Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 89, Tuesday, October 27, 2009




At our old town house my brother and I played a game of guessing: who is at the door by the sound of the doorbell. The doorbell wasn't one of those pretty ding-dong sounding ones that we have these days; it was one of those old school screechy ones, the type that no one can sleep through. My father had a trademark of three rings, my mom just two short ones, my grandmother one and my grandfather a 20 seconds long screech. And then there was another frequent visitor, Boba. We always knew when he was at the door; there was a series of four screeches, each longer than the last and more impatient.

Boba came everyday…he came around 9:30 in the morning. When we opened the door, he stood there with a big broken smile, a tupi on his head, a white shirt and lungi, showered with the smell of bidi. He seemed tall, but a lot of people seemed tall at that age since we were tiny and had to look up to everyone and everything. He was skinny with numerous veins popping out of his neck and arms. Boba, like the name we called him by, was deaf and mute.

I heard our family discovered him when I was two months old. Our old town house was going through renovations, and Boba came to my grandmother to seek work. He was a handyman and did everything from plumbing to carpentry. I am not sure how my grandmother got to know about all his skills and talents but soon enough, Boba was doing everything from our daily bazaar to white washing the veranda walls.

When he came each morning, he sat in his designated chair in the long veranda next to our kitchen eating a nasta of four rotis and bhaji, eating all save one roti. He ate that one last, dipped in his tea.

He hated all our house helps, bullying them with the cough like noise that came out of his mouth. Sometimes the banter would get loud and my mother or grandmother would intervene, then he would laugh a strange loud laugh apologetically and dive into some chore with all urgency.

Apparently he had grown terribly attached to me when I was a baby. When no one was around he would come pick me up from my bed and give me a few kisses. But he was caught every time as everything he touched turned into the smell of bidi including my two month old body and clothes.

Boba's whole world was confined within the boundary of old town- Gandaraia and Wari. Every person he saw in television from J.F. Kennedy to Amitabh Bacchan he would claim with his hand and facial gestures lived down the street. He was certain that he had seen them buying mishti in the next neighbourhood.

Many years have passed since the world was that small for Boba and me. I don't feel the urge of getting to know what happened to him as I probably can guess what happens to many like him with old age and no family and very few well wishers. But often these days I wonder, what his real name was, Boba, the nameless, deaf and mute man whose face is all over my childhood. Even more than his whereabouts I wonder about his name which we never thought was possible to know and he found even more impossible to tell.

Dear Doctor,
I have recently been diagnosed with cholestectoma in the left ear and surgery has been suggested. I am facing hear loss on the left side and I can feel the necessity of the surgery. But before putting myself under the scalpel, I would like to know a little about the disease and some notes on the procedures involved in the surgery.
Thanking you.
- Hamza

Dear Hamza,
Thanks for the question. According to your history you need Tympanoplasty with clearance of the mastoid bone, this means that you need surgery to repair your eardrum as well as clear the mastoid bone, which is infected. The mastoid bone is the bone which contains our hearing apparatus. Most probably u developed a middle ear infection at some stage and got a perforated drum. The perforation is in the upper part of the drum. When this happens there is a lack of drainage from the middle ear and it accumulates along with dead skin and other material and this is known as Cholestectoma.

This is a substance that can erode bone and so the disease can spread to the brain, inner ear and cause a lot of damage as well as hearing loss. It is very important that you get the surgery done as soon as possible. It is done under general anaesthesia and an operating microscope is used to clear all the cells in the bone and to replace the drum. This procedure is done very successfully in our country now. Just make sure that you choose a surgeon experienced in this field and go ahead with the surgery. Good luck.

Dear Doctor,
I am sixteen with a hope to become a singer one day. But the problem is that I have a hoarse voice. My Ustadji reiterates the need for practice every day, which I do but my condition is not improving in any way. I feel it is getting worse.
Music is my passion. Please tell me what I can do to improve my tone.
- Archie

Dear Archie,
Your problem is not a unique one. I get a lot of young people who sing but have voice problems. We all have a frequency level up to which we can strain our voices but if we go above that, the voice cracks. You need to get your vocal cords checked to see if anything is wrong. If you don't have any infection, polyp or nodule on the cords then you can try by giving your voice a rest for about 10 days. If there is any inflammation it will heal, otherwise it becomes chronic. If even after rest your voice is hoarse you are probably straining it above its level and it will keep cracking and become hoarse. Please consult with an ENT specialist and I am sure you will know what the problem is. Sometimes we refer our patients to speech therapists who can help with proper use of the voice.

News Flash

Kapor the name itself, speaks volumes for the sense of style the boutique desires to promote. Since its inception the basic concept of the boutique was to blend traditional cotton based materials, coupled with fancy embellishments to create unique fotuas, embroidered shalwars and unstitched kameez suits. The effort by the designers went into skilful execution of various accessories on fabric, which the young fashionistas will always be inspired by.

Kapor Boutique is about to organise an exhibition on 1 November 2009, at Drik Gallery, House #58, Road #15A (New), Dhanmondi R/A. from 3.00 pm to 8.00 pm.

BBQ Carnival
Hotel Regency has made a niche for itself amongst the diners of this city who like to experiment with gustatory delights. The closest business boutique hotel from the airport, it is committed to providing unrivalled services and an experience that the client will find hard to forget.

Over the period it has offered a wide palate for the foodies and their recent offer is sure to tantalise your taste buds.

Starting October 29, 2009 Regency will organise a BBQ festival on Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm. The prime attraction of the weekly event will be popular smoked, and grilled cuisines from the four corners of the world. A veritable carnival in set-up, the festivity will be accompanied by live cultural performance, magic show along with small time munchies- pop corn, cotton candy, chotpoti, fuchka and others.

“Regency Poolside BBQ Carnival” can be your veritable dining experience, and should, most certainly, be duly noted in your culinary notebook.

Contact: Dhaka Regency Hotel & Resort Ltd., Airport Road, Nikunja-2, Dhaka 1229. #8913912. info@dhakaregency.net



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