Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Friday, October 31, 2008

Something to think about...

Are you bored? Well I am.

So here is something for you to think about just in case if you're in the same boat as I am!

Whenever you find the key to success, someone changes the lock.

The road to success... is always under construction.

Alcohol doesn't solve any problems, but when you come to think of it, neither does milk.

If you don't succeed, destroy all the evidence that you ever tried.

An expert is someone who takes a subject you understand well and then makes it sound confusing.

Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference.

Everyone makes mistakes. The trick is to make them when nobody is looking.

Where there is a WILL, there is a way. Where there is MONEY, there are many WAYS.

Last one is a cracker, ain't it?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm so sleepy...

Yes, even after a shitty lunch still I'm sleepy.

Seven hours of sleep seems to be not enough these days. Add to that the freaking cold - OK, not so freaking, but still it's cold - these days which makes you wanna curl up and sleep as long as you want.

And I'm bored too.

Why can't I go back home, have a 'maalu-paan' with 'wadi-seeni-plain-tea' and then do whatever I want?

Oh fuck.
Forget it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Who's the most elegant batsman in world cricket today?

Yes and I mean elegant.

Not the statistics. Now how many runs he's got, not the average, not how many matches he's won, no nothing.

I talking about the pure artistry.
I'm talking about the class. Because, elegant is the closest word to class in cricket dictionary.

Vote people!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Memories of a Lifetime...

It's been an hour since I hit the "New Post" button to write this, and still I haven't typed a single word. I'm finding it impossible to collect my thoughts to write this one. So I'm giving up all my attempts to put my thought into a well crafted, well written post. Instead, I'm just gonna let them out and fill this post.

Our cat died yesterday.

To be honest, I knew it all along, I knew it was coming. She was very aged. A little over 18 - yes, you read correct, she was 18. And it had to happen. Still, even though I knew it, the thought that she is no longer there is hard to bear. Because she was very close to me - to us all in fact. Our whole family loved her and treated her with care that we didn't feel she was a pet. She was the heart and soul of our family. She was simply a member of our family...

My mind raise to a day some 18 years ago. Me, mom and bro were sitting on the living room watching TV. Dad, came as usual a bit late, but with a small white ball of fur in one hand which he placed on the sofa and it turned out to be a cute little kitten. Apparently she had barely opened her eyes - maybe a couple of weeks old. She was the most adorable thing I have seen in my life! I fell in love with her that very moment...

Time went by, and we became sort of the best mates there can be. I must have taken her in my arms, groomed and cuddled her countless times. And she loved it as much as I did. She loved falling into sleep on my arms... Among all of us, I was the one she liked the most, no question. I loved that warmth and purring whenever I took her in my arms and groomed her.

This is her, a good 10 or 12 years back. And she looks so crossed
'cos I wanted to pose her for a pic rather than letting her be the
way she wanted. Still I loves this one...

To her credit, she could well be the most 'well-behaved' cat that I ever came across. She would never eat anything - despite however hungry she was - until we gave it to her. Mom would keep the meat in the kitchen for ice to melt and lock the door many a times with her in, yet she never ever once ate it. I cannot explain why, but she never did.

And she used to give my mom so much headache 'cos she always wanted to sleep on my bed. Mom would say it's not good for my health, but I didn't care, and I didn't complain. I loved that warm little ball of fur purring next to me... She used to wait until everyone went to sleep and the lights are turned off, and then sneak onto my bed! And dutifully I kept the secret from mom... :)

And after my A/Ls I stayed in Colombo most of the time, away from home. Came home only for the weekend. Mom says that she would go to my room every night and look if I were there! Whenever dad got angry with her for one thing or another and shouted at her, she would straight away search the refuge in my room. No need to say that I always protected her with my life! Well, not really, but still, you know what I mean...

Then, a day more recently. While trying to eat fish she somehow managed to get a fish bone stuck in her mouth. So we called the vet and he said there is no option but to sedate her and remove it. But he gave her a little too big a dose, and she took a little longer to wake up. And she wasn't well after that, throwing up everywhere. Vet asked us to keep her warm and give her as much water as possible. So I didn't have a single minute of sleep that day - keeping her warm and cleaning up the mess whenever she throwed up... None of us could breath well until she was well again...

But lately, and inevitably the age got to her. Not many cats live 18 years, and I'm happy that she lived all that time a happy life. I'm glad that she didn't have to suffer when she died. She died a peaceful death, and deservedly so... She was one lucky girl!

