Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 6, Issue 18, Tuesday, May 03, 2011




Mall culture

The other night after returning home from a movie, Amar Bondhu Rashed, at the Bashundhara Cineplex, as I settled in front of my laptop, sipping on my favourite QQ juice (a must have for me every time I visit Bashundhara) I wondered how many times I had been to shopping malls in the past week and to how many. I realised I had been to the same shopping mall twice and to two others on separate days making four days in one week. Why did I have to visit shopping malls so frequently during the week? Did that mean I was a shopaholic?

I think not, because I only purchased one thing out of the four visits; that too an internet modem which can hardly qualify me as a shopaholic. I would rather blame it on the revolution that grasped the shopping scenario of Dhaka city and has been altering the meaning of shopping for Dhaka residents in the last decade.

Once upon a time the only spots available in Dhaka to cater to shopping needs were places like New Market and a few other markets here and there which were visited purely for shopping purposes most of the time. The first actual shopping mall in Dhaka was probably Eastern Plaza which introduced the then “novel” technology of escalators to the city in the early 1990s.

With the dawn of the new millennium mall upon mall started filling in the plots on Dhaka's streets and by now almost every area in Dhaka has at least two shopping malls. A shopping mall is no more limited to its basic function. It has become much more than that. It has become a culture which popped up in America in the 70s followed by European countries and finally embraced by developing nations like ours.

Do we visit shopping malls only to make our wallets lighter and come out with a dozen shopping bags? I think not. Most of the times I return from a mall with very negligible change to my cash reserve and I can say the same is true for a huge number of other people. While mothers and aunts usually frequent malls for shopping only, their sons, daughters, nieces and nephews visit these places for a different purpose --hanging out.

Malls came as a breath of fresh air to the youngsters of the city providing them with a place to meet their friends which were limited to rooftops and homes during their previous generations' younger years.

Anytime you visit a mall you are bound to come across a group of friends either enjoying a burger at the food court housed by the mall or just walking around. Not that this scene was never ever seen in the city prior to the introduction of malls. During the 70s New Market was the “shopping mall” for the city dwellers. Back at that time young boys used to hang out at the market, a similar scene to what can be seen at malls today but as times changed that practice faded out.

For girls, like yours truly, malls are an escape from worries and anxiety and something that just makes us feel happy. Just because we have already run out of our salary for the month and are not loaded enough to get that extremely expensive shoe or bag does not mean we cannot ogle with dreamy eyes from the other side of the glass window!

Window shopping maybe counted as one of the most favourite means of passing time for girls. Thanks to the numerous shopping complexes of the city that fancy of the woman population is now satiated. And as far as the boys are concerned they are increasingly becoming part of the window shopping crowd thanks to their girlfriends who choose to window shop after every movie date.

Movie date used to be a very typical western idea of a date but not anymore. Due to Bashundhara's initiative that concept is slowly becoming a typical scenario here as well.

Bashundhara Shopping Mall brought about a big change with its introduction of movie theatres. Previously most people did not have the option of watching movies at theatres because of lack of availability of proper ones in the city. Due to Bashundhara's initiative people belonging to the middle and the upper class of the society can enjoy movies on a big screen now.

Malls have not only brought about changes to the lifestyle of people by familiarising them with sophisticated shopping environments, they also provide an indicator to the development of society and the economy as a whole. Malls exist because there is a demand for them and as newer and more progressive facilities are offered by them, it will only mean that it is another step forward in the path of development.

By Karishma Ameen
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


Myths and facts about Botox

Myth #1: Botox is not safe; it is too new; not enough is known about it.
Fact: Botox has been used therapeutically for 18 years by millions of people worldwide. It is a USFDA approved treatment for moderate to severe frown lines between the brows. Botox is a purified protein and a medical prescription product, and has been used to treat a variety of medical conditions.

Myth #2: Botox will leave you with a frozen face, or will give you an unnatural “startled” look.
Fact: Botox is a technique-sensitive procedure. When administered by an experienced physician, the results are natural and consumers will not lose the ability to show expression. Botox is used to soften wrinkles and gives natural-looking results. After treatments, consumers generally look more relaxed and youthful.

Myth #3: There are creams that are better than Botox Cosmetic.
Fact: There is no clinical evidence supporting that topical creams work better than Botox. Topical creams work well on the surface of the skin. Botox works below the surface of the skin to relax the muscles that cause lines to form.

Also, in a recent consumer report that tested the efficacy of some anti-wrinkle creams on the market, even the best performers reduced the average depth of wrinkles by only less than 10 percent, a magnitude of change that was barely visible to the naked eye.

