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.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

An Uneasy Christmas

Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, for very selfish and obvious reasons - holidays, and lots of presents (my birthday is a few days before Christmas). Yet, I am not alone when it comes to general euphoria regarding the month of December. There are an avalanche of Christmas parties, promotions, sales, events and decor. It's nigh impossible to not feel 'christmassy' - the feeling is almost literally shoved down your throat come December 1st.

However, this year I have felt rather uneasy about the festive season. The occasional Christmas tune on the radio only annoyed me, and the hopeless radio commercials with people going "Ho ho ho Santa says buy this ho ho ho!" made me want to remove my ear drums. The very dark Sri Lankan males in their very white Santa masks made me pity the poor children that would be on the receiving end of their attempts at being jolly. 

No, something was just off this year, and I couldn't put my finger on it. Whatever it was though, it has stayed with me till today, and as a result my Christmas morning is just another late, late night. 

My cousins from India are down for the holidays and they were commenting on how lavishly decorated Colombo was, and how surprised they were that a Buddhist country like ours would celebrate Christmas so enthusiastically. Yes, Colombo is all lit up, but as with almost everything in our nation's capital, it is more a cosmetic illusion than anything of real substance. Streets are lit up and shops are illuminated, simply because they know our buying masses are more likely to flock to the better lit store. Our hotels desperately put together manger scenes and reindeer, so that their paying foreign guests get just a taste of Christmas 'back home', despite choosing to be thousands of miles away. Pavements are filled with Cyprus branches, despite there being a ban on the selling of them, because everyone wants a Christmas tree in their home, just to decorate. Radio stations play awful versions of Christmas carols and hymns, label it the 'christmas song of the hour', followed by a brief message from a sponsor. It is all fairly nauseating.

Being a Christian, celebrating Christmas is pretty understandable, but I've always wondered why others do. At our carol programme at work, the Catholic priest's speech was followed by a short speech by a Buddhist priest who was invited too. My Sinhala is abysmal, unfortunately; I wish I knew what he said. I recently asked an non-Christian friend of mine and she jokingly told me that I couldn't keep Christmas to myself, and that we had to 'share' it. Is that what we're doing? Am I simply unwilling to 'share' this special holiday? My instinct is to say 'no', but it is a point to ponder.

So while I am still somewhat confused about the festivities this year, I can say that I am glad to be home for Christmas. I'm fairly boring that way; I feel that Christmas and New Year's need to be spent with family, and not with friends. I'm also glad that I'm not in Colombo, with its almost desperate attempt at being Western and cosmopolitan. I'm glad that the presents I wrapped today had real meaning, and were not simply out of necessity. I'm glad that while my Facebook feed is filling up with pictures of  'Christmas parties' with drunk guys and girls in 'slutty Santa/elf' outfits, I will be celebrating in a more sober, and yet (at least for me) more real way - with reflection, love, prayer and gratitude.

Of course, at the end of the day, I am no one to judge. To each his own, and to all, a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Twenty Minute Posting V: Christmas Edition

It's been a while since I've put up a Twenty Minute post. I haven't had much time on my hands for blogging of late, but somehow I felt like I need to just put my work aside for a while and write.

Yes, I'm blogging from work. Dear employer, please don't read this, and if you do - show some kindness, it's (almost) Christmas!

Just a few days left in the year, and even less days left at work. Despite liberally using my leave this year I've managed to save enough to use for the Christmas break. Looking forward to the family and the cousin's family coming down from India for the first time.

[got called away by boss; this may not have been a great idea.]

Two things; firstly, I hate saying 'no'.

Perhaps a shrink would be able to give me a nice reason for this, wrapped up in psychology and research. But for now, I am left with my own reasons. Now, I'm not talking about saying 'no' to people asking me ridiculous favours, or for help that I'm in no place to give e.t.c; I have no problem telling someone that 'hey, I'm sorry, but I can't help you with that.'.

Yet, there are always situations where I find myself longing dearly to say or do a certain thing, but letting my logical, pragmatic mind get the better of me and saying "sorry, it just wouldn't make sense to do that". See, just reading that line, do you not get a sense of detachment in it? But that's really not the case; my mind just works that way. I know people who do the most ridiculous things for family and love, even if it makes absolutely no practical sense at all. I tell them "Dude, you're insane, this is going to kill you!", but they rarely listen and that just annoys me.

Or maybe it's because I envy their ability to shut their logical thinking down, just for those situations that demand it. I must work on that.

Secondly; I wonder if it is simply because the year is drawing to a close that we feel a sense of weariness in December. At least I do; I always feel like December is the pinnacle of some mighty mountain that I have somehow scraped myself to the top of. This is not necessarily true, factually, but that is the mindset. This is probably why normally, I never start anything 'new' in December. Everything gets pushed back to 'after new year', even if this may not be practical.

Either way, most of my projects for work are all winding down, and it looks like it will be a good Christmas, God-willing. Plans have been made for some quality time with the people I love, interspersed by the few work commitments I still have remaining. So it looks like things are in place for new beginnings and new directions come January after all, keeping in time with the universe's schedule for events.

I feel like there's so much more I want to say, but my time is up.

Back to work.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

#16Days: Not My Father's Son

The moon is shockingly bright that night, adding an aura of surrealism to the scene. The soft bluish hue washes over the river banks, as a light breeze dances among the long blades of grass that grew there.

He is tall, still and silent, standing a few metres away from the rushing waters. The moonlight casts long shadows over his face, hiding his features, yet it was not hard to see the tension in his frame. He is bare chested, in a simple villager's garb, clutching a small bundle in his strong, muscular arms.

He lifts his head to the heavens, taking in the beauty of the night. The clouds are imposing in their blackness, fighting to conceal the radiance of the moon in some mystical battle of the skies. The faint breeze barely rustles the grass, yet it carries with it a deafening silence, filling his ears with nothing.

He nods, imperceptibly, to himself; yes, surely tonight is a magical night. Surely, tonight is special.

His thoughts are interrupted by the call of a nocturnal animal, and his gaze drifts over to the dim lights of his village in the distance. It is a good hours walk, but he was happy to make it. This place was special to him.

For it was here, that as a child he played with his friends, dashing among the river stones, diving into the waters to overpower and wrestle with the other boys, laughing and dancing under the watchful eyes of their fathers. It was here that he had grown accustomed to his father's approving gaze, whenever he raced to the banks first, or threw a pebble across the surface further, or when he swam the furthest without any hint of fatigue. He had come to love and even crave that glint in his father's eye, that showed that he was proud. It was intoxicating.

His father had been good to him. He had provided him with everything he could, and as a dutiful son he had helped bear his father's load; first in the home, and then with his work. He did it joyfully, knowing that this was the way it was done. This was how it was meant to be. Why else was he born, if not to take over from his father once he grew weak? It had been the way for generations. His father had told him as such, until the day he died.

