Sharmila Cassim-Captain

In conversation with Lashani Ramanayake 


Born in
Sri Lanka

Alma mater
Bishop’s College

Family members
The love of my life is my daughter Talya who turned 21 recently

Wanted to be
A radio announcer, DJ or musician

Currently a brand consultant as destiny would have it – all because my first job happened to be in advertising 29 years ago

An Audi A5

Likes to play
The piano

Likes to watch
Game of Thrones all over again – so that I can make sense of the final season

Most unforgettable event
The first (and only) time I ever surfed – I cannot forget how alive I felt when riding those waves in Weligama 


One new thing you tried this year
Learning the steps for a Broad-way dance sequence to provide entertainment for a Broadway themed school reunion – despite the fact that none of us were professional dancers

Saddened when
Someone that I love is upset, worried or stressed out

Challenged by
My own thoughts

Success is

Impressed by
Those who live and let live – and keep quiet if they can’t improve the silence

Most valued qualities in a friend
Integrity, a sense of humour and low maintenance (I find high maintenance friendships stressful)

Three items on the bucket list for the next six months
Train for the Everest base camp, see two of my favourite bands – Fleetwood Mac and U2 – perform live and witness my daughter graduating from university

Three items on the bucket list following retirement
Teach yoga, be more confident in the water and follow my favourite bands on tour around the world

Qualities in a life partner
A connection at the physical, emotional and spiritual levels – as well as a willingness to invest in preserving that connection

Ideal romantic date or outing
Anything and anywhere as long as it is outdoors with a cool breeze blowing 

Children are
Precious and life changing but a huge responsibility – and not to be taken lightly 

Purpose in life
To be peaceful, useful and experience life to the utmost

One thing you would change about yourself
I would like to be more emotionally intelligent


Yourself in a few words
I’ve been told that I’m a bundle of energy! 

Most used phrase
Maybe you should try yoga 

Greatest extravagance
Pampering myself with massages and other routines for hair, skin and nails

Obsessed with
My cat Smucci

Three peeves
Know-it-alls, lack of punctuality and those who stink up the gym because they don’t think deodorant is important 

Computer ability
A flintstone compared to generation Z 

Most hated chore
Assembling electronic gadgets 

Unlikely food combination
Katta sambol, fruits and oats mixed together

Workout preferences
Yoga, running and weight training – and I’m hoping to build dance into my routine soon

Worst haircut and style
The freaking bob! 

Three hobbies
Singing, painting and Scrabble

Three must-haves
Concealer, Spotify and my Manduka yoga mat – assuming that the mobile phone, reading glasses, laptop and wallet are givens for most working folk

Mantra to unwind
Sitting quietly on my yoga mat

Likely retirement destination
Possibly Sri Lanka but away from the hustle and bustle of city life –a village if possible


Day of the week
Lately it’s Friday because weekends are precious – they are like these incredible stretches of endless hours with which you can do anything

Red – because it’s bold and magical, signifying energy, passion and adventure. That’s my colour for better or worse

Chill out spot
My home

Mainly rice and curry but I like to experiment. As a rule of thumb, I’m open to any cuisine that offers yummy food low in gluten and high in protein – and with lots of veggies and greens


Happy place
Stella Karaoke Lounge and Bar at Hilton Colombo 

Banana Republic, Lululemon Athletica and Prada

Place to eat
My mother’s home

TV show
Game of Thrones

The God of Small Things (by Arundhati Roy): because it’s possibly the only book that I could not put down – it’s dark, light, heartbreaking, hilarious and brilliant… all at the same time

Sir Anthony Hopkins

Freddie Mercury

There are two: Sara and Gypsy (by Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac respectively) – because I resonate with both


A good theme song for your life is…
Don’t Stop Me Now (by Queen)

When you dance, you look like…
Someone who really needs to invest in dance classes

The first thing you notice when meeting someone…
His or her grooming – how clean and tidy, or unkempt and slovenly, they are

Recently laughed out loud when…
I laugh so much (mainly at my own jokes) that I forget what I last laughed about!

Last gift to someone…
A 128 piece tool set for household and auto repairs

A new technology that will transform the future is…
An app that starts beeping (very loudly) when it senses extremism or racism!


Most productive in the morning, noon or night
I’m flexible – I do what needs to be done whatever the time of day may be

A leader or follower by nature
Mostly a leader but neither role operates in a vacuum since we constantly juggle both in our daily responsibilities – I believe the follower role is as important regardless of position 

Cook or foodie
Mostly a foodie these days but I go through short spells of cooking depending on my mood and the time available

Quality or quantity
Both – if it’s high quality, then more of it

The glass is half full or half empty
It’s irrelevant because it depends on that moment in time – sometimes it’s half full and at other times its half empty

Work or play after retirement
Both – because to fully appreciate one, you need to engage in the other

Sharmila is an independent brand consultant