Colonial Hangover 101
That wretched group should be called ‘Colonial Hangover 101’. Honestly. Snort. It’s a bloody farce. Some donkey, in typical Colombo fashion decided to start a group that is supposed to share intellectual articles on various things. Instead it’s full of people sharing pictures of J.R. Jayawardene, John Kotelawala, some bloody relative who visited their houses, another aunt who knew them in their youth and the like. The greatest excitement is when someone has spotted an old house, a vintage vehicle, some old picture with known faces that they share as some kind of intellectual conversation starter. In true form, the only people who respond are the close buddies of the sharer. Often sycophants of the instigator purely because that person has an aunt, uncle, relative who is known to some colonial bastard. Ugh.
The conversations often would be along the lines of,
“Old walawwa in Thumpaney. Ancestral home of the Nobodytryingtobeasomeday family. Beautiful Burmese Teak seasoned by the British when they pillaged Burma.”
“Wow machan. What a lovely place. Is this the house you were talking about? Owned by your 12th cousin 5 times removed?”
“Yea. Lovely place. Over 200 years old. I hope to visit again soon. It’s the best preserved in Thumpaney.”
“Wow machan. Maybe we should all make a trip and visit. You’re so lucky”.
“Does anyone have the Royal Asiatic Reports from 1915 to 1935?”
“I don’t, but I believe my great grand somebody who was known to your great grand nobody, was the chief compiler of the staples used to secure the reports”.
Cringe. Like who the fuck cares? Seriously? Clearly the friends with no shame do. And the rest of us who have been forced to endure this drivel are just left shaking our heads in disbelief. By this virtue we should all be sharing old books, tables, padikkamas, our family trees and any bric a brac owned by some ancestor to impress. The tragedy is when someone actually shares something of value, the response is nil. Coz it’s not some colonial linked news item. Hence the hangover does not spill over. And so zero engagement.
Like why bother inviting people outside your bubble to engage in your colonial hangover? Not like any of us give a flying fuck. Honestly. If you want to be intellectual, learn to be at least diverse in your response. Clearly the bubble exists in the midst of this so called intellectual gathering of perfect strangers being meshed in on the periphery of the bubble. Crazy. I have better conversation with people who I share zero commonalities with in terms of language, social class or hometown. But of course. This group is symptomatic of Colombo and its bubble mentality. People who live in pockets of reality with zero engagement with the outside world. Hence they can engage only thus far and no further. They stick to the comfort zone.
I am reminded of Kumari Jayawardene’s book, ‘Nobodies to Somebodies’. Clearly they believe by association they will get to the somebody category. Someday. Eek. Fodder for the brain dead. And there’s little ol me trying to siddle away and ignore the content. It’s too painful to endure. Hence I have chosen silence as I feel bad to leave coz a dear friend added me in all sincerity without realizing the consequences for someone who has no interest in colonial hangovers and trying to sell relatives for self gain. Growl.