Saturday, January 06, 2007

My day in Villingili...

Villingili is an island just northwest of Male' and about a ten minute ride by ferry. I've been planning to visit this place a few times but some thing or the other hampered those plans,and I finally got my chance last Friday, when Shareef, a collegue from work told me that he was going there on Saturday and if I'm interested, I can join him. So, despite the fact that I was planning to complete a certain amount of studying, my curiosity and the urge to get out of Male' got the better of me. I was curious to see the Villingili beach which is the reason why a lot of Male' dwellers go there (suprisingly there is no beach in Male' and they have built an artificial beach to compensate for that!) and the fact that there are no vehicles allowed in the island meant that it will be much more quieter and free of all the hustle bustle of Male'. So around 7.30 in the morning on Friday Shareef came to pick me up and we rode ourselves in his bike (which is the principal mode of transport in Male' and the most convenient) to the MTCC jetty where we bought two tickets-3 Rufiyya each-and boarded the awaiting ferry. The ferry ride it self was quite exhilarating and taking a peek over the side board I was able to experience a tiny bit of the exotic wonders of the underwaters of Maldives. I was even fortunate enough to pass by a school of Dolphins really close which was one of the highlights of the ferry ride. Upon arriving at Villingili I wasn't dissapointed! Not the least! I was treated to a fantastic sight of a beautiful beach with milky white sand and wonderful turquoise sea with not even a ripple in the water and a land where the quietness was only broken by the sound of the beautiful Indian ocean. The first moment I saw the sea and the beach I just wanted to take off all my clothes and just go jump in it, but I had to resist. Another amazing feature on the beach were this nice little hanging chairs which are more like swings hanging from the branches of large trees near the beach and sitting or rather lying down in one of these, facing the ocean with the breeze in your face was truly heavenly! I spent close to one and a half hours swimming and just relaxing in the water while my friend went to meet another friend of his promising he will come back soon.
A while after I finished my dip in the water Shareef arrived with one of his diver friends who owns a small time aquariam exporting exotic Maldivian live fish. We went to see the aquariam and I promise you I have never seen such beautful fish in my whole life! It was truly a treat to watch these handsome and very colourful fellows swimming around in the ponds and glass chambers. I must have spent about forty five minutes there, but I never realised it. There were a few Sri Lankan guys as well who are working as labourers and I made sure that I had a chat with them.

By this time the effects of my breakfast has long vanished and I was so hungry that I could eat a horse(no, really)! That's when Shareef brought me the delightful news that his girl friend lives close by and she has cooked a sumptious Maldivian lunch for the two of us! Wow!

It was a truly delightful lunch, although dominated by at least tree types of fish, fried, cooked and made into a salad, a vegetable curry cooked in thick coconut cream, a beef curry(?) a gherkin salad with white rice accompanied by a natural mango juice! I don't know how much I ate but I know it was a lot because it was so difficult for me to get up from the chair after that meal.

After the meal we relaxed for a while in the swinging chairs by the beach and after a very satisfying slumber in it, I bid good bye to Shareef and his girlfriend because I had to get back to Male' before 3.00 in the afternoon.

The day was good and it was worth the waste of time although I hope that I will not get carried away come next Friday!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Season's Greetings

Here's wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas and a Jubilant New Year!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Back in Male'

So, I'm back to Male' after a fifteen day break. But I really needed a few more days. I guess everybody feels like that after a break. It's not my annual vacation though, just my first R&R, but had to do a lot of studying too since I sat for two papers while in Colombo. So it wasn't a complete R&R!

The security situation in Colombo is very tight. But it's understandable though. One difference I see is that the army guys seem to be doing a lot better job courtesy wise but they haven't lost focus on the objective. One incident to prove this is when my wife left her ID's and driving licence home she was stopped at a check point, army guys were quite nice to her but they refused to let her go until she could prove her identity. She is a Law student who just completed her finals and the fact that she had a Law College sticker on the windshield didn't help. They told her to call home and ask someone to bring the IDs so that they could let her go. Throughout all this they were very nice to her. Ultimately she called one of her lawyer lecturers and he was able to talk to a senior police guy and sort it out. They even apologised to her after the incident. So all throughout I think they have been quite professional in their approach and managed not to intimidate the civilian in question. But she did get a bit of a lecture from me for being careless!

Highlights of the break would be that I managed to get out of Colombo with the family thanks to a marriage proposal to my sister. I'm so happy for my little sis because she likes the guy and he likes her. She is anyway a very shy girl and my brother-in-law-to-be seems pretty shy too. Families can like each other endlessly but what use will it be if the guy and the girl don't like each other and don't feel like living with each other for the rest of their lives! Anyway I'm glad it all worked out fine. He's from Kurunagela so that means we'll have one more place to take a trip to after she gets married. But that will be the sad part, to let her go so far away from home. But she seems to like it, probably she's a bit bored with all of us.
So we went to my BIL's place, my father took a break from his work in Kuwait for this, confirmed the marriage, decided to have the wedding in next May, went to visit one of my father's old friends in Nikewaratiya, and from there went to Matale to see my other sister's mother-in-law and from there to Kandy to see my father's mother, since she is a little sick (One big family we are, and often when my father comes home for his vacation this trip is a must and all the family should join in. We will start at one end and go on for about five days and end up at another corner. Lot of fun and more importantly a very good renewal of family bonding). But I must say at 80 years my grandma is looking fitter than most of the Colombo women in their forties! Even my mother's mom who is also in her late seventies is very much healthy. God bless them both! All in all it was a good trip and did a lot of good for all of us.

