Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 6, Tuesday August 3, 2004






Banking Tips

Nasreen Sattar, Head of International Sales, Standard Chartered Bank

Q. I am a bit confused about the foreign currency amount I am allowed to take per annum? Please advise me, and what is the amount I can bring back undeclared from a trip overseas?

A. As a Bangladeshi national you are allowed to take USD3000/ per annum for trips overseas (other than SAARC countries). For SAARC countries you can take out USD1000/ . Please note to take out foreign currency necessary formalities eg. Ticket, passport, visa etc. have to be provided to the bank. You are allowed to bring back a maximum of USD 5000/ (undeclared) when you return from a trip overseas. Over and above that has to be declared to the custom authority.

Q Will you honour a bearer cheque issued in favour of a limited company presented over your counter by the bearer?

A. A cheque issued in favour of a limited company should always be crossed and presented through clearing. However, if a cheque is issued favouring a limited company presented through a bearer, the maker of such a cheque should put his signature and verify the bearer's signature on the reverse of the cheque.

Style Files
Maheen Khan Fashion designer, Mayasir

Q. Dear Maheen Khan
I am 20.I have a very gorgeous black chiffon sari with some silver threads that is zari in the two side & it has some floral golden zari embroidery in the middle. I am thinking of making a smart short sleeve blouse, which will perfectly suit with that mind-blowing gorgeous chiffon sari and will look elegant & smart. Now I want your help to suggest me which materials will be appropriate for a trendy blouse. Thanks.

A. Dear Maria,
Most chiffon saris have matching crepe blouses attached. But some saris may not come with blouse piece as in your case. Aravinda is an Indian fabric, which is widely used as a great fabric for blouses. It has elasticity, tactile with a large range of colour choice. I would like to suggest the following tips: a. do not line the blouse. b. the length of the blouse should be just over waist line. c. the back should be cut in a square style and go as low as you prefer. d. the sleeves should be cut short 3.5 to 4 inches in length and shaped to provide the right fit. e. piping or cording will provide the right trimming. f. Use a pair narrow string just below the shoulders to hold the back together.

Q. Dear Maheen khan
I am 20 years. I am five feet & one inch. I weigh 53 kg. I have some plain silk materials, which is mauve in colour. I would like to turn it into a salwar kameez. Will you help in telling me how should i make this dress that will not only be gorgeous but also be smart. Will I apply block prints or go for metallic chumki embroidery or both? How would be the neckline & design of the sleeve? Besides this what kind of dupatta will be appropriate with this silk material? Thanks.

A. Dear Orpita,
Mauve is a lovely color choice, for silk. Your weight for your height is balanced as you are neither thin nor on the heavier side. For an out fit to be worn on your evening outs try a traditional suit. Block print on silk is absolutely no. Use trimmings in lighter or darker mauve to give it accent. I would suggest you go for self color chumki, may be in a shade lighter, jut sprinkle in a measured space over the front area of the kameez. Try a v-neckline, sleeves just below your elbow, kameez length should not exceed your knees. Instead of the usual salwer, change the bottom. Cut away with a single slit, pipe it and give it asymmetrical hem line. The width could be about 14 inches. Dupatta is a important accessory so pick sheer fabric in silk or organza.

Q. Dear Maheen Khan
I am desperate for finding my style. I am 20,five feet one inch in height. I weigh 53 kg. My vital statistics is 34-28-36. I have long straight hair. I always love to wear trendy traditional salwar kamez & sari occasionally. I have no problems with short kamez, pants or short kurta. Yet I am confused .Now I want your help in telling me what kind of clothes would be perfect for me that will look good & smart & perfectly suit me. Thanks.

A. Dear Anika,
A young person like you has the leverage and space to experiment. You really still have many more years to find a definite style for yourself. I really don't think you need to worry about it too much now. Let me suggest that you work on your style seasonally. This season, try a straight cut blouse with a short square sleeve with slightly shaped bell bottoms. Where cool shades and heels that give you totally new high and confidence.

Q. Hi
I am 15 and I have a serious problem selecting clothes. Nothing seems to suit me. I am short for my age -5ft and kind of slim. I have a dark complexion and wear spectacles. Please suggest what kind of getup (western) might look good on me. I have straight silky black hair but I just don't fit in all kind of hairstyles. What can possibly be the ideal haircut for me?

A. Dear Mahapa,
Your age, complexion and height does leave you open to a world of options. Since you are slim you could very well try a lose bouffant blouse with a wide attached belt that could be tied on the sides. The belt should sit on your hip but not your waist. This is a fresh look of current trends. Wear cigarette straight pants, this will offset the blouse and create attention. Straight long hair should be cut in layers it will give it more volumes. Tie it in a pony tail or leave it open occasionally.

