ever burgeoning waist-lines, unattractive derrieres, and even double
chins seem to be plaguing many Dhakaites, what with the umpteenth dinner
invitation to attend, and which inevitably turn out to be more or less
of a grease fest! As a result, our lifestyles 'require' us to make regular
pilgrimages to the gym. But wait. With burgeoning waistlines come an
influx of gyms all over the city, and choosing a good one becomes tiresome
in itself. South Avenue (44 South Avenue, Rd 134, Gulshan 1) comes to
the rescue with not only regular gym facilities but fun aerobics, yoga,
dance, and even ballet classes for children.
The health club
had opened its doors four an a half years back in June 2000. Murshed
Sayeed, consultant and specialist at South Avenue, mentions that the
dance classes have been newly introduced on December 1st 2004, and are
offered as a two month long course where eight different dances are
taught These include the Latin American Tango, Mamba, Rumba, Cha-Cha,
Salsa, combined with Merengue and the European Waltz and Foxtrot. Dancing
away those calories certainly doesn't sound like a bad idea. One may
learn all eight dances or choose to selectively master a few. Majid
Shikhaliev is South Avenue's Russian dance instructor, and the fee for
the course is Tk 3,000, with classes twice a week (Saturdays and Wednesdays)
at 6:00PM-7:30PM for ladies only, while common hours for both men and
women are 7:30-9:00PM. There is no age limit per se, and those who are
14 years and above may join the course. The age range is 5-17 for children
and adolescents who wish to participate in the Ballet classes. These
are held twice a week as well (Saturdays and Wednesdays), from 4:00PM-5:30PM,
and cost the same as the adult dance course.
Yoga classes will
be offered starting January 1st 2005. While aerobics was, till now,
solely for women at South Avenue, they will be introducing one for both
men and women sometime in January. The gym is the only one in Dhaka
that opens at 6:00AM and closes at midnight. Their exercise equipment
are all 'Life Fitness Brand' (USA), which has been awarded as the best
in the world. Dance and aerobics classes are held on the ground floor.
Both floors have showers, washrooms and lockers, and guest members may
use their steam, sauna, jacuzzi and all other basic features with no
extra charges. There is a Lady's hour (10:00AM-2:30PM) where curtains
are drawn to give the maximum amount of privacy, and common hours are
As you enter South
Avenue, there is a cozy café to your left where you can chill
out, watch TV and play some foosball. The ambience, the privacy, and
all that this health club has to offer makes it worthwhile. And last
but not least, to add icing to your cake, you'll be shedding that excess
flab in no time at all.
The festive spirit does not have to leave you. There are hosts of birthdays,
marriages and other special occasions to look forward to. And what could
be better than to give friends and family beautifully crafted candles
from Aarong? Not only are they relatively inexpensive but they are guaranteed
to win customers for their aesthetic appeal. With colours such as pink,
red, green and blue, there's a candle to match the interiors of every
home. There are also delicate diyas in various shapes. The floating
candles are popular draws. The candle prices range from Taka 5-210.
For those with a taste for candle stands, there are plenty of designs,
which go for Taka 40-270.
There are shawls for every taste and budget. Starting up with woolen
shawls for Taka 675 onwards, there are also silk varieties with Nakshi
Kantha (Cost: Taka 2000-3000). For every woman, there are such exquisite
shawls with an array of colours --black, cream and blue among others-at
the Kumudini showroom. Shawls are a great way to complement your attire--be
it salwar kameez, saris or western clothes. What's more, apart from
this, they are comfortable for Dhaka's mild winter. So wrap yourself
up in these beautiful creations.
Good bags are a fashion statement. Go to Essentials and you will come
across bags for every budget and design. For those with a taste for
Bibi Russell's creations, there are several reasonably priced, brightly
coloured jute bags (ranging from Taka 250-400), canvas bags (in the
range of Taka 250-300) which bear the renowned designer's logo. Apart
from these, there are leather bags (without the Bibi label) of different
colours and sizes (ranging from Taka 900-1500) which make for well-teamed
Stepping out of your house in one of these bags will definitely enrich
your personality. In fact one bag of each kind--canvas and leather--is
a good add on to the casual and formal elements of your dress.
What could be more interesting than shopping in the delightful Sally
Ann? With music and a little coffee spot--complete with waffles--the
store is definitely worth a visit. Among the attractions are leaf items
such as laundry baskets (Taka 550-650), small boxes (Taka 210), trays
(in the range of Taka 110-150), coasters (Taka 130 each) and place mats
(oval ones go for Taka 100 each and Taka 110 for the square products).
The leaf products
come from Zinidha village in Jessore district. In the process of buying
these beautiful creations, you also help supplement the income of the
Home is supposed to be a haven of peace, right? Is it always the case?
Ringing phones and blaring TV sets can disrupt the calm in your house,
and combined with the worries and problems of parenting or homemaking,
peace becomes just a word. Add some clutter to the equation, and you've
got the recipe for stress. So, to bring back the serenity to your
home, just follow some simple handy hints.
Running a household invariably involves a lot of co-ordination to
juggle the various routines of the different family members. To minimise
confusion, select one corner in the house as a 'control deck'. Keep
a calendar with large date squares to write down schedule reminders
in it, or opt for a wall organiser. A bulletin board is also a quick
way to organise memos and reminders.
'A place for everything and everything in its place' a motto that
sums up the basic principle of clutter control. Where things are stored
should be based on practical grounds. Stash your flashlight next to
the fuse-box, where you can easily grab it. Keep a clothes hamper
in the washroom to dump unwashed clothes into it. Keep a box in your
room where you can put items in it while you're cleaning the room.
Hooks make for easy and painless temporary storage. You can hang handbags
and other items on them instead of having to hunt for places to store
Keep one area for dealing with paperwork, and make sure you have a
wastebasket handy. Files are your friends; instead of tucking in slips,
bills and letters here and there, file them neatly in properly labelled
plastic files, so you can access them at a moment's notice.
This is a simple Economics principle that can spell efficiency for
your household. Divide chores amongst the family members. Set schedules
according to priorities; those tasks that have deadlines have to be
dealt with first. When setting tasks for children, don't treat it
like punishment: "Do your homework, or I'll make you clean the
bathroom", so that the don't dread it. Most importantly, get
the dad actively involved, because, as Don Aslett of Clutter's Last
Stand puts it, "The father's example is the biggest governing
factor of whether or not the children clean up house."
For most people, parting with stuff that is basically useless but
has sentimental value is tantamount to torture. Yet, as the hoarded
objects pile up and add to the clutter, cleaning house becomes a nightmare.
The way to avoid this is to discard in small instalments. Take it
one drawer or shelf at a time. Sort all the items according to their
usefulness, and before you store it away again, ask yourself 'Do I
really need this?" If you answer yourself honestly, you'll have
a lot less clutter before you know it. People underestimate the impact
of clutter on the psychological well being of a household. A little
organisation is all it takes to make a home the haven it really should
Sabrina F Ahmad
Sri Lankan woman and her son light candles during a memorial service
at Colombo University to mourn the deaths of tsunami victims, 31 December,
2004. Sri Lanka observed Friday as a national mourning day after nearly
30,000 people, including over 100 foreigners, died in the 26 December
tidal wave disaster. PHOTO: AFP