My Beats (1)

Piano-Wallpaper-music-24173621-1280-800

Image Courtesy of Fanpop.Com

Hi Everyone!

Technically I should be doing the ton of school work that awaits me, but here I am on my blog wanting to post about music. Since I haven’t posted about books in a while, I thought I’d post about the other thing that’s close to my heart; music. I don’t listen to one genre of music specifically; whatever that catches my ear, I usually listen to it. However in the past few days  I’ve been listening to a few tracks specifically so here are some of them!

Lupe Fiasco- Hurt me Soul

One of my friends introduced me to Lupe Fiasco because I enjoy Tupac’s music and I can say that I’m hooked. This song is from his debut album Food and Liquor. I listened to the entire album and it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard. I highly recommend it!

Lupe Fiasco- Words I Never Said

This is actually the song my friend sent to me and it’s one of the most powerful songs I’ve heard. Social Justice is something that I’m passionate about, so to hear artist talk about the problems in politics and society is always interesting to me. This is just a great song.

Beats by Dre- The Game before the Game

My list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include something to do with the World Cup! Even though I haven’t been following it as closely as I would like, I’m always interested in the music that comes out during this time. The Game before the Game is one catchy song. It’s incredibly addictive and the beat is so awesome :)

Spyair- Imagination

It’s no secret that I love sports animes! My latest addiction is the anime Haikyuu! which is about a Volleyball team. Honestly this is the only time I get excited about Volleyball. I just love this song by Spyair because it’s so upbeat and motivational in a way. The video too is awesome.

DJ Khaled- All I Do Is Win

Okay this purely stems from the fact that my group for my Sales Class won the Pubfight game that we played. It’s not an actual pubfight, but it’s where you create your own publishing house and fight for titles. There’s an auction and the grpup with the highest revenue over a number of weeks win. I think we were all surprised that we won  and happy of course! One of my friends posted Emma Stone lip syncing this song on Jimmy Fallon (she was fantastic!). So yes lol.

Channeling our Inner Beyonce

So we posted so many Beyonce gifs in our group facebook message because Queen Bee is just so fierce and awesome. Then my roommate posted this video on my wall on Thursday night and I’m just so amazed! My standards for men just went up; they need to be able to dance like Beyonce ;). These guys are so awesome and so fierce. It’s inspiring!

Anyways that’s what I’ve been listening to recently.  What about you guys? have you heard any of these songs? Do you have any recommendations for me?

Have a great Saturday!

Cheers,

Savindi

Identity

Hi Everyone!

I know it’s been a while since I last posted on my blog and the truth is school is incredibly busy. It’s going by so fast and we had a bunch of assignments and book conference this past week. Anyways so for our Creativity & Psychology of Writing course, we had to write 600 words of prose or poetry. We’ve handed the assignment in, but I thought I’d share with you the story that I wrote. I titled it “Identity” since I’ve already mentioned that it’s something that I struggle with. So here it is!

Identity

So which one do you prefer? Being here or being in Canada?” That is the question almost every single immigrant kid in any country dreads when they go back to their homeland. How do you answer such a personal question? What do you do with the fear of offending the person who asked you? The ‘who’ is the most important person, but then nothing really matters because in the end the person is going to form their own opinion of you whether you agree or disagree. You’re going to be stuck in that image they’ve created about you. No matter how prepared you are for the question, it never gets easier to answer.

‘I’m home’ is the feeling I get when I go back to Sri Lanka. The sense of familiarity appears as soon as the pilot says “We’ll be landing at Bandaranayaka International Airport soon.” I eagerly look out of the window and watch Colombo come to life amongst the bright lights. I would tell my mom “Our Street is somewhere down there too.” I’ve called it home for most of my life, but then again I call Canada home too. I’ve spent my teenage years and my short life as an adult there. It’s where I developed a passion for history, social justice, publishing and many other things. When I go back to Sri Lanka I’m always asking myself, “What is home?”. Is it the landscape? Is it my history and attachment to this place? Is it my family and friends? I can’t give myself a proper answer yet alone another person. But what I do know is home is what you make of it. Sometimes a place may stop feeling like home once everything familiar disappears, but you hold onto it as long as you can.

