Monthly Archives: November 2009

Old Crushes

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Today, while desperately trying to study for the horrendous exams coming up next week, I came across an old crush.

Well, She was like the first person I think I really liked; of course, the concept of “like” defined and construed by the eyes of a 15 year old. It was pleasantly surprising to talk to her after almost 6 years. And for some reason, I was just intrigued about how her life has been for the last few years. I guess the most interesting part was;

Ex-C: Yeah, I am kinda married now

Me: Really?

Ex-C: Yes, to this guy I met in Church

Me: Oh that’s nice

Well, actually it may be not interesting to most unless you know the short history I had with her. That 4 hour conversation I had coming back from a trip revealed and shrouded so many things (A conversation that to this day has been one of the most nervous yet exciting conversations) Yet, we went our separate ways for reasons that do not matter now. Honestly, Sorry for being presumptuous but she did miss out. Of course, she would never ever know on what but sitting here after the long and dreary conversation about “your life” I can only feel sympathy for you. Cos through the lens of a 15 year old:  you were a nice girl who deserved the best and you shouldnt have settled for second best.

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Cos We Are Sri Lankan; Cos We Are Idiots

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If you could point towards a nationality that is great at wreaking things or never learning from their mistakes; we would sooo point towards Sri Lankans.

For the patriotic Sri Lankan who find pride in finishing the war and bringing peace; remember there is no real accomplishment in squeaky cleaning the garbage that you yourself toppled in the first place.The war was merely an illusive cover over pulled over to hide our real issues; pure incompetence and greed.

Recalling Plato in the Republic (which I believe any person interested in politics should read);

This, I said, is why good men are not willing to rule for the sake of money or honor. They don’t wish to be seen openly demanding payment for service in government, as that would earn them the name of hired hand; nor do they wish to earn the name of thief, by dipping their hand in the public till. Not being ambitious, they do not care about honor.
As a result of all this, a yoke of compulsion and penalty must be laid
upon their necks, if they are to consent to rule. And this, I imagine, is
the reason why willingly seeking office, when one might have waited
to be compelled, has been deemed dishonorable. But the essence of
the punishment is that he who refuses to rule is liable to end up being
ruled by one worse than himself.

The way I look at it, fear of this bad result makes the good take office, whenever they do, and then they approach it, not as something good or in the expectation of enjoying themselves, but as a necessary evil since they are unable to foist off the chore of ruling on anyone as good or better than themselves.…….

So I am about as far as it is possible to be from agreeing with Thrasymachus that justice is the interest of the stronger.

We are a nationality built on the “me” concept when it comes to life or politics, which is surprising in country founded on Buddhism. Where the thrust of the Buddha Dhamma is not directed to the creation of new political institutions and establishing political arrangements. Basically, it seeks to approach the problems of society by reforming the individuals constituting that society and by suggesting some general principles through which the society can be guided towards greater humanism, improved welfare of its members, and more equitable sharing of resources.

End of the day, these idealist fools want peace and prosperity through political institutions. Ignorant about the extent to which a political system can safeguard the happiness and prosperity of its people. No political system, no matter how ideal it may appear to be, can bring about peace and happiness as long as the people in the system are dominated by greed, hatred and delusion. For course, educated on public law and constitutional law, I do admit there is a role for institutional systems, which guarantees basic human rights and contains checks and balances to the use of power is an important condition for a happy in society. But, this avenue could never provide complete freedom, because complete freedom cannot be found in any system but only in minds which are free. How can we reform others when we ourselves are corrupt.

Our politicians; whether you talk about the two “respected” families or the new entrant needs to first go back to basics. Let moral conduct govern their actions; conduct which the religion they sworn to protect article 9 implore.

This post is not going to be about what political philosophy should Sri Lanka adopt but rather how we as citizens/politicans need to change our mindset and trace back to the teachings of Buddhist. Recalling from Dasa Raja Dharma;

1) be liberal and avoid selfishness,
2) maintain a high moral character,
3) be prepared to sacrifice one’s own pleasure for the well-being of the subjects,
4) be honest and maintain absolute integrity,
5) be kind and gentle,
6) lead a simple life for the subjects to emulate,
7) be free from hatred of any kind,
8). exercise non-violence,
9) practise patience, and 10) respect public opinion to promote peace and harmony.

Clearly, renting a million rupee house in the heart of colombo, state funding your own airlines for mainly private use or ethic cleansing “maybe just off” those moral expectations. Sri Lankans you too have no right to sit there and complain about how corrupt these politicians are because “good men enter politics to prevent the necessary evil” that these corrupt individuals would otherwise bring to all of us. So, if you do not like it stand up but only if you yourself are better and not merely for concept of opposition.

