Thayalan Bartlett

In conversation with Lashani Ramanayake

Wanted to be in

Happily in advertising

Family members
My wife Tania and two sons – Sandesh and Nilesh

Alma maters
Thomas’ Preparatory School,
S. Thomas’ College and St. John’s College (Jaffna)

Happy place
Home, of course

Most unforgettable event
The births of my sons

Most forgettable event
When I had to move to Jaffna following the riots

Favourite local destination
The hill country

Favourite overseas destination
The Netherlands

Mantra to unwind
Crack open a beer and reflect on all the good that has happened in life

A good workout is
A brisk walk in the park

Last post liked on social media
A tweet from Azzam Ameen

Three must-haves
A backbone, conscience and love

Three ‘would like to haves’
Peace in my country, equality for its people and hope for all

When I dance, I look like…
Although I feel like Michael Jackson when I dance, onlookers think I’m a blob on the dance floor – and they’re absolutely right!

Favourite colour
White – because of its neutrality

The first thing you notice in a first encounter with someone
I gauge someone’s level of confidence by the firmness of his or her handshake

Transformational technology of the future
An alternative to Android and iOS – it’s coming

Cook or foodie
Foodie all the way

Favourite food
Authentic Sri Lankan food

Planes, travel and food

Pet peeves
When people don’t respect time, things are untidy or disorderly and politicians

Likes to watch
Movies, or a good game of cricket or rugby

Ideal romantic date or outing
My wife says I’m anything but romantic so I will avoid any further explanations!

Items on the bucket list for the next six months
First, look at the bucket; second, keep the bucket a safe distance away from me; and third, make sure I don’t kick it!

Items on the bucket list following retirement
Get a private pilot’s licence – and visit Iran and Israel

Likely retirement destination
Anywhere my wife and I could be together with our sons

Favourite local sportsperson
Kumar Sangakkara – he’s been a great ambassador for the country on and off the field

Favourite international sportsperson
Sir Vivian Richards – he combines technique, aggression and grace; and rolls it out as entertainment

Memory skills on a scale of zero to 10
Zero… I believe it’s good to forget the past and present – and start afresh every day

Success is…
About being happy and content

Recently laughed out loud when…
I saw President Donald Trump contradict himself for the zillionth time!

Favourite song
Staying Alive (by the Bee Gees) – because it’s like a switch that helps me transition back and forth, between my teen years and adult life

Favourite movie
There are many but I like Bombay as it relates to a similar situation in Sri Lanka and how love crosses racial boundaries

Best singer
As clichéd as it sounds, Michael Jackson is my man

Favourite author
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Colombo is…
A city with character composed of characters

Sri Lanka is…
God’s favourite spot in his garden

The world is…
A magnificent piece of art that’s being vandalised by crooked politicians and poor policy

Impressed by
People who command the attention of the world but are simple in their disposition – like Barack Obama, Lewis Hamilton and Angela Merkel

Saddened when
I see children suffering

Challenged by
A visit to any government department

Role model
Nelson Mandela

Most used word or phrase
Always have a point of view. It’s better to work divided with strong views than in unity with no views at all

Yourself in a few words
A wanderer with no destination in mind

Motto in life
Keep things simple

Thayalan is the Chief Executive Officer of MullenLowe Sri Lanka