|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 37, Tuesday, September 21, 2010|
The gold rush
A popular trade
The next four hours will be fateful. The next four hours will decide many things. A lot may happen between now and the next four hours, and it will. In the next four hours, numerous people will get richer, or poorer. Many dreams will be fulfilled and many will be broken. The clock strikes eleven… and the stock market comes alive.
Arshad, a senior student of Brac University, shares his story. “I got into the market with three other friends after passing HSC examinations. I, like my other two friends, used to provide home tuitions back then. Soon, we had enough money to land ourselves in the stock exchange. It's thrilling!”
Service providers also find investing in the capital market to be a very prospective idea. Nasif, a 28 year old banker, shares his views while browsing the DSE website. “With expenses shooting up, it's hard to live decently in Dhaka. So when I receive my paycheck, I get busy multiplying. It's a good 'side-business'”.
And 'side-business' has become the main business for many. The stock market very easily lures the unemployed and the retired. On a different note, many housewives are investing in the stock market. The job doesn't demand the typical 'barriers' or worries women face in the workforce. There is very little work-life conflict. “I go to the brokerage house with my friends and trade. The minimal amount of time I have to give does not hamper my daily chores, and the kids and my husband are usually outdoors during this time. And, I'm making quite a lot of money”, says a woman at the brokerage house, while busily analysing share prices from the huge screen in front of her.
“Show me the money!”
Oliver Stone's Wall Street introduces you to the super-charismatic, filthy rich and extremely greedy Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas), a business magnate on Wall Street, who uses inside information to manipulate the stock market. With mind-blowing speeches and lectures, he teaches his junior broker- his right hand man- on how to move forward in the business world, following his precept, 'Greed is good'. And once you're done with it, wait for the sequel, Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, which is going to release by the end of this year!
By M. H. Haider
Eid "melo" drama
Tossing and turning on the couch with coffee on the side table, I tried to concentrate on the book in hand. I had taken the solemn vow not to spend the day sleeping and decided to take upon the old habit of reading after a long, long gap.
The language was lucid, the plot enticing yet I couldn't sink my teeth into the story, especially when there was a brawl in progress right in front. Younger cousins, nieces and nephews fought over the possession of the remote, a ritualistic warfare whenever the clan gets together, Eid or not.
Raising my voice, I seized control. “There will be some rules in my house," I said. Although it wasn't my house! "There will be no cartoon for the next three days. And there will certainly not be any vampires and werewolves!”
I took the remote.
Mind you, I am not talking about celebrity actors; channels were full of famed singers -- rock and classical even -- trying to wet their feet in the art of acting. I could even pick faces seen on the fashion ramp. Reminded me of a time when acting was left to performers who knew the subject and it was sheer skills, not just a pretty face that made an actress.
Anyway, eye-candy entertainment I thought, and soon found myself flicking channels, one after another, indecisive as to which station to adhere to. The attempt seemed futile but finally, I settled on a show.
Sister: I have a plan.
Brother: What a wonderful idea! Sure sister.
However, it was not the ludicrous plot of these dramas, but the bombardment of incessant advertisements that caught my fancy.
Whatever the show, whichever the channel, all were punctuated by long intervals. With multiple channels airing shows on the festive occasion it is quite understandable that there would be pressures from their patrons. But succumbing to such weight leads to an excessive dose of ads that can really be an eyesore and quite irritating at times.
All this got me thinking (finally), why are we a nation that compromises quality over quantity? As children we learned that there were two days of Eid-ul-Fitr and three of Eid-ul-Adha. Why stretch the elastic to six days when there is content for two?
As for the advertisers, is it not more important to make a mark in the minds of the consumers rather than to irritate with poorly done ads?
As for the quality of the drama scripts, why on earth are we still a nation obsessed with fatal diseases? Television dramas and films capitalised on the sentiment surrounding fatal diseases back in the early eighties yet the ghost seems to have chased us through the millennium and well into its first decade.
