Monthly Archives: May 2011

Why I hate Cats?

I hate cats from my childhood.

The day our cat caught my squirrel and killed it I started hating all cats including our cat (never my cat in my vocabulary).

I cried and got hold of the tail of the cat and trashed her on the floor till my anger subsided but felt short of killing her.

The cat got the message and would not come near me and then one day I handed over her to one of my aunts whose house had lot of rats.

I cannot remember having a cat till late in my life.

Then we had two orphaned male cats one was killed by a dog and other was poisoned and dished out during Perehara for supper.

My daughter looked after 33 litters (she had counted) in her childhood and the last litter she came and told me that all five of them were blind to a different degree.

The had no defense from Kala Waddas (Ceylon Civet) and we looked after them in a cage and were disposed and I told her no more caring for cats (litters).

This year, New year’s eve I found three kitten in an open area of the house (neighbor’s cat) not protected by civets.

My decision was wait till they are bigger and dispose them quickly.

I frightened the mother cat (thinking she may take them away) but she was cunning and secretly come and go but not caring for the litter but found her catching birds in a nearby house.

Then she did not come to feed for three days and I found one dead and two others just surviving.

Called a yesteryear servant girl now a big woman and told her to take them away and give them to somebody with two small packets of milk vitamin enriched and cash for another big packet (now over Rs.300/=).

Today I was watching over my cup of tea and there we over 10 young squirrels come out of the nest due to rain. Many of them were barely able to jump and their mothers did not had any control over them.

I knew the worse would happen.

One missed the jump and fell over 40 feet down and before I could reach, the cat had already caught it.

The irony here is there are very few trees below that would have prevented the young squirrel from landing on the ground . Thirty (30) years ago when we moved here there were many trees and during this period at least 7 jack trees were felled in addition to other trees.

This is what we call development in Buddhist Style.
Before the turn of the last century monkeys would go from Hanathana Range to Knuckles range without ever climbing down to the ground and then there were more monkeys than business monkeys of present.

Read my verse on Kandy the so called heritage

That is it; killers in my neighborhood.

To my surprise there were 4 cats guarding below watchfully.

I could not believe westerners love them and feed them and there was an old woman in America, neurotic about the lost cats and not the house.

People are saying how cute when one cat was found.

Unlike dogs they can fend themselves in the wild and they are wild animals domesticated and never can be trained not to kill.

The other reason I hate them is they steal food.

Cat in the neighborhood come and secretly drink my dog’s milk.

Now I sit with him till he finishes.
My dog deliberately leave them for the cats (probably learned from me).

1. They kill (not appropriate for Buddhist ethics) birds, squirrels and rats and any animal at their disposal
2. They steal (not appropriate for Buddhist ethics)
3. They can be never trained
4. They know how to coax
5. They make very ugly noise in the night
6. They urinate on linen.
7. Their scat has an awful smell
8. They are never at home but always at the neigbour’s house stealing
9. They breed so often
10. Above all they are nuisance to the neighbors
11. They never look after our household

I think we should have a cat’s law (we have a law for dogs- why don’t we round the cats up and kill them since they also transmit Rabies) for Cat Buddhists.

But our cat’s law goes like this, Yes it is my cat but I did not ask him or her to kill or steal: it is it’s (their) instinct to help Cat Buddhists and Cat Philosophy.

I call it my cat logic or catelogic (how it is pronounced in typical Sri-Lankan Style!)

They perpetuate catalogue of errors of discretion.

We Buddhists in Sri-Lanka have bizarre law and ethics and very selfish too.

I cannot think of anything good except the purring.

Sri-Lankan keeps cats and they never feed them.

They say if they feed them they won’t catch the mice ( I must call them Cat Buddhists to add to my list of Buddhists in Sri-Lanka) at night but go and give Bodhi Puja every weekend.

I feel like killing my neighbors (this feeling was there for the last 30 years) having cats and not feeding them but until now I have resisted it.

The Common misinterpretations of a Pali Verse that states the body decays but the Name and the Tribe does not

This verse I have heard many politicians of yesteryear utter in tandem with political speeches, I often wonder from where it originated.