Whether it was sitting on a train and watching people hanging off it on a Monday morning as they headed into Colombo, admiring the beauty of a hotel which was previously owned by my grandmother’s family, riding in a Tuk Tuk, eating street food, or even just sitting and playing Scrabble with my grandma. All those actions amounted to feelings from another time. Sri Lanka is different now. There is more corruption; things are more expensive; the population has grown. And yet through all the difficulties of life people move on towards another day. Besides home, maybe it was the feeling of resilience that resonated with me. These people have endured riots and a civil war which devastated the country for 30 years and I remind myself that I am one of those people. Along with my family, I have endured the loss of electricity and water, a bomb blast close to our house and the feelings of helplessness as we waited for the day the war would be over. Living through those conditions shaped who I am today and will continue to shape me in the future. I’m forever grateful to have grown up through that adversity because in the end I learned a lot.

Even as my stay ended on April 22nd, and I cried as I left my grandparents and childhood home behind, I’m sure of one thing: I’m a child of Sri Lanka as much as I am of Canada. I’m not going to be able to separate one from another. If not for experiences in both countries I wouldn’t be who I am. What does the feeling of home and identity have to do with each other? I think they’re both what we choose them to be. No one can take that away from you.

Have a great weekend!

Cheers,

Savindi

Bookish Haul of Awesomeness Numero Catorce

Bookish Haul of Awesomeness

 

 

Hi Everyone!

Wow it really does feel like forever since I did a book haul post! To be honest it’s been a while since I bought some books. Due to Financial Restrictions that I have I’ve kept my book buying at a bare minimum, but this weekend I really couldn’t help but splurge some cash on some books that I really do want to read. Speaking of books, I did buy some books in Sri Lanka, but I’ll show pictures of those on a different day. Anyways here are my books!

My Books

My Books

Tupac's Book of Poetry

Tupac’s Book of Poetry

Tupac's Poem "The Rose that Grew from Concrete"

Tupac’s Poem “The Rose that Grew from Concrete”

TBTDOAPI

TBTDOAPI

The artwork in Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

The artwork in Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian

The Rose that Grew from Concrete by Tupac Shakur

It’s been a pretty difficult week for me and I’ve been looking for some strength and inspiration;I’ve definitely found that in Tupac’s poetry. I admit that I didn’t start to listen to Tupac’s music until last Sunday when my roommate  made me listen to Changes by him. I’ve heard his quotes before listening to his music and it’s so obvious that he’s one of the smartest rappers to grace the Hip Hop music scene. Tupac’s music is filled with the want for Social Justice, so is his poetry. But I think his poetry really tells a story of someone who was incredibly sensitive, aware and truly and I mean truly wanted to make a difference. I think he did make a difference because so many people have been inspired by his music. I’ll write a review for his book of poetry once I finish it.

Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese 

I’ve made it clear that Richard Wagamese is one of my favourite authors since I read Indian Horse. I was going to wait till the book came out in paperback, but I couldn’t wait. I wanted this book now. I can’t wait to read this book because Wagamese is an author who understands the human condition in so much depth and captures it so well in this books. I really really hope I enjoy it. I’m going to be so sad if I don’t love this book as much as I loved Indian Horse.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie 

I’ve been hearing about this book for a very long time, but I never picked it up for some reason. Then the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign came out on twitter and one of the books that was mentioned was this one. I immediately decided to buy it because I’ve never read a YA novel about Native Americans (Specifically Aboriginal people in the States). I really hope I enjoy this one. I love the art work by Ellen Forney. I’ll be writing a review for this one as well.

No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the U.S. Surveillance State by Glenn Greenwald

I’ve been following the story of Snowden’s revelations since the story broke out last year. It’s incredibly fascinating and concerning that such a thing as a privacy is fading slowly. I’m also a fan of Greenwald’s work, so I’m looking forward to reading this book.

So these are my books! Have you read any of them? If you  have what do you think of them? Let me know!

