Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 67 Tuesday October 18, 2005




Nasreen Sattar Head of International Sales, Standard Chartered Bank

We had this query regarding the new Standard Chartered Gift cards and we asked our banking expert for a low down on the offer.
How does the Gift Card work?

Gift Card is a Prepaid Card, issued by Standard Chartered Bank which can be used everywhere -- Visa credit or debit cards are accepted online. It looks like any Visa credit /debit card, but because it is a prepaid card, spending is limited to the amount of money placed on the card by the purchaser. After each transaction through a Gift card, the prepaid value is automatically deducted for the same amount.

Unlike a gift certificate, which limits the purchases only at a particular place, a Standard Chartered Prepaid Gift Card can be used at all the places where Visa debit/credit cards are accepted electronically.

Will any shop take it or is there any particular shops were we can use it ?
As this is a Visa Card, the Gift Card recipient has the option of using this card to buy any product from merchant outlets across the country that accept Visa Cards electronically. Gift card recipients can also avail exclusive discounts on their purchases at a wide range of merchant outlets. Some of the outlets are: Aarong, Artisti Collections, Club Gelato, Etcetera, Ecstasy , Gallerie Apex, Philips, Planet Fashion, Reebok, Rupahali, Shoppers World, Tangail Saree Kutir, Words 'N Pages etc.

How will it work like an ATM card please explain?
Each Gift Card is delivered with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) which the Gift Card recipient can use along with the gift card to withdraw cash from Standard Chartered Bank ATMs.

How and where can I get this card?
Everyone can enjoy the benefits of Standard Chartered Gift Card, even if they do not have an account or a Credit Card with Standard Chartered Bank. Instant-Issue Gift Cards with preprinted messages are available at Standard Chartered branches for immediate over-the-counter delivery which anyone can pick-up to meet their immediate need. Gift Cards can also be personalized with the recipient's name and a personal message by applying for the same at any Standard Chartered branch. Gift Card Purchaser can load-up the Gift Card for any amount ranging from Tk. 1,000 to Tk. 100,000; while paying only a nominal issuing fee. Payment can be made in cash or from the Standard Chartered Credit Card/Account. Standard Chartered Bank is offering 100% discount on the issuing fee of Gift Cards during the holy month of Ramadan.

Keeping in mind the diversity of the occasions for which one would need the Gift Card, Standard Chartered offers various attractive design options to choose from. So give your friends, relatives or a new newly wed couple a shopping spree and relax as they will find the perfect gift.

Dr. Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist, Counsellor and Therapist

I am a 29 years old journalist. I usually stay up late at night. Morning sleep is my favourite. I have a separate room and I shut the door when I sleep. My entire family is very loud. During the morning they are even louder or may be it seems louder to me. Most of the mornings I wake up with a bad mood because I feel disturbed. Every morning I am angry with everyone for making so much noise. Sometimes the bad mood lasts for the entire day. It is even affecting my work. Please tell me why I feel so bad after waking up and how I can control my bad mood.
Staying up late at night and finding morning sleep very satisfying is a common problem particularly in your age range. Sleep cycle depends largely on lifestyle. By nature, humans are diurnal. We are active during the day and rest at night. However, if our lifestyle (work, eating habit, social life, emotional status etc.) upsets this biological clock and set up a new cycle, body slowly gets adjusted to the new rhythm. It appears here that you are waking up every morning from the loud noise in the house and find yourself in a very bad mood to start your day. This is happening probably because you are sleep deprived. Modern society sees sleep as an inconvenience and so often we hear that "time is money", who would want to waste (!!) time in sleeping. Fact is however sleep deprivation reduces ones productivity in work by influencing mental status (attention, concentration, cognition, mood etc.). On an average, people of your age (16years to 65years) require 6-9 hours of sleep. There are exceptions too; some people can function well even with 4 hours of sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation leads to irritability, hypersensitivity to noise, and sleepiness in the daytime etc.

If sleep deprivation is due to lifestyle choice, then making some changes in that choice has to be the goal. In your case, you are the one "against the tide" in your family. So, changing your routine would be more realistic to fit in well in the family atmosphere.

Working in the night shift could be another reason. The best response to shift work is maintaining a schedule i.e. going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. If your family members are not co-operating with you to get the necessary sleep, you have to think of other realistic solutions (using an ear plug, moving to the room farther away from kitchen or family area, hanging a "silence please" sign as a reminder etc.).

If shift work is not involved, it is always wise to try to bring your sleep cycle to the normal nighttime. Avoid drinking tea, coffee in the later half of the day. Stress, Anxiety and Depression can also interfere with the sleep cycle. Most often, these emotional states are only temporary, if not then consult a mental health professional. Avoid TV, Internet, telephone calls in the late night and make your environment (room temperature, light, etc) at bedtime as sleep- friendly as possible. People with sleep cycle disturbances initially find it difficult to fall asleep earlier in the night. Despite incomplete sleep, getting up from bed at a fixed time in the morning (using an alarm clock for that purpose) and not taking naps in the daytime usually facilitates the following night sleep at an earlier hour. Exercise or physical activity in the daytime is also helpful to gain good sleep.