Now, here he was, so many years later. He is no longer a boy, yet at this moment, he has never been more unsure of his manhood. He has been growing tired with every passing day, more so than usual. His wife's nightly duties no longer pleased him; in fact, she barely pleased him at all. There was no joy in work, no comfort at home.

How had his father done it, he wonders? But he knows the answer; his father had him. He had realised as such many months ago, and it was a sign from the heavens when his wife told him she was with child.

As soon as he had heard this news, he knew it was what he had been missing. Not a day went by when he did not dream of life after the child arrived. The joy he had once felt from his own father, he would now bestow on his child. A child of his own, to love and to care for, to teach and to mentor, until that child was old enough and strong enough to lift this burden off his shoulders.

He is brought back to the present suddenly, as the baby in his arms starts to cry. He looks down, and realises he has been holding it too tight while lost in his thoughts. He looks at the baby's face, round and full yet somehow glowing in the dim light. It continues to cry; a sign of weakness, he tells himself. This baby is nothing like him, despite what his foolish wife tells him. How dare she compare him to this, this crying, sobbing, twisting...

.. girl?

In a trance, he takes a step forward, and another, and another. His feet enter the water, and he presses on. The waters rush around his ankles, then his knees, and then his waist. The rushing stream is icy cold, and yet it cannot match the chill he feels inside of him. He looks back at the shore, a moment of indecision, and in the dim moonlight he sees his father, from many decades ago, seated on the rocks, watching him. Smiling at him, and nodding at him in approval; and in that moment, he makes up his mind.

He looks back at this baby one last time, this wretched baby girl that should have been his newborn prince. She is silent now, and her eyes suddenly lock onto his. He is transfixed, his gaze only broken as the clouds win their battle with the moon, engulfing the night in darkness.

Minutes go by before the moonlight finally breaks free again, its rays falling to the ground to find him standing in the water. Alone.

I'm not sure how well this post fits in with the others I've seen for the '16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence', but somehow I could not shake this scene from my head. I was inspired by many of the posts written already, especially this post by Dilly where she says "Violence (particularly against women) is sometimes un-physical, passive, and the signs aren't skin deep." I found that to be very true; often we think that violence entails pots and pans and beatings, and while those are widespread in themselves, we often overlook the simple things such as words, actions and attitudes.

In 1984, a study in Bombay found out that 7999 out of 8000 abortions performed after prenatal sex determination were girls. In another study, it was found that in Jaipur, capital of the state of Rajasthan, prenatal sex determination tests resulted in 3500 abortions of female foetuses annually. If you can't fathom that, try this: India as a whole loses half a million girls a year to prenatal sex selective abortion and infanticide.*

This is real. This is happening. As I wrote this post, I felt so completely helpless; hopefully, together through efforts like the the 16 Days of Activism, we can affect a change that we as individuals would be powerless to achieve.

*Sources from here and here.

Monday, November 14, 2011


What happens when love dies?

Does it simply evaporate like the morning mist, to be forgotten till it is seen again and no sooner? Or does it transform itself into another emotion with equal intensity; anger, depression, apathy? Some say that losing love is almost as powerful an emotion as being in love, and I would have to agree.

Here's a song that to me, is one of the most gut-wrenching, most powerful songs about love I've heard, and Eddie Vedder just sings it with such raw emotion. I've always wanted to sing this song live, but never had the opportunity to; it would sound beautiful with strings, don't you think?

It's been a while, but I hope you know the routine: click here to listen to the original, and click here to download the mp3. Don't forget to check out my youtube channel to see some other covers I've done (my cover of Rob Thomas' "Ever The Same" is about to become my 5th song with 3000+  views - mindblown!) (Hi Pseudorandom!).

I must admit I worked my ass off for this one; let me know what you think!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Brutal Truth

The following is a small excerpt from the last episode of "House", a show I absolutely love, not so much for the quality of the episodes (which are good) but for the amazing intricacies that Hugh Laurie has managed to extract from the character over a period of 7 and a half years.

The scene begins with the entire team discussing the latest turn of events regarding a patient who needs a liver transplant. Strangely, he feels he cannot accept a liver transplant unless he tells the potential donors the truth about him, and that is he was cheating on his wife when he was struck by this 'mystery illness'. Unfortunately, when he goes to confess to his friends, he tells them that he has cheated and stolen from each one of them as well, resulting in almost all his friends who lined up to donate, leaving.

Chase: Telling the truth may have just cost this guy his life.

Adams: I told him to confess that he cheated, not confess every sin he's ever committed.

Park: If everyone did that, we wouldn't find a donor for anyone.

Adams: Everybody doesn't lie, cheat and steal from their friends.

Chase: Yeah they do. Maybe not as much as this guy, but if people told nothing but the truth the world would probably burn down overnight.

Adams [shrugs]: Some people think it's burning now. Maybe if everybody didn't lie...

House [joins the table]: Oh that is just cute.

Adams: [confused]

House: I'm talking about your breasts. They always get perky when you're being painfully earnest. Truth. It's uncomfortable isn't it? More truth: I only noticed because Chase was staring at them. He'll never admit it because he doesn't want to offend you, same reason he'll never tell you he's thought about having sex with you. But to be fair, every man you've ever met has thought about having sex with you. They'll lie; probably because if you knew, you wouldn't want to have sex with them. And that's just some of the lies from the last minute...

And here's a bigger one: you already know this. But you pretend you don't because it makes you feel civilized.

Most people find it easier to ignore the truth.

Points to ponder?

This segment of "TV Show Therapy" is brought to you by this glorious long weekend.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Indie Ink Writing Challenge: Silence

While others were fearful of his words, it was his silence that terrified me.

Not the silence that Mom chose to adorn herself with whenever he was in one of his 'moods'; this silence was different.

No, my father is more imposing in his silence, and more demanding of respect. His silence means not just disapproval, but complete rejection.

My mistakes are not just errors in judgement to him, they are utter failures.

I am an only child, and as such there is no measuring stick to gauge his affection by. It is either mild annoyance or silent judgement. These are his favourite emotions.

I am 29 years old. I have a good job, good pay and a good life. I have never let anyone push me around, never let myself get taken for a ride, never let a man tell me what to do. I have fought tooth and nail to get to where I am, and while it is no lofty height, I know I am an influential and important woman in my own right.

Yet this old, balding, slightly obese man, with his clipped mustache and clipped conversation, is able to reduce me to dirt. All with a single dismissive wave of his hand, a nonchalant grunt in response to a statement I make, or a stony stare when he disagrees with me.


And yet, even in my head, he responds with a silent, emotionless stare, and it is in those moments I understand my mother's silence. Perhaps it is easier to simply accept his rebuke, than to do anything about it.