This has nothing to do with Buddhism or Dhamma.

Somebody with knowledge with Pali had coined this verse and all politicians of yesteryear and present use this as a phrase to propagate his or her name and tribe. This is how the post-colonial culture and politics developed.

Rupam Jirati Majjanam (Body decays)

Nama Gottam Najirathi” (nmae and tribe do not)

The face value seems all Buddhist in nature but its implication in modern day is really disruptive to the nature of Dhamma as stated in the Tripitaka (the Three Baskets).

There is no problem with the first statement.

The second statement destroys the whole tenet of Dhamma in its entirety.

In Buddhist phenomenology self (Nama or Soul) does not exist and the tribe (Gothra) is an illusion that originate from the above wrong premise.

I have to restate the same with my own invention as below.

The meaning I am trying to derive at is that the Mind State does not vanish at death but (Patisandhi) re-link with the next Bhava using Kamma as the vehicle or the driving force.

Rupam Jirati Majjanam

Nama (means Mind here) Kittam (means Kamma) Najirathi

(The Gotham is substituted with Kittam-Kriya)

 

In Abhidhamma context it is realistic to use the above version of the verse (even though I am not a Pali scholar) to express the conditional existence of Bhava. The term Nama Rupa (stated above in first chapter) occurs frequently in Abhidhamma and Nama is used interchangeably with the Mind. The term for body is corporeality and not Rupa in Pali context.

Who perpetuated this myth is immaterial but the damage it has done is enormous. In that context writing something of my own contradicting the statement is appropriate even though it is a departure from the original tenets of this book.

This I think originated with the British rule. It is common for us to blame the British for every little mishap we are going through in our modern history. But this one is a direct antecedent. They are the one who started naming the streets even in Kandy with British names of inheritance and their Governors. All the streets in Colombo have some relevance to British authorship. In their tradition it is a normal and is all welcome by every British administrators big and small.

What went wrong was that we adapted this tradition without scrutiny in the post-colonial period and continue to do so even now. Instead of naming the street with some meaningful road traditions like main street, cross street, first lane or second lane we started adapting our own names. Politicians in turn for their gain started naming these streets with the names of their kith and kin. They invented and used the above jargon riddled Pali verse for the propagation of the political agenda.

Even though the tradition is British the wrongful doing is our own ill vision, political patronage and heritage.

Dream 02 of course is a fragmented dream

Dream two (2) of course is fragmented dream.
The full version was dreamt for me (until he takes over the spell cast on me) by Maha Brahma.

Part One of the dream goes like this

1. I was given huge load of linen by some godforsaken guy and he came to collect it soon after giving me a call.

2. At the time of the call the top part of the bundle which was 4 by 6 foot size an 6 foot in height (which appeared to me like bedsheets) was in disarray and fallen sideways and leaning on the doorway and preventing the door being opened when the guy comes to collect the load.

3. I was rearranging the lot and with the sound of the telephone I was woken up.

Before the interpretation was released Maha Brahma asked me a question.

Why are you sending half of a dream, he asked?

Sir, this was a armchair dream and mind you it is a day time dream?

Why are you dreaming at day time?

I could not help, Sir.

We are on industrial action and we have given up our headships and the head chair was empty and I sat on it to see how it feels like without administrative work like filling e-forms and mundane stuff like timetable for students and annual calender.

Then the head’s telephone rang and I was woken up.

I was annoyed that the dream was interrupted rudely but unfortunately for me there was nobody to answer the call.

Did you answer the call?

No Sir.

Why?

It is head’s telephone if I answer it, I will be in trouble.

Why?

If the guy on the other side is from FUTA, he might think I am secretly working.

If the guy on the other side is from the Ministry, he might mark another stupid head is working and add to his statistics.

The beauty is that lot of guys who never had an opportunity to sit on this big chair (like our politicians wanting to sit on high chairs of others when they are sleeping) to see how it feels like and when a call comes unlike me, answer it.

