Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Year Bites The Dust

As is often the case, the month of December has gone screaming by in a blur of lights, singing and panic shopping. Even though Christmas is now over, the new year is hurtling towards us at a frightening pace, and once again we are pressed into making arrangements for our new year's bash, buying firecrackers and hurriedly indulging in our secrets sins which we tell ourselves will magically disappear from our lives come January 1st.

The new year resolution has over time become synonymous with failure, as year after year we promise to diet, stop stealing the stationary at work, start working out, give up smoking, stop swearing, stop shoplifting, stop swearing while shoplifting, stop getting caught for shoplifting - the usual. I like this quote by Kenny "The Jet" Smith from one of his articles - 'How many times have you said, 'This year is going to be different! This is the year I stop drinking, cursing and smoking." Then before you know it, you’re muttering, “Damn, I left my cigarettes in the bar."'

I've decided against making a new year's resolution. Well, not exactly - I figure if everyone is going to try make some form of dramatic change in their lives, I might as well resolve to be better. Yes, be better. I think that pretty much sums up everyone's resolutions anyway.

While most of us are looking back at the year 2008 and reminiscing the peaks and pitfalls it brought us, few choose to look forward with the same enthusiasm. Too often the ghosts of the previous years follow us into the new one, and pretty soon the new year is an all too familiar reflection of the old year. How boring.

The Whackster wrote an interesting post about how we're all just living in pockets of time. Or something. Whatever the case may be, we could all use an opportunity to make a brand new start. While I'm sure the majority of the blogosphere will have no issues with wanting to start over, seeing as almost everyone is miserable and depressed out there, the remaining few who aren't on the verge of suicide can still use the occassion to turn over a new leaf because let's face it - no one's life is without room for improvement.

As for me, 2008 has some very fond memories. Rarely have I had a year that had such good memories that the bad ones seemed to fade into insignificance, and for that I am grateful.

Here's hoping 2009 turns into a great year for all of you.

And let's keep spreading the darkness >:D



Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Birthday, My g-Pod, My... Singing?!

And so it is finally Christmas Eve! I was planning on writing a few posts before this, but with all the hustle and bustle of last minute Christmas shopping, I completely forgot.

So this is just a quick one, to recap the last few days.

First of all, it was my birthday yesterday. Don't worry, I know you all remembered but were unable to convey your wishes due to a host of seemingly important yet highly suspicious excuses. No matter, I have now moved past the age where the thrill of getting presents keeps me awake the night before. I suppose the endless barrage of socks and 'useful presents' had something to do with that.

But then I got THIS!

So I really shouldn't complain. I love it! I love it so much that I dubbed it the 'g-Pod'; I spent almost all day fiddling with it, setting up iTunes, sorting my 11GB of music and just generally being thoroughly satisfied. Who said men are complicated?!

All in all, it was a muted birthday, which is expected considering I know no one here. Due to the convenient timing of my birthday, I have never had to bring cake to school or any other such birthday tradition. When I was in college, I never got to celebrate my birthday with them as we were always on vacation during that time. However, there was one semester when our exams were postponed and so I was in India for my birthday. It was my first semester, and I didn't know my friends that well. Imagine my surprise when, while hanging out at a friend's house, a couple of the girls came from the kitchen with a cupcake and a solitary candle, and started singing happy birthday. Someone has a picture of me holding my pint-sized birthday cake in my hand with a very confused look on my face; I'd have put it up if I had it. It is one of my favourite birthday memories, not because of anything spectacular that happened, but for the simple reason that I was remembered when I thought I wouldn't be.

But I'm rambling. It's almost Christmas! I wish you all the very best of the season, and here's hoping that no matter what presents we get tomorrow, we manage to spread the real gifts of this season - Peace, Joy and Love.

(I really must stop!)

In closing, here's my terribly amateurish rendition of "Away in a manger". Forgive the terrible video quality, my camera is slowly but surely decaying. As for the singing, well, that unfortunately is solely my fault.


Click here if you want to download the song instead.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

So This Is Christmas.. (Like You Didn't Already Know)

Apparently I have been tagged again by our very own mistress of spices.

Yes indeedy, it is the Christmas season alright! And though I was saving the retrospective post for New Year's eve, let's have a look at the past year for the darkside.

In 2008, I -

  • was in the prime of my life, and never wasted an opportunity to remind someone of the fact
  • failed many times at things that I should have succeeded at
  • went for my first job interview
  • went for many, MANY job interviews after that
  • was asked to run a floral shop
  • started writing this blog
  • fell in love
  • went to Scandinavia for the first time!
  • went to Maldives for the first time (and decided it was going to be my honeymoon destination - if it's still above water then)
  • learned from my mistakes
  • met many old friends, some whom I hadn't seen in 7 years!
  • finally accepted the fact that I'm not doing my Masters for a long, long time
  • watched old wounds reopen
  • realized the importance of respect - earning it and giving it
  • got a 6 pack (finally!) - and I ain't talking about beer..
  • closed a chapter of my life

All in all, it has been an interesting year, if not the most successful. I had made many plans for the year, however in the end I didn't carry out a single one of them.I'm not that upset about it though; God works in mysterious ways, and I honestly believe that everything I went through this year happened for a purpose. I think about everything I would have missed had this year gone according to my plan, and I can only smile to myself, look to the heavens and say "Thank You...!"

I'm not quite sure who to tag, seeing as everyone I know has already been tagged. Aha! There you go: Pseudorandom, Scrumpy, Toby - I doth tag thee!



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Butt-Billboards: Signs Of The Times?

Do you believe in signs? You know, those little incidents that foretell coming doom; small inconsequential nothings that, when ignored, turn into harbingers of death or divine signals of assent?

I don't. Well, that's not true - I do when it suits me. When I kept failing exams when I stayed up all night to study, I took it as a sign that God wanted me to rest more. When my discman broke, I took it as a sign to lobby for an mp3 player. When my mp3 player - well, nothing happened to it yet, but I still want the new iPod nano!

Anyway, yesterday something definitely was trying to speak to me. However, I feel I can be excused for not taking it seriously, because my sign was on someone else's ass.

What is with women's jogging pants that have words written across the butt area? Women say we have only one thing on our mind and don't respect them for "who they are inside" (or something), and then they go and buy jogging pants with "juicy" written across their ass. Even if the most decent and non-perverted person (me) came across one of those, he would have to stare at her ass just so that he could read what was written! Evil. Then there are those instances when the 'butt-billboard' says something that makes no sense whatsoever. I remember when one of my friends introduced his girlfriend to the boys. She was nice, very attractive, but as they were leaving we noticed she had '1994' written across her ass. This spawned a half hour discussion filled with good and not so good humour on what that date could signify (Date of manufacture? Best before date? Hit counter?)

Yesterday while in Colombo I saw a girl wearing one of those pants. This time, it read "Justice". This was even more bizarre then "1994", and I was forced to repeatedly look back just to make sure it said 'justice' and not 'just ice' or something. Little did I know that this was my 'sign'.

I was looking for a new graphics card for my PC, and I had my mind set on the nvidia 8600GT. After going store hopping, I finally found a place that offered it for a very reasonable price. So I go to the ATM, check if I have the financial stability to survive this onslaught on my accounts, and head back to the store all glowing. A different sales person meets me, and I tell him I'm here to buy the 8600GT. He takes it out and says "Here you go. Oh but this isn't real".

"Excuse me?" I say, "what do you mean?"

"It's fake. Made in China."

"But it says 'Nvidia GeForce 8600GT' on the box!!"

"Yes. It's fake. Wait a minute"

He then calls someone who extracts a large glossy box from some hidden counter and passes it to him.

