garbage bag.

***

The boxes however, remained.

There are still quite a few of them, these “souvenir boxes”. Essentially old shoe boxes with a few school mementos, a memento box filled with souvenirs from a family trip to Bangkok in 2004 (back in the day I would journal everyday of the trip, or at least on the first few days and rely on the joy of “keywords” not a word I knew in 2004 to fill in later!) packed into one giant box.

***

I would also read. Oh by John, I did read so much and I was also a fast reader. After school was done however, I began writing and then I became a sloppy reader. I soon became a sloppy writer too but later on that. I think I began picking and choosing what I read and I could no longer do the one-day-one-book situation. Mum and I stopped exchanging books because I became overly selective of the fiction I read. Instead I took to reading articles and blogs in abundance. My poetry phase lasted for about three years and I think it left me as I left school and left the sight of the sea every morning.

But the books went too because I had read them before.

***

As a child, before I could read or write (document might be a better word I feel), I would collect fragments of memory as means of preserving it. There would be a stone that I picked up from that trip when we went somewhere in the 90s (of course I wouldn’t be able to recall the moment a few years after) but I was supposedly one of those people who bore a lot of sentiment. Or rather was attached to things of sentimental value.

***

In my teenage years, I embraced the joy of day planners, organisers and of course, lists and in my twenties, there will always either be white paper or a notebooks and a pen (and spare pen too, duh!) in my bag.

I still carry the same things in a bag I gifted myself two years ago, maybe an extra work notebook and white sheets for random note taking, but the writing and lists seem to have been compromised by that very force that made me throw those books away. (also by throw, I mean, “give away and not burn”, lol)

I take notes on my phone, when it’s not rude. It syncs seamlessly to my laptop and more often than not, typing (in a correct position, not sprawled on the bed like now) does not aggravate that pain on my wrist. I also seem to write faster while on a keyboard it seems. Even work notes seem to have taken a shift from the regular organised notebook-system to a regular “Notes” app.

***

On photographs in the wallet and phone or desktop wallpapers, it was usually a no-no unless it was a celebrity (there is this story about me having a Shakira crazy phase in 2003) or some random inspirational Tumblr AF post. Living in India changed this as we needed to submit x number of passport pictures from getting an internet connection to lunch and I still to date have around twenty pictures of my face sitting in wallet since graduating three years ago.

***

But then we always had those random notes, letters, cards or something “written (or printed)” given by a favourite person on the list sitting in the back of my planner. Turned out, 2016’s planner was smaller in comparison to the usual and I shopped too late, which meant there was no time to get it shipped before the year ended. Hence, the sentiment-pieces sitting at the back of my planner too were compromised.

***

Today, sentimental is not something I would use for myself. Perhaps due to everything been made available online, there is no genuine need for me to frame that moment, but then I also occasionally wonder if this lost of sentiment is also the cause to a lot of other things I have not paid attention to lately, such as the list-taking and writing.

But more on that later.

On Taking Offence

For some reason, most people these days take “offence” for things which once seemed very normal.

I also need to apologise in advance for using “offence” with a “c”, I incline slightly towards British English #ColonialHangover and if there is an “s” that also needs to be used somewhere down the line instead of the “c”, I apologise for that too. Contrary to popular belief, my degree in English did not teach me spellings or conduct dictation every week.

It’s the sort of offence I speak of in my earlier post on religion and things. Adding to this is this body / age shaming or discrimination stories going around. If at all, it seems to me that the world has become more sensitive (or lonely, as per my last reading of it).

My Barbie Doll Story

I was watching Ellen the other day and she spoke of these differently sized Barbie dolls (tis legit) and there were some comments among many that stood out, which said:

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 01.56.59

and I completely agree with this! I used to and still love Barbie for all that she it, a beautiful doll to play with, not in the dirty sense of the word okay (for once I am not being vulgar #halo). I only cared about how I could mix and match outfits, fit them into my miniature doll house and what not. I did have an “Indian” Barbie doll, which was a gift from the parents who h~ad returned from India many years ago. I received my last two dolls as birthday gifts a few years ago (yes, in my twenties) from two of my roommates. Interestingly, one was of “colour” or “black” and the other was a career woman (an architect to be precise). While I found them “interesting”, in perhaps my naïve twenty-something ways, I did not find them to be “inclusive”, because to me they were (merely) dolls.

