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The Homes in Ward Place in its early days, When it was known as the Harley Street of Ceylon

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(Continued from 16 May)

by Hugh Karunanayake, Dr Srilal Fernando, and Avinder Paul

The large four-acre property with the name Tyaganivasam (previously named Jaffna House) was the home of J Tyagarajah, member of the Monetary Board, and son of Namasivam Mudaliyar Tyagarajah. The grounds of Tyaganivasam included the property on which Cargills Pharmacy stood. Tyagarajah was also a Director of the Central Bank. He served in this capacity for more than two decades, never failing to attend meetings of the Monetary Board, and is reputed to have not claimed a cent for the expenditure incurred by him, a remarkable example of service to the nation. Part of the Tyagarajah property is now home to the University Grants commission.

With two major hospitals in close proximity, and despite the presence of Cargills Pharmacy at the opposite end of De Soysa Circus, the need for a pharmaceutical outlet in Ward Place was almost a sine qua non. The void was filled by the opening of the Lanka Pharmacy at 6, Ward Place by David Silva, who named it after his son Lanka Silva, who stepped into the father’s shoes on leaving school. Lanka Silva was a champion athlete at Royal College of the early 1950s. “Manohari” The impressive home of Sir Arthur M De Silva ENT Surgeon was located nearby. His daughter married Justin Kotelawela, brother of former Prime Minister Sir John Kotelawela, in 1948.

Proceeding on the same side of Ward Place at No 16 stood Veerin the two storied home of Dr LAP Britto Babapulle a leading Veterinary surgeon of the time. Dr Babapulle was known as the owner of the largest number of tenement houses in Colombo, mostly located in the Grandpass area. His daughter, Andrea, lives in the house today.

A few properties away is Sukasthan Gardens, a cluster of homes built on the grounds of the former stately home of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan named “Sukasthan”. It was inherited by Ramanathan’s daughter, Sundari, who eventually sold it. Gynaecologist Dr PR Thiagarajah lived in one of the houses that were built there. Another well known resident of Sukasthan Gardens was LS Boys, a Director of Gordon Frazer and Co who lived in a house named “Shiel.” Proceeding further at No 36 was the home of Physician Dr VEP Seneviratne. Around here were the homes named Chetwynd and Donnington belonging to DF Peiris, built around the turn of the Twentieth century.

DF Peiris’s daughter, Maud, married Thomas Lambert Fernando, the grandfather of Dr Srilal Fernando, a joint author of this memoir. Donnington was later occupied by ARM Ameen, Consul for Egypt. Chetwynd was later owned by DF Peiris’ younger brother, the father of orthopaedic surgeon Dr Rienzie Peiris. Adjoining Donnington and located northwards was “Greylands” the home of Mudaliyar JCS Fonseka a stalwart of the Orchid Circle of Ceylon. At No 48 was the home of former Minister Montague Jayawicjkreme on whose large property many houses have since been constructed.

A few properties away is Sukasthan Gardens, a cluster of homes built on the grounds of the former stately home of Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan named “Sukasthan”. It was inherited by Ramanathan’s daughter, Sundari, who eventually sold it. Gynaecologist Dr PR Thiagarajah lived in one of the houses that were built there. Another well known resident of Sukasthan Gardens was LS Boys, a Director of Gordon Frazer and Co who lived in a house named “Shiel.” Proceeding further at No 36 was the home of Physician Dr VEP Seneviratne. Around here were the homes named Chetwynd and Donnington belonging to DF Peiris, built around the turn of the Twentieth century.

DF Peiris’s daughter, Maud, married Thomas Lambert Fernando, the grandfather of Dr Srilal Fernando, a joint author of this memoir. Donnington was later occupied by ARM Ameen, Consul for Egypt. Chetwynd was later owned by DF Peiris’ younger brother, the father of orthopaedic surgeon Dr Rienzie Peiris. Adjoining Donnington and located northwards was “Greylands” the home of Mudaliyar JCS Fonseka a stalwart of the Orchid Circle of Ceylon. At No 48 was the home of former Minister Montague Jayawicjkreme on whose large property many houses have since been constructed.