Sometimes only silence can answer silence.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Mare challenged me with "I hate that he tells me how much he thinks I'm worth and I really hate that I listen to him" and I challenged Kurt with "I want to thrive, not just survive".

Monday, November 7, 2011

Nice Guys Are Jerks, And You Didn't Even Notice

Most of you are familiar with the phrase "Nice guys finish last", just as you are probably familiar with every other romantic comedy that tries to modify this phrase to "Yes, nice guys finish last, but they also get the girl somehow". In fact, there's a good chance that you also think you are the 'nice guy'.

Sadly, no one spends much time on the fact that nice guys are jerks.

See, nice guys have been having it easy for ages, thanks in part to mainstream media and their victimisation of them. They're used to glowing recommendations, great testimonials and a sort of "rules are just guidelines" approach to pretty much everything. They're used to being liked, and they are used to getting their way, because no one likes to be mean to the nice guy. That would make you the bully, and nobody wants to be that person. No, no matter how 'badass' we pretend to be, we all tell ourselves that inside, we're really nice guys too, just like him. So we smile, and oblige, and we return his niceness with our own.

However, our 'humanity' has also given nice guys a sense of accidental entitlement and power. When you are constantly treated well and when favours are done for you without hesitation, it's only natural that these acts start to lose value in the eyes of the nice guys. Exceptions soon become the norm, and almost their right, and the nice guys are blissfully unaware of this because everyone is still being nice to them. A 'one-time' exception becomes an everyday rule, which leads to the nice guy getting preferential treatment, which naturally will lead to problems. For example, the nice guy asks you to do his coursework this 'one-time' because it's difficult, and then the next time too because he's not got it yet, and soon it's all the time because you never made a fuss about it.

Now don't get me wrong; the nice guys aren't using you. They don't have some agenda where they befriend people and trick them with their charm or innocence. No, nice guys are worse, because they do it unintentionally. In fact, every time you do this favour for him, he will thank you profusely for doing it. And he'll mean it too; after all, he's a nice guy. But by not challenging him, or trying to equal his 'niceness', we're in fact opening ourselves to being unintentionally exploited.

Another area nice guys aren't adept in is the handling of hostile situations. You see, over the years, they grow up without learning certain key aspects of life, especially when it comes to dealing with people. Nice guys aren't usually disliked, or even argued with, and that robs them of the ability to handle confrontation. Now, there are various ways in which these nice guys can react.

Some get hostile in return: "how dare these people act tough with me?? Can't they see I'm a nice guy??" 

This reaction usually goes down poorly with his peers, to say the least, mainly because they aren't used to seeing this side of the nice guy. While most of us are used to dealing with bullies and unreasonable idiots in our place of work or study, the nice guys are just incapable of handling the situation. The thick skin, the ability to let things slide; none of these exist for the nice guy, leaving him a frustrated and indignant individual who will rant and complain to anyone who will lend an ear.

Others get trampled on: "Oh me. Oh my. He was unspeakably rude to me. I must have deserved it, so I'll just sit and take this."

This is rather sad to see, because while we all go through situations where we need to bite our tongue and ride out the storm, the nice guys break down and beat themselves up about it, acting like they're the ones to blame for this situation, and generally being all mopey about it. It's not pretty.

So, what is the solution to this? I have no idea; I've just been observing the trends in my own circles over the last few years, and I'm quite certain the theory stands. So while this is by no means an attempt to paint the nice, upstanding, honest individuals out there as duplicitous, selfish and devious, perhaps the next time a 'nice guy' asks you for something, tell yourself you're doing him a favour by saying "No".

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Models & Music: Playing For The "En Vous" Fashion Show

Even though my 'headless videos' only make a rare appearance on the blog these days, I assure you that my piano playing ways remain intact. Which is why I was glad to be asked to sing at a friend's fashion show in Kandy a couple of weeks ago. She was looking for some acoustic-type live music to be played between sets while the models changed outfits, and I was more than willing to do it for her. So I worked out a few songs with my brother and a friend on guitar, and the results are below.

Thanks to A for recording the videos; unfortunately the sound isn't too great since the camera seems to have been right next to a speaker.

Kings of Leon - Use Somebody

Adele - Rolling In The Deep

Switchfoot - Always

As for the show itself, I must say it went really well. It was titled "En Vous", and featured some original designs by my friend for swimwear, casuals, evening and an especially nice linen collection. However it wasn't just the collection that was high class; the venue was extremely well done as well, with the runway being set up on the pool.

I know what you're thinking, and no; none of the models fell into the pool, despite how unsteady it seemed to be to walk on. Though come to think of it, how awesome would it have been having the models 'surface' from the pool itself wearing the swimwear collection? Perhaps a suggestion for another time.

All in all it was a grand success, and I was lucky enough to meet a few people who were interested in our 'services' for future events. I sincerely hope I handled those conversations well, despite not having a smooth enough reply for when people asked me for my card. Luckily Kandy is a small town, and when I mentioned my name, most people simply asked if I was my father's son, and after replying in the affirmative, they said they'd get in touch with him for my details. Perhaps I should make him my manager.

Either way, the Darkside is definitely in the market for more low-key sideshow musical attractions! If nothing else, it'll serve to be a welcome distraction from my mundane work life. Thank you all for the positive and constructive comments made on all my uploads, I probably wouldn't have had the nerve, nor would I have been heard of, to do stuff like this without them.

PS: I managed a sneak peak into the world of modelling at the show. Await a post on that soon..

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sleepless Nights, Restless Days

It's a warm night, and I had no trouble getting out of bed to dig out my laptop and type this. My attempts at sleep were futile anyway.

I have lately been filled with a sense of uneasiness and want. Work has not held my interest, and even though I have some big deadlines to meet there is a distinct lack of motivation. I've been here almost 2 years now, and even though I've learned a lot and come a long way in that time, I'm starting to feel extremely cramped.

Working outstation isn't easy, but I used to enjoy it. I had nothing to look forward to in Kandy except unlimited internet and Mom's cooking, yet I could survive without them for 5 days a week without trouble. Besides, I liked the seclusion, and the mystery almost of our workplace and its surroundings. There was never a shortage of entertainment; my co-workers were notorious 'party animals', though more in the 'drinking and singing' sense than the 'loud music and dancing' sense. Despite my perpetual sobriety, I proved to be a worthy companion (at least according to them), and I didn't mind watching my friends make idiots of themselves while repeatedly asking me to sing to them. Also, the constant supply of 'interns' and 'trainees' to our plant meant we always had new characters to show the ropes to, as well as entertain. It was a good time.

And yet now, things no longer hold the same appeal to me. I am constantly bored, uninterested in colleague's endeavors, disillusioned with my field of work and unoptimistic of my chances of progressing in this line. The seclusion I once found refreshing is now almost a suffocating, and the hours spent in the gym no longer seem like an appealing way to spend the evenings. 