Of course, the same would apply to me as well but I was only 11 when I first read this statement from the Dhammapada

“The path that leads to worldly gain is one, and the path that leads to Nibbana(by leading a religious life)is another”

I strongly believe that we all choose our paths and its just that my path would never lead to provide that salvation my motherland really deserves.

 

Pretty Girls for Sale?

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Following up on an earlier post about what men and women have to bring to the table when it comes to relationships. I came across this interesting article about a girl who describes herself as “spectacularly beautiful, classy and articulate” looking to marry a guy who earns a minimum of 500,000 p.a. However, she says that this is almost an impossible search and wonders whats wrong.

In reply, a guy (who I assume is a trader) replies as follows;

I read your posting with great interest and have thought meaningfully about your dilemma. I offer the following analysis of your predicament.

Firstly, I’m not wasting your time, I qualify as a guy who fits your bill; that is I make more than $500K per year. That said here’s how I see it.

Your offer, from the prospective of a guy like me, is plain and simple a crappy business deal. Here’s why. Cutting through all the B.S., what you suggest is a simple trade: you bring your looks to the party and I bring my money. Fine, simple. But here’s the rub, your looks will fade and my money will likely continue into perpetuity…in fact, it is very likely that my income increases but it is an absolute certainty that you won’t be getting any more beautiful!

So, in economic terms you are a depreciating asset and I am an earning asset. Not only are you a depreciating asset, your depreciation accelerates! Let me explain, you’re 25 now and will likely stay pretty hot for the next 5 years, but less so each year. Then the fade begins in earnest. By 35 stick a fork in you!

So in Wall Street terms, we would call you a trading position, not a buy and hold…hence the rub…marriage. It doesn’t make good business sense to “buy you” (which is what you’re asking) so I’d rather lease. In case you think I’m being cruel, I would say the following. If my money were to go away, so would you, so when your beauty fades I need an out. It’s as simple as that. So a deal that makes sense is dating, not marriage.

Separately, I was taught early in my career about efficient markets. So, I wonder why a girl as “articulate, classy and spectacularly beautiful” as you has been unable to find your sugar daddy. I find it hard to believe that if you are as gorgeous as you say you are that the $500K hasn’t found you, if not only for a tryout.

By the way, you could always find a way to make your own money and then we wouldn’t need to have this difficult conversation.

With all that said, I must say you’re going about it the right way. Classic “pump and dump.”

I hope this is helpful, and if you want to enter into some sort of lease, let me know.

Therefore, in trade terminology this girl is not a buy and hold

Inspiration from those you tried

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la-belle

These stories put our futile attempts to love in perspective. How we argue and detest with each other over trivial and non-consequential matters. Rationalize that long distance and purely emotional relationship are not even worth the time spent contemplating them. How we settle of whats convenient and accommodating of our own selfish desires at the expense of others. Maybe, end of the day all we need is some inspiriation. To tell us that even with in this cruel and selfish world people do fall “head over heels” in love. I think that these love stories will renew or reinforce your faith in love… They are the most famous love stories in history and literature, they are immortal.

romeo_and_juliet

This is probably the most famous lovers ever. This couple has become a synonym for love itself. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. Their love story is very tragic. The tale of two teenagers from two feuding families who fall in love at first sight and then marry, become true lovers and then risk it all for their love. To take your own life for your husband or wife is definitely a sign of true love. Their “untimely deaths” ultimately unite their feuding households.

cleopatra_antony

The true love story of Antony and Cleopatra is one of the most memorable, intriguing and moving of all times. The story of these two historical characters had later been dramatized by William Shakespeare and is still staged all over the world. The relationship of Antony and Cleopatra is a true test of love. They fell in love at first sight. The relationship between these two powerful people put the country of Egypt in a powerful position. But their love affair outraged the Romans who were wary of the growing powers of the Egyptians. Despite all the threats, Anthony and Cleopatra got married. It is said that while fighting a battle against Romans, Antony got false news of Cleopatra’s death. Shattered, he fell on his sword. When Cleopatra learned about Antony ‘s death, she was shocked. And she took her own life. Great love demands great sacrifices.

lancelot

The tragic love story of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere is probably one of the best-known stories of Arthurian Legend. Lancelot fall in love with Queen Guinevere, King Arthur’s wife. Their love grew slowly, as Guinevere kept Lancelot away from her. Eventually, however, her love and passion overpowered her and the pair became lovers. One night, Sir Agravain and Sir Modred, King Arthur’s nephew, led a band of 12 knights to Guinevere’s chamber where they burst in upon the lovers. Discovered, Sir Lancelot made a fighting escape, but poor Guinevere was not so lucky. She was seized and condemned to burn to death for her adultery. Fear not. Sir Lancelot returned several days later to rescue his beloved Guinevere from the fire. This whole sad affair divided the Knights of the Round Table and weakened Arthur’s kingdom. Poor Lancelot ended his days as a lowly hermit and Guinevere became a nun at Amesbury where she died.

