Posted in Suicide, Word prompt

She wears her heart on her sleeve but then…

I am going to attempt as many daily prompts as possible to come up with this post.

heart on her sleeve

She wears her heart on her sleeve. What you see is what you get.

It all comes to an abrupt end.

She observes the change in society.

The tide has turned.

Did she look at ‘tumbler’ for a mentor?

What pierced her bubble?

Why won’t she flaunt her sleeves again?

What caused her rapid decline?

I miss her laughter. The one that starts five minutes after.

The rebel is lost. Forest of self doubt has taken over.

This forest harbors the skewed society views as well

Which now threatens her core self.

Her Laughter has come to an abrupt end.

As I started writing my inner mind went back to memories of Vicky.


















Posted in True Story, Inspirational

Lady vs Tomboy?

A random piece of writing I found on my tablet.  It has no real beginning or a proper end.  It must have been a long wait at the doctors or at the airport.  I vaguely remember writing the piece, but don’t remember the reason nor the purpose for the birth of this piece.

The character is not me but could say some of it is based on me with added poetic licence stretched to the limit.



Seventeen, the cusp of innocence escaping out.  Slowly strange feelings creeping in. She notices the opposite sex.  She maintains her sense of aloofness to hide her inner demons.

She is the princess of this village. She reigns this orchard and rules her parents.  She is a sweetheart without the frills of a lady, she is a tom boy but with a touch of girlish shyness.  Is she a lady because the society has demanded that? Or is it just her inner self confused? She is polite but not meek, not always.  But the society is doing everything it can to mould her right. With the excuse of paying respect to elders, her voice is muffled.  She gives in before she suffocates.

There is conflict between the society’s expectations of conformity and her father’s trust in her and the release of freedom.  Her father too wants her to be a lady, but with her own convictions, he wants her to speak out if she sees it’s wrong and stand up for the wronged but still hanging on to her femininity. She knows the balance but the society fails to see the difference.



She grows up, loving her shoes and her pair of shorts. She grows up climbing trees and screeching at cockroaches.  She is a tomboy who loves her bags, she is lady who hates to grow her nails. But slowly she is losing her fight, but her true self shows its ugly head time to time to the annoyance of the pillars of society.

She is just starting to notice the boys.  A little flutter every time she feels the staring eye of the opposite sex.  She doesn’t really know what to do. She avoids eye contact.  She knows the society is watching.  All she can do is pretend not to notice but secretly liking that feeling.

She has progressed from Enid Blyton to Mills and Boons.  She pauses at the raunchy romantic paragraphs.  She can’t put the book down.  Her heart beats faster, she gulps down the carnal guilt. The second pillow becomes her lover at night.

She does believe in feminism but she doesn’t want to bargain it for her femininity and modesty. She will not succumb to her inner carnal desires, she will not admit even to herself that she is getting interested in the opposite sex.  Is it the society’s expectation or is it her own convictions? She doesn’t know. The older she grows, she feels the presence of the societies tendrils.

Her inner self smiles at the glances and advances made by the young male community.  But, feared anything that even remotely looked like it was going to escalate to becoming a proposed marriage.  She knew her father was not in favour of this system , but she still feared, just in case, the society and it’s beliefs were bigger than him.


The End (for the moment)



Either the doctor was ready for me or it was time to board the plane.  That’s where the story ends.  On another visit to the doctors I might find out more about her.

Posted in Book review, True Story, Inspirational

An Unfinished Odyssey – Book Review


With a lot of pride and joy, I start writing today.  I start writing about a project I was involved in.  I can’t take any credit for the way this book has turned out.  But I will surely take pride in claiming to know the Editor and publisher of this great book.  So I am going to claim pride by proxy.

Rohan may not know this, but after a very long lapse the reason for me to pick up the pen or in my case the keyboard to write was, him asking me to write about my journey through cancer and other medical dramas.  At the time he made this request, my desire and habit for writing was dormant.  That piece of writing was the reason for the birth of my blog.  So I owe a lot to Rohan for igniting that passion again in me.