Proceeding towards Borella on the left side of Ward Place are the two major government health care institutions the Victoria Memorial Eye Hospital and the Dental Institute. The Victoria Memorial Eye Hospital was built in honour of the Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897 and constructed in 1906. Designed by architect Edward Skinner in traditional Indo Sarasenic lines, it is characterised by its red brick façade and the many turrets of Sarasenic design. Further down the road is the Government run Dental Institute. The Dental Institute was set up in the 1930s with Dr W Balendra as its first Director. Dr Balendra himself was a resident of Ward place. Alongside was Volkaart gardens where homes of the Directors of Volkaart Brothers were located . Further on was the home “St Brycedale” of Dr Richie Caldera, Obstetrician in Charge of the De Soysa Maternity Home located on Regent Street running parallel to Ward Place. At No 53 were four homes built around the 1960s one of which was the home of Dr Chris Raffel.

A home in Ward Place and two eminent doctors, father, and son, also from Ward Place featured in a much publicised murder trial called the “Duf

f House Case” in the 1930s. White House in Ward Place was a large elegant home belonging to Solomon Seneviratne who was married to the sister of Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike. Solomon Seneviratne himself owned broad acres and his country home was situated on his coconut estate in Kotikawatte, Angoda. Solomon’s son Stephen was like the father educated at Royal College, and later at Cambridge University, where he qualified as a Barrister. He did not practice at the bar and spent his time managing the cattle farm which he inherited. He soon became a keen and enthusiastic cattle breeder with an expert knowledge of animal husbandry.

He married Lilian de Alwis, sister of Leo de Alwis, who was married to a daughter of Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike. Leo’s wife was a sister of the late Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike. The life of Stephen and Lilian was tumultuous. They had many quarrels regarding Stephen’s intention to sell his home, White House. The couple lived in Duff House at No 4. Bagatelle Road rented out at Rs 100 a month, a considerable sum as rent in the 1930s.

Lilian had a troubled pregnancy which ended with the birth of their only child Terrence. She did not have a warm relationship with the son as she blamed him for her difficult pregnancy. Lilian was found one day dead in the living room of the house having inhaled chloroform. The case tested the strength of the family relationships within the Bandaranaike extended family. Here was Sir Solomon’s brother-in-law’s son accused of the murder of Sir Solomon’s so

n-in-law’s sister. The police were notified and Lilian’s family, particularly her brother Leo de Alwis, was convinced that Stephen had forced his wife to inhale a lethal dose of chloroform.

 

Dr S C Paul who was a close friend of Sir Solomon gave expert medical evidence to support that contention, which was rejected by Stephen who said that his wife was depressed and could have inhaled chloroform which Stephen kept for his animal husbandry.

Stephen was however charged with the murder of his wife before Justice MT Akbar. Stephen’s defence was supported by the expert medical evidence of Dr SC Paul’s son Dr Milroy Paul. In his direction to the jury, Justice Akbar ignored aspects of evidence that would benefit the accused, and consequently, the accused was found guilty of murdering his wife and sentenced to death. This was in 1936 when there was no Court of Criminal Appeal, so the accused appealed to the Privy Council which overturned the judgment of Akbar and acquitted Stephen. The Privy Council also made some scathing observations on the findings of the trial judge which led to Akbar suffering depression and submitting his resignation from the bench. Finally, it seemed that the murder trial ended in the trial of the presiding judge!

There were two other older well known homes on Ward Place.. One was Chateau Jubillee occupied by Adrian St V Jayewardene, Supreme C

ourt Judge, and brother of JR Jayewardene’s father EW Jayewardene. The other was Fairy Hall built in 1880 the original home of Dr Simon de Melho Aserappah and his wife Emily Wake. It was part of the large homestead on which 20 years later Rao Mahal and other homes were constructed by the family of Dr SC Paul who married Dr Aserappah’s daughter Dora.

