Insane Friends

My friends are just the best!

There mere act of calling one a freak
Would trigger them into what they speak.
I’d be lost without them, metaphorically…
They’d be lost without me, literally.*

They light up my world with the lamest of jokes,
They draw troll faces with circles and strokes.
They’re all special in someway or another:
Broadcaster, artist, writer or singer.

They are the ones who refuse to give up
Until rationality is clear and on top.
To them what matters is the world as one,
Why not unity when we all share the same sun?

They argue for the better of another,
And speak to encourage them further.
They’re insane – that I have to admit,
They sit when they stand, they stand when they sit.

They annoy me by switching on calculators,
They make rhymes and hate on haters.
I’m always their personal reminder,
I guess that just makes our friendship stronger.

I love them from all of my heart,
I loved them from the very start.
I’d be lost without them, metaphorically…
They’d be lost without me, literally.*

 

* My friends never remember the time table. I’m their “walking time-table” so that’s why they’d be “Lost without me, literally.”

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I’m Not Leaving You!

To a boy who happened to be a victim of what others chose of his life…

Your eyes long for the past.
You know it’s gone, it’s lost…
They reflect my silhouette,
The day we spoke, the day we met.

Your little finger strokes lines on my teary face
I remember how once you thought I was disgrace.
Now, it gives me chills every time you touch.
Back then, there was nothing as such.

You’re too tired to speak or smile,
Or be a superstar or move with style.
Your tear filled eyes look at mine again.
Like rust on a copper nail, your heart has stains.

I say, holding your warm hands in mine,
“Trust me, keep believing, you’ll be fine.”
You hug my legs and stomp your little shoe,
“No matter what they say, I’m not leaving you!”

House Captain

She stood in front of me with a purple and black checkered boyfriend shirt and black slacks. Her hair was drawn into a neat ponytail and she sported a pair of white shoes. Her eyes scanned the pavilion – the familiar faces, the little less familiar. She must have been missing the times she used to be there in school uniform watching her house win the house cup. I was among the many faces. She turned my way and I went five years back in time – a few weeks before the annual sports meet and my very first sports meet as a “secondary section” student. I was in year seven, she was in year 12 and house captain. She, along with the other house captain who happened to be a boy from year 13 came to my class during a period of “science” and took me to an empty playground. Another girl of my age was brought and we were asked to run. I remember her screaming out my name and saying “Come on! You can do it!” I learned later, after winning against the girl that she had missed the selections and had claimed to be  a better athlete than me. That must be true because if it hadn’t been for my house captain’s encouraging words I would have lost. Then we had the relay for the heats and I remember taking a massive lead to beat the other three teams. The next day at a  school assembly our house captain walked to me, bent low and said, “You did really great yesterday! Congratulations!” It had such an impact on me that I remember the exact words six years later. I was absolutely blown off my mind and I remember scribbling in my diary about it in my untidy handwriting. The next year I was in year eight and she was in year thirteen (obviously!) and I always looked up to her. We even spoke rarely, since her brother was a very good friend of mine and classmate. She used to be the best writer in the whole of our school and I’ve still got the articles I collected from our school newspaper named “Spectrum” and I was always mesmerized about how she managed to keep our house on first place year after year. Her jokes were full of life and always made me laugh, especially “You know you’re Sri Lankan when…” Makes me laugh even now. I realised I was dreaming when I caught her staring at me. She had gone to extremes to be a part of the house she had once captained, and is now captained by the genius, her brother. She wore colours to support the house and was so much more into the whole sports meet than anyone of us seated in the pavilion. I looked at her and felt embarrassed. Then I removed the house badge that was pinned onto my uniform. A purple dragon was protecting the letter “D” . I felt bad wearing it so I held it for her to take. As she asked “Is it alright?” the words in my head were, “No one deserves it more than you.”

It’s slighty more than just a game.

We’ve been asked to make the best out of what we’re blessed with… I’ve realised it has more meaning than it sounds.

