Close to nature, close to you
Ayur Herbal Collection launched its products in Bangladesh at a gala
event at the hotel Sheraton on Monday 23 June 2003. The Indian company
launched its products through Antics Beauty Parlour in 93 New Elephant
Road, jointly run by Mrs Nazma Ahsan and Runu Musharraf.
The highlight of the daylong workshop was a training session with famous
stylist Sylvie (from the Zee TV program Khoobsurat). The workshop was
a training and educational experience and thus ninety percent of the
guests were saloon/parlour owners. Apart from the training session,
in between tea and lunch break, Ayur products were introduced by Ayur
Herbal's very own cosmetologist Tania Mehta. A certified cosmetologist,
Tania Mehta not only introduced the different products but also explained
theories of suitability in terms of what product should be used in which
circumstance and what suits a particular hair/skin type, etc.
has a range of shampoos (one vegetarian), creams, face packs, facemasks,
lotions, toners, moisturizers, astringents, soaps, waxes, powder, gel
and kajal. The biggest reason behind the launch was to eliminate fake
Ayur products that have infiltrated the Bangladeshi market. And to emphasise
the seriousness of what these fake products did, Managing Director of
Ayur, India, Mr Dilendar Singh Narang was present to mingle, talk with
and explain to guests about Ayur.
The workshop was co-ordinated by super model Feema and other popular
models were invited for Sylvie to demonstrate upon. The workshop led
to a better understanding of different make-up, hairdo and facial styles.
The heads of almost all beauty parlours in Dhaka showed up and enthusiastically
took part in the daylong workshop.
& A sessions were also held in between for stylists to get rid of
confusions or take a better grasp of the art. In a launch that turned
out to be extremely well conducted, hats off to Ayur and Antics Beauty
Parlour for their commendable joint effort in introducing the company
whose motto is: Close to nature, close to you!
a collection that she named Asha because it was a beautiful name that
meant hope, Georgina Lewis a graduate of Royal Melbourne Institute of
Technology brought out a range of home and office decorations which
were exhibited on the 26 June 2003 in Gulshan. An Australian volunteer
who has lived in Dhaka for four years, Georgina Lewis first came and
taught slum children carpentry at a UCEP school. Since then she has
worked with different organisations.
With honours in industrial design, Georgina Lewis was inspired by local
materials and craftsmanship that led her to mix cheap and expensive
materials in the right blend to create a chic line. She believes that
the reason why our craftsmen are understated and local materials are
shunned is because they aren't blended in a successful manner. Henceforth,
her designs will be sold at different outlets and the remnants of her
extremely successful collection will be found at Essentials in Gulshan.
Georgina Lewis says that she does have plans to sell in Australia and
she wants to use her designs and her design abilities to promote Bangladesh
and it's products. Georgina Lewis is extremely inspired by the street
life in Bangladesh and she is amazed by the ability of our craftsman.
She believes that the key to successful products is their blend and
their making. And in her collection she has certainly expressed her
The exhibition was very successful with most of the products selling
themselves out. The innovativeness of the designer was not only apparent
from her designs but was also reflected in the way her products were
displayed on old cargo boxes highlighted by spotlights.
Although the exhibition was held for such a short while with very little
publicity, people now expect more of Lewis's wonderful designs. Till
then we can only raise our hats and congratulate Georgina Lewis for
her brilliant exhibition!
is a well-known Bengali proverb "Karo Posh maash, Karo Shorbonash."
When the travelling population all across the world are somewhat nervous
and taking ample precautions to avoid the SARS affected countries, some
on the other hand seem to be getting a kind of cheap thrill out of the
When my niece and I arrived at Kolkata airport at the beginning of our
recent trip, every visitor, irrespective of which country we were coming
from, had to go through the health check for SARS. I breezed through
after answering "no" to the usual questions, "Shordi-Kaashi
achey? Jor achey?" My niece was right behind me but within
minutes I realised that she was being held back by the health inspector.
I was too far away to hear the conversation between them.
Anyway when she joined me after a good five to six minutes I asked her
what the problem was. The man asked her (she happens to be very attractive!)
the same questions. Her answers were not enough to convince him. He
then said "Apnar haath dekhi" so which she showed
both her palms. "Erokom na, table er opor rakhen."
She put both her hands, palms down on the table. He reached out and
held her hand (not her wrist or anywhere near a pulse point!), for at
least half a minute pretending to check her pulse. And then in all seriousness,
said, "Na, thik achey, apni ashtey paren ... She looked
quite frazzled but I couldn't stop laughing! This was just the beginning
of our ten-day trip.
When in Rome you are supposed to do as the Romans do. So we decided
to sport (well there's no harm in trying) the local Calcuttian accent.
From the district we come from it wasn't difficult for us! Just kidding!
