Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Grandma, will there be angels waiting for me, because I was a good boy today ?

My nephew on his grandmothers lap asking thousand and one questions !

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Empty Nest Syndrome

Sleep was the blessing she had been waiting for so many hours now. She felt the eye lids getting heavier and she imagined herself asleep so many times. The morphine was lulling her body like a cold wind in a warm afternoon. Still, the pain rose and fell like the waves in the sea, crashing on her in full force and crushing her frail body for a moment that felt like eternity.

She listened to the silence outside. It was so thick that she could feel its suffocating presence in her throat. She wished that she would hear the soft footsteps her daughter who would gently tiptoe in to her room and check on her. She wished she could smell the gentle perfume of her hair when she sat beside her to stroke her head. Sayuri was the best pain relief she ever had since she was diagnosed with the malignancy that was spreading its tentacles and engulfing her body.

The crunching sound of car tires on the gravel road broke the silence. If her husband was at home, he would have come home at this time with the odd packet of rice for dinner. The unmistakable smell of liquor would fill the air. He struggled to battle the loneliness with alcohol and both of them knew that the bottle was taking over his life. She tried to get him to stop his escape from reality but gave up when she felt that she wasn’t strong enough. What else do I live for, when my daughter is gone and my wife is suffering the last days of life, he had asked a friend who attempted to pull him back.

She was always proud of her only child, the sweetest soft spoken girl in the neighborhood. Sayuri was pretty as a white rose bathing in the pink light of the early morning sun. The very sweetness that lightened up their little nest robbed her daughter away to a distant country. They knew they had to let go at one point but she didn’t know that it was letting go of her life as she knew it, until Sayuri left with her husband to his nest thousands of miles away.

The two of them struggled to find a reason to look forward to getting up the next day morning. A piece of life that was not replaceable by anything else was missing. A cold vacuum filled their home as well as their hearts. While they struggled to get a grip of their solitary life, they were struck again when she was told that the lump in her breast was malignant.

By the time they carved out the root, it had spread out in to her body. He was there by her side through the pain of the surgery and as the radiation burnt the very bossom that fed her child. But nothing could fill the emptiness inside, which was left when her child left three years back taking a large piece of her heart along. She yearned for her daughter to comfort her when her chest burnt with pain and sadness. But whenever Sayuri spoke over the phone she kept saying that she was all right. However much she missed the daughter, she didn’t want her to suffer because of her.

Her husband was intoxicated most of the time, seeking salvage from reality in the bottle. He was loosing his senses and one morning she heard him arguing with the neighbor who had refused to cut down an overgrown mango tree. He was shouting that he wanted to make way for his wife’s funeral procession. She cringed at the thought of loosing him, before her time was up, and having to die her painful death alone.

Eventually Sayuri flew back to her ailing mother leaving her two little ones with the husband. She feared that her mother did not have much time left. Things were not the same as she left them. Her mother has whithered away like a wilted flower, and her beauty has faded away. Her father had lost himself, and his memories were fading. He was in a bliss of oblivion. She had to go back soon, for the family who were waiting for her return. She was torn between her duty towards parents and her duty as a parent. 

Those were the best few days she had among the many days of agonizing pain. She felt the pain disappearing with the simple presence of her daughter and her energy kicking back in with the loving care. But she felt that her daughter is needed by the little ones much more than herself who was dying anyway.

Sayuri left earlier than she planned with her mother’s urges to go back to her family, leaving her dementing father in a home for the elders and the terminally ill mother with a paid carer.

............She wanted a sip of water as her lips felt dry and throat was sore. She wanted to call the maid but she couldn’t find her voice. She still felt happy inside as she smiled back at the empty wall and thought of her daughter back at her own home, cuddling her grandchildren.

P.S - This is the reality of the disintegrating extended families in Sri Lanka due to migration. Young parents are forced to abandon their ageing parents in order to acquire better lives for their children. I do not intend to pass a judgement as to whether it is morally right or wrong. This is just an attempt to explore the nature of a mothers love which puts forth the comfort of her child and grand children at the expense of her life.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Puppy Troubles

Yet another addition to my project; Canine Emotions !

Dogs are always full of expressions and they worth a thousand words. I personally feel that the local mutts (hope the doggies wont find this term derogatory in anyway) are the best lot when it comes to facial expressions. This is another attempt to translate dog language in to English.

If only they could speak !

Hungry puppy ; Yawn.....I'm so hungry...where's my milk?

Puppy eyes : Momma please come and take me home....I'm lost !

Howling puppy ; Lonely..... I'm so lonely I have nobody To call my own.....

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Final flicker

The sun sets on a brilliant sky over a rain water pool in Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka.

Festivities of a farewell are seen painting the sky and the colours drip on to the water and the land beneath. The two dead trees standing in the lake makes a beautiful pattern against the colour palette of sunset. Life stops for no one. The sun will rise again tomorrow. No one will grieve the death of the trees but some will admire the remnants it has left behind, pleasing the eyes of the beholder even after its time on earth is over.

