Tag Archives: personal

Faith in Humanity Restored, Partially

best-indian-food-pasadena

I walked into a Indian/Pakistani restaurant (I still can’t say the difference) a few hours ago ago, I asked for a menu card and they didn’t understand, none of them spoke any English. As I went in and sat down someone swayed his head about thirty degrees to either side of the vertical axis and said ‘Teekay’ (I think that’s what it was), I have been briefed just enough to say, ‘yes, thank you’. Not having a menu, I asked what types of chicken curry they had, the elderly man serving me told a whole string of varieties of which I couldn’t recognise or catch any, I heard the word Tandoori and I said okay Tandoori, ‘leggu’ ‘breshtu’ came the response, leg I replied, with an air of sophistication. The food got late to come, I enquired from another elderly waiter by gesticulating when the food will arrive, and he said something in Hindi/Urdu which I think was something along the lines of ‘on the way’.

The chicken curry came in a plate, with gravy in a bowl and a massive tandoori roti on another plate. I started eating, as one does. I tore the roti in half, not having room to place the other half anywhere I placed it in such a way that it covered the gravy bowl, and about an inch of it may have touched the clean table top.

By this time I had aroused the curiosity of all the waiters (who all were elderly men past their mid to late fifties). They kept looking at me furtively to see who this Indian-looking-non-hindi-speaking English speaking chap was. I occasionally heard pointed whispers.

I felt a bit like Ross from Friends, when all the doctors were looking at the mole on his back.

Some moments later, a third waiter came up to me, removed the roti that was covering my bowl of gravy, took it away and gave me a full fresh roti on a separate plate. A short moment later, yet another waiter arrived and offered me a cup of tea, I told him that I didn’t order one, unable to communicate he smiled endearingly and insisted that I take the cup of tea, I realised later that I hadn’t been charged.

For reasons unknown to me, they were so nice and generous that I am wondering if I came across as deserving sympathy in some way. Surely they didn’t know that I was tired and have a lot of writing work to finish.

I debated if I should leave a tip behind, I felt leaving a tip may come across as being disrespectful since their niceness towards me was most certainly genuine, and not some residual kindness stemming from capitalistic motives. I did leave a tip anyway. On a sub conscious level I was uttering prayers for them unconsciously, that their business should be profitable and that goodness blankets them, I can’t really say though, it wasn’t on a conscious plane.

Faith in humanity restored, partially.

Forgive the anti-climax.

Image from here.

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This photoblog – One year on.

This photoblog was started in December 2008, But tomorrow, the 28th February this blog will be one year old in its wordpress home. Prior to this, this photoblog was here.

Just thought I’ll put in a post to mark the anniversary.

The photo is of the bloke in a waffle shop near the South Kensington station, London – who happily agreed to be photographed!

Have a great week!

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London snow – November 2010

London was absolutely miserable the whole of last week! At least it didn’t snow over the weekend. As I type this it is -3 degrees Celsius in London. The whole of last week snowed and it was apparently the worst November in at least 60 years, and the past tense of ‘snow’ is not ‘snew’.

I have been in this country for 4 years now and this November has been absolutely brutal! I remember going on site visits to open lands in Hounslow, London last November wearing just a shirt and a jumper. I was fully covered the last few days when I used to go out. I am generally resistant to the cold in London having spent most of my time in Newcastle which is arguably the coldest part in England, however I found London very cold this winter – God protect the poor buggers in Newcastle!

Here are a few pictures I took when my hands were so cold that they were burning! Yes, a sensation felt only by those who have lived in extreme winters. By ‘extreme’ I mean cold European winters, not the ones at the poles. Poles meaning, north and south – just in case.

Not the best photographs, but I like to use my blog as a sort of palimpsest where I record information for my own reminiscence later on. Hope you find them interesting too!


Outside my room window on 30.11. 2010. The roads are usually deserted, but the main roads may have been blocked due to the weather – hence the traffic


At the park near my house.

That’s me going back to my childhood. Three ways I can die :

1. Of hypothermia.
2. The weather beaten rope loosing tension and tearing and my head hitting the rock solid ice at least five feet below.
3. The three trunks converging at a point and plunging me to my death, it’s mathematically impossible that the trunks itself will hit me though.

Of course I didn’t die. Yet.

Oh, Graeme Swann just wrapped up the Australians in Adelaide and England lead the Ashes 1-0.

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New Camera,Flat and the trip to Bath!

I have been rather silent these few days. Well, truth be said there has been a lot happening – some I could do without, but I have seen people undergo so many calamities that make my odd discomfort seem non-existent. Just the other day I heard someone (not so well off Indian student must be) on the tube tell someone else how he travels a very long distance every week to work 55hrs a week on a wage of £2 per hour! Folks in Sri Lanka may think oooh that’s Rs. 360 per hour and close to Rs. 80,000 a month, not bad! Trust me, compared to how much you’ll spend living here – in my opinion working at that rate is virtual slavery! And he travels from Croydon to central London every day!

Again, some of you in Sri Lanka may not understand the gravity of what I am saying, since the contexts are totally different, those in Britain or those who have been here long enough would get it. Listening to him made me feel a painful amount of sympathy towards that guy and absolute relief that I am not in his place.

The minimum wage stipulated by labour laws in this country is £5.70 per hour, or something around that mark.

Anyway, to the crux of my post.

I bought a new camera! Absolutely chuffed – something I have always wanted and absolutely thrilled I bought it.

It’s a Canon EOS 1000D with an 18-55mm IS lens. It’s my first SLR and I am looking forward to the transition from point and shoot to DSLR photography!

My landlord called me a about ten days ago and said he wanted my flat due to a sudden family emergency – legally (ethically and morally even) , I am on a good footing to refuse – but I had to sympathise with his predicament so I offered to move out. Thankfully I got an absolutely gorgeous flat to which I hope to move in on the 1st November. I am at the moment living with a friend of my fathers, so things are packed and rather difficult since I don’t want to unpack too much lest I have to repack all over to move to my new flat, hence my inactivity in general and inactivity online in particular. Being in this state of limbo is very frustrating, staying unsettled and having to depend on someone else is very frustrating too. I say ‘depend’ because in true Sri Lankan fashion my father’s friend insists on doing everything and it’s a bit uncomfortable for me to stay as a guest for 14 days without doing anything back in return.

I have not even really got an opportunity to play with my new toy!

Thankfully, as I have said here, like we did here I am going on a trip to Bath this weekend with Amie, Kevin and Paul! I look forward to it and will hopefully take loads of photos with my new dslr and revel in the discoveries!

I hope you have a great weekend!

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100th Post: Ramadan – Stunning photographs!

It’s a bit too late to blog about Ramadan given that we are into the final tenth already! I came across some of these absolutely stunning photographs and I thought I’ll share them with you.

The whole set of pictures are of amazing quality and I loved the intricacy and attention to detail in every single one of them, it only made me envious of the skill of the photographer of each picture!

In addition to conveying a very informative message through the pictures, they also give a very deep insight into how Ramadan is celebrated around the world.

The pictures can be seen here.

These photos were first tweeted by Halik.

Incidentally, this also happens to be my one hundredth post!

Have a great weekend!

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Portrait: William and the Noodles

My good friend William and I studied Architecture in university together. We both got jobs in London after our degrees. This was taken when Will and I met up for a meal at Wagamamas, what he is so passionately devouring is a mixed seafood soup that comes with noodles.

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Good times and good company!

Picture of some good friends of mine from work, on top of Carfax tower in Oxford. Please read related full post here.

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