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Sunday, August 16, 2015

YOU TOOK MY HEART AWAY (ඔයා මගේ හදවත වෙන පැත්තකට ගත්තා)

Staring at the moon so blue
තරු දිළිසෙනවා හඳත් එක්ක, හරිම ලස්සනට
Turning all my thoughts to you
මගේ සිතුවිලි හැරෙනවා ඔයා දිහාවට
I was without hopes or dreams
මම හිටියේ කිසි ම බලාපොරොත්තුවක් වත්, හීනයක් වත් නැතුව
I tried to dull an inner scream
මං උස්සහ කළා නොපැහැදිලි විදිහට කෑ ගහන්න
But you saw me through
එත් ඔයා මාව ඇතුළාන්තයෙන් ම දැක්කා.........
Walking on a path of air
මම ඇවිදිනවා සුළඟින් හැඳුණු මාවතක
See your faces everywhere
මට පේනවා ඔයාගෙ මුණ, හැමතැනම..........
As you melt this heart of stone
ඔයා මගේ ගලක් වගේ හදවත මොළොක් කළා.........
You take my hand to guide me home
ඔයා මගේ අත ගත්තා මාව ගෙදරට එක්කන් එන්න........
And now I'm in love
ඉතින් දැන් මං ආදරේ කරන්න පටන් අරන්..........
You took my heart away 
ඔයා මගේ හදවත වෙන පැත්තකට ගත්තා
When my whole world was gray
ඒ මගෙ මුළු ලෝකෙම අළු පාට වෙලා තිබුණු වෙලාවක
You gave me everything
ඔයා මට හැමදේම දුන්ණා
And a little bit more
හැමදේටම වැඩියෙන්
And when it's cold at night
ඒ වගේම රෑට සීතල දැනෙනකොට
And you sleep by my side
ඔයා මගේ පැත්තක නිදාගෙන ඉන්නවා.....
You become the meaning of my life
ඒකයි මං කියන්නේ, ඔයා මගේ ජීවිතේ, අර්ථය බවට පත් වෙලා.......

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

kiss කරන්නේ ඇයි?

බටහිර සංස්කෘතිය තුළ සිටින පුද්ගලයින්ගේ විශ්වාසය වී තිබෙන්නේ kiss කිරීම විශ්වීය හැසිරීමක් බවයි. නමුත් නවතම පර්යේෂණයකින් තහවුරු වී තිබෙන්නේ kissකිරීම බොහෝ සංස්කෘතීන්වලට අනන්‍ය වූ අංගයක් වන බවයි.

නමුත් kiss කිරීම සත්ව ලෝකය තුළ දැකගන්නට හැකි දුර්ලභ සිදුවීමක් වන බවද සැලකේ. සත්වයින් kiss කිරීමට නොපෙළඹෙන්නේ ඒ හරහා ඔවුන්ට කිසිදු පණිවිඩයක් හුවමාරු කර ගැනීමට නොහැකි නිසාවෙනි.

මෑතකදී සිදුකළ අධ්‍යයනයකින් තහවුරු වී තිබෙන්නේ ලොවපුරා තිබෙන සංස්කෘතීන් 168කින් සියයට 46 ක් තුළ පමණක් ප්‍රේමාන්විත හැගීම් හුවමාරු කරගැනීම උදෙසා kiss කරන බවයි. බොහෝ ගෝත්‍රයන් තුළ කිස් කිරීම යන්න සිදුනොවන බවත් සමහර ගෝත්‍රයන් තුළ මෙය පිළිකුල් දනවන කටයුත්තක් ලෙසද හදුන්වන බවද සැලකේ. බ්‍රසීලයෙහි සිටින "මිහිනකු" (Mehinaku) ගෝත්‍රය කිස් කිරීම යන්න සලකන්නේ ඕලාරික ක්‍රියාවක් ලෙසිනි.

මෙම kiss කිරීම යන්න බටහිර සමාජයන් තුළින් පැතිරුණු කාර්යයක් ලෙස පෙනුණත් එය පරම්පරාවන් තුළින් පැතිර ගිය ක්‍රියාවක් බව නෙවාඩා විශ්ව විද්‍යාලයේ සිටින ලේඛකයකු වන විලියම් ජන්කොවික් පවසා සිටියි. මේ පිළිබදව තිබෙන පැරණිතම සාක්ෂිය වන්නේ මීට අවුරුදු3500 කට එපිටින් සංස්කෘත භාෂාවෙන් ලියැවුණු කෘතියක් තුළය. එහිදී kiss කිරීම පැහැදිලි කර ඇත්තේ එකිනෙකා ආත්මය ආඝ්‍රාණය කිරීමක් බවයි. චිම්පන්සින්ගේ චර්යාවන් තුළද සිපගැනීම දැකගත හැකි වුවත් එය ප්‍රේමාන්විත හැගීමකින් කරන චර්යාවක් බව නොකියවේ. එමෙන්ම එම පවුලේම තවත් සත්ව පිරිසක් වන 'බොනොබෝස්' සතුන් ඉහළ ලිංගික හැගීමකින් යුක්ත සතුන් බවත් සිපගැනීම්වලදී ඔවුන් දිව පවා භාවිත කරනු ලබන බවත් පර්යේෂණවලින් තහවුරු කරගෙන ඇත.

එකිනෙකා සිපගැනීම විටෙක ආගන්තුක හැගීමක් ද විටෙක ප්‍රේමෝන්මාදය ඇතිකරවන්නක් ද විය හැකියි. සිප වැළද ගැනීමකදී එකිනෙකා අතර හුවමාරු වන ඛේටය පවා විටෙක ආගන්තුක විය හැකි බව ද එක් සිපවැළද ගැනීමකින් මිලියන 80 ක පමණ බැක්ටීරියාවන් හුවමාරු විය හැකි බව ද පර්යේෂකයෝ පෙන්වා දෙති. 

sathhanda.lk

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

'NO' is not the same as 'YES'

Sexual Abuse, Consent, and Culture:

Sex is complicated in every way imaginable and this is not aided by the fact that we have a general societal taboo against discussing it. And when we do talk about it, it is often shrouded in metaphors and innuendos. That means a lot of the sexual norms of our society and culture are mysterious and we don't actually talk about them, we sort of infer them and that's absolutely ridiculous.

Our culture has an unhealthy and messed up relationship with sex, we have somehow made these relationships into predator-prey interactions. This is a dim-witted system.

A lot of the joy, wonder and excitement in a romantic relationship comes from those moments of excitedly discovering what both parties are interested in. The predator-prey relationship does not encourage that.

Here, I am explaining culture but I am not excusing the behaviour, when we're set up to 'assume' whether the hunted actually wants the hunter or not, that enables abuse. In my opinion this is not all but one of the reasons why sexual abuse is so common in our culture.

When we define 'sexual abuse' legally it has to be of course very specific, so that it can stand up in court. So it's different from country to country.

But for the purposes of having a general definition, let's just say that sexual abuse is when one party is being coerced into doing something sexual that she/he does not want to do. This could be either because the victim is incapacitated or because the abuser is an authority figure or because the victim is placed in a dangerous situation where he/she feels like he/she doesn't have the option of saying no or getting out of said situation.

Yhe gender of the parties is irrelevant. So is the actual act - it can be sex or kissing. One person does not want to do what he/she is doing and being pressured into doing it is what gets deemed as abuse.

It is ubiquitous and needs to not be, because it holds us back as a culture. We have to rid ourselves of that outdated and rotten conception that sexual relationships are like predator-prey relationship, that one is the hunter and the other is the hunted.

For the further success that we hope to reach in advancing this thought process, especially with regards to the relationships, the definition of 'consent' plays a very important role. One imperative detail here is that NOT saying 'NO' is not the same as saying 'YES'.

We need to communicate and we need to be sensitive , there must always be a conversation, we cannot go by what mainstream media may have fed us about these relationship. They are awkward and real and we mustn't assume a thing. It must all be discussed loud and clear, we have to respect and not pressure people when they don't want to do something. All this is just part of a larger whole.

The immediate reactions to sexual abuse include shock, fear or disbelief. Long-term symptoms include anxiety, fear or post-traumatic stress disorder. While efforts to treat sex offenders remain unpromising, psychological interventions for survivors, especially group therapy appears effective.

The term 'survivor' is sometimes used for a living victim, even of usually non-fatal harm, to honour and empower the strength of an individual to heal, in particular a living victim of sexual abuse or assault.

The American Psychological Association has suggested various ways one could aid in their recovery. Writing about difficult, even traumatic, experiences appears to be good for health on several levels, raising immunity and other health measures and improving life functioning.

Recovering emotionally from disaster, Understanding the emotions and normal responses that follow a disaster or other traumatic event can help you cope with your feelings, thoughts and behaviours and can help you on the path to recovery, The effects of trauma need not last a lifetime, Most people will experience a trauma at some point in their lives, and as a result, some will experience debilitating symptoms that interfere with daily life and there are many ways to overcome them, one must only reach out.

by Dimithri Wijesinghe /www.sundayobserver.lk

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Lost and found

By Ayodya Chinthani Bambaradeniya

I heard a faint clicking sound ringing near my ear. After a few more uncomfortable minutes in bed, I woke up with a sudden jerk to find that my alarm clock had disturbed my sleep. I could hardly open my eyes because the windows of my room were wide open to let the golden rays of sun shine into it.

