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.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Leave Of Absence

As you can tell from my last post, I have kind of sunk into a little pit of self-pity and remorse, for which I am extremely embarrassed.

Surprisingly though, it provides 'poetic' leanings, but that's another post altogether!

Rather than spew any more of my drama into the already dramatic blogosphere, I'm going to take some time out from blogging.

No, I'm not going to delete this, and I doubt I'll be gone long! I've come to love writing - it makes me feel like I'm doing something productive. Some people say that I've actually made them 'think', which completely blows my mind, since I rarely am able to do that for myself.

Either way, it won't be long before I'm back to my old self, and hopefully I won't have to try so hard to be witty then.

Yes it's hard work. For me.

Cheers! And here's hoping that kottu doesn't crash and burn while I'm gone.

Much love


Sunday, April 26, 2009


I hate you.

I really do. Loathe, even.

You disgust me.

I am sick of your fake smiles, and easy disposition.

Because I know who you really are. Yes, I do. I see right through you, and it disgusts me.

I see the selfish cretin that hides beneath your skin. Your hypocrisy sickens me, and I am surprised that I am the only one who can smell the stench of the decay that emanates from you.

You are a liar. You are a cheater. You are a phony.

I have never wanted to hurt someone so bad.

I want to break you down, tear down your foundations and bring you to your knees. I want to expose you, you fraud.

I want to hurt you, just like you have hurt everyone around you. I want to scar you the way you have carelessly scarred the people you supposedly care for.

And more than anything...

I want you to stop.

Stop staring back at me.

When I look in the mirror.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

All Heart, All Heart

You probably know by now that I am a bit of a sports junkie (hence the little NBA Playoffs Widget on the sidebar). Cricket, Formula1, Tennis - love them all, but nothing gets my blood pumping like basketball.

The thing about team sports, or any sport for that matter, is that it isn't just about winning or losing. As cliche as it may sound, it is about how you play the game. It would take the combined descriptive powers of Tom Clancy and Dan Brown to illustrate the sheer raw electricity of playing with a good team. "Well oiled machine", another cliche, comes to mind.

While teen movies potray the high school jock as a bit of a brain dead attention seeking neanderthal, I applaud kids that take part in sports. It would be impossible to find a more effective platform to teach the essentials of life.

How to work towards a goal.
How to make sacrifices.
How to work with others.
Communication skills.
How to think on the fly.
How to work according to a plan.
How to handle defeat.
How to handle victory.
How to trust your team mates.
How to shoulder responsibility.

They just don't teach this stuff in class.

However, you could preach technique, strategy, defence and hard work till the cows came home, but if you don't have heart - well, none of that matters.

Two things came to mind while I was writing this. One was an article written about Pat Riley, a legendary coach that led the Lakers to four NBA championships, and cemented them as one of the most dominant teams in basketball. Many years down the line, close to retirement, he finally had his new team, the Miami Heat, into the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history.

Dwyane Wade and Gary Payton had gotten into it during an early round playoff game; someone taking the other’s shot. All of a sudden Pat Riley could see the 2006 postseason going the way of all his others since he had left the Showtime Lakers.

No matter how good, tough and disciplined he made the New York Knicks or these Miami Heat, they always fell short. What once seemed almost easy had become all but impossible.

He had fired his protégé in midseason and installed himself as coach again to make sure this opportunity, his last best chance at a title, wasn’t wasted. He couldn’t have petty stuff ruin it.

For all the fancy suits and slicked-back hair that he used to glamorize the coaching profession, Riley was still an old-school basketball soul out of working-class Schenectady, N.Y., and the University of Kentucky, the son of a minor-league baseball coach and a believer in every motivational ploy he could muster.

So right in the middle of the playoffs, he decided to have a big container built in the Heat locker room. The next game he pushed a wheel barrow full of little cards with pictures of the players’ families on one side and the motto “15 Strong” (as in 15 teammates) on the other. Each game, home and away, he’d bring out more cards to remind each player just what they were really playing for.

