On Ageing

On Ageing

conversations on the art of ageing

In a world that worships unattainable perfection of retouched images and toxic ageist words, it has become a norm for women to be made to feel insecure about the first strand of grey and the first wrinkle. Signs of growing older are often admonished as a step backward rather than forward. Through IKKIVI Zine we wish to change that. We see ageing as a process of becoming more of ourselves, being better equipped to dealing with the world and believing in ‘It is never too late to begin.’ We chatted with six inspiring women who took us through their journeys of growing older and left us with the wisdom of their luscious greys.

To me, it is important that I feel good, confident and balanced, in order to look beautiful outside. When one is young, it is all about aspiring for a perfect figure, groomed hair and made-up face, that is all important. But as you grow, none of it matters as long as you stay true to yourself and let the simplicity and character flow out from within. You learn that beauty of a person is permanent and age has nothing to do with it, it is about how we see ourselves and how we feel inside. It is as exciting to be old as one is young, it is about how you see yourself and the perspective you have.
— Uma Dhananjay

Stripped of all pretensions, I think everybody has an innate raw simple beauty which is truly appealing. And when someone believes in it and lives by it – that , to me, is being beautiful. I think I have always felt that nothing is more important than being yourself.
And that hasn’t changed over the years. The stress and strain of trying to be someone or be like someone is too enormous and intimidating. The strengths, the talents , the attitude and so many other factors are involved a person’s success or accomplishments. So there is no timeline before which a child has to achieve something or become
someone. I particularly like the phrase “ all in good time,” there is a time for everything and it will do us good to bide our time. By and large, we are moulded by society and our parents and what they expect of us . We are restricted to that extent, so it is important to follow your heart. Life is full of choices and we have to make the right choice at the right time.

— Ramaa Murthy

Beauty is the inner self and being beautiful is how you express that inner beauty of yours. Self care and positive well being are very important. Over the years I have learnt that I can make a style look beautiful on me if I am confident in it. I feel age is something that should be embraced with grace and a smile, it is inevitable. It is good to plan ahead but not worth missing out on the present. Enjoy every phase of life. Make the most of your youth, make the most of your older days, they are all equally beautiful if you have the mindset to perceive them like that. I was advised once that it is one’s privilege to look beautiful, those words impacted me and I try my best to always be mindful of that.
— Anupama Mohan

Beauty to me is the person you are and how sensitive you are to the people around you. My learning in life is –Never stop learning – there is always something new to learn. Dostoevsky said – There is no subject so old that something new cannot be said about it. I am 52 – constantly learning in new jobs and roles – from people older and younger, continuing to enrich my learning in life. I would say, enjoy every age, live life to the fullest. Appreciate everything around you. Live and learn and be responsible for all that you do.
— Kausalya Satyakumar

I remember being told how pretty I was as a teenager and in my twenties. But I don’t think I knew who I truly was back then. The intervening decades, with their ups and downs, that have brought me to the present moment, have whittled away at the pretty, outer persona and allowed me track my true self down and it’s this inner person – wickedly funny, wise and compassionate, patient and courageous – who’s truly beautiful. I have learnt that no job, no relationship, and no institution is going to collapse without you – life will go on just fine should you choose to step down or leave. If you really take a look at it, societally dictated deadlines are so arbitrary – someone who’s most probably dead (pardon the pun) and long gone by now decided that this particular goal has to be attained by this particular time! Find the courage of your conviction in staying true to your desires. Dig deep inside and find the courage to self-advocate, saying “yes” only when you really mean “yes” and a resounding “no” when you mean “no”. When you are finally so grounded and both your external persona and authentic inner self are in alignment, then the beauty and grace of your true essence will shine through!  
— Maya Ramamurthy

Beauty is your persona, that you put out to the world, being beautiful is to have an attitude and trust in the essence of who you really are. Earlier, beauty was just things that seemed pleasing from the external and more influenced by people around you. However, growing up lets us see more beauty revealing itself, as we drop judgments in many other forms. My age has taught me the essence of balance, between holding on and letting go. Sometimes we need to hold on, so that we can learn to come of our own, before we have the strength to let go. The advice I’d give to all the young ones out there is to forget about growing older – jump into your youth fearlessly and discover your potential, ignoring the external voices that hold you back. 
— Sanju Dinesh


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In Colombo

In Colombo

conversations tracing the beginnings of independence.

On our travel to Sri Lanka for the IKKIVI launch at The Design Collective in Colombo, we had the opportunity to spend time with some of the brightest and most beautiful minds in the city. Spending time with them and getting to know their stories was an inspiring part of our trip to this beautiful country. Read along to get to know these women leading the way. And if you visit Colombo, do drop by The Design Collective to shop some beautifully curated IKKIVI pieces alongside much more. 

It is difficult for me to recall a clear moment; I guess I have gradually developed a strong sense of independence and individuality. The many obstacles and challenges I have faced both professional and personal, have made me the strong independent woman I am today.

I am an Accountant by profession, but I found accounting monotonous and boring as I always had an affinity for interior design. I started off on a small scale, only designing and fabricating customised kitchen units. As the demand grew, I gradually set up a professional interior design company, bringing on board qualified designers, architects and a manufacturing arm to produce customised furniture items. Today, I am proud to say that we have been able to establish Westgate as the market leader in the industry.

One of the challenges I faced was building the right team with the right talent from scratch. Over a period of thirty years, we have grown from a small team to a mid size company while retaining our talent and maintaining positive work ethics. I believe in having a vision and believing in yourself. Whatever you do, give it one hundred percent. Don’t believe in luck, believe in hard work.
— Dehara Gomes

My first full-time job, when I was around seventeen. It taught me responsibility both fiscally and in terms of taking ownership over your words and work. For the first time, I began to grapple with ideas of independence and individuality. 

