Tuesday, January 19, 2010

with blogs being published life becomes even more voyeuristic

Current photo of the Kade (shop) at the entrance to the farm

Last Sunday (January 17th 2010) saw a publication of yet another blog entry, this time from my thinking blog, www.kalpanakaranna.blogspot.com in the Kottu section of the Sunday Leader. This time it was completely unsolicited nor was permission requested to publish either the text or the photos, both of which made it to the page. While I am aware that a blog is in the public domain, I thought there were some rules for wholesale extraction of a blog and including it in a publication. The problem is I don't think my better attempts get published, just those which appeal to the person who is choosing an entry for publication, whatever his personal preferences may be.

The published blog was something very controversial especially if some of the people reading it were also the weekend party at that place. I now realize that while my life is as open as it gets, with little I can keep for myself, due to my choosing to share my life with my readers, warts and all and at the same time being subjected to the various attitudes of the readers that are representative of people's attitudes at large.

When time permits I will continue to write and whilst I may offend people with some of my ideas, I do not intend to hurt anyone by my very personal views for all to read. It is important that we are able to express our opinions about any aspect of our lives and then be able to debate such with our fellow humans, so that we can either discard some of our ideas, or in other instances further harden one's convictions on other matters one feels strongly about. My readers will notice that I have very strong views, and but they are all honestly intended to improve the overall quality of life of the reader as well as my own, by sharing an opinion.

Yesterday Monday was another usual day and just to sign off, I will go through the day where I was up at 5 and sorted out some of the produce to take, took my cab to the kade area to unload stuff. I then sorted out unripe tomatoes to be refrigerated for longevity. I then took Sinha Bahu with me for the walk to deliver the can of milk to the collecting center. I then took Megha to the vet to get his rabies vaccination as per the schedule of inoculations. I then went with Sagara to the mill to collect the paddy I had left to be milled and also bought some poonac and rice bran. (horrified that the price had increased to Rs25kg and Rice Bran had increased to Rs17kg)

Once back on the farm I informed the staff that we may not be able to afford to give poonac to the cows as the cost of poonac and rice bran exceed the income I get from the sale of milk, and on top of that I have to pay the wages and feed the person who looks after the dairy. I shouted out aloud that I have no option but to just stick a knife into the animals as it is just foolish to suffer a continuing loss now exceeding 5 years in keeping a dairy if the paltry amount given per liter of milk sold continues. Such is the crap the powers that be talk about giving the farmer a place. I wonder who believes what the government says!

I then had to pack up my vehicle to the gunnals along with 400 king coconuts and go to Colombo for my delivery, and after 20+ homes and delivery places it was past 9pm when I turned into the Gregory's Road apartment for the night. It was just too late to go back to the farm and return, as I had to go to the World Trade Center today for my other job to help subsidize the losses of my agricultural venture. Every penny I earned yesterday was banked this morning in the accounts of two of my staff that paid the wages for two different locations, including the Rs 10,000 I paid to the caretaker of the Ratmale property I am still struggling to have finished so I can use it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

its about time I got myself a dog!

I was just informed today that some bags of fertilizer, (Urea) have been stolen from a locked garage on the adjoining property, same one in which the coconut thief was caught. So these are the problems of modern day small scale agriculture in Sri Lanka. No wonder then that those willing to invest in agriculture today, think seriously about securing the property from all comers, and completely fencing with expensive high fencing making it difficult to enter a property. The village properties with reservations etc. are difficult to so secure, but having the cost of a permanent watcher is also out of the question, as often the watchers are in cahoots with the thief!

So I have got myself a dog whose progeny I hope to introduce to the Polonnaruwa property to keep the unwanted visitors, both human and animal at bay. The only light I have had in the tough year I faced has been the somewhat limited time I have been able to spend with Bahu and Megha the puppies I recently acquired. The former is a Rhodesian Ridgeback and the latter a Dalmatian, both male, who I hope in time to be able to get them partners.

I am new to dog owning and it is a learning curve in knowing what to do and how to bring them up. It is time that I find some assistance in training as it is important that these dogs are properly trained to maximize on their true potential and benefit. So if anyone has any tips on how to properly train them, please let me know.

I have opened a website blog just for the dogs as they lend themselves to a picture filled blog showing them grow in size and dexterity. It is a dog's point of view on life and is www.sinhabahuridgeback.blogspot.com and I show a few of the photos that fill the blog above and below.

The veterinary care is important for pure breeds as they are more susceptible to catching diseases, and am fortunate to avail myself of the services of the vet who visits the farm to inseminate the cows, for the care of the dogs too.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

a point to remember - how different our lives are within Sri Lanka

I spent this New Year period in my Hingurakgoda, Polonnaruwa cultivation having driven in after a full day of work in Colombo on 30th and so arrived at 2am. December 31st was a Poya holiday, but we were up by 6am as it was a full day of work on the land, husking dried coconuts to be dried in the sun for coconut oil. Then it was onto plucking coconuts.

When we went into an isolated section by the riverside, in my sister's property we caught a coconut thief on his way down a tree after plucking the coconuts. He did not know who we were, and offered to pluck some nuts for us! On reflection we should have asked him to pluck the nuts from all the trees before revealing our identity and taking the law into our own hands and send him packing, saving us the climbing time and effort and lugging the nuts to the road so they could be loaded onto the truck.

Once he realized his luck had run out this time and was sorrounded by three of us, he quickly knelt and revealed the identity of who it was who had engaged him in the thieving. No physical violence was used. Later we confronted the absent purpetrator with threats of going to the police to make an entry, he said he was doing this because he did not have a job! and would be grateful for a job. His identity and farce requires another blog entry for another time.

To get back to the point I am trying to make, 31st was another day in the village. I also decided to have a hair cut before the new year, at the local salon and that cost Rs100, less than a US dollar. The barber has set up shop in a small shed in front of his house that is by the main road. I dare say that at the same time Colombo ladies were busy getting their hair done for New Year's Eve celebrations!

We had our normal dinner, which was rice and two curries as well as some fish we had caught a few minutes ago from the river on my property. I had received a bottle of Scotch from a customer of mine, which I had brought with me. So I invited my neighbors (men) ladies dont go out at night! There were 8 of us to share the bottle, and two Mega Bottles of Sprite (1500cc bottles) were used to dilute the strength. ( those who drink legal arrack also use this to dilute the strength and hence the use of Sprite) I dare say none of the others had ever had Scotch! Remember on Poya the bars are closed and accordingly the day before is the day of mega sales at the liqour outlets.

I dont have electricity at my place so it was with just a Godakumbura safe bottle lamp, and a fire on which the khomba leaves were burning on my verandah to ward of the mosquitoes that we enjoyed the eve of the last decade. It was bed time by 8.30pm and I did not hear the sound of one fire cracker, and was not woken up at midnight with the sound of fire crackers or barking dogs who would be frightened by the sound. Up again by 5 ready for another busy day. I had forntunately switched by mobile phone off so was not woken up by the loads of sms awaiting me in the morning.

Contrast this with three New Years parties that I had foregone in Colombo and the incessant sound of crackers from early evening till well past midnight in the Western Province, one would think we really live in two countries, and one does not know of the existence of the other.

So with this thought where 80% of the country would see the new year fast asleep in bed, with hardly a celebration, ready for another regular working day, as the 1st is not even a holiday in Sri Lanka, I wish you all my best wishes for the year and future ahead in achieving your goals and wishes.