Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 6, Tuesday July 27, 2004







Blame it on technology

Most people say that women love to talk more than men. So it was probably a woman who created the smoke signals for messaging back in the stone ages. As a result they stopped traveling from cave to cave to talk to each other. That was the first contribution of technology to laziness.

Some guy accidentally created the wheel while trying to form a new type of square. Soon people stopped walking. Later another guy created the telephone and people became lazier still. From the rotary dial, it became the push button system and then you had the speed dial using just one or two buttons. Whatever required less physical exertion was the choice of the population.

Once upon a time people used to sit in big groups in rooms or even under bird dropping laden trees. They preferred to sit there chatting and whiling away the time. People would go and stand in bank lines and complain about the government. They would move around using their legs. People used to be people.

All that is starting to change. An adda is usually known as a useless waste of time that could have been spent in more productive activities like bringing about world peace. Of course, world peace isn't in the realm of everyone's capabilities unless it's the name of a new computer game. People still have addas but the medium is starting to change all because some guys created MSN, Yahoo, Hooray, Yippee, Huhu, Haha and similarly funny sounding chat programs. People sit in front of glowing screens to while away the time. The only movement is done by their fingers. Some people do not laugh out loud anymore. They simply say LOL. (For those still unaffected by technology induced lethargy LOL is chat-speak for Laughing Out Loud.) Chatting has grave effects. Recently a friend was asked to jot down a line in Bangla for a poster. What he wrote was the Bangla line the way it sounded using English letters. It took a few minutes to register. His sheepish explanation was that it is less physically taxing to write using the English alphabet. See the link between technology and laziness?

Even facial expressions are being relegated to ready made drawings depicting different emotions called emoticons. Why use the facial muscles and create wrinkles?

Even cars are being designed like computers. You will no longer need to shift gears or push pedals. You just move the vehicle using a joystick with your hand. Check the General Motors site for further laziness info. Bank lines will go away soon as people purchase things and pay bills online. Heck, you can do all this sitting in an extremely comfy branded armchair called Lazyboy.

All this inactivity will lead to people reverting to their prehistoric stages. Everyone will just be sitting and using their fingers for movement. First the legs will go and then the only thing remaining will be the hands attached to your buttocks. George Orwell was almost correct in his book about Big Brother. The Big Brother is not a physical entity but it is technology that controls our lives. It's a scary future. Think about it. Here I am a full blooded college going male sitting at a computer when I should be out chasing girls. The future is scary indeed.

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Handy Hints

Kay Kraft’s monsoon line

Keeping in mind this Monsoon season, Kay Kraft brings to you a special price offer valid until August 5th. Kay Kraft has introduced its new line and it is available at all of its outlets based all around the city.

For men's wear they are offering fatuas, panjabis, shirts and T-shirts, and for women the store offers sarees shalwar kameezes and ladies fatuas. To top it off, they also offer children's wear. Be sure to look out for their men's fatuas and also the wide range of sarees. The boutique is offering five percent to thirty five percent discount on selected clothes, so rush out to Kay Kraft to find something suitable.

Kay Kraft is open between 10:30 am to 9:00 pm. The outlets are located at Rangs Anam Plaza (Sobhanbag), Baily Road, Kemal Ataturk Road, and Malibagh.

-LS Desk


Diary of a Food Obsessed Person

Sam Q

Dearest diary,
I was going through my old diaries the other day and finally came to the conclusion that, weight loss is not for me. My old entries were quite entertaining and laughable. Diet charts, food intake charts, lifestyle change charts, loss in inches charts, everything under the sun regarding weight loss was there, but, the end result was not as I expected. So, I have decided to embrace fate, and do things that I do best. So from now on, I will dish out diet advice, criticize fat people, cook to my hearts content and basically forgive myself for being fat.

My girlfriends and me where on a holiday last week to Kolkata. My foreign friend specially put things into perspective. She said how I had the "gall" to criticize other people's imperfections, where I was imperfection personified. My reply to her was "I do not have to see me, but I have to see them… the fat ones.

