Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 6, Issue 08, Tuesday, February 22, 2011



A is for Attitude

My meditation teacher tells me that it's my attitude that governs the quality of my life. Now what sort of hocus pocus is that? Granted I signed up for a dose of HP when I decided to take a transcendental meditation class in the first place, but truth be told, I had no clue what it would entail. You could say my attitude at that moment was “Oooh, shiny new object, must poke and see.” Lesson learnt. Do not stick your finger into something if you are not prepared to get jolted from your cozy stance.

So what about this 'attitude' business then?

For starters, I'm supposed to adopt an “attitude of gratitude”. Are you kidding me? Of course I'm grateful. Every time I come out of my grammar classes, having survived cold looks from twenty pairs of fourteen year old eyes, I'm very grateful! Now there's some attitude.

You have the sullen teen attitude “Yeah so what?”

You have the know-it-all attitude “Yes, yes, been there, done that. Teach me something I don't know!”

And then there's the inscrutable teen attitude “Lady, why are you taking up my visual space and breathing my oxygen and blabbing about gerunds??”

I break the silence in our meditation class and ask my guru if he can teach me how to receive attitudes gratefully rather than exude them because I believe that would do wonders to improving the quality of my daily life. He starts breathing heavily. Inhales. Exhales. And remains silent. Presumably even he is stumped when it comes to these tricky teenager attitudes.

The thing is, if you live in Dhaka, of course you have to be grateful. You're grateful when you've timed yourself perfectly through the traffic jam and it only takes you 45 minutes to traverse 100 feet of a Dhaka avenue. You're grateful when you're walking on the pavement and someone's spit projectile misses you by a few inches. Speaking as a woman, I'm grateful to be five feet five inches and taller (and possibly heavier) than the average male in Chandni Chawk so I am not subjected to unwanted elbowing. And every time I see those fairness cream ads, I'm so grateful I (a) have a job (b) found love (c) never had to attend a meeting where the outcome is decided by the shade of my skin. Phew! That was a close call. I must be the one that got away. My only regret is I've never had any movie director stopping me on the road because he's so enamored by my glow.

From glowing to glowering, my guru is throwing rather angry glances at me. I give him my wide-toothed grin. He turns an unhealthy purple shade. (Now there's someone who could do with some fairness cream!) He instructs me to please sit up and pay attention to his instructions instead of staring blankly at the ceiling. I feel confused. I thought part of meditation is to stare blankly, no?

My guru admonishes me. I haven't been concentrating. If I don't intend to take his class seriously, then how will I benefit from it, he asks me. I try to exude a 'Yeah, so what' attitude. Doesn't quite take off. So, instead, I match guruji's propensity for poetry to prove my intentions and declare, “Om or home!”

By Munize Manzur
Photo: Lifestye Archive


Know your skin

SADIA MOYEEN Beautician, La Belle
13/A /2 Kemal Ataturk Avenue ,
( 3rd/ 4th fl ) Gulshan -2

What is your skin type? A lot of people are unsure about their own skin, thus resulting in inadequate or wrong care. It is no use spending a fortune on expensive skin care products if you buy the wrong ones for your skin type. The key to developing a skin care regime that works for you is to analyse your skin type first.

To develop a better understanding of your skin and what will suit it best, start by answering the questions in this quiz. Add up your score and check the list at the end to discover which category you fit into.


1. How does your skin feel when you wash it with facewash and water?
A) Tight, and stretched.
B) Smooth and comfortable.
C) Dry and itchy in places.
D) Fine- quite comfortable.
E) Dry in some places, and smooth in other places.

2. How does your skin feel when you clean it with cream cleanser?
A) Relatively comfortable.
B) Smooth and comfortable.
C) Sometimes comfortable sometimes itchy
D) Quite dry.
E) Oily in some areas and smooth in some.

3. How does your skin look by mid-day?
A) Flaky patches appearing.
B) Fresh and clean.
C) Flaky patches and redness.
D) Shiny.
E) Shiny in the T- zone.

4. How often do you break out in spots?
A) Hardly ever.
B) Occasionally, perhaps before or after your period.
C) Occasionally.
D) Often.
E) Often in the T-zone

5) How does your face react when you use facial toner?
A) It stings.
B) No problem.
C) Stings and itches.
D) Feels fresh.
E) Feels fresh in some areas, stings in others.

6) How does your skin react to a rich night cream?
A) Feels very comfortable.
B) Comfortable.
C) Sometimes comfortable sometimes irritated.
D) Feels very oily.
E) Oily on the T-zone, comfortable on the cheeks.

Now add up your A"s, B's, C's, D's and E's.

Your skin type is the one that has the majority of answers.

Mostly A's -- Your skin is dry.
Mostly B's -- Your skin is normal.
Mostly C's -- Your skin is sensitive.
Mostly D's -- Your skin is oily.
Mostly E's -- Your skin is combination.

Even if you know what your skin type is, it is a good idea to run through the quiz, since your skin changes over a period of time.


Wee Willie Winkie

Fahmeena nahas

“Wee Willie Winkie
Runs through the town
Upstairs and downstairs
In his nightgown”.

It was past bedtime. I kept reminding Rayyan, my daughter, then about three years old, and my nephew, Numair who is about ten months younger. But both the babies continued to play and postponed bedtime. I simply got tired and let them play for a while. In fact I got busy with something and forgot about them.

