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[10 Jan 2017 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Back to school

Ten days into 2017… the story around the “mass molestation” at New Year celebrations in Bangalore still reverberating, including disturbing video footage, we wonder at what went into nurturing their sense of entitlement i.e. I am a man, and I have the right to touch, squeeze, grope, grab, pinch, poke, paw, pet, fondle, rub, rub up against, rub myself… or just hit on the head and drag her off like our ancestors of old, or …

The Sunday Column »

[20 Oct 2015 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Our Children Need Us…

“Boys give love to get sex. Girls give sex to get love.”
She was just seventeen. And yet, you will not find a more phlegmatic insight. The patriarchal strictures within which we operate are understood. Women and girls know their place. They learn early that they haven’t been invited to the party. Their role is to either entertain, or clean up after us men. If they enjoy this, then it’s merely a happy side effect. We …

The Sunday Column »

[3 Sep 2015 | No Comment | Posted by ]
In Memoriam – Old Man

Shantanu died last Wednesday. Not yesterday. Last Wednesday. I’m still processing this. And like other deaths of those I love, I’ll probably always process last Wednesday.
Shantanu was my peculiar window into Bengal. My mentor. He was also a person who used drugs.
“A fucking addict! So what?”
I remember stolid Calcutta nights in his makeshift living room when his toddler son used to fetch his ceramic box of green, and Shantanu would look at me and laugh.
“Am …

The Sunday Column »

[22 Aug 2015 | No Comment | Posted by ]
“And who the fuck is Anoma Gamage?”

“Rosy lost because not enough women voted for her.”
Rickshaw Driver truisms are difficult to unravel. Yes, Rosy lost because not enough women voted for her. Broadcasters, press and social media is currently alive with opinions, poetry and prose on our new government. We love a good election in this country. The tight ones. The down to the wire ones. The drunken dreamy ones. Still, some herald freedom, and others, enslavement. Depends on where you were …

News & Information, The Sunday Column »

[5 Aug 2015 | No Comment | Posted by ]
On Dicks, Pics & Fiddlesticks: Sex and Convention in 2015

On Sunday we sat down with the cast of the Irish Curse.  Five men. Five small penises. Five perspectives on life. It’s funny. It’s sad. It’s very, very real. Some of us watching this play will no doubt identify with what is being said, for at some point, perhaps as a testosterone riddled teenager, we’ve measured length and girth. We may have even compared notes. We would’ve, should’ve, and could’ve have lied of course… but …

The Sunday Column »

[22 Jan 2015 | One Comment | Posted by ]
The Birds & The Bees

2015, Sri Lanka’s new beginning. Hope. Confusion. Resentment. Hope. The I-told-you-so-ers are waiting in the wings. Failure imminent, apparently. Tails are up. Sarongs similarly tied about fat and thin and hairy thighs. Even if everything goes wrong it won’t be as wrong. Tread carefully. Slippery slope. Holier-than-thou alert. It’s the same argument on both sides. Good versus evil. Ask the Japanese. Arguments of infinite regression, futile. Ask Palestine.
Women have spoken this time, they said. They …

The Sunday Column »

[2 Dec 2014 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Weeping Willow World (AIDS Day)

Today we judged a theatre competition on HIV, or more aptly “AIDS”. I felt defeated. For a moment. Or two. I needed to remind myself that the actors spoke only of what they knew to be true. What they thought to be fact. What they had learnt. The key message remained HIV=AIDS=Death. Regressive. And this on the day that scientists announce the emergence of a milder form of HIV due to the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapy. Simply, deterrent …

The Sunday Column »

[17 Jun 2014 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Revaluation of Values: Applying the Pullman Principle to Post-War Sri Lanka

This past couple of weeks I’ve been rereading Philip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. I first picked up ‘Northern Lights’ (Book 1) in 2003 while at University in Scotland. My MPhil Thesis (completed in 2004) starts with a quote from ‘The Amber Spyglass’ (Book 3), and right now in May of 2014 I am perhaps on my tenth reading of ‘The Subtle Knife’ (Book 2). These three books have journeyed with me, as I lived …

The Sunday Column »

[24 Nov 2013 | No Comment | Posted by ]
Carpe diem – Taking back the night in Sri Lanka

 
Last evening we accompanied Rev. Marc Billimoria to a Knowledge Forum organized by the youth fellowship of Holy Emmanuel Moratuwa on child abuse – “Understand the gravity of Child Abuse an the need for its Prevention at Home, in School and in our Community”. Marc was one of the speakers, and asked us to come along as it would be an opportunity to showcase the Sound Mind & Sound Body programme; an accurate and comprehensive, age-appropriate sexuality education …

The Sunday Column »

[28 Oct 2013 | No Comment | Posted by ]
A land not too far away…

Her face was broken.
Yes, once upon a time, in a land not too far away, someone broke her face.
Was it her absent teeth? Those left were black with decay.
As we spent more time with her, she covered her mouth as she spoke, not wanting to offend us with her broken face.
But it wasn’t her broken teeth that made her face appear broken.
Had she been punched? Slapped? Hit with batons? Probably. Perhaps even, definitely.
Her hair that …