Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 34, Tuesday January 20, 2004






Banking Tips

Nasreen Sattar Head of International Sales, Standard Chartered Bank

Q1. I have received a cheque dated June 30th 2003, is it possible to encash the cheque now?

No, this is a 'stale' cheque and cannot be encashed because the validity has expired. A cheque has a validity of six months and has to be encashed within that period.

Q2. I had put a 'Stop Payment' on a particular cheque and advised my bank accordingly, however, to my horror I realised that despite my instruction the bank had honoured that cheque. Should not the bank reimburse me the amount of the cheque?

If the 'Stop Payment' instruction reached the bank, duly acknowleded by them before the payment was made then the bank is responsible and the amount should be reimbursed to you.

Q3.What is a joint account and what is the advantage of opening one?

When two or more persons open an account jointly, it is called a joint account. Such an account may be opened by any two persons for the sake of convenience of operation of account and also for withdrawal of money after the death of any one of them.

Beauty Talk

Sadia Moyeen Beautician, La Belle

Q1. Hi, I'm a 13 year-old girl with a lot of problems and I would love it if you would solve these problems for me! I want to talk about my hair first. My hair is wavy and pretty rough and most of my friends want me to straighten my hair, but I think I'm too young to do so. Am I right? I use Livon silky potion to make my hair silky and easy to brush but after coming home from school my hair sometimes gets this weird damp feeling. My hair sometimes does look straight and smooth but I want it to look straight all the time. Is there any way by which I can straighten my hair without using all those gadgets? By the way, I change shampoos quite often…will this cause a problem? My next problem is my nails! My hands are okay and people find my fingers long and pretty but the main problem are my nails! I have very small nails as I bite them a little too much lately and they look awful now! I love all those French manicures and putting on nail polish, but my nails are not perfect enough! Is there any way by which my nails are going to grow faster than usual? Can you please suggest the name of the nail polish that prevents nail biting? How do I make my face thinner than what it is like now? My face has this round shape and my cheeks are all soft and fluffy. I want my face to look pretty and thick and I want cheekbones to be visible. Okay cheekbones aren't necessary but I need my face to look thinner! Please I need help! I also have problems with my eyes! I have nice big eyes but I really want them to look attractive! If I put on eyeliner (pencil), my eyes look sleepy and lazy and if I put on liquid eyeliner they look good but not attractive! I want my eyes to look more bright and attractive but how do I do so? Thanks a lot for all the help. I really appreciate it.

Dear Shararah,
Oil your hair on a weekly basis regularly. Condition your hair every time you shampoo and leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing. Go ahead and use Livon Silky Potion afterwards but use it in small quantities or else your hair will get very oily.

I guess you could straighten your hair if it is really unmanageable, but do follow the simple regimen stated above. I am sure it will improve the quality of your hair.

Your nails will grow soon enough if you stop biting them and give them a chance to grow. There is a clear nail varnish by Sally Hensen that has a bitter taste so every time you put your nails in your mouth you are reminded to stop.

At your age it is quite normal to have a plump face, it is called puppy fat and as you grow older you will see that it automatically becomes slimmer and gradually cheekbones will appear. Use Koll Kajal inside your eye, brush your eyelashes back with a clear mascara.

Q.2 Dear Sadia Moyeen,
My skin is oily I don't have pimples but I do have blackheads throughout the year. Please suggest me some home remedy for it. I have excess hair on my face and for that I am thinking about waxing with cold wax. I can't do threading, as my skin is very sensitive. Is it ok to use wax for hair removing are from the face? Thanks

Ans2. If your skin is sensitive chances are it will react negatively to waxing as well. Test a bit of skin under the jaw line, using Nair facial hair remover. If there is no redness, irritation or rash it would be a good option for you.

For your blackheads, place a hot towel on the area where you have blackheads to open the pores, press gently using a comodome, the blackheads will pop out. You could also try the Ponds blackhead removing strips, which are quite easy to use.

Interpreter of Maladies

Dr. Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist

Q. I have recently remarried. I am in my early thirties. I have a daughter from the other marriage. Her age is 10. I am really concern about her. She seems to be scared of her stepfather. My husband never physically or verbally abused her. In fact he is providing her with everything she needs. My daughter is not very friendly with him. She is also having the same dream every night. It is mainly about me and her biological father gradually becoming estranged and how she is losing me. All this is really scaring me. Please tell me how can I help her deal with the situation and make her relationship with my current husband better.