Interior of the Dr PH Amerasinghe home designed by Architect Minnettte de Silva

The house 53/3 Ward Place designed by Geoffrey Bawa for Dr Chris Raffel was sold by Dr Chris and Carmel Raffel to Ajit Saravanamuttu who resided there until his death in 2006. Next door at No 55 was “Villa Mirelle” the home of Dr Percy Kulasinghe also situated on a large block which has since been subdivided with a new road named Kulasinghe Gardens hosting several houses. In the adjoining block at No 57 stands today the hotel Jetwing Colombo. Dr Kulasinghe was for many years a Director of the Ceylon Insurance Co founded and managed by fellow Ward Place resident Justin Kotelawela.

At No 61 was the home of lawyer FR de Saram and wife Miriam (nee Pieris) acclaimed aesthete and oriental dancer in an era when women were rarely seen on stage. Her elder son Rohan de Saram is the internationally famous cellist. The De Sarams engaged renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa to design a new additional home on the grounds now bearing No:61/6. Another Rohan, Rohan Perera at 57/2 and his brother Dr Hari Perera, Psychiatrist, the sons of the eminent lawyer HV Perera had their homes also in Ward Place.

At No:65 a house named “Taprobane “was the home of proprietary planter SR Muttiahpillai owner of the 1,250 acre Naluwella Group in Balangoda. His son M Rajendran managed the family properties in Balangoda until the initiation of Land Reform, and was awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to agriculture. The Muttiahpillai Caddillac in metallic blue colour was an ubiquitous feature of life in Ward Place in the 1950s. The passing of time and the demand for quality blocks of land has led to the breaking up of their large tract of land. A new road goes through the property now with the name Muththiahpillai Gardens, serving many new homes.

Dr W Balendra the dental surgeon’s home stood next door at No 67 next door to whom lived Dr May Ratnayake at No 69. Somewhere here stands the home of gynaecologist Dr PH (Chandra) Amerasinghe designed by renowned woman architect Minnette de Silva. She also designed the home of Chandra’s brother, Dr Asoka Amerasinghe in 5th Lane. Chandra was snatched away in his prime, from injuries resulting from an accident arising from a fun filled motor cycle ride.

The architect VS Thurairajah built a block of Flats at No 75 which was almost entirely leased out by the Marga Institute on its establishment in 1972. By 1975 Marga was in its own home at 61 Greenlands Avenue now known as Issipatana Mawata. Dr AC Arulpragasam ENT Surgeon and Dr Rajah Cooke both from the extended Paul family lived at No 77 as part of the large landholding adjacent to the Paul home “Rao Mahal “. Rao Mahal was built by Dr Simon De Melho Aserappah one of the first overseas qualified doctors who returned from England in the 19th Century. His daughter Dora married Dr SC Paul whose descendants still live in the original homestead in Ward Place where the

Paul family still retain a large extent of land on the site.

Dr Gunaratnam Cooke lived at 77 Ward Place, and Egerton Paul, another son of of Dr SC Paul, lived at No 85. Dr S.C Paul’s son, Dr Milroy Paul was the acclaimed surgeon who obtained his Master of Surgery qualification in the UK and was given the signal honour of delivering the “Hunterian Lecture” to the Royal College of Surgeons in England. He inherited Rao Mahal. Prof Milroy Paul’s son, Avinder, has collaborated in this present enterprise on homes in Ward Place and his knowledge and memory has helped us immensely in putting together this piece for the readers of The Ceylankan

Ward Place was closely associated with the development of the medical profession in Sri Lanka, and its early residential character was dominated by the medical profession. From the beginning therefore it was a highly gentrified area within the metropolis. Many successful doctors lived there, but they certainly would have had some unsuccessful medical adventures too, in addition to others whose lives were decreed not to go any further. They did not have to go far thereafter, the General Cemetery Kanatte also part of the former Borella estate, was nearby to provide them everlasting peace!

A cursory study of the residential features of this precinct would reveal that today it has lost that once dominant association with the medical profession. The street is located in one of the most sought after areas for dwellings today, and where large homes and gardens once stood, are large blocks of luxury apartments. Opulence still reigns however, and there is little doubt that Ward Place will continue to play host to a privileged few.