My friend no.2, the perfect one, after missing one meal, declares on the first day of the holiday that no meals were to be missed due to shopping. If only I had made that declaration. I would be in the gallows. Just because the oh! exalted, perfect one made it, we had to comply and pray that one missed meal hopefully has not unperfected the perfect bod. My sister, who has a very deceptive bod, tucked into six dripping roshogullahs in front of my eyes and still looked good at the end of the holiday. Some people have all the luck. And finally my cousin cum friend who is a great champion for food, whom I could relate to in times of crisis in whether one should order the "main course" or not during a quick meal, deserted me for the sari boutique Satya Paul…
or was it Mitha Paul? Any way I am at peace now diary. I have spent enough of my husbands hard earned money on junk magazines, reading about loving oneself. So, here I am today, accepting myself, loving myself as Mcdonalds and the Coca-cola Company wanted me to. My recipe for the day:

Thai Barbequed Salad
1\2 kg thinly sled beef
2 thinly sliced onions
2\3 lettuce bunches
A bunch of coriander leaves
10 crushed garlic cloves
10-15 green chilies chopped finely
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar

Grill or fry beef strips on high heat and set aside. Mix garlic, chili, onion, fish sauce, lemon juice, and sugar. Add beef strips. Mix well. In a platter arrange lettuce leaves, garnish with coriander and whole chilies. My advice for you is, taste the salad before arranging it on the lettuce leaves. Maybe you need to add more lemon juice of sugar to suit your individual taste, my taste buds are difficult to please. So I sometimes add tamarind sauce to the mixture to give it an extra zing. Try and enjoy.



For your carpet
A household without a carpet or a mat is hardly found these days. With all those colourful, trendy carpets, mats and rugs available at stores today, it's truly difficult to take eyes away from them. But remember that neglect and rough use will shorten the life of your favourite carpet.

It not only looks nice but keeping a doormat outside the doorway of a house keeps dirt from shoes at bay. Remember to place a mat with abrasive texture at your doorstep. If possible, keep a doormat with soft texture at the entrance to prevent dust and mud from entering your sweet home.

It is always recommended that you get help from professionals in cleaning your carpets. To stretch the life of your carpets, cleaning is essential. But those small mats that you place outside your bathroom can be easily washed at home. Just soak them in a solution of mild detergent and water for 3 to 4 hours and then cleanse thoroughly with water before exposing to sunlight.

Dry soils damage the texture and fibre of your carpet. Therefore, vacuuming your carpet with a rotating brush will help remove dirt from your carpet.

Don't let small children or even adults sit and eat on your carpets; it's not a table runner! Bits from food like cakes and biscuits are most difficult to remove.

Like most fabric materials, carpet that has more yarn (or stitches) per inch will also be more damage resistant. So keep this thing in mind while purchasing a carpet.

The use of furniture coasters to distribute the weight of heavy furniture is also recommended, especially for home furnishings with wheels. Always take additional care when moving furniture with wheels by putting a protective barrier between the wheels and the carpet.

And lastly, to extend the beauty of your carpets, close drapes or blinds during hours of direct sunlight.

By Wara Karim

Hanging out


There's no denying that Dhaka City is running out of quiet cafés where one can visit to enjoy a cup of tea with friends. Which is why Serenitea might sound just too good to be true.

This tiny garden café is located in a quiet blind alley, away from the noise of traffic and construction. A small space, comprising of three tables, this is the best place to go if you want to spend some alone time with a special someone.

The food is served al fresco under a small shade decorated with tiny Christmas lights, and slow, soothing music in the background. In the left, there is a small fish pond where you can feed the fishes, and in the right, a small grassy plot with fruit trees and herbs, where you can walk about and enjoy the smell of fresh, rain-washed greenery. You can place orders for the orchids you will see there. People suffering from anxiety or hypertension couldn't ask for a better picker-upper.

Serenitea offers a variety of coffee drinks like espresso, cappuccino, etc as well as tea. Now what's a good cuppa without something to go along with it? This is why they have a nice selection of cakes and dal puri, and even Thai soup if you're not really in the mood for tea. Their deep-dark chocolate cake is to die for…and what's really neat is, the cakes are on the house for first time visitors, and that's quite a generous offer, considering that all their prices are quite reasonable even within a student's budget, in fact.

That's not all. They offer lunch on a set menu between 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and the café is open between 4 p.m. and 8pm. You can even order their cakes for special occasions.

So head on to Rd 95, Gulshan for some sweet treats and an hour or so of Serenitea.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



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