7th October 2001
"Love at first sight" is a term often used in movies and books when describing a situation where two people meet, fall immediately in love and live happily ever after. That would be truly fantastic if it happens, but like some things in life, it's a myth.
Looks are not a priority in a relationship. Sometimes when we see a good-looking person we tend to be attracted to them, but, once you get to know him or her, how often have you found that the object of your fancy is disappointingly shallow, boring or self centred, in fact not at all your type of person? Aren't there often times when we see a good-looking man or woman with a plain looking partner and secretly wonder what they see in them?
An initial attraction may begin with looks, but often the qualities and the personality of a person are what play a key role in deciding whether the relationship continues. Yet you have only to flip open a glossy magazine and you'll certainly find an article about a celebrity couple who have found 'eternal' love. Most likely, they'll both be stunningly attractive. So where does that leave all of us? Do we need to be beautiful to find love?
Dinali, (28), says that in a relationship looks are not important, but what she finds important is a kind, patient and understanding person. "Most importantly I should be able to trust my partner," she said, adding that she would not go out with a person for his looks but more for his qualities.
Similarly, Natasha, (22) believes that looks should not be a priority in a relationship. Rather, a relationship should be based on compatibility and personality. "People should grow beautiful in your eyes," she says. Even if there is no physical attraction initially, we should get to know the person, because then we realize how beautiful they are."
However, 30-year old Amal finds looks important. "I might not want to get to know the person if she is not good-looking," he said, adding that while understanding and flexibility are important in a relationship, sometimes you don't even want to get to know a person who is not physically attractive. "I might be misled by thinking that a pretty person is nice, but if I don't find the person appealing, I won't even bother."
Teenager Sonali, 17, said that looks are important in her eyes. Her argument is that first what you see is the outside of the person. "Well if I don't like what he is after I get to know him, I won't bother with him anymore," she laughs. "He does not have to be drop dead gorgeous, but at least pleasant looking and a cool-guy." According to Sonali, no 17-year-old or for that matter any girl wants to be seen with an ugly guy.
18-year old Suresh agrees with the view of Sonali saying that first impressions count. "I am not saying that looks are the only thing that relationships should be based on, but it depends on the level of your relationship and what you are looking for from someone."
One night stands can be based on looks, but for a long term relationship, a person's qualities should be the priority," said Sanjaya.
Jameel (24) said that he does not go for looks, but looks for an outstanding personality. "I may be a bit selfish, but I like to get to know people who can help me improve my knowledge, if not I consider it a waste of time." He also said that he likes people who stand out in a crowd or look smart in a crowd, and not in a physical sense, but more in terms of their personality.
While the argument arose that for different relationships you look for different things, however in the case of young adults looking for a long-term relationship, most seem to agree that looks are definitely not a priority.
According to Dilshard, a 22-year old CIM student, both looks and the attitude of the person are important. "To a certain extent even if you have the right attitude, looks are important," he said.
25-year old Roshi who will be getting married soon has no doubts. "I know a lot of people ask me why I am getting married to my fiancé. He might not be Tom Cruise, but I wouldn't choose anyone else. He is the best thing that happened to me," she said, adding that we should not give priority to someone's physical appearance, that will eventually fade away, but rather to a person's qualities - for that will live on forever. "Don't we all want to live happily? Then we must chose wisely," she advised.
Well while the argument could go back and forwards without ever reaching a conclusion, the question of whether looks are important seems to vary depending on the age.
Veteran agony aunt and experienced counsellor Anne Abayasekera said that while an initial attraction is based on looks at the beginning of a relationship, however, for a deeper relationship there has to be something more. "The personality and charm of a person are important." We are normally drawn to people with similar attitudes and tastes and most often friendships get cemented when you find that you have something in common, she says.
According to Mrs. Abayasekera, most boys go through a stage where they are drawn by physical appearance, but as they grow they start looking for something more. "They want someone they can be emotionally close to and a relationship where they understand each other," she said.
"If you are not good-looking you should have personality and make the best of the assets that you have. Being a good listener, having a sense of humour and showing an interest in others, will definitely draw people to you," she said. "All females don't look like beauty queens, but if they dress well and project themselves in a positive manner, they can be very attractive."
She said that the chemistry that attracts one person to another cannot be pinned down. "We all have our needs and the other person contributes to this need."
Beauty eventually fades away, but can the kindness and sense of humour
go away? So shouldn't we get to know a person for who he/she really is?
Like the saying goes "beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder".
They can be heard on radio stations everywhere these days-guys with long hair, baggy pants and tattoos. Their music is garbled and noisy, in short, disharmonic - at least that's how it sounds to people like Noel, 51, a father of two teenagers. "That music is just ear- splitting noise. It doesn't mean anything," he comments.
