|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 13, Tuesday September 21, 2004|
Colouring one's hair seems to be one of the latest rages in Dhaka. The trend has been around with women folk for a while now, but it seems to have literally spread its roots, to speak, amongst men, especially the younger generation. Ranging from teens to males in their early twenties, both prefer to add a little of what they feel to be an amount of pizzazz to their dark manes.
There are several salons in Dhaka catering to this young, male section of their clientele. To name a few, the more popular places appear to be 'Total Care', 'Sicily' and 'Men's Planet'. 'Total Care' boasts of using the best of products for colour treated hair. For shampoos and conditioners, they use 'Keune', a French brand. 'Sicily' on the other hand was unwilling to disclose the specific brand of products they use for colour treated hair, and would only reveal that they use an Italian brand. Both offer permanent as well as temporary colours for hair, but in most cases, young men opt for the temporary kind at these parlous. Ms. Sonial R. Khan, Managing Director of 'Total Care', admits that her clients are not generally fussy about the brands in question, or even hair colour choices for that matter. However, she also adds that shades of blondes and reds are common favourites amongst young men. They also prefer highlights to their spiked hairdos (spiky hair with gel being a popular style nowerdays) as opposed to completely colouring their hair. Those who prefer not to go to salons have the option of using colour hairsprays available in the market; a good portion of them uses these sprays.
It is also a common trend to keep changing hair colours. Teens especially are known to change and to try out different hair colours consistently. It seems that it is not so much about trying to find out which colours suit them best, as much as wanting to attract attention. Apparently many colour their hair certain shades of blue / blue-green and so on, at underground rock concerts to draw attention to them. The idea is, the louder the colour adorning one's hair, the better. This suggests a certain adherence to the Punk culture in the 80's. Though it would look odd, even unsightly to many, and surely coloured hair may not suit all young men that opt for it, one thing could be said for this latest trend, that it allows for a healthy dose of freedom of expression. As they say, 'All the more power to ya!
By Rubaiyat Khan
Weddings in all over the world are done in their own unique way. They are different and yet similar. It is an occasion of happiness, joy, a new beginning for two special people.
Bengali weddings have certainly transformed through time. It is more commercial now. From putting "henna" on, to decorating the stage, are all done by professionals. Trained people come in to put henna on bride's hand. Florist comes in with design books for the stage. There is a DJ who plays mostly Hindi songs. And the list goes on and on.
When did we loose our good old simple, yet elegant weddings? What happen to the family and friends who stayed up all night to put "alpona"? We somehow lost the traditional Bengali songs to "bangra", and modern Hindi songs. Are our traditional Bengali songs not suited for weddings anymore? Is "ut chari tor bea laigase", "holud bato mehendi bato", and "shanai" does not sound good to our ears?
Plain Holud sari has altered to gorgeous expensive sari that the bride wears, and stays in prudence so not a drop of holud touches the sari. "Gada Ful" ornaments has changed to 20,000 taka flower ornaments. That looks quite like gold ornaments. Nicely stitched, and in place. You can tell it is not the work of an unprofessional close cousin or a friend. The meaning of holud has changed with time. It is not suppose to get on the sari or groom's silk Punjabi. Having a friendly holud fight is totally "back dated" and chaotic.
To me holud still means "lal pare holud sari", alta, mehendi and fun holud fight between cousins, dulabhais, and sisters.
I still think there is no substitute for "shanai" and traditional Bengali songs. No florists can replace the fun of family and friends working day and night at the weddings. It might not be picture perfect, but it certainly is filled with love.
Most wedding is now the replica of weddings from Hindi movies. From the songs, to the clothes, to the jewelry, and even the video of the weddings are filled with Hindi songs, and fake fireworks, and scenery from Hindi movies.
Things have certainly changed. Maybe it is a sign of us not falling behind. Maybe our taste has changed; maybe the definition of "modern" has trapped us; or maybe, just maybe we are loosing our rituals slowly.
By Iffat Zia
Confession of a despondent mother
Things in front of me appeared dark; it's almost getting night outside, I suddenly noticed that I have been staring outside the window, since when I can't remember now. Time seems to have no value for me. I don't feel when the morning comes and disappears. Most of the time I'm cloaked under an uncertain thought these days. Precisely it has been 10 days since I discover I am carrying an unexpected child. I do know what should I do about him/her that everybody does with an unexpected baby elaborate the fetus before the actual life is formed. Though medical term has defined it just as a thick collection of cells, nothing else. But since the day its been formed I could feel its each heart beat. I know doctors will disagree. But who knows how a mother feels inside her womb while a life is being formed…what kind of feelings overwhelm her thoughts all the time… she can feel the baby…. plays with it…talk to it…. I have been talking with him all the time since I knew its existence. I am talking about him cause I feel like it's a he (probably most mothers feel that way). My son is growing inside … and I am preparing for his death. I told him about our social system, about my mistake that brought him in this world, even though it was some moments of intense love. But he felt extremely bad when I told him that I cant bring him in this world, I told him about both - the cruelty and beauty of this nature. He wanted to come… I felt so hopeless and despondent, wish I could go to some other place where I could give birth to my baby, I know I have done something wrong but its also true that why my little babu shona be punished for it. I know he deserve this place more than me. Oh God ! If there were some procedure that I could bring him and instead God would take me, surely I would do that.
My Dear Baby, today I'm going to wash you away, as you are a product of sin done by me, I know this earth value the sin more than a life, LIFE the most important object of this universe. During the process of elimination I couldn't stop crying, I could feel him screaming when some pressure jolted the fetus and brought out the blood flow through a pipe… washing my womb, clearing it from an unexpected life, I could hear his voice before he left, I could hear him shouting, " Mom, don't let me go like this, don't kill me, give me one chance to see the wonderful earth you are living in, let me just be there for once". I inwardly uttered "This earth is not as wonderful as you thought my dear, it would have let you live if it were, it punished you for a sin that I have encountered, but you must not forgive me ever for such heinous action towards you, never…ever."
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