Territorial War of Paws !

There definitely is a territorial war going on on Lake Road – or – in Sri Lankan parlance  – an ‘eelam‘ war as it is a battle to claim the Northern and Southern ends of Lake Road.

The main defender of territorial rights is Smokey Rasquinho, with backing and full support of FFF (fearless freedom fighter) aide and body guard, ‘Kella’

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Smokey – looks to his Commander in Chief for support.  Double brace put on after Bambi jumped on him snapping his leash 🙂

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Smoky’s Aide, Body guard and Fearless Freedom Fighter – aka Kella guarding her territory .  She has replaced ‘Monster, King of the Road. .

The usurpers who are trying to  take over territory, staking a claim to the North of Lake Road are

(a)  Whitey who lives somewhere around 1st Lane – re-christened Musso or Mussolini because of his belligerent war mongering attitude.

(b)  Spotted White dog from 2nd Lane aka Deven-iyaa (meaning No. 2 both in address and in rank)

(c)  White Mongrel who roams all over and wants entire area for himself.  He has been known attack humans with sniper bites – you have to be quick to pick up a hand grenades if you see him around.  Let’s call him Luna for I don’t want to offend him with ‘Lunatic’ as he really is unstable and unpredictable.

(d)  Deceptively innocent looking Brownie – renamed Snitch from today: story below.

The bystanders who sometimes get involved in the fray and who themselves claim rights of access whenever they choose to promenade  :

  • Maggie – very obedient to her Commander General.  A terrorist when he is not around
  • Bambi,  Labrador – totally controls Private Piyadasa who is dragged wherever she goes. Sometimes he just gives up on their private tug of war and she then bounds and leaps onto anything – including Smokey – snapping his leash and scaring the daylights out of him; but that is another story.
  • Dalmy the Dalmation – peaceable fellow as long as no one disturbs him
  • Scruffy –  little terrier with a bark 50 times bigger than his size who thinks he is an Alsatian.  He is one of those toy dogs you can carry around.
  • Ahinsaka (innocent) – a Brown Labrador;  Kella,  who has replaced peace-loving Monster resents her promenading on Lake Road.

So many tails  – sorry  tales,  of the War of Paws on Lake Road.  Today’s tale is how Snitch earned her name.

I was late so Usurpers were out in full force when we stepped out at 7.15 today.  It is an unwritten treaty that whoever leaves the bedroom first gets to claim Lake Road for the day.  This is prime land.  You get a (sleeping) dog’s view of traffic, persons walking, tradesmen,  and all the ‘goings on’ which you do not get on the bi-lanes and alleys.

I however support Smokey’s claim that Usurpers should stick to their bi-lanes and leave Lake Road to the legal residents … but who can explain this to Usurpers?

So the battle starts each morning as every paw wants to claim prime land for lolling and lazing till noon.

We had got into the habit of going out late because I did not want to exert nor involve myself in the war  – but then Usurpers started claiming territory so vehemently that Smokey could not even get close to the North.  I realised that I, his Commander in Chief, had turned tail and gone into retreat mode betraying his cause.  So now we try to step out at dawn in an effort to reclaim territory.  He is first off the block with the pmail, (a descriptive term I learnt from a fellow blogger though I can’t recollect who ?) stamps his mark and we return.

But we got late today.

Noticing Usurpers around,  I did a quick ‘reccy’  to assess what battles needed to be fought.  Timid Brownie was around,  and also Musso – very much outside his home base and approaching aggressively.  I stood my ground and called Bodyguard to go on ahead.  ‘Kella’ went running with her tail wagging and she and Whitey did- what looked to me like some nuzzling.   I thought oh Lord  she is now sleeping with the enemy. 🙁 Smokey too got on full alert.  Kella and Whitey continue to nuzzle.  ‘Traitor’ I said to myself.  However a few minutes later Musso turned tail and calmly went away … back to 1st Lane.  Oh!  misjudged you. Good girl Kella … negotiation at its best?