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Life style

Durian prevent cancer and improve digestion

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Durian is the fruit of several tree species belonging to the genus Durio. There are about 30 recognised Durio species, however, at least nine of which produce edible fruits. Durio zibethinus is the only species available in the international market: other species are sold in their local regions. Durio zibethinus or locally known as durian is belongs to the family of Bombacaceae, or by others in a broadly defined Malvaceae or by others in a smaller family of just seven genera Durionaceae. Durian is native to Southeast Asia. It is found wild or semi-wild in South Tenasserim, lower Burma and around villages in peninsular Malaysia. In addition, wild durian widely planted in Borneo and Sumatra. Borneo is the centre for diversity of Durio species. Durian is commonly cultivated along roads or in commercial orchards in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Philippines. Apart from durian, this species also well-known with other common names such as Civet-Cat Fruit Tree, Civet fruit, Kampung Durian as called in English, Dian, Durian Puteh and Jatu called in Borneo, Liu Lian as called in Chinese, Dereyan called by Indonesian and etc .

Durian thrives in a hot, humid and wet climate

Durian grows best in a well-drained and fertile soil rich in organic matters that have a pH range from 5-6.5. Durian is intolerant of water logging which will cause destructive fungal root and trunk rot diseases. Furthermore, durian cannot withstand more than 0.02 % of salinity in the soil.

The durian tree can reach up to 27-40 m in height in tropical forests. Durian tree usually erect with short, straight, rough, peeling trunk to 1.2 m in diameter and have an umbrella-shaped canopy of rough branches and thin branchlets coated with coppery or gray scales when young. The evergreen, alternate leaves are oblong, elliptic or rounded at the base, abruptly pointed at the apex; leathery, dark-green and glossy above, silvery or pale-yellow, and densely covered with gray or reddish-brown, hairy scales on the underside. The fruits are ovoid or ovoid-oblong to nearly round and up to 8 kg in weight. The yellow or yellowish-green rind is thick, tough, semi-woody, and densely set with stout, sharply pointed spines, 3- to 7-sided at the base. Inside there are 5 compartments containing the creamy-white, yellowish, pinkish or orange-coloured flesh and 1 to 7 chestnut-like seeds .

Durian as a source of foods

Generally, durian is consumed fresh as fruit or food products such as candy, ice cream and durian puffs after certain cooking procedures. Traditionally, durian flesh is added into dishes such as “sayur” which is the Indonesian soup made from fresh water fish as an ingredient . Moreover, durian-based sauce is used to cook “Ikan brengkes“, a tradition dish in Sumatran islands, Indonesia. Overripe durian pulps are processed to become durian paste in Thailand while unripe durian may be cooked as a vegetable Beside the flesh, durian seeds are also valuable as they can be eaten after boiling or roasting and made into durian flour and chips (Agus, 2014). Furthermore, the young leaves and shoots of durian plant can be cooked as green vegetables.

Health benefits

Durian is widely celebrated for its long list of health benefits, which include the ability to boost immune system, prevent cancer and inhibit free radical activity, improve digestion, strengthen bones, improve signs of anaemia, prevent premature aging, lower blood pressure, and protect against cardiovascular diseases. Some of the more minor benefits of durian are to reduce inflammation of the joints, help thyroid health, reduce headaches, and lower symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Most of the health benefits come from durian’s impressive vitamin and mineral content. Durian contains vitamins such as vitamin-C, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and vitamin A. Important minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, phosphorus are also found in durian. It also contains nutrients such as phytonutrients, water, protein and beneficial dietary fibre.

Relieves anaemia and promotes healthy pregnancy

Anaemia is a medical condition that reduces the level of haemoglobin on blood. Deficiency in haemoglobin can lead to fatigue, headache, insomnia and etc. In pregnant woman, anaemia can lead to abnormality and fatality of the foetus. Durian contains high amount of folate or folic acid which is essential in the production of haemoglobin. Besides that, low content of iron in durian aids in haemoglobin production alleviating condition of anaemia (Kevat, 2013). Furthermore, presence of folate in durian is important for pregnant woman as it promote regular tissue growth as well as protects the brain and spine in developing baby (Health benefits of durians, 2015).

