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Beauty Talk


I am a girl of 19. My problem is that I have to stay outdoors a lot and often directly under sunlight for my job because of which my skin is badly sunburnt. My engagement has been arranged on a very short notice and I only have 3 weeks before that. Is there any home remedy that I can use which will bring its effect within 3 weeks? I'm very desperate! I don't want to have my engagement with a tanned face and hands! Moreover I use a good sun block and have started avoiding direct sunlight. Please tell me the fastest way of getting rid of my tan at home because going to parlours for fair polish will be quite difficult for me as I have to give my job and studies a lot of time before my engagement.

Dear Reader,

The perfect way to get rid of a tan at home is listed below. It may not have an instant result like fair polish but this will definitely help over time.

Use the following pack everyday on the face and body.

1 tbsp yoghurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp uptan (Aarong)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp masoor deal powder.
Keep on for 10-15 minutes. Wet the mask again with milk (dry skin) or lemon juice (oily skin) and massage off.

Dear Sadia,

I am an avid reader of your column. I am writing about my 16 year old daughter who is starting to have sagging breasts. Would a firming gel work? Please recommend. Also her hair was beautiful and glossy but after using L'Oreal volume shampoo it lost it's glossy feel. What should I do?
Mrs. Gomez

Dear Mrs. Gomez,

Has your daughter suddenly lost weight? Drastic weight loss could be the cause of the change in quality of hair as well as the sagging. Please make sure that she wears well-fitted and supportive bras. I don't know whether the firming gels would work, but you can give it a try. Try the following exercise.
Press the palm of both hands together in namaste form and press. Hold to the count of 10 then release. Repeat twenty times morning and night.
To revive gloss in your hair, have deep conditioning treatment weekly.

Dear Sadia,

I'm 20 years old. My skin is very dry, but I have pimples all over my body. They leave black marks. The marks take more than a year to go away. Please give me any advice on how to get rid of the marks as quickly as possible.

Dear N,

Avoid wearing synthetic fabrics and tight fitting clothes. Have a body massage at home with coconut oil with it. Initially you should do it at least twice a week. When you have got the results you want you can just have a massage every 10 days.


I would like to seek some help from you for my hair, which recently started falling off! I have combination hair, which means my hair at the end is dry and frizzy but at the root area it is fine. I have used hair colour before and afterwards I used Lakme shampoo for coloured hair, but still my hair is falling off. It never used to fall off before. I normally use Revlon flex, Garnier (the one for frizzy hair), Herbal Essence and Loreal as conditioners. Please tell me how can I take care of my hair. I would also like to know something else. If I want to have streaks like blue, grey or pink, I think I need to bleach my hair first. But will I have a radiant, perfect colour after I bleach my natural reddish brown hair? I don't want to go to a salon to get my hair coloured so please name a bleach brand I can buy and tell me how much it would cost.

Dear Reader,

Don't colour your hair until you hair has stopped falling. Radiant colours like blue, pink highlights do tend to fade after a few weeks & need to be touched up. I definitely do not encourage you to colour it yourself; you'll be asking for trouble.
Use the following pack for hair fall -
2tsp-fresh and amla paste
1 tsp onion juice
1tsp coconut oil
1tsp yoghurt
1 tsp-methi (femgreck)
Mix, apply for ½ an hour. Shampoo off. Apply condition only to the length of the hair and not on the scalp.

Interpreter Of Maladies

Dr. Nighat Ara, Psychiatrist, Counsellor and Therapist

I am a woman of age 26. I have never had a happy childhood as I was sexually molested by an uncle between the ages of nine and seventeen. As a result I had problems with the opposite sex and never interacted properly with them. I finally managed to persuade myself that I should move on and got involved in a relationship. I was deeply in love and had complete faith in my partner. Whenever I got suspicious I would blame my own insecurities. Seven years later, I found out he was cheating on me. This was two years ago and my family wants me to get married but I can’t bring myself to do so. I have no feelings left for him, not even hatred, but because of his deception, I cannot trust men. I have also stopped believing in relationships and love. On one hand I do want to get married. On the other I am worried my husband will do the same thing. I know this is not healthy but I cannot help my feelings as so much has already happened to me. I am desperate to change. Could you please help me?

Dear Anonymous,

My heart goes out to you after knowing all the wrong things that have happened in your life. Who claims that life is fair? We only try to make the best of it any way we can. I definitely understand your pain as every day at work I deal with these issues that seriously interfere with a client’s recovery.

