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Linen talks for Saumya



Saumya Thirimadura, the multi faceted entrepreneur for linen clothing has created a niche in the competitive field of business. Her eclective designs are inspired by her own experience and emulate her love for all things fashion. Today she she is known for her innovative and diverse fashion designs and colours

by Zanita Careem

Saumya Thirimadura – is the brain behind two fashionable brands namely Guru and Upekha. These two brands of fashionable clothing for men and women are made out of linen This material is comfortable, chic and sophisticated, and suits our weather. I was first introduced to the brand after sporting one of her dresses at the CAN market at the Colombo City Centre held by the small entrepreneurs.

What does Guru and Upekha stand for?

These are two brands are made out of linen. Guru encompasses men’s line, linen shirts, T shirts,trussers and underwear clothing and whilst Upekha stands for ladies dresses and pants.

When did you first know you would wanted to be an entrepreneur and whats the point that really made you go for it?

I have always known I wanted to do something of my own. From my young days I was dabbling in fashion making clothes for my friends and relatives. There is no force more powerful that a woman who is determined to rise. Glass ceilings, patriarchy, gender pay gap, sexiest workplace policies and male privileged. Many challenges dot a woman’s path to success but many of them like me have taken the the challenge.

When were you interested in starting a business?

I was always wanted to dabble in patterns, materials and fashion. From my school days I was interested i making clothes for friends and relatives. Glass ceilings, patriarchy, gender pay gap,sexiest workplace policies and male privileges. Many challenges dot a woman’s path to success but many have taken the mantle of to power and succeeded against all odds. Anything is possible with hard work, passion and persistence.

How difficult is it for a woman to start a business?

It is a long struggle. Somehow our society still at large believes that a married girl should stay at home, take care of the family. This circle will continue if she does not stand for herself and her vision for life. This environment certainly set the groundwork for wanting me to be an an entrepreneur and having the confidence to take a risk and do it. For years I was waiting for the right ideas to strike me that I would have enough passion to pursue, through good and bad.

What is the inspiration behind Guru and Upekha?

The collection was inspired by the people around me.

The women whom I met were poised, confident and had a strong sense of style. I always believed less is more and quality over quantity

I wanted to create something that reflects those values in my contemporary styles. Something that we could all wear, appreciate and stand the test of time

What’s the best and the hardest part about having your own clothing line?

The best part about having my own clothing line is working for myself. The hardest part about having my own clothing line is working for myself. I am my own boss, design my collection and develop the brand to my liking. I have two sisters who helps me to run my business. They are my confidants and I consult them whenever it is necessary.

I’m sure every day is different but is there one thing you do that helps you maintain a routine?

I get up early and plan my day. I create my own designs when I go to steep. The colour structure the designs of the outfits are all created on my mind. I take inspiration from my life experience, places I have visited, people I have met along the way.

What I started small became an obsession and turned into a big venture. Soon I realised I was creating fashionable clothing with a combination of design, quality and aesthetic that couldn’t be found anywhere else. I never dreamed I would have my own clothing line and my business venture will be successful. Now I had just about everything in place to do so. So I took a big leap, and here I am.

What are your biggest challenges?

The biggest challenges are funding, and time management. Expressing my creativity through my designs, working with my hands to create beautiful garments and engaging with my amazing, thoughtful customers are so fulfilling. I am happy to get to spend my time in a way that is fulfilling to me personally while also doing my part to make the world of fashion more ethical and transparent

What have been your key learnings.

The best advice is never give up

no matter the situation.

What are you plans for growth

I wanted the label to sell all over the world. It should be a fashionable brand, customers are all excited about.

Q: What is something about having a life as an entrepreneur that most people wouldn’t expect?

Being a designer and an entrepreneur is not that glamorous and it involves hard work. I think a lot of people have the notion that being a designer is all fun and smooth

But there’s also marketing accounting, product development the list is endless. It’s never just one thing and it’s a constant juggling act.

What is your final motto?

For me failure is not actually a failure but an opportunity to grow


Pix by Darmasena Welipitiya

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Foreign News

Rupert Murdoch set to marry for fifth time at 92




Rupert Murdoch and Ann Lesley Smith (pic BBC)

BBC reported that media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has announced his engagement to his partner Ann Lesley Smith, a former police chaplain.

Murdoch, 92, and  Smith, 66, met in September at an event at his vineyard in California.

The Businessman told the New York Post,one of his own publications: “I dreaded falling in love – but I knew this would be my last. It better be. I’m happy.”

He split with fourth wife Jerry Hall last year.

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Life style

Children’s happiness with gardening



By Arjuna Hulugalle

On October 7th 2022, Homagama Subarathi Maha Vidyalaya in Godagama Homagama commenced their Home Garden Program, with the support of Nest, a Community based Mental Health organisation. The objective was to reduce the short fall of food in the diet of the children and to deal with malnutrition in the school population. Both the teachers dealing with Agriculture and Domestic Science have been involved in the initiative.

