Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5. Issue 25, Tuesday, June 22, 2010














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Fighting monsoon menace

AFTER what can only be described as a swelteringly hot summer, the onset of monsoon is likely to be welcomed with a sigh of relief.

Monsoon means the pouring of much-needed torrential rain onto your dry garden, which allows nature to thrive absolutely everywhere… including your cupboard.

As the moisture level in the air increases and you panic over the threat of mould, following these simple but effective precautionary measures can help you to breathe easier during this season.

As always, taking precaution is the best way to avoid any dangers and so before monsoon arrives in full throng, it is a good idea to get a professional to do an inspection of your home and ensure that recurring problems are fixed.

Walls should be thoroughly checked for breakages and seepages. Water leakages can also lead to termite infestation and this may increase even more during the monsoon season.

Check all the electrical gadgets and wiring in the house to prevent risks of electrocution. As a general rule, all renovation should be done before or after monsoon arrives, even if it's as simple as painting a room.

A problem that many face during monsoon is increased dampness in their cupboards. This can allow fungus to settle in, which is the last thing you want around your clothes.

To avoid this, keep any of the following in your cupboard:
Silica gel absorbs moisture from the air so it can help to keep a few sachets of silica gel in your cupboard.

You can install a low-voltage bulb in your cupboard. Ninety percent of the power consumed by an incandescent light bulb is emitted as heat and so this generated heat can help combat moisture.

You can also put camphor balls in your cupboard as these absorb moisture and can protect your clothes.

Remember to periodically air your clothes on sunnier days to keep them fresh.

A good investment during this time of the year would be a tumble drier. Because of Bangladesh's extended monsoons, you are unlikely to see much of the sun and this is where a tumble drier would come to great use.

Not only will this mean that you can depend less and less on sunshine to take care of your laundry but also the tumble drier can help you get rid of unnecessary moisture that comes from hanging clothes inside the house. The tumble drier is likely to give you clean clothes that will not smell of the moisture trapped in its fibres.

Carpets can also be another casualty during the monsoon season. Because they absorb moisture from the air, carpets not only get damp but also create a musty smell.

In this case, it is best to vacuum often to not only make sure that your carpet stays clean but also to remove the moisture. Roll away your expensive rugs and opt instead for washable and moisture-resistant acrylic carpets for the monsoon.

The best way to beat the drawbacks of monsoon is to just remember that while it's wet and dreary outside, do your best to keep the inside of your home as dry as possible. Whether you do this through the usage of dehumidifier or through thorough ventilation, monsoon no longer has to be the season you dread.

By Mahareen Khalid
Photo courtesy: Journeyman Archive

Check it out

Discount at Farzana Shakil's
FARZANA Shakil's Makeover Salon Ltd is offering another attractive offer. All valued members would be entitled to 50% discount on all services on June 28, 2010. For those who become members on June 28, 2010, they would be entitled to 30% discount on all services on that day.

The offer also includes services like Bridal Makeup, Rebonding & Hair colour. Make use of this very attractive offer. Inform your family and friends. For further information, call Dhanmondi Branch (9116057) and Gulshan Branch (88122215, 8812172).


Rommo, Dhaka's new fashion house
ROMMO, Dhaka's newest fashion house, has been inaugurated by beauty specialist Kaneez Almas Khan on 7 June at the fourth floor of Dhanmondi's Orchard Point, shop no. 429. Also present at the inauguration ceremony were Rommo's chairperson Neepa Farouk, and the Managing Director Omar Farouk. The fashion house has set out on its journey with the simple slogan 'Just a design, just for me'. They boast a rich collection of khadi and silk attires, brought to life by embroidery and handiwork. Men's fatua, panjabi and women's kameez, fatua and saris can be found at Rommo.


Get set, style
AS stars like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga prove, sometimes, all it takes is the right hairstyle to make them sit up and take notice. Whether your tastes lean towards the simple and lush or the wild and wacky, a good head of hair can really make a difference. That's something Privé knows very well. This hot new salon, operational for almost a year now, centres around great hair-care, and a couple of snazzy extras to have you dropping jaws wherever you go.

Privé - the French word for 'private' is self explanatory. Located in a serene bubble within the blossoming chaos of Gulshan, the exclusive salon beckons you with the opulent red and gold theme of its interiors, the neat and orderly row of styling workstations, the serenity of the massage and facial room, and the quiet efficiency of its staff promising you an emphasis on great, personalised service. The team at Privé includes the award-winning Roel A. Morales, formerly of Ban Thai and Jaymie Lauriaga, also from Philippines, both of whom are responsible for creating magic with your hair and make-up. Nahila Hedayet, hailing from Pakistan, stands at the helm, and also takes care of make-up and styling. Privé also has its dedicated aesthetician and skin consultant, Rowina M Salian, who will sit with a client to ascertain the unique skin issues, before choosing a treatment plan customized to those issues. With such a formidable collection of expertise at hand, it is only natural that the range of services would be extensive, and it is. From professional hairstyling and make-up, to rebonding, facials, spa treatments, dermabrasion, Thai massage and more, Privé offers you a complete solution to all your beauty and styling needs. Their USP lies in two services - their hair manicure and the Brazilian Keratin hair straightening, which, they claim, are currently unavailable anywhere else in the city. The first is a hair colouring technique that comes with a glossy nail-lacquer finish, while the second is an anti-frizz service that leaves your hair amazingly straight, smooth, and shiny. The salon is a unisex one, so both men and woman can benefit from their offerings. Both products and services are a little on the pricey side, but if you want to invest in your looks, Privé is definitely worth a try.