Helps to maintain healthy bones

Durian contains a number of trace metals including calcium and potassium. Even calcium is present in low level in durian, but amount of potassium present in durian fulfils about 9 % of our body’s daily requirement. Potassium is required for the development of healthy bones. Even though the most abundant mineral of our bone is calcium, but potassium is crucial to regulate the distribution and deposition of the calcium in bones so that it is not dissolved or released into the blood excessively (Kevat, 2013).

Helps to alleviate depression and improves sleep

Durian contains amino acids known as tryptophan – a natural sleep inducing compounds. Tryptophan is required to increase the level of serotonin and melatonin. These two neuro-chemicals are required to manage our emotions. Serotonin is essential to relieve stress, sleeplessness, anxiousness, appetite as well as depression. In addition, these types of hormones help to manage sleeping function and could be utilized in the epilepsy cure (Kevat, 2013).

Fight cancer

Durian has a wealth of vitamins, nutrients, and organic chemicals that function as antioxidants. In the battle against cancer, free radicals are vitally important, because during cell metabolism, there are by-products created, called free radicals. These free radicals can destroy the DNA of regular cells and convert them into cancer cells, which can then metastasize or form fatal, tumorous growths. All of the antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress on the organs of the body are bonuses to the immune system, and durian is packed with them, including vitamin-C, vitamin-B complex, and vitamin E, as well as phytonutrients that battle cancerous cells (Health benefits of Durian, 2015).

Aids in digestion

Durian contains high levels of dietary fibre, which are important for the normal function of the digestive system. Fibre causes bowel movement to increase in bulk, which makes it easier for them to move through the intestinal tract. Fibre also stimulates peristaltic motion and the secretion of digestive and gastric juices, further easing the entire process. By reducing conditions like constipation and blockage in the intestines, conditions like bloating, excess flatulence, heartburn, cramps, and indigestion as well as colorectal cancer can be minimized. Much of the fibre in durian is insoluble fibre, which also lowers the frequency of diarrhea for people with loose stool. Fibre also helps to reduce the amount of cholesterol in the blood by scraping LDL cholesterol out of the body and quickly removing it before it can do any damage to the cardiovascular system (Health benefits of Durian, 2015).

 

1. Anti-aging

Durian has a wide variety of antioxidant properties stemming from its vitamin and organic chemical makeup that actively reduce the amount of free radicals in the body. Eating an excessive amount of durian can seriously boost your body’s ability to eliminate those free radicals, thereby reducing the chances of premature aging and delaying the appearance of symptoms such as wrinkles, age spots, macular degeneration, hair loss, tooth loosening, arthritis, cancer, and heart disease (Health benefits of Durian, 2015). In addition, the high water content of Durian is an added advantage along with its antioxidant content. Water keeps the skin hydrated, reduces dryness and alleviates the appearance of fine lines. It also nourishes skin for clear and smooth skin .

Increase and encourage fertility

Estrogen is a hormone which helps in conceiving. Most of the women who suffer from fertility usually have a low estrogen level in their body which is increased with pills, injections and supplements. Studies have shown that durian contains a high level of this hormone and can act as an herbal medicine (Kevat, 2013). Besides that, durian can produce intensified sexual libido and stamina, and also reduce the chances of infertility in men and women, and increase sperm motility .

Used as traditional medicine

According to traditional use, durian may have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and vasoconstrictor properties. Traditionally, durian leaves and roots are in Malaysia used to treat fever. The juice of fresh leaves is used as an ingredient in a lotion for fevers, and the juice from the bark is used as an antimalarial in Sumatra.

Other Uses

On the other hand, durian can be used for purposes other than foods and medicines. Durian husks which are usually thrown as wastes after the durian pulps are consumed can be dried to be used as fuel or fertilizers for tree (Utilization of durian, n.d.). It can also be used as an ingredient for making handmade paper like artistic paper with certain pattern (Agus, 2014). Due to the strong smell, durian husks can be used as the natural mosquitoes repellent.         Dr. S. Kathiresan from AIMST University discovered that durian peel can be used as a mean to recover the oil spill at coastal areas (Lim, 2011). In this case, the durian peel powder is chemically modified and acts as the efficient oil absorbent to remove the oil from the water, solving the problem of oil spills which have caused adverse effects to living sea organisms and human economic activities.