Myth #4: Botox is too expensive.
Fact: Botox is comparable in cost to other beauty regimens, such as hair treatments, make-up and spa visits over the course of four months.

Myth #5: Botox can be administered by anyone in an aesthetic setting.
Fact: Botox should be administered by experienced aesthetic-specialty physicians, including plastic surgeons, dermatologists, and general practitioners with a specialty in aesthetics in appropriate medical settings.

Myth #6: Botox is only for the “rich and famous”; real people like me don't use it.
Fact: According to a recent survey of 1048 Botox patients in the US:

-Working mothers between the ages of 40 and 55 are the most common users of Botox.

-Those with annual household incomes of less than $100,000 (44 percent) were more likely to use Botox than those with annual incomes of more than $150,000 (35 percent).

Even in India the trend is moving towards more and more independent working women opting for Botox as the ideal solution for younger looking skin.

Myth #7: I'm too young for Botox. It is for old people only.
Fact: You can use Botox injections when there is a need and it has nothing to do with age. Some people do not develop significant wrinkles till their forties, but others already have bad frown lines or forehead lines in their early twenties.

You can consider Botox if you have wrinkles when you are young because those wrinkles will only worsen as you age. Some people inject Botox as a preventative measure before their wrinkles become obvious. The earlier the wrinkles are treated, the better the long term results.

Botox also can be used as a service to enhance your facial features like a brow lift for the perfect arched eyebrows or gummy smile.

Myth #8: If I stop using Botox, my face will look different than before.
Fact: The effects of Botox last up to 4 months. When it wears off, your face will return to its pretreatment condition. Many people choose to continue regular treatments (typically 2 to 3 times per year).

Myth #9: There's no way to know that I'm getting authentic Botox instead of something else.
Fact: Your doctor can identify a vial of authentic Botox by the imprinted “Allergan” hologram on the label. This is important, because only Botox manufactured by Allergan Inc has received FDA approval in the United States. Kaya Skin Clinic only uses Botox manufactured by Allergan.

Myth #10- Botox isn't for men.
Fact: Men constitute nearly 10 percent of all Botox cosmetic treatments worldwide and that number has grown considerably in the last 5 years.

By Dr Matiur Rahman
Kaya Skin Clinic


Spring is in the air

I after more than 5 months, can finally hear birds sing. The last few months I only heard the motors of snow ploughs and an almost menacing howling of snow storms. Snow piled the front and back of our building, the lawns and roofs of houses, parks, fields and the branches of trees. But now, it is Spring in the air, I can smell it and I can see it; the muddy months old snow is nowhere to be seen.

On a Christmas tree in front of our building, an unknown bird sings every day. I hear it sing in the morning and in the afternoon. It sings tirelessly. I close my eyes and know that I can listen to it for hours. This is one of the beauties of Spring the songs of birds. In my Dhaka days, I longed for Spring so that I could hear the cuckoos. Hearing a cuckoo sing was a sheer entertainment after a cold season. As a child, I would run to my mum and yell, “Ammu, I can hear the cuckoos, I can hear the cuckoos!”

In the mid-western U.S. states, Spring arrives late. And when it comes, the transition of weather is observable to one's naked eyes. One can see the transition in people's clothes, in colors of skies and in new leaves of trees. The pines, oaks and maples sport a gown of green and the Mississippi River boasts its clear water. After a long hiatus, people once again sail their boats and canoes on rivers and lakes. Seeing all this, it becomes hard to believe that this massive river was snow-covered not too long ago.

I have painted my toe nails and worn flip flops for the first time in many months. How good it felt to let my feet feel the Spring breeze and warmth of the sun. Spring brings good tidings - it tells us that Summer is soon to follow. It assures by saying that time has come to enjoy a walk on a bed of green grass, to savor cool drinks from tall glass and to listen to the pitter-patter of afternoon rain.

By Wara Karim


VLCC starts its journey in Bangladesh

VLCC, the largest and best-known slimming, beauty and wellness brand, in South Asia and the Middle East, has launched its first outlet at Gulshan in Dhaka on April 25. The salon was inaugurated by actress Joya Ahsan and model and actor Nobel along with other distinguished guests and VLCC management and staff.

It has centres in 102 cities across 8 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, UAE, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar. The Group employs over 7000 professionals, a majority of whom are doctors, nutritionists, psychologists, cosmetologists, beauticians, physiotherapists and the like.

“The aim of VLCC is to change the lives of people. Vandana Luthra is the founder.

It's a wellness company; we groom a person not only internally but externally. It's a wholeness package, which includes weight loss programmes with lifestyle management,'' said Kopal Verma, Senior Vice-President.

