I’m happy to be featured in Echelon magazine’s 40 Under 40 feature, profiling young people who contribute to the economy in some way, mainly in business but also in terms of innovation and thought leadership. It’s an interesting article not just in that I’m in it (mainly for work on indi.ca and Kottu but also YAMU) but also in that the magazine takes a bit of a critical stance. It’s worth reading the editorial (which I can only find in print) where they describe that only a few women are included and that all of the 40 are from middle to upper middle class backgrounds.
Archive for the 'Personal' Category
Isura said it best ‘I’ve met SARATH only once. But feels like known him for ages’. I met Sarath Sathiamoorthy a few times but I also felt like I’d known him forever through his innovative use of social media for business. The last time I saw him I was buying flowers for my mother at his shop, the Bloom Room. He said he was limiting his work hours for health reasons, though he looked as active and vibrant as ever. Yesterday, however, he died. Sarath Sathiamoorthy has passed away.
When I first arrived in America I didn’t speak English. I’ve always been monolingual, either mono-lingual Sinhala as a child or monolingual English (with bad French) now. Actually, I spoke English first, in Canada, then completely switched to Sinhala in Sri Lanka. When we went to America I had to relearn English from scratch. I have little memory of it but apparently I couldn’t ask to go to the bathroom. What I do remember, unclearly, was being invited to a birthday party as a child an A) not knowing what was going on and B) having some woefully inadequate gift. I think it was a bouncy ball and some plastic unicorn. That can’t be right.
I was getting my passport and the lady asked what to list as occupation. I said writer. She said, ‘can you show me anything you’ve written?’ I wanted to point to a computer but I couldn’t see any. I write for papers but it’s not like I had any on me. So what to do. On my passport it doesn’t list any occupation at all. Someone recently asked me how much I write and I finally did a wordcount. I’ve published over 1.2 million words over ten years now. That’s War And Peace, twice.
IIt’s 5 am. I’ve been up all night. We’re supposed to be. The doors and windows are open. Seeya’s body is in the living room. The candles are burning down.
My grandfather was born November 19th, 1924, in Panadura. That side of the family had gradually proceeded up the coast, from Matara generations ago. Achchi and Seeya eventually settled in Mount Lavinia. When I was young we lived there. Many people lived there, when they needed to. I grew up around a lot of Akkas and Ayyas who I later discovered weren’t really relatives at all. But they were. That’s what I remember most about my grandfather. He was a good man.
I got the car back, but I don’t even want it anymore. I’m not saying it isn’t great to have wheels. It’s just that you miss a lot when you’re not on the street. I had to head into town today and I just left the car at home. I’m not in a hurry and my job is largely to see. So I looked around.
I spent Avurudu weekend away from tech as much as possible. It’s not very possible. At my Achchi’s house there’s only phone reception in one corner of the verandah, but now there’s satellite TV. I carry an analog looking camera, but it’s still digital, and cousins still want to look. I took the iPad to perhaps write or draw, but they want to play Angry Birds. Meanwhile the aunts and uncles want to know how to setup Bluetooth on their phones. Not that it’s just my relatives, I was damn sure in that corner of the verandah, checking my Facebook messages. It’s not easy to get away, least of all from myself.
Happy Sinhala and Tamil New Year everyone. I’m going back to the village and taking a break from blogging. Everybody’s taking a break from everything really. I’ve heard Avurudu called the revenge of the rural on the city – all the domestics and laborers go home and city people have to sweep their own floors. It’s also a nice check out and refresh holiday. I’m heading out.
I can sleep almost anywhere, and do. I think I inherited this from my mother. However, lately I’ve discovered that I also drool and loll my head about like a fool. I never quite realized this. I’d say it was embarrassing, but I’m asleep. I wouldn’t even be aware, if not for these pictures.