Anyways, since coming back I think I'm missing home even more than I missed it the first time I came here. Colombo was good! Outstations were even better! Food was gorgeous! Family was fantastic! Kids were great! And I love my wife very very much!
God I miss them! But 'what to do', my next break will be in February, maximum seven days. Can't wait for that.

On other notes, work is fine. Male' has it's ups and downs as far as I'm concerned, but the worst experience during these few days has been the fact that they have disconnected the water connection to our room. The building is shared by several different parties, the bill has accumulated and no one bothered to pay it. Everybody realised it only when they came and disconnected the line! Bloody idiots! It's been five days and they still haven't fixed it. Our lazy bum ass Administration Manager keeps saying that he is looking into it but no progress so far. So me and my room mate, Mr. R, have had to use the facilities at the office and I have been practically living in the office for five days now, bringing my clothes here in the evening,showering, changing....the clearing guy, a good humoured fellow, was saying that I should move my bed also here! May be I should seriously consider sleeping here if it's not resolved to day also. But I think finally something is being done and they are going for a seperate connection to our room and let the owners of the building worry about the previous bill. I think that's a very good move.

So, apart from that 'little' water problem all other things are pretty much back to normal, the same white basmati rice for lunch with the same types of curries and fish, the same seven dinner items rotated during the week, the same people with the same problems and the same niceties...what a life! Only solace for me is work, internet, the studying during the night and the msgs and the phone calls from wife, the kids and my mom.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Going home!

I think it's been nearly three weeks since I made my last post (albight a six word one, 'inspired' by this post by Suchetha), and since I have promised that I will make an effort to post regularly, here I am.

I'll be going home on next Tuesday(21st) and after 4 months away from home I'm really looking forward to it (god, do I crave for some red rice with polos ambul, pol sambol and katurumurunga mallum! I am so damn sick of the white basmathi and the tasteless two or three curries supplied by our food man, daily).
Miss everybody, my wife and kids the most, but I miss SPACE more than anything.
Although Maldives is a very beautiful place, capital city of Male' can get really crampy (just 1.7 squre kilometres of land, of buildings,heaps of motor cycles, cars, shops, roads and a few trucks and way too much of people for a small island - come to think of it, I haven't seen a single cat or a dog in Male'. hmm..).

So even though it's a just a 15 days break, I think it will do a world of good to me.

So on that note I think I'll stop now and get back to some studying (oh yes, I have to sit for two papers while I'm in Colombo, the real reason why I got 15 days leave), and I'm most certain that my next post will be once I get back from home, and I will try to write more about Maldives (hopefully), particularly Male'. And maybe some photos too if I manage to buy the camera I wanted for some time.


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Six word blog post

It's as crazy as it gets!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Comeback Post

Wow! September 25th of 2005! That was more than a year ago! I'm surprised that my blog even exists still.
Ok. Even though I have not been writing I've been reading a lot of blogs at Kottu everyday since September 2005 (and leaving a few comments here and there too).

I am hoping to start updating this blog again (this time for real). One problem is time and the other is that I don't know whether I should limit my writing to current affairs, politics,everyday occurances of my life,family,work or anything else. So chances are I will be rambling,musing,raving (or whatever you call it) about everything mentioned above and more. I think the key is to be honest about what you are writing and the way you are writing it.
Ok, this is getting boring and monotonous already, so I'll stop for now and hope to come back soon.

Until then, cheers!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Power via Confusion

As more and more posters of Mahinda Rajapkse are starting to invade the walls/trees/houses/toilets and what not, I cloudn't help thinking, as always these politicians are again trying to get power by confusing the masses. By signing agreements with every possible party on earth, Mahinda is doing it in style and Ranil is in a bit of a mess after the "Parakumba" fiasco (he should be ashamed of the way his campaign is running). Mahinda, for his part, is making up for his lack of vision by focusing on his stronger areas such as his movie like image - as opposed to Ranil who looks like the joker of the house every time he opens his mouth in a public rally/meeting(although I think he has improved a bit lately) - and the ever famous SLFP smile (we know how Chandrika used it to flirt,confuse and draw the masses).
All in all after all the arguments about Peace,Economy,War and everything else on earth leading upto the Elections, these politicians will again fool us, the average Sri Lankan citizens in to voting with the trend or the "rella" and I bet, again, it will end up as another wrong decision taken by the Average Sri Lankan voter.
So good luck to all of us!