Category Archives: Society

A War-torn Week: A Retrospective

A war-torn landscape,

A significant show of faith,

New gun laws, end up being a non-law,

A week full of tragedy & pain, with no end,

Intercepted envelopes, laced with poison;

Foiled assassination attempts,

Coupled with indiscriminate violence,

Sink holes,

Shoot-outs, explosions, car-chases, a city-wide lock-down, and manhunts through the night,

While across the sea, an iron lady is laid to rest by over-the-top pageantry-

No one cried, save a grown man who holds the key to the treasury-

Perhaps, he was regretting a further downgrading by yet another credit agency!

A strange, unconnected, juxtaposited mix;

Leaving me thinking, is it the season of mad men (not the show) and craziness all-round?

All said and done, I have realised:

I pay far too much attention  to the news-

And, I’m going to *try* to go cold turkey from now on!

Abattoir of Hope

Welcome to this place; the end of all hope;

May be heaven’s gates are permanently opened over this place,

I am a herbivore: I have harmed none, yet, I have been bred on a diet of grass and stale feed,

My mother works in the stocks, forced to make milk; her udders clamped to pumps draining her till all strength in her is gone,

My father was sent away soon after my half-siblings and I were born,

Some were taken from us at a young age to the Great House, from where none return

I was fed & fed, until my legs strain to keep up my bulky frame to rival a Belgian Blue,

And, I was led to join this final queue- from where (like all who preceded me) I do not expect to return;

In the stockades of a night the sorrowful ballad of fellow captives sing songs of a better place, a better time, a proud ancestry (is it a fever-fuelled dream or was it ever real?),

No matter, it’s all over now:

The final embrace of the Life-Stealer awaits me; he will make it quick & painless as possible, it is said among the kettled herds;

For a man used to killing for his daily bread is not, as a rule, habitually cruel,

Great Lord of the Plains, whatever I come back as, I have one small request:

Let it not be as human:

For, while they may make me into meat and eat of me, I would like not to be of them;

Admittedly, I have not seen them at their best;

But, whatever this might be-

I have truly come to abhor  their general casual neglect.

Dinoris Bandara: ‘Sudda’

Sudda be as sudda does,

(Like Jamis aiyya: is too clever by ‘alf!)

Understated or refreshingly  frank,

(Like Arlawathie, with a giant mortar and pestol to hand- tharaheng wage kotane!)

With a sense of entitlement,

(Like that uda gedara nona swanning around her husband’s brand new car!) ,

They think it’s a matter of class

(But what’s classy here, is not classy there: like a wesi here, is a light-weight wannabe there!)

Fanned & conditioned over many multiple generations,

(They have the aristocracy, the in-betweeners & the pretenders – and so do we!)

They exaggerate the achievements in their history, diminish the atrocities

(Like Mahinda aiyya, addressing the UN General Assembly- hari hari eka podak vadi!)

And taken root & hibernating next to the core of their supposedly unique identity!

(Just to reiterate: the war needed an end, and an end we got…so let’s move on!)

Creating a bit of an ego & languidity, that’ll rear its head given a chance

(Though they’ll admit to it, not!)

They are the beneficiaries of advantage afforded to them courtesy of history ,

(The foundation of their arrogance and presumptuous hypocrisy!)

Then, again, the world over, some things remain the same:

The young explore for they are naturally inclined to be fascinated (not deterred) by difference, which they regard as extraordinary;

(Only to realise, over time, things are not as unique nor as different as you first believed them to be!)

The old return home for they crave  stability and certainty,

(Only to find, home is not what they remembered it being!)

Whatever said and done be you suddu, kalu or neither:

There is more that unites than divides, the Sudda & You!

Death of Compassion

When did it happen?

Truly, I need to know!

As a nation, we are compassionate,

That much: is- a- fact;

We lead the global list of per capita donations to charity & worth-while causes,

And in the wake of disaster and need,

We respond wholeheartedly,

Often, without restraint!

However, in the quiet corners of this nation-

The aged live isolated (even, neglected) lives;

If the curse of debilitating ill health should visit you in your old age,

Likely modern medicines will keep you alive and prolong your life,

Thereafter, it seems it’s down to random luck if you will be entrusted to carers with compassion and understanding, or not,

A frequent topic of discussion of call-in talk shows, which, each time, unearth frightening and disturbing accounts of neglect & maltreatment,

Suggesting the problem is neither isolated nor localised,

A frightening prospect, then:

Which, at its worse, could condemn you to suffer in silence, making pleas for help to unsympathetic deaf ears, or worse till your end of days,

Perhaps even left un-cleaned in your own excrement, to likely develop bed sores;

To face an unimaginably painful dread end;

Where is the imbued compassion of years old?


Why has the death of compassion allowed to become so widespread?

They’ve given their best, only to be treated like consumables past their prime and cast aside!

Lying in a human equivalent of a landfill site (with a marginally better hygienic regime), waiting their turn to die;

Why is this so? When in other (perhaps less developed) nations, this is not so?

Is it a by-product of our hectic, busy-busy, over-sophisticated lives?

