Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 35, Tuesday March 8, 2005







Every day is women's day

At the center of all creation were man and woman. They came about with all their differences mentally, physically, spiritually and a lot many more adverbs ending in 'ally'. They are different in so many ways that life also revolves differently around them. So the fact goes, that man is stronger and tougher whereas women are fragile and delicate. Men can do anything and women simply cannot. And that's one of the most ludicrous facts ever.

Ridiculous it might be, but its still an opinion held by some despite glaring evidence to the contrary. There have been and still are incidents where women far outdo men in all aspects of life. Once there used to be women centric nations even traces of which can still be seen in many tribal groups. Women there would participate equally both at home and outside. They ran the gamut of activities from looking after the children to dealing with the communal chores and decisions. Men stood by their side.

In the Muslim religion, we can see that the Prophet Muhammad's (pbuh) wife Bibi Khadija was quite the shrewd businesswoman. His other wife, Bibi Ayesha, fought by his side during wars. Tales from the Indian subcontinent include the brave exploits of Bashir Rani and Chaad Sultana. If we sift through the pages of Greek history, we will find equally notable tales. Many of these women took care of matters both at home as well as outside with equal fervor.

Men generally have been imbibed with an attitude where might is right. Still, generally speaking, they have been known to assert their power by show of strength where women have been subjugated to a life of servitude. They fail to look back at the actual source of the strength that is woman.

International women's day is being celebrated with great zeal all over the world but we should not ignore the fact that every day is actually women's day. Women take part in every facet of life, be it as a homemaker or in the professional world. Take for example agriculture where women work just as hard if not harder than men. In each and every sector be it garments, tea, handicrafts, fashion or medicine, women play a big role. Only in technical matters do women fall behind a little as most women cannot avail the required standard of education.

Rural women form the backbone of the nations economy despite the fact that they receive considerably less education than their urban counterparts. Pretty much every production related activity is carried out by them. Handicrafts, poultry, farming, weaving, pot|ery, shrimp cul|ivation, etc are just a few of |he tasks many women are independently involved in.

Women also symbolize and uphold our traditions and culture. Without the direct involvement of women, no social or cultural event can take place. Look at all the festivities where everything from start to finish has to be handled by women. This fact transcends all the religious and cultural divides, showing women are equally needed no matter what the different occasions may be. As for family matters, nothing is complete without the touch of a woman.

Its not just socio-cultural or financial matters that women participate and excel in but also in the political arena. Running a nation as well as fighting for their rights is a prime example of the strength of a woman. Whether they are successful in their endeavors or not, the reign of our nation lies in the hands of women. This just goes to shows that women can do just about anything. They may stumble some places but the majority is a forward movement and that is why every day is a woman's day.

By Sultana Yasmin
Translated by Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Women's day out

Do you often feel like you're performing a juggling act with unruly kids, a hubby who doesn't help out as much as he should, demanding in-laws/relatives, a career and so on? Do you feel frazzled, over-whelmed and, when you look at your un-groomed self in the mirror (where's the time?), downright unattractive?

A woman, especially a Bengali one, tends to literally devote her entire life to all but herself once she is married with children. In the process, she forgets that she's more than a wife and a mother. There are many ladies out there who have forgotten what it feels like to spend sometime alone, or just cut loose with friends. Well, it's nice to let your hair down once in a while, and re-connect with your selves, and possibly, with those who remind you of who you used to be.

After all, there's more to you than the occasional phone session with your child's classmate's mom about how petty and lazy school teachers have gotten, or how the hired help is making your life miserable. Once every to weeks, or at least a month, a whole day should be devoted entirely to 'your' pursuits, 'your' pleasures, and everything that is centered around--'you'(for a change)!

Take a couple of days off. Granted, being a mother is a full time job, so cheat a bit. Leave the kids with their grandparents, with the hubby, or with a dependable relative, and take off on a trip to Kolkata with your girlfriends. There is no reason why anyone will persecute you for needing that well-deserved break. Whether it is Park Street, Elgin Road, the irresistible Forum Mall, or good old New Market, Kolkata is nothing short of a shopper's paradise.

If you are still weary at the thought of leaving the house, even if it's just for a couple of days, the least you can do for yourself is to take a day off, and a trip to Nawabpur is just the ticket. You don't need a shabby wardrobe as an excuse to indulge in a shopping spree at Islamp}r market or garments market opposite Kotwali thana.

You could also go on a day trip with your shopaholic buddies to Tangail and buy some pretty Tangail sarees. If you're not much of a shopper, day trips and picnics go hand in hand, and scenic surroundings and pleasant company is sure to make your spirits soar. Do make sure you spend this precious time on hand with those that you can completely be yourself with.

You don't need to get out of the house to get away from it all. Plan a potluck dinner wi|h your friends at home or a lit|le barbeque up on the roof. For this, you have to make sure your husband and kids are not around to pour cold water on your party; coordinate well enough so that your 'me-time' coincides with your father's night out with kids, to make your plans foil-proof. Even a couple of golden hours spent with a good friend over lunch or tea is enough to revive you.

You just need to steal some precious days/hours/moments out of your burgeoning schedule with the rest of the world to re-discover the old you.

