Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 39, Tuesday April 5, 2005






Agony Medic

Dr. Lutful Aziz, FCPS, PHD, Consultant and Head. Dept. of Anaesthesia, ICU and Pain management. Apollo Hospitals. Dhaka.

Q. Dear Dr.
Just a month ago I broke one of my toe finger bone. The doctor did not give any bandage to heal or any specific medicine. Latest X-ray reports have shown that the fractured bone attached but it is a little crooked. When I have to walk a little more than usual I have pain in my toe. The toe and the adjacent area gets swollen. I would like to know whether the crooked bone is going to cause me any trouble in the future and is there any special physiotherapy to get rid of the pain and swollen condition? Thank you and hope to hear from you soon.
Fatema Begum

The best thing for you would be to go to an orthopaedic surgeon. If it is still crooked as you say, you must take some extra care for your toe. You should be careful not to put any pressure on your toe during walking or with your shoes. Otherwise you might suffer. But the suggestion is to go to an orthopaedic surgeon.

Q. Dear Dr Aziz
I have been experiencing a weird pain in my knee joints lately. I went to the doctor thinking that I broke my knee joint, although I don't remember hurting myself. X-ray reports did not show anything special. The doctor then told me to have a blood test done for Rheumatic Fever but the results came negative. I regularly feel pain in my knee joints. I feel a little better if I walk for a while. My doctor told me that the liquid in my knee joints are decreasing. Can you explain what this means and what should I do to get rid of the pain?

Doctors don't usually give enough time to a patient in our country or explain in detail. I would like to know a little more about my condition. Please help. Tania Afsar

It is very difficult for me to explain to you in details exactly. Your complaints are not enough to go to a conclusion. It can be due to many factors depending on your age, your work conditions, your daily routine etc. If you go to an expert with all the details he might be of help. But one thing I can say is that you should be careful with your knee. Don't wear high heels, avoid stairs, don't bend your knees more than 90 degrees. And you should perform some knee exercises.

Q. Dear Dr.
I have read a few of your columns on back pain, so, I thought you would be the right person to ask the following question. Five months ago my wife gave birth. It was a normal delivery but with a few complications. After delivery she began to experience pain in her lower backbone area. Elders are saying that it is related to childbirth. The pain becomes serious if she tries to do any household job like washing clothes. I know I am being vague about the problem but hope you can give me an explanation. Is it possible to hurt the backbone during childbirth? If yes then what should be done about it.
N. I.

Yes, you are right, you are very vague. It usually happens that during pregnancy the weight in the lower abdomen causes some back pain. But it then disappears after child-birth. During some complicated delivery, the lower tip of the back-bone sometimes hurts. It causes some pain during sitting. The heavy workload of managing the small baby is very tiring and this is also a factor for back pain. The best thing is to take care of your back. Do not bend your back like during washing clothes, wiping and sweeping floors, lifting heavy objects, using the low pan in toilet. Walking is a good exercise. Back exercises should improve the condition. If it still hurts, go to an expert

Style Files

By Maheen Khan Fashion designer, Mayasir

I am very slim and cannot wear silk or georgette saris. When I go to parties I have to manage with cotton or taat saris. I want to wear glamorous saris in wedding parties. Can you suggest any bright, colourful synthetic saris like Benaroshi that will suit a slim girl?

I believe if you are slim you could possibly carry off anything. But since you insist you look too thin, here are different weights and weaves of silk saris. Let me mention a few types. Patolu, Tanchoi, Gharchola, Patola, Gorad, Baluchari and Banaras brocades. All these saris are heavy silk saris. I would suggest if you feel uncomfortable in chiffon or georgette try these timeless pieces. True Banarasi saris are never made in synthetic fibres. Moreover, there are a great many silk saris that are embroidered with for example, reshmi karchopi, kantha, or appliqué embellishments. All of the above saris are formal weaves and styles I seriously think you cannot go wrong with. You will look glamorous and stunning.

I am about to get married in two months. Every wedding party I have been to, the bride wears red, biscuit, golden or maroon and the groom wears cream or golden colour sherwani. I find it very boring and I want to wear something different. My skin colour is almost dark and my future partner's skin colour is fair and we are both quite slim. Can you suggest any interesting colour for sari and sherwani and also cuts for sherwani and blouses that is new, bold, sleek and in vogue these days. I would also like to know about cholis and ghagras. I haven't seen any brides wearing it. Would it be too bold to wear sleeveless blouse on the day of the occasion?

Through the ages Bengali brides have always worn red saris at their weddings. In recent years we have seen a change in trends where it is common to find brides in gold, beige, ivory saris. I think if you really want a change, try peach, lilac, or light emerald hues. You can even look at the antique colours in muted copper or bronze which will match the new jewellery which are in style. I would always suggest a heirloom weave in Kangiveram or Paitni but if you prefer light weight you can also try net or silk chiffon worked with thread embroidery and finished with jewel like stones of kundan and swarovski. The blouse can be sleeveless or in short cap sleeves; there is no need to worry about acceptance as really anything goes these days, as long as you can carry it off gracefully. Sherwani jackets or short Armani style prince coats are deshi versions of formal suits for the groom. In a summer wedding, light colours are recommended. Ghagra cholis are Rajasthani peasant outfits normally not worn at weddings. North Indians wear lehenga joras for weddings. These are bias cut skirts with blouses and an orni. This is of course another option you could try as it can also be very smart.

