By Risidra Mendis
She is a designer with creative ideas.
A designer whose policy is to at all
times protect the environment, by producing
environment friendly products out of raw
For Menu Princy, her love for the
environment begun from her childhood days.
Her love for nature and animals made her
think of ways and means where she could take
on the responsibility to do what she can to
protect the environment.
Speaking to The Sunday Leader Princy said
she was horrified when she saw the large
amount of polythene being used in the
"Everywhere you look there is polythene. The
roads are polluted with polythene the drains
are blocked with polythene and even the
national parks and many beautiful places in
the country are polluted with this deadly
material," Princy said.
She added that when she saw the destruction
created by the polythene menace she wanted
to create a change in the minds of the
people. "People are not aware that instead
of using polythene bags and polluting the
environment they can use beautiful cloth
bags made out of handloom and jute material.
If you love your country you can take the
effort to create that difference among the
people which is what I did," Princy
Princy initially had no idea what she wanted
to do and how she could design her cloth
bags. But the more she thought about it the
ideas begun to flow and Princy was soon on
her way to producing unique and innovative
cloth bags made out of jute and handloom
She then went on to designing jewellery made
out of beads and flowers made out of raw
materials and the barks of trees. Her latest
innovation however are colourful soft toys
made out of handloom materials. Soft toys of
animals and birds made out of cloth are her
Today Princy has created a name for herself
by the inborn talent that she has put to
good use. She is now planning to conduct
classes in outstation areas for those hoping
to start their own businesses.
She is presently conducting classes on
Sirasa TV's Jeevithayata Ida Denna every
Thursday where she encourages housewives and
anybody interested, to learn the art of
sewing environment friendly bags and engage
in self employment.
From lawyer to professional opera singer
The recital by Kishani Jayasinghe
Wijayasekara was an overwhelming success
both for Kishani and I, believe the
organisers as it was a packed house and all
tickets sold one week before the concert.
Kishani and all who helped in the concert I
believe performed their services for the
worthy cause of a charity with no charge.
Her performance was one which can never be
erased in the minds of our local classical
music lovers and those foreigners who graced
the occasion. I sing her praises because I
had the opportunity of listening to her
singing at her parent's home on odd
occasions. At one of our Christmas parties
when she sang she was hitting the high "C"
This was about six or seven years ago. Even
at this stage this young lady exhibited a
quality of well-balanced highs and lows.
Though at the time - about 1998- her voice
required refinement. I knew she would go
places with a little guidance and training.
Thank God, a few months later she left
these shores to read for a degree in law.
Whilst studying for her LLM at Nottingham
University fate had her meet up with a music
professor, Pamela Cook MBE who I am sure was
quick to observe the quality of voice and as
fate had it change the course of destiny for
Kishani from a lawyer into a professional
opera singer, a career her musical family
accepted with great joy.
From 2006 when she was offered a place as
the only soprano out of a list of several
international applicants on the Jette Parker
Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera
House her career in music took a meteoric
Those who heard Kishani at the Lionel Wendt
on January 9 will, I am sure, never forget
her well formed silky voice flowing in a
light breeze and her comic and perfect
expressions delightful and a treat to watch.
At times she appeared as a mature,
compelling and irresistible artiste to her
listeners. I can without doubt pitch her
with the divas of the lyrical and coloratura
Her choice of Christopher Glynn could not
have been any better. He followed the
artiste and never did try to exhibit his
great artistry. Kishani's rendition of
Temerari from Mozart's Cosi Fam Tutte
closely resembles the rendition of
Elizabeth Schwarzkopf - a great soprano in
my book and whose voice is an elixir to a
tired mind and we in Sri Lanka are blessed
with one of our own who can do likewise to
any musically powerful and a dramatically
Of Puccini's operas La boheme is renowned
for its melodic charm and freshness and
perfect balance between comedy and sadness.
Kishani was best in all her renditions and
her Quando men'vo as Mademoiselle Musette
in Puccini's La Boheme as a fine and
beautiful girl was the true Kishani for us.
Kishani, affectionate and humble and simple,
you will undoubtedly make us really proud of
you, so God bless you.
Top of Form
Miss India Beauty queen of yesteryear who
left behind a vibrant trail of glamour. Her
beauty peered out at a time when beauty was
not in business. Beauty shows were not in
order then - infact it was more an exception
than a rule for a beautiful girl to emerge
But the beauty of Pramila could not be
masked. And this glamour girl of yesteryear
made history - with a special look and a
special daring. Pramila is the winner of
the first Miss
title (held in the year 1949). The senior
lady on a chair is a more recent Pramila in
her '90s. Pramila is Esther Victoria Abraham
of Jewish origin from Kerala.
Pramila was the first Miss India in 1949.
She hailed from Kerala. Pramila passed away
recently at the ripe old age of 90 years,
but there is no doubt that with her beauty
and her acclaimed title in the early years,
she did make history.
Born Esther Victoria Abraham, she was a
great-grandmother when she died. Sheled a
long career as a stunt film star. Her
daughter, Naqi Jahan, too became a beauty
queen in 1967. Pramila was elected through a
special press vote as the most beautiful
woman of India. The saga of independent
India's first-ever beauty queen came to a
close on August 6, when Esther Abraham,
screen named Pramila, faded into an eternal
A born rebel, she walked out of her
conservative Baghdadi Jewish home in Kolkata
at 17 to join a theatre company. She went on
to realise her real dream and blazed across
the Indian screen as a vamp and a fearless
stunt star in 30 films, including Ulti Ganga,
Bijli, Basant and Jungle King. She became
the first major female film producer, with
16 films under her Silver Productions
D. M. Madhok wrote Choli Ke Andar lyrics for
her, years before Madhuri Dixit was born and
then Bombay Chief Minister Morarji Desai had
her wrongly arrested as a Pakistani spy
because of her visits to that country to
In a big bad man's world, she wore the pants
and led an interesting personal life. As a
teenager, she eloped with Marwari theatre
director Manicklal Dangi. She later married
actor Kumar (who appeared in Mughal-e-Azam
and Shri 420) before settling down to live
with Parsi filmmaker Nari Gadhali for four
decades after Kumar migrated to
Manaranjana Mithya Katha, a book by
journalist Thilak Senasinghe will be
launched on February 27 at 4 p.m at 65/4
Guru Meduru Auditorium at J.M.C Road off
Chittampalam A Gardiner Mawatha,
Manaranjana Mithya Katha will be available
at Sarasavi Bookshop Nugegoda.
Loyal metal heads are once again
summoned to the first official underground
gathering for 2009 featuring the critically
acclaimed Sri-Metal band Whirlwind.
The band is back to storm and bring down the
hills of Kandy with a new breed of
Be a part of the official underground
movement - supporting the quest of Sri Metal
at Garden Club,
on February 28 from 5pm onwards as one of
Sri Lanka's best metal bands takes centre
stage in a much anticipated gig called 'The
The event will also feature a guest
performance by Maria, a talented solo
vocalist and the country's first female
For information on tickets, contact
0722123216 or email email@example.com.