Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 48, Tuesday May 18, 2004






Style Files

Maheen Khan Fashion designer, Mayasir

Q: Summer is here and I need a few light pieces of ensembles. What fabric should I choose?

A: During the very hot weather it is always wise to dress cool and light. Dhaka fabric stores have a wide selection of both local and imported fabrics. Swiss cotton, Japanese voile, fine addi. These fabrics are a good choice for summer. They are available in prints, stripes and solid colours.

Q: I am an office executive and require to be dressed appropriately to fit my image. Could you please advise me on a couple of summery style that looks smart and chic?

A: In an office environment you should try to look clean and formal. Sombre colours, like shades of grey, brown and neutrals are good. If you prefer westerns, wear slacks with light linen jackets. Blouses may be worn in lighter shades of the suit. Accessorise with a contrast scarf as it creates a great point of interest. If you prefer salwar suit, try to remain within the same theme. Solid colours, contrast duppattas and accessorise with buttons and light jewellery.

Q: This summer I would really like to change my look. I am slightly on the heavier side and have worn for a long time, straight long a-line kameez, loose salwar and long flowing duppattas. Could you suggest a more adventurous look?

A: It is common for persons like yourself who are slightly on the heavier side to believe that you can hide it all under your flowing tent. On the contrary, wear a blouse that’s tapered but not fitted to your skin. The length should not exceed your knees and the slit on the side should sit over your hips not below. It will create a slimmer illusion. Don't wear short sleeves, instead, go for longer, preferably three-quarter or full sleeves, form-fitted, never loose. A slit running up the sleeves will also provide you with comfort. Pair with pants straight not tapered or bell-bottoms. If you like salwars make sure it doesn't hang under your ankle. Slimmer salwars that finish just over your ankle are in fashion. Pair them with dupattas, but make sure these are not the huge 3 yd 45" wide ones. Make them 2½ yds long and no more than 30" wide. Big dupattas only clutter.

Q: I love prints bold and bright. It gives me sense of confidence and cheers me up considerably on a dreary hot day. Sometimes, however, I would like to draw a balance. I feel I end up looking like a traffic light. What should I do?

A: If you really like bright colours its okay. You can achieve a subtle look and still carry your brights. Wear a solid bright top with neutral doppatta. For example, lets say you are wearing a printed yellow kameez. Pick up the lightest tone from the fabric to make your bottoms and dopatta. It will take away considerably from the brightness and give it softer look. You can also accessorise with bright colours which will carry your power i.e. wear ivories and match it with red shoes, purse and sunglasses.

Q: It has become quite fashionable to mix and match contrast blouses with sarees this season. I have a pretty green and mustard cotton chanderi saree. How do I decide on the blouse? I don't want it too heavily embellished. Please help.

A: Yes, contrast blouses have taken off, and have become quite popular. You should first always remember that it is all right as long as it doesn't kill the saree. It looks best with sarees, which are solid, chequered, striped, with borders on solid grounds. It can also be worn with a tonal buti saree.

Cotton chanderi sarees are light fine kota weaves with contrast borders and achal. Use the contrast colour to make the blouse and embellish the sleeves with a border picking up colours of the ground and run it along the bottom of the blouse on the back. It will create a nice edge without making it too heavy.

Dental wise

DR. Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS, FSDCE (USA), PhD (Japan), Post Doc. (Japan) Specialised: Crown and Bridge work, and Periodontal plastic surgery (USA) Senior Medical Officer, Department of Dentistry, BIRDEM Hospital

Q: Dear Doctor
You mentioned about gum disease several times in Dental wise part. But I have couple of questions, could my gum disease be genetic? Can I pass (Contaminate) this to others? How we can avoid this disease? -Urmi Lohani

A: Did you know that more than 75 percent of all adults in India have gum disease? Many people have gum disease and are not even aware they have this problem. Did you know that gum disease is the number one reason adults lose their teeth. Gum disease is a "silent" disease-until your teeth become loose and fall out--many people do not know they have it and how seriously they do.

Could my periodontal disease be genetic?
Research proves that up to 30 percent of the population may be genetically susceptible to gum disease. Despite aggressive oral care habits, these people may be six times more likely to develop periodontal disease. Identifying these people with a genetic test before they even show signs of the disease and getting them into early interventive treatment may help them keep their teeth for a lifetime.

Can I pass my periodontal disease to others?
Periodontal disease may be passed from parents to children and between couples, according to an article in the September 1997 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association. Researchers suggest that bacteria causing periodontal disease are passed though saliva. This means that when a family or couple come into contact with each other's saliva, they're at risk for contracting the periodontal disease of another family member. Based on this research, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) recognizes that treatment of gum disease may involve entire families. If one family member has periodontal disease, the AAP recommends that all family members see a dental professional for a periodontal disease screening. Did you know that HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) can be passed by kissing between two people who have advanced gum disease? A recent report indicated that a young woman in a relationship with a man who had HIV, caught AIDS from kissing him. Both people had moderate to advanced periodontal disease and it is believed that she caught the AIDS because of a direct blood transfer between their diseased gums.