"This is the real thing. This one is very good, great performance, solid capacitors used."

"And the other one is fake?! Ok, how much is the original?" I ask, though my heart was already sinking with dread.

"Twice the price of this one" he says, deflating my hopes and demolishing my measly budget.

After much deliberation and repeated pleas of "Are you sure?!", I decided to pass on this fake card, simply because even the sales person was not convinced of it's performance and there was no way I was blowing my limited funds on a chance like that. I left the store, but not before thanking the sales person for his honesty.

Then we went to this new Indian restaurant for lunch. I was in the mood for some good Indian biriyani, and so were the rest of the family, so we agreed to get three portions of chicken biriyani.

"Three biriyani's", we tell the waiter, as visions of a nice heavy Indian meal flood my senses.

"Ok. Chicken?", he asks.


"Ok. Err. By the way, it is fried chicken ok?"


"In the biriyani. Fried chicken."

Apparently, this so-called 'authentic' Indian restaurant served a very un-Indian chicken biriyani, one where the chicken was not cooked in the biriyani but was just deep fried and added to the rice later. Now, let me just mention here that my mom is Indian and my dad has studied in India, so they both know quite a deal about Indian food, and so they proceeded to destroy the waiter. The poor guy apologised, and suggested other dishes we could try instead.

After taking our new order, I couldn't help but wonder what was wrong with universe. I'm so used to people trying to cheat me at every corner that it was unnerving and confusing to come across not just one but two incidents where someone actually was honest with me!

Justice indeed. I'm paying more attention to them butt's from now on!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Animal Love

She tries not to wake me, yet somehow I hear her as she enters the room. Trying not to move, I glance at the clock to see the time. “Dammit,” I think to myself, “She’s coming to bed at 6am?!?” She pauses at the foot of my bed, checking to see if I’m awake. I lay completely still, and after a few moments of silence, she slowly crawls into bed, treading carefully and making no sound at all. Again, she pauses, probably to decide the most comfortable position to sleep. She settles for snuggling under my arm and placing her head gently on my shoulder. She breathes softly, and part of me knows that if I stay silent any longer she’ll be fast asleep within seconds. However, the other part of me was much too annoyed at being woken up so early, so I turn and face her.

As soon as she senses my movement, she jerks her head up and looks at me, guiltily. I look straight at her, my face a mask of disapproval as I channel all the annoyance of being woken up by her into my expression. She looks right back, impassive, yawns a little, and says –


“Dammit Speedy, it’s six am! Go sleep in ma’s bed!”

I can see her black tail whisk in the semi-darkness; she’s glad I’m awake. I make a bit of space for her and offer a bit of the sheet, and she curls up in it within seconds, purring all the while. Mom hates when I let her sleep up near the top of the bed – something about cat fur causing asthma. But what can I do if we have a cat that’s so pampered she sleeps with her head on the pillow?!

We’ve had Speedy for 8 years now. We got her with her mother, Erica, who was a pure bred Persian. Sadly, Erica passed away a few months ago at the young age of nine, leaving Speedy a somewhat muted and lonely cat.

I was never much of a person for pets. It always seemed like something that only looked good on TV but not in real life, a bit like every exercise machine in the market. The idea of a person bonding and forming a human-like relationship with an animal seemed too Disney to be true. I know it sounds terribly irrational, but then again, growing up I didn’t have any friends that had pets, so I suppose it was an understandable misconception.

What exactly qualifies an animal to be a pet? Sure we have cats and dogs, and the odd Chihuahua, but is that it? Apparently when I was 6 years old, my parents gifted me a parrot. I ignored that bird so much, that out of sheer desperation it took to daily working on the bars of its cage with its beak, until finally, in true “Great Escape” style, it literally flew the coop one evening when no one was watching. I didn’t miss it at all – it was a bird that kept squawking, how could I miss it?! I also know a person that kept snakes as pets. And I don’t mean in cages, I mean me-casa-es-su-casa-slither-all-over-the-place pets.

When I was in India this time, someone I knew was planning on gifting a golden retriever puppy to his girlfriend for her birthday. Till the big day though, he was going to keep the pup at our place. She was only 6 weeks old, and she was the most hyper-active thing I’ve ever seen! She’d run around like mad for about 45 minutes, then suddenly stop dead in her tracks, pause for a second, and collapse in sleep. However, the poop that was appearing everywhere prevented me from really considering her more than an over-done birthday present (seriously, gifting a puppy to a girlfriend is the equivalent of giving her the keys to your apartment - and that can lead to this!). Either way, that all changed one night when she woke me up at around 3am. She was crying and yelping and as much as I tried to ignore it I couldn’t go back to sleep. So I trudged to the hall blindly, and I soon as she saw me she came running, barked a bit, ran around me, and promptly flopped on my feet. Before my sleep-numbed brain could process anything, she had passed out.

So there I stood, for about ten to fifteen minutes while this ball of fur slept peacefully on my feet, and – believe it or not – my heart melted.

Perhaps that’s why we have pets. Many of us can attest to the fact that the world forces us to numb ourselves to almost all emotion, because today’s generation has been taught that the only way to get ahead and be successful is to be cold blooded and ruthless. And in such a world as this, perhaps it’s heartening for us to come back home to a ‘person’ that is unbiased, fair and honest. Perhaps, just once in a while, it’s alright for our hearts to ‘melt’.

HOWEVER – fish are by far the most ludicrous and bizarre ‘pets’ a person can have. By far. Fish are for fish fry, nothing else.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Of Hair, Retards And Random Things

'Tis the season to be jolly, and how can you not when you bump into the kind of people that I do?

Today we went for a carol service conducted by - well, let's say it was a prominent girls school in Kandy. Two of the girls from our youth group were performing, so we thought we would go and check it out. As we walked up to the hall, I suddenly realised that I was probably going to be one of a very small amount of twenty-something men at the service; sure enough, my first look at the audience confirmed my hunch as the seats were filled with parents and teachers. Normally I have no issues being the sole male in a hall full of girls, but in a few days I am going to turn 24 - drawing the attention of 16year old girls is no longer a good thing.

While I was cursing myself for coming, my mom was collecting the programme sheet from the girls at the entrance. "Excuse me ma'am", one of them said, "would you be interested in purchasing these christmas cards? They're only Rs.25 and they've been designed by retards."

It took every ounce of self-control to prevent myself from bursting out in laughter. The fact that these girls were actually supporting said 'retards' by selling these cards while at the same time using the politically incorrect term was just too hilarious! I can imagine the girls turning up at the organisation's office with the proceeds from the card sales and saying "Here you go, we raised all this money for your retard kids! Oh, you're speechless with gratitude.. No need to thank us, we adore those little dumbasses...!"

The other day we had gone to Colombo for the day. As we did the rounds of our usual joints, i.e., Majestic City, Crescat e.t.c., I soon realised that I was going out of style. Well, let me rephrase - I was definitely not standing out in the crowd. And what a crowd! Every other guy seemed to be sporting some form of mohawk, ear-rings, coloured contacts and some killer kicks. I was especially taken with the hair cuts - the long straightened hair thing has been around for a while, and the weird half-pony tail thing is nothing new either, but a mohawk?! Seriously?? The amount of work that must go into just getting the thing into some semblance of order is just beyond me.

As for me, well, it's a well known fact that my hair is useless. It more or less does whatever it wants, yet is always centered around a single style that I've had since I was 14 years old. I've tried growing it, combing it down, spiking it, parting it, talking to it - nothing works. For example, the other day I realised the hair in front had suddenly decided to point left instead of point right like it's been doing all this while. Sometimes it decides to lie flat, sometimes it makes me look like Tintin; and no matter how much gel I apply on it, it won't budge.