I was angry at being woken up early in the morning and I wanted to switch it off at once. I wasn't very successful. My numb fingers knocked the clock off the table beside me. I heard it clatter on to the floor and knew it was no more.
Then I heard a loud disturbance that I had been completely unaware of. My younger sisters were rushing around, while our parents were trying to stop them. They were probably fighting about their "lost" toys. I didn't care about these things. I wasn't able to setle down to work because my faithful pet dog died. I let my thoughts travel back to the bitter past.

Shico was not only my pet but also my best friend. He was special to me. First of all, he was a canine and an adorable one at that. He was a cute little pup whom I met on the road side with a careless mother or master. I instantly felt sorry for him. I picked him up and took him home. That was the happiest day of my life, but the happy days did not last long.

One day my father decided to go on a trip to Kataragama. I felt sorry to leave my dog. Days passed and we visited many places. All was well until bad luck struck me and Shico. We came back home but "Shico" wasn't there.

My grandmother looked sadly at me. I realised something has happened. I searched for my Shico everywhere but I couldn't find it. "Did you see my puppy grandmother?" I asked. My grandmother slowly came near me." My darling, I don't know how to tell you this, but I have to tell you." she said. She told me the unfortunate and bad news about my pet. I couldn't believe it. I cried.

"What happened to you?" mother asked.

"Do you know mom, yesterday Shico had been playing on the road and suddenly Shico was run over by a car. He'll never come home again." I said. My family members tried to console me.

I couldn't believe how it had happened. He was an intelligent dog. I was angry about that stupid car driver and also about myself because I couldn't see it's body-I was too late. I went to my room slowly and closed the door. I pulled down my bed cover and pillows. I didn't want any thing. My mother asked me to open the door but I didn't want to listen to her. I was tired and I slept.

Days and weeks had passed, but I was ignorant about time. My daily routine was regular, it never changed. I spent most of my time in my bedroom looking at pictures of my pet dog and me.

My day-dreaming had to stop when I was summoned by my father to the living room, a place I hardly visit. Reluctantly as usual, I pulled myself out of the dark-cave.

I left my bedroom and slowly went down the stairs, wondering what it might be. I stayed a while outside the living room, listening to what it was about.

I slowly walked in there and at once I knew what I had been called for - a friendly bark greeted me as Shico jumped on to me and started licking my face as if it was crazy. Everyone called out "Happy Birthday". This pleasant surprise was followed by a delicious cake and soft drinks. I enjoyed the rest of the party and returned to my bedroom. This was the biggest surprise in my life.

http://www.sundayobserver.lk

Why can't a man think like a woman

.... and a woman think like a man?

by Amy Reichelt

Men and women may feel like they differ on much more than just the possession or not of a Y chromosome. How we react emotionally to a situation, remember events and navigate our way around the environment has also been shown to differ between genders.

Gender differences in some of our physical features can be easily determined, aside from just the obvious differences in terms of genitals. A skeleton can be identified as male or female based on the shape of the pelvis, skull and sternum.

Whether our brains differ structurally is a hot topic in neuroscience. Recently, a neuroimaging study suggested that female brains are functionally more suited to social skills including language, memory and multi-tasking, while men are hard-wired to be better at perception and co-ordinated movement.

But are these abilities innate to our gender, or are they influenced by the environment? Are these studies subject to gender biases themselves?

Boy brain, girl brain?

During foetal development, male and female embryos start off the same. This is why we all have nipples! But the presence of different hormones such as oestrogen and testosterone during gestation causes physical differences to start to arise - for example guiding the formation of ovaries or testes. Exposure to different cocktails of hormones as a foetus may change how the brain develops.

A group of Cambridge scientists led by Simon Baron-Cohen suggested that men are, on average, better at analytical tasks, whereas women are better at empathising and emotional processing. These traits were linked with testosterone levels during development.

Baron-Cohen analyzed foetal testosterone levels from amniotic fluid samples of their mothers. In later life they measured the children's empathising or systemising abilities. He found lower levels of testosterone were correlated with greater empathy during childhood development. This supports the idea that women (low testosterone) are better at empathising and detecting emotion than men.

Size matters...

Male brains are, on average, 10% larger than females (accounting for body size). But some scientists say that a large brain is not simply a smaller brain scaled up. A larger brain means more distance, which can slow the transmission of information down. So differences in structural connections and arrangement may reflect wiring adaptations of larger brains.

A group of researchers found regional size differences of male and female brains, which may balance out the overall size difference. In females, parts of the frontal lobe, responsible for problem-solving and decision-making, and the limbic cortex, responsible for controlling emotions, were larger. In men, the parietal cortex, which is involved in space perception, and the amygdala, which regulates emotion and motivation, particularly those related to survival, were larger.

But experiences change our brain. So are these differences due to the brain adapting to demands - in the way a muscle increases in size with extra use?

Nature or nurture? Or gender stereotyping?

Some scientists disagree completely that male and female brains differ structurally. Neuroscientist Prof Gina Rippon, of Aston University, Birmingham says that differences in male and female brains are caused entirely by environmental factors and are not hard-wired at birth.

The gender specific toys children play with - for example dolls for girls and cars for boys - could be changing how their brains develop.

Many toys aimed at boys involve physical skills and logic, whereas many girl-aimed toys involve nurturing behaviours and socialising. These kinds of gender-specific toys and encouraging only gender-specific play could limit potential in both sexes. This has recently lead to companies developing more gender neutral toys that can aid the development of balanced skills in children.

Why won't men ask for directions?

Men generally perform better at activities that require spatial skills, like navigation. It is proposed men and women process spatial information differently. Women are more likely to rely on landmarks - "go left at the post office", which is proposed to require the frontal cortex to maintain the information. Men are proposed to use the hippocampus to a greater degree. So men are more likely to use spatial and landmark information - "go east then past the post office".

But it's suggested that women use their language skills to an advantage in certain situations. So a woman may be more likely to ask for directions than a man.In laboratory studies it has been shown that male and female rats use different strategies to navigate their way around a maze. Female rats mostly used landmarks, whereas males used global spatial information. Interestingly, both strategies were equally effective.

Neurosexism?

Whether the observed functional differences in male and female brains are innate or a consequence of experience remains difficult to determine. The social phenomenon of gender significantly impacts on the experiences individuals encounter through development and on a daily basis.

It is important in scientific research to avoid neurosexism - jumping to gender stereotypes as conclusions to explain observations. This can lead to misunderstanding and over-selling of discoveries and observations in neuroscience.

But no studies currently exist that have looked and gender differences in brain structure in a human population that hasn't been gender socialised.

(Amy Reichelt is a Research Fellow at UNSW Australia and this article was originally published in The Conversation)

Monday, August 03, 2015

Mothers should not be forced to breast feed

Max Pemberton

A study has shown that breastfed babies have higher IQs, spend longer in education and earn more in their careers - but there are too many variables and women should not be pressurised Another reason for mothers to breastfeed

If there’s one thing we as a society love to do, it’s to have a good go at mothers. Be they single or working, everyone loves to voice an opinion about how to raise children, and unfortunately it’s mothers who tend to bear the brunt of this, rather than fathers. Health professionals are not free from the habit either. We dish out advice to expectant and new mothers and then wag our fingers when it’s not heeded. Do this, don’t do that and never mind that what we say always seems to change and contradict itself. Keep up now, mums, or you’ll be responsible for a generation of feral youths.

Nowhere is the unrelenting pressure mothers are under more evident than in the arena of breastfeeding. This one biological act has become politicised and polarised like no other. Don’t breastfeed your children and you are condemning them to a life of illness and disease, mothers are told. And now, according to research published last week, they’ll also be thick.

A Brazilian study of more than 6,000 babies from a variety of backgrounds showed that those who were breastfed had higher IQs, spent longer in education and earned more in their careers. The longer they were breastfed as a baby, the greater their success. The research was immediately pounced on, feeding in, as it does, to the narrative that problems in a person’s life can be laid wholly at the feet of the mother.

Doctors and midwives have had a difficult time with breastfeeding.

On the one hand it is undoubtedly a good thing and women should be supported and helped if they choose to do it. But what is less often talked about is the stress and difficulty that many women experience with breastfeeding, compounded by the sense that they are failing their children immeasurably if they do not do it. The evidence morphs into dogma that says women are irresponsible if they don’t breastfeed.

The research itself is never questioned or queried. But just how reliable is the latest study on breastfeeding and IQ anyway? It’s a very well-designed project, ambitious in its scope and size. But when it comes to something like breastfeeding, there are so many confounding factors – variables that can inadvertently skew the result and lead us to false conclusions. Because the problem is, the health benefits associated with breastfeeding are also associated with things such as class, wealth and education of the parents.

