Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 52, Tuesday August 15, 2006



Banking Tips

Nasreen Sattar Head of International Sales, Standard Chartered Bank

Q. Last night on my way home I saw an interesting billboard stating 5% Cash Back from Standard Chartered Bank. Can you tell me what this is all about?

A. Yes, this is indeed a very exciting campaign launched by Standard Chartered Bank where our Cardholders will get cash refunds on their retail transactions if they fulfill specific criterias set out in the Terms & Conditions of the Cash Back program. This program has been effective from July 01 2006 & will remain valid for 3 months till September 30 2006.

Q. I have a joint account with my sister who has now moved overseas. Can I authorise someone else to be a signatory to our account?

A. Since the account was a joint account with your sister, you alone cannot authorise a third person to be a signatory. The authority has to come from both of you. I suggest you courier the relevant documents to your sister living overseas and get her approval.

Q. This new product 5% Cash Back sounds very exciting, but is it that simple?

A. Yes, this is as simple as it sounds and we do give cash back to your Credit Card or Account. All you need to do is fulfill the following 3 criteria to become eligible for Cash Back:
1. The transaction must be completed through a Standard Chartered Taka Visa/MasterCard Credit Card or Visa Debit Card.

2. The retail transaction is between Tk. 500 to Tk. 3,000 (excluding fuel purchase & Auto BillsPay).
3.The total retail transaction value within the statement cycle (i.e. last 30 days before the statement date) is between Tk. 1,000 to Tk. 10,000.

Q. In the Billboard, I saw a Visa Card & I am using your Bank's MasterCard Credit Card. Can I avail the Cash Back offer?

A. Cash Back offer from Standard Chartered Bank is valid for ALL its Taka Visa & MasterCard Credit Cards and Visa Debit Cards. The Cash Back rate will vary from 2% to 5% depending on your Card type and the merchant facility (i.e. Credit Card machine online/manual) used to complete the transaction. The Cash Back rate table is as follow:

Type of Standard Chartered Card Merchant Facility Cash Back Rate, Visa Taka Credit Card Standard Chartered 5%, MasterCard Credit Card Standard Chartered 3%, Visa Debit Card Standard Chartered 3%, Visa Taka Credit Card Other Bank 3%, MasterCard Credit Card Other Bank 2%, Visa Debit Card Other Bank 2%

Q. Can you please explain to me the what a post dated cheque is ?

A. If the drawer (or any holder) mentions a date on the cheque which is subsequent to the date on which it is drawn, it is called a post dated cheque. For example if a cheque drawn on August 10th 2006 bears the date of August 20th 2006, it is a post-dated cheque. Such a cheque though not invalid, becomes effective only on the date mentioned therein. The banker should therefore not make payment of the cheque before the date mentioned which is in this case August 20th 2006.

Interpreter of maladies

Q. I am an MSS student of a reputed public university. I live in the dormitory and recently a girl in a room next to mine committed suicide. She hanged herself in the bathroom at around 3 to 4am in the morning. Another girl from my floor found her and her scream woke up all the boarders of the dorm. Although we shouted for the office authority, help was slow to come. All this time she was hanging there. This incident left a horrible effect on me. In fact the entire block is mentally disturbed. All of us left our building and moved to our friends' rooms. However, most girls in my floor recovered soon but I am still petrified. My final exams are going on. I can't sleep, eat, or study. I am too scared to go to the bathroom; I am even scared to walk alone in the corridor. I keep hearing that horrible scream. I am becoming physically ill. I need to concentrate on my studies. Please help me. How can I generate my thoughts in to something pleasant?

Ans: Witnessing an unnatural violent death like this is surely a horrible experience particularly when it happens in such a sudden dramatic fashion. It is a normal human response to feel upset about this whole situation. When did it happen? Suffering from mild psychological symptoms for few days to weeks after a traumatic incident is quite natural, but if it persists over a longer period (e.g. over a month) and the symptoms are moderate to severe, then it is surely alarming and seeking appropriate help is necessary. A complete psychiatric assessment is required to eliminate any full blown psychiatric disorder particularly Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Acute Stress Disorder etc.

Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event including images, thoughts and perceptions (hearing that horrible scream), persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with trauma (bathroom, corridor), persistent symptoms of increased arousal (difficulty eating, difficulty falling or staying asleep, difficulty concentrating etc.), significant impairment in social, occupational or other areas of functioning (can't take this academic stress)- all these symptoms are somewhat suggestive of PTSD, a thorough interview by an experienced psychiatrist is essential to confirm the diagnosis.

