Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5 Issue 37, Tuesday, September 21, 2010



LS editor’s note

Battlestar domestica

The mommy business is a strange one; you can never score, never win. Especially if you are up against a rebel without a cause, with whom every conversation, every sentence, every need is tactfully measured and weighed down by multiple layers of bittersweet emotions.

'You get this if you clean the pets' pen, you get an extra hour off if you put your clothes in the closet, you can spend the whole day at your friend's if only you try to organise your room. The world will be your oyster if you actually manage to clean your room and mommy will be your slave forever if only you sit DOWN to study for just a couple of hours.' So many deals and bargains; none, however, actually going the mommy's way or the baby's way. These are sensitive matters always carefully balanced on the scale and a minor tilt will bring down the façade both ways.

First of all mommies aren't cool or funny. They don't recognise the order in the chaos, in the unkempt looks nor do they appreciate eye makeup on their sons. The disorder in their closets or in their rooms is not for mommies to get, they don't understand the reason for defiance, the raging hormones, the need to rebel.

They cannot think beyond their organised, controlled worlds or their lame and pathetic social lives. They cannot feel the thrill in meeting someone down the alley, in punching someone's nose or that simple rebellious act of buying a pack of cigarettes. They fail to realise the hip factor in staying awake till 2 am and sleeping until 2pm the next day. But foremost, they cannot grasp the pressure of maintaining a steady GPA and going to school everyday.

How can mommies comprehend these complex issues and emotions? The mommy species made a giant leap from childhood to adulthood, no in-betweens for them. They are mean, conniving ruthless machines whose mission in life is to ruin their children's lives.

Working moms are the most cursed people on earth minus A few exceptions here and there. (Obviously my mom and a friend of mine fall into that exceptional category; frankly their daughters, one in her teens and one in her forties, are still scared to death of their mother's wrath.) The guilt of not being able to give her full attention to her home and to her kids is a constant worry and as a cherry on the top, the defiant teen by her side gives people around her enough fodder to chew on for months at a stretch.

Then my question is what should one do? Continue to be a difficult mom or a scary one or a friendly one? Tough taskmasters face the threat of losing grip, scary and aloof ones never actually understood their responsibility and friendly ones easily get derailed from the target and are always at a loss.

However, the child and the mom ultimately do come around but only after they learn to tackle the terrifying teen years. Keeping my fingers crossed on that note but for now its business as usual and the battle continues.

By Raffat Binte Rashid

Ls pick

rebellion of Cool

Whether one reads beauty magazines or not, there are a few fashion commandments that almost everyone is familiar with. We've heard them from our mothers, at school, or even been force-fed such doctrines by our more stylish friends. Interestingly, these mantras are reinforced by popular media.

It's when you leave the borders and hit the streets that you realise that the adage of rules being made to be broken can also apply to sartorial savvy. So kick back and read up on six rules that can be broken.

Rule #1: Don't mix metals
Sure enough, this adage still holds true for traditional ornaments, so don't pair your heavy gold and kundan necklace with silver earrings. However, as long as we're talking casual and contemporary jewellery, there's no reason why you can't mix and match. In fact, the newer designs combine different metals together. With metallic tones and the futuristic look being in right now, this is the best time to experiment.

Rule # 2: Bags and shoes must always match
Not only is this hard to get right all the time, it's boring. Throwing in an accessory that breaks away from the colour scheme of the rest of your outfit actually adds visual interest. Red shoes and green bags? Why not? Just remember that what they say about matching belt and shoes still holds, though.

Rule # 3: Don't mix prints
Sorry, but our local small-boutique designers have broken this rule long ago with moderate success, bringing us patchwork chic on our kameezes, kurtis, and even saris. But tread with caution: if you're wearing prints, go for accessories that are monotoned, and vice versa.

Rule # 4: Red is meant for lips and nails only
Clearly, whoever came up with this hasn't seen how awesome reddish-hued eyeshadow can look when worn right. Jazz it up with some shimmer, team it with some dark liner, or wear it as a highlight for a contrasting hue, the choice is yours. This wedding season, break that rule, and heat up the scene with some bright red eyes.