Ans: Your concern about your daughter seems to be quite relevant. The picture you've presented here is incomplete but it appears that she has some unresolved issues from past. It is not unusual that children of broken families give a history of being a witness (if not victim) to abuse and they carry those fearful traumatic memories without knowing how to deal with it. Possibly, she has gone through a difficult time while your previous marriage was falling apart. It is also important to know what kind of emotional bondage she had with her biological father and how he treated her. Many children suffer from guilt feelings, low self-esteem ("I am unlovable") and think they are the root cause of all these miseries. Her repeated dreams probably indicate anxiety in her subconscious mind. She is not coping well and underlying feelings of tension, insecurity and confusion are actually reflected in her behaviour. I understand, her stepfather is trying hard to improve the relationship but probably the inner issues of your daughter is holding her back. Nevertheless, her vulnerable age & your statement that she is scared of him warrant few more areas to be explored. Relationship is always a two-way process, one can of course initiate but finally depends on mutual response and communication process. However, it is quite evident that your daughter needs counselling or therapy to effectively deal with her past and present issues which are threatening her coping ability. In fact, divorce, remarriage etc. are major stressful life events and takes its toll on all the people involved. Taking support from helpful people and counselling from professionals are recommended.








The extra hands and mouths

In Bangladesh it's a common affair to have house help. Some cunning ones in Dhaka also bring their very distant relatives from villages with promises of education, better living, and many unknowns and unachievable. Usually these relatives end up staying for years, sometimes the teenage girl turns into an old maid never getting married but living as the second unannounced house wife of a certain household, the middle aged widow raises the children of the family forgetting what she had left behind, they sacrifice their lives for empty promises for a shelter that might not have been a better option.

It happens here in USA too. House help, or hiring a maid is not an easy task for middle class or upper middle class crowd. The Bengalis who have been living here for ages and are citizens of this country sometimes sponsor their poor, unfortunate relatives from back home promising a better life. These imports are often straight from some isolated village of Bangladesh, and the first taste of modern life they get is through the Aeroplane that carries them into the hands of their successful distant cousins and uncles inAmerica.
The sheltered hands learn to use the coffee maker, the microwave, the oven, laundry machines and all tools of modernised household. In their minds they feel they have come far, they have travelled through time and left their misfortune in the burning stove made of mud and wood back in their villages. It doesn't dawn on them until much later that the microwave is just a quicker version of their stove made of mud and the vacuum cleaner is a complicated version of a broom. And by the time they realise their borrowed space in a distant land with more distant relatives is not necessarily a better life, it's usually too late to turn back. The smell of the dollar, the hot showers, the promise of education, marrying a computer guru, and the hope of conquering keep them going, knowing their broken sheds were much better to breath under than the sealed wall papered rooms that's been allocated by their kind relatives.

It's not that some of them don't achieve their goals. I have seen a few of them settling down getting married having 2.5 kids and living by the formula of happiness. But sadly that's not the common case. Usually they have to bare the cost of their own wedding, find their own husband, if they are lucky enough to get out of the prison called refuge. And the ones not seeking a husband but have an actual ambition in life, it's even harder for them. Who will bare their cost for education or car? And how can they earn when they are so busy making old recipes in their new homes.

In places such as New York in neighbourhoods dominated by Bengalis and Indians, Bengali girls are hired to sell Indian/Bengali clothing getting paid $40 a day, which boils down to $3.33 per hour. I have met a lot of the imported from Bangladesh and escaped from refuge ones working as such. Unimpressed by their unprofessional behaviour I walked out disgusted and mad at our whole race. But my friends then reminded me that when you get bitterness for so long the only thing you can give back is the sour acid, which these deceived ones have learnt to give back so bluntly .These women working independently for less than minimum wedge in America have somehow managed to break out of their traps and learnt to put up a fight against the world. They didn't go back to their villages; they don't fit in there any longer, so they made their own villages in different corners of America, with bitter shells and hard interiors. They will never again let anyone take advantage as being less fortunate, not their relatives, not their parents and certainly not me, a mere demanding customer.

I do not know what it is about making it in USA that gives people the right to treat others with such disgrace as these distant successful relatives do. If you ask them about their dominance over their poor relatives, cornering them to become littler than they were, they will tell you, "you have to work hard to get somewhere, money and power comes to those who wait, you have to start small." What they don't comprehend is when you start small in a small-trapped world, you never get too far. To serve Rich relatives small kingdoms the underprivileged needy relatives give their lives worth, some creates acid and some just plays with salt.

By Iffat Newaz



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