Rohan is a great writer himself and was a regular cricket columnist for the “Island” newspaper.  He is a well read man with wicked sense humour.  But along with those good qualities he also possessed a very stubborn and ‘never give up’ ‘pain in the rear’ type quality. Which can be pretty annoying, especially if you aren’t too convinced you want to do what he is asking you to do.  However, you finally give in, as you can see he is not going to back down until he gets what he wants.

“An unfinished Odyssey” is the grand production from the above guy. Rohan and my hubby worked for a company called the Ceylon Shipping Corporation.  Amazing establishment in those days.  Rohan was the Chief Engineer and my hubby a Captain. Rohan tirelessly went after many who have sailed on these ships to write their life and stories and made it into this magnificent book.

Rohan asked me to contribute to this book as the only female/supernumerary and I duly obeyed.  It was great to see my name on such a great book.  I wrote a book review and sent it to the Editor of the Sri Lankan “Island” paper.  I was rather chuffed today to find out that it has actually made it into the paper.

The Book Review

An Unfinished Odyssey’ – an Anthology a collection of tales and musings from those who have served for CSC (Ceylon Shipping Corporation), compiled, designed and edited by RohanWijeyaratna.

In the era of eBooks, this book stands as a testament and shows the irreplaceable value of a good hard cover book; a book that you can judge merely by its cover alone.  The journey begins from the minute you set eyes on this creation. It is evident the Editor, Designer and ‘Owner’ of this book Rohan, had looked into every minute detail which has gone into making it near perfect.  From the posh silky paper to the font style, everything about the book looks simply exquisite.  If you are a reader you will be affected by a serious case of “can’t put it down”.  If you are not a reader, it is a piece of artwork to adorn your bookshelf in the sitting room, to make you look learned.

Like all great ideas the origins of making this book evolved around Rohan’s inspiration lapped up by a bunch of old sea dogs who had by then consumed a skinful or two (a sailor’s skinful or two – the amount that leaves most land-dwellers incapacitated). Rohan was perhaps the only one in his senses to understand the enormity of the exercise, which is why we heard from him so often – pleading, cajoling, threatening and insulting in various stages prior to final deliverance. What he has put together are a collection of tales which are near unbelievable. They stand as a true testament to his unrelenting perseverance.

Many of us are inspired into writing our own life stories.  We often say to each other that we should make these stories into a book.  But very seldom do such wishes turn into reality. I doubt if anyone else would have initiated such a mammoth task; very certain no one could have persevered and produced it with such class as Rohan has.

However, reading about the editor I come to realise that RohanWijeyaratna is no novice when it comes to the literary world, and it is abundantly evident with the outcome of this book. He has been a regular Cricket columnist for “The Island” newspaper for about 7 years in addition to his professional work.  He was also responsible for the birth of the Newsletter, and he also produced and  published as the ‘Journal of the I.Mar.E – Sri Lanka branch (Institute of Marine Engineers)’.  Without such journalistic experience and expertise and the inherent art in him, this project might not have been so successful.

The very first page, poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow sets the scene perfect.

“Ah! What pleasant vision haunt me, as I gaze upon the Sea….”

The first verse finishes with “all my dreams come back to me.”

The last verse finishes with “and the singing of the sailors and the answers from the shore!”

And yes you can’t put it down after that start.

The book gives you a snippet of the history of Sri Lankan Shipping which starts in the late 1960’s and then the tales from individual sailors starting around early 1970’s.  Writers from the early era have taken justifiably written with pride in describing their first love – the m.v. ‘Lanka Rani’, which was the first ship they sailed on.  The stories arelisted as per the progression from the Cargo Ships with oak interiorsfit for a Queen to the modern Container ships stripped of its oak finishes, brass fittings,the lace and trimmings.

Just like how Rohan explains, “much like good wine, the stories kept getting better with age and embellishment”.  It is evident from these stories that this period in their lives was not just in pursuit of a career for these young men (now not so young).  As a woman who sailed and didn’t have to work for the privilege I can confirm this part of their career and life was, and will always bequite unforgettable for them.

Like life, these young men met with their fair share of triumphs and trials on each of these voyages. Death of their colleagues(at sea), fire, and very bad injuries were all part of the journey. Movie scenes of “man overboard” was part of their life.There are stories of “Ghosts” on board as well to add to the mystic.  One writer explains how “when they ran short of liquor the ghosts were up to mischief”.  Everything was solved with a good drink, laughter and mateship.