Rule # 5 Don't use lipstick without a lipliner
Actually, lips look more natural if you skip the liner, particularly if your lipstick is creamy or you're wearing gloss. For better precision, apply lipstick with a lip brush, and save the liner for the really dark or really bright lip colours.

Rule #5 Smoky eyes are for nighttime only
Daytime has its smoky eyes too! Opt for lighter shades of bronze and grey for a softer look, pair with bronze skin and nude lips, and watch those heads turn.
Rebellion was never this stylish!

By Sabrina F Ahmad
Model: Suzanna
Makeup, styling and wardrobe: Farzana Shakil
Photo: Arman Hossain Bappy

Talking style

On your own: 6 steps to budget fashion

People know the buzzword in fashion, but few understand its inherent message. Fashion has more to do with personality than a fancy dress. If you are a student or someone who has just started her career, chances are that you lead a life on a shoestring budget. But this is no excuse for not being fashion savvy.

Intelligent investment on a few good pieces of clothing and the right kind of accessories will go a long way in bringing home that fashionable look well within your allocated budget.

Here are some tips, which will help you look great, exude confidence and make your money go that extra mile:

1. Be conscious of the latest trends. Being on a budget does not amount to being blind to the latest in clothes. Go through fashion magazines, newspapers and make yourself aware of the new looks so that when you do shop, you are fashionably correct.

Also know your own style. Once you know the styles that suit your personality, it will become easy to shop for the type of clothing that is complementary to your persona.

2. Classics are styles that never go out of fashion; so invest in classics - a basic white shirt or a jamdani sari. It is a good idea to spend a little extra if necessary for quality; good quality not only lasts longer but also exudes a positive impression. Classics teamed with the proper accessories will always make you look sharp.

3. There is no replacement for suitable accessories to re-vamp a look, even with old attires. A fashionable accessory can give a brand new look. Teaming up your old classic jeans and white T-shirt with an armful of chunky bangles will immediately make you look beautiful.

Drape those long multicolored necklaces extravagantly around your neck and shoulders and generate a bohemian look. Colourful bags are all the rage nowadays and are definitely a good fashion investment.

4. Always pick your own size. A well-fitted garment makes you look dressed up no matter what the price. There are lots of ready-made garments available in the market at reasonable prices.

You can buy fashionable attires and get them altered to your size. A little alteration of length or pinching in at the waist will convert the readymade into a tailor-made one.

5. Get creative. Mix and match, try some new combinations of tops and bottoms. Play around with your jewellery, scarves, bags and so on.

By tying the knot of the scarves in different ways, at the center, along the side, simply draped on your shoulder would make you look more sophisticated, trendy or casual with the same scarf.

6. Invest in yourself. Spend some part of the day on yourself. Eat healthy, be away from the dust and grime that will take the glow away from your face.

Get the best haircut that you can afford. A well-cut hairstyle will always make heads turn.

Exercise-a fit body will always be in fashion and will make the clothes fit well too.

When you make your budget always keep a certain amount aside for clothes. After all clothing is a necessity. Looking good and feeling great will make you feel confident enough to conquer the world. So, the next time you see a well-dressed girl passing by, don't fret about the money she has spent on the outfit. Instead, identify your “own” style.

Photo Copyright Pearl Fashion Institute
By Shivani Sharma

Quick fixes to beauty blunders

It happens to the best of us. The hours you spent straightening your unruly hair into a slinky, sexy shine paid off for the lunch party at your boss's house but by night, thanks to the Bangladeshi humidity, you were forced to arrive at your friend's engagement party with the shine having been replaced by a greasy mess.

Or, you stayed up all night determined to finish the latest season of 'Desperate Housewives' on DVD and the next morning, you were rewarded with puffy eyes… hardly an appealing look for your first day at your new job.

At times like those, you probably look to The-Lady-With-The-Lustrous-Hair and The-Lady-With-Angelina-Jolie's-Pout and feel especially shameful of the lack of glam in yourself but worry not it really does happen to all of us. The reason you don't catch the other ladies in the midst of this misery? They probably know the following tricks by heart…

Greasy hair
Being caught with oily hair is probably every fashionista's nightmare and because of excess humidity in Bangladesh, for the unlucky few, this can be a reality. If your business meeting ran much later than you thought and you don't have the time for a blow-dry, settle for a temporary fix.