I am bored, and strangely lonely. The loneliness is troubling, considering I have good people around me almost every day. I find myself looking for distractions while I'm alone, no longer relishing the freedom of having my time to myself. Waking up in the morning is a horrible process of opening my eyes and willing myself to roll out of bed to make it to work instead of calling in sick.

Dark days, and sleepless nights are upon me. But it's those sleepless nights that have always been the sign for change in my life. Like omens, the tossing and turning into the early hours of morning have always preceded great victories or accomplishments, or drastic change in my life. 

So as I toss and turn and wrestle my wandering mind at night, I pray for change, for victory, and for the next phase.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Every Conversation Begins With A Lie" | Indie Ink Writing Challenge

In the bar by ~onesummerago

"Hi, is this seat taken?"

He looked up from the menu he had be staring at the last 15 minutes, a little surprised to be shaken out of his daze.

"I'm sorry.. Yes. No, I mean.. I'm just.. it's free, yes."

The girl laughed, a small quick release, as if he had said the wittiest thing she'd heard all night. Given the state of the bar they were in though, and it's patrons, it may have been. The poor lighting made it difficult for him to accurately distinguish her features, but from what he could tell she was about his height, his age, a little over-dressed and definitely over-perfumed. Her dark hair was tied up in what may or may not have been a fashionable way - he never knew anything about these things.

She sat down gently, as if the booth's seat might let go at any minute, and stretched a well-ringed hand towards him.

"Hi, my name is Carla."

He took it, timidly, and replied; "You already said 'hi'."

"What's that?", she said, her face suddenly going blank.

"You.. you said 'hi', twice. I was just.. my name is John."

"Hi! Nice to meet you John!"

She continued smiling, waiting for him to continue the conversation. He declined.

"Where you from, John?", she blurted out, unperturbed.

"Around. Excuse me, but I'd like to be left alone. I'm waiting for my - I'm waiting for my wife.."

She laughed again, an elaborate gesture involving her entire upper body, that was still somehow devoid of real volume. It clashed completely with the stiff, staccato tone that John had just used.

"Oh c'mon, John, you're way too young to be married, surely! Besides, you've been waiting here a while, am-I-right?"

She smiled again. She smiled a lot.

"She's a little late, perhaps..", he offered weakly, glancing at his watch.

"No way, John, you're a bad liar." She suddenly leaned forward and took his hand before he could react. "Besides, no ring!".

She leaned back, looking pleased at her deductive skills. His silence simply confirmed her assumptions, and she smiled. Wider.

He sighed, a deep and tired sigh, and didn't respond.

"It's okay sweety, I understand. Some stranger sits in your booth with you, and you don't know what to think, right?", she said, in a patronizing tone.


She put her hands up and said, "Oh don't be! The world is a crazy place, I don't blame you. " More smiles, more gesticulating. He tried to go back to reading his menu.

"How about we start again? Hi! My name is Carla, I like a good time, and you're name is John, and you like being all blue and.. -"

"My wife died", he said suddenly, numbly.

The transformation was almost instantaneous. Carla suddenly became serious, the rest of her playful ramble snatched out of her lips. First he saw surprise, and then perhaps the flicker of deep sorrow and sympathy flit across her face.

"Oh gosh, I'm so sorry. I didn't know, I mean, I ..."

"It's okay. Car accident. Two months ago today."

This time there was definitely sympathy, as Carla leaned back in her seat without saying a word, her hand involuntarily touching her mouth. She looked around the bar now, for the first time unsure of herself. It was almost empty, with a few stubborn patrons semi-conscious on the counter, staring into space. She looked back at him, attempted to say something, but words failed her.

She reached her hand towards his, and was about to say something when a voice suddenly yelled out from behind the bar; "Lisa!"

A large, burly man had just stepped in from the back entrance and was walking towards their booth.

"Lisa, goddam it, how many times do I have to throw you out of this place??", he bellowed, moving quickly for such a large man.

It was now Carla's turn to look down at her menu, trying to blend in to the furniture, but the large man walked straight up to her, rudely pulling her up by her elbow and pushing her towards the door. She struggled and tried to protest

"Man, I'm just talking to this guy..!"

But he was having nothing of it;

"Oh don't even try, I've heard enough of your stories! Now get out! And tell that pimp of yours I'll take care of him permanently if I see you or any of his other little toys here again!"

And just like that she was gone. The man, presumably the bartender, turned and slowly returned to the booth, looking back at the door as if  to make sure she wouldn't return. He then turned, and looked down at John, whose eyes barely left the menu.

"It's late.", he said gently. John didn't budge.

He rolled his eyes, muttered to himself before reaching down to take the menu out of John's hands.

"Go home, your wife must be worried about you. You know how she gets, and she's just going to call this place any minute now. As usual."

John's shoulders dropped a little, but remained seated.

"Dammit, you have a kid on the way, you shouldn't be out here drinking like this every night. Go home, okay?"

Still nothing, not a word. The disgruntled bartender finally says firmly, "Jacob! Go home! NOW!"

The man stirs, finally, and slowly gets out of the booth. He looks up at the stern expression on the bartenders face, but finding no sympathy there, he slowly makes his way to the door, one unsteady step at a time, and leaves.

This week's Indie Ink Challenge came from Jamelah, who gave me this prompt: A conversation beings with a lie -- Adrienne Rich "Cartographies of Silence". I challenged Andrea with the prompt : A lot of movies these days have an extra scene after the credits roll; a little twist to leave the viewers with - write a scene that would occur after the final chapter of a popular fairy tale or children's story.

Friday, October 7, 2011

This Is Not A Steve Jobs Tribute Post

By now I'm pretty sure you are aware of the passing of Steve Jobs. I'm also pretty sure you found out of his passing via some Facebook post mourning his death. The adulation that Jobs has received in the last 24 hours has been unmatched in recent past, and is perhaps eclipsed only by the death of Michael Jackson.

The tributes have been moving, emotional, personal and somewhat unanimous in their message: "Steve Jobs changed my life, and he was the most inspirational and motivational person I knew".

I too was sad at the news; the man was iconic, and his views on design and technology were unique. Either way, it's always sad to hear of the death of a person well before his or her time. I had no idea his cancer was at such a terminal stage; in fact, I'm sure most people did not, which just added to the shock of the news.

While people continue to debate his contribution to the world, I spent time on another line of thought. I admire Steve Jobs' vision and his technological advancements, yet I cannot claim that he was someone who inspired or motivated me personally. I have been influenced by many people, and I continue to be influenced today by the amazing and unique people in my life, yet the only people I would elevate to such a status would be my parents.

Yes, perhaps it's cliche to say that, but be that as it may, it is also very true. My father and mother have been through a lot, raising me, because I wasn't an easy kid to raise. I have often rebelled, thought of leaving home and running away (ah that familiar teenage fantasy), yet somehow I have arrived where I am today - hanging up the phone after talking to my Mom, laughing and joking and just messing around.