It was more than a bit trite, more than a bit hackneyed and it more than a bit worked. It worked so well, in fact, that here was Riley, standing over his pen in the final minutes before Game 6 of the NBA Finals against Dallas, his Heat just one game from a title.

All eyes on him in a silent locker room, he pulled out a set of rosary beads with five NBA championship rings hanging from it. Four were from his days coaching Magic Johnson’s Lakers. One was as a reserve player on Wilt Chamberlain’s.

With Shaq and D-Wade and Alonzo and the rest watching, Riley held the beads and rings up high and then threw them into the pen.

“I will give all five of those up to win this one,” he said.

The players, all those millionaires, went charging out the door like a high school team. Forty-eight minutes later, they returned as champions.

- By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo Sports

The other thing that came to mind was this scene from "Any Given Sunday".

So perhaps it IS just a game, and sometimes it IS just about winning and losing, but sometimes - just sometimes - it's all about heart.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You're All I Have

Most of the time when I set out to do a particular song, I end up coming away disappointed. But then there are the few times when I go in to play one song and end up playing something completely different.

It was suggested that I try doing a faster song, and so I set about messing around with some - Snow Patrol - of all bands. However, what was intended to be a fast song turned into a bit of an emo-ish version of it.

So here it is - "You're All I Have", one of the first Snow Patrol songs I ever heard actually. Original is here; a great song, though I hope you enjoy my take on it.

Click here to download the audio.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Internet Stalkers (repost*)

*I accidently published this post yesterday without completing it. Sorry for the confusion. Yes I can be a bit of a clutz too.

From the beginning of time, there is one fact that is undeniable and indisputable. Men are creeps.

Yes, it is fact! While women definitely have the ability to go loco once in a while, it's kind of similar to women that drive; they can get the hang of it if they try, but they're not bringing home any awards. The male species on the other hand boast of such timeless legends like Hannibal Lecter, Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson and the Zodiac Killer. And on the women's side? Ma Baker.

Yes, we men have a twisted nature that has been passed down from the days of Adam. While it is more pronounced in some, it still has the ability to rear its ugly head even in the most docile of men. As a result, our world has been slowly and irreversibly corrupted. Just take a look around you: we discover radioactivity, and we turn it into the nuclear bomb. We discover fossil fuels, and we create global warming. We invent the internet as a tool for communication, and instead we use 60% of it for porn.

Ah the internet - truly a spawn of the devil is it not? While we laud those special people that developed life changing applications such as Twitter and Youtube, the internet has provided a playground for an interesting breed of individual - the stalker.

The internet stalker is an interesting little creep, simply because in person he may look as much as a stalker as the Dalai Lama. Quiet, unassuming, reserved, polite - but let him loose on the internet and his inner stalker is revealed.

The beauty of the internet is the anonymity it provides. While many people pretend to be open and share their personal information such as real name, photos, location etc, they still hide behind a shroud of secrecy that is almost impenetrable to a fellow online persona. This is perfect for the internet stalker, simply because he can forge an entirely new and false aura about himself. The quiet unassuming person behind the keyboard is transformed into the internet bully that has the ability to shut people up and flirt brazenly with the womenfolk. Sadly, while most guys can see through a fraud of their own sex, the women fail to see this.

It usually starts the same way - the guy chooses his victim, and openly flirts with her in ways that he has only dreamt of doing in real life. Why shouldn't he; the anonymity of the net gives him the license to say whatever he wants without fear of repercussions. Then follows the name calling: yes, the 'doll face', 'baby', 'honey', 'lover' - all names that would never work if actually verbalised, but come off as 'confident' and 'endearing' when read in cyberspace. Emoticons go a long way in helping as well, as virtual hugs and squeezes, flying kisses and what not are hurled with reckless abandon. Once again, such behaviour on a first or second date would be immediately followed by pepper spray and a restraining order, but on the net, well - "awww!".