Besides this suicide incidence, you have also mentioned that your final exams are going on. What a terrible timing to sit for an exam! This exam related stress is not helping you at all to get over with the traumatic stress. It is rather taxing your mind and body further by draining out your coping abilities. If the university rule permits (hopefully without major penalty!) under mental health ground, it would be worth considering writing the exam at a later convenient date.

Going for a quick temporary fix with medication (e.g. anxiolytic, anti depressant, hypnotic etc.) can be extremely helpful at this stage as psychological methods are usually time consuming and slow acting (sometimes efficacy is also unpredictable). Unfortunately, side effects of many of these psychoactive medications (e.g. sleepiness, dry mouth, dizziness, blurred vision etc.) tend to precede the desired pharmacological action which can be in turn another source of frustration. However, your doctor might be able to prescribe you some newer faster acting medications with minimum side effects which are currently available in the market. Proper combination of medicines in adequate dosage is a vital step.

You can try living in a more supportive environment (e.g. with friend's or family); music, physical exercise, prayer etc. are useful ways of distracting mind from negative emotions. A good sense of humour, watching funny movies, enjoying jokes, looking at the silly side of the whole event or at least laughing enough to neutralize stress related feelings are also scientifically proven healthy coping strategies. Group study and lowering expectation (can't expect doing the best result this time and being able to accept it), prioritising your goals in life (e.g. sanity or degree), sharing these feelings with someone compassionate (in developed world people receive crisis counselling almost immediately) are other effective ways of dealing with it. All these need time to produce a result.

Every individual is different in their stress bearing capacity (e.g. other girls in your floor have recovered) and the brain takes its own course to complete a task (e.g. emotionally detaching from this memory!). If you are in a hurry to do that, you might end up in suppressing/repressing all these memories and emotions in order to catch up with your life's demand. I'm not really sure though how greatly that would work for you in the long run. However, failing the exam or not performing up to your expectation could be equally damaging to your self-esteem.

I'm not sure how can you manage going through all these stuff while your exam is going on. Work it out with your doctor, teacher, guardians and friends.
Wish you an early recovery.

Under a different sky

By Iffat Nawaz


Someone once confused my Tagore T-shirt thinking it was a picture of Jesus. He was a Roman Catholic at that; someone who had an image of Jesus stoned into their brain and their heart. I explained it wasn't his Lord but Tagore. A lord of another kind, the father of Bengal, the one who defines us, gives us identity. So the Roman Catholic told me, "It is Jesus then!" The difference is only in words, our perception, our idea of what religion is, or can be. And we both smiled and gave into our lords.

I was on top of a mountain the other day, far, far away from home, and on top there was a still green lake, and a glacier, we camped up there for a night. It wasn't cold nor was it warm. The place was the closest to heaven that I had ever seen, yet it didn't seem like it was unknown. My sinful soul knows I won't make it to a better after-life if there is one, so this living breathing part of me took away as much as I could from this paradise. To get to it there were tiny bridges and tough steep narrow mountains, I didn't think I would make it, it seemed like a story someone told me when I was young, about life and after life and life after death and death after sins and wisdom after belonging...I don't remember, but now it all seems unreal now sitting in my average room writing yet another average something or other...

I grew up in a flat land. A flat land full of buildings and people. I love my hometown, I love the people and the smell and the smoke and smog and even the pollution. I don't know a better Bengal. I don't know Sundarban, I don't know village roads, tree tops and sun rises over paddy fields. I know songs about them, I have sung them many times. I felt every word of it when I repeated time after time "Emon desh ti kothau khuje pabe nako tumi, sokol desh er rani se je amar jonmo bhumi", roughly translating to "You will not find a country like this anywhere in the world, for she is the queen of all countries, my mother land." I still feel the same emotion, with the same intensity when I sing the words, but why do I at the same time feel like the idea binds us, the idea assumes something about unknowns that might be untrue, that it projects something lesser for the rest of the world. Isn't there a better way of learning to love our country and making it seem the best besides comparison to places we will never see hence never know if they are better or worse.

Why is it that we want to make our world as big as it possibly can get or as small according to the time and date? Why do we let our minds decide so much or us, why don't we let our bodies take over...because our bodies, have separate desires too...feel it out sometimes, test it out, you will feel a breakthrough, a new you, a new me. Let the body decide once in a while, and leave your mind out of it. Minds play too many games.

But I know...I know...trying to be universal is not so easy, trying to relate universally does not always work. I look for a corner more often than I show, to hide my head, the rest of my body can decide for itself, if she wants to hide or be visible, to the world or just to herself. In this bounded world, with boundless possibilities I do not want to remain scared and hope for the best. The best is always happening. Leave your mind to rest, walk in your dreams, if you fall, keep dreaming...


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