Cheers,

Savindi

 

On the Road towards the Publishing Industry Part I

Hi Everyone!

Image Courtesy of The Guardian

Wow! It really has been a long time since I’ve been on wordpress and I apologize for that. Many of you know that I was in Sri Lanka for about 5 weeks visiting my grandparents and I had an amazing time! To those that I sent postcards too, I hope  that you will receive them! Thank  You everyone who told me they got them! At least I could depend on the postal service doing it’s job! Anyways I started school pretty much right after I came and I’ve only gotten sometime to sit down and take a breather now because it’s a long weekend for us here in Canada (Which is wonderful because I get to sleep in!). I know some of you were interested in knowing what my course would be like, so I wanted to update you on what it’s been like to get a glimpse of what it’s like in the Publishing World!

 Thoughts so far

There’s definitely more to the Publishing industry than what meets the eye. I think what surprised (although it shouldn’t) was the amount of work that goes into produce one book! There are so many elements that are involved in bringing a book to life from the start of the Manuscript being handed in. Also it’s interesting to talk about Amazon and it’s role in the Publishing industry. I think the discussions that we’ve had about that has been quite eye-opening. But I think what has been more eye-opening is how digital technology has changed the way we tell stories. We’ve looked at some of the book apps that are out there right now and some of them are truly amazing! Even though I don’t really do a lot of reading with my e-reader and tablet, I can appreciate the artistic talent and merit of these creations! It’s such an innovative way to tell stories. Also what I found very interesting is that most publishing companies make their profit through print books than they do ebooks. Keep in mind that this is specifically in Canada. I don’t know how it works in the States or any other Country. Oh and another thing that I’ve found very interesting to see the differentiation between trade publishing and educational publishing and to see if an educational publishing house can survive just by catering to academia or does it have to publishing generally as well.

Note: Also for those interested in Publishing, it is incredibly helpful for you to know Microsoft Excel. Even if you know it only on a basic level that is good.

Subjects

I thought it would be a bit helpful if I listed off the subjects I’m studying if any of you were curious about some of them. So here they are!

  • Psychology of Creativity & Writing
  • Technology
  • Acquisitions
  • Marketing Overview
  • Book Design
  • Contracts, Legal Issues & Publishing Ethics
  • Sales & Retail
  • History of the Book 
  • History of Canadian Publishing
  • Editorial Overview
  • Book Production & Manufacturing
  • International Publishing
  • Publishing Operations
  • Publishing & the Media
  • Publishing Models
  • Business of Publishing

History of the Book and History of Canadian Publishing was basically one course and it was very interesting. It was really interesting to learn about the various publishing houses that exist/existed across the country. It’s also interesting to learn about the huge monopolies in the Publishing industry. We’ve also talked about mergers such as Penguin and Random House, HarperCollins buying Harlequin just about two weeks ago. So basically history is being made while I’m sitting class. This reminds me of the time I was taking courses on the Middle East while the Arab Spring was happening. 

Editorial Overview has also been interesting since we’ve been looking at different levels of editing and the role of the editor. Editorial is one of the specializations that’s offered and I’ve been thinking of taking it, but at the same time it seems quite intimidating since you have someone’s life work in your hands and what if you can’t help them become a success?

Book Production & Manufacturing has been really informative, simply because I never thought so much work could go into designing a cover and binding a book. I’ve really enjoyed learning about the different types of covers and the work that goes into them such as deciding if you want to emboss or deboss the title of the book, if you want the cover on coated or uncoated paper. Sometimes it does feel like information overload, but at the same time it’s been helpful to learn about these things.

Acquisitions, Contracts and the Business of Publishing have been interesting courses in their own right and are the ones that I struggle with the most. Business obviously because it involves Math, but Contracts because I have no background in law and it can be challenging to understand some of the clauses, but it definitely helps that we go over them to better understand everything.

Technology- Well regular readers know that I’m technologically challenged :P, luckily we haven’t done a lot that involves technology other than having an Excel workshop which was so helpful to me since I’ve never worked with Excel before. We’ve also talked about the e-book and what goes into creating one. Again I was surprised because I didn’t think a whole lot of work went into it, but there is a lot of work!  We’ve also talked about using tablets and ereaders as reading devices which has been fascinating and informative.