When factors such as social background are taken into account, the evidence supporting the health benefits of breastfeeding suddenly looks less robust. We know that those who are economically and socially advantaged are more likely to breastfeed, so it is perfectly possible it’s actually the positive aspects of wealth and class we are observing, not the positive aspects of breastfeeding. Of course, this particular study took place in Brazil, which is socially very different to the UK, so again it is difficult to draw any firm conclusions from it.

When it comes to IQ, things get even more complicated. The study is a retrospective analysis, meaning it tested people’s IQ 30 years on from when they were actually breastfed. Over that time an incredible number of variables would have influenced the result, so it’s impossible to say from the way this study is designed whether or not the apparent increased IQ is really the result of breastfeeding, or due to some other factor.

Certainly the findings are interesting, but it is in no way concrete evidence. Rather, it is simply the first in a long, complex series of studies that would need to be done to differentiate between simple association or actual causation.

But the breastfeeding lobby seems too narrow-minded and dogmatic to allow for such caveats or critiques to the research they use to browbeat nervous mothers-to-be.

The “Breast Is Best” mantra was intended to be a liberating, pithy riposte to the slick commercial formula milk advertising, yet it has become a stick with which to beat women. It would be awful if expectant or new mothers read this research and felt under yet more pressure to breastfeed if they are unable to do so. I would far rather have a mother who was bottle-feeding a baby and felt calm and relaxed than one who was depressed and anxious about the fact she was not lactating adequately. Motherhood is stressful enough without feeling the weight of your child’s entire future rests on your breasts.

- Daily Telegraph 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

RIP A.P.J. Abdul Kalam (15 October 1931 - 27 July 2015)

උසස් අධ්‍යාපන ආයතනයේ දේශනයට සහභාගී වන බව කලාම් මහතා සිය ට්විටර් ගිණුමේ සඳහන් කර තිබුණේ මෙලෙසින්,

Monday, July 27, 2015

What does your favourite colour say about you?

If your clothes could talk, here's what they would reveal:

Red

The colour that stops traffic also signals an extroverted, assertive disposition.

Pink

This tempered red has a tranquilizing effect, which perhaps explains why pink-loving people are thought to be romantic, gentle, and sweet.

Yellow

Evocative of sunshine and roaring fires, yellow indicates a cheerful, energizing personality. People gravitate to you.

Orange

The child of yellow and red takes on the traits of both colors, but with less intensity. Fans are said to be enthusiastic, warm, and gregarious.

Blue

The world's most preferred colour conjures sky and sea-elements that calm and evoke trust and dependability.

Green

Like a wide-open field, green is serene. The balance of warm and cool tones also suggests stability and approachability.

Purple

A less common pick, purple has unconventional, creative connotations. Its association with royalty lends it an air of elegance.
Brown

This rustic colour denotes a down-to-earth attitude. You appear relaxed but also reliable and responsible.

Black

It suggests strength, seriousness, and sophistication (the proverbial little black dress). But it can also be mysterious or sexy.
White

Wearers of white tend to be orderly and fastidious. (How else would you keep those outfits clean?) The color also has a blank-slate appeal; people see you as a breath of fresh air.

Gray

Reminiscent of stone, gray projects coolness and composure (as in a statue). You are the rock that others rely on.

- Sources Drunk Tank Pink; More Alive With Colour and Kate Sensational Colour.

Pic: John Lawton

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Inside out - Joy on the raise

Pixar has finally broken out of its mould. Their newest animation 'Inside Out' is unique in many ways. This well constructed tale is set inside the ind of a 11-year-old girl named Riley.

Growing up can be a bumpy road. When the little Riley is born and begins to explore the world her brain spawns new emotions. First comes Joy when she first sets eyes on her doting parents. Then Sadness arrives along with others like Fear, Anger and Disgust join Joy in the control room. At 11 years Joy is the dominant force in Riley's mind. However tings change when Riley's parents leave her childhood town Minnesota to settle down in San Francisco.

The first shock comes when Riley lays eyes on her new home, a narrow and shabby fixer-upper. Then comes the terror of being the new kid in school and having to make a good first impression. Riley's troubles begin when Sadness begins to take over the control room. With just a touch Sadness tinges Riley's formerly happy memories with pain. Taken aback by her new found powers Sadness decides to explore her potential. Soon there is a battle over Sadness and Joy on who will take over Riley's sacred core memories. n the process, Joy, Sadness, and all of Riley's most pivotal remembrances are sucked out of the control room and into the expanse of Riley's brain.

Archived memories

From here 'Inside Out' takes us on a ride of Joy and Sadness' tour through Riley's brain on their way back to headquarters while Fear, Anger, and Disgust are left to play the primary motivators for Riley's behavior. Riley herself becomes despondent. She is not the happy little girl she use to be and even goes as far as to commit the childhood crime of running away from home.

The central crisis of 'Inside Out' centers around the fungibility of memory. Directors Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen envision the human mind as a sort of ongoing board meeting, where five primary emotions engage in the immediate tasks of impulse-governing and crisis-management in front of a vast backdrop of core values and archived memories.

As in most animations family is an important factor in 'Inside Out'. It is not only Riley's parents who make her feel better during her crisis but the movie also sheds light that on and Sadness must work together to restore Riley to her natural charm. It also notes that Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust too can play greater roles in Riley's future by contributing to her core memories. This is signified in the finale frame of the movie when we see that Riley's core memories are not simply glowing in gold as before but are tinted with many other shades like red, green, purple and blue besides gold.

Traces of Pixar's previous work can be found in 'Inside Out' as well. You get mismatched pairings, a support team working to ensure a child's happiness and a journey to get home in this flick as well. However there is freshness in the movie. 'Inside Out' enables the makers to wild with their imagination. The wit and imagery is enthralling as Joy and Sadness travel through long term memory, abstract thought and dream production and hook up with Riley's long forgotten imaginary friend, Bing Bong. Yet the movie does not get lost in its fantasy. Though it takes the viewers through a riot of colour and vibrancy it stands firmly on its theme of taking the the duo to the control room to save the little girl from making a faux pas which will tint her life.

Storytelling powers

Kaitlyn Dias has given voice to Riley. Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Mindy Kaling, Lewis Black, Bill Hader, Kyle MacLachlan, Diane Lane, Richard Kind too do their bit in rendering their vocal talents to the movie.

Pixar has proven time and time again that they have an incredibly deep understanding of emotion. 'Inside Out' signifies their storytelling powers at its best. It has the exact same kind of old school Pixar magic that turned the company into the biggest modern name in animated feature films.

This is probably the pinnacle of Pixar's imaginative powers. Full of bold, original, funny, emotionally resonant ideas 'Inside Out' is the perfect movie to keep your kids entertained this season. Like previous Pixar movies, this movie too is playing in 3D.

Ruwini Jayawardana - www.dailynews.lk

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Brave : A delightfully plucky heroine

Tastefully scripted and beautiful to look at, Pixar's latest production, Brave is a colorful fantasy fairytale opens with a touching prologue which promises many great things to come.

Indeed that is what takes place on screen as the movie unfurls enchanting its beholders scene by scene. Set in the Scottish wilds, Brave conveys the plight of young Princess Merida, a lively young girl who is unwilling to let go of her tomboyishness to transform herself into the traditional mould of a princess.

Despite having a loving family, good looks and a trouble-free kingdom, Merida desperately wants to change her fate. The only obstacle that is standing in her way is Queen Eleanor, her mother. Once she discover that the only requirement to the tournament which decides her future husband is to be the firstborn of one of the kingdom's leaders, she enters into the competition to win her right to control her freedom.

Once this attempt fails Merida clings to straw and seeks helps from a witch that she had met in the woods. She asks the witch to supply her with a spell which will 'change' her mother and release her of her conservative views. Of course, the plan backfires because it is not the 'change' of heart that Merida expects in her mother that takes place but a change of appearance.

This turn of events leads them on an adventure which brings the mother and daughter close together. There are some genuinely funny scenes like in instances when Merida has to confess her plan of trying to 'change' her mother to the Queen who, by now, has taken the form of a bear! The triplets' mischief too brings a few laughs.

Though it does not keep you giggling in your seats like the Ice Age or Kung Fu Panda series, humour arises in the least unexpected situations like how the king and his friends manage to climb down from the tower by making use of their garments and the triplets managing to outwit everyone much elder than themselves.

One puzzling aspect of the movie is how King Fergus, his allies and subjects could possibly have not missed the disappearance of the princess, queen and the triplets for nearly a whole day. King Fergus' character too could have been further developed. The warriors also have a strong resemblance to the Gauls found in the 'Astérix' comic books.

Brave's strongest aspect is in it's out of the box storyline. When you see a princess who is quipped with archery and sword fighting skills you naturally assume that she will save the land from some evil invader or supernatural being. However the twist in the tale takes us by surprise because the nemesis seems to be none other than a severed family bond. The visuals of the film are also tastefully presented. Plenty of details capture the viewers' attention so that they would not be distracted from the screen. Directors Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman deserve kudos for their endeavours. They have hit the bull's eye in making a movie which caters to the family. Though rebellious, Merida makes a delightful heroine. She retains her dignity in all angles from defending her mother to delivering a speech which rekindles friendship between the kingdoms. Her character is well etched from her reddish curls to her modern girl views in the ancient world. Kelly Macdonald, Billy Connolly, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Robbie Coltrane, Kevin McKidd and Craig Ferguson make a strong voice cast.