My only regret is I couldn't be there to see her one last time before she died. But then again, life's not all that fair...

Damn, this post turned out to be a goddamn long one, didn't it? But I feel relieved... Come to think of it, though I am so sad, I think I'm not that upset about it. She had as much a better life as you can imagine. She had the love and care of four people all her life, to the fullest...

At the end of the day, all good things must come to an end, and she is no exception. When I turn back, I can recall all the wonderful moments of her life with a sense of warmth in my heart...

She certainly made my life a better one!

Thanks dear, for all the wonderful times we had...


Made friends with Steve Waugh!

OK, not in the sense 'friends' friends. But he was like my sole companion for the last week. And it was one hell of a week as well.

Right, enough riddles. The thing was, my laptop DVD ROM broke down so I had to send it for repair. Hence full five days without the computer and internet, in turn, meaning, cut off from the rest of the world! Yeah, that was sort of my only way of keeping in touch with the others.

Luckily, I had Out of my comfort zone, the autobiography of Steve Waugh. It is such a great read that you really do feel what it is like to be a Test cricketer. Well I will write something about it after I finish. That's how I got to know him, and so made friends with Steve Waugh...

Friday, October 24, 2008

From an E-Mail...

The Cycle of Life

Boss says to secretary:
For a week we will be going abroad, so please make necessary arrangements.

Secretary calls her husband: For a week my boss and I will be going abroad, so you look after yourself.

Husband calls his secret lover: My wife is going abroad for a week, so lets spend the week together.

Secret lover calls the little boy whom she is giving private tuition: I have work for a week, so you need not come for class.

Little boy calls his grandfather: Grandpa, for a week I don't have tuition 'coz my teacher is busy. Let's spend the week together.

Grandpa calls his secretary: This week I am spending my time with my grandson. We cannot go abroad.

Secretary calls her husband: This week my boss has some other work, so we canceled our trip.

Husband calls secret lover: We cannot spend this week together, my wife has canceled her trip.

Secret lover calls the little boy whom she is giving private tuition: My appointment was canceled. This week we will have tuition as usual.

Little boy calls his grandfather: Grandpa, my teacher said this week I have to attend classes. Sorry I can't give you company.
Grandpa calls his secretary: Don't worry, this week we will be attending that meeting, so please do make necessary arrangements.

And so on...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

From an E-Mail...

Phone Bill

The phone bill was exceptionally high so the father called a family meeting.

Dad: People, this is unacceptable. You have to limit the use of the phone. I do not use this phone, I use the one at the office.

Mum: Same here, I hardly use this home telephone as I use my work telephone.

Son: Me too, I never use the home phone. I always use my company mobile.

Maid: So what's the problem? We all use our work telephones.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

And so they got raped...

Aussies have never been so thoroughly outplayed in the recent past.
There were the odd game or two, but not so much dominated. Not like this.

Indians were all over them right from the beginning.

Like how you'd be if you had Angelina Jolie. Or Shakira.

Something like that.

Michael Clarke was left without options as wickets fell all around him...

There was hardly a moment in which Indians were out of control. And Dhoni was as impressive as anybody while Ponting ( not to mention Kumble ) was made to look pretty ordinary. And out of sorts.
And Mishra was absolutely impressive in his debut. Then again, having 300 plus first class wickets means he's not really a new-kid-on-the-block.

Let's wait and see if the Indian selectors have the balls to make the right decision and drop Kumble for the next two Tests.

But I guess they don't.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gone with the wind... er... ball...

Ponting cannot play Ishant Sharma.

Yes he made a century in the first Test.

But still.

This is the third time he's fallen to Sharma in this series. That's 3 out of 4.
And the fifth overall.

Not bad Sharma.

He is definitely one of the top fast bowlers in the world today. And he's got age in his side too.

Not bad at all.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Great Little Master

It was inevitable.

And fitting too.

Probably the greatest batsman of this era, and without doubt one of the greatest of all time, finally achieved a milestone he truly deserved.

Sachin breaks the world record

In 152 matches Sachin has achieved 12027 runs, 39 centuries and hearts of millions of fans around the world. What more can you ask for?

And to be able to survive - not to mention thrive - for almost two decades carrying the weight of expectations of millions of cricket-crazy Indian who wouldn't think twice before burning their heroes' houses after a couple of failures is no mean feat. Yet he managed to survive and remained on top all this time.

That's class.

And toughness.

To add to that, being such a legend in the game, he still managed to be a humble person whom everyone seems to like. That, in my opinion is the greatest achievement of all.