Apart from all of that the discussions that we’ve had about social media and publishing have been eye-opening. Like any other industry the publishing world is also trying to figure out how to keep up with technology and ever-changing business models.

Other Things 

One of the things that I’m really excited about is the Research Project that I’m planning to do for this program. I’m hoping to do a project focusing on the lack of Diversity in YA and Children’s Fiction in Canada. You guys know how important diversity is to me so I’m really looking forward to starting this project and  finding out things about how the publishing industry responds to the need for diversity in YA and Children’s fiction.

Networking-Publishing is largely about networking as I’ve realized. A lot of my instructors have talked about…well talking to people within the industry, going to book launches and publishing events to establish contacts. What I found helpful is that it’s okay to be introverted because you can still establish those connections, but you do have to put your fears aside and speak sometime.

Guests- We’ve had a few guests come into talk to us and my favourite has been Children’s Author Sharon E. McKay. She was simply a delight to listen and I love love the fact that she talked about writing POC characters. She wrote the book War Brothers which has been turned into a Graphic Novel . It’s a story about child soldiers in Uganda. McKay talked about the importance researching when you’re writing about POC and a specific situation/place. You need to do the research to understand the situation and to make sure that the story you’re trying to tell is credible. I really liked that she talked about this since there are some books out there that just fetishize POC.

Going back to school on a regular basis has been difficult for me to be honest, especially since I’ve been out of it for a year and a bit. So getting my brain to function in an academic environment has been a bit difficult. I think also not being in an academic environment can sometimes play with your self-confidence and I’ve found myself questioning being in the program. Luckily I do have some great friends and a great roommate- all who have supported me and encouraged me, so I’m really grateful for that.

So this is pretty much it from me for this post! If there’s anything you want me to talk about specifically let me know and I’ll try my best to answer your questions :). I’m also on twitter, if you’d like to talk there! I’m not incredibly active, but sometimes I am!

Hope everyone is keeping well and as always thank you for reading/following this blog!

Cheers,

Savindi

A Trip down Memory Lane and History: My Visit to Kandy and Hotel Tree of Life

Ayubowan!

First off I do apologize for not writing any posts from Sri Lanka except for the one I wrote about my arrival here. The truth is that I’ve been quite disconnected since coming here from most of the world. I haven’t done it on purpose, but I’ve been so busy with people here and the heat has really gotten to me. I know that I complain constantly about the heat, but the heat here is really something else! I even told Nuzaifa from Say it With Books that I was having trouble just staying awake during the afternoons because of the heat. Complete sidenote, my meeting with Nuzaifa was the first time I’ve actually met another fellow blogger and it was wonderful! I’m sad that we couldn’t chat for a long time, since I’m pressed for time now that I’m going back to Canada on the 21st of April. Next time Nuzaifa, our meeting will be longer lol! Also another side note, Postcards! I wrote over 20 postcards to my friends and others. I’ve mailed all of them now and I hope that everyone I sent out postcards to will receive them at some point! I do know that some of you may get the postcards once I return to Canada! If you can let me know if you do receive them, I’d really appreciate it!

Going back to the disconnection, like I said while I haven’t done it on purpose, a part of me has been thankful for it because it gives me time to spend with my grandparents and family. These are people I don’t see on a constant basis, so when I get to see these people in person, I’m really happy. While I was mulling over the lack of blog posts that I haven’t written a friend of mine told me “The reason I haven’t spoken to you in all this time (when I asked her if she received the Birthday card I sent her) is because I wanted you to be disconnected from everything and enjoy your time there. I was going to speak to you once you got back to Canada” and I was so thankful for her answer. It made me feel less guilty about not posting since March and staying in touch with people. Anyways tomorrow is my New Year here and I’m hoping that I’ll have the chance to write a food post about it this week before I return. Right now though, I wanted to share my experience of going to Kandy and to the Hotel Tree of Life  which was previously my Paternal Grandmother’s ancestral home which I visited for the very first time.

