Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 14, Tuesday April 10, 2007




from mundane to magic

The early part of 2006 has seen successive Lifestyle issues, like the rest of the nation, roar, rave and root for newly-found patriotism. Yet for all my respect for desh prem articles, banners and slogans, the truly vibrant way to feel patriotic is to bask in the exclusiveness of celebrating a day only we celebrate. After all, patriotism towards a festival, not a nation, allows us to dress up and have a ball while we are at it. Or perhaps Pohela Boishakh is special in that however little scientific or pragmatic sense it may make, it gives us the consolation of feeling that the past (failed aspirations) can be washed away and a new lease to life will begin.

One not so sunny side of our new year however is that no matter how exclusive it may be, it is also plagued by some negatives just like every other 'big day'. To take names and point fingers-the media. The raging industry that is perhaps too lost in its roll to draw the thin line between promoting or portraying a cause and (over)doing it to death. Be it media hype about Valentine's or Pohela Falgun or Pohela Boishakh, themes are drilled and hammered so long and hard that they become too difficult to contain, images shown so often they become eyesores and programmes are run and rerun to the extent of invoking distaste.

And of course, innovation in portrayal is inadequate to feed such surplus publicity. Hearts are the only things to float around on February 14, white and black are the only colours people will be caught dead wearing a week later and white and red are the only lines along which boutiques can flaunt collections. It is interesting how a day meant to usher in the new can become typified by homogeneity year in year out and clichéd can be the only way to describe so much that is Pohela Boishakh.

This year, Lifestyle takes a stand against sights already seen, clothes already worn, colours already burnt. This year, Lifestyle promotes all that is simple, all that is unique and all that is you, not everyone else in an optical illusion of red and white spots.

In keeping up with simplicity, we're going to breeze through our fashion statement in as few words as possible. Let alone the boutiques, let alone the blocks, let alone the white and reds in typical patterns and opt for the lost loves of Dhakai beeti, makhon dora, Pabna taat; or even the normal cottons and taats in completely different manners. Dig into old closets, trunks and steel almaris and bring back all the elegance of the yesteryears. And speaking of elegance, one specific look you can try out is a simple off-white than matched with a red blouse embellished with zari par or worked with beads and sequins. Lay low with light jewellery in the form of gold rings or hoops that are so strongly a part of our culture and add colour to your ensemble through blood red bangles and a simple red tip. So far as hair, roll it up in a neat bun and just tuck in a few flowers, but once again, throw out the typicals. Leave the beli phool garlands and gajras for every other day and pick out a flower from your garden, a few leaves intact. Complete your appearance with low-toned, day-long make-up, although you should accent the eyes with dark kajol.

So this time around, intending no harm just contradictions to the page previous, we prescribe being you and a whole new you at that. Whether you see Pohela Boishakh as a strong sense of belonging, just another reason to look pretty and have a ball or the last vestige of hope for better times to come, it is not everyday that you have the opportunity to look new, feel new and anticipate the new. Take it!

By Subhi Shama Reehu
Photo: Zahedul I Khan
Styling: LS Desk
Model: Subhi



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