Being congratulated by the Aussies...

Sachin may be gone in few years, and somebody might take his records, but the wonderful memories he leaves behind will remain forever...

Thank you Sachin, you truly have been a pleasure to watch!

Read Sanga's tribute here.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Apprehended by Police

Well, not really.

But this is an interesting story. I don't know what I have with Police, but this is the second post in couple of weeks! Here is the first.

All the following conversations took place in Japanese, so... you know... just think something along the lines was said in reality...

It was yesterday evening, at about 6.15 p.m. I just got out of the train. Usually, every morning I use the bike - the foot bike that is - to go from my apartment to the station and in the evening from the station to the apartment. So, as I was saying, I only just got out of the train and got the bike out of the parking lot. Just then, a very young guy - probably in his early twenties - stopped me.

"Excuse me sir, can I have a word?"
And he flashed a badge. Apparently a cop.

"Yeah, what is it?"
"You don't have a lamp"
"Urgh... a lamp? Oh yeah, right"

It is necessary to have a lamp even on foot bikes in Japan. And I didn't have one. I was thinking, "no shit!"

"Err... yes... sorry..."
"Can you please come over here?"

And we moved to the side of the road. Another guy joined. They were like giving me advice... telling me it is dangerous to ride it without a lamp and what not. I was like "WTF? Lemme go... I'll fix a lamp tomorrow jackass!"

Well, actually I didn't say that, as you probably have guessed. Otherwise I wouldn't be here writing this.

So then, just when he looked like letting me go after an earful of advice, he noticed something. There was no licence plate. Not NOW! I thought.

"Excuse me sir, but there is no licence plate here."
"Oh yeah, this is not my bike, it was given to me by my company."
"Which is?"

And then I had to tell him where I work and what not. Now they are suspecting me for a stealing a bike! WTF? And to make my day perfect, it came up that the bike was not registered to the company but some other Jap. OK. Great! Just what I wanted.

So I gave them the company number and they made a few calls. And I'm getting enough of it now. It was cold outside... like 15C or something. I wasn't expecting to get so late, so had only a long sleeve shirt. Not to mention how hungry I was.

Meantime, the company had called L, the other guy who works here with me. He also showed up. Still, the Jap Cops (Oh, that rhymes, doesn't it?) are making calls here and there, all that. So finally they decided that I haven't actually stolen the bike but that the company had this bike registered to someone else.

"Thank god! Idiots, didn't I tell you right from the beginning? Aaaargh, you had to waste both my and your time, not to mention a couple of hundred calls - OK, take away 195 - to understand this?"

Of course, I didn't say that either.

So finally we were allowed to go, saying that they'll get back to us when the thing is sorted out. About time!

But having said all that, this must also be noted. All this time, they were extremely polite. Didn't even raise the voice, even if the fault was mine. And believe me, the guy apologized me no less than five times, because I was getting late to go home!!!

I was thinking thank god this didn't happen in my good old motherland!!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

New Additions

The blog is shaping up nicely... at least I think so.

Added a couple of sections, one with pictures and the other one a little rant about myself.
Need to add some more pics.

And a little banner at the top with four pics:
  • SL Flag 'cos I love Sri Lanka.
  • A picture of St. Anthony's Collge, a place I will forever be in love with.
  • UOP - oh such a wonderful time I had there.
  • An image of Perahara - a symbol of my hometown Kandy - don't I love it...
And a new title image - damn I suck at image editing. Need to get it done by professional hands...

Having said all that, I need some more visitors here!

Patience boy patience...

From an E-Mail...


An old couple dies and goes to heaven.
There, St. Peter gives them the grand tour of their new home. It's a HUGE mansion with a limo driver, gardener, etc.

The old man exclaims, "That's ours?"
St. Peter says "Yes, it is yours, forever and ever."

The old man is a little suspicious and says, "How much is the rent?"
St. Peter says, "It is free. After all, this is heaven."

Across the street is an expansive golf course with beautifully manicured lawn, interesting layout, and fun golf carts.
St. Peter says, "You can play here whenever you want."
The old man says, "What are the green fees?"
St. Peter replies, "None. After all, this is heaven."

The old man is very impressed.

They go inside the house and on the dining room table is a gigantic feast with roasted meats, desserts, fine wine and all the fixings.
The old man says, "How many calories?"
St. Peter says, "None. After all, this is heaven."

The old man gets a look on his face like he suddenly understands what heaven is all about.