Trip to Kandy

On my way to Kandy :). The paddy fields.

On my way to Kandy :). The paddy fields.

Dalada Maligawa. Image Courtesy of Kaputa.com

You’re probably amused by the name “Kandy” for a City, since well…it probably reminds you of Candy, while Kandy does have a lot of great places to eat, it’s much more than that to Sri Lankans. Kandy was the last Kingdom in Sri Lanka before the British came and colonized the country. It is also home to the “Sri Dalada Maligawa” which is houses the Tooth Relic of the Buddha. It is also Sri Lanka’s second largest city after Colombo. It’s located in the Central Province of Sri Lanka is also a popular tourist destination. In July/August a procession featuring Elephants, dancers, drummers and other artists is held in honour of the tooth relic. A Tusker (an elephant bearing Tusks) carries the tooth relic during the procession. This elephant is carefully chosen using various methods. The most famous Tusker to carry the Tooth Relic during the procession was “Raja” who carried it for about 50 years until he passed away.  The irony is that I’ve never actually gone to watch the procession while living here. It always fell during school time, but I’ve watched it plenty of times on the TV. My favourite parts are watching the Elephants, the dancers and the drummers. The drumming in Sri Lanka to me is out of this world. I always get goosebumps when I listen to the drumming during the procession. I also love the fact that the Elephants (especially the baby ones) move to the drum beat and wave their trunks to it.  This is a short video of the procession if you’d like to check it out!

Kandy is also my dad’s hometown and this was my first visit to the city since 2006. Last time when I visited Sri Lanka in 2011 I didn’t have the opportunity to go and this year I was adamant that I visit the place that holds so many of my wonderful memories! Ever since I was about 6 years old I’ve been going to Kandy to spend my holidays with my aunt and cousins. We’ve done some pretty crazy stuff when we’ve spent our holidays there and those are some of the memories that I can look back fondly on and say “Yeah I had a pretty good childhood.” I loved going to Kandy. I really loved my aunt’s house and when she got sick and moved to England to live with my cousin, the house was sold. This time I actually went past my aunt’s house and actually took a picture of it. The house is still the same, but there’s a bigger gate (an Ugly grey one) now and they’ve built  a wall around the house. I guess I’m biased because I want to remember the house as it was, not what it is now. I think the best part of my visit to Kandy, other than taking the train for the first time since 2006 was meeting my aunt’s neighbours after 8 years! I met them last in 2006 when I was staying with my aunt while she was sick, so I was overjoyed that they were home.We spent about a good hour and a half talking and reminiscing about the past. The only disappointment was that their daughter (who is my cousin’s best friend and was her bridesmaid) was not at home. I didn’t have long to be disappointed because she called my cell phone later on. I didn’t get to walk around much in Kandy because we had so much stuff and we had to check into the place we were staying on the first day after 2.00 in the afternoon. So we dropped off of our stuff with my cousin’s friend and walked around the Kandy City Centre which is the city’s mall. It’s a  beautiful place and for a second I couldn’t believe I was in Sri Lanka. It’s a pretty high-end mall when I think about it; with lots of exclusive stores, but still I was able to go and get some clothes and surprise surprise I also bought some books from one of the bookstores as well (Enid Blyton books ftw).

The Bake House has always been one of my favourite places to eat in Kandy. I remember going there as a kid to the bakery to get some goodies. However since this was my first visit to Kandy since 2006 I was shocked to see all the renovations to the place. No longer is just a bakery, but now it’s a place where you can go have breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. It’s really nice to see local businesses prosper.