As time goes by, the girl genuinely believes she has met a confident, charming, charismatic and intelligent guy, and has no qualms whatsoever in sharing her email address, cell phone number and other intimate details. Little does she know that the confidence, charm and charisma are probably 'borrowed' from Grey's Anatomy's "McDreamy" while the intelligence is borrowed from Google. Oh, you thought he actually knew the story and dialogues from 'Mona Lisa Smile'? You poor thing.

But, like all deceptions, most of the time they get found out - sometimes through phone conversations or perhaps if they eventually decide to meet up. The charade rarely lasts long enough for there to be real cause for concern, but it is still an awkward situation in the best of scenarios and the girl is usually left wondering how she was duped by this 5'2" marshmallow of a man. However, it doesn't end there. No, now he has your full name, your email address, your cell number - and these days those are the magic numbers that open all doors to confidentiality. Spam emails, constant phone calls, and in some cases email hacking are all on the cards now, and if you think I'm exaggerating - this all happened to a friend of mine.

Cynical? Perhaps. Granted, not all men on the internet are like that. But the proportion of weirdos that troll the internet is pretty disturbing. At the heart of it all, sadly we live in a world where it is best to assume people are guilty until proven innocent. Because, given the opportunity, most men will succumb to the temptations of masquerading as an alter ego; the internet just makes it all so easy.

Bottom line? While we may find it more appealing to give people the benefit of the doubt, it is probably more beneficial if you do doubt. Just because someone showers you with love, attention and Facebook gifts ("So-and-so has gifted you a unicorn! Click here to send back a diamond encrusted statuette of a hunter clubbing a baby seal") doesn't mean you've by chance stumbled onto the nicest guy on the internet. Sadly, you may have just stumbled onto yet another faceless and shameless dumbass.

Friday, April 17, 2009

And Now My Lifesong Sings

One of the hardest principles in life is to live according to what you believe. It's almost impossible to stand up, even in a time where 'standing up' has become almost trendy. Latching onto other people's beliefs, on the other hand, is infinitely easier; and these days you need to be extremely alert to make sure that you don't do so unwittingly. You see, while we all rebel at the idea of conformism and 'peer pressure', most of us unwittingly succumb against our knowledge.

But in the end, we are all going to be held accountable for our own actions. Our decisions, our choices - they all reflect the kind of person we are, our character. We may feel we're saying all the right things and doing all the right things, mingling with all the right people and going to all the right events, but who are we really? Is that what really defines us? OR is it more the quality of life we live? Surely our individual stands and beliefs speak louder than our coerced choices.

Bottom line? Our lives speak out louder than our words and our actions with regards to the kind of person we are.

And mine is shambolic at best.

So here's a song that while I am singing, I am also hoping that I can live out.

Click here to download the song instead.

So let's ask ourselves - what does our 'lifesong' say about us?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pool Side Poetry/Philosophy... And Jet Skis!

After much whining and complaining on my part, the family finally decided to flee the confines of our home and spend two days in Beruwela, seeing as the entire country was going on vacation anyway. What better way to relax and unwind after a stressful and unproductive couple of months than to soak up some sun down south? Some water sports, a few hours in the pool, the soothing sounds of the ocean, fine cuisine and air conditioned comfort - the perfect environment to be enlightened and rejuvenated! What could possibly go wrong?

Lots apparently. Just before leaving home, I asked the parents what time we were planning on leaving. "530am should be okay", they say. What?? Who wakes up at that ungodly hour to go on a holiday?? Miraculously, I stumbled out of bed at the required time, despite having only 2 hours of sleep under my (belt?). Blindly carry bags to jeep, collapse in back seat, and we're off!