REVIEW ON DURIAN CONSUMPTION

Durians are abundant in Asia during their season as Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are the world’s main durian producers. In this case, numerous surveys and reviews have been done on the nutritional values and health benefits of durian. Undeniably, durian has offered unlimited benefits to human health such as relieving anemia, alleviating depression and enhancing fertility (Health benefits of durian, 2015; Kevat, 2013). The Swiss Society of Food Science and Technology also discovered that the levels of antioxidants content in durian are higher as compared with other Asian fruits like mango, lychee and mangosteen of similar ripeness (Durians-‘Heaty’ or healthy, n.d.). However, overconsumption of durian can bring adverse effects to consumer especially pregnant women, diabetic patients as well as obese people. As mentioned by Dr. Patrick Chia, a fetal medicine specialist in Malaysia, it is safe for woman to consume durian during pregnancy but pregnant woman with gestational diabetes must avoid eating durian due to the high sugar content . Besides, consumption of durian during last trimester of pregnancy may result in overweight fetus with greater risk of childhood obesity as durian is high-glycaemic food . Apart from that, durian contains high amount of fat and triple amount of calories as compared to other fruits where obese people should avoid (Durians-‘Heaty’ or healthy, n.d.). From traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) perspective by Mr. Chew Hong Gian, a TCM physician at Raffles Chinese Medicine, durian is said to possess “warming” property whereby overindulgence in durians can induce sore throat, phlegmy cough and constipation of Raffles Medical reported that one’s body temperature may be increased slightly from eating durians but that does not lead to fever, coughs or respiratory infections.

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Dilani’s styling journey

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By Zanita Careem

When you walk into Elan Salon on Thalawathugoda Road, Kotte, the sleek and simplistic design of it tells that Dilani Pereira is serious about hair and beauty. The stylist is passionate about her hair journey and, before booking any appointment, you’re asked to come along to the salon for a consultation, where she will help shape your ‘dream style’, giving you the chance to consider it first. Once you meet Dilani however, you know you’re in good hands with her professional understanding and realistic advice on your new style.

Regular clients of Elan Salon will know that one of the best things about it is the hair washing station, where you can lay right back and relax as you enjoy an incredible head massage. It is not the price at the end of the scale that matters but it’s definitely worth it for the complete salon experience.

They do a range of other beauty treatments. Whether it’s a bouncy blow dry, beachy blonde highlights, a total revamp or just a chic cut, this young hair stylist knows her art well. This is your one-stop shop for hair and beauty, from a simple cut and colour to nails, makeup or skin care. Dilani will make you feel at home. Her team is all trained and there’s a distinct family feel at Elan Salon.

Following are the excerpts from an interview with Dilani:

Tell us about yourself and your professional background

I studied at Bishop’s College, I have four siblings and none of them are hairdressers. I never dreamt of being a hairdresser. I tried different professions before becoming a hairdresser 15 years ago.

What do you like best about your job and what is your inspiration?

This is an industry involving people, it’s an industry that is always evolving and it is about making people feel and look good. I love being able to build relationships with clients and celebrate all their life’s milestones with them.

What are your greatest strengths and who is your greatest strength?

I’m a good listener. Many of my clients love sharing ups and downs of their lives with me when they visit the salon. It’s important to clarify exactly what they want from their service to avoid miscommunication. Before you pick up the shears or mix the colour, it is imperative that you and your clients are on the same page. My God, my family and friends are my greatest strength. I thank God for blessings and I’m ever grateful to my brother and sister-in-law and my uncles as well for always standing by my side.

Describe a work situation and how you handle it?

There have been many times where clients comes up with unreasonable complaints where I would just listen to them, apologize and make them calm down.

What inspired the name of your salon?

‘Elan’ means style/energy and enthusiasm in French. This inspired me as I’m known for it.

How do you see yourself in five years?

I would like to open up two or three salons in Colombo suburbs and one in a popular mall in five years.