Then the old man suddenly turns and slaps the old woman, yelling, "You stupid witch! If it weren't for your damn bran muffins and tofu and other health food, not to mention making me give up booze and cigarettes and take exercise every day, we could have been here YEARS ago!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Angel with a pitchfork: Going home

A very sensitive post from a fellow blogger. I was deeply touched by this. Though of sharing it with you guys...

Angel with a pitchfork: Going home

Booze, Poker and two Sleepless Nights...

What a weekend it has been!
Like an express train without seats. Or something like that.

I got in the bus from Nagan to Shinjuku around 6pm. It's 250km and a 4 hour ride. I hated the Kandy - Colombo ride every weekend, when I was back in Sri Lanka. However comfortable this is, still it's the same. Long and boring. And goddam tiring.

I picked the phone and dialed R's number.

"Moshi moshi..."
"Er... Ruwan-san imasu ka?"
"Chotto matte ne..."

That was his wife.

"Ah malli, kohomada?"
"Ayya... hawasa mokada karanne? How about a Beer?"
"Beer gahala hariyanne na ban... Whisky bagayak thiyenawa... eka gahamu"

Typical R.

Couple of hours later I arrived at B's apartment. V was online.
"Ado enne nadda?"
"Enawa enawa... gimme 20 mins..."

Apparently, R had called L. From him to V. I called Chan. V to A to Other V. And C. Seemingly a half a Whisky had turned into a mega booze party in no time!

Wonders of modern communication.

And it was one hell of a night. Near the little stream which flows in front of our apartment. A lot of fun. Seems Shukugawara had turned into a Sri Lankan Bar or something... So the party was over at about four in the morning and A prepared a goddam tasty pork or beef curry ( can't remember which ) and went to sleep without eating it. As usual.

So we went to sleep at about 5am and had a few hours of sleep. When I woke up the next morning - or rather the same morning - my head seemed to weigh something like 10 kilos or so... The usual sick feeling... And the usual thoughts... why did I drink?

But had to get up - I was supposed to meet Puncha. So somehow I managed to drag myself up and went to Kawasaki and met him - it was after some time. The bugger is like twice the guy that was in the University. Maybe a bit more... And then we went to Akihabara - I wanted to buy a camera - and just wondered around in the middle of all the electronic stuff. And without any real need I talked with a cute chick who was in the place where they sell iPhones. I wan't going to buy it, but she was too cute to go without having a word...

That night the joint was Other V's place.
Lot of food, some beer and a lot of Poker. Had to teach couple of guys how to play it. But in the end N seemed to have so much luck that even a train would go around him if he decided to jump in front of it. So, obviously, we were smashed.

Again, it was so much fun though.

I haven't had any sleep, but didn't feel like sleeping at that time either. Rather, wanted to come back to Nagano. So went straight to Shinjuku that morning and got on a bus. Seemed I had opposite luck of what Nageeth ayya had. The goddam bus got late, and I arrived in my apartment at about 3pm.

So, just like I said before, it was definitely an express train ride without seats.

Fast, restless, yet enjoyable.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


A new PICTURE GALLERY is added.

Check it out here, or by clicking the tab above.


We are the Champions!

We did it!!

Or rather, our boys did it.

Seems that the Old-Master Sana and the New-Kid-on-the-Block Splendid Mendis came up with some performance, again!

My hatred for T20 is well documented I think, but wtf? Still it is a Sri Lanka victory!!!

Way to go boys!!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm Back

I'm back folks, after a nice weekend!

And a couple of days without internet, or computers for that matter. Actually, quite a nice thing especially when you think about it - spending 12 hours staring at a goddamn computer is no easy thing!

Only bad thing about it is having a couple of hundred e-mails to go through, and of course missing what's been going on the cricket world.

Seems India fought back bravely to save the Test today, and Sri Lanka fucked up as I thought they would against the Pakis. Not that I care about T20, but still it's hurting to see SL lose. The final is today, but won't be able to watch it - not at 2 in the morning when you have to go to work tomorrow.

Hope our guys will come up with something special to win it...

And, gonna start blogging Just About Anything from tomorrow again - unless of course my PM decide to give me another e-learning shit!

Please help me god!

Friday, October 10, 2008

No Shit!!!

Seems that SLC is going to lick BCCIs ass for ten years to come. That's right. TEN!

Read this first.

Screw T20, and Lokuge too...

