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World Affairs



This is Paradise







The fine art of cost cutting as
mastered by the Boggles'

Darling Ma-hinder

As you unhook the Star of David from the top of the Christmas tree sitting uncomfortably on your front porch and carefully fold away in blue tissue and mothballs your Santa Claus kit, no doubt your mind is filled with thoughts of what to do next.

That wigged chap on Hulftsdorp hill armed with a cloak if not a dagger is plagued by no such indecision as he gallops along the corridors of retirement like a crazed mustang occasionally stopping off - panting as a dear panteth for the waters - at a TV station or two to dispatch a few watchamacallits about the sacred Bo sapling.

And as the New Year dawns it is this very fellow who seems to be girding up his loins, putting his shoulder to the wheel, spitting on his hands and what not to plague you for five more months before he sees his retirement gift of a digital wall clock at the end of his judicial tunnel.

Little wonder you were heard grumbling like an old crone on a wet broom stick at a meeting with the tea trade chappies that Sarath N. Silva chap is attempting to attain Buddhahood. 'Miniha budu wenda hadanawa,' were I believe, your exact words.

Darling this may be a little known secret but what did you think that enigmatic 'N' stood for slap bang between the Sarath and the Silva if not for Nirvana or if you prefer Nibbana.

Sarath N. Silva's doting mummy may have scoured the local libraries and corner book shops for books of baby names with titles such as 'So You're Having A Baby.But Whatya Going To Call It?', or 'Names With Meaning'..or perchance 'Don't Be Fooled Pick The Right Name,' or 'A Rose By Any Other Name May NOT Smell As Sweet,'..etcetera but when it came to tiny Silva's middle handle it was not to the pages of any book be it from a corner book shop or otherwise that Mama and Papa Silva looked, but to the Buddhist meditation centre in Okkampitiya or perhaps another town. Be that as it may.hence the Nibbana and/or Nirvana motif.

Thelma has it on good authority that pater Silva once toyed with the idea of Sarath Sansara Silva but always one to be considerate of others, the elder Silva later thought better of it since S.S.S would not flow quite as trippingly from the tongues of stutterers and lispers not to mention good ole aunty Wimala after a night out on the town.  

You may cavil and you may choke about how the fellow reduces prices and everybody pays pooja to him while your little recent token of a two rupee reduction in petrol went unnoticed and unheralded by jaded Paradisians, but that as they say is life.

Perhaps dearie it has something to do with the fact that while Sarath ordered a 20 rupee discount you, obviously in keeping with family traditions opted for a ten percent of that and went for two rupees. Dearie, Thellie is inclined to think little brother Baa-sil had something to do with it.

And who can blame you darling. Whether it is an obsession for the ten percent or not family tradition is nothing if not important in these times of goodwill and glad tidings.

And speaking of glad tidings it is mama and papa Boggles, now roaming the world as Paradise's foremost diplomuttic couple that really takes the bibikkang. For the male Boggles it may be all about skating in Iceland and dancing with leprechauns in Ireland but Deepthi has more on her mind when she's not wielding a sharp object.

Preoccupied though she may well be with matters of a more pressing nature when it comes to domestic chores, she is ever mindful of her official duties as she scurries here lighting an oil lamp and hurries over there pre tasting  a menu for a large banquet.

And it is this sense of duty bless their collective boggled souls that prompted the duo to have the Foreign Ministry lavish thousands upon thousands of you know what from a depleted budget to print a nice large diary in a fitting red cover for 2009 with pages upon pages - over 20 to be somewhat precise - of Boggles with the Chinese envoy, Boggles shaking the hand of an African fellow.yes you guessed it, here's Boggles again grinning at some Latino..omigosh...Deepthi with a lighted candle..rest easy people...the only thing near her is a wick on a brass lamp...and there you are again Boggles blinking at some European bloke etcetera etcetera...and all mind you in full glossy colour.

The cover of the diary may have been red dear but not so the faces of Boggles and his other half as they adorned themselves like Christmas baubles all over the pages of the almanac.

Now there's a bally diary you don't want to miss eh? Especially so darling because the fellow had been sending frantic emails and faxes wanting all foreign missions to cut their expenses by 40 if not 50 percent. And now we know why. Full page glossies of himself and the missus.

One wonders what may have been the original plan for the centre fold. Certainly not you or yours dear.

Though I must admit I did glimpse you peering over Boggles' shoulder in one or two of the pictures but it was just a smidgen of an appearance. If you were acting in one of Jerome's plays at the Lionel Wendt and Seneka was to review it, you may hardly have got a mention nor would it have warranted acknowledgment as a cameo role.that's how infrequent you were in between the pages of this book.

So darling here we are on the doorstep of another year. And there you are I mean to stay clutching for those straws that usually come in the form of elections coincidentally on the heels of hollow military battles splashed across the kept media.

And talking about keeping, you m'dear, are becoming more and more like Satellite. I recall she hugged on to the media ministry just a few months before she fell from Paradisian grace. There you are now taking over the media thingamabob just like she did. Doesn't history teach you chaps anything darling?

It's just a hunch darling but I suspect that huge year end bash you lavished on about 200 media types last week where everything was flowing including the stuff that cheers - prompting one wag from a rag to comment that the only thing that in fact had a thitha on it that very very merry night was the mathata thitha itself - you felt it was only fair to take over their affairs.

But what seemed to clinch it for ole Thellie as she meanders her way into yet another jolly year of DBP - Dooshanaya, Beeshanaya and Poshanaya is that you forbade any government types to participate in the Sirasa quiz show Are Your Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?

Word on the cocktail circuit darling is that, Thellie having no idea what the topic of conversash among the peasantry is this holiday season, with all your chaps failing dismally in the quiz and having to admit on air they were not in fact smarter than a dead prawn on a fish hook leave alone a bally fifth grader, you were left feeling - like the happy king who once upon a time went skinny dipping in the palace lake only to find on his return to dry land that a harried peasant had made of with his clothes - rather exposed. After all the people who work for you are in the final analysis, a reflection on you.

No matter darling. This is Paradise and you know the old saying probably gleaned from some ancient script..Knowing people know who you are. That they do darling, that they certainly do.

Happy New Year                  

Love and kisses

Thellie Bellie

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