Dab a blush brush into some cornstarch from your kitchen cabinet and lightly apply to the roots of your hair. Cornstarch contains certain properties that absorb oil, which is why it is so effective as a temporary fix to oily hair.

After leaving it on for five minutes, gently (but thoroughly! You don't want a chalky scalp!) dust off the powder and your hair will be left looking fresh and dry.

If you don't have cornstarch at home, you may use baking soda or even your child's baby powder as a substitute.

Bright eye-deas
Puffy and swollen eyes are dead giveaways that you've had a stressful day but all the guests at your nephew's birthday party don't have to know that.

Probably more famous as a 'Grandma's Secret,' you can never go wrong with placing two or three raw cold slices of potato on each eye to make your eyes look more appealing.

Leave the slices on for ten minutes and the potassium in the potato will help tighten the puffiness and remove the dark circles. If you don't want to waste your potatoes, substitute them for a bag of frozen peas. Also, because lactic acid has anti-inflammatory and skin soothing properties, placing a cloth soaked in milk can do wonders for your overtired eyes.

Hands on approach
Mix one cup of warm water and the juice of half a lemon. Soak your fingertips in the mixture for five minutes. Rinse and pat dry, pushing back cuticles. Then, rub the lemon peel against your nails, back and forth vigorously. Finish by buffing with a soft cloth.

You are wearing your favourite dress for your girls' night out and just as you are about to go out the door, you catch a glaring grease stain on your white dress.

First and foremost, even if you are itching to do so, do not rub or scrub! You may end up making the situation worse by spreading it or setting it deeper in. Instead, dust the stain with baby powder or talcum powder, which will absorb the oil and then gently brush away.

Wet a bit of cotton with rubbing alcohol and dab from the outer edges of the stain to the middle. If there is any remaining stain, cover with chalk or baby powder.

Even though you put an adequate amount of time into prepping your beauty and health regime, it is perfectly normal for the odd beauty faux pas to happen now and then. And when it does, it's always best, as the Boy Scouts say, to be prepared.

By Mahareen Khalid

Eating out

Escape From Shanghai

The name itself suggests that it's not just any other café or restaurant. Escape From Shanghai is different in more than one way from every other café you'll find in Dhanmondi. And we're here to tell you how!

Situated in Road 4, it's the perfect place for you to just hang out with a couple of friends and sip on a perfect cup of coffee while sitting on the balcony and taking in the cool breeze. And if that's not the scenario you're looking for, name it and Shanghai will fix it up for you! Seeking a classy place for a date with your loved one? Shanghai's indoor tables with romantic red lighting will set the mood for you in an instant.

Apart from environment, you'll get any kind of food you want. Escape From Shanghai doesn't offer you just one cuisine. They have Indian, a little bit of Oriental, some Italian and more. They have a very wide variety of appetisers, salads, main courses, snacks and drinks.

The ample variety in steaks starting from American to Italian will amaze you. And each and every one of them is, without a doubt, lip smacking.

The drinks they have to offer start from soft fizzy drinks and ice cool milkshakes and frappes to soothing cups of coffee, tea and hot chocolate. With a diversity of flavours, you will also find the perfect lassi whether sweet, salty or flavoured with fruits. And the desserts such as ice cream brownies and golden caramel cakes are just as good as the pastries you'll find in well-known bakeries.

Escape From Shanghai previously used to be in the same area but right above Arabian fast food next to Almas and Priyo. The café was much smaller then and there was less space for their guests and customers to feel relaxed and comfortable enough.

After shifting to their new place, with a bigger area and balcony, the number of guests has increased drastically and they also seem to have a more positive opinion about Escape From Shanghai. Some guests say it's there sole place to hang out while others choose to come here during occasions they prefer spending with a couple of their special ones.

Fortunately, with their venue, their service has escalated towards betterment as well. Not only are the waiters friendly and kind, their work is top-notch. They'll do anything to keep their customers happy.