By Rubaiyat Khan

Diary of a Food Obsessed Person

BY Sam Q

Dearest Diary,
Will wonders ever cease? Just when I was going over my new year's resolutions, and deadlines…….might I add, my failed resolutions and deadlines, guess what? My friend Lisa who was watching the discovery channel with her husband, Misha (the witness) tells me, in the most dead-pan voice that, apparently, obesity, in some cases might be caused by a, VIRUS.

Diary, I knew it, I have the deadly VIRUS. Okay maybe not deadly, but definitely the VIRUS. How can it be possible, (as my mom says) all those years ago, during my Hong Kong days, the McDonalds I had consumed then accounts for my present fat state? Mothers are not always right.

So there!
Not going to the gym, late night snacking, the wedding season, has nothing to do with my stagnant weight. I have got the "VIRUS"!! my above statement almost sounds like the song, "I've got the POWER"

Bless Lisa, for giving me a new lease on life. Now all she has to do for me is to find out the antidote for the VIRUS and I am scot free along with virus free and as she would say, most probably, "brain free".

Yeah, diary, excuses, excuses.
Actually diary, I really wish I had the VIRUS. Then all yo-yoing, futile attempts, depression would all melt away in the horizon of hope.

One incident which still brings a smile to my face, was when once taken to the doctor by Sadia, I was excited to be diagnosed as having the X-syndrome. Eventually it just turned out that, in layman's terms, I basically was a carb addict, and genetically fat. And to find that out, me, Sadia, Minnat, Ina and Shumi all had to fly to Kolkata. The only good thing which came out of that trip was, we all made a friend called "Buri" though I don't know where she is now, but she taught me a whole new chapter on friendship, giving, selflessness and custard apple kulfi.

Bless you Buri, wherever you are.
So diary, adios and have a good day.
Happy cooking.

Lemon Grass Chicken Wings
1 kg chicken wings
1 stalk lemon grass, trimmed, thinly sliced
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

Steamed broccoli and chopped roasted peanuts to serve
1. cut wings into three pieces at joints; discard tips. Combine lemon grass, spring onions, oil, sauces, sugar and garlic in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add chicken; toss to coat well. Cover; refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. transfer chicken mixture to a large, oiled baking dish.
3. cook, uncovered, in a hot oven, 200 degrees Celsius, for about 35 minutes, turning frequently, or until chicken is browned all over and cooked through.
4. serve chicken with broccoli; sprinkle with nuts.

For your eyes

The world is meaningless if you cannot behold the enlless beauty that lies around you. We often neglect our eyes and sometimes remain oblivious about taking proper care of our eyes.

To keep your eyes healthy, grow a habit of eating a lot of green vegetables, tomatoes and carrots. Build a practice of drinking a glass of milk everyday.

Protect your eyes from ultraviolet rays, bright light, dust and wind. Grow a habit of wearing sunglasses to avoid harmful sun rays damaging your eyes. Choose bigger sunglasses to give extra protection to your eyes. If you are a guy then build a habit of wearing hats with a brim. Caps are widely available in Dhaka and they are quite cheap. But if you want to go for a really trendy one then you can check out the outlets of Reebok and Nike. However, caps under such big brands will generally cost you over tk.500.
Say NO to cigarettes. You shorten the life of your eyes as you build fondness for nicotine.

Relax your eyes between long working hours, keep your eyes shut for a few minutes after working for hours in a row.
Always wash your eyes gently with clean water. If dust particles or any foreign body enters your eyes, don't rub, instead rinse thoroughly with water.

Don't read anything in dim light. Your eyes undergo severe stress when you read something under inadequate illumination. Maintain proper posture as you read and write. Do not read in running vehicles.

When working on a computer, keep correct distance from computer peripherals. Try to maintain proper body posture while working at a computer and keep breaks in between working hours.

Check the expiry date of your eye make-up; do not apply eye cosmetics if their usable date has expired. Carefully put on eye make-up; always make sure that no make-up enters your eyes. If you are suffering from any sor| of eye infection, then stay away from eye make-up.
While watching TV, keep a distance of 8 to 10 feet between you and the TV. Keep TV and computer below head level. And blink frequently while watching TV and working on computers.

If you are a patient suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes then you must take significant care of your eyes. Abide by your doctor's instruction all the times.
With proper care, you can give an extended life to your eyes. So, be careful about your eyes.

By Wara Karim


Ls alert

Exhibitions and book fair

You must have heard about Australian e|hnic groups known as the Aborigines. To know moze about their amazing lifestyle visit Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts. With the assistance of Australian High Commission, the gallery is exhibiting photographs focusing mostly on the festivals of the Aborigine people, living in 34 islands of the Torres Strait. The photographs portray their distinct and individual lifestyle. It is definitely an enlightening glimpse of unique spiritual and cultural traditions. The exhibition titled "Kickin' up dust" will continue till March 18. Bengal Gallery is situated at house no 275/F, Dhanmondi road no 27.

If you are interested in crafts and clay work, Tayabuzzaman Topu's solo exhibition "The Craft & Art of Clay" might interest you. The exhibition is organised by Art & Soul Gallery. Star|ing from March 4, the exhibition will go on for ten days. Art & Soul is situated at house no 16, road no 36, Gulshan.

If you are one of those bookworms, Etcetera organised a month long book fair titled "Pan Macmillan Book Month" in their outlet situated at SE (F) 1, road no 140, Gulshan Avenue.

-LS Desk


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