So yes, I am a bit envious of these ultra-cool haircuts, because let's face it; we all like to be noticed once in a while at least. I could of course attempt to colour my hair, but I have a hunch that won't help my job hunt too much. I tell myself that I could never carry off a stud, but the truth is more along the lines of my deep rooted fear of sticking sharp objects into my body (so tattoo's are out - rats!).

Yes, the 'dark one' is going to be lurking in the shadows if/when he moves to Colombo, and that suits him just fine. The view is so much more fun from there anyway......

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weight Issues

And so I'm back. It feels good to sit in the familiar surroundings of my room, with my computer and my music playing, as opposed to the annoyance of sitting in dingy cyber cafes with their cramped cubicles, horrendous machines and nerve-frying Hindi music, which is what I've had to endure the last three weeks.

Of course, the last three weeks have been far from unpleasant. I had a total blast, right from day 1 of landing in Bangalore. Even though I had managed to keep the date of my arrival in India somewhat of a secret, I was pleasantly surprised to be bombarded with texts within an hour of landing at the airport. Good news travels fast. So does bad news though. Let's move on.

I'm not going to attempt to give a detailed report of my trip, instead let me just summarise by saying that it involved lots of quality time with my bro's, my sistah's, and a certain someone. As my time in India drew to a close, I looked back and couldn't believe that I had managed to squeeze in so much in such a short time; I felt as if I'd spent three months there and not three weeks. I have to disagree with Elton John here because 'goodbye' (and not 'sorry') is, in my opinion, one of the hardest words to say and one of the hardest acts to actually carry out.

As I boarded my flight for home in Bangalore, I was in a foul mood. First of all I was leaving behind some amazing people, some of them probably never to be seen again (well, for a long time anyway). Secondly I had slept only 4 hours after somehow managing to drag myself out of bed at 530am to make it to the airport in time. Thirdly, I had some drama before checking in my luggage. Yes, the airport never fails to provide some entertainment for me. Yay.

Usually when I return from India, I always end up carrying loads of food stuff, sweets and other Indian delicacies back home for the family. Hence even though I had gone with just the bare minimum amount of clothing (DeeCee, control yourself) my bags were loaded!

So I toss my bag onto the weighing thingy at the check-in counter and hand over my passport and ticket. The man looks at the scales, frowns, and looks back at me. "You have excess luggage" he says. I look at the scales myself. Sure enough, there it was in bright red on the display - 26kgs. "You are only allowed 20kgs on this flight, sir. I will have to charge you for 6 kgs excess weight". Now I've been travelling for years, and I know the drill. Sure, 20kgs is the limit but usually they're flexible and let me through as long as it's below 30kgs. Just my luck to run into Mr. By-The-Books.

So he asks me to put some of my luggage into the hand luggage bag to reduce the weight, and I say I doubt I can manage that because there's food items in that bag. Suddenly his eyebrows shot up, and he says "Sir! You cannot carry food items on the plane!" I explained that it was just chips and nothing bottled e.t.c., but he was adamant. "Sir, NO FOOD!". Now, my mom loves me. She does. But if I turned up at my doorstep with only myself and my clothes, she would have burned me alive. No, correction; she would have set me on fire, and just before I passed into the light she would have put the fire out and then sent me on a plane back to India to get her stuff. And THEN she would have burned me alive.

So I take my bags back to the seating area and start repacking my bags. I tried stuffing the food items in the check-in luggage bag but most of it would have got destroyed, so it was hard to manage. In the end, after close to 20 minutes of packing and repacking, I took my bags back to the counter. Before I went to the man though, I asked two airport officials about this 'no food in the hand luggage' nonsense and both said that there was absolutely no problem taking the stuff on the plane. Needless to say, I was simmering inside as I dropped my bag onto the scales again. We both look at the numbers - 23kgs.

"I'm going to have to charge you for 3kgs sir"

I looked back at him. I thought about beating him to death on top of his precious scales with the 5kg aata flour bag I had in my luggage.

"You have GOT to be kidding me", I said. "You're going to charge me for 3kgs?!?"

He then gave this long defensive speech about how it wasn't his fault, and that he personally WANTED me to get on the plane, but 'rules are rules' and yada yada yada...

"Look, are you going to let me through or not??" I started flexing my right hand and prepared myself to rip through my bag for the flour bag. Somehow he must have sensed this and he agreed to allow me through this time, as long as 'next time' I was more 'careful' because I won't be this lucky again. I wanted to tell him the same thing.

But that wasn't all. Just to make things worse, after emigration stamped my passport the security went through my hand luggage and called me to a side. "What's this?" the man asked me. I looked inside.

Rats. I had forgotten about that. My friends had gifted me an expensive Ferrari Black perfume for my upcoming birthday just before I left, and in my haste I had forgotten to pack it into my other bag.

"Perfume, sir" I said. (Weak smile)

"Is it more than 100ml?", he asks.

I turn it over and say a silent prayer. It hits the ceiling and comes right back.

"125ml, sir" I say (weaker smile).

"Sorry, can't allow".

So long story short, I had to run all the way back to the check-in counter, plead with the guys there, and then allow them to check in my precious hand luggage with the perfume inside. I watched the bag go on the conveyor belt and just prayed that by some miracle the chips and biscuits inside survived the trip.

So finally, I got on the plane. I sent messages to my friends, and sat back in my seat to sulk. But that wasn't the end of it. I glanced up and looked into the business class section of the plane. There, squeezed into a seat, was one of the largest and most obese men I have ever seen. The fact that he managed to fit in just one seat was a testament to the luxurious comfort that business class seats could provide to the more average sized individual.

And to think they were going to charge me for 3kgs of excess weight! Who's paying for his excess weight?!?!?!

Life is so unfair.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

What Women Want

When in a relationship, there are certain expectations from both parties. It's like skin and a Pussycat Doll's video - it just comes with the territory. We can pretend that there isn't ("no, I like them because of their music and their dance moves") but let's face it, there always is. One of the expectations for the male individual in the relationship is to shower, nay, bombard the female counterpart with compliments.

I'm not quite sure how it works for gays - but let's not go there.

We try to ignore it and make do without it. Men are simple creatures, and we generally say what's on our mind because we don't have the brain power to process it and analyse it like the women do. So instead of forcing a compliment, we try to be 'honest' and only say nice things when we actually feel it. Then we get dumped.

So after a few painful lessons, we eventually learn. Compliments. That's the way to go. So we turn up all fresh and clean for our dinner date, pick her up, smile and say as sincerely as we possibly can - "You look fabulous tonight".

She turns, looks at you, and in your mind's eye you can see all sorts of very 'nice' things happening for the rest of the evening. Why didn't you think of this earlier?!

But instead, she says "Really? Oh no I don't. I just threw this together. It's actually my friend's top. And it makes me look skinny. I don't like it."


"Err, but it still looks very nice you know"

"Oh you should see the top she borrowed from me! That's so sexy! I can't believe she hasn't returned it! She's such a bitch!"

"Err. Yes. Err. Hmmm."

Women want compliments. They LOVE compliments. They NEED compliments. So why can't they take one when we give them?!

I remember when I first starting dating my ex. She was a looker, I'll tell you that much, and I would always tell her that. But no matter how hard I tried, I could never get one to stick. The words "Thank you" were apparently not in her vocabulary, instead there were a dozen reasons why she WASN'T beautiful and why she DIDN'T have nice hair etc etc.

The next time I heard another excuse about why her nose was just a bit too big I gave it to her straight - "I think the words you're looking for are 'Thank you' ". She stopped and stared at me, and for a second I thought I was a dead man. Then she laughed. I had won.

