Saturday, March 31, 2012

Earth Hour 2012

Image from
Image from
Let's switch off as many electrical appliences as possible on Saturday 31st March from 8.30pm to 9.30pm.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Eating out : Good service is as important as good food

I was battling through mentally and physically draining peak time traffic in Colombo trying to reach home after an equally grueling day at work. As I was passing one of our favorite take away joints, it just dawned on me that I was supposed to bring home dinner tonight. I had passed the turnoff and I was in no mood to make a U turn in this heavy traffic. Briefly thought about calling for a pizza but quickly dismissed the idea after remembering that I was supposed keep fast food away from the kids as much as possible.

That meant only one thing, eating out. After a quick call to one of my good buddies in the restaurant business, I decided to take the family to Bayleaf.

We reached Gregory’s road around 8pm. There was an unusually cool breeze and a slight threat of rain. We chose the verandah to enjoy the breeze. Mercifully the place was sparsely occupied. And the diners were well behaved and didn’t talk loudly.

The kids chose pizza after all – well, at least it was gourmet. I chose the seafood ravioli and my wife, bacon spinach fettuccini. Kids finished their meals without us having to make a fuss – the pizza must have been pretty good. I haven’t had ravioli in years and quite enjoyed it. My wife loved her fresh fettuccini too. All in all, the food was good.

What really made an impression on us was the service. We ordered a few drinks. The strawberry margarita was garnished with a large fresh strawberry. Both my kids love strawberries and had to grudging share it.

Few minutes later, to our pleasant surprise, the waiter brought a couple of large strawberries for the two kids – on the house. That thoughtful gesture made our evening and will be remembered I’m sure.

We left Bayleaf quite satisfied and wanting to come back just as a light drizzle started to come down.

Friday, March 9, 2012

(C)orporate (S)ocial (R)esponsibility

CSR has been a buzz-word (or a buzz-acronym) in the last few years in such that it had become almost fashionable to be able to belong to one. Despite it being unceremoniously brandished about, it is serious business – or at least it should be. Anyone who has gotten involved with a proper CSR effort would know how effective it can be as a tool in contributing to the society in a multitude of ways.

While the company I work for has done quite a bit of CSR projects in the past few years, my first hands-on involvement was in February. We travelled to Oddusunde (in Wanni region) and helped build 51 houses in a village that was decimated by war few years back. While most of it was hard and backbreaking labour, it was nothing compared to troubles those villagers have gone through during the war, and the hardship they are going through now trying to rebuild their shattered lives with nothing but a few pieces of meager belongings.

Picture by Subhash Edirisinghe
Despite losing so much, it is heartening to see the resilience of the villagers. It was easily the most satisfying effort put in by me in the recent past. It is so addictive, that I will probably volunteer next time the opportunity arises as well.