This is a heartwarming film about trying to control your destiny. Though it falls back into the happy ending of all Disney movies, it leaves you with a satisfying glow. 

Ruwini Jayawardana -www.dailynews.lk

Monday, July 06, 2015

දෙහදක් යා කළ ඉෂිතාගේ ආදර අන්දරය


ඉන්දියාවේ පුංචි තිරයේ දිග හැරෙන්නේ එසේ මෙසේ ටෙලි නාට්‍ය නම් නොවේ. ජනප්‍රියත්වය අනුව කොටස් සංඛ්‍යාව අඩුවැඩි කෙරෙන ඒවා මෙගා වර්ගයේ ටෙලි නාට්‍යයන් ය. ඇතැම් ඒවා කොටස් දහසකට ආසන්නය. එවැනි ටෙලි නාට්‍යය රැසක් පසුගිය කාලය තුළ බිහිවූවත් ‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතීන්‘ (මේ සෙනෙහසයි) ටෙලි නාට්‍යය තරම් ඉන්දියාව පුරා අතිශය ජනාදරයට පාත්‍ර වූ එකක් නම් මෑත කාලයේ බිහිවූයේ නැත.

ඉන්දීය ටෙලිනාට්‍ය කලාවේ පෙරළිකාර නිර්මාණයක් ලෙස සැලකෙන ‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතීන්‘ එරට පුංචි තිරයේ දිග හැරෙන්නට වූයේ 2013 වසරේ දෙසැම්බර් 3 වැනිදා සිටය. කොටස් 482කින් යුතු මේ ටෙලිනාට්‍යය මාස 18ක් පුරා ‘ස්ටාර් ප්ලස්‘ රූපවාහිනි නාලිකාව ඔස්සේ ලක්ෂ සංඛ්‍යාත ඉන්දීය ටෙලිනාට්‍ය ප්‍රේක්ෂකයන්ගේ ආලින්දයට ගොඩවී ඔවුන් ඇඳ බැඳ තබාගැනීමට සමත්වූ එකකි.

සිය පළමු නවකතාවෙන්ම පොදුරාජ්‍ය මණ්ඩලයීය ලේඛකයන්ගේ ත්‍යාගය දිනාගත් ඉන්දියාවේ සුප්‍රකට නවකතාකාරියක වන මංජු කපූර්ගේ ‘කස්ටඩි‘ නවකතාව ඇසුරින් නිර්මාණය කරනු ලැබූ මේ ටෙලි නාට්‍යය ‘කල්යානම් මුදල් කාදල් වරෙයි‘ නමින් දෙමළ බසින් ද, ‘මොන් නියේ කචකචී‘ නමින් බෙංගාල බසින් ද, ‘ප්‍රනායම්‘ නමින් මලයාලම් බසින් ද, ‘අවන්නු මට්ටෙයි ශ්රවානි‘ නමින් කන්නඩ බසින් ද හඬ කවා විවිධ රූපවාහිනී නාලිකා ඔස්සේ සෙසු ප්‍රාන්තවල ප්‍රේක්ෂකයන්ට නැරැඹීමේ අවස්ථාව උදාකර දී තිබේ.

එය දැන් මෙරට රූපවාහිනී ප්‍රේක්ෂකයන්ට ද රසවිඳීමේ ඉඩකඩ ලබාදෙමින් සිරස රූපවාහිනි නාලිකාව ඔස්සේ සතියේ දිනවල රාත්‍රී 9.30ට ‘මේ ආදරයයි‘ නමින් හඬ කවා විකාශය කෙරේ. ස්ටාර් ප්ලස් හරහා ඉන්දිය ප්‍රේක්ෂකයන් නරඹන ‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතීන්‘ මේ මස අග දී නිමාවට පත්වීමට නියමිතය. මේ දිනවල විකාශය වන්නේ එහි අවසන් කොටස් කිහිපයයි. එහෙත් ශ්‍රී ලාංකික රූපවාහිනි ප්‍රේක්ෂකයන්ට තවත් කාලයක් පුරා නැරැඹීමේ අවස්ථාව උදාවනු ඇත.

දිනෙන් දින ඉහළ යන ප්‍රේක්ෂක ප්‍රතිචාර මැද ‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ ජනප්‍රියත්වයට පත්ව ඇත්තේ ඉන්දියාවේ පමණක් නොවේ. එය අමෙරිකාව, යුරෝපා රටවල් ඇතුලු ලොව පුරා බොහෝ රටවල වෙසෙන ඉන්දියානුවන්ගේ ජනප්‍රියතම ටෙලිනාට්‍ය බවට පත් වී තිබේ. මෙය සඳුදා සිට සෙනසුරාදා දක්වා ඉන්දීය වේලාවෙන් පස්වරු 7.30ට ස්ටාර් ප්ලස් නාලිකාව හරහා විකාශය කෙරේ.

විවිධ ඇගැයීම් දර්ශකවලට අනුව එම කාලය තුළ සෙසු රූපවාහිනි නාලිකා අභිබවමින් ස්ටාර් ප්ලස් නාලිකාව පෙරමුණ ගැනීමට සමත්වී තිබීම එහි අසීමිත ජනප්‍රියත්වයට කදිම නිදසුනකි.

‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ පවුලේ ආදර කතාවකි. දික්කසාද වූ පන්ජාබි මිනිසකු වන රමන් හා ඔහුගේ දියණිය රූහිගේ ජීවිතයට සමීපවන ඉෂිතා නමැති දෙමළ ජාතික දන්ත වෛද්‍යවරියක මුහුණදෙන විවිධ සිදුවීම් වටා ගෙතුණු මේ ටෙලි නාට්‍යය බලාජී ටෙලි ෆිල්ම්ස් වෙනුවෙන් නිශ්පාදනය කරනු ලැබුවේ කුතුහලය කදිමට උද්දීපනය කිරීමට සමත් ඉන්දීය ටෙලි නාට්‍ය නිර්මාණකරුවකු වන එක්ටා කපූර් විසිනි.

ප්‍රධාන චරිත ත්‍රිත්වයක එකතුවක් වන ‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ ටෙලිනාට්‍යමාලාවේ ඉෂිතාගේ චරිතය ඉන්දීය පුංචි තිරයේ සුරූපි නිළියක වන දිව්‍යංකා ත්‍රීපතී විසින් නිරූපනය කරනු ලබන අතර රමන් කුමාර භල්ලාගේ චරිතයට පණ පොවනුයේ කරන් පටේල්ය.

මෙහි වඩාත්ම කැපී පෙනෙන චරිතය බවට පත්ව ඇති කුඩා රූහි දියණියගේ චරිතය රුහනිකා ධවාන් විසින් නිරූපනය කරනු ලබන්නීය.

‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ මේ තිදෙනාගෙම රංගන ජීවිතය එහෙම පිටින්ම වෙනසකට ලක් කළ ටෙලිනාට්‍ය මාලාවකි.

වසර 2005 දී ඉන්දියාවේ මධ්‍ය ප්‍ර දේශයේ බොපාල් දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ රූ රැජන ලෙස අභිෂේක ලැබූ දිව්‍යංකා ත්‍රීපති එම දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ රයිෆල් ඇකඩමියේ විධායක නිලධාරිනියක ලෙස කටයුතු කළ අතර රයිෆල් වෙඩි තැබීමේ තරග ඉසව්වේ රන් පදක්කම්ලාභිනියකි. රූ රැජනක ලෙස ලැබූ ප්‍රසිද්ධිය ඇයට රංගන දිවියේ දොරටු විවර කරගැනීමට ඉවහල් විය.

අනතුරුව විවිධ ටෙලිනාට්‍ය ඔස්සේ සිය රංගන ජීවිතයේ නිම්වළලු පුළුල් කරගත් ඇය ප්‍රේක්ෂක හද දිනාගත් නිළියක බවට පත්වූයේ ‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ ටෙලිනාට්‍ය මාලාව හරහාය. ඒ වනවිට විවිධ චරිත තුලින් සම්මාන රැසකට හිමිකම් කියා තිබූ දිව්‍යංකා පසුගිය දෙවසර තුල ඉන්දියාවේ ඉහළම තලයේ රූපවාහිනී සම්මාන උළෙල කිහිපයක ජනප්‍රියතම නිළිය, හොඳම නිළිය සම්මානයෙන් අභිෂේක ලැබුවේ ‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ රංගනය වෙනුවෙනි.

පසුගිය මාසය වෙද්දී ඇය සිය එම ටෙලිනාට්‍ය මාලාවේ රංගනය උදෙසාම 21වැනි ‘ලයන්ස් ගෝල්ඩ් සම්මාන උළෙල ඇතුළු තවත් සම්මාන උළෙල කිහිපයකම ජනප්‍රියතම නිළිය බවට පත්වූ අතර ඇගේ රංගන ජීවිතය එකළු කළ ‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ වසරේ ජනප්‍රියතම ටෙලිනාට්‍ය මාලාව බවට පත්විය.

