Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |   Volume 6, Issue 17, Tuesday, April 26, 2011




The wedding of the year

Every girl has watched at least one Disney cartoon during her childhood where the handsome prince charming arrives on horseback to rescue the damsel in distress, gives her her first kiss, marries her and they live happily ever after. By the time the girls grow up and thoughts of an ideal partner start to form in their heads the first image that probably comes up is that of a handsome prince, not exactly on horseback but, maybe in an expensive car. While millions of commoners in the world have to make do with their commoner partners and refer to them as their princes, albeit figuratively, there is one commoner who can say “My prince” and say it literally!

After much speculation surrounding their split in 2007 and much media attention, at times unwanted, Kate Middleton is finally set to marry Prince William and become a princess, thus amplifying media scrutiny on every aspect of her life a further thousand fold. For a commoner becoming a royal, it does not end at that. For Kate the “perks “of becoming royal include losing this pet name of hers, not being able to play monopoly at home (the Royal Family is prohibited from doing so), losing the right to vote, not being allowed to sign anywhere other than official papers or to eat shellfish (because of fear of food poisoning). Kate also has to master the talent of eating fast because, while dining with her, when the Queen puts the fork down so does everyone. Being a Royal does not exactly seem to be as easy as they shown in Princess Diaries!

Kate is believed to have had three dresses commissioned; two as back-up in case her chosen gown is leaked to the media before the wedding. Nothing that would make Bangladeshi brides go green with envy as they have three to four outfits for their numerous wedding ceremonies anyway! Although Kate now sports her late mother-in-law's engagement ring (while the Prince has refused to wear one!) her dress is rumoured to be much less “princess-like” than Diana's was during her 1981 wedding which had a 25-foot long trail. Keeping with latest fashion trends a trail was not included as part of Kate's outfit unlike Diana's and she is said to have chosen a much toned down dress. Furthermore, unlike every royal wedding till date Kate will not be arriving at the venue in a horse drawn carriage, which is a tradition.

While the perforated line, between William and Kate, on the new stamps are causing some people to wonder about a probable split in the future, fanatic interest in the wedding has reached such a point that a couple in England claim to have discovered a jelly bean with Kate's image imprinted on it and even plan on auctioning it!

With a bank holiday announced on the royal wedding day the entire UK will be attending the wedding, virtually that is! Some economists have even predicted that the GDP growth rate will fall while everybody will be off enjoying the wedding on their television, because of the bank holiday. Seems like quite a lose-lose situation for the citizens: drop in the GDP growth and on top of that no dinner even after faithfully sitting through a wedding!

It is not every day that one gets to watch a royal wedding, and that too without risking their economy; this is the chance for those of us who were not around to catch Diana's wedding. So do not forget to book your sofas on the coming 29th to witness a real fairytale.

By Karishma Ameen


Taking care of your feet

An unhappy pair of feet will make your life difficult. Here are some simple ways to a happy healthy pair of feet. No matter how nice the pair of shoes, it will still look drab and unpleasant if worn on crusty feet caked in dirt and dust. It's quite easy to invest in homemade pedicures or some sort of foot maintenance routine. Soak them in Johnson's baby shampoo, clean out the toenails with a nail brush, scrub off dead skin with pumice stones, apply fresh coats of nailpolish, use generous amounts of oil-free moisturiser etc.

Make sure your feet are clean and dry before you put on socks. And while you are cleaning your feet, inspect them carefully whether they are in shape and have any abnormality or not. Cutting toes nails will be easier for you if done after the wash. Don't cut them too short or dig your nail-cutter deep inside your toes!

No one likes a sweaty pair of feet! To avoid that, you can take a couple of precautions. If you think your feet sweats a lot, wear canvas or leather shoes or those made with highly breathable material. Don't go for synthetic materials. Also, give each pair of shoes a break; time to dry a bit between uses.

And speaking of shoes, make sure you let go of your worn-out pairs since they have lost the ability to support your feet properly. When this happens, it causes fatigue to not just your feet but your legs and back as well. Feet are often overlooked when it comes to body care and beauty care. Though not as "visible" as other parts, make sure you pay enough attention to them!