Extra Caution

Flood dilemma

Most of us are right now inside the claws of a destructive flood that is affecting our lives, causing agonies, miseries and even deaths. During this time serious flood-related accidents and diseases occur and make life further miserable than it already is. Therefore, careful steps must be taken to protect our family and us.

Never attempt to drive into a flooded roadway. It only takes about two feet of water to float most cars. It might seem from a distance that the water is only a few inches deep, but in most cases the depth is way too much to throw you and the car in a helpless state.

Even if the vehicle in front of you successfully crossed a water-covered road, it is best to find an alternative road or to wait.

Remember that moving water of only 6 inches' in depth can knock a person down, so be cautious when you come out on streets during these days.

Clutch children's tightly while you ride in a rickshaw, boat, or anything else.

Cleanse your hands and feet, if possible, your whole body with a quality soap and lukewarm water after you return home at the end of the day. Disinfecting your body properly is the first requirement to keep diseases at bay during these ominous days.

If the tap water in your area has been affected by flood, mix antiseptic liquids like Savlon or Dettol with water, and then use it for your shower.

Children and elderly people are most like to suffer from diarrhoea and skin diseases during this dire period therefore, keep them protected from dirty water, stale food and unhygienic living condition.

By Wara Karim




The Bengali Stars

I often get struck by amnesia, when I can't remember which face is whose and how I know them. I go through that whole "Chena chena lage tobu ochena" phase until someone knocks some sense into me and enlightens me with that person's identity and where from/how/why I know them. This amnesia of mine is a serious threat to Bangladeshi celebrities living in or visiting America.

A few years ago I bumped into a Bengali movie star in the local Bengali grocery store and told her to "move it" as she took too long to move her disproportionate behind walking through the narrow isles posing and profiling to her admirers peaking in behind the piles of eggplants and potatoes. I was given many looks of disapproval for telling her to hurry, it was after all a Bangladeshi film heroin I was talking to, thank God the villain boyfriend of hers was not around, my Bengali vocabulary would have really increased that day with words my parents protected me from hearing all their lives…

Occasionally Bengali "Stars" get invited to come to America for certain programs and events. Even before they make it to U.S.A their concert details get posted in local Bengali stores, bored Bengalis line up with tickets to attend the functions, knowing it will probably be somewhat of a disappointment. Usually these stars never measure up to the expectations of the audiences, and even when they do, their bad attitudes spoil their good performances. And a note to the visiting Bengali film actresses, face it being able to cry in demand as a Bengali actress is not considered a talent, all Bengali women can do that, at any and all given time, so show us something new…

More than half of these stars who are visiting USA which I have intentionally or unintentionally bumped into are in as much in need of a make-over as Saddam Hussain. The men celebrities need to trim their mustaches, nose and ear hair, and if they are lacking all hair they need to machofy themselves if for nothing else just so they are not mistaken as participants of the rally for approving homosexual marriages. It would help if the women celebrities took off their make up once in a while, the piles of mismatched foundation with drawn dark eye brows are really not "in" at the moment and I am not quite sure if it ever was. My advice to the individuals who sponsors these gems would be, right when they fly into the airport instead of taking them to your home where your wife or mother waits with food cooked with butter balls, take them to the clinique counter at the mall, or sign them up for fashion emergency or extreme make-over...anything to help, you have flown them in this far, might as well make them look fly (if possible).

The problem lies in not only the celebrities but among the admirers as well. Some blind fans treat the celebrities with undeserved over-flow of respect. Hobnobbing with the celebrities make them feel exclusive and for that they are ready to do many things from lending them a personal credit cards or paying off their chunky phone bills, giving shelter and giving rides to the moon and back, whatever these gems might fancy. And if the celebrity runs up the credit card bill or permanently stains your thousand dollar Chinas the broke and busted admirer can at least be satisfied with the fact that the damage was done by "talented" hands, mouths or faces…not just anyone but a Bengali star.

In early July at the North American Bengali conference in Baltimore I bumped into a few celebrities from the other side of Bengal. Some of them blended into the crowd better than I could ever. One of the famous writers who traveled from Kolkata didn't even have a place to stay after the whole affair was over and had to take shelter at a fan's house until her plane took her to the allocated destination. I presume this was the other side of the spectrum, treating stars like real human beings with flesh and blood and reminding them they have responsibilities just like any of us…but then again this was too much of an extreme…

I guess we always end up with no choice but the in-betweens, keeping a balance, learning the mediums while being a mediocre treating the Bengali stars of average calibers with standard decency and respect…ahh who am I kidding! I think this Bengali will not meet her stars, the dramas of my own life will keep me occupied for the next few centuries, alas my starless night and days…phew!!!


By Iffat Nawaz
*You can contact the writer by emailing nituta@hotmail.c



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