පුංචි තිරයේ වඩාත්ම ආදරය දිනාගත් නිළිය බවට පත්වූ දිව්‍යංකා මේ වනවිට ඉන්දියාව පුරා ජනහද බැඳගත් විසිත්ත කාමරයේ කාගෙත් කතාබහට ලක්වූ චරිතයකි.

‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ ටෙලිනාට්‍ය මාලාවේ ප්‍රේක්ෂක සිත් ඇඳ බැඳ තබාගැනීමට සමත්වූ සෙසු චරිත ද්විත්වය වන්නේ රමන් හා ඔහුගේ දියණිය රූහිය.

කල්කටා නුවරින් රංගනයට එක්වූ ප්‍රකට ටෙලි නාට්‍ය නළු කරන් පටේල්ගේ රංගන ජීවිතය වඩාත්ම කැපී පෙනෙන එකක් බවට පත්වූයේ රමන් කුමාර් භල්ලාගේ චරිතයත් සමගය. පසුගිය වසරේ ‘සී ගෝල්ඩ් රූපවාහිනී සම්මාන උළෙලේ හොඳම නළුවා ලෙස ඔහු සම්මානයට පාත්‍රකළ රමන් කුමාර් භල්ලාගේ චරිතයට ලැබී ඇත්තේ අසීමිත ජනප්‍රියත්වයකි.

එය ඉන්දීය ටෙලිනාට්‍ය නළුවකු ලැබූ ඉහළම ජනප්‍රියත්වය බව කියැවේ. වසර 2000 දී රංගන ජීවිතය ඇරැඹූ කරන් පටේල්ට මේ වනවිට විකාශය වන තවත් මෙගා ටෙලි නාට්‍ය දෙකක ප්‍රධාන චරිතය රඟ දැක්වීමේ අවස්ථාව හිමිවූයේ ‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ ටෙලිනාට්‍ය මාලාව හරහාය.

රමන් - ඉෂිතා යුවළගේ දියණිය රූහි ලෙස ‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ ටෙලිනාට්‍ය මාලාවේ කාගෙත් ආදරය දිනාගත් කුඩා දැරිය රුහනිකා ධවාන්ය. පසුගිය වසරේ ‘ස්ටාර් පරිවාර් රූපවාහිනි සම්මාන උළෙලේ හා 13වැනි ඉන්දියානු ටෙලිනාට්‍ය සම්මාන උළෙලේ දී වසරේ ජනප්‍රියතම ළමා නිළියට හිමි සම්මානය දිනාගත් රුහනිකා මේ වසරේ දී එම රංගනය උදෙසා දෙවැනි වරටත් ස්ටාර් පරිවාර් රූපවාහිනි සම්මාන උළෙලේ ජනප්‍රියතම ළමා නිළිය ලෙස අභිෂේක ලැබුවාය.

‘යේ හයි මොහොබ්බතින්‘ ඉන්දීය පුංචි තිරයේ විශිෂ්ටතම නිර්මාණය නොවූව ද එය එරට ජනජීවිතයට බලපෑම් කරවන්නට තරම් සමත්වූ එකකි.

එකිනෙකට වෙනස් සංස්කෘතීන් දෙකක ආදර අන්දරයක මහිමය විදහා දක්වන මේ ටෙලි නාට්‍ය මාලාව ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ රූපවාහිනී ප්‍රේක්ෂකයන්ට ද කදිම රසාස්වාදයක් ලබාදීමට සමත්වී ඇත්තේ එහි කතා තේමාව මෙරට ජන සමාජයට ද පොදුවූවක් බැවිණි.

 

Of winners and losers

Professor Sunanda Mahendra

When the Nobel literary award winner of France, the writer and philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, came to know about his award, he had instantly declared that ‘even a winner is a loser and a loser a winner’. This philosophical statement remains a puzzle even to this day. But he clarified the statement later by saying that he is not ready to accept the award as it is basically earned money via social evils on the part of the givers, such as destruction purposes by the earner of money had made during his life time via the making of the atomic bomb. He added by saying that he could make his life happier devoid of such acceptance. ‘I am a winner in my own way’ he commented and left a galaxy of questions to be answered

Who is a winner and who is a loser?

This remains to be judged only by ascertaining the physical ways of living in a human society But who is a real winner?

Is it not a spiritual means of achieving a higher state of living?

Circumstantial situations such as, examinations, interviews, sports, competitions, struggles, political elections and perhaps legal trials have given way to winners and losers But it remains to be answered as to whether the process had been an actual ‘win’ during one’s life time

Which is worth winning?

The physical plane of living or the spiritual application that paves the way for a better state of living?

Which enables the winning of ones living conditions?

Can one win oneself in the restless plane of living packed with various types of stresses and strains? My learned friend, the specialist cardiologist, Dr Ruvan Ekanayaka, once told me that most heart conditions are created as a result of the stress and strains one undergoes in the busy life yearning to win mundane things. One who leads a life devoid of understanding the basic health conditions is indeed a loser.

The age old questions are manifold. The sages quote examples of winning and losing when they were enquired by monarchs and emperors regarding battles with enemies. Devoid of any self effort, one cannot be a winner. As such, the actual winning process originates from the bottom of the heart. If so, questions arise:

Who is a winner?

What makes a winner?

How did one win?

Who made him or her the winner?

Did he or she really win?

The same could be asked about the losers:

Why did he or she lose?

What made him or her lose?

Who made them the losers?

At the end of the day there is only a mere speculation of results. This is the winner and this is the loser. But this is reckoned as a mere judgement counting numbers or figures as adhered by the method adopted. The process though is not simple from the point of view of the particular situation which has been declared as regards the stance of the winner and the loser.

Perhaps the lapse of time makes one a winner and/or a loser. The idling process will never declare a winner. The plans ahead and the strategies one lays down help to win a particular situation as laid down above. ‘Slow and steady wins the race’ goes the Aesopian dictum revolved round the tale of the ‘hare and the tortoise’. The pundits will argue that this can never ever happen, as it is not realistic for a tortoise to win a race.

But the most significant factor is the steadiness it underlines on the part of the tortoise. Steadiness is a strategy that is laid down the centuries in the process of teaching patience necessary for winning. During the aftermath of the Second World War, a book came out written by a well known popular positive thinker Dale Carnegie titled as ‘how to win friends and influence people’.

This was an attempt to cull examples from actual social factors and situations pertaining to the winning or the overcoming of the physical plane of living conditions such as decision-making, excitement, agony and unhappiness.

The teachers of the day recommended this popular book to be read by their pupils. Business magnates obtained quite a number of answers and advice to their business dealings via these teachings that came as model exercises drawn from actual human situations. Most elections around the world are won in keeping with the campaigns popularly known as ‘election campaigns.’ There are multi dimensional ways of winning an election.

Some say, ‘we are going to win the election by addressing the conscience of the masses’. This is perceived as the noblest concept elaborated as one segment in the campaign. ‘In order to win the election we need more and more creative modes of communicating the intended message’ goes yet another winning formula. Some people used to say from time to time ‘we are going to win by hook or by crook’.

Can this formula be applied all the time to all the people? The answer is no. ‘We are going to win the election by convincing the people about what we intend to do’ goes another ideology.

But it does not happen hundred percent in the way one perceives. Sustained efforts in the promotions to the masses play a vital role in the political elections.

In the late sixties I had the opportunity of meeting the late writer J Vijayatunga of ‘Grass for My Feet’ fame in London. I remember what he told me about the winning of the first general elections on the part of the late SWRD Bandaranayaka on his return to Sri Lanka [then Ceylon] from Oxford in the late forties or fifties. It was the ‘winning formula’ of Dr Ananda Coomaraswamy that had spearheaded and had been of immense value to SWRD. Coomaraswamy as an anthropologist had advised him: “If you are going to do active politics in Ceylon, you got to address five contemporary sectors active in that social order. They are regarded as great opinion leaders in that cultural setup. You will see that they are no other than the priests, or the clergy, physicians, teachers, farmers, and workers.

You need to address them closely and intimately. Either you need to get them down to your place or go to them and get to know them sensitively. So plan the strategy and carry on the intended message to them.”

Bandaranaike got their representatives down to his place. This was the ‘winning formula’ for the origin of the well known Sinhala slogan.

Way down that slogan came to be known as ‘sangha veda guru govi kamkaru’ or the pancha maha balavegaya (five great forces). In order to win one needs a motto or guidelines either written down or passed down orally.

Winning is not easy. Winners have to be thinkers. Winning does not come in idle situations or in a vacuum. 

www.dailynews.lk

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

The pursuit of happiness

The Buddhist way:

Buddhism teaches us that if we want to find happiness and be at peace within ourselves, we must be satisfied with what we have. Easy though it may sound, but putting it into practice maybe difficult. In the ever increasing competitive world that we live in today trends are changing as soon as they begin, where the next version of the latest gadget comes out seemingly straight away. People are driven to work longer hours to afford to be at the forefront of the trends-the latest gadget, the latest car, the latest fashion. But lurking behind the lives of shiny new cars, flat screen TV's and iPhones is a void, is a huge deficit, and it's not a budget one. Our world is experiencing a passion and purpose deficit.