We continued North. The one woman Bodyguard Battalion went ahead clearing the way. Timid Brownie was easy to dispose of.  She retreated in a hurry, surrendering in crouched position near 1st Lane.   I noticed she started making ‘funny sounds’ – not barking nor whining, just odd sounds when we passed by.  “Hellow Lady … you want something you can’t handle?🙄”   I ignored her and moved past 1st Lane.   Her ‘sound’ changed to a bark  –  a serious sounding bark so I looked back to see what was going on.  Fortunately I did.  Musso was approaching at full speed for an assault from the rear.  Timid Brownie had ‘snitched’ with that funny sound she made and Musso was back in the fray.

Fortunately I was armed with a long white bayonet and ready for him.   I waved it ferociously, shouting to him to get away, and bent as if to pick up a hand grenade.  He retreated to his bunker in the bi-lane.

Small victory for Smokey and Fearless Freedom Fighter aka Kella.   At least for today all is quiet on the Northern front.

And Timid Browny got renamed – SNITCH.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For heaven’s sake my heart

For heavens sake my heart

In these days of social media – what I considered private, even sacred moments of love, family, passions and relationships are now thrown onto the public domain.

A man proposes to a girl with much fanfare on reality TV or in a staged drama set up for You Tube.  I am not sure who started this trend, but the first public proposal I saw was on Oprah.  Dare I say ‘yucks’!!  That’s bulldozing your love onto someone who might not be able to say ‘No’ publicly after such an elaborate drama.

A man or woman declare their love and appreciation for each other on Facebook, on Instagram, Snapchat and other local media.  Husbands and wives thank each other on FB on anniversary dates.  A girl notifies the world that she is pregnant the minute she gets the news.  Private moments do not seem sacred anymore.  Everything is public.

Tomorrow, Valentine’s day, I am sure we can expect a spate of public declarations on social media.    Call me old-fashioned, a recluse, an introvert, a fuddy duddy or whatever – but the wisdom of Gibran which I read many years ago has stuck with me ….

For heaven’s sake, my heart, keep secret your love, and hide the secret from those you see and you will have better fortune.
He who reveals secrets is considered a fool; silence and secrecy are much better for him who falls in love.
For heaven’s sake, my heart, if someone asks, “What has happened?”, do not answer.
If you are asked, “Who is she?”;
Say she is in love with another
And pretend that it is of no consequence.
For heaven’s sake, my love, conceal your passion; your sickness is also your medicine because love to the soul is as wine in a glass – what you see is liquid, what is hidden is its spirit.
For heaven’s sake, my heart, conceal your troubles; then, should the seas roar and the skies fall, you will be safe.”

From my book shelf:   “Mirrors of the Soul”- Kahlil Gibran

Gibran : The teachings of the Nazarene

Kahlil Gibran in ‘Spirits Rebellious’ has his character – a monk Kahlil – speak of the truth which he has learned from the teachings of the Nazarene :

“Vain are the beliefs and teachings that make man miserable and false is the goodness that leads him into sorrow and despair, for it is man’s purpose to be happy on this earth and lead the way to felicity and preach its gospel where he goes. 

He who does not see the kingdom of heaven in this life will never see it in the coming life.  We came not into this life by exile, but we came as innocent creatures of God, to learn how to worship the holy and eternal spirit and seek the hidden secrets within ourselves from the beauty of life.  This is the truth which I have learned from the teachings of the Nazarene.  This is the light that came from within me and showed me the dark corners of the convent that threatened my life.  

    … This is the religion as the convent should impart it; as God wished it; as Jesus taught it. “

K. Gibran,  Spirits Rebellious: Khalil The Heretic from The Complete Works of Kahlil Gibran  New Delhi, 2008, 464,

The Complete Works of Khalil Gibran

From my book-shelf

 

ARE YOU IN CONTROL?

I believe anyone who is on medication or seeing a Dr. needs to read this post.

All About Healthy Choices

When it comes to the length and the quality of our lives, there is no plan of action that guarantees results. That being said, there are choices we can make that increase the chances for longer healthier lives.

When Babe Ruth picked up his first baseball bat he wasn’t a natural home run hitter. When Michael Jordan picked up his first basketball, he didn’t gracefully fly through the air scoring basket after basket.