Symptoms of Gum disease
Do your gums bleed when you brush, floss or use a toothpick?
Are your gums red, swollen and painful?
Do you have pus coming from between your gums and teeth if you push on your gums?
Are your gums pulling away from your teeth?
Has there been a change in the way your teeth come together when you bite or chew on food?
Do your teeth look longer because of receding gums?
Are your teeth loose?

What can I do to avoid periodontal disease?
To keep your teeth for a lifetime, you must remove the plaque from your teeth and gums every day with proper brushing and flossing. Regular dental visits are also important. Daily cleaning will help keep calculus formation to a minimum, but it won't completely prevent it. A professional cleaning at least twice a year is necessary to remove calculus from places your toothbrush and floss may have missed.


The Park Hotel, Kolkata gets five star rating

The Park, Kolkata has been classified as a five star deluxe hotel recently. This is the highest ranking awarded to hotels in India so far. The hotel is centrally located within convenient accessibility to the business areas as well as tourist entertainment and shopping centers of the city.

The Park, Kolkata has re-launched itself with an entirely new look in rooms, restaurants, and other public spaces like Zen, Tantra, Banquet halls, The spa or the Box. Contemporary design, luxurious comfort, high on functionality and ample attitude characterize the new luxury rooms at the Park. Its muted colour scheme and richness of textures added a sober ambience.

The rooms are geared with updated technology to suit business needs of a modern traveler. Internet connection, two-line speakerphone, tea/coffee maker, electronic safe and efficient lighting takes care of all one might need.

The Park Hotels located in other cities namely Bangalore, New Delhi, and Visakhapatnam is India's first collection of luxury boutique hotels. If by any chance you visit Kolkata, don't forget to pay a visit and enjoy their subtle and sophisticated service.

-LS Desk




Being Human…

During some odd hour of one particularly gloomy morning, inside an ancient house in old town Dhaka, in a half-lit room surrounded by thick brick walls, with a ceiling fan revolving fast enough for us to appreciate, I lay next to my grandmother. She read to me a story from "Anondomela Pooja Sonkha," a story that told of an ancient house like ours, which was once filled with life, and now occupied by a lonely old man, stranded by all he knew. I cried silently listening to the poignant story of the abandoned man, and thinking how life changes with time, and age. How people change and find priorities. My eight-year-old mind didn't comprehend all that, but I understood enough to shed tears. My grandmother too cried; she asked if we would leave her alone in our ancient old town house, a traded asset of my grandfather during the 1947 partition. I held her tight and assured her, never; I would never leave her…

I sit here today with an underlined feeling of constant guilt. I spend my day in the comfort of air-conditioned interiors and bottled water, in the security of living in USA, where my biggest current threat is the return of cicadas. My grandmother passed away a little more than a year ago. She spent her last years alone, in our old town house where the walls and alleys carried echoes of our constant childish chatter. Our study tables stood dust-free, toys were found in every corner, she created an illusion, as if we just stepped out to go to school or the playground, leaving her behind. While I created an illusion here, of a perfect present without a trace of the past.

I saw her last, seven years back, a trip to Bangladesh, before starting my undergrad. The plan was to return in four years, but work and "life" took over, others' priorities became mine, the sense of urgency ran towards the potential not the spent. I heard she was terribly ill, but I waited until the last moment. It was only after hearing she was in the hospital bed that I finally issued my visa and sent my passport for renewal. The passport arrived a day too late; my grandmother by then was no longer.

This is not only my story; it is a story of many others. I have met those who make a trip back home once a year, who are more up-to-date with Bangladesh than locals living in Bangladesh. Then there are the ones like me, who take an occasional trip, between several years. Whenever the subject of going back to Bangladesh to visit arises we think about our careers. Can we really take off that month for that long? Will two weeks' vacation be enough? If I spend the money this year on over-priced tickets, will I be able to afford that house I have had my eyes on? The list goes on.

The fact is, we mean it. These are not made-up excuses. We believe them to be an actual factor, a barrier between us and the plane to Dhaka. I don't know if we Bangladeshis are the first to start such a trend of creating the mental distance between home and borrowed land. There are many Italian, Irish, German decedents living in USA who have never set foot in their countries, with generation, their real origins have only became a superficial quality to distinguish between the blondes and brunettes. With years of separation from Bangladesh, will our children who might never visit our native land be only known for their Southeast Asian skin tones and jet-black hair?

I once heard about three Bangladeshi brothers who came here in the 1960s. Two of them, now in their 50s and 60s remain semi-close while the third one chose to get lost somewhere on purpose. The remaining brothers think the omitted one has some huge apple orchard in the mid-west part of USA living with his Blonde American Babe and few mixed babies. This third and lost brother untied himself from his roots. I do not know if he felt guilt or if he feels nostalgia. He weighed his priorities and found his place in life. He never got the news of his parents' deaths, or the marriages of his nieces and nephews. He chose not to know. Isn't that better than where I stand? Knowing yet never taking any action? What do I categorise his behaviour as: being Bengali, being American or just being human? Apparently home is where the heart is. From person to person, it differs where their hearts are. For some it's where love is, for some where there is money…I am not sure if I am materialistic enough to cling on to money or kind enough to fall for love. So my throbbing heart is trying to connect the dots, before I too become missing in a foreign state raising foreign fruits.

By Iffat Newaz



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2003 The Daily Star