Then what really is happiness? Dictionaries say happiness is a range of emotions, from contentment to joy. We might think of happiness as an ephemeral thing that floats in and out of our lives, or as our life's essential goal, or as just the opposite of 'sadness'.

In order to understand the Buddha's teachings on happiness, it's important to understand the origin of happiness. As the Buddha explained, physical and emotional feelings (vedana) correspond or attach to an object. For example, the sensation of hearing is created when a sense organ (ear) comes in contact with a sense object (sound). Similarly, ordinary happiness is a feeling that has an object -- for example, a happy event, winning a prize, or wearing pretty new shoes.

The problem with happiness is that it never lasts, because the objects of happiness don't last. A happy event is soon followed by a sad one, and shoes wear out. Unfortunately, most of us go through life looking for things to 'make us happy'. But our happy 'fix' is never permanent, so we keep looking.

You have the power to make yourself happier. According to Megan Willett and Meredith Galante, journalists of Business Insider, the famous US business on-line magazine, 13 scientific studies have discovered small changes we can all make to improve our outlook on life. From writing down the good parts of your day to simply smiling, these social scientists have recommended 07 proactive steps you can take towards becoming a happier you. Those are (1). Be generous, (2) Savour everyday moments, (3) Avoid comparisons, (4) Put money low on the needs list, (5) Have meaningful goals, (6) Make friends, treasure family and (7) Look on the bright side of life.

Let us see what Buddhism says about these 7 points.

1. Be generous

Buddhism has always emphasized the practice of dana, or giving. Giving hasn't been seen purely as the exchange of material possessions, however; giving in Buddhist terms includes non-tangibles such as education, confidence, and wisdom.

And which are the three factors of the donor? There is the case where the donor, before giving, is glad; while giving, his/her mind is bright & clear; and after giving is gratified. These are the three factors of the donor. Dana Sutta:

2. Savour everyday moments

This is an example of another fundamental Buddhist practice - mindfulness. When we're mindful we stay in the present moment, and really pay attention to our experience. Walking meditation, and even eating, can be ways of savouring everyday moments. In being present, we dwell in the present without obsessing about the past or future, and this brings radiant happiness:

They sorrow not for what is past, they have no longing for the future, 
The present is sufficient for them: Hence it is they appear so radiant.

By having longing for the future, by sorrowing over what is past, 
By this fools are withered up as a cut down tender reed. (Aranna Sutta)

3. Avoid comparisons

Conceit or Mana is a Buddhist term. It is defined as an inflated mind that makes whatever is suitable, such as wealth or learning, to be the foundation of pride. It creates the basis for disrespecting others and for the occurrence of suffering. Mana is identified as one of the fourteen unwholesome mental factors (cetasika) and one of the ten fetters (sa?yojana). A mental fetter shackles a sentient being to sasara, the cycle of lives with dukkha. By cutting through all fetters, one attains nibbana.

Though possessing many a virtue one should not compare oneself with others by deeming oneself better or equal or inferior." (Sallekha Sutta)

4. Put money low on the list

In Buddhist terms we validate our wealth creation by giving our money away to support what's really important in life, which is the pursuit of wellbeing, truth, and goodness. The idea that materialism can bring us genuine happiness is what Buddhism calls a "false refuge."

There are these four kinds of bliss that can be attained in the proper season, on the proper occasions, by a householder partaking of sensuality. Which four? The bliss of having, the bliss of [making use of] wealth, the bliss of debtlessness, the bliss of blamelessness. (Anana Sutta)

5. Have meaningful goals

The Buddha's last words were "with mindfulness, strive." The whole point of being a Buddhist is in order to attain spiritual awakening - which means to maximize our compassion and mindfulness. What could be more meaningful than that?

He gains enthusiasm for the goal, gains enthusiasm for the Dhamma,[8] gains gladness connected with the Dhamma. When he is gladdened, joy is born in him (Vatthupama Sutta)

6. Make friends, treasure family

To the Buddha, spiritual friendship was "the whole of the spiritual life." And even though people tend to think about monks and nuns leaving home, for those who embraced the household life, close and loving relationships with others was highly recommended. "Generosity, kind words, beneficial help, and consistency in the face of events" are the things that hold a family together,

Support for one's parents, 
assistance to one's wife and children,

consistency in one's work:

This is the highest protection [from suffering].

(Mangala Sutta)

7. Look on the bright side

Buddhism doesn't encourage us to have a false sense of positivity, but neither are these researchers.

They're suggesting that we find the good in any situation we find ourselves in. Buddhism encourages positivity through practices such as affectionate and helpful speech, where we consciously look for the good in ourselves and others.

The strongest expression of this is where we're told to maintain compassionate thoughts even toward those who are sadistically cruel toward us:

Our minds will be unaffected and we will say no evil words.

We will remain sympathetic to that person's welfare, with a mind of good will, and with no inner hate.

We will keep pervading the all-encompassing world with an awareness imbued with good will equal to the great earth - abundant, expansive, immeasurable, free from hostility, free from ill will.' That's how you should train yourselves. (Kakacupama Sutta) Buddhism pursues happiness by using knowledge and practice to achieve mental equanimity.

In Buddhism, equanimity, or peace of mind, is achieved by detaching oneself from the cycle of craving that produces dukkha. So by achieving a mental state where you can detach from all the passions, needs and wants of life, you free yourself and achieve a state of transcendent bliss and well-being.

Sunday Observer by Lionel Wijesiri

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How fathers are shaped by their children

We wish all Dads a Happy Father's Day :

Popular convention may dictate that the father's role in the early development of his children pales in comparison to the mother's, but author Paul Raeburn is shedding new light on the science behind the vital contributions of the often overlooked male parent.

During pregnancy, mothers experience a variety of profound hormonal and physical changes that help to prepare them for the substantial task of carrying and nurturing the foetus and new baby. That's not news; what is news is that men also undergo hormonal turmoil.

One of the most obvious changes is the weight gain that many men experience along with their wives during pregnancy. Many women experience cravings and of course require more food during pregnancy. The men's weight gain could be occurring simply because they are tempted by all that extra food in the house. We don't need hormones to explain that.

Anthropologists have discovered that this phenomenon, called couvade (from the French word meaning 'to hatch"'), occurs not only in Britain and the United States but in non- Western societies, too, sometimes to an even more extreme and incapacitating degree.

In Papua New Guinea, some men, while waiting for their babies to be born, "retire to bed with unremitting nausea and incapacitating back problems, demand to be looked after, and otherwise raise an emotional fuss during the last months of their wives' pregnancies."

One of the key hormones that's affected is the sex hormone testosterone. And the other is prolactin, a hormone involved in the production of milk by nursing mothers. Men have prolactin, too, even though they don't nurse children. Why its levels should change in men has been a mystery.

Behavioural changes

We've known that hormonal changes occurred in some animal species in which the fathers participated in rearing their offspring; prolactin levels rise in primates, in male birds just before they become parents, and in rodent species in which fathers help to care for their offspring. But nobody had shown much interest in looking at human fathers, to see whether something similar might be going on.

In a paper published in 2000, Anne E. Storey, Katherine E. Wynne-Edwards, and their colleagues at Memorial University in Newfoundland began their study by acknowledging that lack of research: "Little is known about the physiological and behavioural changes that expectant fathers undergo prior to the birth of their babies," they wrote.

Based on the findings in animals, Storey and company predicted they would find similar changes in male humans, beginning during their partners' pregnancy and continuing after birth. And they predicted that the variation in hormonal levels in any individual would be related to men's symptoms during pregnancy and their responsiveness to their infants.

They recruited thirty-four couples taking prenatal classes at a nearby hospital and took blood samples from the men before and after the births of their babies. All but three of the couples were first-time parents. The couples were asked whether the men had experienced any of the typical symptoms of pregnancy- nausea, weight gain, fatigue, increased appetite, and emotional changes.

The couples who were tested were exposed to their newborns, or to blankets that had been in the nursery, and to a film about breast-feeding to see whether the infant cues would cause any short- term change in hormone levels.

The tests revealed significant changes in each of the three hormones Storey and Wynne-Edwards measured-testosterone, cortisol, and prolactin. And the pattern in men was similar to what happens in pregnant women. Men's testosterone levels fell 33 percent when they had their first contact with their babies, compared to measurements taken near the end of their wives' pregnancies.

What could explain this change in testosterone? Many scientists believe that a rise in testosterone is associated with competitive behavior in animals and in men. The drop that occurs with the birth of a baby might be nature's way of encouraging men to drop their fists, at least temporarily, and nuzzle their babies.

Paternal care-giving

From an evolutionary perspective, this is smart. Competitiveness is incompatible with nurturing. And men who are more bonded to their babies are more likely to stick around and support them.

