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28th June 1998

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Niroshan Bandaratilake
'My parents are my greatest fans'
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Kenny' s worldFAQ's

Ever since I started this e- mail thing I've found that the people who read this column are a very inquisitive bunch. They want to know everything. Which is pretty scary if you're me. 'Cos I just want to sound off every Sunday and not have anybody know too much about me. It makes life much easier for me just to be "Kenny" on one day of the week, with people breezing through my little corner of the world on their way to the cartoon section.

So all you people who asked personal questions aren't going to get any real answers from me, 'cos I don't want to tell you. Surely, none of you who wanted to know who I was actually expected me to just tell you? What I will do though, is answer the top five most frequently asked questions about this column. Because frankly, I've got nothing else to write about this week. So here are the top five in no particular order.

5. Are you a girl?

I am determined to take this question as a compliment. No, I am pretty sure that I am not a girl. But I do like to dress up in high heels and stockings sometimes.

4. Are you a Sri Lankan?

Now I must admit that this question bugged the heck out of me. On the surface the question seems innocent enough. The answer is simple too. Yes, I am a Sri Lankan. I was born here, and have spent all but five days of my life in this country. So why am I bugged? Well I'm bugged because of what the question implies. Is there any reason a Sri Lankan can't write a weekly English column? If there is, no one ever told me. It's questions like this that keep a brother down.

3. How did Kenny's World start?

Now this one's kind of a long story. Around last September, having just finished my A levels, I decided that I should do something to kill time. Although I knew it was a long shot, I thought it might be fun to write a column type thingy to the newspapers and wrote a few examples in my spare time.

It was by chance that I managed to get an interview with the editor. I was very excited of course, having no real idea of how slim my chances probably were. So quite simply, I strolled in off the street one day, and showed the stuff that I'd done to the editor. I walked out of the building ten minutes later quite confident that I would never hear from them again — until they called me back two weeks later telling me that I had a job.

2.Why is your column called Kenny's world?

This one's an even longer story. You see, I was so confident that they wouldn't call me back, that I hadn't even thought of a proper name for a column. So when my editor called and told me that they would be using the stuff I had shown them in a column, and asked me what I would like it to be called, I had no idea what to say.

Then came an even bigger twist — they had a suggestion. "We want to call it 'Annie and Kenny'." I was absolutely dumbstruck. Annie was a name I had used in one of the articles I had given in.

"Annie", although that wasn't her real name, was based on a real person. And it was obvious to her, and the others who knew the story, who she was. My thoughts immediately flew to her large boyfriend who works out regularly.

If I let them name the column "Annie and Kenny," I wouldn't live long enough to enjoy seeing it in print.

So I begged and pleaded with them to let me come up with another name —they gave me half an hour. I didn't want to pull a fuss before I even started, but I didn't want to be broken in half by an unreasonable boyfriend either. I could tell they were annoyed because I think they had everything ready to go ahead as "Annie and Kenny". I think even that stupid old logo of the boy and girl this column used to have, was a leftover from this idea. I had called myself Kenny in the articles I had handed in, so I thought I'd at least keep that name in to appease the editor. I had taken the name Kenny from the character Shadoe Stevens played in the sit-com "Dave's World". If you haven't figured it out by now, you never will.

1.Why is there a picture of you in a tub?

For some reason people seem to think that that I have a rather cynical style. Many people have told me this. I kind of have to agree with them. I am rather cynical in the way I look at things. So when I got an opportunity to change my logo, I asked them if they could draw me as a guy in a tub.

You see, there used to be a group of philosophers in ancient Greece called Cynics. The most famous of these Cynics was a guy called Diogenes who lived in a tub. Go figure.

Any feedback (comments\criticisms) on this column or cool ideas and suggestions can be e-mailed to (Short e-mails please!) at this address <>.

Dear DaughterLove can conquer all!

My darling Daughter,

I knew you'd write and tell me that I am wrong to place the onus of keeping the love in a marriage on the woman. I agree. Both husband and wife must work together to preserve and maintain that love they pledged, but what I say is that a woman can help keep aglow that love. In an age where equal rights are demanded by women, confusion certainly takes place in the new household, when the husband used to the maternal care suddenly finds that his young wife demands that he does the laundry or the cooking or whatever.

A woman, daughter, should know how she can manipulate her man to do what she wants - after all Eve did persuade Adam to eat of the apple. But she persuaded never demanded, if she had demanded Adam would have refused and the history of the human race may have been different! But seriously daughter, a woman can persuade her husband to help her. After all, he loves her and wants to make her happy. He spends time in office, works overtime and generally comes home tired and weary expecting a warm welcome and maybe something good to eat. If he has to listen to her complaints, if the house is cluttered or she is waiting for him to go with her to purchase the dinner - well the poor man will wonder what made him change his existence to fall in love!

This is especially so where the wife does not go out for work.

You will I think say it works vice versa too , but what I am telling you is that a wife can persuade her husband to do what she wants if she is tactful and understanding - not demanding or believing that anger and argument can get her way. A husband will certainly help in household chores if he feels that his wife needs him, not if he feels that she demands it of him.

With my many years of experience, whatever the impressions the modern world has created, the psyche of a man or woman has not changed, the woman is the maker of the home. She symbolizes the tenderness and gentleness of love. It is she who makes the home the centre of happiness. In the Eastern mind this is specially so. As you know even the so-called liberated woman when she has a son longs to give him all the care he wants. No wonder when he marries he feels that his wife too should have those qualities his mother had.

Quite wrong you'd say. I agree, but it requires a wife's persuasion and patience to change him. I am sure you will have a lot to disagree with what I've written, but one thought I would like to leave with you daughter.

Love, affection and understanding can create a happy marriage, not confrontations, argument and anger. Never demand what you can obtain with affection.

Remember love can effectively and positively give you what you want if you have a little bit of patience and understanding.


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