My father and I do not share such a vocal relationship, yet our bond has been tested by fire over the years, through trying and gut-wrenching experiences. While I once used to ignore his opinions and advice, now I won't do anything if it meets with even the faintest whisper of disapproval from him.

(now the hard part)

When the day comes when they pass away, I know that I will have reached that point solely because of the values they instilled in me, and the expectations they had of me. My family is by no means a regular, 'normal' family. We don't hug things out or sit down and discuss life lessons with each other when we're going through tough times. Yet somehow, these two people have spent half their lives raising and nurturing me, the best way they could.

As I watch the moving images of people paying tribute to Steve Jobs, candles, testimonials, tweets, FB updates and all, I have to say that I cannot identify with the emotions. "Inspirational"? "Motivational"? I can't think of any celebrity, let alone Steve Jobs, that I would feel that way about. For me, at least, that place is reserved for my family only.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


I miss running a fastbreak.

I miss that instant when you switch from defense to offense; that sudden burst of power that rushes through your body when you know the opponent has missed and you break for the opposite basket.

I miss that adrenaline rush when you realise that you have numbers, when it's a 2-on-1 or 3-on-2. Like sharks reacting to blood in the water.

I miss that feeling of cold calculation as you decide how to break down the defense; whether to pass to the open man, or to take it strong to the hoop. I miss watching the defenders frantically scamper to even the odds, but to no avail.

I miss the sound of the net, whipping the ball as it falls through.

I miss back-pedalling to defense, staring into the eyes of the opponents and saying, "You're turn".

Man I miss basketball. And I'm not just talking about watching it (damn you David Stern, end the lockout!); I miss experiencing it.

Because playing basketball was more than just a game, it was an experience.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Captain America: The Worst Avenger

Last weekend was movie night, and the choice was between "Cowboys & Aliens From the Makers of Iron Man" (or something) and "Captain America: The First Avenger But The Last Avenger To Get A Movie". We had heard identical reviews regarding both movies, so we decided to let IMDB.com decide for us. Lo and behold, Cap' got a very respectable 7.2 while Cowboys & Aliens had a 6.5.

I had seen the trailers for the movie, and while I wasn't exactly fluent with the 'Captain America' storyline, I knew enough to get by. Basically this was going to be the last big blockbuster movie before they made the 'Avengers' movie which is scheduled for next year, and I was eager for what I was told would be a slightly 'different' superhero movie, since this would be set back in the late 1930's. Plus, Captain America is supposed to be the big daddy-O of the Avengers, the Superman of the Marvel Universe.

That being said, I haven't seen a good Superman movie since - well I've never seen a good Superman movie. I guess that in itself should have been warning enough.

Let's just say the first quarter of the movie was spent marveling at the technology we have at hand these days, technology that is able to make Chris Evans look like a scrawny 5'0" do-gooder that is thoroughly deserving of being beaten up by bullies. Set during WWII, the movie starts of with Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) being a total badass in some Polish church, in order to retrieve some mythical and magical cube that seems completely out of place in the year 1930. Cut to Steve Rogers, a diminutive little dwarf that is frustrated that he can't seem to clear any medical exam that will allow him to enlist in the army. Such is his desire to get killed for his country that he attracts the attention of Stanly Tucci, who plays Dr. Abraham Erskine (quite easily the most memorable character in the movie). Stanley Tucci plays his part to perfection, as always, and I was sad that he didn't have a larger role in the movie.

It's every nerd's dream!

Moving swiftly along (and without giving too much away), Steve Rogers is miraculously turned into Captain America (i.e., Chris Evans in all his chiseled glory) and is promptly hit upon by Hayley Atwell, who plays Peggy Carter - a rather stern and serious looking agent for the secret army wing responsible for the Captain America project. Cue the awkward romance, the whole "I'm not used to being a Greek god so I don't know how to behave around women" charade, followed by the "Oh I'm not interested in your bulging biceps and pulsing pectorals, I'm drawn to the only remnants of your crippled former self, i.e. your heart, which just so happens to be invisible to the human eye and therefore tolerable". Needless to say, it was terribly awkward, and seemed more suited for some high school chick flick rather than (supposedly) the mother of all Marvel superhero movies.

"Why, Captain.. what a big - err - heart you have!"

I don't want to give too much away of the story, but I will say this - it was not very good. While there were some humorous moments, and some very nice action sequences, the rest of the movie seemed completely at odds with each other. The level of technology that the Germans secretly possessed was just totally out of sync with the setting, and even if this was the original story based in the comics, I feel that it's one thing to read about it in a comic book and something totally different to see it on the big screen.

To conclude, the latter part of the movie was spent predicting how the cliched story lines would end, down to the dialogues (T is my witness - I called it out flawlessly) and the ending. The final fight sequence was terrible, but the ending showed promise. However, the dialogue towards the grand finale was so pathetically stale that it robbed whatever plus points the ending would have given the movie.

As usual, there was a short scene at the end relating to the 'Avengers' movie, with Samuel L. Jackson making yet another 2 minute appearance in a movie (when is he going to get to act in an actual full length movie again?).

"I KNOW you didn't call me all the way here to wear this eye patch AGAIN for ANOTHER TWO MINUTE SHOOT..!"

I was so disappointed with this movie, even more than I was with Green Lantern (which I shall review later), and I'm baffled as to how it garnered a 7.2 rating on IMDB.com. Honestly, this should have been in the 5-5.9 range, and nothing more. Chris Evans does his best, but perhaps the Captain America mythology doesn't  give the writers or the actors much to work with in terms of making it 'cool' and relatable.

Let's just say I'll be rooting for Thor next year when 'Avengers' comes out. Him and Scarlett Johanssen of course.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Internet Is Why We Can't Cure Cancer

I would just like to take this moment to reflect on the greatness of the human species.

Seriously, just sit up and give yourself a little pat on the back. Well done; and by the way, did you know you are only one of 9 species in the world that can do that*1?

I mean, let's face it; we're pretty awesome, no matter what you're religious/non-religious leanings. Creationist? Yep, we were hand-made by God himself in His image! Darwinist? Yep, we fought our way right to the top of the food chain against ridiculous odds! Science-Fictionist? Yep, we're the descendants of a super evolved alien race whose world got destroyed by a meteor*2! Scientologist? Yep, Tom Cruise = winning!*3

However, we're not all cut from the same cookie cutter. While man has always been rewarded for hard work and dedication, there are some who are unaware of this simple premise. No, this new generation is the instant-coffee generation, who believe that cappuccino grows in little sachets, along with tea and Milo. They believe Macaroni comes from Kraft, that text messages can be labelled as 'documentation', and that the 'work' in 'homework' is the exercise ones fingers get form copying and pasting text off Google.

