Five years have gone by since my entrance to the western hemisphere. Earlier inroads were always temporary; this time around it was reason to obtain citizenship. Which is done and dusted, the fat lady has sung. I am now supposedly a world citizen, no that’s not right, I don’t hold an UN passport, and sorry I digress. But please do try to read between the lines?
Recent Christmas holidays in my motherland, the Paradise Isle, and actually relaxing more than getting blind drunk enabled me to think a lot. Yes, I do occasionally think. Most of the thinking came from a question raised by a Paradisian of Dravidian descent on New Years Eve. Her question to me was if I were enjoying my newfound freedom of expression in the western world. I smiled and just nodded my head, as the Galle Face Hotel terrace was not the forum for it.
This week at lunchtime other than the usual Ham and Cheese sandy, I decided to give myself the occasional indulgence I have at lunch. So it was to Nandos for an olive, chicken and spicy rice takeaway. A short cut to get there is through a small parking lot. On my way back through this parking lot with a bag full of chicken and glowing heart, I suddenly spotted this old biddy tripping and falling on the kerb. Imagining as usual I was Sir Lancelot I dashed to help her. So there was this old biddy with blood pouring from her mouth, on the floor, looking up at me. So guess what happened?
Despite her bloody fall the old biddy took one look at my concerned face and screamed! Natural balance was restored after two City Caucasians of my similar age entered the situation. Recently, since 2010 actually I have been in high spirits, all this changed in that instant second. The old biddy despite her fall and all imagined that I was going to do a ‘carpe diem’ and steal her bag. Though I may not look or behave so, I was really hurt inside. I picked up my bag of chicken, smiled at the two City Caucasians who were ever so embarrassed about what just happened and hopped my way through. I did throw the bag away at the next bin I saw though. Stupid of me, yes. My dog would have enjoyed it.
So this freedom of expression is not all that is being all you can be, you know? If I do take a holiday in the two countries that end with the letter ‘TAN’, I may and can disappear for about a year and reappear without my fingernails. I may also gain some practical knowledge of the now most popular technique of human interrogation called ‘water boarding’. I speak, I write, but still if I use the words Taliban, Al Qaeda, and Freedom on the Internet my IP in all probability will be flagged.
So prejudice and fascisms prevail in good nick in this world, so does terrorism. Terrorism I left behind in my motherland. Of which my motherland in the history of the world beat â€“ the terrorism I mean. Prejudice and fascism? It’s alive and well all over the world. The old biddy just served to remind me, what sometimes I forget.
As in my motherland, and in the west, the Police still do have the legal right to break my door down and enter my house early morning to question me as a terror connection. In the motherland freedom of media is long becoming unknown. But do the western media commit ‘Hara-kiri’ like the Paradisian media? Honestly, they don’t, because they will never ever write about the unspoken, not really. Not about the actual prejudice and fascism. Heaven forbid.
Wearing a thong bikini in Dubai, men dressing like nuns and going on pub-crawl in Colombo to having an UK personal plate that says TA11BAN, it’s all jokes.
So saying what I want? I just did.
Doing what I want? Not the way you thinkâ€¦
I am off to talk to my dog about it. You think about it very carefully, especially if you do visit the ballot box this April in the motherland. I will get my chance in UK sometime this June I am hoping.