Parlour wise

Herbal Solutions - Day Spa and Beauty Studio

Herbal Solutions is the first and only day spa in Bangladesh, which has been created keeping in mind the look, feel and services of a Spa in Bangladesh.
A spa combined with the functional advantages of a beauty studio, Herbal Solutions is the perfect place for women of all ages to spend a few hours being pampered and indulging in all things herbal. A tastefully trendy lounge provides an assortment of herbal teas and fresh juices on the house, the salon room provides hair, hand and feet spas, the massage room is where a variety of herbal facials and massages are provided and finally the jacuzzi room, decorated with wood and mirrors, has just the right luxurious feel.
Wood, stone, bamboo and cane have been used in the interior to provide a feeling of a tropical oasis. Along with the serene tropical feel, an assortment of herbal treatments made from fresh and dried herbs, spices, flowers are blended with the purest essential oils for the entire body. A blend of coconut, honey and almonds are just one of the many body wraps provided before a calming aromatic bath in the jacuzzi room.
Nirada Srionnlha, the international masseuse, provides a variety of Swedish, sport, aroma therapy and traditional Thai massages.
A combination of reasonable prices, the best quality products, professional services and personal care makes Herbal Solutions the place to take a break from the day to day grind.
Herbal Solutions is located at Apt B3, Scenic Villa 2, 22 Park Road, Baridhara.


By The Way

Drain out stress during Ramadan

Fasting can create tensed mental and physical condition in the late hours. You must have noticed how people act when they start for home from the office during Ramadan. With all the honking, trying to get home before iftaar, the whole world seems agitated. Using the pads of your fore and middle fingers (not the bony tips or nails), firmly tap away on your forehead, covering the entire surface area. Feel the stress drain out of your face and skull like sand out of a bag.

Under A Different Sky

By Iffat Nawaz


Someone once told me (or was it I who told myself?) , to have the desire to believe in something is a symptom of a weak mind. To grab onto a culture, a religion or a cult even; basically to be a true believer of any institution is show of a certain frailty and at some extents the cry of a desperate mind. But most of us have little choice in picking and choosing what we want to believe in. A lot of times we are born into it, like you and me. Born in Bangladesh, where Ramadan means vacaying with fried goods and new clothes and October means Durga Pooja and sugar dolls of old town sweet shops.

There was a different kind of feeling we dwelled in don't you think? Or it is "is" for most of you and "was" for me …
you know that feeling during Ramadan, was it because school was off? Was it because everything moved in a leisurely pace? Was it because the whole day went by preparing for that one meal called Iftar and the whole month went by preparing for that one day called Eid? I don't know what it was. I am not a humanitarian enough to say, I was happy because it was the month that you gave Zakat to the poor and shared starvations with the beggars, that wasn't it. But there was something in the air besides the smell of sheer beautiful childhood that made Ramadan special for me. And I know that even to the day it dominates the air of Bangladesh during that one month when people somehow dive into the mode of relaxation (through starvation or feasting) and sitting here looking back I only make it into something more fantastic and out of the world.

Here or anywhere where one proudly (or without a choice) chooses to live outside the deshi community, months go by in all the bideshi standards, the Halloween, thanksgiving cycle. Sure there is the Daily Star to remind you it is Ramadan, the newest fashions and the newest bites in high resolutions crowd your eyes, but how long does that feeling even last. You go to lunch and eat up your tofu salad or sesame chicken and forget all about Ramadan because it just does not signify anything sitting far and away, unless you are a die hard religious individual, which many of us aren't.

But then there are those days when you still miss it. Like when some random person asks you, "Hey isn't it Ramadan for you? What are you doing for it?" And I go "Ummm, nothing I guess, what's there to do, it feels weird to do anything alone, I guess it was more of a cultural and community thing than anything for me", and as I utter those words I realize how true it must be, not just for me but for many others. How Ramadan more than making us better Muslims made us a tighter community, made us more cultured not in the Bengali or Muslim sense but just in a boxed environmental sense, specifying those untold boundaries of belonging to something that feels fantastic.

I wondered if I could create again that same bubbled community far away, with some new found others. To find out, I offered to make iftar for a bunch who found the similarity of the sound of "Iftar" and "Iffat" most amusing…but beside their silly ignorance they were eager to taste iftar by Iffat and I wanted to see if I will feel part of that lost goodness I once felt by being an Iftar maker.

So I went shopping earlier today in the dingy part of town with the dark Bengali shops which always makes me joyful. I picked up besan, onions, egg plants and dates…
I even picked up a cone of henna, and some puffed rice, just incase I want to amuse them with more than home cooked chow.

I have been counting my hours all day, sitting here with all my ingredients, soon I will be on my way to create my new community of iftar-eaters, a shared experience, aloof from the rest, unique from the past but still I go on to invent my new bubble.


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