Five hours, one "Don & Sons" breakfast, one stop at Abans for a frying pan (don't ask, for the life of me I cannot understand the urgency to buy kitchen utensils on the way to the beach) and several complaints of "are we there yet??" later, we turned up at the Riverina. Now, this was one of those carefully planned out vacations, unlike the usual lets-just-pick-a-place-and-a-hotel-and-go trips that my family usually goes on. Apparently there was a special offer during the 'festive season' (though the last time I checked, that was December) and we were now entitled to free non-motorised water sports as well as a 20% discount on the motorised water sports, plus a free lunch before our departure.

After our complimentary fruit cocktail and an awkward moment when my dad politely declined their offer to wash his car (they'd have had better luck offering to paint his toe nails), we checked into our rather comfortable rooms and had a quick lunch. The plan was simple: relax all afternoon and evening either on the beach or at the pool, jet ski the next day. I for one was looking forward to the pool more than the water sports - yes, I just wanted to laze around, sue me.

So it was no surprise that it started to rain just as I was about to get into my trunks. And not just a passing shower - no, it was that special torrential downpour that hits only when you need the sun the most.

Much to my annoyance, we now had no option but to sit on our king sized beds and watch what had to be the worst movie in the history of mankind ("Black Sheep"). I use the word 'watch' rather loosely though: it was more stare-at-tv-turn-to-each-other-shake-head-in-disbelief. Yes, day 1 was in a washout in every sense of the word, the only saving grace being the Foosball and table tennis with the brother.

On to day 2, and it started - early - in the form of getting a wake up call from mom at 7am. This is just not what I associated with this supposed holiday, though by now I was getting rather good at blindly brushing my teeth and getting ready. Stumble out of room (again), stumble to breakfast (again), and thank the heavens for holding back the rain! Not one to tempt the man upstairs though, I made a run for my trunks as soon as breakfast was done, and me and the bro hit the beach.

Now, if you've been reading this blog for a while, you'd know that I have absolutely no affinity to the so-called 'poetic writing' that is so prevalent in the blogosphere. I just don't seem to get it. Still, here I was at a beach, and if others could find some form of spiritual or mental 'epiphany' while observing the waves, surely I could to! I tried my best to channel some form of beach-induced poetic-aura, but all i could get was something along these lines:

Oh waves
Rolling in and out
The ocean!
Oh how pretty
So pretty
Washing over my soul like
The ocean!
You are my secret
Swimming like a fish in
The ocean!
Salt in my wounds like sand in my shoes
(wait, that's a song by Dido. Dammit!)

Yes, as you can see, that didn't go too well. So instead I thought I'd try my hand at philosophical thinking.

Me [turning to floating head of brother]: Err...
Bro's Head: .... what?
Me: Oh did you see that coconut? In the water?
Bro: No.
Me: You know, a coconut could float in the ocean for hundreds of years before finally finding shore and then it would still, you know, like, work.
Bro: Shut up men..
Me: No, I'm serious, coco - [gets blindsided by wave]

After emerging spluttering and half choking from that little experiment, I decided to leave the clever thinking to those that have their thoughts more in order. Or have better companions.

The morning went by rather quickly, and soon we were on our way to the marina. In my mind's eye, I had pictured a proper 'marina' with power boats and yachts and people going diving and snorkeling and para-gliding and - well, you get the idea. So I was only slightly disappointed when we drove into a tiny cove that was about the size of a two car garage with a tiny single engine boat and a shack filled with life jackets that looked like they wouldn't save a flailing rodent, let alone a drowning man. At the hotel they told us to speak to the Captain and he'd tell us what was the best things to do etc. Well, the 'captain' turned out to be a sunburnt Lankan in a worn out diving suit with tinted waist length hair and an eyebrow ring. He looked more concerned with where his next joint was coming from rather than what to 'recommend' to us hapless 'sailors'.

"Jet Skis" I said firmly, and that was decided.

Half an hour later and I was thoroughly satisfied. I had been on quad bikes in Dubai, but this was a totally different experience altogether! Having 800cc's attached to your index would give anyone an adrenalin rush, and I definitely enjoyed myself.