I’ve been a writer ever since I could remember (my parents still have sheaves of meticulously drafted stories and wild demands from me as a toddler), and began my career in finance and travel journalism. However, I didn’t quite start articulating or exploring ideas of feminism, women’s rights, and equality until about six years ago. It took a lot of introspection and exploration to really recognise what I was most drawn to and how I wanted to write about it.

I’m very passionate about gender equity and employment. I believe that sustainable and equal opportunities for women and men can drastically change South Asian society for the better. It’s the fastest (and healthiest) path to more equitable families, better eco practices, and safety.

I think as an editor of a publication, there’s a constant question of integrity. With everything you publish, there has to be a conversation about who or what the focus is, who is paying for it, and who it will affect when they read it. For example, “Is the interview subject a positive role model? Is the product detrimental to young women? Is this conglomerate-sponsored article truthful?”. It’s a constant battle between advertising interests and basic integrity.

Shadow the smartest and most driven people you can find. And don’t beat yourself up over small failures or mistakes, because in the long term nothing at work matters as much as you think it does. Don’t take someone’s opinion seriously unless they’re an expert on the topic at hand, or they care about you.
— Kinita Shenoy

My choice to divorce a husband I was made to marry at 19 through an arranged marriage left me feeling independent in every sense of the word. My family rejected me and so did his. I was caught up in a legal battle for the custody of my son. I was up against prominent lawyers my then husband was able to afford. I couldn’t afford such highly placed lawyers because my family disowned me and I was left with hardly any funding. None the less I fought. I did everything I could to stay afloat and maximised every resource I had. The outcome was successful and for a girl who had been told all her life that she couldn’t do much without a man; this was the ultimate triumph. It made me feel incredible. All the heart break was worth it because the experience I gained from that has left me feeling invincible.

I was raised in a conservative background. Although I was given an education that was without prejudice I was also told that an education for a girl was to be utilised in the event that my future husband allows it or Incase he is no longer able to financially provide for our family.
As far as a respectable career was concerned; I was conditioned to think that the only appropriate career befitting a woman was a profession associated with the sciences , math or law. In keeping with tradition I completed a degree in law after which I educated myself in Fashion design. I worked in many jobs for other companies and myself for a decade during my 20s before deciding that this was not my calling.

Creativity is in my soul and that’s what makes me happy. I stumbled across an article that read; beauticians and hairdresser have the highest job satisfaction. Something inside me clicked; It took me back to my school years when I was always called upon for hair and makeup duties during school concerts and ballets. In hindsight it’s what I always should have pursued. I took the risk and dived in head first into an education in hair and makeup and subsequently opened The Wax Museum hair and beauty salon. We are 5 years in the making and I am proud of the woman I have become and the business I have built.
I don’t regret the decade of work I did in different fields in my past as the experience I received from it has made me the woman I am today.

Challenges are far and wide. I don’t like stressing over them. I have a philosophy when it comes to work;
* If there is an issue just solve it! It doesn’t matter what/ when or who caused it.
* Once the problem is resolved evaluate what went wrong with the intention to learn from that mistake and put into place better systems to avoid the same issues going forward rather than to point fingers and assign blame.

Don’t let failure stop you, heart break destroy your spirit and fear paralyse you. Failure, heartbreak and fear, as crippling as they may become; when you overcome these obstacles the feeling of invincibility that you experience is empowering. When someone speaks, listen to hear and not to answer. If you are already forming an answer while that person is still talking then you are denying yourself the opportunity to understand, evaluate, learn and grow.
— Nadiya Fernando

Dehara Gomes is the Managing Director of Westgate Interiors.

Kinita is a Writer, Editor and Communications Specialist. Over the last decade, she’s worked for the IFC (World Bank Group), served as Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan Sri Lanka and YAMU.lk, as well as written for publications like Conde Nast Traveler and Harper’s Bazaar.

Fathima Nadhiya Fernando. known as Nadiya Fernando is a mom to a tween Aadam Careem and wife to Ranil Fernando. She is a makeup artist, hair extension specialist, blogger, salon owner and fashion enthusiast.

Photography by RHEA GUPTE
Location Courtesy Gandhara
Produced by IKKIVI ZINE
in partnership with The Design Collective.


IKKIVI Zine is a property of IKKIVI by Founder Nivi Murthy

On Sustainability

On Sustainability

the story behind starting our online magazine

A letter from IKKIVI takes our ZINE visitors into the thought process and inspiration behind starting our online magazine. 

As we launch our Zine, our brand is taking new steps on creating an environment to learn about the causes that we hold dear. The issue of being conscious in fashion has often been overwhelming to people. We want to change that.

Many of you visiting our zine are already friends of our brand while many of you may be first time visitors. We began as a online marketplace for sustainable brands which can be easily purchased online. Making sustainable fashion accessible has always been important to us. And with our online magazine, we wish to make information about sustainable fashion accessible too.

Our zine is a place without judgement, with strong views and openness to dialog. We see it as a safe place for everybody to learn and grow. We want to explore issues that we recognise and that are important to us, to our environment, to our mental health and to becoming better advocates of humankind.

As IKKIVI starts this journey we want to welcome all of you to be a part of it with us, to enjoy the creativity of the labels we partner with, the heartfelt interviews from leaders in this industry and beyond and to discuss the real and raw aspects of fashion and how it impacts our world, positively and negatively.

As we begin this new journey, we want you to be part of our growth, keep us accountable and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way. Thank you to all of you for being part of ours story so far, this is just the beginning.