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Dear Sadia,
Would you please state how we can look after nails at home? What sort of diet is good for it, also highlighting on manicure and filing techniques? And lastly, what sort of nail polish should one use?
Looking forward to your answers.
- Sonali

Dear Sonali,
It's fairly easy to take care of nails at home. Clip and file nails to desired length and soak hands in warm water. Push back cuticles after applying a little petroleum jelly. Clean under the nails and wash with a nailbrush. Massage the nails with olive oil for a few minutes, this will moisturise as well as strengthen the nails.
Always apply a base coat before applying nail colour so that the nails don't become yellow as well as helping colour to last longer without chipping.
Even if you are using a nail polish of unquestionable quality, do invest in a good quality base coat to protect your nails. Also remember to give the nails a break between a change of colours as allowing the nails to breathe is necessary for healthy nails.
You have an option of using metal files or emery boards to shape your nails to an oval or square shape.
A healthy balanced diet is good not only for nails, but hair and skin too. Adequate intake of calcium is a must as well as Vitamin D available in fish oil.

Dear Sadia,
How do we adjust our lives to the changing temperature of summer and the coming monsoon?
Summer also brings with it seasonal fruits. Can you highlight how we can make best use of these as far as beauty care is concerned?
Thanking you.
- Nadiya

Dear Nadiya,
The sticky, humid weather has its good as well as bad effects on the skin. The good news is that the moisture naturally occurring in nature, does not allow the skin to dry and therefore it wrinkles and ages less than it would in a drier climate. Those with dry skin can celebrate.
The bad news is that those with a good store of oil in their skin are overdosing with an excess of oil production and subsequent blocked pores (read acne/pimples).
It's a similar story for hair as well.
Here's what can be done to combat the stickiness and excessive oil. Try out any of the tips given below:
Wash face three times a day with cold water. Do not towel dry the face instead sit in front of a table fan allowing it to dry your face. You will feel fresh; pores will shrink too. Freeze cucumber juice in an ice tray and rub a cube on your face whenever you feel the need. Afternoon is a good time.
Freeze rose water into cubes if you prefer it to cucumber.
Mint leaf paste makes an effective acne mask. It cools and soothes angry skin to perfection.
“Multani mitti” mixed with lemon juice has tightening properties, as well as removing excess oil from the skin.
Papaya is great for skin as well as hair. Mix with yoghurt and lemon juice.
Orange rind is a good option for cleaning the face. Rub it gently all over the face to smoothen skin.
Drink all possible fruit juices and wash face with the leftovers.
Banana and milk is a great hair conditioning pack.
Kindly don't try them all in one day, experiment and see which suits one you best.

Dear Sadia,
I am 29 years old and I suffer from a variety of skin problems. I have sought professional medical help but to no use.
I would like to know how men's skin differ from women, how we should take proper care of it at my age.
- Eqbal

Dear Eqbal,
The male skin is surely tougher and rougher than women's skin. Maybe that's why men get away with doing so little for their skin compared to women. They also have comparatively less issues than we do; of course there are exceptions.
You didn't specifically mention what your skin problems are so I will give you a general rundown on skin care for you.
Acne prone skin generally requires a mild dose of antibiotics for an extended period of time recommended by a dermatologist. Destroying pimples by squeezing will lead to scars so that must be avoided at all cost.
Skin must be cleaned regularly using a face wash specified for your skin type.
Level of oil in the skin will determine the type of moisturiser needed if at all.
Toner or astringent is a must for oily skin (not normal or dry skin), to be applied twice a day.
Face packs are very helpful, especially if fruit juices are used to mix “multani mitti” and sandalwood. Orange, lime, watermelon for oily skin. Coconut water, papaya, tomato for normal/dry skin.
Neem and turmeric is a natural antiseptic and has natural healing properties, its inclusion in packs is a must especially for troubled skin.
Scrub as an exfoliating agent is an important aspect of skincare, it removes the dead skin cells on the face and can be used twice a week. Skin becomes smoother and softer.

Noble indeed

Why do I remember it so clearly….as if it was just a few months ago. I met my cousin, Dr. Mizanur Rahman Shelley, Chairman, Center for Development Research, Bangladesh, at a dinner way back in 1982 (or 1983) and as we struck up a conversation, he was extremely happy at my choice of a profession.

“In twenty years you will know what a rewarding profession this is,” he said with perfect authority. He went on narrating with absolute pride an experience he had enjoyed recently.

He had arrived in Washington D.C. with his delegation, unquestionably tired after a very strenuous journey. He was feeling too exhausted to even pick up his luggage after getting it down from the carousel when to his utter amazement, a young gentleman greeted him and offered to carry it for him. He couldn't believe his ears and as he was wondering, the young man introduced him to be his student from Dhaka University who happened to be posted at the Embassy there.