Indeed, in September 2013, James K. Rilling and his colleagues at Emory University reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that testosterone levels in the blood were inversely correlated with paternal care-giving-that is, testosterone was highest in fathers who devoted less effort to child care, and lowest in those who invested more effort in child care. They also found that the fathers who devoted more resources to their children had smaller testicles. The results provide evidence for the supposition that there is a trade-off between the effort devoted to mating and to parenting. Some males choose to devote more effort to mating and less to child care; others choose the opposite course.

(Excerpted from Do Fathers Matter? What Science Is Telling Us About the Parent We've Overlooked, by Paul Raeburn -Scientific American/FSG, 2014)

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

මගෙ දුවේ ඔබ අවදියෙන් නම්.....

මිනිසා හා සොබාදහම අත්‍යන්ත ලෙස බැඳී පවතී. එය අවියෝජනීය බැම්මකි. එනිසා ම සොබාදහමේ අසිරිය අත් විඳින්නටත් එය කලාත්මක ලෙස ප්‍රති නිර්මාණය කරන්නටත් මනුෂ්‍යයෝ උත්සුක වෙත්. සොබාදහමේ රූ රටා හා එහි ඇති සියුම් චලනයන් පවා ග්‍රහණය කොට ගෙන ඒවා කලාත්මක ලෙස ප්‍රතිනිර්මාණය කිරීම සාහිත්‍ය කලා ආදියෙහි නිරතුරු ව දැකිය හැකි ය. චිරන්තන සිංහල සාහිත්‍යය පුරා ම එම නිර්මාණකරුවන් හා සොබා දහම අතර පැවති අන්‍යෝන්‍ය ළබැඳියාව පිළිබඳ සාක්ෂි දැකිය හැකි ය. සොබාදහම හා ගැටෙමින් එය ජය ගැනීමට වෙර දරණ යුරෝ කේන්ද්‍රීය චින්තන මාදිලියට පෙරාතුව ඉන්දු උප මහද්වීපය පුරා පැතිර පැවති චින්තනය නම් සොබාදහම හා මෛත්‍රී පරවශ ව කටයුතු කිරීමයි. සොබාදහම ජය ගැනීම වෙනුවට ඊට අනුගත ව ඒ හා මිතුරු ව වෙසෙමින් එහි ඇති නැතක් සාර ඵල උකහා ගැනීමට කටයුතු කිරීම ඔවුන්ගේ ජීවන ප්‍රතිපදාව විය. ඒ සඳහා ඔවුන් මෙහෙයවනු ලැබූයේ පරිසර හිතකාමි චින්තන මාදිලිය යි. කාර්මික කරණය හා ධනවාදී ලෝක පර්යාය විසින් සොබා දහම හා මිනිසා අතර වූ ඒ පෑහීම නොපෑහීමක් බවට පෙරළන ලදි. ඊට එරෙහි ව විවිධ ජන කොටස් විවිධ අවස්ථාවල කළ අරගල ද බොහෝ ඇත. උතුරු ඇමරිකානු රතු ඉන්දියානු ගෝත්‍රික නායක සියැටල් වොෂින්ටනයේ සිටින ජනපතිවරයාට යැවූ සංදේශය සොබාදහම හා මිනිසා අතර ඇති සබඳතාව ඉතාම ප්‍රබල ලෙස භාෂාගත වූ එවැනි අවස්ථාවකි. 

හෙතෙම මෙසේ ලියයි. 

''.....සුවිසල් වොෂින්ටන් නුවර සිටින ප්‍රබල සුදු ජාතික නායක තුමා අපගේ ඉඩම් මිළ දී ගැනීමට ඇති ඔහුගේ අපේක්ෂාව ප්‍රකාශ කොට සිටී....

.....එහෙත් නිල් අහසත් පොළවේ ඇති උණුසුමත් විකිණිය හැක්කේ හෝ මිළ දී ගත හැක්කේ හෝ කෙසේ දැයි මට නො තේරෙයි. මෙම අදහස අපට නම් අරුමයකි. සුළඟේ ඇති පවිත්‍ර නැවුම් බවත් ජලයේ ඇති ප්‍රභාමත් බවත් අප සන්තක නොවේ නම් ඒවා ඔබ මිළ දී ගන්නේ කෙසේ ද? 

මේ මහපොළවේ සෑම බිම් අඟලක් ම මාගේ ජනතාවට පූජනීය ය. සුවිශුද්ධ ය. ළහිරු එළියෙන් බැබලෙන දේවදාර ගස්වල සෑම සිහිල් පත්‍රයක් ම පුළින තලයන්ගෙන් වැසුනු සෑම වෙරළ තීරයක් ම සෑම එළිමහන් බිමක් ම අඳුරින් බර වන පෙත් සිසාරා ඇති මිහිදුම් සළුවක් ම බිඟු නද පතුරන සෑම කුඩා ජීවියෙක් ම මාගේ ජනතාවගේ චිත්ත සන්තානයේ ද අත්දැකීම් සමුදායේ ද ශුද්ධ වස්තූන් වෙති. ගස්වලින් රූරා බසින සෑම දියර බිඳුවක් ම රතු ඉන්දියානු ජාතිය පිළිබඳ මතක සටහන් ඉදිරියට ගෙන එයි.. ''

සියැටල්ගේ දීර්ඝ ලේඛනය පුරා සොබාදහම හා සිය ජනතාව අතර ඇති සබඳතාව ඉතා විචිත්‍ර ලෙස විග්‍රහ කෙරෙයි. මෙලෙස ලොව පුරා ම සොබාදමෙහි අසිරි සිරි විවිධ සාහිත්‍ය කලා ආදියෙහි ප්‍රතිනිර්මාණය වී ඇති අයුරු මනරම් වේ. මිනිසා ද ඇතුළත් සොඳුරු සොබා දහමේ අගය මැනවින් දැනෙන්නෝ සංවේදී මනුෂ්‍යයෝ වෙත්. ඔවුහු ඒ සොඳුරු වේදයිතයන් මතු පරපුරට ද උරුම කර දෙන්නේ මැයි. මේ එවැනි තැතකි. රත්න ශ්‍රී විජේසිංහයන් විසින් රචිත මේ ගීය සොබාදහම අපට දී ඇති අර්ඝණය කොට නිම විය නො හැකි දායාද සමූහය පිළිබඳ වැකි සිතුවමෙක් ම වෙයි. 

මගෙ දුවේ ඔබ අවදියෙන් නම්
මේ රැයේ මිහිරි ම වෙලාවයි
දොර ඇරන් එළියට ආවොතින්
මේ මිහිරි දේවල් නුඹටම යි....

ඝර්ම කලාපීය රටක දිවි ගෙවන අපට දාවලෙහි සැඩ හිරු රැසින් මිදී උදා වන රාත්‍රිය ගත සිහිල් කරවයි. සිත පුබුදයි. මද සඳ රැස් ඇති රැයක මැදියම් රැය පසු වන නිසළ හෝරාවේ අහස් තලය තරු වියනක් සේ දිලෙයි. මද මද පිනි පොද පතරත් තුරු පත් ළෙලවමින් හමන මද නලත් ගත සිහිල් කර සිත සමාධියෙහි සතපාලයි. ඉඳ හිට අසෙන නිසා සැරි විහඟ හඬකින් හෝ පළඟැටියෙකුගේ වෙණ වැයුමකින් හැර ඒ ධ්‍යානය නො බිඳෙයි. ලොව ම නිදන රාත්‍රියේ නිසා අසිරි සිරියෙන් ඔකඳ වූ හදින් පියෙකු සිය දියණිය අමතයි. මේ නිහඬ සීත රාත්‍රියේ ඇය ඇයගේ සුරතල් සරල ලොවෙහි සිහින දෙව් ලියන් හා කෙළිදෙලෙන් වෙසෙයි. ඒ නින්දේත් නොනින්දේත් ගැටෙමින් සිහින තෝර තෝරා නිදන මොහොතයි. නිදි යහනෙන් පිබිදී දොර කවුළුවලින් මිදී නිදහසේ අවට ලෝකය නැරඹුවහොත් සොබා දහමේ නැතක් ලියකම් සුරුකම් එහි නොනිදා සක්‍රීය ව අවදියෙන් සිටිනු දැකිය හැකි වේ. ඒ සියල්ල මනුෂ්‍ය පැවැත්ම උදෙසා වූ මහාර්ඝ වස්තූන් වේ. මේ සියල්ල ම නිදන්නේ වුව දියණියට ද උරුම ව පවතී. එහෙත් ඇය ඒ බැව් නොදනී. ඇය සුවසේ නිදයි. දුව නිදන මුත් සොබා දහම මනරම් වෙස් ගෙන අවදි ව වෙසෙයි. දොර කවුළුවලින් එපිට ලෝකයෙහි බොහෝ චමත්කාර ජනක දේ සිදු වේ. 

සේපාලිකා මල් බිමට බැහැලා
ඇවිදින්න යන වෙලාවයි. 
නිල් තාරුකා බිම බලාගෙන
වැව් දියට පෙම් බැඳි වෙලාවයි. 