When that article is translated to plain simple English, it says something along the lines of this:

Gamini Lokuge the jackass and the SLC are saying to the BCCI that "we are quite pleased to lick your ass for as long as it is necessary, but we are out of money so please give us some. We will do whatever you want."

Yes, that's what it translates into.

I'm all for players and SLC getting some money. In this age, nobody and nothing can survive without money. That's fine.


Money should not be earned at the expense of Cricket.

Now according to the article, SLC is required to give full support to the IPL meaning that we cannot schedule any international cricket during that period - close to two months. And how many potential tours will be cancelled? A lot. Especially, Test cricket suffers. Because you need to have a considerable time frame to schedule a Test series. Now with this, we will have less and less time for that. ODIs can be fitted in a little time frame and arranged hastily. But not Tests.

Will this be a "scene from the past"?

I was never a fan of T20. But even less now.
And I'm starting to hate that fool BigGay. What does he know about Cricket?

Will there come a day that Test cricket is only history???

Punter answers the call...

A look back at Day 1, First Test, India vs Australia

Huss reamins on 46 looking all set for another big one...

Except for the first and the last over of the day, it was pretty much Aussies all throughout the day. Much hyped preperations of Haydos went all for nothing as he only managed a three ball duck, but that was what the Indians would get for a long time.

Punter and Katich batted sensibly and later Mr.Cricket joined the party.

In the last over of the day Zaheer managed to get Michael Clarke plumb in front, thus avoiding him repeating his heroics four years ago at the very same venue.

And on India's part, Bajjis bowled well but with very little help from the pitch it was to no avail. Kumble looked out of sorts though. Seems it's time for him...

Out of sorts...

By the end of the day Aussies remained at a very credible 254/4 with Hussey looking good at 46 unbeaten. As far as they don't decide to really fuck up the things, like the Kiwis managed yesterday, it looks like Aussies are hard to be beaten from here on in. They are well set for a total of over 400.

But then again, you never know...

Punter, man of the moment.

Wild celebrations after his first ton in India...

It would be an understatement to say that he's been under pressure leading to this series. He was under extreme pressure. His record in India was next to nothing. 172 runs at 12.28 in 14 innings. Shit in every sense.

And many people had their doubts, including me, if he'd sort out his problems or not. Before the series, Punter himself accepted that he need to do better and that it was up to him to set the things right.

And he did. Just that.

It may not have been the most elegant or fluent innings of him. Rather, it was an innings of pure determination and concentration. He knew he had a problem with spinners, and Bajji in particular. He has dismissed Ponting no less than 8 times in Tests before. Fair enough to be called his bunny.

But Punter started rather cautiously, avoiding good deliveries and only picking the right ones to hit. And slowly built the innings showing why he is the best batsman in the world today. Yes he had his fair share of luck, but then again that's cricket. He got to his half century in majestic fashion with a classic drive off Zaheer Khan. And never looked back since then.

It was a great centrury made under extreme pressure by a brilliant batsman of our era, showing what he's made of.

Hats off to you Punter.

Because, he's a man that walks the talk...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Breaking News : Kiwis RAPED!!!

Well, not in the sense "raped" raped.

But you know what I mean.


Instead of practicing cricket, what they should have been doing, Kiwis were reported to have been playing football in Bangladesh!

"Banga boys are useless, let's play some footy"

At one stage, Kiwis were in all sorts of trouble with 80 odd for 6.
But thanks to Oram and Vettori they were back in the game - well, at least for the moment.

But that was before the Banga boys decided to pull something out of the bag.
Like they did to the Indians in the WC.

And now, deservedly, the Kiwis got raped!!!


From an E-Mail...

Yeah, I know you're supposed to write your own stuff in a blog, not e-mails, but really who cares?

I don't.

Actually, we all get some hundreds of e-mails everyday, and from time to time we do find some really good stuff don't we.

So I thought of sharing some of the best mails I got.
Could be humorous stuff, really touching mails, inspirational stuff, cool pics etc.
So I'll be posting from time to time, under the same title, some good stuff I get from emails.

Here we go, the first one:

A man escaped from the prison where he has been locked up for 15 years. He breaks into a house to look for money and guns but finds a young couple in bed.

The guy orders the husband out of bed and ties him to a chair, while tying the wife to the bed he gets on top of her, kisses her neck, then gets up and goes into the bathroom.

While he’s in there, the husband tells his wife:
“Listen, this guy’s an escaped convict, look at his clothes! He probably spent lots of time in jail and hasn’t seen a woman in years. I saw how he kissed your neck. If he wants sex, don’t resist, don’t complain, do whatever he tells you. Satisfy him no matter how much he nauseates you. This guy is probably very dangerous. If he gets angry, he’ll kill us. Be strong, honey. I love you.”