Privé Salon and Spa Ltd is located at Dream Apartment, Road no. 104, House 3G, Gulshan-2. Book your appointments at 8823972

By Sabrina F Ahmad, Photo: Privé


Rang heralds monsoon
MONSOON, with its cloudy days and muddy streets, calls for a specialized wardrobe. Leading fashion house Rang, has brought out a line keeping monsoon sensibilities in mind. In colours of green, light orange, ash, black, lemon and other light colours, the attires for men and women have been done in kadam, umbrellas, and other motifs depicting rain. Most of the collection has been done in cotton, keeping comfort of the customers in mind. The collection includes saris, three-pieces, fatuas, panjabis, kurtas for both men and women, t-shirts, and umbrellas. Rang will also carry the CDs from various artists.
Available at all Rang outlets.


The Harappa Story
NAMED after one of the most fascinating and mysterious cultures of the ancient civilization, Harappa, a brilliant pottery, terracotta and art ceramic manufacturer, conducted its third exhibition at Drik Gallery, Dhanmondi, from 10th June to June 21st.

Reconnecting people with clay
The relationship between clay and life has been on this planet since time immemorial. Not just for decoration purposes, people depended on clay to make an alarmingly vast plethora of items from dishware, vases, and musical instruments to even houses.

Sadly, we seem to have lost touch with this superb substance. Harappa attempts to bring back the relationship between life and clay. With its innovative and breath-taking products, Harappa mesmerizes us and reminds us of the utility and beauty clay can produce, so that it can make its place in this hectic, urban world.

Harappa to the rescue
The terracotta is a vital functional art and is believed to be the first creative expression of any civilization. Bangladesh, too, boasts thousands of years of rich heritage in clay sculpture and traditional pottery. But, with the flow of industrialization, these precious invaluable elements of our culture are threatened with extinction. And then Harappa happened, to conserve, restore, and develop this age-old medium of arts.

Harappa's mission is to train the traditional potters, arm them with modern technology and make them more market orientated so that they can help themselves and also help their ancestral tradition to survive in this 'modern' society.

Harappa's creations
Harappa produces wall panels, tiles, functional tableware, fountains, light shades, crockery, masks and many aesthetic miscellaneous potteries. The terracotta works are a mixture of folk and urban concepts. Many of the items are experimentally done by using brass, wrought, iron, cane and wood, along with clay.

The exhibition showed off various works from Harappa's unparalleled collection. The products were also put on sale. Prices of these products varied from anywhere between a mere twenty bucks to ten thousand.

A passionate journey
In 2006, a couple of soul-searching friends promised to save the pottery industry of Bangladesh from extinction. Over the last four years, Harappa had to face many challenges; the rocky road isn't easy, but they fought those battles with passion, hard work and sincerity. Harappa now takes pride in believing that it is the largest pottery, terracotta and art product manufacturer in Bangladesh.

The products of Harappa have already been made available in the local market through local craft houses. It is currently working on building series of its own chain stores and export wing.

By M. H. Haider


Home made baby food

STARTING solid food for a baby is a matter of celebration and to new mothers it is also sometimes a matter of anxiety.

In Bengali culture, the event is called 'Annaprashan' or 'Mukhey Bhat' and mothers invite their close relatives to celebrate the day.

Most of the time mothers prepare khichuri with a lot of zeal, but their experiences may turn sour, because the infant may not be particularly interested in the new preparation.

New mothers who want to introduce solid and home made food and keep their babies safe from the effects of adulterated baby food in the market, often wonder what would be best for their children. Safety, nutrition, the child's own adaptability and preferences should get the priority in deciding the nature of baby food.

After six months of a diet consisting exclusively of breast milk, babies between 6 to 9 months can be introduced to cereal, fruits, vegetables, dairy, chicken, egg and fish.

Cereal includes rice cereal, semolina, brown rice, oatmeal, and wheat grind. Oranges, and apples can be selected for fruit juice while ripe and mashed mango, papaya and banana can be easily chosen for infants as seasonal fruits.

These fruits can also be added with the baby cereals depending on the baby's eagerness for the fruit.

There are a lot of benefits in making your own baby food, because a mother knows exactly what her baby is eating. She is sure about the freshness and nutrition of the food. She can custom make the food to best suit the baby's preference and need. Also, mothers can save money by making the food at home.

Lightly sweetened cereal mixed with half cream milk, is one popular type of baby food. These foods could also be made salty by fusing chicken stalk or shredded chicken or fish if the baby prefers.

A mother should keep one thing in mind - babies, like adults, prefer a bit of diversity in their food. So, continuing the same food everyday will soon make the baby disinterested.

Egg is another essential food for a baby's growth. Initially, mothers can try the yolk depending on the capability of digestion of the infant. Diversity and rotation of foods make the child interested in food.

Doctors suggest khichuri (mixture of rice, lentils and vegetables) after six months. Adding one or two vegetables with a small piece of chicken or fish with chicken stalk are best as khichuri, according to the paediatricians.

By Mahtabi Zaman



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