tristan

The tragic love story of Tristan and Isolde has been told and retold through various stories and manuscripts. It takes place during medieval times during the reign of King Arthur. Isolde of Ireland was the daughter of the King of Ireland. She was betrothed to King Mark of Cornwall. King Mark sent his nephew, Tristan, to Ireland to escort Isolde back to Cornwall. During the voyage, Isolde and Tristan fell forever in love. Isolde did marry Mark of Cornwall, but could not help but love Tristan. The love affair continued after the marriage. When King Mark finally learned of the affair, he forgave Isolde, but Tristan was banned from Cornwall. Tristan went to Brittany. There he met Iseult of Brittany. He was attracted to her because of the similarity of her name to his true love. He married her, but did not consummate the marriage because of his love for the “true” Isolde. After falling ill, he sent for Isolde in hopes that she would be able to cure him. If she agreed to come, the returning ship’s sails would be white, or the sails would be black if she did not agree. Iseult, seeing the white sails, lied to Tristan and told him that the sails were black. He died of grief before Isolde could reach him. Isolde died soon after of a broken heart.

paris_and_helenRecounted in Homer’s Iliad, the story of Helen of Troy and the Trojan War is a Greek heroic legend, combining fact and fiction. Helen of Troy is considered one the most beautiful women in all literature. She was married to Menelaus, king of Sparta. Paris, son of King Priam of Troy, fell in love with Helen and abducted her, taking her back to Troy. The Greeks assembled a great army, led by Menelaus’s brother, Agamemnon, to retrieve Helen. Troy was destroyed. Helen returned safely to Sparta, where she lived happily with Menelaus for the rest of her life.

odysseus

Few couples understand sacrifice quite like this Greek pair. After being torn apart, they wait twenty long years to be reunited. War takes Odysseus away shortly after his marriage to Penelope. Although she has little hope of his return, she resists the 108 suitors who are anxious to replace her husband. Odysseus is equally devoted, refusing a beautiful sorceress’s offer of everlasting love and eternal youth, so that he might return home to his wife and son. This Valentine’s Day, take a cue from Homer, and remember that true love is worth waiting for.

I WANT YOU™

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portrait-of-a-saint-bernard-dog

We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults.  Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment.

George Eliot

I love dogs. And when I say “love”, I mean the kind that is borderline obsessive. But, seriously, for a dog, “Man is his idea of what God should be“. The kind of loyalty and unconditional love these canines show towards their masters puts most human emotions to shame.

I can’t believe that there was time in my life when I considered not to get a dog (because one my exs hated animals). But, look at them;

3692796188_6cc3e82ef1 Introducing Slurp; yeah S went out  last week and got herself a St Bernard. Its only a few weeks old but look at the size of this St Bernard.Deep down both of us know he is gonna grow to be “cutely big”.

Apparently, he loves to eat and would eat like 6 times a day if allowed to. He also loves the winter and spends most of his time running around chasing rabbits and squirrels. Of course, I am really sad that I am not around to obedience train him. But seriously, I think I would just spoil him and would never be strict towards someone that looks like Slurp.

Well, I wish they allowed St Bernards in S’pore (currently “no”). At least, then when S drops by in Dec she can bring Slurp with her. Argh…. I feel like going out and getting myself my own Slurp.

How long its been

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Fatherhood_studying

Less than 6 years ago, I was mugging crazy crazy for my A-Levels. With no resources for extra tuition and no assistance from my school’s academic staff, all seem lost at one point.

I did what I do best, “Do everything possible”. Every single question on the back of every single textbook, exam papers, mock papers, specimen papers etc. I made my own notes using pen and paper, which was a long and tedious process. With no highlighter or fancy stationary, I wrote notes in different pencil colors on low grade paper. I remember, just like it was yesterday. It was 3am and I would be splitting my hair trying balance an accounting sum when my grandma wakes up (several times) and would come  and sit next to me and talk to me about everything under the sun. We always did this with a nice hot cup of milk tea with our dog glaring at our conversation as if she understood every single word. It was always rewarding to sit on our doorstep staring at the garden and little red gate and talk about all the great and wonderful years ahead. No matter how stressed I was that 30-45 mint break always refreshed me and gave that extra strength to pull an all-nighter.

6 years down the road, it is still 3am. All my flatmates are fast asleep while I desperately try to finish the presentation slides for tomorrow sipping on a cup of coffee I made myself. How things have changed……..