Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Aloha 2019; Aloha 2020

With a few hours to go for the end of 2019, here's some reflection on the last 360+ days of the year.

2019 has been an year of reflection, change, positivity and eye opener.

Early this year started on a very not so steady platform. Personally and professionally. As the days and weeks went by, things didnt get better. Two families I grew up with over the last 6 years, I decided to let go from my life. TEDxColombo and ICTA. One for personal reasons and one for professional reasons. Things didnt seem great at all. And then came the horrible Easter attacks. Friends became enemies. Yet I made so many new good hearted friends. While many were fighting using the keyboard, I decided to put the keyboard to good use. With the help of many like minded and kind hearted people, we helped a lot of people in need. And continue to do so. I say we coz Im not doing this alone at all. Cheers to all the good, kind hearted people who have volunteered their time and money for the various initiatives.

By April, one chapter had ended and a month later, I started another. A new job, a new set of old colleagues, new work, more work, new environment. Many ups and some downs but it's been going great ever since. Hoping that 2020 is going to be much more exciting and we'll get to do much much more.

Also this year, I found out who were my real friends, who was working with me, who was working against me and most importantly who was backstabbing me. I've learned to keep the toxic people away from my life and some still try to find a way into it. But hopefully they will disappear in the future.

I've had a lot of fun too this year working on some amazing new projects. Learnt quite a few new things and have decided to let go of things burdening my head.

And amongst all this mess, I found that one special person sometime this year. Together, we've been through quite a bit. And I will be saying "I do" in a few days time.

Positive, negative? I'd always say positive. Everything happens for a reason.

Here's to a wonderful 2020 to you, me and everyone..

Happy new year everyone. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Sri Lankan Holidays 2019 - ICS File

Hello to everyone,

While the country is still trying to figure out what is happening in the political ecosystem of the country, we the people just continue with our day to day life. And so as to continue doing that in 2019, we need to know when the Sri Lankan holidays are.

So, as always, ive created the ICS file with all the Sri Lankan Holidays as Gazetted by the Ministry of Home Affairs (Gazette can be found at http://www.moha.gov.lk/web/images/latest_document/special_notices/Holidays_for_the_Year-2019/2077-32_E.pdf )

You can download the file from http://bit.ly/2EaNavq

The file can be imported into nearly any calendar application that supports ICS files.. I've used it on Google Calendar and Microsoft Office Outlook. If you dont know how to import, ask your best friend (ok, I mean Google).

Seasons greetings to you all.


Saturday, January 6, 2018

A new year.. A new project.. "The Curse of Sri Lanka"

Let me start off by wishing everyone a Happy New Year!!

So, thanks to some interesting events in the last several weeks, I decided to start on a new personal project..

Its a book.. I know its difficult to write a book.. Im not a writer like Dan Brown or like my friend Yudhanjaya.. But, its an effort Im going to put some personal time in.. And its not going to be fiction either. Its going to be a very true story.

I've not even had time to finish the 11 blog posts i've started writing in 2017.. How am I going to finish this book.. Well, its going to be a long long long term project. I haven't set a deadline as it involves a lot of content that has been generated and that will be generated..

One may ask what this book is on. Let me assure you that you will have an interesting read once its out. Also, its not about Sri Lanka being a curse.. its about a curse that haunting Sri Lanka.

And here's a promise to myself.. Im going to write at least one blog post every month this year and publish it. With me taking over another interesting project at work, I think I'll have some things to write about if it all goes well..

Adios for now!!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Sri Lankan Holidays 2018 - Google ICS File

We are at the end of yet another year.

To make it things easier for people, I've created the ICS file with all the Sri Lankan holidays as announced by the Ministry of Home Affairs through Extraordinary Gazette No. 2024/55 published on the 24th of June 2017. (http://www.moha.gov.lk/web/images/holiday_calendar/holiday_calendar_2018_e.pdf )

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE HOLIDAYS LISTED BY GOOGLE ON THEIR HOLIDAY CALENDAR FOR 2018 IS WRONG! So dont put your trust on this! Looks like they have missed some Poya days as this year we have 13 poya days as there are two months with 2 poya days each (its a double blue moon this year)

You can download the calendar from https://goo.gl/3AXhVB

Here's some interesting stats about the holidays next year..

  • 18 of the 26 holidays listed are falling on weekdays. But be sure to check how many of them are mercantile since your organization may be giving you only mercantile holidays.
  • January and March will have 2 poya days each on the 1st and 31st of the months. 
  • 6 long weekends in 2018! 
  • there are 8 holidays in 2018 with just one day in between a weekend (holiday either on a Thusday or Tuesday). Again, check on the mercantile holidays for this before you apply for leave!
If you dont know how to import this calendar into your calendar app, just Google it! 

So, its a time of celebrations and joy!!
Stay safe and act safe! 

Seasons greetings to all..


Monday, November 13, 2017

And then I changed my mind..

I've been working with TEDxColombo and the team putting together the show for 5 years now, but 2017 was a little bit different for me (may be for a few others too). I was at one point thinking to myself if I should leave as I had so many other things to be concentrating on among many other reasons.. I was not giving my 100% to the team as I had used to in the previous 4 years. Mind you, I left the hospital 3 days after having surgery for appendicitis and was in 2016 controlling the backstage 6 days after my surgery.

As usual, one morning I turned up for rehearsals and I heard for the first time Aritha​ doing his first cut of the talk. After the talk, we had a really long conversation about many things related to his talk and other stuff.

I've been working with different types of people throughout my life in different projects. I've talked to so many people. My ability to speak and understand Sinhala and Tamil has helped me understand the stories from both sides of the decades long civil war that was in our country. I've traveled to all 25 districts in Sri Lanka for work and leisure. I've worked with the politicians, top businessmen as well as people affected by natural disasters, the war and other issues. I've talked to people who supported both sides of the war (personal opinion aside).

Having heard the stories from both sides, I've often thought, how can we solve this issue? What can we do to change this society? What is that one piece of the bridge that cant still be fixed? or rather, how or where do we start to fix this broken piece? Listening to Aritha that morning, and processing his idea a few hours later in my head.. thats when I realized, hey, this might be the fix that all of us who wanted peace and reconciliation have been looking for. We cant fix everyone. But we can start by changing the generation thats going to be everyone very soon. We cant change everyone now.. But we can start the long term process now..

No one knows this, not even the TEDxColombo team, but that night was when I decided, I was going to stay on at least for this year and give my 100% for the show again.. Something in Aritha's talk gave me that little spark that was needed for me to strive for the best again. Thats what made me realize here is why I do TEDx.. here's why I put in time, effort, skills and connections (and sometimes money too) into TEDx.. It is to give people like Aritha the stage to tell the world how we can change it.. to tell the world, here's how we are changing it.. to tell the world, how we can all be part of the change..

I believe that everything that happens in this world, happens for a reason.. If for any reason, I hadnt gone for that rehearsal that morning, I dont really know what the outcome would have been.. But, I did and then I changed my mind.

Watch Aritha's TEDxColombo 2017 talk below