Being a Single-dad in Colombo

An alarmingly high percentage of my friends are divorced and the rate seems to be going up. Having been a single-father raising two kids in Colombo, I have learnt a bit about life-at-large for a single-dad the hard way.

Here are some 15 Useful Points to Ponder before you decide to untie the knot if you plan to live in Colombo after divorce:

  1. Get divorced, don’t take the kids. Your kids will think you are an arse, and the estranged ex will think you are worse. Trust me its better to let go of the kids and watch your heart fall to pieces than to fight a system that doesn’t support single-fathers.

  2. Rent an apartment, not a house. Never tell the landlord you are divorced when renting. Ideally, take along one of your best female friends and let them assume that you are a happy family. Better yet, take your mother along.

  3. Image is important: You are not divorced; its just that your wife is overseas. When you take off to Kandalama or Hikkaduwa for the Sinhala Hindu New Year, tell everyone you are going overseas for a quick trip. That way, the elusive wife doesn’t have to show up for another good year.

  4. Never attend the kids’ PTA meetings alone. Its torture, torment and bad memories from our school days, all put together in a two-hour slot that feels like eternity. Again, take your best female friend – she will enjoy the rumours later, and you will enjoy the attention.

  5. You can’t keep a maid if there are no women living in the household. If there are women living in the household, you don’t need a maid. That’s Catch 22 personified for you.

  6. Start an affair. The society will think that you are less-likely to rape their wives and sisters and you will be classified “Safe to be With.” If not, you’ll have to pretend that you are gay. The choice is yours.

  7. You don’t attract women if you walk around with two gorgeous kids. There are no proper parks in Colombo where pretty females go jogging – that only happens in Hollywood, in the movies.

  8. Have dinner early, ideally pickup something on your way home. Late dinner means driving all the way to Pilawoos; and pumping gas for 500 rupees when the meal costs much less. Better yet, pick up some food and a six-pack of Beer so that you could have beer and forget the food – and still be within budget.

  9. Learn to cook, it will certainly help. You could start with the “bites” that go with the beer. See 8 above.

  10. There are no “Single’s Soups” or any “Single-Serve” heat ‘n eat stuff on Keells shelves. Except for some cheap, tasteless alternative.

  11. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Get someone to sleep-over and party like a rock-star after the kids go to sleep. Friday night is the best, because you don’t have to do the breakfast and snack boxes for the kids the next morning.

  12. Greet the traffic cop at the gate when dropping the kids off to school. He might be the same guy stopping you on Havelock Road when you are driving back from Zanzibar at 2.00 in the morning, well marinated.

  13. Be generous. Let the kids spend the weekend at your mother’s, sister’s or the friends.’ And, you could spend the weekend in someone else’s house.

  14. Cops might knock on your door at 3.00 am on their regular rounds and wonder where the woman of the house is, when they see the kids. Improvise and have fun, they must be idiots to ask silly questions.

  15. Il Gelato has a great range of Ice Cream. Kids will love it, and so will you. Incidentally, pretty women love ice cream too.

Last, but not least: If you are a married male with kids, contemplating divorce – don’t. There must be a way to fix things, unless you are married to a Gestapo.


  1. Very funny! This post seemed to make you into a human again. Your last post about India made me doubt whether you were one.

  2. "Start an affair. The society will think that you are less-likely to rape their wives and sisters and you will be classified “Safe to be With.” If not, you’ll have to pretend that you are gay. The choice is yours."

    LOL... ahahhaaa! That's the statement of the week!

  3. Mate, liked your blog. Added to my blogroll...

  4. :-) Thanks guys.
    I've added you guys to my blogroll too.
    By the way, Yes I am very much human, it irritates me to see people not looking at ‘foreign-bred terrorism’ from our point of view.

  5. That was funny and sad at the same time... Nice post.. made me think...