Tell us about your staff and how you train them

I admire and respect my team for commitment and dedication towards work and give them best training which I got from the previous salons that I have worked for.

How do you ensure optimum client satisfaction?

By offering a pleasant experience, a comfortable and a clean environment, personal treatment, knowing my clients and being confident and knowledgeable.

How do you respond to client dissatisfaction?

Hear them out, understand the issue, use initiatives, find a solution, apologize to the client, will not give excuses and make sure that it will not repeat in future.

How do you build relationships with your clients?

When clients arrive, I make sure to acknowledge and greet them with a smile. Every client that visits my salon is made to feel special.

As a stylist I also believe in establishing free flowing lines of communication with them. In order to establish a successful customer relationship, it is also important to be able to take any criticism on board, act on it and turn it around to find a solution. So I make sure that I don’t take criticism personally, instead, I use it to my advantage and leave these channels of communication wide open.

In the new normalcy how have you adapted your work adhering to strict health guidelines?

I make sure to keep myself updated about ever changing health guidelines and encourage clients to call and make appointments, so that I can issue time slots accordingly without overcrowding the salon. As for ‘walk-in customers’, if the salon is not occupied, I will take them in. If not, we have to turn them away with a heavy heart and encourage them to call and make an appointment.

What is your message to a potential new client who is yet to experience your salon and what are the advantages of the location of your salon?

I would be humbled by their presence and be proud to provide them with best service by the Elan team. It has a homely atmosphere and there is ample parking space as well.

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Life style

LOVI’S Fashion Story walks the ‘Olympic Ramp’

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The sarong is a traditional piece of clothing worn by Sri Lankans young and old. Asanka de Mel CEO of Lovi sarong has turned the sarong into a fashion stayement. This ubiquitous wrap around the hip called the sarong, was associated with India, and South East Asia for cenanturies,, Now it has become a trendy garment won by islanders in a relaxed or stylish ways. Lovi sarongs come in handlooms, cotton with all the trapping of modern tailoring. His label ‘Lovi’ is very popular and he has push the sarong revolution creating a benchmark in the fashion industry

by Zanita Careem

With the onset of the Tokyo Summer Olympics, and all the associated hype of Olympic fever as well as an outpouring of relief that despite the pandemic life is beginning to show signs of some semblance of normalcy, This is a proud moment for Sri Lanka and LOVI our fashion brand is making history !!!

‘With Sri Lanka sending her largest ever delegation to the games, despite the pandemic, we are making history; as for the first time ever, our team will wear our National Dress as they parade the Olympic stadium” said Assanka De Mel. This is due entirely to the brain child of Asanka de Mel, the founder and CEO of LOVI Ceylon whose farsighted thinking and initiative have resulted in our boys and girls proudly marching in our National Dress

“Like many kids, I loved watching the Olympic games on TV and dreamt of somehow representing Sri Lanka one day,” says de Mel. “Even if not as an athlete, I am so thrilled to be part of this global event by supporting these extraordinary players as well as the dedicated coaches and officials leading the effort. The fact that LOVI is responsible for showcasing our National Dress on the Olympic stage is indeed one of the proudest moments of my entire career”.

Inspired by the notion of Olympic harmony, LOVI designed the Team Sri Lanka outfits based on its Unity collection for the global stage. The maroon, orange and green colouSrs of the Sri Lankan flag are reflected with handwoven gold lines signifying diversity and strength. LOVI’s trademarked gold crown represents sovereignty and the ambition of our new generation to be world class. A special label reads “

スリランカ“, meaning Sri Lanka in Japanese in honor of the host country, Japan. “A limited-edition collection will soon be available for LOVI fans, thus enabling them to get into the spirit of the Olympics”.

De Mel went on to say that, “the Olympics represent the best of the human spirit in action. Our athletes are inspiring future athletes to be the best they can be, because we can! It’s our mission to support all Sri Lankans striving for that level of excellence and LOVI wishes all the Olympic athletes the very best at the games this year – we are proud of you and honoured that LOVI can play a part alongside you at the Olympics.he quipped.

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