Childhood sexual abuse, particularly incest is a very challenging subject and there is a special therapy to help people recover from it (of actual help at appropriate time). I just want to tell you that you are not alone. Countless women are struggling with this problem all over the world. You are a survivor; don't see yourself as a victim. You managed the situation the best way you could and should take pride in that. Unfortunately, your boyfriend chose to do something that has triggered the past in you and now you are feeling overwhelmed by it.

Remember, now you are an adult and are no longer powerless. You can get back control over life if you are not running away from it. Don't take responsibility of another person's misdeeds; don't take his shame on you. Get out of this relationship or put him in a closet (mentally) for the time being, whichever is easier for you at the moment.

Just focus on your life and on loving yourself. If you can't love yourself, it is impossible to love another person. Work on your positive qualities to boost your self-esteem and lead a productive life. The best way you can win in this situation is by loving yourself and taking the control back from these abusers.

I'm glad that you have broken the silence; this is the first step in the healing process. Instead of rushing into another relationship, it is better to look for support from friends and family. I'm not sure if any counsellor /psychologist/psychiatrist in Bangladesh works on childhood sexual trauma. If you are suffering from flashbacks from time to time, bring yourself to the present by using some grounding techniques (focusing on what are you seeing, what are you hearing, etc. five senses grounding technique). Talk to a professional and find out if anybody can help you with more practical tools at this time. Good Luck!

Under a different sky

By Iffat Nawaz

Because you can't pronounce my name

My nose ring, my favourite ornament, always draws me the attention I secretly seek. It's the shape of a little flower in gold, very Bengali and therefore very unique in the land of studs and sterlings. I realise I have worn my face differently ever since I acquired it, not making a statement but I am more confident of the nose I was highly conscious of almost all my life since I broke it at age four jumping down my grand mother's high and steep old town stairs.

And people know, and they define me, a part of me, by it. Like they define others with highlights in blonde hair or a choice of deep red lipstick. Because I never think too deeply about the consequences of my actions I didn't think about the future outcomes of my nose piercing; how the smallest hole on my face could change me- just a little bit.

He smiled big at me the other day. I hadn't met him yet, he works in another department and we barely cross paths but he came around that day and stood at my door. He was dark with grey hair; a humble face with an awkward smile. He asked “From India?” I answered “Bangladesh actually.” “OOO” he said, “same thing,” and he walked into my office and sat down before I could deny his claim that India and Bangladesh were NOT the same thing. He sat and he talked, asked me the million and half questions that desis ask each other during every first meeting, most of them are too personal and strange and I guess what some of us would call very un-American. He spoke about himself too, his name, Krishna, but shortened to Kris so that “Americans” could pronounce it. A compromise to fit in he said-changing a name that defines his roots.

He spoke of his three daughters, the youngest one is probably my age, all have been married off, they grew up here and I imagined they weren't very different from me. I asked since I thought I had gained the right to ask something personal after answering so many personal questions, how old his daughters were. He mentioned their ages and mentioned how he made sure to have arranged marriages for all of them as soon as they reached 22. A sense of deep pride played around his face, he said “you know God gave me three daughters, THREE DAUGHTERS. My whole life I worried, but finally I am free.” and I didn't know what to say. A person who compromised enough to change a thing as important as his name has not yet changed anything inside. Living here year after year still believing in standards his ancestors set for right and wrong, and with his standards he judges, everyday, with his new name and old soul, judging nose rings and blonde highlights.

And then I met her. She doesn't smile as much. Her fair Indian skin still glows in her last 50s like a teenage girl. Over making afternoon tea she asked “So you drink tea? I couldn't convert to coffee either, it's our brown blood” and she smiled. “Brown blood” was a phrase I never heard being used so I smiled at her humour. She started talking, also from South Asia, follower of a predominant South Asian faith and she was very happy to know so was I. But then she stared at my nose ring and asked me, “So that is not a religious thing right?” I answered saying no it was just a Bengali thing, it doesn't mean anything but that I like it. I asked her if she ever thought about getting one, and with that question she almost jumped “No no no, why would I pierce my nose, it's a matter of religion, people don't just dig a hole as a fashion statement where I come from.” Unexpected, awkward, fascinated, I smiled and then there really wasn't much to say. We tried talking about South Asian food for a while but then we gave up and returned to our own corners, I touched my nose ring and she sat pretty, glowing like all gold does.

There are moments when one questions where we went wrong and where right and what happened when we didn't want to choose or think. The religion I followed while being raised still remains a part of me, through my name, through the God I call out to when I seek. The culture that produced me still flows through my veins through the songs I sing, through the language of my dreams. But me and my nose ring, we stand separate, without definition and labels, while we see the world through your eyes.


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