So I supposed it should come as no surprise that the latest 'innovative' way to solve our problems and save the world is Facebook.

I'm sure all of you have noticed this by now; women posting bizarre status messages that have mild sexual connotations. This phenomenon was rampant on Facebook for a while before people realised that it was actually some secret 'code' spread among the womenfolk to create awareness for breast cancer.

Seriously. This is how we're going to beat breast cancer.

Not only are these messages mildly annoying, they serve absolutely no purpose at all. And it's not like they stopped there; no, now it's moved onto child abuse as well. Apparently by changing my profile picture to a cartoon I enjoyed as a child, I'm helping spread the message. Yes, nothing says "stop abusing children!" like a picture of Voltron or Cheetara.

"Save the children!"

"Yeah, save the children!!"

Clearly, something has gone wrong somewhere. With the vast array of technology now at our disposal, how is it that we can't come up with a more interesting and engaging campaign for such a serious issue? Is it true that Google and the internet have made us dumber? So much so that our creativity and vision is now limited to what we can 'share' on a social network?

Perhaps I'm making a big deal about nothing, but it's the small issues like this that are indicative of our broader thinking. I see similar trends in technology as well - nowadays everybody wants a smartphone, and there are a multitude to choose from. While there are Apple fans, and Android nerds, and Windows Phone 7 fans, somehow I still feel that innovation has come to a standstill. Phones keep upping their specs, putting more horsepower under their hoods than really trying to improve the user experience. Today it's a 4.2 inch 1Ghz phone, tomorrow it's 4.3 inches and 1.4GHz, then it's 4.6 inches and a dual-core 1.2GHz, and next month it'll be a 5.3 inch monster that is so big you can't really consider it a phone anymore. The same goes for computing; we design software and code that is so elaborate and inefficient we need mad systems to even run them (I'm looking at you, Rockstar and you're ridiculous GTA IV engine!).

True, these are just isolated incidents and yet I can't help but feel this is a trend that is prevalent in a lot more areas if we stop and look. Yes, we've made it this far, but it looks like unless we get back to the root thinking that got us here in the first place, we may not go much further.

*1 - Fake statistic. Sorry
*2 - Yes, I basically stole the plot from "Mission To Mars". Sue me.
*3 - This link is pretty much self-explanatory.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Driving Me Insane: Why Driving In Sri Lanka Is Crazy

I love driving. Always have, and I was surprised when I met some people who actually said they didn't enjoy it. I still remember when I turned 18, one of the first things I did was to ask Dad to teach me to drive. Fairy tale that this isn't, he said 'no'.

Needless to say, I was crushed. But soon he relented and sent me for driving lessons, which basically involved cramping myself into the drivers seat of those tiny mini-vans, and cruising around the lake at no greater than 40kmph. It was hopelessly monotonous; I was more likely to die from boredom than anything vehicle related, with the only 'excitement' so to speak coming from reversing into a lane that was wide enough to accommodate a small house.

(Oh did I mention my instructor was a one eyed, one legged man who had driven cabs in Germany? I kid you not; how he managed to convince anyone that he was able to teach people to drive with a wooden leg and a glass eye, God only knows.)

Long story short - I got my license, and soon I was driving. Within minutes, I discovered that nothing I learned during my so-called 'lessons' was of any use to me in the real world! Buses hurtling towards you, reckless overtaking, annoying three-wheelers, psychotic motor bikes - where were they during my tranquil rides around the Kandy lake?! And who is teaching these maniacs to drive??

So , in the interests of keeping our future generations alive just a little longer, I have listed out four things we need to teach all drivers from now on, regardless of vehicle type.

1. Bus drivers - you are not driving a Ferrari.

Somehow, bus drivers around the country are under the impression that their extremely large mode of transport is actually a small, sprightly two-seater sports car, complete with sharp cornering and precise steering. This is unfortunate, because you and I know that this is far from the truth. Yet, bus drivers around the country can be seen boldly throwing their vehicles around corners, wrestling them around other vehicles while barrelling down against the oncoming traffic, confident that their bus can somehow zip back in front before destroying the panic stricken driver headed its way.

Clearly, this needs to stop.We can't have these lumbering machines flying along our already too-narrow roads when they should be sanely chugging along in their lanes. The problem is, a bus driver, no matter how delusional and wrong, is still driving a bus! Which means it takes some guts to actually try to start something with a bus that's hurtling towards you like some metal meteor.

My solution consists of two parts. First, we train bus drivers in mini vans, around the Kandy lake, preferably with a one eyed instructor with a wooden leg. Mislead them into thinking that all buses need to be driven like this dinky 800cc Daihatsu. Brain wash them into thinking the speed limit is 39kmph. I guarantee those puppies will not only be more sane, they'll reduce the highway death toll ten fold. Part two, should part one fail? Counselling. Clearly, bus drivers are nothing more than frustrated children in adult bodies, acting out every males youthful fantasy of being able to speed in a high powered vehicle for a living. Heck, if I were a bus driver, I'd probably take refuge in that delusion too. So why not indulge them, and offer a weekly drive in a supercar around a local race track, free of cost, so they can get all their frustration out once and for all.

2. Three wheel drivers - you can't overtake on the left.

What is up with these three-wheelers? Who taught them that overtaking on the left is 'the right thing to do'? It's bad enough that driving in traffic is stressful and dangerous; now we have these multi-coloured fairies trying to mount the pavement and pass us on the left!

Dear Tuk-tuk - it can only end badly for you
It can't be just an evolved art though, because these guys have got it down to a science. First, they keep within striking distance of your vehicle, waiting for the next road block, traffic light, or any sort of blockage in the traffic. As soon as the vehicle in front starts slowing down, you can see them slowly creep towards the rear left of the vehicle. Now, given most people's impatience in these situations, the odds are that the vehicle in front will try to inch to the right, to have a peek down the road to see what's the hold up, and whether he/she can overtake. This is the three-wheel drivers moment to strike. They deftly squeeze their little death-trap on wheels into that tiny space you've so generously opened up, and as the traffic starts moving suddenly you find yourself stuck in no man's land. Your only options are to a) let him pass so you can slip behind me or b) be hung out to dry in oncoming traffic. [Option c) is to 'pull a GTA on him and ram the little maggot', but I'd never endorse that.]

Solution? Believe it or not, it's actually 'patience'. Whenever I notice one of these guys trying to pull this stunt I make sure I never give up my position behind the vehicle in front of me. If they do try to squeeze by you, never let them rejoin the line. Just stick bumper-to-bumper with the vehicle in front and watch them spaz out at you for driving legally. Totally worth it.