The book illustrates much good humour and witticisms throughout, even in the presence of hardship.  It gives you a great appreciation of the “foreign” item you buy off the shelf-be it the most expensive bottle of Grange Shiraz or just some condiments. They’ve all had their fair share of taleswrapped around them as they reached their final recipients’ hands, and those who brought them to us had a way ofnarrating their tales with passion, pride and style, as amply seen throughoutthe pages of this maritime classic -“An unfinished odyssey”.

I can assure you, it is a great read; worth every penny spent in buying it.

By Uma Ganesan – who sailed in the capacity of Supernumerary.


I humbly urge as many of you to make a purchase.  I don’t make a red cent from the sales nor does Rohan.  He is a visionary.  He is planning to sponsor as many cadets from poor backgrounds.  I think the best form of charity is not just to give some one the money but in fact to pave the way for them to make that money.

For book purchases

My review on the island paper


Posted in Daily post, True Story, Inspirational

What Happened to MH370?


8th March 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 just disappeared with all it’s passengers and crew.  Just disappeared into thin air.  The first day was chaotic. Families left behind were angry and sad.  They demanded answers and weren’t prepared to accept that a plane could just disappear.  Who could.  Days became weeks and now their hopes of recovering the bodies were disappearing too.  After nearly four years of search by different organisations, now the search is going to finally end.

I feel for the families who are struggling to move on.  Not just for those who perished on MH370.  But for all those families who have lost a family member because they’ve gone missing.  Parents of kids who have been kidnapped.  They have to not only deal with the grief of losing the loved one but also the added agony of not knowing what really happened.

Rivulets of tears almost drowning the flicker of hope but somehow they muster another day to wait in hope.

Taxes and death are the only sure thing they say.  It’s not just about accepting the death that is hard in this scenario.  But it is when, whom and how that makes it harder.

I am pretty sure they have said enough prayers and don’t need mine.  And it’s not like god was waiting for that last prayer from me to reunite these sad souls.  But other than a prayer I have nothing else to offer.


Posted in Daily post, True Story, Inspirational

I could have done more…

sad boy

It’s been a few years, at least  more than five years, but that little face is stuck in my head.  I still wonder what happened to him, did his life get any better? where is he? how did he turn out to be? I fear to find out the answer.

It was Christmas Eve and all the medical centers were closed other than just this one on Old Port Road.  Not sure what was the emergency, but Arj needed to see a doctor and we decided to take the plunge and go there.  You don’t need an appointment at this medical center, hence it’s always overflowing with patients.  We had no choice but to endure the wait and be there.

Next to us was a mother with a toddler in her hand and an older son.  I think he would have been around five or six years old.  The boy was bored and was showing signs of it.  The mother reprimanded him for that.  Although I could empathize with the boy (as a mum of two boys myself), I understood the mothers role.  Memories of dragging my two when they were that age came to mind and didn’t envy the mother at all.

As time passed, we noticed that, she was playing with toddler, hugging and kissing the toddler, it was all about the toddler.  Each time the little boy would come to join in, she would push him away.

I was feeling very uncomfortable with this scene.  She started to talk very loudly, and would blame the boy for infecting the toddler.  As per her she had asked him not to kiss the baby and he still did it and now since the baby is sick he has to put up with being at the surgery.  Such conversations happened a few times.

Now it was getting dark and late.  Well past dinner time.  So he asked if he could get a few coins to buy a snack from the snack machine.  For which she gave the same line “no, it is because of you that we are here…” Unfortunately the snack machine is not in that building, it’s the next building otherwise I would have just bought a few snacks and given it to him and Arj and pretended that I was just sharing.

I was planning many things in my head. I was thinking maybe I could loudly announce to my son “Arj here” and hand him some money “go and grab some snacks, take him too (pointing to that boy)looks like he is hungry, not safe for him to go on his own” etc.  I was thinking of asking Arj secretly to find out the boys name and which school he attends while they are going for the snacks.  So I could inform the school and ask them to keep an eye on this kid.  In my eyes this was a horrible type of child abuse.  Mental abuse.