This phenomena isn't just restricted to relationships however. Women struggle to accept compliments in general. Try telling a friend she looks nice and she'll either think you're hitting on her or she'll think you're making fun of her.

Or is it just me? Maybe women do accept compliments if it comes from the right guy. If nerdy-goody-two-shoes-still-living-in-the-80's-and-thinks-Michael-Jackson-is-cool dude tells a girl she looks hot, she'd probably faint and die from the shame. If the stud from the office swings by all uber-cool like and says "Babe, you look AWESOME today!", winks and swings away, she'd probably speed dial everyone of her gal pals and shriek the good news, (if only to make them jealous).

Bottom line: to all the men - keep throwing them compliments out there. If you're better looking and 'cooler' than me, perhaps you'll get some to stick.

To all the women - give me a break.

Thank you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Dark One Is Dead (Not)

Greeting from the Darkside.

It has been an interesting week for me, and there is so much I want to blog about, but it's been hard to find time to come online for long enough to blog about it.

Let's just say that there will probably be an avalanche of posts as soon as I get back home.

But I definitely don't want to go home. I've been more active in the last two weeks than I have in the last 6 months at home. How much do I suck?

Anyways, this is just a short note to say I'm doing well, and that I hope all my readers are doing well too.



Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Apparently I have been tagged. Well, I didn't know this until I read DeeCee's and the Whackster's blogs. Aren't you supposed to leave a comment on their site if you tag someone?

Fools. But I forgive you, it gives me something to blog about without having to think much.

Alright here goes.

Have I ever.......?

  • been hit on by a guy?
  • contemplated growing my hair until I realised that it was totally Bollywood to do so and nothing on earth would induce me to become Bollywood?
  • been in a car accident? Twice?
  • sung in front of an open air audience of 4000 people - dressed as a shepherd?!
  • missed a flight - twice?! In the same day?!
  • walked a girl home in the rain after dinner and not been accused of being too corny?
  • wanted to be somebody else? Someone taller perhaps?
  • stolen cash from the parents? (It was an emergency!)
  • stolen cash from the brother? (That was just for fun)
  • gotten into a fist fight with a guy that was made out of stone?
  • accidentally bump into dad's antique Hillman car with the van and still get away with it?
  • fallen for a girl at first sight?
  • been beaten up so bad on the court that I was seeing double for the entire 4th quarter? (Doesn't do your aim any benefits, I'll tell you that much)
  • thought about dropping out of college and changing my entire career path? (I was thinking Radio Jockey.. hmm..)
I know, rather lame but that's all I can come up with as of now.

On a completely unrelated note, apparently this blog has been classified as gender neutral, and the sex of the author is probably male (by an overwhelming 51% too).

Click here to see what I'm talking about. As expected, technology has let us down. Because the 'dark one' is all man, baby. All man.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Check Check Check!

First of all, let me just say, the Darkside has reached India safely.

Secondly, what the hell?!

I've blogged about airport and other security before, but this just struck me as weird and I had to put it out there.

We know that air travel has become the most security filled exercise in the average person's life. The fact that you have to be there 3 hours before you have to fly is testament to that fact. Let's be honest, very few airports in the South East Asian subcontinent can boast of an airport that requires a 3 hour trek to get from one end to another. No, the time for check in is because of all the security checking, bag checking, ID checking, passport checking, visa checking, belt checking, drug checking, gender testing procedures that need to be done before allowing someone to get onto a plane.

But honestly, thanks to Osama's boys, I totally understand the paranoia. So I'm not going to complain so much about all the security and "oh-this-is-liquid-we-can't-allow-it-in-case-it-self-ignites-and-explodes" bull.

What I don't understand is, after putting us through all this nonsense, why do we have to be checked again after we land?!

Here I am, landing in the rather funky new Bangalore airport. Oh, I'm sorry, it's Bengaluru or something now - Bangalore was too colonial (talk about insecurity). Just when I think that they've outdone even our prized Colombo airport, I find a big line for the x-ray. Are you kidding me?? I need to be checked before I get OFF the plane as well?? Let's get this straight - in the minds of the Indian aiport officials, the terror suspects (me) are so devious and smart that they have somehow evaded all the security measures in the Colombo airport, snuck their lethal weapons (mp3 player) onto the plane, and then in yet another move of utter brilliance, decided to NOT blow the plane up/take plane hostage/set random people on fire, but rather sneak the device (mp3 player) OFF the plane as well!

And so, they set up the x-ray machine again. To catch me. If I was that dumb, then I should be arrested.

This reminds me off the time we went to Sweden. We went through the usual channels of security, and just before boarding the flight, we were confronted with a big white man. After a few seconds I noticed there was a little black man standing next to him, but he was almost invisible - such was the enormity (and whiteness) of his companion.

Just when I thought they were going to wish us a pleasant flight, they ask for my passport. Again?! Haven't we already done this?? But no, they were insistent. So we give our passports, and the little black man opens it to the visa page, and takes out a little magnifying glass and inspects the seal around our visa. After a few minutes scrutiny, he shows it to the abominable snowman, who grunts and allows us to pass.

Again, I am amazed. Instead of checking our visas at the emigration counter, they wait for us to get through all the other formalities, buy our duty free presents, remove our shoes and belts and nipple rings, and only THEN do they decide to check if our visa is legitimate or forged.

Someone explain this to me. Please. Anybody?

Next time I'm just taking the ferry.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Wish I were with you, I couldn't stay

Every direction leads me away

Pray for tomorrow, but for today

All I want is to be home


People I've loved, I have no regrets

Some I remember, some I forget

Some of them living, some of them dead

All I want is to be home


In my short stint as a blog writer, I've rarely come across a mental block as bad as what I've been going through now. I've typed and deleted 4 draft posts in the last 24 hours alone! It's not really a case of not having anything to say, it's more like not knowing how to say it.

As usual when I'm confronted with this, I turn to music. And, more often than not, either the Foo Fighters or Incubus come to my rescue. In this case it's Dave Grohl's boys and their track "Home" from the latest album "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace" (love that album name for some reason).

It's been said that home is where the heart is. Somehow that doesn't really help much, especially in my situation, because I don't really know where my heart is. The last 6 months or so have been interesting to say the least. I'm not the type of person to open out to just anyone, and so I have kept most of my personal musings to myself instead of exposing them on this blog.

This is a bit different though. In a few days I will be heading back to India, back to my college campus. I need to get some paper work done with regards to my degree, and if you know how things work in the Indian subcontinent, you'll know that the saying "If you want something done right you got to do it yourself" is not just apt, it's something of a motto for life. However, I'm not complaining. To me it's a golden oppurtunity to get in touch with some old friends and, most important, I get to finally spend time with real people instead of in front of my computer screen! (I know, how sad do I sound huh?)

Despite living at home the last 6 months, I've always felt something was wrong. Make no mistake, I love my mad family. I don't agree with them on everything, we have our fights and little hang ups, but hey that's what family is (or so I'm told). Despite how much I enjoyed the home cooked food and the freedom to flop in front of the TV whenever I feel like, the price I had to pay was that of being cut off from real people. I didn't have that many friends in school, and the few I did have are all out of the country, leaving the 'dark one' pretty much alone in Kandy. Of all places.

So my life has consisted mainly of jogging, gyming, listening to music and blogging. Sure the odd interview here, the odd trip to Colombo there, but all in all it hasn't been the most productive period in my life. The fact that i have still managed to spew out some 30 posts in this time is a testament to my ability to talk utter nonsense irrespective of the surroundings.

I have been looking forward to this trip for a while now. I know that this will probably be the last time I see them for a long time. In that respect, three weeks seems much too short a stay, but that is out of my hands. If anything, I've learnt over the last few months that when you get the oppurtunity to be happy, that you should hold onto it and appreciate it as much as you can, while you can - and that is exactly what I plan on doing.