As each of us goes through life and starts a new “adventure”, our lack of experience often reveals an awkward “clumsiness.” SUCCESS isn’t a birth right; it is mostly acquired through dedication and persistence.

SpinningPlates-01

The plate spinner is frenzied early on as he watches plate after plate fall and break

spinning-plates1

…and with practice, patients and persistence he overcomes the learning curve and enjoys the benefits of achieving successful results…

Our health is no different. We were not…

View original post 604 more words

My neighbour Mr. Croc

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My neighbour on Attidiya Lake – Lotus Grove in background.

My neighbour causes many passers by to stop, to gaze, and to take his picture if possible.  You have to be a bit quick though because he tends to submerge himself if he thinks there are too many inquisitive eyes staring at him. 🙂

I myself have got a bit blasé about having him for a neighbour.  He generally goes for an lazy afternoon stroll around 2 or 3.pm – moving from one end of the lake to the other – gliding slowly and lazily, parallel to the road in front of our home.   Usually, he swims just under the surface with only two blobs of his eyes or a bit of his head visible – which those who have not been introduced to him may mistake for a twig.  However we his neighbours can tell his presence by the long dark shadow just under the surface of the water.

I walked parallel to his route one day last week to see where he ended his stroll.  He went into a little cove created by the trees on the opposite embankment.

Today he was out a little earlier than usual.  Or perhaps it was I who was out a little earlier than usual  (around 6.15 am) and probably because it was so early and there were less prying eyes  – he was there well above the water .. moving resolutely and blithely,  seeking the vitamin D of the morning sun on his skin,  uncaring that early passers by stopped to admire him.

He is a fine specimen indeed.  You can’t be blasé – or act blasé about him if you tried.  A striking black and white that reminds you of a zebra.   I rushed back home to get my phone (camera) before he submerged himself again … but for some reason, he was most obliging today and stayed above the water till I returned to get a clear picture of his black and white striped pyjama suit.

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Resident Croc – Attidiya Lake

It was not easy  but I managed to get a few photos through the chain link fence that separates the lake from our road – a fence we fought against when the lake was privatised – we filed a fundamental rights case for public ownership of the lake and won but that is another story.  The highest court in the land gave us the option to pull down the fence but by that time we had got used to it so we let it stay whilst the lake reverted to public.

The fence that separates neighbours

The fence that separates ‘neighbours’ – Lake Road, Attidiya

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Grazing without fear – Lake Road, Attidiya

Today,  I thought to myself that it was a good option for both Mr. Croc and his neighbours on Lake Road who can now walk  (or graze) without fear.  And Mr. Croc too is guaranteed his freedom as long as he does not trespass.

Stay long gorgeous fella … I love having you as my neighbour.

 

 

The Edwards and Ranils of this world

have much in common.  Both are bachelors.

Both visited us last week.  Edward – a Christian came on the 24th before going to his village for the holidays.  He is not married, has no immediate family and no fixed dwelling. He stays wherever he is offered a bed ‘free’ or at low cost.

Ranil – a Buddhist – visited after Christmas.  He lives nearby with his mother and brother.

These visits are Christmas/year end traditions.   Other workers too visit – in appreciation for any contribution made in their lives during the year. They also come in expectation of  “Nathal” – colloquially “Christmas” –  with the material benefits and joys it brings.

So we give them gifts in cash or kind, serve them Christmas fare, spend time in conversation and are usually content with having given them “Nathal”.

But is this enough?

Life has dealt the Edwards and Ranils of this world a bad hand and they have not been shrewd or smart or savvy enough to seize an  opportunity  to play a different hand.

And so both remain  dependent on the largesse of those around for survival,  It is not their fault entirely.

It was the luck of the draw that they were born into  impoverished families that barely eked a living and had to send them out to earn their keep at a young age.

Edward (55) and Ranil (42) have been working most of their lives, but how much can you save on a daily wage  to pull yourself out of poverty?  Poverty that forces you to remain single because you cannot afford a wife.  Poverty that makes you an ‘observer’ of life – other peoples lives.

Edward – an odd job worker may earn anywhere between Rs 700 to 1700 a day,  depending on the work he gets.