Or, does obsession with self, rather than the whole, mean-

We are individually less generous with our time, patience or understanding, than even with our money –

A national disgrace no matter what positive spin is put on it by those in authority;

Who will likely compare favourable statistics with unfavourables, deftly playing the well-practised numbers game;

For, unlike other less developed but better performing countries or societies on this front-

This country can afford to do something about this udesirable phenomenon, but chooses not to;

Because, it should never be forgotten:

That not every problem can be fixed with money and you cannot (no matter what you believe) pay another to care about one of your nearest and dearest, as well as you would.

‘Four More Years’

A coloured man, black of appearance but of mixed parentage –

Quietly reflective, unassuming, and statuesque-thin,

He came to prominence on a party convention stage in 2004;

A gifted orator, he took to the podium ‘n’ did a most remarkable thing:

He shared his own remarkable personal journey unto that moment, and highlighted an undeniable truth that left a world enraptured and in awe:

‘In no other country could my story have been possible’

Then in 2008, the unthinkable happened;

This man was elected President of the most powerful country the world has ever known;

Historic, to say the least;

It inspired (and continues to inspire) a generation-

The rejoice and euphoria of that achievement, inevitably raised expectations;

What was improbable became possible;

We tied and tethered our sails to his mast, and unreasonably (on reflection) expected calm seas year round-

Though we were all in the middle of an almighty economic storm-

Reality took time to dawn;

For with every great action there is an equally great opposite reaction,

And four years on, another reckoning was called: 

By this time, the optimistic campaigner of old had become a pragmatist;

His unrestrained optimism of previous years had been tempered by the realities of office,

And these facts are self-evident in his less gun-ho attitude, temperament and cautiousness-

No longer over-promising, or grandstanding, or (mayhaps, even) so politically-naive, 

This re-invention suggests he has much more to offer than all the other pretenders to this much-coveted throne;

So, when the man says I have learned my lessons and I am better for it, I tend to believe him,

For a statesmen who is willing to learn from his lessons, surely has greatness within his grasp!

City of Pygmies

This city stands in grand scale, near-eclipsing the sky

Huge monoliths of steel, glass & concrete;

Testing the boundaries of modernity’s ambition,

Vying against the known limitations of engineering & architecture: 

Like Stonehenge, the Pyramids, & the Taj Mahal, in ages gone by; 

Whereas the latter, were in praise of the rulers of life, death and/or the afterlife;

The former, are altars in praise of the God of wealth, opulence and an overt manifestation of self-pride

Delivered to you through acolytes, filled to the brim with avarice in their eyes; 

Termed variously as ‘art’, ‘impressive’ or ‘achievement’ by its followers:

Their ambition is to mesmerise, captivate, enthral; & seduce you into rapture,

To allow the proselytisers of this new religion to exploit, in converting new followers into believing:

Money, wealth and consumerism, is:

The meaning of life(!)

We be Rioting!

We be rioting

Cause nothing be changing

Police be wholesale abusin’

Left unchecked to get on with it

They say, the IPC be investigating

IPC: bunch of toffs paid to think up excuses

No more council housin’

Media be naming and shaming,

Public be melting down call-in ‘phone lines!

Asking po-lice to blaze out water cannons ‘n’ shoot brothers ‘n’ sisters who be lootin’, on sight

And they be calling us ‘the mob'(!)

Motha fucka – this is our version of striking!

Civil disobedience!

At government cut-backs & societal neglect!

‘Don’t mess about, son’, a copper says ‘no one will give you a job’

Isn’t that the point, though?

You gave us teachers who couldn’t teach,

So, we turned en-mas to idolatry-

To those we thought gave a damn; searched for meaning in lyrics, and taught ourselves (and each other) as best we could!

While filling our heads with unrealistic aspirations & dreams!

Suggesting an idyllic life was there for all to reach ‘n’ achieve:

When the odds of actually doing it (like the lottery) are 14 million to one!

They said we could be proud, now you’re saying:

That ain’t so, ’cause you ain’t got nothing to be proud about!

Yes, we are the disenfranchised, lost generation,

An over saturation of people chasing a buck-

Meaking out a penny or living, just hand-to-mouth,

We was born after your erstwhile Empire,

Previous generations frigging wipedout the economy, by draining all the bling in the treasury!

Now, we be in the trough, cause you been having your fill ‘n’ then sum!

Did we loot chicken shops? No- ’cause that’s all we can afford to eat (four chicken wings for a pa-nd)

So- we be sleepwalking into multiple heart attacks in our middle ages!

Will there be a free NHS, when we’ll be needing it though?

Or, will we just be falling dead on the pavement, yo?

The streets of inner cities will be crowded with corpses brov,

With folks just falling dead like flies in a sudden cold spell,

In any case, there ain’t no point working:

If you make it to a decent bracket of income, they’ll tax 40% of what you make,

State pensionable age will be 80 odd by the time we’re up,

Darn it kids, they’ll have to wire it straight to the hospital or the fucking funeral home!

May be they’ll pile up all the destitute dead, dying or aged in all them dilapidated derelict tower blocks,

Then napalm the fuck out of it to celebrate the Monarch’s second jubilee!

It’ll be another whitewash!

One rule for the rich, well-positioned (with better jobs and a range of options to choose) and another (the breadcrumbs, with no choice) for the rest of us,

The bare minimum,

For us to fight, kill & die over!

For your sheer entertainment value-

To their wild manic applause, like the gladiatorial pit of the Colosseum at the height of Rome!

A crime most foul, with the complicity of the better off & the affluent!

Hasn’t it, though, been forever thus?