Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 87, Tuesday, October 13, 2009



LS Pick

Bowing fields of white

Standing on the sides of the highway, safely away from the maddening traffic that seems to show little concern for safety and the value of lives, I was in awe, inspired by the sight before me. An old Bengali proverb says that if the 'kash' (kans grass) has started flowering, you know the rains are over and autumn has begun. But with time, seasons have changed- it now rains in autumn while the monsoon passes by dry and humid.

Looking up at the sky, I saw masses of grey clouds lurking for an onslaught. I couldn't be merrier. As I gazed at the horizon, I saw acres after acres of pasture occupied by plush vegetation, although weed to many, an astonishing sight of beauty for others. The swivelling of the white Kans grass in the wet, autumn breeze, grass blades heavily laden with morning dew brings out the romantic in me, which of course I am anything but. In a day or two, the grass will be cut; brooms made and livestock fed on the cut shoots.

I saw two children spring out of nowhere chasing a billy goat that had disappeared amidst the thick vegetation. I could follow their trail from the highway; the goat giving the two girls a run for their lives.

I felt like joining them, help them catch their pet and along the way, wet my feet in the water soaked soil, touch the greenery and hold the white fluff of the kash phool in between my fingers.

I was hoping there would be a train in sight. It would complete the scene. The locomotive will whistle by and the two girls will de dazzled at their first sight of a train just like Apu and Durga from "Pather Panchali". But I am sure they have seen a train before. So had I. But I had never seen such a sea of pure whiteness; the tall kash bowing to the ground by the sheer might of the strong winds.

I took off my shoes and walked downhill from the highway onto the grassy fields. I simply had to touch the flower, wet my feet with the morning dew on the green grass. I needed to feel like Apu and Durga, amazed and marvelled at a sight they had never seen.

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Shameem

LS Shuffle

Weekly buzz

If you knew that you would find a truth
That would bring a pain that can't be soothed
Would you change?
Would you change?
-Tracy Chapman

I was stuck in the unbearable congestion right outside Basundhara City for nearly three quarters of an hour, moving a few paces every 20 minutes. The only good thing I could make out of this experience was the torrential rain and the symphony of the raindrops on the roof of my car. A delight!

I pushed the button and flipped through the stations- Hridoy Khan to Mila to Shubir Nandi to A R Rahman. A good time-pass while moving like a sloth on the streets of Dhaka.

So this week Our pick #1. Fm Radios.

It was while flipping through the stations that I got the news- “Obama awarded Nobel Prize for Peace!” I nearly choked in astonishment. Now that's Change and our SURPRISE of the week.

Still stuck to the Nobel Prize, which is declared throughout October of every year, the award for literature caught my attention. The Prize went to Herta Müller "who”, as the Nobel Committee cited “with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed".

Our pick #2. Chotti Munda Ebong Tar Tir by Mahasweta Devi. Why? Well, she was amongst the top contenders of the Prize this year and her poignant, rebellious literature has enthralled minds craving change for many a decade. And how can we forget that she is a good all Dhaka-girl being born and brought up here until partition, when her family moved to India. If you prefer to read in english, you can read the English translation "Chotti Munda And His Arrow". But I guess you will have a tough time finding the English title.

Well, if you like writings on Naxalites, you may want to watch the film “Hazar Chowrasi ki Ma”- an adaptation from Mahesweta's first major work. The film provides a feminist and urban perspective on the Naxalite movement of the early 1970s that brought peasants and intellectuals together. Apart from Jaya Bachchan, who pours in her acting prowess, the film is an all-star cast: Anupan Kher, Nandita Das and other stalwarts of alternative Indian cinema. This is our pick #3.

We started with change, and I would like to wind up our 'Picks for the Week' with an article that has recently appeared on The Economist. “Mobile Money” is a novel concept that has brought banking to the doorsteps of many African countries with the use of the mobile phone. In Bangladesh, with now nearly two crore registered users the idea has the potential to make life easier and bring business to millions of households and thus ensure self-employment. This brilliant read is our pick #4 and available at www.econimist. com
Until next week. Ciao!

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif

On The Cover

Add a little grr! to your look this season with some animal prints. For more trend tips, turn to the centrefold.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Tumpa
Make-up and styling: Farzana Shakil
Wardrobe: Cat's eye


Bringing the spa home

Now you don't have to dish out thousands for a spa treatment, or worry about booking appointments. With a little thought and planning, you can turn your own bathroom into the perfect spa retreat. Here's how:

Serenity is essential to the spa experience, so make sure you pick a time when you won't be interrupted, and then give the house help a holiday, and turn off your phone for a few hours of total peace.

That lovin' feeling
Create a relaxing atmosphere by lighting some scented candles and turning on some soothing music. Keep some herbal tea handy, so you can put your feet up and sip the stress away. Warm up some of your favourite hair oil, and massage into your scalp in firm, circular motions, to allow proper circulation of blood at the roots. Apply a hair mask, and then bundle up those tresses under a shower cap before you go to the next step.

Soak up some serenity
If you're one of those lucky people who have a bathtub, this is the best time to use it. Pour in those scented bath essences, roll up a towel to place under your head, and slip in for a quiet lie-in with your eyes closed. If you don't have a bathtub, don't worry. Slather on the aromatherapy shower gel, and stand under a hot shower, and feel all your worries getting washed away.

Scrub-a-dub dub
Nothing makes your skin glow like a good dose of exfoliation. Use a wash-towel or loafah to give yourself a gentle but thorough scrub in large, circular motions from neck to toes. Use a gentle facial scrub to slough off the dead skin, leaving your face fresh and baby soft.

Take a moment to apply a face pack. There are different masks for different skin types, so make sure you pick one that suits you. After you've applied the mask, you can turn off the water, and give your heels a good scrubbing with a pumice stone while the face pack dries.

After-bath afterglow
After the mask sets in, rinse off. Shampoo your hair and apply conditioner. Dry yourself off with a large, fluffy towel, and wrap yourself in a nice comfortable robe. While your hair dries, apply a generous amount of moisturiser all over, with extra attention to the face, neck and the backs of your hands. If your nails need a trim and filing, this is the best time to do it. Finish off with a fresh coat of nail polish in a pretty colour.

Knuckle down
Before getting dressed, massage your hands, feet, temples and the back of your neck to relax the muscles. These days, it is also possible to get a masseuse to come from the salon to give you a private kneading, so you might consider making a little splurge for some oh-so-well-deserved TLC.

While nothing beats a professional spa treatment, this is a quick way to get in some well-deserved pampering at half the cost. Enjoy!

By Sabrina F Ahmad





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