Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 58, Tuesday October 03, 2006



Festival Weekly Planner


By now everyone has settled into comfy Ramadan routines, the longer traffic jams, the rush to get home before iftar. However, for some people, nothing really changes this month- they continue to work the same hours, take iftar at work if they have to, and shrug when asked about what they have bought for Eid. It's important to remember that not everyone has the same priorities, not even when it comes to celebrating Eid, so cut them some slack.


If you have more than the usual pocket money you might feel like going out to dine in style, expensive iftars at fancy restaurants. Think again! Why not save the dough instead and spend it on something better ? Charity funds, orphanages and people living in the streets might be good places to start.


There are those of us who have seen too many rickshaw pullers spend money on 'biri' rather than real food, and domestic workers walk to save the bus fair to know that sometimes giving money is not the best idea. Want a better one? Go through your closet and find whatever you no longer wear, outdated, shrunken, old, warm clothes, shoes, socks, anything and put them in separate shopping bags or paper packets. Go out in your car and make sure to catch as many red lights as you can. You'll be sure to find plenty of people to give the packets away to waiting with open arms right there!


Shopping like crazy has become synonymous with pre Eid weeks, but nothing is really as expensive as the price tags say now, so do keep your head straight and bargain your way through the waves. Avoid falling into the category of people who buy something spur of the moment that they never really end up wearing beyond the one day of Eid. Remember where we come from and the rest of our country and it should be easy to keep within a realistic budget!


If you have relatives living abroad whom you want to wish Eid Mubarak on time, this is the time to buy the cards, fill them in and get them going. We all know how efficient out postal service is! However, the best thing is always to make your own cards- it shows how much you really care. Innovative ribbons, glitters and colours are all over Dhaka now, so the right stuff is easy to find if you are willing to spare that extra minute.


Read the newspapers and keep yourself updated on the world around you. Actively participate in debates about social reform and try to make a difference outside your immediate circle of influence. The world is yours to make what you will of it so take up whatever role you have been assigned and fulfil all your responsibilities.


This would be a good day to cook a large pot of khichuri and invite all the beggars, street urchins and poor people in your neighbourhood to dine at your place. If you don't have room pick one of the graveyards in the city- they always have plenty of poor people nearby who would greatly appreciate your efforts. There may be some for whom this is more like a business, a money making venture, but there are still those who really can't afford a decent meal a day, so whatever little you do is definitely worth it.

By Diya

Shop Talk

Awesome artilleries for your arms & hands
This Ramadan all the fasting is sure to get you into a great shape (provided you don't gorge yourself on all those iftaar items) and one of the most beautiful body part that you can flaunt to the hilt are your hands and arms. So we at LS thought of giving you all the ammunitions you need to enhance them to their best advantage.

D.I.Y. with Dumbbells
First things first. Toned arms please! So pick up a pair of dumb bells and let your gaze linger on the outline of your biceps as you lift the weights. That's how they can look all the time if you follow a good workout regimen easy to do so during Ramadan, say a little while after iftaar, as arm exercises are quite non-strenuous. With one easy move, you can target the major muscles in your arms and shoulders, leaving you trimmed and toned for cute short or cap-sleeved outfits or the more sexy and sleeveless look. A pair of 1.5 to 2.5 kg dumb bells are available between BDT 500-700 in most of the sports shops like Shah Sports and Sports World in Gulshan 2 market.

Silky smooth shoulders 'n all
Second step. Smooth, buttery arms. For those of you pressed for time and unable to take those regular trips to the parlor for wax jobs you might be interested in getting epilators as a handy member of your home beauty kit. Epilators are similar to electric razors, except instead of a cutting plate on a rotary head, they have rows of tweezers which can pull hairs out by the root. You'll enjoy soft smooth skin for up to 4 weeks. However do bear in mind there's more discomfort involved compared to other methods, though it'll lessen with each session. Also it may not work if your hair's fine, or if your skin's sensitive. For a price range between BDT 4,000-6,000 you can get Philips Satinelle Ice at the Phillips showrooms in Dhaka or you can also check out Almas and Priyo outlets for Braun Silk-épil, a favorite epilator with many.

Third step. Beautifying your hands and arms with nail varnishes, mehendi and tattoos. One Stop Mall, Priyo, Almas, Mantra, to name a few, carries branded nail polishes between BDT 300-400 from Maybelline, YSL, The Body Shop, Loréal and Lakmé. The mehendi sold at Almas for BDT 50-70 has by now gained a nearly diva-like status because of its stellar quality. They now come in more user-friendly small sizes compared to the giant packs of before. Finally for those of you donning sleeveless blouses with your shari or sleeveless kameezes, you can stick on a sexy black or glitter tattoo on one arm also available for BDT 50-80 from Almas and Priyo stores.

Wowie watches
Now for your favorite piece of time-tickers. The best places to get authentic branded watches in Dhaka are Time Zone in Rifles Square carrying Pierre Cardin, Rado, Tissot, Polo, Guy Laroche, Esprit, Titan, Romanson, Westar, etc and Saco Watch Company carrying Omega, Longines, Roamer, Seiko, Alba, Nexxen, Swatch, Cartier, etc. Prices for these little beauties can start from anywhere as low as BDT 3,000, like say for the Titan Fast Track pieces, and go up to BDT 2,40,000, say for an Omega. The two main branches of Saco are in Iqbal Center, Kemal Ataturk Ave. (ground floor) and Bashundhara Shopping Complex (Level-1, Shop 1-2). For those of you who are happy with a great looking watch that works but isn't necessarily branded, you might like to try the costume watches between BDT 300-700 available in the outlets of Almas, Priyo, Archies, and Hallmark. They have quite a nice collection. As for the watch shops in New Market, prices of the branded-but-fake watches doesn't exceed more than BDT 1,000 each.
Happy Shopping!

By Simin Saifuddin

On the cover

Gracing the cover is the hot homme Asif Azim, in all his Cat's Eye splendour. Check out the scoop on Page 12.
Photo Courtesy: Cat's Eye


Stomaching the Ramadan…

Starvation. Thirst. The struggle to keep hold of the last strand of sanity. But failing miserably. Pizzas drenched in cheese and ice-cream smothered in caramel and nuts… all a mirage, a vision too far.

Yes, all that glitter on Ramadan is definitely not gold. It is true that the month encourages us to let go of the greed, the excessive behaviours. It is a month that teaches us to be the human beings we ought to be. Yet not all know how to embrace this month and the art of fasting. This is why many end up dehydrated, dizzy, prematurely hungry and very often peevish throughout the day.

To Dos:
· Make sure you have your seheri. Remember, there is a whole day ahead of you without food or drinks. The purpose of this "meal" is to keep the stomach content, so that it forgoes its demands for the hours before dusk.

· Watch what you eat for seheri. Best are the items that are nutritious, yet keep the appetite in check. You may opt for corn flakes, bananas, boiled eggs, apples, etc. It is better to avoid deep-fried items, as they could cause stomach upsets the next day.

· Sleep it off! Just get up for the prayers, and sleep throughout the day. Unfortunately, most people have work and studies to cater to… so this does not apply. A word of caution: do not fall asleep at work. That you do at home.

· Try finishing off office work early (and not procrastinate!), so that you could get off early. Go home and grab a quick snooze before iftar. Even an hour could work wonders on your dilapidated system.

· Take a shower. This is another miracle worker. Let the water wash away the dizziness. A more effective alternative would be a relaxing bath- you could stretch yourself out on a tub, close your eyes and allow your mind to drift off…

· And of course, drink as much water as possible from dusk till dawn, when you are not fasting. That could fend off dehydrxation.

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky



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