Dear playwright, why this repetition of stale ideas when the original was ludicrous to begin with? Have you not ever heard of the excruciating pain of a cancer victim, the mental agony of their near relatives to pen something closer to the heart? With some research it is not impossible to sketch a realistic picture of the case?
Suicide is a little understood subject, or so we like to think. Yet there is no denying that a considerably large segment of the population has at one time or another has tried to commit suicide. How can someone adopt a comical approach to this dark subject, especially when there has been a huge outcry following the death of a number of girls?
This is an example of bad taste on the part of the writers, weird selection of roles by the actors and utter irresponsibility by the channel authorities.
There are no hard and fast rules as to how Eid programmes should be. They can be funny, or thought-provoking. But please, unwind from the writers' block and get away from cancer!
The concept of indoor bathrooms integrated as part of the house entered the tropical home only in the past century, as Asians turned towards Western living standards. Ancient Indian civilisations built capacious public bathing ponds with steps leading down to a wide landing where people spent long hours for daily washes and to engage in chitchat with friends.
The traditional Asian shower required only two items - a large urn and a scoop - and consisted of splashing bowls of rainwater over the body. Bathing took place outdoors where a breeze quickly dried the body after a bath.
Two directions in contemporary bathroom design are currently emerging: the tropical garden bathroom and the sophisticated urban bathroom. Bathrooms following the tropical garden direction have taken inspiration from the many resorts and spas in Bali and Thailand. Their spas offer idyllic eco-friendly bathing, and are full of herbal products. They offer exceptional bathing facilities, especially for those on holidays or on special outings. For daily life however, we need more smart and trendy bathrooms.
The work place has transformed into a place where young, energetic, and inventive executives want to spend extended amounts of time and plan for the future. Comfortable bathrooms are no longer a luxury for corporate offices. A healthy washroom is now a primary component of office décor. The same goes for guesthouses or residential units.
For office bathrooms, we used two appliances, namely, a water-closet and a wash basin (a shower is not necessary). These are like powder bathrooms. As a designer, I suggest a simple colour chart for the wash zone. Brown, beige, white, off-white and so on are soothing for the small space because they provide a bright and welcoming impression.
We used off-white tiles for a corporate washroom and set them into the wall horizontally. In the middle section we used two lines of slightly darker tiles for a breakthrough. We did not use any décor tiles and borders so as to keep costs to a minimum.
A porcelain sink within a long marble counter might look luxurious, but if your space is limited, it is not practical. For a powder bathroom, space is limited, so we suggest a small counter for the washbasin.
Now, various types of washbasins are available in the market. For a long time we have been habituated to counter basins but now top counter basins are more attractive. There are many different sizes and shapes; some round, ball-shaped, some are oval, and others rectangular. As per your space you can choose the right one for you.
To cut to the chase of picking faucets, always go for the established names. A well-made faucet is heavily used at a busy area and will have to last a long time. Furthermore, cheap knock-offs might plague you with unnecessary plumbing bills and inefficient water flow. We used a Toto water closet and washbasin for a corporate zone.
To save on water, and ultimately your utility bills, opt for a low-flow water faucet. These environment-friendly faucets use less than half the water of regular water guzzlers. We used Toto and Watsons faucets for heavy duty use.
Guesthouses or contemporary hotel rooms provide shower units within minimum space. The bathtub is still a popular fixture for a lot of people. For a limited space we can use standing showers enclosed with a modern steam bathing system. Even in a tub you can attach a modern shower system.
Accessories are the last addition and an essential touch-up for a washroom. Certain furnishings enrich the whole bathroom such as looking mirrors. A graceful mirror can lend your washroom an added amount of elegance.
Stainless-steel towel rings, soap or brush holders or mini cosmetic baskets are small objects which have big impacts. So, a simple straight-line design washroom with minimum accessories also creates a comfortable mood.
Nazneen Haque Mimi
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