Friday, January 25, 2008

My prayer

Angels of light
help me find my way

Safely may I walk
through this darkest day...

Two questions

Does my deep emotional involvement breed its own self destruction?

Is there nothing that I could do about it?

You're mine

The drip of rain drops music to my ears
Warm breadth upon my skin
A lingering touch across my skin
Shadows along walls shift as you move closer to me

I see the stars in your eyes, petal soft curves of your lips
Tears drops glisten, begin to roll down my face
For you're not here, you're not real, you're just a dream
but then, in my dream, you're mine

Monday, January 21, 2008

Do not go gentle.....

I have always been partial to Dylan Thomas's "Do not go gentle into that good night" ever since I read it many years ago.Though this villanelle is about not giving into death without a fight, over the years I have drawn inspiration from its opening lines in another context -that of living.

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

To me these words have been about living life, to live it as well as you can, to strive with every single fibre of your being, to experience each day in full.

Which is why settling for second best or less than perfect should not be an option. Many of us do, for fear of missing out altogether but I wonder... isn't it better to live in hope than to settle for less than right?

It is a dilemma of gargantuan proportions I concede. But consider the other side of the coin, consider having compromised for whatever reason, only to find what you were looking for when its too late?

I am raging, raging that I have only one life, raging that half of it is gone, raging that I will never have it again, that in the time left to me, there is so much more to do and that its not enough. I rage because I am bound by principles and my own code that prevents me from reaching out for all that life has to offer and that the twilight and darkness grows ever closer.

My words are not original nor are my thoughts for I am sure that many have done as I have before me and many will after me too. But I will rage....
In life, hope, love and desire I believe

Those early days

Sometimes it’s the most absurd of things that sets one upon a career. The conventional manner is of course to complete one’s secondary education adequately so to be accepted by one institute of higher education or the other; alternatively to be born with the proverbial silver spoon in ones mouth which allows for greater wonders to be performed. Four years of higher learning and it’s assumed that someone or the other will look upon you as employable. Then of course there is the unconventional way – such as having the parents return from a weekend sojourn in the up country thinking that this the life of a planter most suitable for the exasperating black sheep of the family.

Fate had it that I was in fact looking for fresh pastures. The last eight months had been spend tapping away at two computers, trying hard to update a set of accounts that had been left undone since 12 months before I even appeared on the scene. But that’s all a tale for another chapter, which I will get to.

So here I am almost 21, a US secondary school diploma from a High School in a quaint little town in Central California, vertically challenged according to my previous employer and looking for something to give me a sense of direction. The life of a Planter certainly sounded appealing, where else could I get to spend most of the day walking in fresh air, attired in nothing more formal than a short sleeved shirt, shorts, long socks and stout walking shoes? It certainly sounded right up my street.

So what were the options? Two actually – both semi government institutes, the State Plantations Corporation or the Janatha Estate Development Board. Not one to do things by half I submit my application to both. All seemed well, for I soon found myself called up to for a preliminary interview by not one but both establishments a few months later.

SLSPC called me first and I still recollect the day I turned up suitably attired in tie and long sleeved shirt, clutching in my hands a file with my meagre collection of achievements - various scholastic, athletic certificates as well as the one I was most proud of, my birth certificate.

I had already steeled myself to a frosty reception since I had been warned that it was neigh impossible to actually join the corporation unless one was either the scion of planters or had what was referred to as ‘pull’ or alternatively had been incredibly successful upon the field of sport and or academia. I certainly did not qualify for any of these.

I am soon to find myself in a long corridor, peopled by a number of hopefuls such as my self – a fair representation of the better schools from Colombo to Kandy to Galle. The wait was long, there were I think more than 30 of us that day, all hopeful of perhaps a dozen if not 15 slots, which was supposed to be an average intake.

Having cooled my heels for over an hour I was finally called into what was quite an intimidating interview. Imagine if you will, two rows of parallel tables, curving to meet at one end forming an elongated horse shoe. Sitting around this were 12 of the grimmest men I had ever seen in my life. Snr Planters, desk bound Administrators and what nots!

Asked to be seated I look around be in sheer amazement, this cannot be happening, But it is and I am just about to be put in the hot seat, if I was not already there. The preliminaries of age, sex etc, dealt with, we moved on to more important areas. The primary one seemed to be to establish my pedigree which was by way of asking who my father was. Now my father, the least said of him the better and that’s still saying too much about him, Suffice to say that even now I usually refer to him as being the contributor of my Y chromosomes and little else.

I was inspired that day though, and like Alexander faced with Gordian’s knot I took matters into my own hands and let loose the fact that my parents were divorced. The reaction was the expected one, a moment of embarrassed silence and a quick change of the subject to safer ground and the name of my Alma mater. The fact was that I was about to put to test a number of myths which surrounded the romance of being a planter. The first myth was that you had to be connected. The second myth was that one had to excel at a sport or two or three. Another was that one needed to come from the right school. I could go on, but I won’t. Suffice to say that I was rather lacking in the required attributes to toe the line if you will with the popular myths.