Even before caller’s call ends, guy says, wants to be head speaking for head.

It must be a lucrative post for aspiring candidates.

No Sir it is only Rs.1000/= and not even enough to pay the monthly telephone bill and we pay from over pocket the telephone bill.

Or I see.

Why then people want to be heads?

It is a very good and open question Sir but I think it is a dress rehearsal for becoming a politician, I believe .

Sir, can you tell me the full dream.

Part Two of the dream.

Mind you I like your futuristic dreams shall we make some arrangement for the first part for you to dream and the second part for me to dream and it saves me reading a long email.

No problem Sir, till our industrial action is over we will be dreaming of a pay hike and dreaming is our objective proposal and vision for miracles in this country, like Martin Luther King, we do like to dream even day time now.

He told me the setting is not at your home but at the laundry.

The guy who was dreaming had come to collect the dues (linen) after 3 months on credit card (that is the time laundry takes no responsibility for the clothes). He could not pay for the bill.
He was a professor of political science. Unfortunately had not got any salary hike he dreamed of, for 10 years.

Then before he pays the bill, the guy who gave the first load has given him a second load and that is the reason for it falling sideways.

If the dream was continued the guy gets a heart attack and dies at the laundry.

Was it me Sir?

No you stupid?

These are futuristic dreams not current.

Then?

The guy is a Professor of Political History of Sri-Lanka and this is ten years from now.

Had I let you dream the rest of the dream you would have had a heart attack and die in your armchair (dream).

I saved you in nick of time.

But what’s the point Sir, the way the things are developing in this country we do not have to dream.
We Know for certain we want get anything for our lifetime.

That is not the point.
If you die I won’t get these lovely dreams.
I love them and if you go who is going to dream for me for the first half of the dream.
It is my hobby and I won’t die for eons unlike you!
I am going to have this fun only till you live and Aryubovan for You.

Sir, there are 20 million people here.
We dreamed that we bring the world cup home for the second time round but we did not.

Those dreams are mediocre and not futuristic like yours and lasts only a day and people get on with their work as nothing has happened.

But pay hikes are our daily dreams not only of professors Sir.

Every Sri-Lankan who is able is dreaming of a pay hike.

Only problem is politicians do not see that way.

Sir, can you pass one of these lethal dreams to the treasury secretary and let him dream it in full, instead of me.

That is criminal know?

But if he goes millions will be happy millions time (we made billion in India to be happy by losing the World Cup and we deserve a pay hike at least at Indian Level) and there will be pay hikes!

Well I will see about it and in any case he is in the geriatric age group isn’t he?

I got to go.

Interpretation.

It is 10 years from now.

1. Global warming has peaked to 38 F and there is no alcohol (no yeast-no alcohol-the song no woman no pain- theme is adopted to no alcohol no fun) except imported in this country. The imported stuff is available in international institutions and hotels.

2. There is no rain for two years.

3. All rivers have run dry

4. Coal power for 2 hours at night for email services only for booking air tickets etc.

5. No laundry services at hotels.

6. People are asked not to wear anything like IMF boss while in hotels.

7. There is no air conditioning

8. There are no maids for cleaning especially in the International Buddhist Institute.

9. Buddhist monks are permitted to wear only the Andana Kadas by the hierarchy at International Buddhist Institute. There is a big vada (argument ) developing to wear or not to wear Andana Kada.

10. Some get heat strokes while in meditative mode in the tiny cubicles

The laundry load was Andana Kada from the International Institute.

Action necessary to prevent this scenario.

Grow trees in Colombo instead of developing international Hotels!
This applies to Kandy too.

From Teacher to a Student (Hypothetical)

Learning Linux is easy if you take one step at a time.

When I started there was nobody to guide me.

I used to read books (This is where English is important) and fast.

That is a technique (reading fast and also digesting the material) I developed on my own.
Give me any big book I will read (not from cover to cover) only what I want to solve a problem (in this case installing Linux) and pick up the important things in 3 to 4 days.

This is something essential in higher studies. One does not read for the sake of reading in science (reading in other fields including philosophy is different).

