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, December 31, 2012

Long December (Or Good Riddance 2012)

Well, here we are again. The end of yet another year. I had such grand plans for my year ending post, but I thought I'd save that for a first of 2013 post instead.

I suppose I should reflect on the year and all, right? Well, it's been a terrible year for blogging - I've posted the least number of posts this year since I started this blog. I shall attribute this to less time in front of the computer and more time actually doing things, and I'd only be half lying. It's been a pretty good year on the music front though, what with the Colombo Music Festival, my introduction to the Melomanic Sessions in January, and the recently concluded "Final Wishlist". When it comes to music, there are few better teachers than experience, and I've had a lot of hard lessons this year. Some good shows at Melo, a few good performances at the Music Festival, and a lot of bombs that have me still shaking my head. Still, I'm so glad for all the opportunities I've had to perform and I hope 2013 brings even more my way.

It's hard for me to write about the personal front. It's been challenging, and I have made mistakes more often than I have succeeded, but isn't that life in general? I've watched the people I love let me down, and I in turn have let down the people that love me, and at the end of the day all we can do is try to forgive, try to heal, try to live with the things that have been said to us or by us. Our hearts keep beating, our lungs keep breathing, and time calls out from ahead of us asking if we're coming or not. Is it easy? No. But mixed in among all the bad, there is a lot of good, and sometimes that's enough to make peace with the rest of it.

My brother moved to Switzerland for his higher studies, and I miss him terribly. I wish he had been here to watch my sing; he has always been an honest critic. Christmas was tough without him, but apparently he was working on Christmas so I suppose we got the better end of that deal. Looking forward to seeing him in 2013.

All in all, 2012 was memorable, for both good and not-so-good reasons, and if anything is 'memorable' then I suppose it was worth it, wasn't it?

So here's to a new year, with more of the new and less of the old. May you, dear readers, always journey forwards and onwards to brighter, better things.

To sign off, let me add a few songs to this post. The first is a video of one of my solos at the "Final Wishlist" programme 3 weeks ago. The second is a rush job, hastily edited cover made with my hoarse vocals and zero editing. Not something I would normally do, but I just wanted to get it out there.

Happy New Year everyone!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

To All You Rapists

The woman and a male friend, who have not been identified, were traveling in a public bus in the Indian capital, New Delhi, after watching a film on the evening of Dec. 16 when they were attacked by six men who raped her. They also beat the couple and inserted an iron rod into her body resulting in severe organ damage. Both of them were then stripped and thrown off the bus, according to police.
(Source:  TIME World)

I haven't blogged in a long time, but this was enough to spur me to break my silence.

I'm getting really tired of hearing the same old arguments in connection with abuse against women and sexual assault. I'm sick of hearing about her underage drinking, about her partying, about her drug use, about her tiny skirts, about her many sexual partners, about how it wasn't "legitimate rape".

So listen up, priests, ministers, policemen, bus drivers, layman and even some of you women - you can sit and debate - debate - the so-called ethics and 'moral code' regarding men and women's attire and behaviour. You can debate lifestyles, you can debate all of these things.

But there is no argument in heaven or earth, no argument from any religious text, no argument from any corner, no conceivable scenario that justifies or excuses a man from sticking anything, be it his dick or a metal rod, into a woman's vagina. By even trying to do so, you are joining the side of the rapist. You are siding with the RAPISTS!! DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT??

Got it? Good.

It has to freakin' stop. Now. 

p.s: Dear Indians; you are quick to set fire to things when cricketers fail you. Please, use this opportunity, this media spotlight, this worldwide outrage to unleash your pyrotechnics and end this lackadaisical, nonchalant, turn-a-blind-eye type of attitude towards your mothers, your sisters, your daughters. For the love of God women, please make it stop.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Final Wishlist: A Christmas Programme Making A Difference

The last few weeks have been extremely busy for me, involving training programmes, lots of travelling, and lots and lots of singing. Yes, 'tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to get in the festive mood than Christmas carols and tunes?


Besides the usual church carol services, I've been lucky enough to be asked to do a couple of songs for Music.Inc's latest production titled "A Final Wishlist" , directed by Shannon Jacob.  If you’ve been to their shows before, you’ll know that they put up great musical and stage performances, and always in aid of a worthy cause. This time, their final show is in aid of EMERGE LANKA, a foundation that undertakes for the care and rehabilitation of girls that have been the victims of rape, incest and other forms of sexual assault, and are waiting for their respective court cases to be settled. These girls are between the ages of 10 and 18, and these court cases can sometimes drag on for years and years. During this time, the attacker is free, while the girls are kept in shelters, isolated from outside contact, and shunned from their families.