3. Those white lines on the road mean something.

I cannot count the number of times I have driven down a two- or three-lane road, watching the vehicle in front of me veer between lanes like it's part of some weird form of vehicular 'Pong'. Did they really think the lines painted on the road were for decorative purposes?! The two most annoying instances of this is when you're travelling quickly on the main roads, only to find that the vehicle in front of you on the right-most lane, (which is usually where the quicker vehicles travel,) is crawling. This means either you stick behind it, or switch to the next lane and get stuck behind another slow vehicle. This makes no sense to me; if you're travelling so slowly, why not just move over and let the quicker vehicles pass? But no, we're forced to pretend we're in some sort of moving maze, dodging from lane to lane to get ahead. Then of course there are those that blindly drive between both lanes, which leads drivers behind them to also break out of formation, and soon you have a disorganised mass of vehicles jostling for position on the highway.

Seriously people; the lines on the ground! Look at them!! How hard can it be to figure out what speed you want to travel at, and stick to the appropriate lane? Of course, this is something that isn't really taught in driving school here since instructors rarely, if ever, take their pupils on an actual highway to teach them these simple basics. "The highway?", they tell themselves; "Why would they ever drive on those?".


4. Dip your damn lights!

Driving during the day is dangerous in Sri Lanka. Driving at night is near suicidal.

Thanks to the poorly lit streets and 'highways' in the country, I can understand why people would want to use their head beams to illuminate as much of the road ahead as possible. However, doing so at the cost of the oncoming driver's eyesight is - to put it mildly - a tad insensitive.

It's bad enough that we have to contend with a) near invisible pot holes b) random pedestrians jumping on the road at the last minute and c) black dogs/cows/elephants that are invisible to the human eye at night (I swear, it's almost like they absorb light) while driving; how in the world are we supposed to drive at all when you have your lights in my eyes?? You see me flashing my headlights at you?? That isn't some friendly signal!! Take the hint and dip 'em!

I envy my dad's vehicle; he's installed super powerful fog lights on it expressly for these kind of drivers. Any time he sees an oncoming vehicle that fails to comply to these unwritten courtesies, he 'gives him a dose of his own medicine' and powers them up. Trust me, if you get caught in those you'd probably think it was the second coming and you were being raptured.

So there you have it; the top four that I could come up with. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments. Meanwhile, drive safely!

Monday, September 5, 2011

21 Questions, And No Right Answers

Faded memories by ~velar1

Isn’t it fun to turn back the pages of a photo album, or, as is more apt in this digital age, to go through old Facebook pictures from years past?  We laugh at the ridiculous hair-styles, the awful clothes, the old hangout you used to love and now cannot stand, the old friends we used to love and now too cannot stand. The inexorable passing of time is evident all around us, is it not?

I am forever looking back at my life, perhaps because I am fascinated with how I have made it this far. Believe me when I say, I have come a long way from my younger years, and considering that I am hardly anyone of even minute significance right now, this speaks a lot about the sort of person I was long ago.

Yet, as much as we’d like to pretend otherwise, that person in the picture really is us. Perhaps not as mature, perhaps not as hurt, perhaps not as happy or as sad; but nevertheless that person is still you. Or is it?

Indulge me for a minute, and pretend that we’re in a Michael Crichton novel, one where we are able to bend the fabric of time so to speak. Imagine if we could transport ourselves, and our consciousness, back into our younger selves.

What the heck would we do?

Would you really say that thing that got you beaten up in school? Would you really like that girl? And if so, would you really write that note to her and pass it in that totally un-subtle way?

Would you let your parents still yell at you, even though you now know better? Would you ignore your brother or sister the same way you used to, knowing he/she would return the favour soon? Would you have told him or her that you loved them, if you knew how much harder it would be to say that in the future? 

Would you side with your father or your mother during that divorce?

Would you choose those subjects, and in effect, that career line? Would you have put your foot down and said ‘no’ to your parents’ desire to keep you close to home, or would you have silently been led like you were then? Would you kiss that girl, at that time, or would you have waited just those 5 minutes more, in time for the moon to come out and make it that more perfect? Would you have kissed her at all, if you knew how it turned out?

title and registration. by~RAWR-ima-Dinoroar
Would you have tried so hard to be liked, if you knew that nothing you did would be good enough? Would you have let the memories fade faster, if you knew that you would be forgotten first? Would you have made the same mistakes, even though you know that the pain is what made you who you are? Would you have willingly suffered again, just because you told yourself that it was ‘necessary’? What if you decided it wasn’t?

How different would those old pictures look now? How many of those memories would be wiped away, to be replaced by new ones, and maybe a new you? What if we never became who we are today?

Who are we, really, today?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Indie Ink: Faking A Smile

The clock ticks on, yet sleep eludes her still.

She doesn't toss or turn though, choosing instead to stare fixedly at the luminous second hand of her alarm clock. The steady staccato 'tick' of each passing second fails to lull her to sleep, and with each minute, and hour, she grows more convinced that she will lie like this till morning.

She forces her eyes closed one more time, forcing her tired brain to dream, yet like a blank slate it remains bare, waiting for someone to touch it in a way it will understand.

And she knows who that someone is.

She smiles, as she thinks of him. His lively, light brown eyes, and his laugh; the loud one when among friends, and the softer, more personal chuckle he reserved only for when they were alone together. She imagines his strong arms around her, carrying her away to distant and exotic locations. Anywhere would do, as long as he was there.

Suddenly, there's a sound at the door, and her eyes fly open as her dream evaporates in an instant. There's a pause, and heavy footsteps slowly enter the room. Her body involuntarily tenses, waiting, apprehensive.

"Are you awake?", a slurred voice says to her from the direction of the door.

She turns over, slowly, feigning sleepiness.

"Yes, yes I am ", she replies, softly.

"Good. What are you doing?"

"Dreaming. Of you..", she lies.

In the dim light, she can see a lopsided smile spread across his face.

"Good...", he drawls, slowly walking towards her, while taking off his clothes. His black, cold eyes light with a dull, ugly sparkle as he climbs into the bed with her.

She takes a quick breath, looks him dead in those eyes and smiles wide, a smile that is as warm as it is forced.  He doesn't notice it either way. As for her, well; for yet another night, her hopes have abandoned her for reality, her memories of a better time deserting her when she needed them the most. Her dreams of 'him', lost in the sands of time, confined to her subconscious, never to be realised except in the waning hours of daylight.

And so, the clock ticks on, yet happiness eludes her still.