Bottom line: Despite being at home for 6 months, I feel like I'm only going 'home' now. These people were almost like family to me during my stay in college. I have a fantastic array of anecdotes to tell involving them, and most importantly, they respect me for who I am. It's not often that people can boast of friends like that, and I realise how blessed I am.

Of course, there may be a beautiful girl with a gorgeous smile waiting for me there too. But I digress...

So Darkside Daily will be on hold for a few weeks. It seems to be terrible timing with regards to the blog, because my hit counter has been telling my very nice things regarding the increasing average hits per day. Still, I may get a chance to blog from there, so keep your 'darkside glasses' on.

Peace, take care, stay safe and remember to spread the darkness.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

I Don't Speak Internet-ish

After years of text messaging, missed calling, emailing, forwarding, chatting, nudging, buzzing and smiley kissing (and that's all you'll hear about THAT), I have come to the painfully obvious conclusion that I am terrible at all of them. Well, perhaps terrible is not the right word. I'm not like one of those old ladies you see in church who, on hearing a cell phone ring during the service, stare accusingly at everyone around them for a good ten minutes before realising that the ringing is coming from their own handbag.

However, this age of digital communication annoys me. I love it, and I hate it. Being able to talk to someone halfway across the world is a great thing. Reading a text message filled with Dan Brown style code from your friend in the next room is not so great. Yet I am no technological dinosaur, I am quite adept at all the above mentioned arts. I've even developed the uncanny ability to type in the dark; this being the result of many clandestine late night online rendezvous.

But I stumbled onto a problem. Let's be honest, even though we have taken text messaging, emoticons and smileys to dizzying heights over the last 5 to 10 years, not every emotion can be represented by a key stroke. For example, there is no way to really effectively convey sarcasm through text conversations.

And sarcasm is my bread and butter!

Many times my friends have been offended by something I've typed, mainly because the only way to show them I'm being sarcastic is to actually type out "I'm being sarcastic", and let's face it - that pretty much defeats the purpose of being sarcastic.

Another problem with text conversations - we never speak the way we type. Have you ever noticed that having an online conversation with someone can 'sound' completely different from a real conversation with the person? I once was introduced to a friend but only got to spend a little time with her. However, I added her on Yahoo and we started to talk. Lo and behold, the rather mature and intelligent girl that I had met just a few weeks before had disappeared behind a stream of LOL's and hahahahahaha's and ROFL's! All I had to say was "Oh hello there!" and she would burst out in laughter and grins! Seriously, I'm not THAT funny!

In a world where Internet love is now considered to be possible and marriage proposals are made via web cam, I find myself becoming an increasingly outnumbered sceptic of it all. I for one only type "hahaha" when I'm actually laughing (or at least chuckling!). I send a grin across only when I'm actually grinning. This too has got me in endless trouble, because whenever my girlfriend starts complaining about something, I end up sending back a ':)' which is what I would do in real life, except of course it would be an 'understanding smile'. She however assumes that I find her problems funny and I am suddenly labelled insensitive. What am I supposed to do, type out "I am smiling write now with understanding at your predicament, and I am also slowly nodding my head whenever you finish typing a line to signal my agreement with your statements".

But this is my personal favourite. When someone is telling you a story, or complaining about something, you listen. I'm a good listener, if I do say so myself. I wait till they've completely vented, and I make sure that I don't interrupt and ruin their flow. Try doing that online though. After a few lines I suddenly get a "hello? are you there?!". Of course I'm here, where else would I be?? Then they continue, but they've lost their flow of thought, and now they're conscious that maybe they're boring me. Again, what do I do? Is it my fault that my well mannered silence is mistaken for a faulty Internet connection?! Ah I know - [this smiley indicates that I am listening to you with great attentiveness, while simultaneously holding your hand and saying "There, there.."].

Yes, I know there are web cams and voice chats etc, but in this day and age, asking a girl if she can switch on her web cam is the equivalent of asking her to perform a private strip show for you. I guess I'm just going to have to make some new short forms and smileys of my own.

:-y = snide sarcastic smile

\:-I = the "you are a dumbass" look

8-D = I'm looking at you, but I'm actually staring at your breasts

BE = [brain explodes]

KMN = [kill me now]

hAhAhA = [fake laughter]

I really miss you = [time to turn your web cam on]

Here's hoping these will catch on. In the meantime, I guess I'll just have to suffer.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Darkside Defending The Dudes

In my last post, I wrote about a few casual observations I had made about the blogosphere with regards to the use of the words 'rant', 'rave', 'rambling' and 'random'. One word I had forgotten to include in this list was the word 'conundrum'. The Oxford English dictionary defines the word as 'a confusing and difficult problem or question, or riddle'. And surely there is no bigger riddle in the blogosphere than the opposite sex. And God, of course. But I'll leave that topic for more skilled writers than me.

It is common knowledge that no one understands the opposite sex. Men can't understand women, women can't understand men. Or women, for that matter. See, I'm confused already.

So when a friend wrote a post about us men (great blog by the way, check it out here) I was expecting the usual nonsense about respecting them and listening to them and showing our 'feelings' etc. Well, that was there, plus some other juicy tit bits that was just begging me to write a reply to. So here goes, a point by point dissection, courtesy of the Darkside.

1. We always know when you scratch your balls, even when you are just thinking about it. Women are very intuitive that way.

This was a real shocker. All these years I had been surreptiously scratching my nads, safe in the knowledge that the women were completely ignorant of my stealth activities. "Ha!", I would think, "She thinks I'm looking for my keys, but oh.. that.. feels.. gooood..."

Err, no. If this is what women call being intuitive, then we're really screwed. All I can say is that naal, you have been hanging around the wrong men. Or maybe it's your men that have too much, err, hanging. Either way, this is just bizarre.

2. We always know when you are looking at us or analysing our fat bottoms (or the lack of it). Again, an example of our intuitiveness.

Since when did the 'bottom' area become a no fly zone? Better that we're analysing your fat bottom (or the lack of it) than the random chick that crosses our path (and believe me, she's got one), right ? You know you check our butts out too, so let's all just get along.

3. We don't always think about sex; you do (studies have proven it to be so). So, the next time we hold your arm or kiss you; that's it, that's all we want. Nothing more. Unless, we take it further.

Hmm? Oh sorry, I was thinking about.. err.. my homework.

What's that? You feel that I don't find you attractive because I haven't made a move on you, thus making you doubt yourself and question my feelings for you? But honey, I've been waiting for YOU to take it further! Isn't that what you want? What's that? You want a man with some balls? Hey I have balls okay!! I've been scratching them all night...

4. You don't always need to hold you stomach in or flex your arms when you see us. Its okay if you have a few imperfections. We like it that way.

Sure you do. The more imperfections the better, right? My beer belly and unusually dense body hair is of no consequence, because you look at the 'inner man' and not - honey? I'm over here. Yes, that's Michael Phelps. Yes, he DOES seem to have an eight-pack. Fancy that. Honey, please don't drool, we're in public...

We want to be attractive, we want you to think we're hot. Now THAT'S a problem too. Go date Homer Simpson then.

5. WE DON'T LIKE THE SMELL OF STALE SWEAT!! Buy a deodorant, will you!! And while you are buying one, have a shower too!

So, as long as it's fresh sweat, is that alright?

6. When we talk about our problems, we usually don't want you to give us suggestions on how to solve it. We just want you to hear us out. We are perfectly capable of solving our problems ourselves (unless asked otherwise).