My alma mater was in those days known for one thing and that was the ability to field an amazingly talented team of young men with exceptional prowess on the field of rugby. The word ‘rowdy’ was also used when making general references to it amongst the so termed better schools of this city.

So, school, not quite the right one. Which left sport… did I mention the rugby? Well you had to be really really good to make the team. I was not ‘really really’ or for that matter of fact even ‘really’ – strike two!

To cut a long story short I didn’t have the connections either, which left me to deal with things as best as I could.

The preliminaries done we moved on… on to what I had been doing over the last few years, why I had chosen to seek a career in this field, why this, why that.

But you know the thing that they all seemed to find fascinating was that I had been to Disney. Looking back now I think I can understand that, but at the time I thought it was the most strangest of things. Here I was, sweating bullets and the most animated conversation we had was about a day I had spent on Magic Mountain.

That day was to be my first step on what was to become a passion. My entire adult life has revolved around those first steps into the life of a tea planter, maturing over the years into a romance with the wonderfully exotic world of tea in all its hues and flavours and shapes and sizes!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Another piece that I am rather happy with, perfect for the place.

On the last leg, falling in to place piece by piece.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Roller coaster

I surprise myself.

Not that I find myself on a roller coaster as much as the effect of the swoops.

Its been a while.

Its been a long time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

In time to come

The pessimist in me thinks that in time to come I will look back upon these last 5 weeks as a time when I was the happiest I have been in a long time.

There was always a risk, nothing ventured, nothing gained eh? But no regrets. Its said that unless you know what happiness is, you will not know what sadness is, that to laugh you must have cried - the yin and yang of life, no singular state and one cannot be without the existence of the other.

I am pensive.

Life is about risks, and unless you take some, you can never really live. Risks in business, in ones profession, relationships, sports; heck, darn near everything carries an element of risk to it. I risked it all once, and perhaps in hindsight I may not have lost, but I did ensure that I would never quite expose myself as I did that day. Certainly that strategy worked, for it was that very fact that later saw me through some of the darkest days of my life so far.

But then.... I chose to risk it all again, and I wonder how that is going to turn out. No regrets whatever the outcome; that at least I have learnt, there must not be regrets, whats done is done and the courage I have to walk this path that I have chosen...

In Life, Hope, Wish and Desire I believe...

Monday, January 7, 2008

The good old days

The irony is that the good old days were actually good - a conclusion one only comes to after getting past a certain age - yet to determine where that is though....

Anyway, point being that yes things were better when things were more simpler. I haven't quite figured out why yet... innocence, a slower pace of life, a buck that took you a long way.... was it just five years ago that a barrel of oil was US$ 30/-?!

The Mangroves is on its final leg - great plans afoot to have a semblance of completion done by the end of January. Habitable at least..... me thinks me needs to spend a few days there polishing up so on and so forth.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

It's a new year!!!!

So, its' finally happened and with the passing of an old year a new one dawned. I have to comment that with age, each year seems to get shorter and shorter, I cannot believe how fast the last one went by....!

I've started off well, my sole resolution for the year that I not have any resolutions. That behind me, I suspect that sky's the limit in terms of what I can do and cannot.

I've been contemplating my life, the universe and my navel over the last few days and come to some conclusions - primarily that life must be lived. There really isn't very much else one can do with it, is there?

Then I had to also take into consideration words of wisdom cast before me by the "Oh Wise One's" (OWO's are a select band of merry men and women that I rely on to keep me sane most of the time - my little advisory board if you like). What they had to say was kind of interesting

Jade Peacock: "Enjoy it, you get only one"
BlackStilettos: "You are in for an interesting one"
Lucy: "Bugs, two bugs"
Star: "Stolen moments"
Sound master: "DIP" or something to that effect

Then of course there is Fonny, Astro consultant par excellence! Now he had lots to say, most of it all good.

So you know what, I am going to live.. I will take a day at a time, keeping personal and professional apart as much as possible. That is not to mean that I will not plan, planning an integral part of ensuring that his year of the Rat will one for the books.

Did I mention that I turn forty? I do.... I think I am supposed to go through some crisis or the other around this time, at least that's what I read. But I have noticed a few things about me like I shush people when their phones go off at the movies, gardening is suddenly interesting and I am more inclined to tell people to shut up. Then I have concerns about rudeness, graffiti, the newspaper arriving late, the decline of public services and the possible truth in libido jibes all the time thinking that younger people with baggy pants look stupid and sinister and crossing the street to avoid them.

I have taken to arguing with the TV but I am no longer quite as perturbed about making small talk with little children as I used to be. Bird song is good but its either hardly ever quiet enough or things are too quiet. I've also realised that I am going to die sooner than ever, which is why I need to live.

Truth though is that I am at a milestone in my life. I used to think that I peaked at 36 - recently divorced, had an incredible lover, everything was good. But 40 sounds good to me, 40 sounds right for me and I am embracing it with all that I am.

Time will tell.