The calm and soothing atmosphere you'll find in Escape From Shanghai is absolutely one of a kind. When you need to get out of the hectic evenings in Dhanmondi, Shanghai is the perfect place to just relax, have a warm drink and something light to soothe your palate.

Having a group of friends, playing a game of charades while sipping on some coke and eating fries around the wooden chairs and tables is even better! Escape from Shanghai gives it all to keep you happy and satisfied.

Now, all you will need to do when you're looking for a place to unwind is…escape to Escape From Shanghai!

By Naziba Basher

Chronicles of Sam Q

By Sam Q

Dearest Diary,
It has been so long since I logged on to you. I was on holiday. So let me unload on you a couple of my high and low points from the sojourn.

The first part of my trip was with my son, which was surprisingly...surprising! To cut a long story short, because presently I am not in a very charitable frame of mind towards him, I am going to cut my usual mummy load (meaning: all melodramatic and sentimental gibberish, which I normally spew out) and go straight to the point by saying, he seems to have grown up in the last four years.

It showed by the way he took care of us in a very adult-like way, which seemed to please his father very much, and from my side, all I can say is, we did not fight, even once during this whole time. And that is a massive improvement for both of us.

Even while I cleaned (read: desanitised) his room and re-arranged his drum set, his six guitars along with all his wires, speakers and woofers, not once did he roll his eyes upwards nor did any "uffs" or "mum" come out. Well, that impressed me.

So, now before moving on to the second part of my trip, a parting quip from my son's droll sense of never ending humour trove. As we were getting ready to leave for the airport, my husband was giving his last minute instructions cum advice to him and one of them was to fast during Ramzan. So my diplomatic son, not wanting to offend his father's religious sentiments, said, "Baba, I am all for fasting and Ramadan. But I think the North part of the world is not designed for Muslims, especially when Ramadan is during the summer".

It was really hard for me to keep a straight face and walk away from his assailable logic.

Anyway, the second part of my holidays was in Queen Lillybeth's kingdom. With good weather, good food and especially good friends around, what else could anyone ask for? We did the usual touristy things like getting on the hop-on and hop-off bus tour and my friend Titash with his infinite wisdom said, "One should only hop-on and never, never hop-off these buses". Why he said that, I never found out and never questioned. I merely followed orders.

We roamed around Covent Garden, checked out Beirut Express in Edgeware Road, gazed into Russel and Bromley and generally chilled out. On one such day trip to Hampton Court, me, Sad and her daughter Zoe were driven there by a mini cab driver, who was the usual British-Asian. He seemed the quiet sort, which suited us fine because normally when you get those talkative ones, it sure is hard to concentrate on anything else. Way-too-much information is a phrase they do not seem to be familiar with.

Anyway, on our way back, the cabbie had decided that we were good enough to be told his rags-to-riches story all the way from Pakistan to England. So we were regaled by the tale of how he, an orphan and an illiterate, came to the city paved with gold and got married to a woman who had an M.A degree to her credit and how he has three perfect children with her and how not one of them want cell phones by their own accord...snort!

And how his only daughter has no friends because she is just so fulfilled with the family (I think she has seen the movie 'Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham' too many a times) and how he has never had an argument in his twenty-year wedded life. So you can imagine how close I was to actually snorting out my feelings loudly!

We arrived at our destination to drop off Sad and Zoe and I was left to continue my journey to my aunt's house. So this got me thinking about all the crime stories that I see on the Fox Channel, am I going to be one of the statistics now?

Diary, I know I am a bit of a cynic. So I thought that I should put aside my sceptic nature and cynicism for some time and give him the benefit of my doubt and believe that he does have his kind of perfect life. Maybe not my kind of perfection, but the kind, which works for him. But Diary, now that he was on a roll and kind of had my attention, he chattered on about another fairy tale life, which consisted of the Indian film industry stars.

He went on to say how he had Salman Khan on speed dial and how the actor offered him 15,000 pounds to buy his own cab and how Katrina Kaif's father always has one permanent room in his hotel and the finale was how once there were no empty hotel rooms in London and how he housed Preity Zinta and Saif Ali Khan in his house.

