Promotional reviews

Explore Sri Lanka, March 2014

My Chequered Life

From the opening line, the voice of the narrator enters your mind. Trials and tribulations conveyed in candid evenness and peppered with humourous anecdotes, the memoir takes the reader through a both, moving and inspiring journey. Author, Nihal Jinasena, one of Sri Lanka’s foremost business magnates opens the window to an extraordinary life in ‘My Chequered Life’. And it is one of those books that you won’t put down till the end. 

“I felt I’ve had a fairly interesting life,” states Nihal Jinasena as one of the reasons behind penning the memoir—an understatement to anyone who reads My Chequered Life. The story told through each phase of his life, from early childhood through to retirement, the narrative flows easily. It delves with abandon into professional and personal facets where the reader is allowed to trespass. The manner in which the story is broken down, a reader could peruse the book in one sitting or pick a chapter at whim. However, with each progressive chapter, the story unravels as it builds in richness and depth.

Notably both highs and lows are conveyed in equal measure. And in the course of the story, Jinasena, a household name becomes three-dimensional. Read more

Explore Sri Lanka, March 2014

‘Impressionistic Realism’ A Labour Of Love

Ifthikar Cader first picked up a paint brush to dabble in water colours at the age of 16. However, it would be many decades later that a career blossoms out of painting his heart’s desire with oils on canvas. Self-taught in the many nuances of art, today he presents his ninth exhibition, ‘Tradition of Plein-air Realism’, with a collection of up to 60 paintings. 

Only since his retirement from the shackles of the corporate world in 1993 could Ifthikar Cader delve into the world of art. Simply aware of impressionist painting as a teenager, the film of Vincent Van Gough played by actor Kirk Douglas left a lasting impression and spurred him on to experiment with oils. However, fortune wasn’t in favour of his first choice of career as an artist and instead saw him enter into the world of business. “But my heart was in art,” says Ifthikar. Read more

Explore Sri Lanka, November 2014

Bethany101 An oasis of nostalgia

An ancestral home conscientiously restored to a dapper state, charm and authenticity unfold at every turn. Within its walls modern day indulgences come wrapped in colonial nostalgia of over 100 years past.  

Nestled quietly beside the Colombo-Puttalam road the white-washed exteriors of Bethany101 exude an aura of elegance and promise. The visitor is not disappointed. Within its gates, a sense of discovery dawns as the trimmings of an idyllic getaway transcend the stark and arid surroundings of the locality. Read more

Explore Sri Lanka, February 2014

Out Of The Blue: A Guide To Marine Mammals Of Sri Lanka, Southern India And Maldives

A first sighting of dolphins in an estuary in 2005 marked the beginning of what can only be described as a labour of love. A deep-rooted passion and a thirst for knowledge resulted in years of self-study, research and dedication to finally culminate in Howard Martenstyn’s Out of the Blue.

Howard Martenstyn fondly recollects his introduction to the sea at the age of 12, when his elder brother Cedric, cast him to the waters in Trincomalee, with the simple directive to swim. “Since that day we never looked back. My brothers and I spent hours in the water. Cedric was my key influence and we were all nature lovers,” says Howard of the early years. However, it would not be until his return to Sri Lanka on retirement that his old love for nature is rekindled. Read more

Explore Sri Lanka, October 2010

An Ode to The Last Kingdom

At a glance one’s eyes are deceived. With the intensity of detail the mind registers but a photograph. If one truth prevails it is that they are indeed frozen frames, but they have been brought to life not by any digital camera but by the dexterity and fervour of an artist, Vasantha Perera. Read more