“Ma, Wee Willie Winkie”, quipped little Rayyan. “Yes”, I replied. “And if you don't go to bed, he's going to come and get you!” I was so engrossed with whatever I was involved with that I talked to her without even looking up.

“Ma, Wee Willie Winkie,” repeated Rayyan.

“Hmmm....na ghumale Wee Willie Winkie chole ashbe (if you don't sleep Wee Willie Winkie will come and get you)”, I reminded her.

“Ma, chole ashchhe (he's here)”. I thought she was joking with me and I looked up with a little knot in my throat. I was dumbstruck at what I saw.

There was this tall young man in his striped pajamas standing right in front of me.

I couldn't believe my eyes. He was disheveled and his striped sleeping suit was dirty and crumpled. I looked at him and jumped up like a little rabbit. Without realising what I was doing, I ran to my bedroom to call my husband. I had left two small children all alone with a complete stranger. I didn't realise that my babies could have been in grave danger. He could have been a kidnapper or serial killer for all I knew. I just sensed that I had to get help to deal with this unknown man standing right in my living room. My husband ran out and started asking him questions.

The young man, our very own Wee Willie Winkie, was actually quite harmless. He had come to ask for money. We thought he was a drug addict and wanted money to pursue his habits. My husband asked him questions. Upon closer investigation it was found that he was from a good family and he had been a good student. But he had had an accident a while back on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway which left him unbalanced. He asked for money which he didn't really need. My husband got someone to take him home.

But after all these years I still can't fathom how I managed to leave my little girl and little Numair with a complete stranger and a weird looking one at that!


Modern Family

Christopher Lloyd's and Steve Levitan's brain-child has indeed taken the world by storm. If viewers were waiting for something special, this is probably it. Presented in a mockumentary style, the show revolves around the lives of three 'average' families, detailing the essence of parenthood and the unwilling hilarity associated with it.

The series chronicles the lives of the families of Jay Pritchett (Ed O'Neill), his son Mitchell Pritchett (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and his daughter Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen), who live in Los Angeles. Jay's divorce with his long-term wife sees him re-marrying the much younger Columbian, Gloria (Sofia Vergara) who brings along her young son, Manny Delgado (Rico Rodriguez). Then there's Mitchell with his partner Cameron Tucker along with their adopted Vietnamese baby, Lilli Pritchett Tucker, while Micthell's sister Claire marries Phil Durby (Ty Burell) and together they have three beautiful children.

As far as strange family ties go, "Modern Family" has all the elements required, in tune with the modern day aspects of same-sex marriages and 'ethnic' adaptations, topped off with a cool Facebooking dad. The chain of events that ensues everyday from seemingly harmless topics and discussions is best captured in the single-camera setup, which lends an incredible air of authenticity to the proceedings.

So how hard is it for each of these individuals to keep their families in check? There are social dilemmas to deal with and an infusion of cultural clashes which make the viewers thankful for their family despite the minor ups and downs. The show presents in-your-face information to all classes, be it in the shape of the 'still-got-it' dad Phil, the smarty-pants annoying sibling Alex and even the woes of housewife Claire.

The show, full of laugh-riots, manages to ensure that every family has something they can relate to, with the current set of oddballs. Positive reviews and an Emmy Award in 2010 for Outstanding Comedy bear testament to the burgeoning reputation of Lloyd and Levitan's ingenuity and the believability of the characters.

A strong cast, along with a stronger plot line punctuated by laughter is what should be the recipe for a relaxing tele-session after a long and hard day. Catch repeats of the first season now aired on Star World.

By Osama Rahman


Dhaka dictionary

Living in Dhaka, we often come across familiar words being used in totally different contexts. At times the usage gets so confusing one feels like (s)he is hearing an alien language. To help you deal with this dilemma, we present 'Dhaka Dictionary'. We aim to feature words along with their meaning in the Dhaka street context, all in the effort of trying to simplify matters. We're also tossing in an ill-prepared explanation and use of the word in its chosen sense in a particularly ill-constructed sentence. And now, today's word:

Plastic - (pronounced plashtick). Adjective: Word used to describe any car apart from four-wheelers. Derived from a bus conductor's idea that vehicles smaller than the bus are made of plastic as they dent easily. Hence any time a car is nearby (usually on the left) the conductor yells "Bhai plastic!" All cars are plastic regardless of their price. Four-wheelers are usually called Jeep, even if they are Pajeros. Drive carefully, plastic to the left.

Baby-Taxi - (pronounced 'Be-bi Tax-ee') Noun. Meaning: Three-wheel form of transport which doesn't run on CNG. Not to be confused with the 'Mishuk'. We decided to include this for the benefit of the new generation who came a bit too late. Even though Baby-Taxis are on the verge of extinction in major cities of Bangladesh, they are still widely used in outer districts. And yes, they are much cheaper than the green three-wheelers we have and hence pollute more.

Airport - (pronounced 'a-ar-pot') Noun. Meaning: A dish of meat, heavy on the curry. This word derives from absolutely nothing and has no relation to the dish in question nor to an actual airport. Most frequently used in certain hotels around Kakoli, this given usage is still alien to many residents. 'I want a plate of airport please.'

By Osama Rahman


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