One focus on why one reads this or that and make one’s own personal assessment in the course of the reading.

Early days I used to get bogged down in two or three days without any progress.

Then I take a break and think about the problem deep and somehow get to the point (D.I.Y- Do It Yourself) where I want to make progress.

It naturally comes.

We all have this natural ability but examinations do not make us better but show where we are weak.

After every examination we have to go for a higher level and a more difficult level.

Even though A Level is difficult we make life easy after the 1st year Examination.

Unfortunately 1st year examination is the most difficult for all and problem with English compounding the disability.

This is especially so in maths and IT.

Maths is difficult if one is not in it.

I was very good in my maths including applied mathematics and used to beat all in my class.

Then one day I decided to go for biology in particular (with my reading talent and the fast speed was a bonus) and without any help covered the syllabus myself (D.I.Y).

Rest was history and I never felt big but looked for the next challenge.

When you get bogged down in a mathematical problem do not try to solve it by somehow.

Think, analyze and look at the problem in a different way.

There is always several ways of solving problems and try to grasp the concept.

What I find in my teaching in the University is students struggle to grasp key points an concepts.

Not like our time.
I do not know why?

Other problem is they cannot read a manual and follow instructions according to the manual and instructions.

This is where reading is important.

So concentrate on your mathematics and English.

Rest will follow.

Linux take as a problem and a hobby to take a break from your studies.

Do not make it your first interest.

But keep trying and look at where you go wrong.

This talent is essential in IT.

There is something called fixing bugs.

This is where both mathematical concepts and programming merge.

Even though I do not write programs, I am good looking at bugs.

That probably has come from my analytical skills learned from pathology.

Try to be a problem analyst.

The term in IT is system analyst.

If a server breaks down one has to find where and when and what has gone wrong?

Without trying to spoon feed I have given you a list or methods that I have used to solve my problem with Linux.

You try all and decide what is good for you.

One is enough at an examination but in teaching (as a teacher I have to cater for different type of students) one has to look at the global picture and focus on different aspects of a problem.

That is the difference between a student and a teacher.

It is sometimes very hard to become a good teacher.

If am given a chance I prefer to be a student.

That is where I always enjoyed.

But having to teach a brighter student is a blessing.

Linus Torvald, I like him the most because he showed that his professor was wrong.

There are many ways to solve a given problem.

Not one professors given method.

This is how the business world operate and there are Teams and not Lords.

Next IMF Boss and my selection

Next IMF Boss and my selection

Moment I sent one of my dreams to Maha Brahma, strangely enough I stop dreaming altogether.

I know Maha Brahma is as lazy as me on holidays and he has cast a spell on me.
“Not to have good dreams on my account”.

I sleep well these days in spite of the mosquitoes and very hot weather.
I forget that we are on industrial action and voided our heads from all extraneous headship headaches.

That is the reason I am sleeping well.

So if you sleep bad resign from your administrative work and buy a good pillow, will you?

It gives you good dose of sleep, I can assure you.
Unfortunately not for the politicians who generally have no work except constant jabbering.

So I will write something on “I wish I could have dreamt”

I wish to dream myself as the next head of IMF.

Even better I wish I am the head (now I am headless) in the selection board for selecting next IMF boss.

My selection criteria are as follows.

1. He is Caucasian

2. He is White or African Brown and White mixture (Obama type) and never Chinese yellow

3. He thinks he is clever

4. He has no idea about how to help needy countries like Sri-Lanka.

5. He should have terrorist type of attitude to human relationship especially of the Third World (Bun Ki Moon type with round face and no smile) countries and Middle East. (That is Bun Ki Moon type without a false smile-special vagary of his archetype).

6. He should be a aspiring leader and member of a labour organization of his own country or has held a ministerial post without a portfolio.

7. He should be 70 plus

There is one exception
He should have a very small phallus (penis) or wishes him castrated while on the job and have some artificial spongy substance installed inside for him to squeeze when dealing with a big problem like white flags of Wesak of Sri-Lanka.