Life provides many moments of bliss but do not care the least for those who drop behind and lament. One can choose either to get drunk in the beauty or repent on the things that were left behind and things yet to be done.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Puppy Love

Momma said that we are gonna get pictures before our little brother left. We were very excited. Aunty and lil miss got ready. They got dressed, tidied their fur and painted their faces. Momma was sniffing about and telling us that this was our big day.

 "But momma, I think lil miss will get her picture taken because she made herself so pretty"

 "No child.... see, they are getting you a nice green bow, don't run away now, it will make you look all nice and proper"

 "Oh no ...will I have to wear this all day...? Aunty, you will take it off, wont you?"

"Ohh... noooo"

There she is...with a big black box that makes funny noices. She make us sit on the big white bench. The sneaky cat snigger at us from underneath the bench. Lady with the box wont let us get off the bench. It is not nice to laugh at others, momma had told us....she is a bad cat, isn't she?

"She's making fun of us.."

This bow is itchy and I'm hungry...I run to lil miss. She picks me up and loosens the bow. Ohh...that is much better...


Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Mother's Pride

She did not have a watch. She knew it was still seven o'clock in the morning, by the lazy pink sky. Her son was leaning on her shoulder, sleepy and tired with the five hour journey they traveled in the bus. Feeling sorry for him, she stroked his hair.

'Must be hungry' she thought, but she didn't know where to buy a piece of bread and some tea for him to have. She hardly knew where she was, let alone finding something to eat. Asking her way from kind strangers she met on the way, somehow she ended up on the hospital bench. The corridor started getting busy gradually. The uniformed staff scurrying past her did not know, that she was here from Rikillagaskada with her six year old son who could not understand what was being taught in the village school. They did not know, that she was widowed five years back or that she struggled each day to find a morsel to eat for her sons. Neither did they understand the pain in her weak heart which made her stop work which earned her a couple of hundred rupees a day. She would rest for a few minutes and get back to work knowing that she  was the only one who is there to provide for her children. 

She did not complain though, she somehow got her son to the best place that he can get help. She felt proud of herself, because many women in her village would not have attempted coming to the big vast city of Colombo by themselves for the first time. The doctor who visited the school has seen her two sons and asked both of them to be taken to the big hospital in Colombo, to see why they did not know how to read or write. Neither could she, but nobody bothered about it then, maybe because she never went to school. She didn’t want the same fate for her sons.

Since then she has been collecting money to earn the bus fair to Colombo and back and enough to cover for the expenses for the days she will be out of work.

Money would not find its way on its own, but hunger did....always.

She was dragged back to reality by the hurried voice calling her son's name. She had to tell that her elder son was sick because she did not want to explain that she didn’t have enough money to bring both of them right now. she was shown a room where her son was seen by a doctor who after many questions, half of which she barely understood claimed that he had "nutritional deficiencies" which happened to be due to lack of good things to eat. Apparently it has got something to do with the fact that he was bad with books.

She knew she did her best to feed her sons, in every way she can. She had been working in the field each day, despite her ailing heart  to keep her family from starvation. Tears rolled down washing the pride she felt earlier in the morning...

P.s - This happens to be just one of the many sad stories that unfold daily in front of people working in healthcare in Sri Lanka. I was going through my pictures today and this particular picture brought back the memories of the sad face of the child in this story. I have shared this picture once in my blog in colour. I thought this story relates more to a picture of monochrome. So, please bear with me about the reproduction of the picture.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Palm reader

The Common Palmfly (Elymnias hypermnestra

If you have the slightest interest in butterflies, the Common Palmfly is someone you definitely have noticed in a home garden, especially if it has palm trees.

This particular specimen was captured around 6.30 in the morning in a rather gloomy morning, reflecting on a leaf of a sealing wax (an ornamental palm) tree right next to the front door. It didn’t appear bothered about being inspected at close quarters. Later in the day when the Sun made an appearance, it was noted to fly in the palm fronds chasing around another butterfly of a different species.

I wonder if this one has territorial instincts…?

I found a nice account of it's life cycle in butterflycircle.blogspot.com

Sunday, February 10, 2013


This little friend posed for my camera at a boat house by a river. The boat house was closed for the weekend and people have left for their homes. The canine guard was faithfully on duty, without any fuss about overtime pay, salary hikes or vacation leave.

She would have asked the master to stay back with her, only if she could voice her thoughts.

We kept our distance from the boat house, as we walked on the riverbank. Although she tried to appear uninterested, the shiny black eyes gave it away as they closely followed our movements.

Nevertheless her eyes looked unhappy.... Wonder if she was feeling lonely...

Dogs always fascinate me. They bring a smile whatever the mood I am in. Therefore, the roads of Sri Lanka are full of smiles for me (except for the occasions where 'smiles' appear on the middle of the road and try to get run over).

The wonderful thing about these creatures are the complexity of emotions they express, and the happy-go-lucky attitude which is pleasingly contagious. Amongst all breeds of dogs, I personally feel that the strays have the most interesting outlook of life !

This happens to be a project I wanted to start since long back (as suggested by a friend who shared the same fascination), to capture the spectrum emotions in dogs. Hope I will be able to conclude the project in one piece.... : )

P.s - Sorry about the long break, I hope things will go smooth from this point on