August 5, 2002

Had a fairly quiet and subdued weekend – partly due to the fact that I simply wanted to finish “The Sigma Protocol” and then began “The Matarese Countdown” (again by Ludlum) which I can’t seem to put down either :p Actually, I think I like “The Matarese Countdown” even more than “The Sigma Protocol” in certain ways. For one thing, it’s funnier 🙂 I’ve always enjoyed Ludlum’s humorous thrillers – specifically the one’s involving General MacKenzie Hawkins a.k.a. The Hawk – and “The Matarese Countdown” has a touch of that humour surfacing now and again but this time mostly from the mouth of Brandon Scofield, the agent from “The Matarese Circle” … I guess I shouldn’t go on like this since only a Ludlum fan would recognize most of the references but I guess the basic fact is that I’m enjoying the book :p

The other reason for the quiet weekend is a bit more personal – my mother is/was giving me the quiet treatment :p Unfortunately, either I’ve never learned how to handle my parents or they’ve never realized that I’m not the child I used to be … especially my mother. She thought she could badger me into cutting my hair and I decided to give her a dose of straight-talk – neither worked and the end result was that she ended up not talking to me. Again, I know most people will be mystified by this – such as why I need to cut my hair, why my parents still tell me what to do and why my Mom would stop talking to me – at least I’d think so since some of this seems pretty strange to even me now after living in the US for four years though it probably would not have seemed so strange to me a few years ago.

The hair? Well, that’s because of the fact that in Sri Lanka people, Muslims more so than others, hate people to be different from what they consider to be “normal”. I am different since I have long hair and that irritates people for some reason and they keep on telling my parents how their son having long hair is bad for their (my parents’) image as parents since people will think it’s their fault. Incidentally, this is how a lot of things work in Sri Lanka – everybody worries about what “others” think and this again is something I’ve never understood. The problem has gotten worse in recent months since my parents are trying to get me married but most prospective brides (or rather their families …) take one look at me (or rather my hair …) and say “No” since I’m different and couldn’t possibly be a good Muslim :p This again seems to irritate my parents since it seems (maybe I’m judging them too harshly …) that we shouldn’t be refused since that somehow lowers our “status” – we are the one’s who should be doing the refusing :p

Of course, all this has led to my Mom deciding to somehow get me to cut my hair. I might have done it under normal circumstances if it had been a simple request because *she* didn’t like it (maybe … you never know with me :p) but since I know the cause of the request is basically because she wants me to “conform”, I will never do it! I hate the fact that people give in to pressure from this invisible “society” and do whatever is asked of them, right or wrong. The fact that people don’t stop to think about what they do. I believe that this is the kind of thing (in a larger scale …) that led to World War II Germany – because people just went along with society instead of voting their conscience!

Unfortunately, this has led to stress at home and I’m beginning to wonder whether I was right in coming back to Sri Lanka. I came back because of my parents – because I wanted to be with them and take care of them. But me being here seems to cause them more pain and concern than me being abroad since I believe that people talk more about me when I’m here than when I’m away since you tend to talk more about what’s in your face than out of sight :p I’m seriously considering leaving again but then again, wouldn’t that be running away from the problem? That makes me pause but sometimes I think running away to save my parents some mental anguish might be worth it … I just don’t know …

Posted by Fahim at 6:34 am  |  6 Comments