Hello, we're men. We like to fix things, it's in our nature. Forgive us for trying to give you a perspective on your problems that isn't your own or from some dumbass women's magazine. You want to talk to something that doesn't speak back? Leave a voice message. Or better yet, go talk to my grandma. She's dead.

7. When we decorate the house with fluffy pillows and such, its not cause we are trying to feminise you. We have been surrounded by such stuff since we were born. We just like it that way

When we brazenly set fire to your fluffy pillows and such, it's not cause we feel threatened by your femininity. We have been brainwashed to loathe and despise such 'stuff' since we were born. We're just crazy that way.

8. Sometimes, we just like to hold hands.

Sometimes, we just want to hold the remote.

9. We do like to be treated like little princesses (well.. sometimes). At other times we want to be treated like equally competent adults. You better take those mind reading classes now!!

We did. Then we quit and went for Jessica Simpson's new movie. Totally more worth it.

10. We eat smaller portions than you (at least in public) and we don't appreciate it if you comment on that. If we wanted to hog, we would have gotten our (equally hog-like) best friends along and not you.

We're not asking you to hog, we're asking you to have a healthy meal with us. Do you really think we're trying to fatten you up?! Do you think we're demented?? We're paying for it anyway, so you might as well enjoy yourself.

11. We like men who can hold their drinks and not men who start grabbing and groping after a few sips of lager

We like women who can hold their men and not start griping for drinks after a few seconds of Tiesto.

12. Cant you, for once, see a girly movie?? I mean, does it always have to be the latest Arnold, Sylvester, Bruce Willis?? We like those movies too. But can't you come with us for a good 'ole romantic comedy and hold us and pat our shoulders while we bawl our hearts out?


13. Don't test our knowledge (latest Sly movie, exact distance between earth and mars and so on)and laugh/shake head/grin smugly/sigh if we cant answer the question. Do you know which is the next Meg Ryan movie?? No??? Then??

The reason we ask you about the latest Sly movie is because there IS no latest Sly movie. It's an easy-out question, just so that you can feel like we have a 'connection'. If you don't even know THAT, you are a dumbass. And if we cared about Meg Ryan movies, we would be dumbasses. Comprende?


14. Tip the bloody waiter!! The last thing we need to know is how effing miserly you are.

I just paid for dinner! And forgive me for not wanting to tip a waiter that's been staring at your fat ass the whole time. I tip for good service, not for him imagining what kind of 'service' he can get.

15. Let us pay half of the bill. Please, it would be our pleasure and I am sure it wouldn't hurt....right???

So if i don't tip, I'm miserly. But if I don't pay for your meal, it would bring you pleasure.

Excuse me while I go back to scratching my balls.

16. We love cooking, as long as you clean up afterwards.

We love eating, as long as you can cook.

17. Respect our parents. For that matter, respect your own while you are at it.

I got nothing.

18. If you let us keep our personal space, we will let you keep yours.

Which is why you're filling my place with stuffed animals and little pink fluffy pillows. You don't see us trying to put up our swimsuit calendar in your room do you?!

Though that's probably because nothing on this planet would induce us to part with it...

19. Whoever said the world was round was stark raving mad!! The world is flat, like a table and if you go too far away from us, you will fall off from the earth and float endlessly in space.

Errm, oookaay. Excuse me, I need to go do this, err, thing. Yeah, family thingy. No, no, you stay here. No, I INSIST! Oh sure, I'll definitely call you! Totally! (Psycho.....!)

20. And finally, a lady never rants or raves. She speaks her mind!!

[Speechless with disbelief]

You know that list of blogs I wrote about that all had the words 'rant' and 'rave' in the title? ALL WOMEN!

[Speechless again]

[Brain explodes]

I guess some riddles are best left unsolved. Cheers!

(Naal: yes, it really was a good post, but I had to put my spin on it! Welcome to the Darkside!)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rambling Rants, Raves and Reasons To Not Get Married

Good morning all! It's Monday - the day when all things in life return to routine and when all happy feelings of the weekend fade into oblivion faster than a Jessica Simpson single. After my usual cursory glance through the blogosphere, I make two completely unsurprising discoveries.

1. There are the usual rants, raves and ramblings regarding men, marriage and massages. Well, alright, massages I just threw in to make it rhyme.

2. The words 'rant', 'rave', 'random' and 'rambling' are the most common words in the Sri Lankan blogosphere. There are so many different combinations of these words in people's blog names, followed by some derivative of 'lunatic', 'nutter', 'hatter' or the such, that I start to wonder if I somehow didn't get a memo or something.

To rectify the second point, I have decided to rename this blog as - THE RANDOM DAILY DARKSIDE RAMBLINGS OF A RANTING RAVING RETARD!

Okay maybe not.

As for the first point, well, since we're all worried about marriage and finding our soul mates and meeting our prince and/or princess (depending on your preference - no judgement here!) I feel it necessary to share this little note I came across which may come in handy, especially if someone you know is heading down the dreaded road of martydom. Err, I mean, marriage, sorry.


(Courtesy Barney Stinson's blog - save the note on your comp if it isn't clear enough to read)

Friday, October 31, 2008

.....More Subtle Than Something Someone Contrives

There's something about the look in your eyes
Something I noticed when the light was just right
It reminded me twice that I was alive
And it reminded me that you're so worth the fight
My biggest fear will be the rescue of me
Strange how it turns out that way

Could you show me dear, something I've not seen
Something infinitely interesting
Could you show me dear, something I've not seen
Something infinitely interesting

There's something about the way that you move
I see you're mouth in slow motion when you sing
More subtle than something someone contrives
You're movements echo that I have seen the real thing
You're biggest fear will be the rescue of you
Strange how it turns out that way

Could you show me dear, something I've not seen
Something infinitely interesting
Could you show me dear, something I've not seen
Something infinitely interesting

~ 'Echo' by Incubus ~

This one's for you, sunshine ;)

31st May, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I'm exhausted. And I like it.

There is something personally gratifying to be completely and utterly physically exhausted. Despite how that may sound, I am definitely not masochistic; I assure you that the only 'rush' I experience out of cutting myself is the rush to the first aid cabinet.

When I was in college, I used to play basketball for at least two hours every day without fail. Somehow I'd drag myself back to my room (which, despite changing blocks several times during my studies, was never on the ground floor) and simply collapse on the floor. There I'd lie for at least 30 minutes, sitting under the fan, drenched in sweat, feet on fire and muscles burning from exertion. It was a good feeling; so good that many times I have considered just laying like that till morning (of course, I never did though; I may be a guy, but I have some sense of cleanliness - my room mate's continuous wailing helped too). I may never have been a great basketball player, but I have always considered myself an athlete. Being able to tell myself at the end of the day that I squeezed out every drop of effort (and perspiration) into the game left me with a feeling of achievement, which made the resulting body ache, exhaustion and occasional bruises, muscle pulls and rolled ankles completely worth it.

So after a few minutes of lying comatose on the floor, I'd gingerly pick myself up and have a nice hot bath. Yes, a hot bath; despite the fact that I lived in 32 degree heat, for there are few things on earth more soothing to aching muscles than a hot bath. That, and being pampered by your girlfriend over a late dinner after a nice hot bath .

Physical exhaustion and mental exhaustion are too very different things. Mental exhaustion leaves you feeling helpless, and incapable of handling anything more that comes your way. It is a state of desperation, occasionally depression, and has a much longer lasting effect on a person.

And, it is something that is so prevalent in today's world. Everywhere I look, everyone I meet, is exhausted from dealing with the stress and strife of today's modern life. We are told by our elders that it is necessary to go through this phase to become complete. What they're really telling us is "this is the real world, get used to it".

This is not a rant, I'm not complaining about the way life is, or how hard it is to get through it while still holding onto your sanity.