While I was debating what to do, she threw some money at him.  And it fell under the chairs.  He excitedly crawled under the seat and got the money.  It was only two 5c coins.  He innocently asked “can I go mum to buy something”.  She started to laugh at him “you silly, it’s only 10c’s, you can’t buy anything for that”.  The poor kid started to cry.  I wanted to join him.

Just then our doctor emerged and called us in. Uncomfortably I headed to the doctors.  I wanted to say something to the doctors. But I didn’t.  Do you think I feel guilty? More than you can imagine.  Maybe I didn’t want to blame another mother without knowing what was really the circumstance.  I don’t know why but no words came out.

When we came out they had gone into the doctors.  Arj could see I was rather distraught.  He kept assuring me that there was nothing I could have done.  Coming closer to home I got an idea.  I hurriedly got home.  Nearing Christmas I had many chocolate boxes in my cupboard. With the excuse of Christmas I could give him one.  So I grabbed the box of chocolate and ran back to the medical center.

I ran upstairs to the waiting area and like I feared, they were not there.  I went up to the receptionist and explained that I know due patient confidentiality and all that she can’t really tell me much, but I was only wanting to give a box of chocolate to a little boy.  I described the mum and two kids sitting next to me and asked if they had come out of the doctors room, have they left etc.  She said  ” I can’t say much, and it’s not me saying it but if it was me, I would look near the toilets downstairs”.

I ran back down stairs again.  I had missed them.  I looked around the car park.  They were no where to be seen.  I knew I couldn’t change his life by giving him a box of chocolate.  But I wanted him to feel loved at least by a stranger.  Just to see a glimpse of smile on his face at least just for once.

I don’t know why that mother behaved that way.  I don’t know if that was her step son or her own son.  I understand the pressures of having a toddler and another child.  I have been there when Arj was really sick and I spent months in Hospital with him.  I felt so guilty and felt that I was neglecting my eldest.  I probably did.

No amount of hugs from hubby could wipe off the guilt I felt.  Even to this day his face haunts me.  I just hope that mother got some help.  I just hope that was just one bad day for that boy and not his destiny.  I just hope things didn’t get worse for him.

That is one regret that I don’t wan’t to ever repeat again.






Daily word Prompt Guilty:


Posted in Daily post, True Story, Inspirational

Putting his foot in it… Awkward

My Beloved turns Sixty tomorrow.


So I thought it is only fitting that I talk about some of his monumental “putting his foot in it” moments.  Not that he is the one who feels embarrassed or awkward, I am usually the one left to cover up the situation.

I could write a book about these incidents but unfortunately some of them might be far too politically incorrect.  Almost all of them are politically incorrect but if I avoid them I won’t have anything to write about.

Before you judge him, yes he is politically completely incorrect.  However, he has the most amazing heart.  He will help anyone with any colour, race or religion, but don’t ask him to recite Baa Baa rainbow sheep.

Here we go, with one of the gems.

We had been invited to another Aus/Sri Lankan family for dinner.  There were many people there and we didn’t know many of them. That has never been a deterrent for my husband to completely take over the conversation.  While he was holding the fort in the lounge room I went into the kitchen to help the host.  Suddenly the host rushed in and frantically starts to talk to me.

She goes “Uma, you need to hurry, your husband, he is talking about religion(anti)”, and she points to a couple and says, “they are very strong Christians, you need to make him stop”, I tried to get his attention without raising others attention, but to no avail.  The man was very impressed with his audience and he wasn’t going to give up the floor any time soon.  The said couple kept quiet and didn’t voice their opinion or objection.  The long night finally ended.  And each guest was now finally leaving one by one.  We were about to leave and my husband notices ‘The couple’ waiting.  They make eye contact and they answered to a question we never asked “we are not from Sydney, we are just about to call for a cab”.

All night, I have been trying very hard to avoid them and to keep my husband away from them as well.  But alas, my husband asks them where they were staying and announces that it in fact, that place was on our way and would love to offer them a lift.  My heart just sank.  I have no idea why but the couple accepted the offer.  It was a long awkward drive back home.

The above is the politically corrected version.