Castrated organs should be sent to WHO for live freezing and could be auctioned for transplantation (highest bidder from the third world) if he dies on the job while chasing behind a maid for childhood (Peek a Boo) fun in a hotel from a heart attack.

I am pretty sure he will not want his organs back but prefers organs from a younger guy who died from an accident (while driving his car) instead of his own.
He now can afford the big prize from his perks alone.

Now what is for me.
I wish I am the one entrusted with castrating him and looking at his testicles first hand being a pathologist I like round things and nodes and tumours.

But to have my own with the IMF I will put lead balls (or pellets excavated from Vanni) very heavy instead of sponge.

My justification.
He will sit and work all day and night and won’t chase maids on vacation.

It is very difficult to run with heavy objects dangling!

I wish this would have come as dream.
Maha Brahma I am sorry I cannot send this for your interpretation.
This is not a dream but a wishful thinking and a honest aspiration!

If my experiment works well which I have no doubt, I would like to share my experience with the WHO and UNO if there are any sensible ones still employed there.

Ten or more steps of my own

Ten or more steps of my own

I have taken some bold steps (decisions) in my life from my childhood and that had come good, when I reflect on them. Some of them cannot be mentioned here.

I was a keen observer of nature and people around me and learned to be bold and fearless.

Most of my teachers except who taught me Sinhala and English were mediocre.
I often wondered how they ever became teachers especially science.

1. One bold step was not to believe teachers especially in science.
That was a very scientific decision by itself.
I had the knack and keen power of observation and problem solving ability. For example I believed anything can be grown on our be soil, be that it may, seeds or yam or runner provided I water them regularly. My father was not a farmer but he was a keen gardener (which he learned from a burger gentleman0. Except potatoes I could do that on my own but could not figure out why I could not grow potatoes (those days potatoes came from UK and I did not know that they put chemicals to inhibit sprouting and made sure seed potatoes were never given to us. I discovered this many many years later. This is how western countries help us).

2. I decided never to ask scientific questions (why potatoes could not grow) from my teachers (knowing very well they will give a wrong answer to shut my mouth).

3. I decided to do science and one day I decided not to go to the school I was attending abruptly (there were many other reasons and flashes of them I have expanded elsewhere) and that was a very bold decision. Finding a school teaching science was difficult but i eventually found one (there was another story behind this I would not enlarge upon).

4. I decided not to proceed with cadetting even though I was the leader in my old school (I was thrashed by the teacher / principal three times in the new school but I stood my ground). I took part in all other sports except cadettting (reason should be obvious and there is / was a worse form of ragging which included sexual for the young).

5. New school was no better in teaching science and I made the decision to do D.I.Y learning science (thank god there were two Foreign libraries stocked with old science books in Kandy then).

6. Due to harassing by teachers I decided to walk out of the science class and asked permission from the principal who thrashed me for not joining cadets. He eventually acceded (I still thank him for that help) to my demand (man with military training) knowing my will power.

Little he knew that others will join me later.

7. We decided to work towards a common (first exercise in group work) goal and entire university in the first attempt (both Bio and Maths). Eventually all of us did pass and none from the class who attended normal class.

They thought we (me especially) had gone bonkus.

8. Next decision was to get rid of all the science teachers in one go (Boomi Puthra was one of them) and get some decent ones. By this time I have forged some connections with science school inspector who was very helpful.
Proof of the pudding was that nobody from the normal class passed.
Some teachers feared me more than the principal and I was a good cohort for him.

9. We never went for tuition classes and we never got involved in giving tuition to others except my cousin brother who eventually became an engineer. He failed all his subjects in “O” Level and till he entered the university he was under my clutches.

10. Next decision was to get rid of the compulsory government service act that we had to serve (IMF would love this) for six years and never to join the government service except university (semi-autonomous institution and not a government per say).

The way things are happening and developing in the university now leaving that is also not a big decision for me.

Rest that followed is history.

I suppose nobody should try these methods now since all the systems including schools in this country are very poorly managed by over 100 of ministers and ministries.