To which his wife responds:
“He wasn’t kissing my neck. He was whispering in my ear. He told me he was gay, thought you were cute, and asked me if we had any Vaseline. I told him it was in the bathroom. Be strong honey. I love you too!!”

Dangers of Conga Lines!!!


Did you just say that?

No worries. So did I. The first time I saw it. (Thanks CC)

Just see, you'll realize.

Now think about it again. And educate your children!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Finally... IT'S TIME!!!


It's time for some cricket again!

But hold on...
If you thought it was about this...

...sorry to disappoint you.

Who cares for that T20 shit?
Well, maybe some do.

But I don't.

I was talking about this:

The Fab-Four looks out of sorts...

Yes, some real cricket!
Good old Test cricket.

The Border Gavaskar Series gets underway, tomorrow!

Call me old fashioned if you must, but I still love to see a good contest between bat and ball. Great cricketers working hard, exercising patience, elegant strokes - not 'shut my eyes and swing the bat' shit - and much more. A real fight. That's what Test cricket is all about. A true test of character, skill ant patience.

Not this "wham, bam, thank you ma'm" T20 rubbish.

And this series might mark the end of an era in cricket.
In two ways.

First, the Fabulous Four of India were mesmerized by Splendid Mendis (thanks Damith) and looked out of sorts in Sri Lanka.
Ganguly has already announced that this will be his last series, and it might well be the same for the other three Fabs. They are quite likely to Lose their Balls.
Hence, for us Test cricket fans it will be a sad day, but a one last opportunity to see those greats in action.

The Aussies are unsettled...

Then, Aussies are a totally new look team. And are with all sorts of problems.
Their spinners got hammered in the warm up game.
The batting is not settled.
In short, Ponting is shitting in his pants at the moment.
We will get to see how this new outfit will do under pressure...

All in all, I can't wait for it to get started.


Test cricket ROCKS!!!

I'm officially screwed

Yes, that's right.



Well, actually, I've been doing nothing at work for the whole last week. Mmm... maybe not nothing, I've been doing things like... writing this blog, reading others' blogs, going through all the posts in forums, etc etc...


And it's not my fault either. My project is finished, and there is nothing to do.

So, my PM got tired of seeing me just sitting there and gave me an E-Learning Course!
An SQL course.

But that's not the worst part.
The worst part is,

That's why I'm fucked!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Different Perspective

This post is about the profession in Sri Lanka where you never hear a good word about.

Guess what it is?

Yes, that's right.

Sri Lanka Police.

A post I saw in another blog inspired me to write this.

That story in short is, the blog writer had lost her NIC and had gone to the Police to give her statement in order to obtain a new NIC. And so it happened that she had to face a lot of shit just to give her statement.

Not a surprise for most of the Sri Lankans.

But, I faced the same situation once, and my experience was totally different. I also lost my NIC, and went to the Police to give them a statement. It was two days after I lost it.

When I went to give my statement, they said ( there was a young guy whom I guess not more than 30 ) "oh, you don't have to give a statement. Just give us a letter saying that you lost it"

I was like, "oh ok..."
But I didn't have any papers or a pen with me. So when I was going to go out to get some, the young guy said, "where are you going?"
"To get a paper and a per"
"Oh malli, no worries, here, come..."
He gave me a pen and some a paper, and even told me how to write it.

Then took it the the necessary place, did all that was needed to be done. And asked me to wait a couple of weeks just in case whoever found the NIC decided to post it to me, which eventually happened.

It may also have helped that I was a university student at that time. They got to know that, and treated me really well. Asked me this and that about the university and all...

So, all in all, it wasn't really what I expected. Because, just like everyone else I was prepared to face some shit when I went there. But, it turned out that not everyone in Police is an asshole!

Villans or Heroes? Neither.

Now, in a bit more serious note, I like to take a look at the Police, and why it is what it is today. I know that though my experience was good, there are a lot of people out there who are honestly frustrated with the Sri Lanka Police.
But, in my opinion, there is a reason for that.

Because, not the individuals, but the system is what that is so corrupt and leads people to behave that way.

Just look at the policemen. Most of them are normal citizens just like that. But in their profession, from day one they face nothing but shit. And they get a salary next to nothing. And even when you do good, you never hear any good though when something goes wrong you are blamed from head to toe.