My second attempt at the Indie Ink Writing Challenge (for my other entry, click here). My challenge this week was simply "Faking A Smile", given to me by Joe Sanders. In turn, I challenged Jason Hughes with a rather complicated challenge of writing a 'tragic romance' that was centered around breakfast (don't ask!). You can see his response here.
I seem to have a thing about writing dramatic fiction centered around women. I'm sure someone will probably psychoanalyse me for that, but please don't bother. For this particular post I was inspired by Pearl Jam's "Better Man" as well. I hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How Pop Music Is Infiltrating Your Brain And Turning It Into Mush

A couple days ago while browsing some music on Youtube with my brother, we stumbled across some songs which had been reversed for 'fun'. When he asked why anyone would do that, I explained the concept of back-masking to him. I was rather hazy on the details myself, so we went through this Wikipedia page. For those who want the summarized version - back-masking is a technique used in music where certain parts of a recording are recorded in reverse and then played forward. These recordings sound completely unintelligible and unique played forward, and only become coherent when they are played backwards. Back in the eighties and nineties, everyone got very worked up because some artists were using this technique to include some rather disturbing messages about Satan and drugs in their songs. My brother was especially shocked to hear that Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" has been alleged to contain a pretty strange satanic message in it as well.

Now while a lot of this can be disputed, it's still a bit unsettling. I'm not entirely sure how much of it is authentic, but the thought that there were people out there trying to send secret messages into your brain was so enticing that the hype carried the story for over a decade. Fast forward to the 21st Century and we don't talk about 'subliminal messages' anymore unless the person doing it is bald and in a wheelchair.

"Your iPhone is not tracking you. I repeat, your iPhone is NOT.."
But then, the music we listen to these days is far more damaging and deceitful than some random backwards balderdash about worshipping Satan. No, those Satanists from back in the day have all retired, knowing full well that when it comes to subliminal messages and deceiving listeners, modern day pop music is in a class of its own.

Given below are three of the most ridiculous songs that we didn't know were ridiculous till we actually listened to the song.

No.3 : Kelly Rowland - Motivation

When I first heard this tune it was already no.1 on the Billboard R&B charts. On the surface the track seems like a very sexy, smooth R&B song by the very talented (and often under-rated) Kelly Rowland, and that was that. Then there's the very distracting video, reminding us that Beyonce wasn't the only member of Destiny's Child that had that 'oomph' factor.

But have you really listened to the song? The sexual connotations are blatantly obvious, unlike other raunchy tracks where the double meanings are all somewhat implied rather than really laid out in front of you. But in 'Motivation', Kelly isn't really giving us any where else to look is she? She's as subtle as a peaceful protest involving arson, vandalism and looting (too soon?).

Oh lover, don’t you dare slow down
Go longer, you can last more rounds
Push harder, you're almost there now
So go lover, make mama proud

Yeah. So she's just being very encouraging, and supportive, because obviously her man is some form of long distance track and field athlete, desperately 'pushing harder' and 'going longer' so he can 'last more rounds'. Or not.

Look I get that most hip hop and R&B songs are about sex, but at least they are done somewhat tastefully, or at least attempt to use some tongue-in-cheek in their lyrics. But even Li'l Wayne can't save this song:

Uh, girl I turn that thing into a rainforest
Rain on my head, call that brainstorming

Yeah, you tell her Wayne. Just hope you don't fall in love with an orangutan in there.

(If you got that reference without clicking the link, you win a 1000 internets.)

No. 2 : Nicole Scherzingerburger - Right There

Nicole Scherzinger isn't your average pop diva, though I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps being part of the Pussycat Dolls who so blatantly flaunted their sex appeal to compensate for a marked lack of talent helped, or perhaps being surrounded by such mediocre group members made her look decidedly above average in comparison. 

Still, the girl has a voice. She seems intelligent (she's dating Lewis Hamilton, someone who, you would think, wouldn't date an air-head). You would assume this would be an advantage, but no; in the music industry, you have to be a attractive and appear stupid. So it stands to reason her big hit is a song in which she sounds like a bit of an idiot. 

I have no idea what 'accent' (if you call it that) she's adopted for this song, nor do I know why she's aspiring to sound like Rihanna, a native of Barbados and the owner of the most successful nasal voice in the industry. But no, despite the catchy beats and tune, Nicole somehow manages to sound utterly ridiculous.

Exhibit A:

Come here baby and be my baby
And be my baby oh oh oh
Come here baby put your hands on my body
Hands on my body oh oh oh
Right there keep it right there
I love when you put it right there oh oh oh
Yeah yeah oh oh oh

Yeah. Oh oh. Oh. Oh oh yeah. Oh. Yeah. Probably some satanic message encrypted in that.

But it gets better.

Exhibit B:

No you never gonna let no girl take him from me
Never gonna let no girl steal him from me
Never gonna let a girl get that close now
I tell 'em eh eh you're too close now

Sounds rather un-ladylike, don't you think? "Eh! Eh!! EH!! You're too close now okay?? Back off!! He miiiine...!"

And then the pièce de résistance:

I like the way that you talk dirty
Don't wash your mouth out I like it dirty

I can't, I just - I can't take it. I give up. No wonder Nicole shakes her booty every 20 seconds in her video, it's to distract from the lyrics her song.

No.1 : Katy Perry - E.T.

There are some songs that are so memorable, you can relate the very first time you heard it play. I first heard Incubus' "Drive" in 2001 January on local radio. I loved it, I couldn't wait to hear it again. I first heard Santana's "Smooth" on the World Chart Show while in my bedroom. I couldn't believe that guy was from Matchbox Twenty, and I couldn't believe my dad knew who Santana was. I first heard Katy Perry's "E.T." while driving to Colombo. I almost drove my car into the back of a truck while staring at my radio in disbelief.

The fact that this song climbed all the way to no.1 on the Billboard charts (and stayed there for 5 weeks) has almost shattered my faith in the charts completely. The only plausible explanation for why Katy Perry would write about her alien fetish is if in fact she didn't write it. Perhaps it was a joke song that her comic hubby Russell Brand wrote for some stand-up gig he was doing, only the wifey found it in his drawers and decided that it was perfect to showcase her 'range' and 'musical variety'.

Here's a sample:

They say, be afraid
You're not like the others
Futuristic lover
Different DNA
They don't understand you

According to the interwebs, the song is supposedly about 'falling in love with a foreigner'. No doubt, if all Americans feel this way about foreigners and treat them accordingly, this would explain why half the world is (or was) trying to nuke them.

Bring on the chorus!

Kiss me, kiss me
Infect me with your love and
Fill me with your poison

Take me, take me
Wanna be a victim
Ready for abduction

Boy, you're an alien
Your touch so foreign
It's supernatural

Who wouldn't want to sing along to that?

Oh there's more:

I wanna walk on your wave length
And be there when you vibrate
For you I'll risk it all

You hear that? "All". Just to be there when you 'vibrate'. Because her man is a cell phone.

But my favourite part has to be this:

You're so supersonic
Wanna feel your powers
Stun me with your lasers

STUN ME WITH YOUR LASERS?! I guess in Katy Perry's candy-land world, the act of making love involves her shooting whipped cream out of her boobs till he 'laser-stuns' her into exploding fireworks.

Step 1: Initiate contact


Mission complete. Return to star base.

Any other songs that I may have missed? Feel free to add them in the comments below!

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