LS Desk

Dhaka Delights

The bird cage

Locked from two sides and further separated from the driver by an iron veil, I felt like a caged bird. The CNG was zooming through the busy Motijheel traffic, the driver snaking his way amidst other vehicles that plied the road. One of those talkative types- the enlightened, opinionated one with a say on everything - he kept uttering nonsense. I felt nauseated and claustrophobic.

No doubt the lovebirds at home felt the same. Locked in their metal cage they fluttered wings all day. They were not wild creatures but bred in captivity with only one destiny in life- being a symbol of one's affection. A valentine's gift from my lover, I couldn't decide on a fate for the pair of birds. To set them free would be an utter disregard to her love. To keep them captive seemed so vehemently, anti-animal rights! So there I was, stuck in captivity within a CNG. Was the cage truly for my own good? A means of shelter from the perils of Dhaka nightlife, a protection from the evil that comes when darkness falls.

Within the boundaries of Dhaka, we are not devoid of groups that flock the roads- “oggan” party, “malam” party and others that can make one's hair stand on end.
“The metal doors,” the CNG driver explained lucidly, “Stops the 'spitting party' from attacking at the traffic stop-lights.” And then he himself began spitting on the road and cursing.

I just wondered what the womenfolk thought of the “birdcage.” Did they feel secure now that they were veiled from the “oggan” and “malam” parties or did their lives still feel threatened? Completely at the mercy of the driver until the three-wheeler stops, are their lives now terrorised further? Once again, I prayed and thanked heavens. Life for a man in Dhaka is so much simpler. Even inside the birdcage.

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif

Dhaka Delights

Because you Care

Your boss is angry and you can sense it in the air. There are numerous reasons--you have been continuously missing the deadlines, you turn up at work when everyone else is leaving, you have even taken French Leaves for about a whole week to come up with the nerve shredding excuse that you were threatened with abduction by some village goons who are after your scanty two acres of land in some remote hinterland in Benapole.

What could be the reason this time? you wonder as you smell the "tightness and nillness" in space that Irish poet Seamous Heaney has famously mentioned in a poem that alludes to the occupied Northern Ireland. As your eyes fix on a stash of beautiful blue envelopes, you shudder in an indescribable terror. The time has come. Your day of reckoning has just arrived; the office is throwing a party celebrating its 50th founding anniversary, and even though you will be dead tired that day spending time with your six children and one wife, and even though it's the only free day you have in the week, you have to attend it. Attend you must.

You have dodged the last 16 anniversary parties with ingenious excuses: Grandmother is ill; traffic was bad, by the time I reached there it was all over; oh my god! Didn't you see me? Napoleon had his waterloo, you have this 50th anniversary.

At the expense of sounding a little preachy, I must tell you that this one you should not skip. At the end of the day, parties like these give you an opportunity to make bonds with people you probably spend more time than your own family members. Knowing the other side of their talents (the round-faced man to whom you say hi every day can actually dance really well!); these programmes bring colleagues closer; create a healthy work environment. Next Friday you are going to hit the party in your Sunday best, not because you have run out of excusable excuses, but because you care.

All the characters and people described in this article are fictitious.

By Ahmede Hussain

Dental Wise

DR. Mahfujul Haq Khan
BDS, DDS (BSMMU), PhD (Japan), Associate Professor, Department of Dentistry, BIRDEM

Dental wise

Baby teeth care
How can I best care for my child's teeth?
Good dental hygiene habits should begin before your child's first tooth comes in. Wiping your baby's gums with a soft damp cloth after feedings helps to prevent the buildup of bacteria. When teeth appear, start using a soft children's toothbrush twice a day.

A parent can help a child in the proper ways of brushing until the child understands. Children are usually wise enough to brush by themselves by age six. Get a brush with soft, rounded bristles, put a small amount of toothpaste on the brush and make circular strokes on all surfaces of the teeth. Spit out the toothpaste and rinse with water to make sure no paste is swallowed.

Young children tend to swallow most of the toothpaste, and swallowing too much fluoride toothpaste can cause permanent stains on their teeth.

What about using fluoride tablets?
Fluoride helps make teeth strong by hardening the tooth enamel. If you live in an area where the tap water doesn't contain fluoride, your doctor may prescribe daily fluoride tablets when your child is about 6 months old. Unfortunately we do not have any analysed data about the presence and percentage of fluoride presence in our tap water .

