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DateLine Sunday, 19 August 2007

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Fishing for a good catch

Only guys know how difficult it is to pull off that one good catch. Fortunately us girls don't have to go through all that, we can either refuse or accept who ever comes our way. But it used to be much easier on guys in the old days when they didn't have to worry about finding future partners for themselves, everything was done by the parents through match makers at the right age, without making them wait for too long. But times changes and Sri Lankan culture with it.

Guys like to make up their own minds these days. It didn't take much time for our guys to follow suit with Western countries, with the courtship ranging from love letters to love emails to SMSs to MMSs, etc... etc... Sri Lankan guys and gals do their own matchmaking, dating, these days.

Guys have many tricks up their sleeves for getting that right girl, letters are history, this is the electronic age, SMSs, MMSs and ring cuts are the style. Someone told me that ring cuts have two meanings. It could either mean that the person misses you or the person wants you to return the call. But this could be very easily miss interpreted.

A simple call-back cue could be mistaken for an I-miss-you sign. Or there's always the trusty internet, emails and chatting are ideal or even SMSs for those shy guys who just hate to come out with their feelings.

Where your love can be measured with the number of SMSs you send to the girl of your dreams. SMS chat rooms operate as any other on-line chat room, one good thing is that you don't have to reveal your number. Most people like SMSs, including girls, because SMSs are stealthy and gives a lasting impression if you are eloquent enough. In fact for some it's a favourite pass time. It has been proven as an exceptional tool against the physical barriers of real life.

In a world where the pressure is on to get girlfriends, most guys try to 'obtain' a girlfriend just for the sake of it. But getting the girl in spite of all their endeavors may not be an easy task. "There are many means of attracting the attention of a girl" explained a guy who was quite familiar with campus courtships.

"You could try to be as unique as possible, in the hope that it would attract her attention, you could become her knight in shining armour and save her from some horrible danger that you and your friends concocted, you could bug her repeatedly and become a pain in the behind, so she wouldn't have a choice but to say yes, you could shed crocodile tears (it's surprising that girls actually still fall for this!) or as a last resort - guys don't try this at home - you could ask from her parents! Our specialist actually said that girls educated in all-girls'-schools are easy!

But the best method is to make use of a third party, sort of like the kapuwas of the old days. I know this guy who commutes by train and after a while developed a crush on this girl who takes the same train. But the thing was you never knew what compartment she'd get in to.

Besides you never know how many compartments there would be in the next train to begin with!. "It's soooo hard to catch her" says his friends. They actually call her 'Sanda matha paa' because she's really that swift. "As soon as she gets off the train she sets off like a bullet" complained the friends. Their only option would have been to station a guy in every compartment!

After a few weeks of trying they decided to put a new proposition on the table - to take the earliest train possible (6.05 am) and get off at Udahamulla, where she gets on, and wait for her. And they would have done it all seven or so of them. But before the delivery of the final verdict, Chance got her in the same compartment.

They teased her in the most poetic way possible for guys. "Oh! can't you see the love in his eyes" etc.... But to no avail. "Although she did smile" said her admirer. He spoke to her when she got off - no doubt the poor guy was suffering from much held back anticipation, anxiety, agitation and butterflies-in-the-stomach - only to be frowned upon.

His friends had told him that it was 'red light' from the beginning, but he was determined to pull it off with his friends who were always supportive. But using a middle man could have its' draw backs. For instance the girl could fall in love with the mail man, because she actually ends up spending more time with him. Any way I hope it works out for him.

There was this other guy who organized a trip just so he could talk to this girl. He actually made it look like his friends were pushing him to sit next to her but that he was quite reluctant. Any way he did talk with her that day, they did fall in love eventually, with a lot of work on his side, and now have a history of almost eight years together. He recommended that a 'Mental model' is a must before you embark on such a mission.

The model should have various criteria such as education, family background, etc... and they must be applied to the girl. Then you must 'Analyze' whether she suits the model and what the percentage is, and then 'Validate'.

If she suits you, you should talk to her direct and alone without seeking the help of a third party. He says money is immaterial and beauty has two aspects - physical and intellectual. A person can be altered up to only a certain extent, if a person differs too much from the mental model there would be no point in peruseing it. But a little compromise by both parties is essential. He claims that movie solutions aren't practical in real life.

But getting hitched is never more interesting than in the campus. Getting the girl in campus is big business, and a whole culture is woven around it. A Lecturer at Rajarata University and Author of the book "Vishva Vidyala Bhasha Vyavaharaya", Wasantha Dissanayake told the Sunday Observer there's no better place for young love than in the University.

"It's not unnatural to yearn for love and even sexual desires are typical at this age. University is the first establishment where young people get ultimate freedom, away from the influence of teachers, parents, laws and regulations" consequently a whole new culture of courting is born.

Special qualifications are required to get hitched in campus. Guys have to be young and clever, that's what girls look for. Also compared to the rest of the culture there are a myriad of methods used for getting an "ita" (a girl in Uni language).

One is using the "Thela" the equivalent of Kapuwa. Others who are not so eloquent, use Thelas to lure girls with pep talk. Or there are hitch brokers who are willing to convey your emotions to the girl of your dreams, for as little as a cigarette, tea or even a change of trousers!!!

But getting hitched is no joke, this is a long arduous process that begins with selecting the right girl. There are two types of girls the 'yakas' (unattractive) and 'toiyas' (attractive) getting hitched with a kiri kiri toiya (exceptionally attractive girl) is the most difficult. Guys who are able to get hitched during the second year are considered most lucky. But yakas are not left behind there are yaka auctions, where guys can obtain yakas from. They usually do for, purposes other than just getting hitched.

And then there are ingenious trouble proof schemes like the 'Warnapala theory', 'Walisinghe theory' and 'Makamos theory'. Warnapala theory is no urban legend, it's been known to happen and it's flawless. Even if all the 'thelas' and brokers let you down getting hitched is a sure thing with the Warnapala theory.

"The story behind the Warnapala theory is quite interesting" explained Wasantha Dissanayake. A guy called Warnapala in the Peradeniya University had a crush on one of his batch mates. But non of the usual methods worked. Consequently he made his hide out in the Hilda Obesekera Hall and when ever the girl went to the Sangamiththa girls hostel, he yelled out "Aa... Warnapalas it a, where are you going" or "Aa... you are in love with Warnapala no?" A girl who gets hitched once can not get re-hitched according to the unwritten laws of campus.

Ultimately she had no choice but to get hitched with Warnapala. Love is a beautiful thing, if you embark on it with true understanding, which most guys lack. Some guys do not understand what 'no' means and can not handle denial. "Love is a sword with two sharp edges..." explained Wasantha Dissanayake. "which gives birth to ideal lovers as well as ax-murderers". So be wary!

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