It’s all just a game. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. We never know what’s to come. We make predictions though, but most of the time they’re wrong. They come, they go, sometimes with fairytale endings, sometimes not so much. And then, there are times you’re too scared to make a decision. One wrong move and it could all end, just like a game of chess… but sometimes you could also be scared that you’d mess up. Doomed, sent to jail or a wrong choice… like monopoly. Maybe we’re all too afraid to face reality, afraid to know the truth. Maybe not. Your turn comes, your heart beats fast but time waits for no one. Not me, not you, not even for those who have control over everything else. What are we then? Just a part of a game? And when we lose, is that when we die?

No, it’s not a game. It’s more than that. It’s a journey of trial and error. We learn from our mistakes and practice from our trials – but every now and then we need to use all that we’ve learnt from trial and error. You can’t always learn, you need to teach too. And that is when you realise who or what you are. It’s not about waiting for your turn, it’s about choosing your turn. And time waits for those who want it to wait for… The tests are thrown at you only because you’ve got the answers for them. We all know the answers, only we don’t think about them. We’ve got the challenges, we know how to pass them… so why not make the best out of it?

Arugam Bay

Field trip to Arugam Bay: 25/26 Feb. 2011

Nothing was planned. All we knew was that we were heading to a place that we’ve only heard of, with things packed for two days. We were accompanied by two teachers, making a total of forty-one, with no way of telling where we were going or how we were going to get there. We had been so excited about the idea of staying overnight so far away from home that the idea of planning what to do once we got there was bleak.

The journey was a long nine hours with calls from home, passing around of snacks, cracking jokes, singing upbeat songs and drumming on the bongo decorated for this club alone. It was past noon by the time we reached our destination and entered what looked like a guest house. It was hard to tell for more than one reason: firstly, we were too hungry to think straight, and we were too tired from the long journey to understand anything.

We were directed to our rooms where the boys decided to change but the girls didn’t. You think I made a mistake there? No, it’s true. The only reason the girls didn’t change into fresh clothes was because most of them had brought dresses that wouldn’t ideally suit going to a temple. So much for trying to keep up with trends. So, there we were grumbling in our school t-shirts and denim about how the boys had got lucky this time.

We stuffed ourselves with a one of a kind lunch and went to a monumental place where there was also a temple. On the way we met some children our own age longing to be us for at least a moment. We spoke to them, took photographs and threw sand on one another in the dessert – like setting. We stopped when we reached a little sand hill, in full view of the waters of Arugam Bay crashing against the uneven coastline. The first words I said (yes, I remember) when I saw it were: “I never knew Sri Lanka looked this beautiful!”

We went back to our rooms, changed and took a two minute walk to the beach. The second best surfing spot in the world – of course we didn’t surf, but our time there cannot be rated in any ordinary way. We tried to be well-behaved and all that but by the time darkness fell and we were on our way back, we were all equally wet – drenching in water from head to toe. We must have been a pathetic sight to the onlookers but we, in fact were having the time of our lives!

We met for dinner at the restaurant now with different dresses (duh!) and we had a dance there. I’ve never been the party animal so I just watched the others dance and sing, videoing and snapping photos. We were then asked to get into our groups and plan for our next day’s field work … The decision was made to leave to the beach early next morning before sunrise.

Already tired, we went to our rooms. We didn’t sleep at least until 01:00 AM though: Some played UNO, some knocked on doors fooling friends. My friend and I got involved in some pranks ourselves but most of the time we played detectives (like we always liked!) where we shone our flashlight on the pranksters, until our flashlight was snatched away.

We got to bed – the five girls and as we had expected came the knocks on our door. Who else could it be than the famous prankster, the twin brother of our friend in our room? Then came more knocks. And giggling. Girls? From the next room? But the teacher was in their room too. Curious to know how they had escaped, we stepped out too. We heard the door open as the teacher came out and without a backward glance we ran to our rooms and pretended to be asleep. In the end we really did fall asleep.

