By Ruwanthi Herat Gunaratne
A dress designed by an avid fan of the medical profession?
Hard to believe is it not? Not for nineteen-year-old Shanith Fernando.
"I got into designing around seven or eight years ago," said Shanith
laughing at my bemused expression. "At first I basically designed clothes
for my relatives and then I really started getting into the field." His
sister's wedding had been the very first time that Shanith was able to
present his designs to the public. "It just took off after that," reminisces
Shanith, a past pupil of Alethea International
School. "I started designing for her friends, and took on other bridals
Shanith's sister has her own hairdressing salon so they merged their
ideas and started offering a completed package where he would design the
outfit and she would dress the bride, do the hair and makeup. Their salon
is in Negombo but they do have a branch in Katuneriya and cater to a varied
group of customers.
Shanith feels that age and gender is no barrier when it comes to dress
designing, for he designs for both men and women of any age group. So would
he be willing to dress a great-grandmother? "No problem," laughed Shanith,
"I'll make sure the design will suit her size, looks and personality."
Shanith is planning to hold a solo show and is also applying to a few
universities. To study fashion design? "No, designing is just something
I like to do, but my first love is medicine," he smiles. "I am certain
that I can combine both medical studies and designing. The majority of
the universities appreciate the fact that I have found an outlet for my
From my heart
May PEACE reign!
The worst word I could hear is 'astrologer'. Because astrologers decide
the important occasions of a girl's life but not all occasions of a boy's
When a girl reaches puberty, most traditional Sri Lankan mothers - even
though they are highly educated - take the girl's 'horoscope' to a an astrologer.
And this unknown outsider decides all events and times leading to the time
the girl comes out of her imprisonment in "the dark room", and also the
food she should eat and not eat.
An unbelievable fact about them is they predict the qualities of a girl's
future husband and her babies too. Doesn't it seem ridiculous? Can anyone
predict the future excepting those who attain Nibbana?
I think some astrologers flatter people when they want extra money and
sometimes they look down upon a horoscope especially when they feel jealous
and have some personal grudges.
If astrologers are so good at prophecy, why can't they give a reasonable
solution for ending this ethnic war and ensuring a peaceful Sri Lanka instead
of foretelling a good time for a girl who has attained age to have a bath?
When it comes to the marriage, I think the luckiest person is the astrologer
because he makes a good profit - sometimes even at the risk of ruining
a young girl's life.
Some of them break well-matched marriage - proposals to earn some extra
money. And our Sri Lankan mothers accept all they say. That is the worst
part of it. They don't realise they sacrifice their daughters' happiness
for the sayings of astrologers.
This is the twenty first century. Are we to follow certain age old norms
and traditions even today?
Think about it - girls of my age finish their higher studies and find
employment and then do they have to let a stranger make the most crucial
decision of their lives?
So, my dear girls of marriageable age, expand your horizons and make
that crucial step for yourself. It is something I can never do in this
life. Be strong! Good luck!
Political violence is a big issue nowadays, and unfortunate results are
clear. We all feel dread when we see a vehicle overloaded with political
supporters, screaming their heads off, and also when we hear about various
attacks due to political reasons. No, I'm not going to talk about politics
but about something I see everyday, which reminds me, very unpleasantly
of this much discussed issue.
I'm a student, completing my last year at a leading girls' school in
Kandy. Recently a new committee of prefects was appointed. Although there
are numerous tales of 'corruption', mainly due to family connections and
the teacher's favourites (I am not going to dwell upon that either since
such matters, are seen so often in society, that we have even come to regard
them as common occurances).
The prefects, after their appointment seemed to be obsessed with the
strange notion that they have every right to talk to and treat a fellow
student in the most disgusting manner. I'm sure any adult witnessing these
scenes would be shocked - this is supposed to be a girls' school too! There
seems to be a problem of communication among the prefects. They know how
to embarass someone by shouting to them across a crowded hall or a play
What I find very ironic is that these prefects have gone through quite
a few lectures and yet they have got a very wrong idea of leadership. The
teacher - or the teachers-in-charge have supposedly advised them not to
smile while on duty! It's quite absurd! They may think it's 'cool' to go
on wearing grim expressions, but it is most depressing, when you confront
a grumpy prefect first thing in the morning.
They have not also learnt the most important quality of leadership -
equality. They favour their friends, they enter themselves and their friends
in various competitions, whereas many students are not even aware of them.
It is sad to say that many talented students have been suppressed, perhaps
never will be recognized - due to this.
These people are the future leaders of the country, aren't they? Will
they be up to it in such a condition? When you leave inequality and discrimination
aside the job is done better with a smile and a kind word.
N - a puzzled student.
From my heart
In a beautiful garden of flowers,
The sweet fragrance lasts for hours.
Embraced in that sweet smell
This is what my heart longed to spell.
There's a precious garden of heaven above,
Where a golden flower bloomed in God's love,
It blossomed spreading silver rays
With God's touch in all its ways.
And now it's grown up one year old,
In stature and beauty moulded by God.
As I stepped on that heavenly path,
There I saw a great jubilation,
And joy swept through my heart,
Lifted with happiness and pride,
"In that holy garden - when roses sing,
Heavenly bells are rung
Little birdies clapp-and
For today is a day of celebration,
Of thanksgiving for a wonderful creation
For God has been your strength and shield,
In your path with his blood ever sealed.
Yes-today is a glorious day of praise,
To our gracious maker ,
"Cause this is the day that are Lord has made.
So let's clap, and tap and lift our hearts,
For our father - creator of thy soul.
May PEACE reign!
P is for peace that we cannot hold,
E is for eastern and northern provinces where the war grows ungracefully
A is for the question, "Are we safe?" the answer is always No,
C is for the cries mothers send to their sons, that are always filled
with pain and woe,
E is for the everlasting peace our ancient ancestors did see, and the
wish that we may live to see the peaceful day which is yet to be.
This is a gift I do not have in this pearl-like island of mine,
Now I'll just stop to pray,
That a bright everlasting peace will shine.
I have heard many stories about boys who abandon girls. This story is about
a boy who did just that. This incident happened to one of my friends. She
began an affair with a guy. Later, with permission from their parents they
got engaged. And planned to get married in two months time.
But his mother was a greedy woman and she said that the dowry was not
enough and that she had found another girl who was very rich.
Because his mother brought up the subject, this guy also then liked
the idea of marrying a rich girl. My friend couldn't believe that he chose
the other girl over her.
He married the other girl and is leading a happy life but her life is
ruined. And now she has lost her mind. She has to go for shock treatment
twice a month.
I want to give a message to all girls - guys cannot be trusted or judged