Also, since certain people seemed to have a problem with me being headless all the time, I thought I'd post a proper picture.

And so ended our Beruwela vacation. All in all a rather 'fun' weekend, thought perhaps next time I should take the advice of my coastal counterparts and stick to the hills during the rainy season.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Come Back To Me

Right now I am hopefully sitting on the beach in Beruwela. However, I was a bit bummed out with the audio on my last video, so I decided to experiment on another song just before leaving home Thursday morning, and thanks to the post options of blogger, I can have this post magically appear on the blogosphere while I am soaking in the sun down south.

This is my current favourite song, and you can find the original here. It's from David Cook's debut album which is not bad for a first attempt, though it's definitely no D.A.U.G.H.T.R.Y..

This is called "Come Back To Me". Click here to download the song if you can't watch the video.

Come Back To Me

you say you gotta go and find yourself
you say that you're becoming someone else
don't recognize the face in the mirror
looking back at you

you say you're leavin
as you look away
i know theres really nothin left to say
just know i'm here
whenever you need me
i'll wait for you

so i'll let you go
i'll set you free
and when you see what you need to see
when you find you come back to me

take your time i wont go anywhere
picture you with the wind in your hair
i'll keep your things right where you left them
i'll be here for you

oh and i'll let you go
i'll set you free
and when you see what you need to see
when you find you come back to me

and i hope you find everything that you need
i'll be right here waiting to see
you find you come back to me

i can't get close if your not there
i can't get inside if theres no soul to bear
i can't fix you i can't save you
its something you have to do

so i'll let you go
i'll set you free
and when you see what you need to see
when you find you come back to me
come back to me
so i'll let you go
i'll set you free
and when you see what you need to see
when you find you come back to me

and i hope you find everything that you need
i'll be right here waiting to see
you find you come back to me

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wild World

Isn't it just?

Hope this version does justice to the song. I only realised what a classic it was when my mom heard me singing it and asked me why I started singing songs from the 70's! Yes, 'Wild World' goes back to the legendary Cat Stevens, only later to be made famous (or infamous) by Maxie Priest and Mr. Big.

This is also my 10th 'headless' post! I'm surprised at how what started off as just an attempt at mixing things up has become a segment of my blog that I am rather proud of. If you haven't seen the others, just click on the "Hear me sing" tab on the top of the page, or click here.

I hope you enjoy this little experiment, and have a fantastic Wednesday!



Click here to download the audio, if you get bored of watching my fingers...

nb: apparently my first blog post was exactly a year ago today...! And I didn't even realise. Dammit, now I have to wait till next year...

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Time To Heal

I've had a bit of a revelation.

It literally stopped me in my tracks.

It takes a lot to do that. Especially of late; I've been moving forward recklessly, oblivious to the surroundings, simply because everything around me has been crumbling to the ground.

I have had the worst three months ever. This year started with so much promise and then went steadily downhill, first dragging me and then subsequently my family along into the depths.

I went through a difficult breakup with someone whom I loved very much, a person who just 'fit' better than anyone has in the past and better than I had ever imagined possible. It's difficult to let go off someone simply because of the distance; it's even harder to let go of someone that doesn't want to let go of you either. These new wounds hurt deep, leaving scars that are ugly in their appearance and yet comforting in the familiarity and memories they induce.

My family went through a horrendous trial that threatened to tear it apart from the inside. It seemed the very walls of our home were falling in around our ears, as if the only way to cure the cancer was to kill the patient.

I cried out to the heavens and begged for help, for mercy, for something! And miraculously, just when all hope was lost, there was a breakthrough.

The family is at peace, for now. The Sun is still missing from my skies, but I have grown accustomed to the darkness that the shadows have brought, along with the icy coolness that permeates my skin and chills my veins due to the absence of the warming light.

