Why Colombo’s Neighbourhood Salons Will Never Go Out Of Style

My mum never referred to Salon Naresh by its actual name, so I only ever knew it as “Shobi’s”. She would go to get her nails done at Shobi’s, or call and schedule a haircut at Shobi’s, or take me to get my fringe trimmed at Shobi’s. From the age of four, I sat in a black leather swivel chair, flipping through piles of imported fashion and beauty magazines, watching women be transformed into whomever they wanted to be — at Shobi’s.


The Slow Death of Colombo’s DVD Shops

The reigning currency of the early-2000s entertainment industry may as well have been DVDs. More accessible, of higher quality and more conveniently sized than the VHS cassettes that preceded them, the advent of DVDs put movie magic within reach of anyone who had a DVD player, a TV and a composite cable, or even just a laptop with a DVD drive, at home — which, by the late 2000s, were most working and upper class Sri Lankans.


Who Is The Lady In Red?

On 12 December 2021, the curators of the National Art Gallery and conservation expert Jennifer Myers made a curious discovery.

Behind what was thought to be the portrait frame of Ananda Samarakoon, who famously composed the national anthem, was a mystery painting, hidden for over 90 years.

The curators believe that the ‘Lady In Red’, painted by Mudaliyar A C G S Amarasekara in 1928, could be an unidentified social elite of the ’20s — a wife of a politician, a daughter of an ambassador, or perhaps another artist.

She wears a wedding band on her right hand, prominently displayed in the portrait.

But discovering her true identity is proving to be a nearly impossible task.


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