Then, we are the first to criticize them in every possible time.
Yet, how often do we do the wrong and try to get away?

Please do note that I'm not trying to say that the policemen are saints. They aren't.
But we are no better.

If you do not know a person who did some traffic offense and tried to get away, I will have to believe you haven't been in Sri Lanka long enough.

Trying to get away...

Just think how we act in such a situation.
These are a few common things you'd here.

"Sir, policiye ahawala mage yaluwek"
"Manthri thuma mage yaluwek"
"Sir oka api godin bera gamu"

Am I not correct?
Aren't we the ones who try to bribe them and get away from a larger fine?

This is jsut a common example. There are many cases where we try to mislead them even before they try. And, as mentioned before, they get nothing of a salary. They have children to feed, families to take care of.
So... when there is the temptation, who knows what...

Again, I am not trying to make them saints.
I'm just trying to look at the situation in a different perspective.

It is the system that needs to be fixed...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Learn to play Poker - Part 2

Okay, let's continue from where we left off.
I hope by now you do remember all the various combinations pretty well.

So now we know what the possible hands are, let's take a look at the rules and how to play the game actually.

How to Play
Texas Hold'em is a pretty easy game to learn, but it takes a lot to master it.

The rules are simple. Each player is dealt two personal cards and five community cards are turned up on the board. You make the best five card hand using any combination of the seven cards.

The Start
At the start of each new hand, two "blind" bets are put up or "posted". The amount is decided before the game and can vary from a dollar or two to even thousand dollars. There are two blinds - small and big. Big blind is twice the small blind, and equals to the minimum bet someone can post during the game.
The player immediately left to the dealer posts the small blind and the one left to him/her posts the big blind. This is done even before the personal cards are dealt to ensure that there is at least something for the winner in every hand.
Dealer changes clockwise after each hand. And the cards are always dealt starting from the immediate left player of the dealer - oh yeah, the players don't have to deal in Vegas, but how many of you are going to go play there?

The Opening
Again, for my convenience,
BB - Big Blind
SB - Small Blind, from here on in.

Each player is dealt two cards starting from the player who posted the SB.
The first round of betting starts from the player left to the BB. He ( oh I can't say 'he/she' every time just to be fair to you ladies, so assume that I mean it when I just say 'he' ) either "calls" the bet by posting the same amount as BB, or "raises" by posting an amount equals to or greater than the BB.

On a side note, there are two versions of Texas Hold'em - No Limit and Limit games. In limit games there is a limit to the maximum bet you can post in one round of betting and in No Limit there is no such limit. You can put all your money in if you want to. Limit games pretty much suck, so I'm focusing on No Limit here.

And of course, if you don't wish to put the BB, that is if you do not wish to involve in that hand you can always "fold" which means you are out of the game for that hand.

Now the betting continues until it reaches the SB player. He either calls the BB (remember he has already posted half the bet, so only has to post half the BB) or raise or fold. Then, at last, BB has the turn. He can either raise the bet or "check" which means he decides that the betting round is over.
In case someone else raised the bet, then betting goes around the table until everybody matches the amount - or fold.

Community cards turned up on the table

The Flop
After the first betting round is completed, top card of the deck is put aside face down (this is done to prevent cheating - though some still mange it), known as a "bum" card. Then the next three cards are dealt face up on the table. This is known as the "flop". These are community cards and are used by all the players.
Another round of betting starts from the first active player left to the dealer.

The Turn
When the betting round of the flop is completed, another bum card is removed and the next card is dealt face up on the table - known as the "turn". Another betting round follows.

The game goes on...

The River
The Final card. Called the "river". Again, dealt after a bum card is removed. And is followed by the final betting round.

The Showdown
To determine the winner, players use any combination of the five community cards and their two personal cards.
In the rare case where the best hand is the five community cards, active players split the pot.

OK, so that's just about it. Now you know your way around a poker table.
Don't think of running to Vegas or something, because you only know the rules so far - there's a lot more you need to learn. And the best way to do that is by playing more and more.

As I said before also, the key to success is not playing the cards, but rather playing the person. You need to be aware of the players and their playing styles or "table images".
And try to read the other people - by looking at the cards on the table.

And one golden rule - you gotta know when to fold. Some people can carry on when they get a good hand and end up losing all their money. However good your hand is, there's still a chance that you can be beaten, so be aware of that!

Do everything right, and you can have all this!

But, having said all that, being overcautious is not the best way either.
"You don't lose what you don't put in the middle, but you can't win much either!"