The alarms ringing in our ears, we woke up and put on the t-shirts we had printed for the field trip. With sleepy eyes I came out of the room to snack on my biscuits and in no time the others in our room came out too. The boys were the last ones to wake up (pathetic!) so by the time we went to the beach the sun was already rising.

We did our survey and watched the sun rise as darkness faded. I dropped my camera into the sea and it lost it’s life (I managed to retrieve all the photos though). We went back to the beach later on and after lunch we were given some time to do whatever we found interesting. Two of my friends and I went to a nearby shop and bought ourselves some beautiful postcards of this heavenly place. We also made friends with a four year old girl and a seventeen year old boy.

The time had come to leave and our photos got wild, insane and funny. We did all we could  to make this trip the best one ever… and we succeeded without doubt. Paying our last respects to the place, we started our journey back. We had ice-cream and other snacks  on the way. The lights were switched off for us to go to sleep but hardly anyone did. We signed each others’ postcards, books and t-shirts of the memories we had created.

We reached back school at 02:00 AM with eyes that were too tired to sleep and thoughts that were too happy to think of. Through tough times, through fun times,  GEO BEE has stood as one, treating challenges like victories, and the rough times as just another page of life. We’ve created memories that would last a lifetime… all thanks to GEO BEE, and the teacher in charge. Thank you ma’am!

Actions Alone

When I was little, many people, under many circumstances told me I was a loser and I just watched them. I lacked the courage, skill and ability to speak back. Almost always I let them win by staying silent or by letting them go with a smile. As I grew up I learnt, both by myself and through those who truly loved me that speaking back wasn’t always the way to win a fight. Actions counted too, as long as they don’t hurt someone else. I realised that the only way I could make those mean to me feel bad about what they said to me was by showing them that they were wrong. Words can be formed, pronounced and forgotten equally fast… but actions are difficult to learn, difficult to achieve and difficult to forget. It might not have been the best decisions but I chose the longer way – I knew the task was going to be a hard one but I also knew that I was going to succeed in the end. So, I started this when I was, maybe seven years old. I know now, at sixteen that my choice back then was the right one – because today, I stand to prove those mean men wrong by actions alone.

I know I should have…

It’s cool how we both share very very similar characteristics, but it’s bad how we both happen to be too scared to speak to the other. Recessive it might be, but what I think I’ve realised is a real-life example of sharing genes…

I know I should have spoken to you because we both know time is running short. Anytime now, you would leave and never come back – and if you do, it’d be years later. You know that too, so I’m sorry for escaping a conversation that would ideally last for a few hours, with just a “Hi”… and what did you say? Just “Hello”.
I should have smiled at you, I know. Smile, I did but how long was the smile? It was just an apology for looking your way. The smiles I always give you are short, and then I look at the floor. If you were wondering why I always find the floor more interesting, well, the floor doesn’t smile back at me which also means that I don’t have to be embarrassed. Cooler the person, higher the rate of embarrassment, so I think you get what I mean.
I’m sorry for being strangely fascinated by the sky everytime you were around. I believe it’s kind of like “experimenter’s effect”… you’re not testing me but I’m aware of the fact that you’re watching me, watching every move, recording this moment for now and for home.
I know I ought to tell you how much I long for the days I’d see you – if you’re reading this right now, then you know… But I should tell you in person, which I never get the confidence to do.
People around me would not realise anything because that’s how I usually am around anyone representing this category of yours, but you and I know this isn’t the best. I’m sorry about it because I still see you as a “Higher Mortal” – it’s hard for me to change that but I’ll try.
You’ve probably realised all this because you couldn’t smile at me, you couldn’t speak to me, you couldn’t stop me from staring at you, and you couldn’t grab the courage to wave at me. You know how bad it feels as much as I do… so, to put down those barriers before time runs out let me try and grab all the courage I can possibly muster to speak to you the next time…