Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 33, Tuesday January 13, 2004






Dental Wise

Dr. Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS(Dhaka), PhD(Japan) Oral & Dental Surgeon BIRDEM Hospital

Hello Dr.Khan
I am a 49 years old, British national. I came to Bangladesh last year and working in multinational company in Dhaka. I usually enjoy that Dental Wise section, and appreciate your wonderful easy explanation of all the questions. My dental health is not good at all and I really hesitate to visit any Dental office in Bangladesh, but recent comments in Dental Wise inspired me to have my dental treatment here. Before that I have few inquires; Is it possible to repair any broken part of porcelain? What is the sterilisation (killing germ) systems that are used in Bangladesh?
Will appreciate your reply James Ruskin

Dear Mr.Ruskin,
Because of the brittle nature of ceramic materials (porcelain), these restorations have the potential to fracture. Until recently, there was no predictable technique for repairing the fractured porcelain restoration. However, with the advent of many new products related to bonding porcelain/metal, there are techniques available today we are using to repair fractured porcelain with moderate expectations of success. Ultimately, however you may need to change that cap in future.
Regarding sterilisation system, its very difficult to tell you whether all the well running dental clinic in Dhaka are maintaining strict hygiene or sterilisation rather I have every doubt. But I can assure you that some of dental clinics in Dhaka are maintaining world standard sterilisation system. At present we are using most of the disposable items, maintaining autoclave sterilisation system and even water for the dental chair is double filtered or germ free.

Special Feature 

SMS Culture

They say that the world is virtually shrinking everyday. No, no astronomical laundry disaster under operation here, just the work of the human phenomenon of communication. It's been there since the first primate who stopped crawling on all fours, stood up and started scribbling on the cave walls. They soon realised that their 'wall magazines' didn't make very good travel reads, amongst other things, so they started experimenting with other media, and soon the practice of writing emerged, and as these people fell prey to wanderlust, the postal system also came to being.

Flash forward several hundred years, during which the courier kings like DHL and FedEx deprived the pigeons of their employment, and Alexander Graham Bell became every teenager's Godsend with his invention of the telephone, and of all people, the defence industry facilitated the development of the Internet. This is the age of telecommunication, and Instant Messaging, or IM, as it is popularly called, has taken the world by storm. Just a look at the virtual crowds in the online chat-rooms should be proof enough, and let's not even get started on messenger services like MSN, AIM, or Yahoo.

In this fast-paced world of today, one has to be constantly on the move, and stay wired so as to keep a finger on the pulse of the world that's constantly changing. Cell-phones are no longer a luxury; they are practically a must-have for any ambitious urbanite, young or otherwise. They are definitely a boon to young lovers who can avoid eavesdropping guardians, as well as another way for concerned parents to keep tabs on their young. Then reality strikes when the whopping bills arrive at the end of the month, or in the case of certain services, the pre-paid cards expire. Fingers are pointed, blood pressure mounts, and both parties stew for a while before sitting down and wondering how to cut down on the phone calls and still stay in touch with the outside world. This is where the IM revolution comes to the rescue, and people discover the wonderful possibilities that lie in SMS.

SMS or Short Message Service, is the IM feature in cell phones, which allows the user to send and receive text messages of about 160 characters at a time. It is meant to serve as an advanced pager. Grameen Phone was probably the pioneer of SMS in the country, but now other services, such as AKTEL are offering the service. Using the same text-message technology, these companies have stretched the range of functions of this service, so that now we can use SMS to get cricket info, prayer timings, important telephone numbers, and so many other things.

While the service was probably initially developed for business purposes, it quickly became popular as a cost-effective means of networking, since SMS costs less than the average phone call, be it through the mobile phone or the landline. Even though you invariably run up a hefty bill if you're not careful, you get more mileage out of SMS because it allows you to reach more people for less.

The popular Hindi soaps have helped spread the SMS fever, by showing the lovers sending love-notes through SMS, young heroes/villains using it in moments of high drama, and of course, the catty villainesses making maximum use of these services to stir up trouble.

As is the case with e-chat, SMS users have a special lingo all their own…much to the chagrin of English teachers, who have enough trouble dealing with spelling problems as it is. Die-hard SMS users have even developed their own range of 'emoticons' (sequences of letters to make icons that represent a facial expression). They send jokes and chain mails and little poems through SMS, and let's not even get started on the race to send the first birthday/anniversary/New Year/Eid greetings through SMS. This simple service has literally taken on the form of a subculture. Next to the 'Missed Call' mania, this has got to be the most popular mobile-phone activity. So whether you're a part of this frenzy or not, there's no escaping it. SMS culture is here to stay.

By Sabrina F Ahmad






Housewives: over and under

A group of Bengali bachelors living in America once silently competed against each other in a game of importing the best wives from Bangladesh. These bachelors, who grew up here and became successful in their different fields of work, were a tight bunch. Equal in their success in other fields, the only way they could claim superiority over each other would be by marrying the all-rounded-super-Bengali-Girl. So they all went about their search, got their relatives back home and here working in the secret mission of finding brides.

The first one came back with a Doctor, who was not necessarily gifted in the area of beauty but her appearance gave away the heavy load of knowledge she carried around. She spent her time sneering at everyone, a look practiced to go perfectly with the thick black rimmed glasses.

The second bachelor went back home and also bagged a Doctor, this one was a pediatrician, a little taller and fairer than the first bachelor's wife. She was now the gem of the town, and a new competition started between the two newly wed brides.

The third bachelor was desperate; he was having no luck with doctors, so he settled for an Engineer. And his family marched around proudly to this house to that bragging about their daughter-in-law's intellect and beauty.

I don't know in the end which one of them won the contest. What I do know, is that now all three of these over-educated wives spend most of their days within the boundaries of their expensive walls, back biting each other and raising families. The husbands of these wives make enough for them to sit home, and for them to pass the tests here to become a certified doctor or engineer is too much hassle, and they are too educated to go work as anything lower than what they studied to perform. So they have settled for being housewives. In this day and age, being able to afford being a house wife is a great prestige. The only way of becoming more of an intellectual than being an intellectual is denying the need of showing intellect. It's like the rich spend money because they can waste it, these wives waste knowledge because they can afford to, having excess of it.

Just like the over-educated housewives there are also under-educated house wives. Some Bengali men deciding they rather marry someone who is brighter in looks than brains have imported few Bengali Bimbos. These are the under-educated ones, the ones who furtively that consider coming to America was the best thing that ever happened to them. They are usually the ones who hum the tunes of new hip-hop songs (with a Bangla accent), and they let go of their eastern clothing and swathe their bodies with clothes a tad bit more covered than Britney Spears. They spend most of their days looking for sales in department stores, and secretly watching Indian television through the special satellite their loving husbands have arranged for them. They wait for Bengali get-togethers to show off their physical and materialistic assets, they sometime take up wine as a sign of class and often go on the Atkins diet, quitting the Bengali habit of rice for good. Sometimes these under-educated housewives start going to community colleges, pick up English faster, and inherit their husband's old cars with their new driver's licenses.

Between the over and under educated housewives, we the ordinary people are dim and dull. Their well rested bodies and souls glow with intelligence or beauty. The intelligence and beauty that has been sharpened while staying at home, not for any greater cause, but to impress and burn the hearts of all who are watching.

Have we, Bengali Women, come far? From the days of birthing ten children to being a successful house wife living abroad. We have intelligence, we have beauty, maybe when we are not put in a place to show off our best assets by our men who marry us for their bragging rights, we will start getting out of the selected labels of society and be who we were meant to be, certainly not over and under educated house-wives!

By Iffat Newaz



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