No. I'm just tired. Physically exhausted. And I figure, I should enjoy this while I can, because soon there won't be oppurtunity for me to run the floor, or to push myself to the limits during my evening runs, or working out in the gym. Soon, I'll be employed somewhere, most likely Colombo, and the only type of exhaustion I'll be experiencing will be the mental kind.

So, let me enjoy this. While I can.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dear Sabby (Ms Perfect)

You'll be glad to know that comments are now working again! Curse you, blogspot!



p.s. for those of you who have no idea what this is about, click here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Weather I'm Right, Weather I'm Wrong

As I type this post, the birds are chirping outside my window, the sky is blue, the bright sunshine is bouncing off the dew on the leaves and I'd readily believe I was dead and in heaven if it weren't for the sound of the lawnmower outside. However, just 24 hours ago, the view from this very same window was one of such gloom and darkness that had Noah experienced anything remotely close to this he wouldn't have had any trouble convincing people to jump on his ark.

The weather these days has had the temperament of a 16 year old girl on her first date ("Ok we can hold hands. No second base! OK fine a little second base. No! Let's go back to first! Ooh let's go all the way. No, don't TOUCH me! Ooh I love you...") Naturally, it's all because of global warming and the world coming to an end (or maybe it's that time of the month for Storm). But in spite of this, we still have dedicated 'professionals' that monitor the sky, cloud formations, wind speeds and millimetres of rainfall and attempt in some bizarre way to predict the weather for the next few days.

How does one become a weatherman? Seriously, how twisted and sad must your childhood be for you to want to dedicate your life to watching the sky and telling an uncaring world when it's going to rain? Imagine the strength of such a person’s convictions, as he/she bravely endures the criticism and mockery of his/her peers as they all go to law school, business school, medical school etc and he/she plods off in the direction of the meteorological school. I actually had to google that to see if there was such a thing!

It’s not like they do a good job, at least not the ones in Sri Lanka. When was the last time they got a prediction right? Wait, let me rephrase – when was the last time they made an actual prediction? Every weather forecast starts off the same way; “Scattered showers in the North, North Central, Uva, Central, Western, Southern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces”. That’s seven out of our nine provinces, and the strategic insertion of the word “scattered” means that it may or may not rain where you are. If it does, well, we told you so. If it doesn’t, well, it just got scattered somewhere else. How convenient.

Then there are the more sophisticated weather reports of CNN, BBC and the other major news networks. Here we have an intelligent looking individual with a green screen behind them and a little clicker in their hand. They smile and show us a map of the world, usually starting with Europe, and little cloud animations all over the place. If they think its going to rain, they show an animation with water drops falling. If they think it’s going to be sunny, they show an animation of the sun shining. Seriously, are we in 4th grade?! We get it, you moron!

Sometimes they show us little diagrams with lines on them, supposedly depicting hot and cold fronts that give rise to wind currents and all that jazz. They show us how over the next few days the front will move in a north-westerly direction, thus giving rise to strong winds during Tuesday and Wednesday blowing from – err – this direction to that direction. OK, so I look at their map, then get up off my sofa, point myself north and say “Ah! Tomorrow the wind will blow from the left to the right. I must make note of this when I step outside, in case I accidently point my umbrella in the wrong direction and become the black Mary friggin’ Poppins.”

While I’m sure many ‘international business men’ out there are heavily dependant on the weather updates as they jet between Tokyo and Hawaii on ‘business’, I fail to see how the weather report can become such a fundamentally important part of the world news. Of course, I can understand if there’s going to be a tornado in Florida (again) then it should be newsworthy, but other than that I just don’t get how anyone would want to know what the temperature in Cairo is today. Except the people in Cairo, and I doubt that they’re going to tune into the BBC to get a weather update on Egypt.

As I finish this post, the birds have stopped chirping, the sky has turned grey and the first few drops of the impending shower fall on the leaves outside my window. By some miracle, the weatherman has been proved correct. You got lucky this time, O dealer of ambiguity, but mark my words; one day you shall be exposed for the charlatan that you are.

The Dark One has spoken!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ten Things I Hate About Interviews

This morning I got a call for a job interview, however despite my fervent efforts to get a job, I was only mildly interested in getting the call; in the last 3 months I had been to many interviews, some good and some just, well, interesting! I have since come to the conclusion that interviews are terribly annoying, and people only put up with them because it's the only way to get hired. Though I cannot claim to be highly qualified in the art of appearing for an interview, I can rant about some of the bizarre questions and statements I've come across till now.

1. "So mister... err... Gay-haan. Tell me about yourself"

What is the point in this question? Is it not enough that I took the trouble to painstakingly put together my entire life on three sheets of paper, and now you want me to repeat it to you?? Didn't you read it in the first place?? It's not like my story is going to change - you're not going to find out about my secret addiction to cough syrup or something!

And its not GAYHAAN!!

2. "Oh you're from Kandy? Oh. So how are you going to manage that?"

Seriously, is it so hard to believe I could find accommodation in the great city of Colombo? Is it easier to believe that I'd spend 3 hours on a bus to get to work, and then spend 4 hours on the bus to get back home, sleep for 5 hours and do it again?! I'm desperate, but I'm not THAT desperate!

3. "You studied in India is it?"

No. Actually I studied in Azerbaijan, but my spell-check was a bit out-dated and changed it to India. So I just went with it. Dumbass.

4. "Do you speak English well?"

The question is, do YOU speak English well?? Cos I'm speaking it right now aren't I?! Judge for yourself!


5. "We are a large multinational corporation that deals with international clients on a daily basis, our head office is based in London and we are currently expanding our network to incorporate the Sri Lankan market. You will be given the prestigious job of handling interplanetary trade and will be required to communicate with the starship Enterprise...."

Translation: We are a tiny ass piece-o-crap company that does the dirty work for some UK dudes so whenever we answer the phone we need to have a British accent and say " 'Allo Guv'nor!".

6. "We encourage independent work and self-motivated people to expand our borders and reach out to more diverse clientele. You will receive incentives based on your performance."

This means that after they hire you, they're not going to be around to tell you what to do or how to do it. Instead, they will expect you to go running around like a headless chicken in an attempt to figure out what exactly your job IS and then when you fail miserably, they will have an excuse not to pay you.

7. "What does your father do?"

He is currently involved in a secret government project aimed at retrieving the carcasses of stray dogs and turning them into super soldiers that are capable of spitting balls of fire and pooping kryptonite. What does it matter what my father does?! If you're so interested why don't you call him for an interview too?? OK please don't.

8. "What kind of remuneration package are you expecting?"

Wait, so, you're asking ME how much money I want?? Well I'd like how much you're getting, but I doubt that's going to happen, so why not just tell me how much you're willing to offer instead of playing these little games??

9. "Oh, well, err, since it's just a trainee position, and you're inexperienced, we can offer [insert insultingly low salary figure here]"

WHAT?! But you said it was a 'prestigious job'! You're a 'multinational firm'! I'll be responsible for communicating with the 'Enterprise'.....!

10. "Ah. Well. Of course, but that all takes TIME, and first you will be given training in [insert unheard-of-and-most-likely-war-torn city name here]... "


Feel free to add to the list, if you've had any interesting interview incidents. I'll probably have to append this post once I finish with this new interview, though it would take a lot to surprise me now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where Are The Dark(side) Girls?!

What women want - it's one of those questions that, if left to rattle around in a man's head for too long, tend to cause time and sanity to bend and augment the space/time continuum for a brief moment. Well, they result in a slight headache at least.

