Monthly Archives: August 2011

Of the First Post and the Perfect Post

This post is not perfect.

It may not even strike you as being particularly good. This post was written with the sole intention of getting my blog up and running. To start somewhere. To join all the wonderful people in the blogosphere. A group of people for whom I have immense respect.

For I have come to realize that it’s not easy to start a blog. It is probably even harder to keep at it.

You see, it’s kinda awe-inspiring. You are aware that your blog will be readable by almost anyone on the planet, from sad souls pretending to be Nigerian Princes all the way up to Barack Obama – and you want to do your best. Granted most of the hits to your freshly baked blog would be accidental clicks – but you still would like to make a good impression on those click-happy ‘fans’ of yours. You want each of your sentences to have the wit of Oscar Wilde, the passion of Martin Luther King and the high-brow flowery language of Ranjit Fernando (hmm OK, maybe just the first two would do :D).

But heck, if you keep on searching for words that sound just right and combing the themes gallery looking for the perfect shade of blue for your blog you will never get anything done. As some wise man once said, it’s better to do something imperfectly than it is to do nothing perfectly.

So, PSA to any aspiring bloggers who are still pondering on how to write a perfect first post for their perfect blog. There is no such thing as a perfect blog, nor is there such a thing as a perfect post.

This post represents the closest you can get. 😀


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Curiosities of Sri Lankan Bank Notes

I’ve always been intrigued by the phrase appearing on the top of all Sri Lankan notes

‘This note is legal tender for the payment of any amount’

Seriously? Any amount? Do you mean to say that I can drive out in a new Mercedes by handing over a 50 rupee bill to a guy at a Dimo branch? A Mercedes may cost an insanely large amount, but even an insanely large amount is less than any amount, right?

Sure it may seem trivial, and only willful misinterpretation of the phrase results in my interpretation – but legalese typically is locked down tight and does not lend itself to different interpretations. Because there is a group of people who are trained and paid (again insanely large amounts) to perform willful misinterpretation. We call them lawyers. 😀

So you have to agree that I am not nitpicking when I point out that such phrasing in which even a laymen can find holes in is a little odd, considering the amount of care that would go into designing a bank note.

This first occurred to me quite some time ago. What rekindled my curiosity was seeing a photo of a rather old note on the interwebs.

Note that this one says ‘for any amount not exceeding 5 rupees’

Now why would they want to say that? What does the Government care if someone wanted to pay for their new Morris Minor using a truckload of 10 cent notes? More importantly, why did the Government change its position on the matter, resulting in a horridly ambiguous (at least to me) phrase being slapped onto every bank note of our Democratic Socialist Republic?

Also, coming back to the present, it is interesting to see that in the newer notes the equivalent phrase (again open to multiple interpretations) appears only in Sinhala. Almost all other wordings on the note are given in all three languages. So maybe this one is not that important. Maybe they just wanted to fill up some blank space on the note and couldn’t come up with a better idea.

So in summary, lots of questions. Not rhetorical questions, and not in the least sarcastic. I totally would love to learn the logic behind all this. If there is anyone out there who has a clue, please do enlighten me.


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