I've got a four year old daughter, and this business of kids' fashion is really bewildering! I hate the 'miniature adult' look that seems to be in vogue these days. I think my little one is too young to go prancing around in a Komalika style lehenga. I am also not an advocate of Christmas-cake style frilly frocks. Could you please suggest an appropriate style for my daughter?

I can't agree with you more on the subject of dressing little girls. It is evident that formal children's wear is imitating adult fashion. You don't need to follow such trends. You can sit back and do your own thing. A-line dresses with sleeveless tunic style is a classic one for kids. It can be made with or without patch pockets. Dresses with umpire waistlines are a smart option which can be styled with either bias cut lower piece or a single knife pleat at the centre. Lehengas, ghagras, salwer suits are South Asian interpretations. You can drop these concepts all together if you find it too fussy. I hope my suggestions will come in handy.

By The Way

Natural age busters

Gorge on the following anti-age busters, and keep looking younger for longer: Cabbage is great for your skin, thanks to its collagen-boosting properties, and grapefruit is loaded with Vit C and helps prevent rough and dry skin.



To you Dhaka: to you and to all your hidden curves

I missed you today so I went and got ice cream in the middle of winter. Or are they calling this spring now? For me it's still cold, it's still just as frozen. The ice cream shop is mostly empty shamelessly flaunting its out-of-season flavours, the sherbets a little too brightly orange and the peppermint candy too shimmery with pink.

I walked around, looking at each flavour, and surprising myself I ordered a small cup of orange chocolate chip. I guess I wanted a change without knowing I did. My default flavour has been strawberry for ages and today I moved on. I couldn't look straight at the strawberry bucket after ordering, I felt that unfaithful guilt…I was still thinking about you.

I sat down at the window, looked out to the crowd on the street. The St. Patrick's Day crowd everywhere, muddled together, greened out, sucking on green candy and drinking green beer. The Harley Davidson riders right in front of me, stood there, their eyes my way…then a wink…I wasn't flattered, I wasn't disgusted either, didn't feel like a piece of meat or like some exotic beauty, I just missed you…so I looked away…

This morning I woke up with clogged ears, the kind that you get when you are on an airplane with loads of turbulence. Flying in my dreams; was I dreaming of reaching you? Going through pockets of air dead and alive, did I go through silent vacuums? I still can't hear properly right now but I can feel…and I know I miss you.

The other day I was trying to remember your number, but I couldn't. I heard they changed a lot of numbers in Dhaka, that was a long time ago no? The 251s are now 711 and 238s are now 862s…but I didn't know what yours was, so I couldn't dial it. Or did I try? And failed over and over again and then gave up. I knew I was never meant to reach you. But I still missed you.

I often forget your face; I often forget what you look like, what you feel like, who you are. But I often forget what I look like as well. Sometimes I get confused when I look in the mirror, catch my shadow or a glimpse of my reflection on some glass window advertising clothing I could never fit into. I am still the short Bengali girl, the one who eventually gets over the insecurity of being short, move on to the high heels and finally get locked in comfortable flats. I looked at my toes, almost naked with two toe rings in the midst of this confusing winter and spring, and I missed you.

I don't miss you when I see couples walk by, two bodies mashed up in one, I don't miss you when a candle light dinner floods over and out the window of a temporarily blessed two-some. I don't miss you when I see locked hands and diamond necklaces hugging gifted necks, I don't miss you when I watch tragic love stories, or happy ones, I don't miss you when I turn off the lights.

I do miss you when I turn the lights on, and in between breaths when no one pays attention, I miss you when I look up and see the blank made up sky, I miss you when my busy steps spell out the phrase "I miss you," I miss you when smiles turn melancholy and depression turns into evenings. I miss you when the smell of blossoming gardenias gets overtaken by the subtle scent of non-existent beli phool in my half dying garden. I miss you not between sentences but phrases and not between hours but the carefully counted minutes…

I am not far from you and yet I am no where near. I was never there, were you are, were you were, and yet it feels like I had lived a life with you, beside you, celebrated you, celebrated us, you made the impossible happen and I smiled gracefully, you took my mehendi covered hands and I melted at your touch. Something circled around us, they were fragmented faint echoes whispering "I miss you."

Ours might be nothing extra-ordinary. Ours is created by one glimpse, by no words spoken between millions. Ours can be the story that everyone wants to forget or the story that everyone wants to hide and cherish, ours can be the story that never made it to any untold or told list… in between the forgotten and unforgotten. But I know I miss you…you who can be just a figment of my imagination, just some broken fractions, some lost waves, just a guarded face with an ingenuous soul…yet a girl misses you…over and over again…

By Iffat Nawaz


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