CIMG2299

Bake house exterior. Still the same, but bigger now :)

Trip to Hotel Tree of Life  As I mentioned before the Hotel Tree of Life was my paternal grandma’s ancestral home. It was formerly a Tea Estate which was owned by a British Family and later it was bought by Great grandfather. The tea cultivation continued until the 1970’s when the estate was sold to another gentlemen who in turn sold it to Tree of Life owners. I had heard numerous tails about my grandma’s ancestral home. My father spent so much time at ‘Yahalatanna’ as it was known back then. My great-grandmother lived there until she passed away and two of my uncles (my dad’s cousins) also stayed there and went to school because it was closer to them. There are a lot of fond stories about Yahalatanna and I’ve always wanted to go there, but never had the opportunity for some reason. Then when dad came to Sri Lanka last December he visited the hotel and he was enamored with it. He was insistent that my mom and I go there. So this time we were determined to go and see the place my dad speaks so fondly of. However our trip was bittersweet and it was because my dad’s uncle (the last remaining sibling of my grandmother passed away the day we left for Kandy). He was the Superintendent of the Tea Estate when my grandma’s family owned it before it was sold. It was his birthday on the 22nd of March and then on the 24th morning he had passed away. We found out this out before we took the train to Kandy, however because there was no way we could cancel our Hotel Reservations we couldn’t make it to the funeral. I adored my great-uncle and I was sad I couldn’t make it to the funeral, but in a way I thought it was fitting that I was going to visit the place he had grown up and where he ended up working till the estate was sold. It’s funny how life works out sometime. My cousin who also traveled with us to Kandy ended up staying the first night with us (we stayed at Holiday Home owned by the Bank she works at) and then left the following morning to come to the funeral, while we continued our trip.

CIMG2289

Entrance sign of the Hotel.

The hotel is about forty-five minutes away from my aunt’s house and I believe it’s the same distance from the Kandy town (downtown if you will). When my dad was small the road to the estate/house wasn’t the greatest and it was apparently quite difficult to get there by car, but now the road has been paved and it’s much easier for a vehicle to get through. Once we arrived we were greeted by the same person who gave my dad a tour of the place. We explained to her what happened to my dad’s uncle and why our cousin would no longer be joining us at the hotel (my cousin who went with us, also went to the hotel with my dad in December). Before we were taken to our room Mari (pronounced Maa-ri) took us to the dining area (formally it used to be the place where my dad and his cousins played) and gave us drinks and we chatted for a bit. The breeze was so soothing and the area was beautiful. The view from the restaurant is beautiful too.  We were given a double and again I was blown away by the view. It was of the tea estate and you could see the road as well.

View from our room.

View from our room.

So after we got settled in our room we walked for a bit and then went up to the actual house where my great-grandmother stayed. Now the house is home to hotel offices and we got to meet some of the staff members. Previously it was the hotel reception, but now the reception is at another area which used to be the Tennis Courts when my great-grandmother was alive. The staff were quite eager to hear the history of when my grandma’s family owned the estate and apparently before the family bought the estate from the British family Lord Mountbatten had also stayed at the main house. I took a lot of pictures of the house and the surrounding area. Mari also took us around the hotel in the evening and told us some of the plans the hotel has for the area.

The biggest surprise and probably the best part of staying at the hotel was the discovery of someone who used to work at the Estate since the time my father was small. We were supposed to go Bird Watching with a man by the name of “Punchi Banda” on the final morning of our stay. As we were walking we asked about him and then my mom asked if he was familiar with the “Jayawickremas” (my grandmother’s maiden name/family name) and he said yes. Then immediately we launched into an explanation of who we were and what we were doing here. While we didn’t see any birds to begin with, Punchi Banda gave us an entire tour of the area,complete with an explanation to everything. We even got to go into the main house (now the offices) and he told us which room my great-grandmother was, which room my great-uncle used as an office-room, the other areas of the house etc. It truly was a remarkable experience. He also told us exactly how much tea was there when the Jayawickrema’s owned the estate. I guess you can say I felt a bit nostalgic in the sense that I wish I could have experienced what my dad did when he was younger. From all the stories I’ve heard about his childhood and spending time at Yahalatanna I think my generation really missed out on all that fun. Before I knew it my stay at Tree of Life had come to an end.