After glancing through my usual list of blogs, I first notice that I'm terribly jobless and need to get buried in mindless employment as soon as possible. After jettisoning that thought from my mind, I then realised that most of the blogs I read are by women; to be exact, 11 out of the 16 blogs I've bookmarked. No good conclusion can come from that train of thought, so I threw that one overboard without a life jacket as well, so to speak. I then realised that most of these writers had written a post about their 'perfect' man, or at least certain qualities that said hypothetical fairy tale individual should possess.

As expected, some were straight forward and some were, well, unique. Of course, he has to be tall and be 'nice' and 'understand them' and not have a vagina. Then there is the 'able to sing/play instrument' which is doing the rounds nowadays. Then there were the more interesting points, such as 'having a nice accent' and 'know how to start a bbq fire'. Naturally, while men are busy with hair gel, cologne and nose tweezers, the women are fantasizing about the geographical origins of his accent. A perfect example of how we know nothing about the female species. As for the barbecue fire, I can only imagine that she's some kind of pyro or really digs the smell of well cooked meat. Hmmm.

While there's nothing wrong in listing out a set of requirements for the man of your hopelessly unrealistic dreams, it is a tad dull especially when considering the women's lists. Most of the time they're just so confusing and, well, LONG! Either the list is full of cliches, or the points just contradict the very fabric of being male. For example; they want us to be calm and soft spoken. We're men, we want to blow things up all the time. We watch "Rambo" and "Die Hard" for pete's sake! We're just itching to destroy the first dude that looks at our girl the wrong way, and let's face it, you like that too! But no, calm and soft spoken to the girl, crazy homicidal maniac with the creeps. The perfect man is apparently 'Two Face'.

Sure, maybe I'm being too general. Who am I to speak for the entire female nation? But I am however an expert on, well, me.

I'm not exactly well versed in the art of love - I've been lucky enough to somehow trick two girls to agree to be my girlfriend, and to be honest expecting more would be pushing it. But still, I have some level of experience, and that should count. As most women say, I don't require much, and, just like most women, I don't mean it. I have many things which I would want 'her' to possess, most of which probably won't make sense but I'm not in the mood to explain, so let's just get down to the big one.

And that is wisdom.

It is often said that trust and love is the most important foundation for a relationship, and to a large extent I believe that. From my past two relationships, the bulk of the problems always originated from trust - either having too little of it or having too much of it. However, I like to think that if my girlfriend has a good head on her shoulders, that would enable me to be able to trust her so much more easily. The same goes for love, because love and respect are almost always intertwined, and hence being able to respect a girl would lead to being able to love her more.

(And that paragraph is the most amount of emo-mumbo-jumbo that you will see on this blog for a long, LONG time!)

Sure, I want her to be hot too! Who wouldn't? I'd like if she was attractive and humorous, a good conversationalist, at least a bit of a sports fan, and have a big heart. But honestly, the day I meet 'the one', I know that it won't be her fantastic legs that draw me to her, nor her magnetic attraction to my very strong shoulders.

No, it will be her sharp mind. The kind of mind that will be able to throw some of my darkside comments right back at me, along with her own version of my evil grin.

Ah, girl from the darkside - wherefore art thou already?!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Drive Safely? Drive Me Friggin' Crazy!

Driving in Sri Lanka is an experience. If you can drive here, you can drive anywhere.

I remember the day I started to learn how to drive. I had just turned 18, and I was home for one of my semester vacations. Dad was working, I went over to him with my face full of innocence and anticipation (this was much before I founded the darkside movement) and said, "Dadda, teach me to drive!"

He looked at me for a full three tenths of a second and said - "No."

Wait, this doesn't sound right.

Correction, this was NOT the day I started learning to drive. Obviously. That day came a few weeks later. My dad had driven me to the Kandy lake, where almost 75% of all driving instructors take their classes. We were waiting for Mr. Saheed - an aquaintance of Dad's who had been teaching for quite a while, and who also laid claim to the dubious honour of teaching my mother. I say 'dubious' because though he did ensure she got a license, my mom has stepped behind the wheel a total of one time since. I believe I was 10 or 11 years old, and most of the (short) journey involved my mom and dad screaming at each other and the phrases "You're making me more nervous!" and "That's not the brake pedal!" being repeated often.

Finally my instructor arrived. Now, I knew that most learner drivers start off on very low powered small cars, so that they can learn the basics well and not end up pulling unintentional 'donuts' on their first day. Yet even I was unprepared for the white Daihatsu micro-van that pulled up at the curb. It made a golf-cart look like a luxury sedan.

Dad and Mr. Saheed exchanged pleasantries, the latter staying inside the vehicle for some reason and chatting from the passenger window. I was told to get into the back seat while another student went for a round first.

Saheed seemed to be a decent instructor; he was pleasant and spoke well, and had an air of colonial time Englishman about him which most Kandyan's above the age of 50 seemed to possess. And he had a wooden leg. And he was blind in one eye (seriously, I couldn't make this stuff up!). Soon it was my turn, and I was asked to take the wheel.

As I sat down, I suddenly realised that I couldn't breathe and that there was a stabbing pain in my gut. I was momentarily in a state of panic (appendicitis? kidney stone? I'm too young to die!) until I realised it was the steering wheel. Saheed smiled and advised me to push the seat back, which I did, only to find that my knees now touched either side of the steering wheel and made me look like I was going to shoot a baby out from between my legs. Just when the rather tempting idea of attempting to drive with me knees passed through my head, Saheed told me to remove my shoes. I looked at him with a confused look on my face; did he think I was going to put grime on the pedals? Then he explained that it's easier to get a 'feel' for the clutch and the gas that way, than when I wear shoes. Sounded fair to me, but there was just one problem. I have size 11 shoes. Despite this being an apparent advantage among the ladies, it was extremely bothersome in my current situation as there was now next to no room for my feet with my shoes squeezed into the little space between the seat and the pedals. No way was I sending my Nike's into the backseat either; not only did I not trust the weird dude sitting behind me, but I didn't want them being thrown all over the place while I drove.

And so it was for about three weeks; me squeezing my average sized frame into a clown car and driving around the lake at a tame 40kmph, with Mr. Saheed rambling on about life and politics and his stint as a taxi driver in Germany during the 60's ("Good money puttha! And these dirty foreigners, when they get drunk no? They don't know how much money they're giving you! Stupid buggers.. hahaha slow down puttha, this is not a race."). I did nothing of any difficulty whatsoever; the hardest thing I had to do was reverse into a lane that was so wide the Titanic could have backed into it without problem. The closest I got to an accident was when this new girl was driving. She had a terribly annoying habit of stomping on the brake pedal like her life depended on it, even when we were travelling at a breakneck 7kmph on an empty road. The first time she did this we were going at a considerable pace (maybe 20kmph) and suddenly I found myself being hurtled into the back of the passenger seat. This happened a few hundred times, until finally the entire backseat got dislodged as well. Getting down from the van was a relief; solid ground never felt so good.

I didn't have to worry about my driver's test though; it was a complete joke. I drove in a straight line for about ten minutes and the tester stopped me and congratulated me on passing. Sri Lanka must have the lowest standards for driving, as is evident whenever you drive on our streets. People trying to overtake on the left, short shifting, braking too early, sticking to 2nd gear and revving the engine to pieces - nothing is surprising anymore.

But if you can survive driving on our roads for a few years - there is no brighter accolade than that! The razor sharp insticts required, the foresight to know when someone is going to cut you off, the mental toughness to control road rage, the ruthlessness required to merge onto the main road (here the 'Give Way' idealogy is replaced with the 'Get Out of My Way' principle) means that any driver that has survived on our roads for a certain number of years should be nominated for the Medal of Honor.

So to all you Lankan driver's out there - I salute you! Now get outta my way, you #$#*$#...!!?!?!

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