But Vikram, who has just turned 15, has different views on what Noel calls 'noise'. "It's just brilliant. The heavy sounds of a bass guitar are just electrifying. My favourite rock group is Blink 182," he says.
Yes, teens love it. Parents find it hard to stomach. For them, their kids' passion for contemporary rock musicians or the 'gun-toting, marijuana smoking, foul-mouthed performers' is hard to understand. But one thing's for sure. Limp Bizkit and Papa Roach are the new Elvis Presley and Engelbert Humperdincks.
Ladies and gentlemen, enter the world of Nu Metal music. An infusion of heavy rock music and rap lyrics.
Rock music goes back, way back to the days when the likes of Elvis Presley and the Beatles stormed the charts with this new genre of music known simply as rock. Rock progressed steadily since that era. However, real heavy rock, or metal music as it is now called, was born when Metallica and Black Sabbath, two well-known rock groups, entered the music scene. From there, there was a veritable explosion of rock bands and with this, came new types of rock.
Nowadays, even within rock music there are many sub genres. These include the explosive punk metal, which today is the most successful genre of rock. The group Limp Bizkit, for example, became famous mainly after releasing the shattering "Take a look around" for the Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack. Other well-known rock genres include death metal, thrash and alternate rock.
But make no mistake, the craze for Nu metal is not just confined to the west. Although a few years back, Sri Lankan rock bands were virtually non-existent, today the emergence of Krebs Cycle, Wildfire and Stigmata who play their own brand of rock proves otherwise.
Comments twenty-year-old Ranidu, who rapped with Sri Lanka's new music prodigy duo Bathiya and Santush, "Musical tastes seem to be changing all the time. First it was the Spice Girls and Back Street Boys, then Eminem and the whole parade of rappers like Dr. Dre and Outkast. Now it's the rock age... Limp Bizkit, Nirvana and the like. Well, you know what they say. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."
Asked about what he thinks of music in Sri Lanka, he replies, "Well, there are lots of new rock groups these days. However, I think that dance music in Sri Lanka is great. I myself am an ardent fan of dance music. A few years back everyone used to go crazy when they heard 'Backstreet's Back'. Now on Sri Lankan dance floors, whenever "Last Resort" by Papa Roach (an American Nu metal band) is played, everyone goes wild. That means Sri Lankans still probably like rock best."
Wishanth, 14, is another ardent rock fan. After coming home from school he listens to rock music for hours on end. "My favourite rock band is Korn. I can't live without them," he grins.
The music itself has progressed much over the last decade, with bands mixing the different genres of rock. Each band hence has something different about them. Linkin Park for example, mix rock with electronic music to spectacular success. Their hugely popular song "Crawling" was downloaded 1734 times in one day off audiogalaxy.com, a leading MP3 site.
But what is rock music, stripped of its screaming guitars and intense drum beats? "Do the lyrics mean anything at all?" is what 52-year-old Mr. Mahen wants to know after listening to his 15-year-old son's music. The answer is yes, rock lyrics do have a meaning. Some can even be about love and emotion. Linkin Park's "In the end" and "Runaway" are highly emotional..
However, not all rock bands make sense. Slipknot is a classic example. However hard one may try, to decipher Slipknot's various lyrics, they can be baffling. But that doesn't make them any less popular than more meaningful bands such as Limp Bizkit and Korn.
Aslam, 14, is mesmerized by Slipknot. "Superb. It don't know a thing about what they say, but their music is absolutely incredible," he comments.
Fifteen-year-old Dinush is another rock fanatic, ever ready to abandon his studies (he's preparing for his O/ Levels) to listen to rock music. "I like rappers like Ice-T, dance artistes like Da Rude, but there's nothing like the raging guitar sounds only Deftones and StainD, my two favourite rock bands, are capable of. I don't understand what either of them say, nor does it matter."
The secret to enjoying rock music seems to be ignoring the lyrics and focusing on the actual music itself. Today there's a genre of music for everybody. From the mellow, soothing tones of "Wonderwall" by Oasis to the colourful, jumpy guitars of "A little respect" by Wheatus, right down to the hard and heavy beats of "Stupify" by Disturbed, they all satisfy different musical appetites. There's a rock group to match everybody's taste.
So while opinions on rock music may be somewhat divided amongst today's society as to how much music can change in such a short period of time, don't let that distract you. That's irrelevant. Just sit back and turn up the speakers. Get mesmerized by the heavy drum and guitar beats. It's almost routine for most of us. Everybody loves the new age of Nu Metal.
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