Posted in True Story, Inspirational

30 Day Challenge


Back story behind my last blog “Vicky has the last laugh”

Vicky was part of our small Gym group.  It’s not one of those 24 hr gyms where you turn up individually on your own time.  This is a small gym with a trainer and set class times.  This is not a place for just vanity.  We have members who compete on Iron Man/woman competitions and then there is me.  But it doesn’t matter I am still there.  We all train at the same time but at our own pace.  There is always a lot of laughter and friendly banter.  Most of us train with our family.  So most of us know each others partners and kids and the life stories that goes with it.  Saturday training usually follows a stop at a cafe for more chat and bonding.  So we all knew Vicky very well.  At least we thought we knew.  Obviously we missed the sign that she was going to end her life with no warning.

Our trainer Damien time to time sets up a monthly challenge or a sixty day challenge.  We have to come up with our own challenge.  We have to come up with a fitness/physical challenge and diet/nutrition challenge.  For example – Fitness could be to succeed something at the end of the 30 day period, such as, be able to do 10 chin ups or be able to run a certain distance or it could be do something daily activity eg run/walk.  Nutrition could be you give up chocolate for a month or alcohol.  The main point it has to challenge the individual.

This time Damien has included another category called the “well being”.  This is for our mental well being.  An activity that would relax us but due to our busy lives we normally don’t make an effort to do it.

This challenge kicked off yesterday.  I have chosen to write for a minimum of half an hour everyday.  This is my well being challenge.  I enjoy writing most times.  What comes out depends on what I am feeling at that time.  Hence I end up with posts which are funny, sad or even mad.

When I am happy writing makes me exude even more,

when I am sad, it makes me heal

when I am mad it gives me the space to vent

This is something that would really make me happy and relaxed.  Lately I have looked for excuses such as ‘word’ on my little tablet was not working, too tired to go upstairs to use the PC etc and hence the reason for my long absence from the blogging world.  Yes, the tablet was not working, Yes flight to upstairs looked very dreary.  But at the end of the day they were still excuses.

So for the next 30 days I will attempt to write every day even if it’s only a small blog. And hopefully that habit becomes permanent, where I set time for MYSELF too.

If there are any subjects or topics you think I should write about please feel free to suggest.

challenge 2

I have a great story for the word “awkward” for tomorrow.  See you tomorrow, same time same place.  Might not be same time but definitely tomorrow.



Posted in Suicide

Vicky has the last laugh

sick smiling

Vicky bids goodbye, rather abruptly.  My mind reels repeatedly “it can’t be that Vicky”.  But it was that Vicky.  She filled the room with laughter the day before, but she had none left for the day after.

We are left with questions and no answers.  How did we miss the signs?   suicide attention

What was the tipping point? I am trying to fathom the concept of Suicide. Again, I am left with more questions than answers.

Too many youngsters are departing the same way.  With new technology we are meant to be more connected than ever before.  But why is there such a disconnect with reality and society? We build a society in the virtual world but fail to know our neighbors.  “Love thy neighbor” has become “like my post”.

Is social media the only criminal here for the disconnect? I think there are many aspects of the society that needs a rethink.  We despise bullying.  But are the right actions taken to educate the society? The birth of reality TV relies and promotes bullying.  Even an innocent cooking show turns into a drama for ratings.  So instead of learning to cook we learn how to be bully.  Our kids are watching the adults and repeating the same.

A label for everything.  If you are genius you are a ‘nerd’.  If you like reading books you a ‘nerd’. If you are virgin you are a ‘mary’.  If you had more than two boyfriends you are a ‘slut’.  You are judged if you have a drink, you are judged if you don’t.  You are judged on what you wear, what you eat, what you drive, where you live.

The society cares about all that about you, other than saying “We care you live”

The society is Me, you and them.  Today I like to say to each and everyone who is struggling

“I care you live”,

I am sure there are many ‘You’s’ out there who will join me and say


together we can defeat ‘them’.

when you feel like giving up

Each one of us, is only promised today.  Tomorrow is a blessing for you and me.  Tomorrow would be much nicer with you than just me.


We all need somebody.  Let me be that somebody.

I don’t want to bid goodbye again.