There is no half way house for us now as the saying in English goes.

To be a more Kindly Kindle

To be a more Kindly Kindle

E-book was something I was looking for for sometime.

I have many reason and some of them are special and related to disability. People are not born equal and many have minor or major disabilities.
Visual handicap is one theme, I have been interested and it looks like I myself come into that category with the type of typos I make on daily basis.
I hate making mistakes especially typos but it has become a common occurrence.
Thank god their is spell checker but sometimes I feel spell checker is itself is a handicap.
One has to keep on checking the word and the meaning and many a time, mainly due to oversight, they keep appearing and re-reading once own writing is not something I fancy.
I have to do this on daily basis.
Most of these mistakes are due to small fonts and the distance between ones eye and the monitor, which is basically a physical relationship and not a handicap by itself.

Having worked with children and elderly with multiple disabilities the scope becomes much bigger in here in my writing.

1. Physical-Hand Eye coordination (keyboard and monitor)
2. Various degree of visual handicap including age related.
3. Hearing Difficulty
4. Various types of dyslexia
5. Many other disabilities including language.
I take language as a major handicap to use computers (English) and program language is one of the most significant. Visual basic has made some impact but I think it has not done enough to integrate with natural language which is basically written or spoken.

I will concentrate here on written and spoken.
this is where Amazons should make giant step.
The ipod is killing its entry into main stream but ipod and the hifi gadgets are for the able and busy bodied rich guys and girls.

In my case I have so many books which I have read and many I keep for reference since library facilities especially in English books are vanishing species no with Swabasha emphasis on government schools.
It has become problem with taking lot of space and i do not want to make my living quarters a library.
I prefer big space.
If i can take all my books out and put all that into a Kindle that is the last think I wish in my life.
Then I can take everything out of my room cum study or donate them to a school or university library.
When I want to fish a book or an article it takes ages sometimes days since the last time I made some in depth study of that material may be 5 or 10 years ago. f
Facts a vivid in my memory with minor memory failure (almost normal in nature) a bit some areas are hazy areas need either clearing or refining.

If the kindle can do that with the help of the publishers and coordinate e-phasing my library of books it would be a blessing for my kith and kin in my absence.

My mother who passed away on 92 had wonderful memory of Dhamma which she had read and understood better than me.
She knew all the verses by heart (In my case I never by heart, remember where it came from, book or volume or article and refer it (that is my scientific way of approaching a problem) as often when need arises but get the meaning into ordinary English, not scholarly adage.

Brevity and simplicity is my attempt but vary rarely succeed in doing so since Dhamma has meaning beyond its general appearance at face level and is sometimes so succinct I miss the point in my deliberations.
She lost the ability and interest in reading almost suddenly.

Then whenever I get an opportunity I flick a page and start reading form some leading stem read and she recite the rest with my initial prompt.
Then I tell her the meaning, which is the most difficult part the higher level of cognition.
Unfortunately Dhamma is for the extremely intelligent (she is intelligent enough and there are no arguments developing in these very brief dispensations but occasionally alert me if I am off the target a lot.

This was a two way process since she had read thousand times more than me.
The procedure ends that she knows it better attitude even though I had some major disagreements in content.

They were supplemented with TV, radio and cassettes and not books.
From reading stage she went to listening stage.
Then her memory started failing (short term) and things like she had eaten or had a drink but till the very late stages could recite but concentrate on few verses of four in spite of the disorientation in time and used to sleep (very lucky) a lot.

This is where kindle would have been helpful.
If Kindle had all the verses and the sound to go with, it would have been a big boost to her moral.
In her lucid intervals it could have been a nice companion.

So kindle could be a lovely companion for elderly gentlemen/women in retirement.

Equally it would be intellectual boost for kids, especially the handicapped.

The biggest obstacle was the price and now it has broken the sound barrier so to speak of market philosophy an could be affordable in the third world too.
Another venture would be in different language.
Imagine if they can introduce it to mainland China..
Like breaking the sound barrier Kindly should break the language barrier too.