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Powered by Nature...

Was on the road today. Again.

We were going to a place called Karuizawa, but I didn't really know what I'd find there until we arrived . I wasn't bothered.

And the ride was boring. Comfortable, yet boring.

But, I was no longer bored when I saw what was there.
It was a place where you can see the remains of the last eruption of the volcano Asama, which happened in 1783.

This is the volcano:

And these are the remains of the eruption:

So what? You'd ask.

Well, fair question.
This is how it looks when you put the two together:

Get it???

The volcano is at least 30 kilometers away. Maybe even forty.
And it had such power that twenty, thirty or even forty feet wide stones were thrown 30 kilometers!!!

I felt so helpless.
And tiny.

We humans, being the arrogant little creatures we are, think that we can change the world. And challenge the nature.

You need to come to a place like this to realize it is not....

I could virtually see those enormous stones flying all over the sky.
I did not even have to imagine.

I felt the overwhelming power of nature.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Learn to play Poker

Don’t play the cards – play the person

That’s just about the best statement about poker. It is never about the cards you get, rather what you can do with them. That’s the beauty of this game - skill, not the luck.

OK. Now, here is a short course – if you want to call it that – for the beginners. I’ve focused on Texas Hold’em Poker, which is the most popular and most widely played game of poker today.

Here we go.

Cards and their values

Texas Hold’em is played with a standard deck of 52 cards with the order being the usual order – I need not mention this unless you’re from Mars. But in any case, it is Ace through deuce (oh, that is the card 2 btw – I will put a list of common poker terms at the end of this post so that you won’t look like a dumbass when you play your first game), Ace being the highest and deuce being the lowest valued.

And of course there are four suits, namely





For convenience (my convenience, that is) from here on in card values will be referred to as “rank” and the suits will be, just that – “suits”.

Objective and Hands

Each player is dealt two cards, and another five cards on the table ( called "Community Cartds" ). The objective of the game is to end up with the highest valued five-card hand using the community cards as well. Following are the hands that you would get, from best to worst.

Royal Flush

Straight Flush

Four of a Kind

Full House



Three of a Kind

Two Pair

One Pair

High Card

Royal Flush

A, K, Q, J, 10 of the same suit.

10 J Q K A

10 J Q K A

To give an idea how rare this hand is, it has a mathematical probability of 1/2,598,960.

That is once in 2.5 million times!!!

Straight Flush

Five consecutive cards of the same suit.

4 5 6 7 8

9 10 J Q K

But a sequence like KA234 – which is called a “wrap around” – is not valid. In case of there is more than one person having a Straight Flush, the person with the hand ending with the highest card wins.

Four of a Kind

That is four cards of same rank and another random card.

6 6 6 6 J

Q Q Q Q 3

Full House

Three cards of one rank and two cards of another rank. Suit doesn’t matter.

J J J 4 4

5 5 5 A A

If there is more than one full house on the table, three cards of same rank gets the priority over two cards.

For example, K-K-K-3-3 beats Q-Q-Q-A-A, which beats Q-Q-Q-7-7.


Five cards of same suit – rank is irrelevant.

2 4 7 J K

5 6 7 8 Q

If there are two Flushes, hand containing the highest card wins.


Same as Straight Flush ( now you realize where the term came from, don’t you? ) except for the fact that suit doesn’t matter. Again, no “wrap around”.

7 8 9 10 J

3 4 5 6 7

Three of a Kind

Three cards of same rank and two random cards that is NOT a pair – if it is a pair then the hand becomes a full house, just in case you fail to notice the bleeding obvious.

10 10 10 3 Q

2 2 2 8 9

Again, if there are two such hands, one with the highest three of a kind wins.

Two Pairs

It’s just that – two pairs with another random card. In case of two people having two pairs, hand with the highest pair wins.

7 7 J J 5


One Pair

Do you really need an explanation? OK. It’s just a pair with three other random cards of different ranks.

8 8 5 K 3

2 2 3 4 5

High Card

If none of the above combinations are there, then the hand with the highest card wins.

2 4 5 10 Q

2 8 9 10 J

And believe me, such hands come more often than you think.

Was that hard? Not really was it?

If it was, forget poker and go play some pinball or something. Because the hard part is yet to come.

So, that’s it for today. Now turn off your computer and try to remember those combinations – by heart. You don’t really want to be looking at a piece of paper while playing poker, do you?

Basic rules will be introduced by next post. Until then, have a “Royal Flush” time!