The outcome of the programme has many positive developments. Both the teaching staff and the children have shown great enthusiasm. Children’s happiness with gardening became evident. The students began to understand the importance of eating organic vegetables and the role of vitamins and minerals in their diet. Open air exercise which gardening brings with it has added to better health. The students have also realized that our country does not have to worry about hunger and malnourishment, if one uses available resources.

The first stage of the Subarathi Maha Vidyalaya program is to create a model garden in the school premises. Even classrooms are encouraged to be used for accommodating “grow bags” with various types of yams.The second stage of the programme is to make model gardens in the homes of 100 senior students with special interest in agriculture. The parents of the students are also drawn into this program.The third stage is for the 100 seniors to concentrate on the balance 2500 students and motivate them to set up model gardens in their homes.


The Model Home Garden in School

The School garden has a representative selection of vegetables but is concentrating on Dambala, Cabbage, Long beans of two varieties, Turnips, Occra and KankunA spice garden is being developed with three varieties of chillies, two varieties of kochchi, mint, celery and pepper.

Yams are being grown in “grow bags” inside cClass rooms. The varieties propagated are Kiri Ala and Bathala.Trees grown in the school premises are Delum, two varieties of Nelli and Murunga.

Model Home gardens of the selected 100 students

These are being trained for their tasks of developing their own model home gardens and also to motivate the other 2500 students of the school and set up Home Gardens in their own homes.Intensive training sessions have been conducted starting with Dr Lionel Weerkoon, a world renowned authority on home gardens and Dr Anuruddha Padeniya who spoke on the value of organic agriculture.

The students were given packets of seeds of bitter gourd, pumpkin, kankun, Occra, long beans, dambala, green chillies and beans. Those students who have space in their homes, were also given trees and plants to be planted in their own home gardens. The saplings included Murunga, Jack, Nelli, Del, Delum, Avocado, Orange and Divul.

The Role of the Parents and the past students

The Home Garden program is supported by the Parents and past students and soon will interact more with the community at large. Already, they have contributed towards a sprinkler system for the School Garden.In the long term the Home Garden program can grow into market gardening in the community.

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Life style

Dance Epicure first Dinner Dance Theatre



Dance Epicure Shangri-La Colombo & Shangri-La Hambantota Director of Communications Ramesha Samarasinghe, John Keells Holdings Vice President, Head of Sales and Marketing (Property Group) Nadeem Shums, With My Feet Co-Founder Trevor Rajaratnam, Standard Chartered Bank Head of Consumer, Private & Business Banking Aroshana Fernando & Maliban Biscuit Group Head of Corporate Affairs & Strategy Asoka Bandara

A captivating evening of dinner and dance – Dance Epicure by ‘With My Feet’ brings UK champion dancers and the best of Sri Lankan talent to the same stage Dance Epicure, Sri Lanka’s very first Dinner Dance Theatre concept produced by With My Feet is all set to entertain and delight on the 2nd of April at the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo. The vision and brainchild of the legendary Naomi Rajaratnam, the uniquely curated evening of dance and gastronomy produced by the Colombo Dance Theatre will feature a roster of extraordinary international and local dancers paired with a night of culinary delight.

The latest initiative by Naomi, the Colombo Dance Theatre comprises of a company of elite international and local dancers woven firmly together by masterful choreography and a great love for dance. Dance Epicure will not only be the Theatre’s inaugural performance, but also the first of its kind in Sri Lanka; where artfully choreographed dance segments will be performed between a four-course sit-down menu. The highly anticipated event will feature the likes of world-renowned dancers – namely five-time undefeated UK National Latin American Champions Gunnar Gunnarsson and Marika Doshoris, as well as the formidable Nauris Kalva and Manuja Hughes, Blackpool Open Smooth Champions – sharing the stage with the best Sri Lankan dancers from Naomi’s own dance company With My Feet.

Naomi’s desire to uplift dancers from far-flung rural areas in Sri Lanka by providing them with the opportunities and spotlight they deserve has always been encapsulated in her dance showcases. It is with this vision in mind that Dance Epicure will also feature a heart-warming performance by the children of the Warehouse Project; an urban community solution in partnership with the Sri Narada Foundation. Additionally, as with all of Naomi’s shows, part of the proceeds from the event’s ticket sales will go towards the Dev Siri Sevana Elders Home in Welisara.

Commenting on the upcoming event, Naomi Rajaratnam said, “I am so honoured that some of the UK’s leading dancers have chosen to collaborate with us, and I am equally thrilled to be able to showcase the best of our Sri Lankan talent on the same platform.”

“The concept of a Dinner Dance Theatre has been on my mind for the longest time and I couldn’t think of a better moment to finally turn this dream into a reality,” she added. “The calibre of these world-renowned dancers paired with the best of With My Feet dancers is the perfect opportunity to offer a something truly unique to our Sri Lankan audience.”

The principal partners of Dance Epicure are Standard Chartered Bank Priority, Maliban Biscuit Manufactories, John Keells Properties, Sri Lankan Airlines, Shangri-La Colombo, Wijeya Newspapers and Capital Maharaja Group.

Tickets for Dance Epicure go on sale on Saturday the 11 th of March 2023 and can be purchased online at With My Feet social media pages will soon be updated with where tickets can be purchased offline.

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