Emerge Lanka works in co-ordination with these shelters, providing basic education, counselling, financial knowledge, life skills and sex education to these girls until they are released, at which time they will then be equipped to handle being reintroduced to the world without the support of friends or family.

Music.Inc will be staging two shows on the 12th and 13th of December at the British School Auditorium, from 730pm onwards. The tickets will be priced at Rs. 1000, 750 and 500 have been sold out! However, there may be a few balcony tickets available on a first come first served basis, so do try to come as early as possible if you're coming and you might get lucky! The team from Music.Inc have spent some time with the girls from Emerge, and have gotten them to write up a 'wishlist' comprising up to 5 items of what they really want this Christmas season. The money raised from this programme will go towards making those wishes come true, including a small mini-carnival for the girls; something that they would never be able to participate in in their current confines.

If you've not able to make it, here is a small sample for you:

Hope to see you guys there! I may be biased in my opinion, but trust me when I say: I've never been to a show like this before. I sincerely hope you make it, and join in on making someones wishes come true this festive season.


Monday, December 3, 2012

Notes On A Funeral

Recently I attended the funeral of a colleague's father. He had been battling throat cancer and succumbed after around 6-8 months of treatment. He was in his 70's, and I think his passing was somewhat expected given his frail condition. I got the call on Sunday that he had finally succumbed, and we went with the rest of the office crew for the funeral at his house.

I've not been to too many funerals, and the few I have been to have been traditional Christian funerals, at churches etc. Perhaps this colours my opinions a little bit, but whatever the case may be, I thought of jotting a few points down.

1. The first thing I noticed was how there were very few people actually 'grieving'. As we entered the funeral home, there were no idle people around. The family members were busy arranging food and drinks, while the rest of the 'visitors' simply sat outside catching up with each other in the hastily erected tent. Even our colleague showed little or no emotion that this was in fact his father's funeral, instead spending most of his time making sure the generator was okay and chatting with a few of his relatives and work friends. Now, I perfectly understand that people deal with grief in different ways, yet I still felt a little unsettled at this lack of emotion at the proceedings.

2. While the family at least were somewhat sombre, the rest of the people who had turned up at the funeral showed little concern that this was a funeral, loudly guffawing and joking with each other, completely oblivious that they were standing roughly 20 feet from a dead body. I was really embarrassed by this; how can people be so callous over the death of a loved one? Sure you may not have known the man personally but still, some form of decorum should be present. Just because they've seated outside in this tent, the gang goes into party mood. If there was booze around, they would probably have burst into song.

3. The Buddhist monks arrived, and while my poor Sinhala and ignorance to most Buddhist customs prevent me from commenting more on the part they played, I was rather surprised when they left abruptly in the middle of the proceedings. Just as soon as a someone got up to speak about the deceased man, they three monks simply nodded at our colleague and got into their waiting trishaw. I found this rather strange, but again this may be the custom that I am unaware of. Yet, if we are asking a religious figure to attend our funeral, isn't it sort of a given that we want them there for the whole ceremony? I would be very surprised if a Christian priest simply read a few verses and left in the middle of the funeral, leaving the family to handle the rest of the proceedings, and as far as I know, most faiths would have a similar expectation.

4. While I know that a funeral of a loved one is certainly memorable, I don't know why in the world anyone would want to take photographs during it! There was one relative, armed with a point & shoot, who took several pictures throughout the evening. I'm talking about the coffin, the deceased, the people, the priests, the priests and the coffin, and then the hearse, the coffin again as it was carried to the graveyard, the grave stone, the coffin as it was lowered, the coffin as it was buried. It was ridiculous, having this serious and difficult time being punctuated with camera flashes and the digital beeps every time he went back and forth to see if he got the coffin in just the right light. If anyone did that at a funeral of my loved one, there would be an extra body to bury. I'm sure he uploaded them on Facebook that same night.

5. Our company makes a point of sending an email to the entire workforce if a relative of an employee passes away, including providing transport to and from the funeral. I always found this surprisingly considerate, given our 'corporate' label, but I have since noticed that this trend of announcing and providing transport for everyone's funerals has made the whole idea a bit of an 'event'. You hear people asking each other if they're going for this one or not, as if there is some form of merit gained by attending the most number of funerals in a year. Is this what has led to my previous points regarding the levity of the attendees? I'm unsure, but it's something to ponder on.

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