Anyway I started calling her Mahima instead of Mahin and she switched
to Ranga (my name for all the nieces & nephews) maashi,
God knows who we were fooling but it was our own silly way of having
My bhabi always tells me (I think I have confessed it in an
earlier story) that I am a "poth-matra." It's a Sylheti
expression meaning a person who talks pottey-pottey, in other
words talks to strangers and gets involved in other peoples' affairs.
On our way from Kolkata to Bhubanshwar we met some interesting people.
Young families some taking their children back to school in Vishakhapatnam
and some going home for the summer vacation to Chehnnai. We found out
from our new found friends that the train stops at Bhubanshwar for about
5 or 6 minutes and that we should slowly move our suitcases torwards
the door soon after we passed Cuttack, which is about thirty minutes
from our destination.
Just as we were pulling our bags towards the door we overheard a young
couple (with their little son) mumble something and caught the word
"Bangladesh." When we exchanged polite smiles the lady couldn't
help but ask us whether we were from Bangladesh. Mind you, we speak
our dialect and not Bangla when two Sylhetis are together. How then
could they guess our nationality? My niece's suitcase had Biman stickers
on it! Anyway once our origin was established the husband wanted to
know which district we came from. The minute I said "Sylhet"
his face lit up like a torch and he said, "I live in Sylhet and
work for a construction company!"
Just a few minutes from Bhubanshwar we exchanged as much cordiality
as we could manage, especially when he said that the only problem they
were having was that their seven year old son, said Vishwanath was not
able to get into school. He is in the waiting list of the best school
in Sylhet, "Ananda Niketan". My niece mumbled something to
me and I blurted out, "Oh my good that's my cousin's school!"
With that I gave the gentleman my card and asked him to go and see my
cousin once he was back in Sylhet. Surely she couldn't turn down my
reference! The gentleman was so overwhelmed with all the excitement
that when we reached Bhubanshwar, in his eagerness to lend us a helping
hand, jumped down from the train with a huge suitcase, which didn't
belong to either me or my niece! Poor thing, he did manage to climb
back and get both our bags down before he had enough time to thank us
profusely and jump back on the train on their way to Vishakha patnam!
Cut up chicken ... 1 kg
Ketchup ... ½ cup
Vinegar... 1/3 cup
Brown sugar/’gurh’ ... ¼ cup
Butter (Oil) ... 2 tbsp
Worcestershire sauce ... 2 tbsp
(local variety is fine)
Lemon juice... 2 tbsp
Fresh mustard paste ... 2 tsp
Chilli powder ... 1 tsp
Onions, sliced & rings separated ... 2 medium
Salt ... to taste
the chicken pieces in a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes at 375 F
Gas: 5. Drain. Meanwhile for barbecue sauce combine ketchup, vinegar,
brown sugar, butter, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, salt, chili
powder & mustard and cook for a few minutes. Add onion rings &
stir. Bring to boil & reduce heat. Keep spooning the prepared sauce
over the chicken; continue baking for another 10-15 minutes. Keep turning
the chicken at least twice or three times until cooked and tender.
are being sexually harassed in our society quite frequently. However,
most of the time we refuse to discuss the problem. Sometimes we even
refuse to identify it. There is always a hush about the issue. So
the problem continues to exist and the child who went through such
harassment grows up thinking that somehow it is his or her fault as
no one discusses it with them when they are going through the stress
period. They become isolated from society and can grow up to be problem
children. It is better to be prudent earlier. Educating children about
sexual harassment is the first thing you can do. Make the issue open
so that they do not feel ashamed after any incident. Monitor kids
while they are interacting with strangers, houseguests or even relatives.
Try to give them support. Most important of all let them know that
it is not their fault.
must have guessed by the title what today's hanging out is about.
And it would be unjust for this hanging outist to not talk of the
Dhaka University campus, especially when it epitomizes the whole idea
of hanging out. After all what could be more perfect than simply sitting
and hanging out under the shade of one of those century old trees
that only the Dhaka University campus seems to brag of these days
in the city. And next to that the Dhaka University campus is the land
of wallahs. Haven't guessed what I'm talking about? I'm talking about
the ice cream-wallah, the fuchka-wallah, the badam-wallah, the cha-wallah
and all those other wallahs who know that the Dhaka University campus
is the best place to do business because it is what the crowds dig
morning noon and night. It's true. You will be surprised if you venture
into the Dhaka University campus after seven in the evening because
you will see rows of students and lots of couples sitting on the sidewalk
or walking or buying stuff from the wallahs.
But who said that the Dhaka University campus is only fenced off to
it's own students, residents and faculty. It is quite open to all.
And thus I strongly suggest that if you want to change the scene from
concrete to grass and green for a while and just want to hang out,
sit on a grass knoll and chat with friends over a cheap cup of tea
and some nuts or other trifle, then the Dhaka University campus is
the place for you.