මේ පොළව කොතරම් සුන්දර ද
මගෙ දු තනියම හිනා වෙයි. . . . . 

මැදියම් රැය නික්ම යත් ම සැඳෑවෙහි විකසිත වූ සේපාලිකාවෝ පරිණත ව සුධා ධවල සේලයෙන් සැරහී රක්ත වර්ණ මුත් හර පැළඳ බිමට වඩිත්. ඒ හා සමඟ සේපාලිකා මලින් ගිහිණි මන බඳනා සුවඳ රැස අවට සුවඳවත් කරමින් පැතිරේ. රන් වන් වැලි තෙලෙහි විසිර යන සේපාලිකාවෝ මද සුළගෙහි එල්ලී මුදු දෙපා තබා මද මද ගමනින් ඇවිද යයි. බිම හුණු සේපාලිකා මල් කවියාගේ පන්හිඳෙන් පන ලද අසිරි කොතරම් නම් මනරම් ද? 

රාත්‍රියෙහි පොළෝ තලය සිහිල් වුව වැව් දිය සිහිල් වනුයේ ක්‍රම ක්‍රමයෙනි. මැදියම ඉක්ම ගිය පසු වැව් දිය සිහිල් වත් ම මින් රළ දිය කෙළි දියබුං නවතා ඉසිඹුලයි. මස්ටකයෝ දියෙන් ගොඩ විත් ඉවුරෙහි හිඳ ගී ගයත්. වැව් දියෙහි මද මද රැළි නැගේ. රිදි තලාවක් මෙන් පෙතලි වූ වැව් දිය ගැඹරෙහි තරුමල් පිපී දිලිසෙයි. වැව් දිය හා දිදුලන තරු මල් එකිනෙකින් වෙලී බැඳී ඇත. ඒවා වෙන් කළ නොහේ. ප්‍රේමයෙන් ස්නිග්ධ වූ සුපෙම්වතෙකු සිය පෙම්බරිය දෙස හෙලනා නුරා කැලුම් මුසු දෙනුවන් මෙන් තාරකාවෝ බබලත්. නිසළ දියෙහි තරු පිළිබිඹු නැළවෙන යුරු කවියා දුටු හැටි කොතරම් මනරම් ද? 

මෙනිසා ම මේ පොළොවෙහි සිරි අසිරි වර්ණනාතික්‍රාන්ත ය. කියා නිම කළ නොහැකි ය. මෙලෙස සොබා දමෙහි නන් විසිතුරු එකි නෙක බැඳී එකිනෙකා හා තරඟ වදිද් දී දුව සිහිනෙන් සිනාසෙයි. ඈ නිදි දෙව් ලියන් හා සිහින ළොවෙහි දඟ කම් කෙළි කම් කෙරෙමින් ගුලි වී නිදයි. ඇයට මේ සොබා සිරි නො පෙනේ. එහෙත් මේ සියල්ල ඇයගේ ද උරුමයයි. 

ගණ කළුවරට අප පෙම් කළොත්
ඉර හඳ තරුවලට ණය ගැතියි. 
ලොව දුන්නු දේවල් අද අපිට හෙට
ළොවට පෙරළා දිය යුතුයි. 

ඔබ මේ ලොවට ආදරෙයි නම්
මුළු ලොව ම ඔබටත් ආදරෙයි. . . . 

රාත්‍රියේ කවුළු පියන් පත් වසා සිතින් හා ගතින් ඝණ අඳුරේ කිමිදෙමින් රැය පහන් වන තුරු අපට නිදිය හැකි ය. එහෙත් අප අවට ලොව අප වෙනුවෙන් තැනූ, මැවූ බොහෝ දේ ඇත. සොබා දහම් දිනිතිය ඒවා අප වෙත අපමණ සෙනෙහසින් මවා ඇත . ඒ දෙස නො බලා ඒ අත් නො විඳ සිටිත් නම් අපි එහි ණය කරුවෝ වෙමු. සොබා දමෙහි නැතක් සොඳුරු රූ රටා අපගේ ඉඳුරන් පිණවයි. සිත සමාධිගත කරයි. දිවි බරෙහි ඉසිඹුලන්ට ඉස්පාසු තනා දෙයි. එය අත් නොවිඳ අඳුරේ ගිලී නිදන්නට ද හැකි ය. මේ සොබා අසිරි විඳ ගත සිත සනහා ගන්නට ද හැකි ය. මේ ලොව අපට අපමණ සම්පත් සාධා දී ඇත. එය මතු පරපුර පිණිස රැක ගන්නවා සේ ම වඩා පෝෂණය කිරීම ද කළ යුතු ය. ගහ කොළ සතා සිව්පාවා මතු නොව දෙව් බඹුන් හා මිනිසුන්ගෙන් යුතු මේ රූ අරූ ලෝක ධාතුවට ම අප ආදරය කරයි නම් ඒ ලොව ද අපට පෙරළා ආදරය ම දෙයි. අප ලොවට දෙන දේ ලෝකය පෙරළා අපට ද දෙනු ඇත යන්න පැරණි චින සුභාෂිතයකි. එය මේ ගීතයේ සාරය කොට පවතී. අවසන් පද කිහිපය ප්‍රචාරකවාදී මුහුණුවරක් ගත්ත ද පියෙකු දුවකට දෙන ඔවදනක් ලෙස ගත් කල්හී එය ප්‍රචාරකවාදි බවින් ගිලිහී පිය සෙනෙහසෙහි සියුම් නිමේෂයක් සටහන් කරයි. 

දූවරු බොහෝ සෙයින් පියවරුණට පෙම් වඩත්. පියවරුන්ගේ නො මද ආදර සත්කාරයට ලක් වනුවෝ ද දූ වරු ය. මෙහි රචකයා වු රත්න ශ්‍රී විජේසිංහයෝ ද දෙ දුවරුන්ට මැ පිය වැ වෙසෙත්. මේ ආමන්ත්‍රණය දුවණියක් විෂයෙහි වීම එහිලා සෑම අයුරකින් ම යෙදේ. 

පද රචනාව ස්වර වර්ණ සංයෝජනයෙන් ලගන්නා දෘශ්‍ය රූපයක් බවට පත් කිරීමට රෝහණ විරසිංහයෝ ප්‍රයත්න දරා ඇත. බටහිර හා පෙරදිග සංගීත භාණ්ඩ කිහිපයක ආධාරයෙන් සංකීර්ණ වර්ණ සංයෝජනයක් කිරීමට යත්න දරා ඇත. වස්දඬුවේ මන්ද්‍ර තානයත් වයලීනයේ රැළි නැගෙන නිංනාදයත් මුසු කොට ඇත. ඩ්‍රම්ස් හයිහැට් හා තබ්ලාවේ තාල රිද්ම එකිනෙක හා තරඟ වදී. ඉලෙක්ට්‍රොනික ඕගනයේ සීමාවෙන් ඔබ්බට ගොස් මේ පද මාලාවේ මුසුව ඇති හැඟුම් සමුදාය සංගීතයෙන් ප්‍රති නිර්මාණය කිරීමට සංගීත අධ්‍යක්ෂවරයා උත්සාහ දරා නැත. මේ ගේය පද මාලාවේ අරුත් භාරය හා හැඟුම් සමුදාය ස්වර ප්‍රස්තාරයේ පදනම වූවා නම් වඩා සාර්ථක සංගීත නිර්මාණයක් බිහි වන්නට ඉඩ තිබුණි. සොබාදහමේ සිරි අසිරි ස්වර සංකලනයෙන් විදහාපෑමේ සුරුකම් ඇති ලැසි මියැසියෙකු අත මෙම පද වැල පත් වුණි නම් අපට ඇසෙන්නට නියමිත ව තිබූ ධ්වනි සැරිය අහිමි ව ගියේ දෝ හෝයි සංකා උපදී. දිවුල්ගනේගේ හඬෙහි ඇති තත් හා තාල අභිබවා යාමේ ෙඖදාර්ය ගුණය වීරසිංහයෝ ගීතය තුළ හනා වනා නමා නිමවීමෙහි දස්කම් පා ඇත. 

අප අවට ලෝකය අපට උරුම වූ සම්පතක් ලෙස ගෙන ඒ හා සහවාසී ව ජීවත් වීම සිතට හා ගතට සහන සාධා දෙයි. එසේ නො වූ කල්හී ගත සිත නිරතුරු වේදනා ගෙන දේ. මේ ගීතය විසින් සම්පාදිත සියළු ලොවට පෙම් කිරීමේ කරුණා සීතල සත් ගුණය මිනිස් දිවිය අරුත්බර කොට පුබුදුවාලමින් ඔසවා තැබිමේ ශක්‍යතාවෙන් පොහෝනා වේ. ඒ සුභාවිත හැඟුම මුළු ලොව සරසයි. 


පද රචනය- රත්න ශ්‍රී විජේසිංහ
ගායනය- කරුණාරත්න දිවුල්ගනේ. 
සංගීතය- රෝහණ විරසිංහ