Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 16, Tuesday October 12, 2004






Banking Tips

Nasreen Sattar, Head of International Sales, Standard Chartered Bank

Q. What is the meaning of the term 'foreign exchange'?
A1. The term 'foreign exchange' has different meanings. Often, foreign exchange is used to denote foreign currency. When a bank buys or sells foreign exchange, it deals in claims on foreign currency. Thus, foreign exchange may mean foreign currency and claims on foreign currency. The term foreign exchange also includes: (a) the means and methods by which the currency of one country is exchanged for that of another, (b) the causes which make such exchanges necessary, and (c) the forms in which and the rates at which such exchanges are conducted.
In local banking sector "Foreign Exchange" also means "Foreign Trade" i.e. import and export business.

Q. Can you explain the term 'Cross Rate'?
A. The rates of exchange arrived at or quoted by expressing the quotations for any two currencies in terms of a third.


DR. Lutful Aziz FCPS, PHD Consultant "analgesia" Pain relief centre

Dear Doctor,
I love my nineteen year old girlfriend very much. Four years ago she developed Rheumatic Arthritis, and is still suffering from it. She feels much pain in her bones, elbows and knees. She is constantly fatigued and in pain. Her physical ailments have left her mentally unwell.

She has been on medication from the very beginning, and none of it is doing her any good. The pain she has to endure is excruciating. Her height is 5 feet 4 inches, and she weights around 45 kg. Her weight is actually decreasing day by day. My girlfriend has changed many doctors as well as medicines; she is currently taking Unani alongwith her other medicines.

It's very difficult to suggest anything for this kind of complicated pain as you have described. I am not sure what kind of medications she has taken. And what her actual condition is right now. She needs to be re-assessed totally before starting new regime of medications. Nowadays, there are plenty of new options for these kinds of patients. It's better for you to take her to pain clinicians or rheumatologists for treatment. I am not sure about Unani or homeopathics, so no comments.

The other one:
The way you described your localised pain on the heel of your left foot suggests that it may be due to some problems in your heel bone (Calcaneum). It sometime happens that a sharp pointed edge grows on the lower surface of that bone which produces pain on pressure. But it needs to be investigated before the diagnosis can be made. In the meantime you can try wearing extremely soft sandals / shoes and change the style of your walk. That is, try to put the front of the sole before the heel.

I moved a heavy object, but didn't hurt much until the next day. What is going on?
This is a very common scenario for people with acute back pain. Many back injuries are caused by an unexpected twist or sudden motion. This usually results in muscle strain. With either an injury or accident, severe muscle spasms usually last 48 to 72 hours. They are generally followed by days or weeks of less-severe pain. It usually takes two to four weeks to heal completely from a mild back injury. It could take from six to 12 weeks if there are strained ligaments or if the strain is more severe.

Can osteoporosis cause back pain?
Yes, indirectly. The back bones become brittle due to loss of calcium. This is like an old piece of wood that becomes brittle after termite attack. Because there is a great deal of weight on each back bone, those bones can break more easily. This is most common in thin older women who don't get much sun, drink much milk, and never took estrogen supplements. A vertebral fracture often is seen as a "compression fracture". Falls, lifting heavy objects or moving the wrong way can result in a compression fracture.


For men only
O House#02,Road#103, Gulshan-2, Dhaka


What's with men and fashion?
In the 33rd year of independence, Bangladeshi designers are rejoicing over the fact that traditional wear for men is slowly paving a way for itself. This century, men's fashion is being taken to its boundaries. Western influence on men's fashion was strong until about a few years back. Formal attire meant three-piece suits, but now, many enlightened young men are opting for traditional wear for formal occasions. Traditional clothes are stylish yet comfortable, and changes have been brought in the designing of punjabis, kurtas, sherwanis, shawls and stoles. The cuts, styles and designs have been altered to suit the spirit of the younger generation.

So, no more formal shirts! Shirts have found their way in cuts, texture, fabrics, pinstripes, candy stripes, broad checks, herringbone, and hounds-tooth patterns, including floral motifs. Use of embroideries in traditional and ethnic wear is in, and is carefully colour-coordinated with the chosen fabrics. It has replaced somber greys, blues, and whites that used to dominate men's wear. Men are warming up to two-tone colour fabrics as well. This new found confidence allows them to experiment and explore further with tones of mauve and even pink, colours which were once considered feminine, but are now trendy. To sum it up, it seems men's couture has come a long way; men's fashion nowadays seems to be a statement of "anything goes as long as you, the wearer is comfortable in it."

Dear 02,
I'm a 21year old, and would like to know whether it is appropriate to wear traditional clothes to a formal occasion?

