Nadiya  Fernando

In conversation with  Ashwini Vethakan


Born in

Alma maters
Holy Family Convent and Colombo International School (CIS)

Family members
My husband (Ranil) and son (Aadam)

Wanted to be
A jockey

A Porsche Macan

Would like to drive
Since my Porsche is on the bulky side, I would say a vehicle that’s a little sleeker

One thing you would like to go back to
Superficially speaking, I would love to return to some places I’ve visited on holiday – especially Europe so that I can extend my holidays

The reality is
I would never want to go back in time to change the course of my life because every experience – mistake or otherwise – has shaped me into the person I’m today

Best advice received
When people talk, listen with the intent to understand and reply; if you’re already formulating a response while someone is talking, you deny yourself the opportunity to learn and grow


Likes to play
Anything that doesn’t involve sweating

Likes to watch
Sitcoms – Friends is my all-time favourite

Most unforgettable event
The day my son was born

Most forgettable event

The COVID-19 induced curfew

Purpose in life
To experience life to the fullest


Mantra to unwind
A familiar book – preferably Harry Potter – and a glass of wine

Most hated chore

Challenged by
The fear of failure

Impressed by
My husband and his ability to see the positive in every situation

Happy place

My home


It is not exactly a hobby but I enjoy people watching with a glass of wine on Park Street

Your pet peeve
I hate when people leave the lights and fans switched on

What you think about when you’re in the car
I use commuting as an opportunity to check my emails – so I suppose I’d be thinking about their contents

Items on your bucket list for the next six months
As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the next six months will predominantly revolve around how to recover financially

Three qualities you most value in a friend
I look for people who are easy to be around, fun and loyal

Your ideal romantic date
Believe it or not, I’m not very romantic

But if someone wanted to do something special…
I’d ask for a nice hotel to be booked with unlimited room service and VOD – and be left alone

Three must-haves
My family, a contingency plan, and clothes and shoes of course

Three languages you wish you could speak
Mandarin, French and Spanish

Greatest fear

A little-known fact about you
I am a creature of habit and therefore, very predictable. I’m also a little obsessive-compulsive in the sense of the need to finish everything on my plate regardless of portion sizes


Day of the week


Chill out spot
Café Français

Work wear
My job permits me to wear anything I want and call it fashion

Leisure wear

I don’t have an affinity towards any brand in particular – if there is something that I like and can afford, I’d love to have it

String hoppers and pol sambol

Vodka and Diet Coke

Ice cream cake

 Local holiday destination

Overseas holiday destination

Café Français for burgers and an Aperol spritzer; Paradise Road The Gallery Café for ambience, cake and frozen margaritas; Ministry of Crab for crab; and Pilawoos for the night owl in me

I like certain characters from movies but don’t care enough to have a favourite actor

I love music but don’t have a favourite musician

J.K. Rowling

Favourite quote from a movie
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” (The Help)

Favourite movie
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – it’s a wonderful feel-good movie. I must have watched it a thousand times!

Likely retirement destination
I’m not retiring


When you dance, you look like…
Shrek on steroids

Failure is
An opportunity to learn

The first thing you notice when meeting someone
His or her clothes

You know it’s going to be a bad day when…
Someone begins making excuses

A good theme song in your life would be…
Listen (Beyoncé)

Family to you means…
Family is very important to me – as long as it’s not toxic

Power is…
The ability to be comfortable in your own skin

Global warming is…
The most crucial challenge of our time

Social media is…
A wonderful tool

Children are…

The world is…
A theatre

Sri Lanka will have a chance to develop when…
Corruption ends


Memory skills on a scale of 0 to 10
My memory is subjective to what I need to remember

Computer ability in one word

Most productive in the morning, noon or night

A leader or follower by nature

Cook or foodie

Books or movies

Quality or quantity

The glass is half full or half empty
Always half full

Work or play after retirement

The most delightful word you can think of

Do you consider yourself to be a student or teacher?
A student

A technology that you think will transform the future
Fully automated vehicles

Your most used word or phrase

Sri Lanka’s best quality
The only thing I don’t like about Sri Lanka is the temperature. I love everything else about this country and occasionally love to hate it but could not think of another place to live

Role model
There are many people I look up to so I couldn’t name only one

Yourself in a few words
I’m an introvert, patient and a good listener

Motto in life
Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody

Nadiya is the Director of You by The Wax Museum, a hair and makeup artist and a permanent makeup artist