Is it safe to come out now?
There was no email connection where I was bunkering so no column last week. 21 December was a light year ago, so what took me so long? You just can’t be sure these days with all the noise about technical delays and miscalculations.
Just when I was looking for a presage from my hideout, it dawned on me that Sri Lanka has been a good couple of decades behind time from the rest of the world. Buck up, folks, doomsday will only hit us long after them. Till then let’s pretend to be part of the loony calendar.
Suddenly, it is 2013! While bugging out it did occur to me that a doomsday wouldn’t be such a bad idea, after all, if it only took out what we didn’t want. I relished imagining a new Sri Lanka devoid of politicians, contractors and nincompoops. I prayed for it as I eventually came out. But alas, my hopes were dashed when a VIP convey nearly decimated me as I was getting out of the manhole down Baseline way. Talk shop was still standing, too. And the Inland Revenue Dept… and a temple with trees. We are doomed, anyways!
Quickly scanned the newspapers. Sure enough, the old habitudes of impeaching old friends, washing dirty linen in public and ludicrous shindigs were continuing as if there was no tomorrow.
One story popped up from the pages. A Maldivian girl studying in Sri Lanka had been produced in court for carrying 12 illegally imported cigarettes which she says were for her personal consumption. Serves her right! She ought to have known that in this dharmishta society of ours no evil, no matter how bitty it is, will not be condoned.
There is hope, after all, that once all the petty crimes have been dealt with and culprits put away we will see the end of big bad ugly offenders like murderers, swindlers and goons. Great start to the New Year Sri Lanka, keep it up.
More great news of how Sri Lanka is cantering ahead on the international scene. It’s official, Sri Lanka is No. 1 on Google search engines for the key word – sex. A nation averse to sex education is finally becoming self-taught. With such an insatiable demand for knowledge let’s hope Sri Lankan polity will rise up to the needs of a nation known for its chivalry and revelry from time immemorial.
Let not miner distractions deter us from our hopes and dreams and this is a good time to have them in truck loads. So let’s toast to the New Year; and go about our lives with the kind of spirits that once made us a great nation.
By the way, did it ever occur to you why people clink their glasses whenever they are full of high spirits? Unlike in the modern day of death by white vans, bullets and machetes, there was a time when it was common for someone to try killing an enemy by offering him a poisoned drink. In order to convince a guest that his drink was safe, it became customary for the guest to pour part of his drink into the glass of the host who would drink it as the guest drank his. But before that the guest would clink his glass with that of the host as a sign of trust.
Next time you clink glasses with a politician friend of yours don’t let me catch you sneaking up behind his back telling what a dirty scoundrel he is. Then again, if you can’t beat them, join ‘em. Peace out my friends. Enjoy the year.
Let’s drink to that!
(Dinesh Watawana is a former foreign correspondent and military analyst. He is a brand consultant and heads The 7th Frontier, an integrated communications agency which masterminded the globally-acclaimed eco tourism hotspot KumbukRiver. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)