Ranil gets Rs. 700 daily for work as a security guard in a junior school near his home.  He is prone to asthma so the half day, quiet job suits him. It helps that he does not have to spend on transport.  But he does not get paid during school and other holidays.

Do we expect our people to survive on Rs. 700 a day – or even Rs. !700?  Sure, they can buy a square meal, but earning enough to only keep your belly full is a borderline existence.

The daily wage does not permit them to enjoy things that we take so much for granted.  An occasional meal in a restaurant, a new shirt or trouser, a decent pair of shoes, a phone, a movie, popcorn, ice cream… so many, many, little things are beyond them. Forget about room rental and the big things like furniture, beds, linen, crockery, cutlery.  That is out of the question.  A chance to travel, to see your country, to see the world….. that is  another universe entirely or the Edwards and Ranils of this world.

I look around: I have so much around me right now  – desks, lampshades, computers, rugs, TV , books  … so much to occupy me.

And the Edwards and Ranils of this world …?

Is it any wonder then that one drinks himself into a stupor at the end of the day, whilst the other sits on a bench.  That’s where he  watches the world go by whilst he waits for another morn which holds no more hope than today, or yesterday, or the day before.

Or will 2018 be different because we truly celebrate Immanuel – God with us.

The Power of No

Quote on No

The Power of NO!

NO to the extra shirt, or pants, or blouse or household gadget,

NO to lavish and extra packaging … and the extra plastic bag.

NO to keeping up with the ‘Joneses’ with a consumer oriented materialistic lifestyle and

NO to the craving for speciality food from across the seas;

NO to driving short distances instead of walking or cycling,

NO to taking the elevator instead of the stairs.

NO to putting the air-conditioner on all night and

NO to that extra light I can do without.

NO to a manicured lawn in lieu of trees.

NO to throwing what I can recycle or reuse.

Would you imagine that these simple ‘NO’S” of mine, if said often enough will reduce my carbon footprint and alter the course of history?

I invite you to look around, be aware and alert, check the many ways your personal NO can alter the course of history.

And share them here if you like so that together we can care for our planet.

It is OUR World.  OUR Responsibility.

Sustainable Development ExtraCarbon

Source: ExtraCarbon, Pinterest

Plastic – something to think about.

“Plastic should be a high value material… [It] should be in products that last a long time, and at the end of the life, you recycle it. To take oil or natural gas that took millions of years to produce and then to make a disposable product that last minutes or seconds, and then to just discard it–I think that’s not a good way of using this resource. (Robert Haley)”
Susan Freinkel, Plastic: A Toxic Love Story

Remembering my Dad ..

Today is my Dad’s birthday.  He would have been 95.

Mum and Dad

Dad with the love of his life – Mum !

I had started my memoirs when he was with us and had posted a few of the most vivid memories onto this blog,  but need to complete it so the next generation will know the wonderful legacy that he has left us.

Meanwhile ….this blog has been named after a cherished memory.  My very first post replicated below describes this.

Thank you my Darling Dad for leaving me with such a beautiful memory that has stayed with me from my infancy.  May the Angels play you sweet lullaby’s as you rest safe in the heart of your Maker, our God.

……..(My first post) ….

It’s been a long idyllic break since I left the confines of the commercial world and it is time to start my “ramblings”.

Unfortunately,  Rambling Rose,  my dad’s name for me, has been taken by many servers so I’ve settled instead for ‘wondering rose’ which is closely linked.  I ramble because I wonder and many are my ‘wonderings’.  I wonder about this and I wonder about that till I sometimes drive the family round the bend.   I am sure my Dad had no idea how I would turn out when he sang this lullaby to me, in a voice almost as glorious to me as Nat King Cole:

Ramblin’ rose, ramblin’ rose
Why you ramble, no one knows
Wild and wind-blown, that’s how you’ve grown
Who can cling to a ramblin’ rose?

Ramble on, ramble on
When your ramblin’ days are gone
Who will love you with a love true
When your ramblin’ days are through?

I can’t promise that anyone is going to love me or my ramblings but the Rose goes where it must – where the sun draws it …. and so too must I go … wherever The Son draws me.