It really was an amazing experience. As I was heading back to Kandy with my mom in our Tuk Tuk, our Tuk Tuk driver actually took us by the Jayawickrema family burial ground. Not all the members are buried there. There is a large tomb stone like thing which houses the ashes of my great-grandfather and some of the other members. My great uncle’s (D.K. Jayawickrema-the one who passed away) wife actually told me the names of the family members who have their ashes there. The death of my great-uncle marks the end of a generation of Jaywawickremas. It makes me sad to know that there isn’t anyone left from that side of the family, but I suppose that’s life. I guess my only wish was that my trip to Kandy was longer, it felt way too short. I’ve included more pictures in a Gallery, so you guys can see them!

Ayubowan From Sri Lanka!

Image Courtesy of Lankandevil

Ayubowan from Sri Lanka!

Before you stare quizzically at your Laptop screens and wonder what on earth I’m talking about, allow me to explain :). Ayubowan is the traditional greeting here in Sri Lanka. Usually the greeting which is said with gesture that is in the picture on the right means “Hello” and “Goodbye”, but it also translates into “May you have long life” so I guess you can say the greeting serves a number of purposes :).

Anyways this is the first time in a week where I can actually sit down and right about my experience here. Last week I was so jetlagged and it’s incredibly hot here that I haven’t felt like doing anything. However yesterday it rained for the first time since I’ve been here and there was nothing short of excitement from my mom and I . I can tell you that literally almost 75% of the time I fall asleep in the afternoon because of the heat. But it’s not for a long period of time, just for about an hour or so! I’m going to get to my experience of being here.

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I’m alive, I swear!

Proof that I'm alive! Trying out glasses while my mom was shopping for her own pair.

Proof that I’m alive! Trying out glasses while my mom was shopping for her own pair.

Hi Everyone!

I hope all of you are having a fantastic Friday! Finally it seems like the weather is slowly becoming bearable and finally we have some sunshine! Also I believe March Break started today, so those who are on March Break I hope you a restful and relaxing week! It seems like this year is going to be a year where I will drop off the radar for quite a bit of time. I’ve also realized that I tend to get hit with bad news at the beginning of the year a lot. I’ve been absent from the blogosphere due to some personal circumstances involving my family and extended family recently. After hearing all that bad news I haven’t felt like blogging to be honest. Things are kind of starting to look up, which I’m grateful for because I really don’t think I can handle such an onslaught of bad news.

On a semi-happier note another reason I’ve been absent from the blogging world is because I’m leaving for Sri Lanka tomorrow! I haven’t finished packing yet, but I’m one of those people for better or for worse does better under pressure. Don’t worry I will pack my passport and ticket (actually that would be horrible if I forgot both of those things). I’m of course taking some books with me to read! There’s one book that I have to read for my publishing course before it starts in April. I’m really enjoying it so far, which is a good thing! I just hope I can finish it before school starts. I’m also planning on taking Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda and Three Day Road with me. The latter I’m hoping to take to read on the plane because my flight from Toronto to Abu-dhabi is  14 hours long (yeah not a fan of that flight at all) while the other one is only 4 hours from there to Colombo. So I have plenty of time to read :).

The other reason I’ve been absent (I know it seems like I’ve had many reasons, but this is a good one) is because I’ve been intensely following Canada Reads 2014. It’s a reality tv program focusing on books. This year the theme was “Which novel can inspire social change in Canada” and as to be expected it was an intense, emotional and powerful week of debating and discussions. The winner of course was Joseph Boyden’s The Orenda defended BRILLIANTLY by Wab Kinew! I don’t mean to sound like a fangirl, but he was phenomenal! The way he spoke about the book in October/November last year was the reason I picked up the book and listening to his arguments and speeches this week was both a pleasure and an education to Aboriginal history and social issues. I don’t know if you can watch the debates outside of Canada because of geographic restrictions or anything like that, but if you click the link I’ve given you maybe able to listen to the debates. I strongly recommend listening to them because they were all so eloquent and thoughtful. I loved this year’s panel and I’m so glad to have seen so many discussions online about gender, immigration, mental health and Aboriginal issues. 

Once again Thank You for all the lovely comments left by everyone who reads this blog. I’m sorry that I haven’t responded to them yet, but I will once I get to Sri Lanka. 

Have a Great Weekend and a Great March Break!

Cheers,

Savindi