What are cavities?
Cavities are holes that are formed when bacteria (germs) in your mouth use the sugar in food to make acid. This acid eats away the teeth. Cavities are common in children. Good tooth care can keep cavities from happening in your child

Is my child at risk of cavities?
Your child might be at risk of cavities if he or she eats a lot of sugary foods (such as raisins, cookies and candy) and drinks a lot of sweet liquids (such as fruit juice and punch, soda and sweetened drinks). Your child also might be at risk if he or she has any of the following risk factors:

· Was born early (prematurely) or weighed very little at birth (low birth weight)
· Has ongoing special health care needs
· Has white spots or brown areas on any teeth
Don't put your baby to sleep with a bottle filled with milk formula, fruit juice or other sweet liquids. Your child should finish his/her bottle before taking a nap or bedtime.

How can I help stop cavities?
Everyone in your family should take good care of their teeth. Family members with lots of cavities can pass the cavity-causing bacteria to babies and children.

Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day and adults should floss once a day. Everyone should see the dentist twice a year. Have your doctor or dentist show you the right way to brush your child's teeth.

Does diet affect my child's teeth?
Yes. Avoiding sweets, sticky foods and between-meal snacks is good advice. To avoid cavities, limit sweet snacks and drinks between meals. Have meals and snacks at regular times. Teeth-friendly snacks include fresh fruits and vegetables, and cheese and crackers.

Is thumb-sucking bad for my child?
It's normal for children to suck their thumbs, their fingers or a pacifier. Most children give up this habit on their own by age four, with no harm done to their teeth. If your child still has a sucking habit after age four, consult your dentist.

Your dentist can watch carefully for any problems as the teeth develop. In most children there is no reason to worry about a sucking habit until around age six, when the permanent front teeth come in.

When should I start taking my child to the dentist?
The American Dental Association recommends that parents take their child to a dentist no later than his or her first birthday. This gives the dentist a chance to look for early problems with your child's teeth.

Poor oral hygiene in children can lead to bad breath. Food particles left in the mouth can cause an unpleasant odour. Consistently failing to brush your teeth can cause a sticky transparent film to collect on the teeth called plaque. Since bacteria thrive on plaque it can worsen bad breath.

Under A Different Sky


By Iffat Nawaz

Here music echoes louder, there is more space for it to shout, scream and when she gets a break, to sing. Here the sky sports clouds which are not puffy but linear; and the silver linings do not come on the outside but the inside. The clouds are stuffed with silver, silver stuffed bubbles just hanging to dissolve into blue.

Here windows bring evenings, caressing mildly; here no ones turns the light on, not until you are ready. The darkness steps in light-footed, marking no territory, it comes and sits next to you like an old friend, visiting everyday, yawning and stretching, inspiring new insights, swallowing old ones.

Here the bottom of your feet carries dusk, it carries old broken glasses, it carries hard skin that does not go away even after softening it with water, oil and a bit of excess unused emotions sucked out of your heart. Here fingers do not point at anyone or anything but touch each other to feel the life that remains throbbing, vibrating; still so much alive.

Here night arrives unannounced and doesn't disappear until you have slept enough. Night doesn't tell stories but lets you write your own, it doesn't encourage ghosts or goosebumps, no corners are left unknown with its heavy melting mystery. Here all remains open and available to be yours -- mismatched socks, washed laundry, spare change, frozen water yet to become ice.

Here when morning comes, and sunlight touches your feet you instantly feel it. You wake up with memories that you had forgotten, of other mornings when you ignored the sunlight, when your eyebrows touched each other without telling you, when your eyes wanted to see further, into mountains and myths, but all you saw was the overflowing garbage on the streets and the depressed crows chewing on stuff that only crows can chew on.

Here when morning leaves and afternoon comes it feeds you for the day. It wipes your mouth, washes your face, it combs your hair, dresses you in colours that you never tried before. It gives you direction, it cleans out your closet and tells you to take a nap while it strokes your heart, it adds a bit of itself to your blood, and while you sleep afternoon flows through veins.

Here no one comes, no one goes, no one ends or starts. Here is not a place for dreams but all things you dreamt of. Here nothing touches you unless you want it to touch you; here even tears are welcome when needed. “When did you learn to laugh and cry like this?” you ask yourself... and you answer... “when here becomes here and all things there became mine.”


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