The proud teacher could not wish for anything more under the present circumstances. He cheered me on by adding that I, too, would one day be proud to have my students in every corner of this wonderful world.

I continued teaching religiously for eighteen years and had already begun to experience the greatness this career offers earlier than I imagined. I started getting letters from my students who had to leave because their parents were moving on to new destinations.

A letter from Britain one day, one postcard from Cyprus a couple of months later; they kept pouring in from different parts of the world. My students wanted to remain in touch and I respect the parents who encouraged their children to keep a link with the past.

Thanks for the tip, Shelley bhai…now I have students who have established themselves very well in their own fields and others who are marching with positive steps toward their finishing line.

Most have surpassed me in their achievements. That is success indeed. In places where I have never been, they represent me.

And I know deep down in my heart that I will always have someone there to help me if I am really tired somewhere along my journey of life.

To all the great teachers who work relentlessly to make the world a better place for their students by awakening their own expectations…I wish you luck and offer my gratitude.

Eating Out


Knowing the land of the rising sun and technological heaven was probably the best way to know Japan. What might give you a closer feel of Japan today is "Japanese cuisine".

Izumi, the premium Japanese restaurant, is the brainchild of three bright friends Sadat, Arsalan and Romo, and they promise to present Japan to you like never done before.

When deciding on a name for the restaurant, they wanted to pick something that was simple and easy to pronounce and also had to reflect the ambience of the place. They toyed with quite a few names and finally have brought to us Izumi, closely resonating to an aquatic feel, meaning a fountain.

The calligraphy that one sees upon entering was done by a famous Japanese artist that one of the owners, Sadat, met when he went to Japan to research on the food. The same artist also presented them with another original, which now hangs behind the sushi bar.

The waterfall in the courtyard at Izumi reflects the meaning of the name.

I'm a minimalist. I like clean, open spaces,' says Sadat, which is why a lot of stress is placed on cleanliness and a comfortable ambience. Aesthetics is what Izumi is all about; there is not an overloaded definition of décor, multi tiered false ceilings, too many shades and hues; just a place where you can dine in peace.

Based on the four seasons of Japan, the cuisine is based on savouring the taste of the local ingredients of Japan, keeping in mind the original recipe. Izumi also wanted to raise the bar in terms of food quality and presentation.

All spices at Izumi are imported from Japan to provide the best and the closest taste - even the sugar and flour is imported for quality and taste assurance.

One can get Japanese-style spit-roasted scallops, along with the finest beef for the steak on the menu, which is the Australian Wagyu beef. Other savoury items from the menu include traditional Yakitori (spit-roasted meats or seafood) and Tempura, as well as Agemono (deep fried food), an excellent example of which is the Ika no karaage (deep fried squid with ponzu sauce), as well as Nabemono (Japanese hot pot).

Also, the menu does not ignore the health concerns of the customer and contains items which are highly palatable yet healthy.

'What makes the relationship unique,' says Arsalan, 'is that the chefs are treated more like friends than employees.' This difference in viewpoint is what makes the cuisine at Izumi so attractive and mouth-watering to taste.

Izumi has two chefs from Japan, Masayuki Nakajimaya, the head chef and his apprentice Aoki Hideo.

Owners get questioned from time to time about the difference between Kobe and Matsusaka. There is really no difference as cows are bred in the same way - fed beer, massaged and played classical music to! The variations come from the different regions in Japan all competing to be the best.

Izumi is open for dinner 7 days a week from 6:30pm to 11:00pm and for lunch Saturday to Tuesday 12:00pm to 2:30pm.

The lunch menu however, only contains Bento Boxes (which change every week, please check their facebook page for updates), a Rice Bowl (Chicken or Eel) and Hot Udon with Chicken.

Izumidhaka.com, the official restaurant website, will be up soon. Please check the website for the latest information on any menu changes, the freshest sashimi and for Chef's specials which change every 2 or 3 weeks.

'Japanese food is an acquired taste,' states Romo, and not suited to everyone's palate.

When was the last time you tried something new for a change? Break free and indulge yourself at Izumi, an exciting world of nihon ryôri!

By Tanziral Dilshad Ditan
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Café Fusion

Although numerous fast food centers have mushroomed throughout Dhaka, ironically, people still have a hard time settling on a place that serves fresh and hygienic food, at a reasonable price and in a comfy environment where friends can enjoy themselves. And then, Café Fusion happened.

Located in Dhanmondi Road # 8, overlooking the playground, the café offers refreshingly fresh fruit juice, with finger-licking fast food and cuisines for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Not just fast food, the café also has many filling rice-based meals for you.