<sorry but I’m too lazy to take the dolls out of hiding and photo-capture them>

As a child that grew up with dolls, I never aspired to be one of them. I mean for starters I have (or had) black hair, haha! What’s more, if it is with the advent and over-popularisation of the internet, social media and what nots that we now have greater channels of promoting negative slash discriminatory messaging, should it not be such media that should be sensitised as opposed to Barbie dolls?

I might be wrong, but for “kids” like myself: a combination of two ethnicities to having had grown up in multi-ethnic backgrounds to Christian and later Catholic educational institutions, I did not find anything wrong with my Barbie doll.

Yes, I am aware that the dolls have gone too far, lol.

But that’s just “colour” we are talking about.

Other Shaming

Then there comes the issue of age or body-size shaming. Since we were children, well, “age” did not necessarily come as a component in our education syllabi, but as a natural well, ageing process, lol. Body-size on the other hand was emphasised on, purely for health reasons. However, if I recall correct, we were also taught of certain illnesses or genetic encoding that left some in either end of the “average (BMI) spectrum”.

But there was no shame there either.

I have been fortunate enough to have seen three of my four grandparents and one great grandmother for many of my twenty birthdays. But to me, there was no shame in growing old. Instead, in my mind there was fear, in not having enough time to accomplish all what they had. I mean, #GoalDigger Even now, I wonder if I would have done half or even quarter of as many things as my parents, grandparents and great grandmother would’ve done within the next twenty years. Growing up with these fascinating people also taught me about life, the need to slow down and enjoy life while you watch sunsets pass by.

On size concerns, half of my gene pool inclines towards the broader, chubbier and let’s-put-on-weight-in-places-that-are-difficult-to-lose-places. But the need to be healthier and fitter to beat up those who are not nice towards my favourite people or even one among the few exes who thinks they are smart for their own good has urged me to work out! Okay maybe, it’s my yoga teacher and some other people I see on social media. But listening to their stories and knowing that some of them were never into sports and stuff as children and later got on the let’s-get-fit bandwagon has actually inspired me to workout. Part of me is aspiring for a little bit of shedding from here and little bit of toning from there, but that’s mostly because of the school bestie’s wedding in a few months and not because I saw a hot instagram model.

I am well aware that I’m no model types with the gazillion genetic chins (genes are such an easy bait) and instead I am aware of what my strengths are and they are no where close to heels I cannot walk in on carpet, let alone a runway.

So, I still am a little perplexed on as to why we are having different colours and sizes in what once way a “one-doll-fits-all” scenario.

#TeamDivided_iJawk

To me, if social media postings cannot be filtered or controlled, it is then important to realise that taking these one step further to incorporate “inclusivity” into children’s playthings, creates categories and boundaries.

While I think it is important for each community or social group to have a voice of their own, I also feel that as this happens only within “minority” communities, the division among these minorities widen further and the majority continues to sit on its iron throne and smirk to glory. Because, if it is equality to be found in minority communities, it is important that all minorities speak as one voice, like the opposition of a democratic country’s government. In retrospect though, it seems as though Sri Lanka is becoming a little trendsetter and everyone wants to become like it’s government: either a collated government or a divided opposition, haha.

via Facebook

via Facebook

Also, I apologise if my political statements are untrue, I know nothing on politics, Jon Snow.

Finally, on individuality. This would be a longer post for another very lazy night, but a recent read told me on the creation of division through the search for individuality. Given that we all claim to be “individuals” as opposed to “peoples”, we refuse to work together (I for one cannot even work in a team, chee) or to work towards a common cause because we have no one cause! (Sorry, but I cannot seem to find the link to this very article) Yes, this is a good thing but if we are all going to keep digging up new causes as though it’s an archeological excavation or a new Facebook page like request, we are not going to have enough fans to support one common cause! Hayyo.

Until next (rant-wisdom-lel) time.

P.S. – I had typed out an end note “Add another part on the offensive bits” on the Pages doc (on Saturday) that I clearly do not remember now 😀