By now I was thinking, how does one handle the loony ones in the show? Anyway, I arrived back home safely, had a good laugh with Sad and promptly forgot all about the matter. The holiday drew to a close and I was on my way to the airport, trying to look stern and unfriendly so the driver would not talk to me. But no such luck. After a few pleasantries, this man all the way from Sicily, called Gino, asked me "Do you know Shahrukhkhan?" Yes! Exactly as I have penned it. In one sweep. Shahrukhkhan?

I wondered what was with this Bollywood fixation everywhere? Six in the morning, without my caffeine fix and no tryst in the loo, I do not want to talk about this middle aged, over hyped actor who has no clue about me; I truly felt like screaming. But, putting a lid on my feelings, I firmly put a fake plastic smile on and answered him in the positive. So now what does he do? He whips his phone out and scrolls out many of the stars' numbers and tries to move his huge girth to show them to me.

And here I was looking at the oncoming traffic and praying to God to take me back to my family safely. Luckily, for the rest of the drive my pounding headache, which resembled an MRI, helped me to zone out and not to listen to his prattle.

So, finally on the plane. Only hitch, an unknown Tamil man sharing the seat next to me. Consoled myself by thinking as soon as the plane takes off, I will switch. No such luck. Flight full. As I resigned myself to seven hours of close proximity till Abu Dhabi, I put my feet up, wrapped my cape tightly around me and strained towards my left to avoid less contact.

But no, the fidgety man next to me, while watching a South Indian movie with a drink in his hand, just had to keep on fidgeting. One hour into the flight while he was nursing his third drink, I had enough.

I got up, went towards the bathroom, and did what I do best. Broke out into huge wracking sobs, creating quite a stir in the kitchen gully. So, in between hiccupping sobs, I explained, how, me, a Muslim woman, cannot sit next to a man who is constantly grazing my arm while he is drinking. I was hoping my pitiful sobs would make them bump me to first class, but though they were very supportive, they exchanged my seat to an isle one, which was the second best thing.

After I got back to Dhaka, I narrated this incident to my friend Minnat, and guess what she told me? She said if she were on this flight with me to Dhaka, she would have disowned me. And to that my answer was, if she was on the flight with me, I wouldn't have to resort to such drama, because then she would be grazing her arm, legs and everything against me and it would not matter. Right diary? Duh!

So after a long and eventful holiday, I meowed up to my husband and promised never to go on a long trip without him except to Kolkata. Fair enough?

Hope I have fed you enough fodder to last you some time Diary. So have a happy day, the Sam Q way!

Chicken wings with a twist
20 chicken wings
For the marinade
2 tbsp whole black peppers, toasted in a dry frying pan, then ground
1 tbsp peeled and chopped garlic
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
3 tbsp grated orange rind
4 spring onions trimmed and finely chopped
1 chilli finely chopped
2 tbsp clear honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
150ml vegetable oil
50ml sesame oil
Salt to taste

Mix all the above marinade ingredients in a bowl. Then wizz them in the blender till they form a smooth consistency. Add the chicken and coat well. Keep in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Put the chicken wings.

In a roasting pan and cook in a pre-heated oven till the wings are golden brown and cooked through. Can be grilled also.

Coriander chicken
8 pieces of chicken
2 tomatoes chopped
2 cups of fresh coriander, leaves and stems
3 fresh red chillies chopped
3 green chillies chopped
2 tsp fresh tomato paste
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp olive oil or any vegetable oil
1 cup yoghurt
Coriander sprigs and sliced chillies for garnishing

7cm fresh ginger grated coarsely
5 cloves garlic, peeled
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water

Blend the marinade ingredients to a paste and coat the chicken pieces well with the marinade. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Now blend tomato, coriander, chillies, tomato paste and water until smooth.

Heat oil, add chicken and stir until browned all over. Add tomato mixture. Cook for about 10 minutes in medium heat and now add yoghurt. Stir until chicken is cooked through. Add little water if sauce is too thick. Serve hot with garnishing.





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