Apart from the delectable food, Café Fusion boasts its intelligent interior decoration. A replica of the fascinating Judith and the Head of Holofernes and portraits of intellectuals of all time hangs on the walls while the guests sit on the comfortable couches eating and listening to jazz or classical music amidst creative and playful lighting - a marvelous fusion of food, art and music.

Good food and a cool place to hang out - that's what Café Fusion offers, at a very attractive price.

By M H Haider


Mmm . . . MYNT

Shrimp cocktail, "laab gai", pepper steak, special pizza/pasta, Ferrero Rocher Delight. . . The choices are endless at MYNT, the latest hangout on Banani Road #11. Did the street need any more eating places, you ask? Yes, if you're looking for great food in a refreshing environment.

After the success of Hubble Bubble at Gulshan 2, owners Ashiq Alam, Saniul Hossain and Arman Khan have decided to expand. But, instead of having the same gig just miles apart, they've decided to go for a whole new look as well as taste, this time catering to a less young crowd but entertaining all.

Welcome to MYNT, freshly done up in lime green and black with more than enough space for a party (for those who couldn't squeeze in at Hubble Bubble).

The 42” screen televisions, usually with entertaining music videos on, are perfect this season for the regular screening of the World Cup matches live, while live music performances featuring young celebrities and bands are being scheduled for later.

Best of all, of course, is the food. The pizza and pasta remind you of gourmet restaurants, minus the tug on your wallet, the lasagne overloaded with cheese.

Most popular on the menu are, however, the range of steaks, especially the sizzling T-bone steak with vegetables and fries on the side. Drinks like Twix Chocoshake and Smarties Chocoshake, with, yes, real Twix and Smarties blended in, should serve both purposes of drinks and desserts.

Once you've taken a look at the entire menu and tasted some of it, you're bound to come back for more -- be it for the range of appetisers like Fried Calamari, or the pizzas, seafood, including fish and chips, chicken variations like Chicken Castora, or the whole variety under 'Italian Job'.

Prices are also pleasantly reasonable, with most items on the menu ranging between Tk 150 and Tk 400, with some of the steaks slightly pricier, between Tk 300 and Tk 700.

To top it all off is the personal touch to the place, with at least one of the owners always on the premises, making sure the food is delicious, the drinks have just the right mix of chocolate or simply that the guests are comfortable lounging in their seats, hanging out with friends and enjoying the game or a music video after work.

So check out the MYNT with no holes at House #153, Road #11, Banani, open from 11am to 11pm -- it's the place to be!
For details, please call 01714644907.



A sound sleep

SLEEP, like diet and exercise, is vital for our mind and bodies to function accordingly. In fact, not getting enough sleep can cause a multitude of problems for you. You risk self-sabotaging your own success simply by not allowing your body the chance to feel relaxed and rested after a gruelling day.

To recognise if you are getting enough of sleep is easy enough. Do you feel refreshed and fit when you wake up in the morning? Do you wake up ready to get out of bed and start your day? If not, here are some quick tips you can follow to help you through the night.

It's very important to create the perfect atmosphere for sleep. In other words, your bedroom should cater to your sound sleep. This means that electronic gizmos like TVs and computers should be kept out of the bedroom if possible and the bedroom should be reserved only for your relaxation.

Keep your room dark during sleep hours. Even dim lights can confuse the body's clock. Remember that you are in your bedroom to sleep; not be distracted by other interferences.

Don't eat or drink large amounts before you sleep. Instead, eat a light dinner about two hours before sleeping. If you're prone to heartburn, avoid spicy or fatty foods, which can increase heartburn and prevent a restful sleep.

Avoid nicotine, caffeine and alcohol in the evening. As these can act as stimulants, it can keep you awake during the night. Avoid caffeine for at least eight hours before you plan to sleep. Although the body doesn't store caffeine, it takes many hours to eliminate it.

Develop a regular exercise program. Proper exercise and nutrition can help better your sleeping patterns. However, avoid exercising two hours before sleeping, since this may stimulate your body and make sleeping more difficult.

Establish a daily relaxing pre-bedtime routine that will tell your body that it's time for rest. This may include a warm pre-bedtime bath, meditation or prayer, reading a book or listening to soothing music. Relaxing activities can help make the transition from wakefulness to sleepiness much smoother.

Go to bed and get up at about the same time every day, even on the weekends. Sticking to a schedule helps reinforce your body's sleep-wake cycle and can help you fall asleep more easily at night.

Use sleeping pills only as a last resort and always consult your doctor first. Don't antagonise about not being able to sleep the added stress will only make it more of a challenge to sleep.

It is normal for everyone to experience occasional sleeplessness now and then. However, if your sleeplessness becomes more and more frequent, then it is best to see your doctor. You may be mistaking normal sleeplessness with a serious sleeping disorder.

By Mahareen Khalid


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