Dear Confused,
The dress code for most formal gatherings is lounge suit / traditional. Traditional attire is perfectly acceptable for formal occasions, though one has to be careful about what one wears. Under no circumstances should you dress in casual outfits and assume that they would work formally.

Dear 02,
I'm in my early 20's. I would like to know what types of shoes I should wear with what kinds of clothes.

Dear Karim,
For formal wear, shoes such as black and dark brown are preferable, but these days you can try colours such as chocolate, burgundy and mahogony. Only make sure that the colours of the shoes match with the belts you will be wearing. For causual wear (demin with t-shirt or gabardine) sneakers are the best option.


Diet for anaemic persons

Anaemia is a common problem among Bangladeshi women and children. Primary reason behind this situation is lack of diet sense. Good diet is essential for anaemic persons. The best food would be liver, egg, chicken, soya and green vegetables with iron. Eat lots of citrus fruit, as vitamin C is an integral part of iron formation. Vitamin C helps human body to absorb iron from different food.




I was 18, free as bird. Not living the 18-year-old life I would be living if I were in Dhaka. I was away from home living in the dorms at the university. Classes and study-load were a big excuse to pretend a studious frenzied schedule to parents and Friday nights always brought a new beginning to exciting weekends…everything was new and fresh and I let myself drift away by it's force and become a thread of the current.

The high school I went to was attended mostly by Caucasian population, among them I always got a special superficial attention, the Princess Jasmine among thousands of Cinderellas. College broke that status of mine instantly. There I was merely another brown girl who acted too white. There was a huge South-east Asian population, Indian and Pakistani, and my features were half as sharp compared to the tall Punjabis and blue-eyed Kashmiris to be noticed, the most I could do is blend in with them to be the average Desi girl.

In the beginning I kind of liked the mélange but I never really got accustomed to it. See an 18-year-old girl never wants to be classified as "one-of-them" she always wants to be "one-of-a-kind" and to be categorized with a huge sect I was to say the least very disappointed.

And the disappointment was also regarding another part of my identity. The identity that still classified me as a Bangladeshi. If I didn't specify where I was from everyone from this side of the world and even some non-Bangladeshis thought I was just another Indian. Which was not a terrible thing, but my Bangladeshi identity was never direct enough to be revealed, unless I spoke out. And often I choose not to speak out, after all who ever heard of Ms. Bangladesh winning the Ms. Universe competition, and how many Ms. India's have bagged that special acknowledgment?

Strangely us Bangladeshis living abroad possess a sixth sense about detecting each other's origin. Even though a lot of our appearances are similar to South-Indians, carrying an all in all rice-and-daal-consuming-look, a Bangladeshi can always spot another fellow Bangladeshi in a room full of Desi faces.

Anyway, that was not my problem. My problem was the fact that I was no longer feeling as special. I wanted to be recognized. Sure I could do it through some other talent of mine, but it was much easier to get appreciation and recognition through physical/superficial beauty, it had faster results, popularity and attention was easily achievable with an eccentric, exotic, stunning look. So being just another half-insecure and shallow college girl I looked for a way out of the classification and a way into the world of glamour and recognition, to be apart.

So it came to me. The answer was FACES. It was a fashion show organized by the Asian association of our university. This fashion show was sponsored by big brand name companies to show case their clothes only in Asian bodies, their objective was to cover their quota of minority activity for the year as well as advertise their clothings. They knew the young Asian population would jump at the chance to be models at this fashion show.

So I went to audition. Nervous but also confident, I knew no other Bangladeshi was auditioning to be a part of this pretence, and I could be the minority among minorities which would give me a better chance to be a model flaunting my face in FACES. I knew the Asian Organization would think twice before getting rid of me, they would want to show their race equality by having at least one token Bengali.

I was right, they picked me, three hundred some Asians had auditioned, more women than man, out of that the judging committee had picked 25 to-be-models. I was the only Bangladeshi (surprise surprise); there were two other brown toned faces with me, one Indian and one Pakistani.

I walked wearing the brand names in petite sizes, my face was now known, among the thousands of others I was one of the 25 special Asian models, I would be remembered, even if it was temporary, maybe for a few months, few days? Still…
I felt like I arrived where I wanted to…using Bangladesh's name.

If you are thinking this was a story full of enchantment and pride you are wrong. This was a confession. A declaration of guilt to a terrible mistake I had committed while I was 18. For my selfish benefit I had used the name of my country, of its people, my intention was not to represent them, it was only to represent me, the brown wanna-be-exotic, attention crazy Bengali girl. And now as I sit here, not as stunning and attention crazy, I seek forgiveness. My country's name is being used and abused everyday by many self-claimed patriots, I am not a patriot, I am just another Bangladeshi girl who made her mistakes and now claims to know better.


By Iffat Nawaz


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