I am a fighter. Always have been, not because of my own strength but because of Someone greater than me. I have been mauled so many times, failed so many times, and been struck by near-fatal blows so many times that I have become numb to the dull throbbing pain that forever resides beneath my skull. My only option was to keep going on, doggedly, because to slow down or stay still would be equivalent to admitting defeat, and I am NOT a quitter!

At least, I thought that was my only option. Until I heard a familiar still calm voice saying, "Gehan. Stop. It is time to heal."

I've been so busy 'fighting' that I've neglected to pause and 'heal'. I've had this image of a boxer in my head, continuously swinging at his opponent through the blurred vision of his swollen eyes, but I've forgotten that every boxer takes a break between rounds. You can't 'come out swinging' if you never go back to your corner and recuperate.

So this is me, dropping my gloves and stopping in my tracks. This is me picking up the pieces, and trying to put them back together. This is me attending to the scars and the wounds instead of ignoring them and adjusting my movements to the pain. This is me, finally submitting to the trainer upstairs, and allowing Him to administer His healing balms. This is me admitting that I am hurting, and knowing that by resting I will become stronger. This is me not trying to forge ahead in my weakened state. This is me, acknowledging that I can't fix everything. This is me, acknowledging that I can't fix anything until I fix myself.

This is me getting ready for the next round.

Do you need to 'heal'....?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools And Other Fools

What is the purpose of April Fools Day? Now, don't go rolling your eyes at me! Think about it: is it simply a day where we are all licensed to lie, cheat and swindle? Hardly sounds like something to celebrate, does it? And if it is an excuse to test your skills of 'foolery' out then is it really advisable to do so when everyone on the entire planet is expecting it? I am tempted to google the story behind April Fools Day but I'll leave that to my more research oriented readers to figure out.

I have hardly every pulled a really note-worthy prank on April 1st, though that's probably due to the reason that I generally pull one out when even I least expect it. However, I doubt I'll ever forget the 1st of April 2002. I was in the first year of college, and it so happened that one of our friend's birthday was the next day. Since it was exam season, we were compelled to put our books aside and put our minds to more practical use. By 1030pm, we had surreptitiously put all the clocks on the entire floor forward by one hour, and at 11pm we got the entire floor to turn up at his doorstep screaming "Happy Birthday!" (accompanied by the usual string of expletives). Needless to say, the boy was completely confused and totally unprepared for the traditional birthday thrashing that is so famous in our hostels. After a good half hour of kicks and bumps and what-not, we all shook hands with him and told him it was still April Fools Day, and that we were coming back in 30 minutes to repeat the whole ordeal again! The poor soul was dumbstruck with disbelief, and could only prepare himself for the encore by wearing 7 pairs of underwear. Yes, seven, and we know this because we counted while we removed them off of him. Don't ask.

In other news, the job hunt is in such a deplorable state I wouldn't be surprised if I was more successful searching for life on Mars. My little notebook in which I write down the posts for which I have applied sits on my bedside cupboard with an aura of mocking bemusement, as week after week I fill in another couple entries while noting the prior failed applications. However, I am not entirely to blame for my current state of unemployment.

Perusing the ads in the papers can be a rather enlightening experience if you analyse it. I have already mentioned earlier my confusion at the number of decent jobs available to school leavers and O/L pass students, but recently I have noticed another twist in the tale. Not only are companies looking for school leavers for all sorts of 'executive' positions, but now they want them to have work experience as well! How is someone 'between 18 and 22 years of age' supposed to have 'minimum of 3 years experience' in marketing, advertisement and/or management?? The same can be said for technical jobs. I doubt you'll find a single individual in the country that is under 25years of age and has '5 years experience in pipe laying and electrical conduit maintenance'! I thought joining university at 17 years was quite young, but apparently these days the average 17 year old has already completed his secondary and tertiary education along with CIMA and a 2 year course in nuclear physics!

Happy April Fools Day indeed - the jokes on me!

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