“We also have a weight gain programme. Our research and development cell always tries to develop our services and treatments. All our products are herbal. There are four businesses under one roof -- the wellness centre, personal care, spa and training institute. Bangladeshi women are beautiful and VLCC will help to make them more beautiful in a scientific way," she added.

According to Managing Director Sandeep Ahuja,, “For your complete wellness, VLCC works in three ways- first is the slimming, beauty and fitness service, second is the training institute and third is the use of retail and personal care products.

Weight loss by scientific processes and beauty treatments through a therapeutic process are VLCC's major services. Our services are available in eight countries including Bangladesh. We have combined slimming treatments with beauty treatments as well as fitness regimes. When a person comes to us we deliver a 360 degree holistic service. We are going to open two more branches in Uttara and Dhanmondi very soon.”

Indulge your senses at the VLCC Healthcare centre, a peaceful energising environment dedicated to bringing you perfection at your fingertips. Their approach is holistic with special treatments designed to relax your mind and body. At the centre, they place strong emphasis on quality service in a relaxed environment.

In addition to their regular services, they have various treatments like laser treatment, bio-peeling treatment, etc. Their slimming service is of the highest quality and has been specially formulated to make a difference in how you look and feel.

Escape to a salon cum health care centre in Dhaka where mystical Indian therapies and treatments blend seamlessly with world-class wellness and beauty rituals. They have services for men as well. Choose any one of their treatments and get a gorgeous new you!

By Farizaa Sabreen


KFC at Purana Paltan

Paltan, known for being a historical landmark throughout the political and liberation movement of Bangladesh boasts the great Paltan Maidan, Bangabandhu Stadium, the Secretariat and now its busy lifestyle, will emblem the “Finger Lickin' Good” taste of KFC chickens.

The ever busy Purana Paltan gets a new reason to be excited and thrilled. Look around the corner at Paltan Intersection right next to the Paltan overbridge for KFC. The international franchise has launched its 9th outlet at 68 Purana Paltan, (25, Comrade Moni Singh Shorok) on 29th April 2011.

KFC has been the place where around-the-year fun exists for all customers all over the world. KFC is now promising the people of Purana Paltan a rhythm of traditions to tantalise taste-buds with their secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices.

Akku Chowdhury, Executive Director, Transcom Foods Ltd. said, “Paltan has been one of the true icons, a platform which has been there through the revolutions that this country has been built on. We are overwhelmed to open our new outlet here and become a part of Paltan.

“I am sure the people of Paltan will make our effort worthwhile and welcome us warmly. I wholeheartedly invite everyone to visit KFC with friends and families from all over the town for enjoying the world class high quality food and quick service experience. I guarantee that you will enjoy great-tasting food at affordable prices and an overall outstanding dining experience.”

KFC is an international restaurant chain in Bangladesh that opened its flagship outlet on September 06, 2006 at Gulshan. Besides KFC Purana Paltan, it has 7 outlets in Dhaka at Gulshan, Banani, Baily Road, Dhanmondi, New Eskaton, Mirpur and Laxmi Bazaar.

The only outlet in Chittagong is at Lalkhan Bazar.

--LS Desk

Sesquicentennial of Tagore's birth

Looking down at the pages of his creations, one can quench the thirst of the soul at all times as Tagore has something for all seasons. Keeping this simple thought in mind, Anjan's has designed six different saris, each complementing the change of seasons.

Immortal words from Tagore are featured in each of these attires. Designed on Tangail cotton, the attires will be suitable for all seasons.

Available at all Anjan's showrooms.

Mother's Day offer by Ena la Mode

On the occasion of Mother's Day on 8 May, 2011 Ena la Mode is offering a special 15 percent discount on shoes and bags. The offer is available at their Uttara and Gulshan Pink City showrooms. Contact: Pink City Shopping Complex (Second floor), Shop #9, Road 103, Gulshan #2 and House #4, Road #12, Sector 6, Uttara.

Mother's Day with Shadakalo

Western concepts have caught our lives and it is no wonder that we now celebrate occasions like Mother's Day. With a view to serve their loyal customers Shadakalo comes up with household accessories like bed covers, cushion covers, mugs, bags and greeting cards all on the theme of celebrating motherhood. Qamrul Hassan's famous painting “Ma” has been used thoroughly in all the designs.

Available at all Shadakalo outlets.

Nitya Upahar

An exclusive dress exhibition will start from May 4 in Basundhara City Mall outlet of Nitya Upahar to mark the 150th birth anniversary of poet Rabindranath Tagore. The name of the exhibition is titled as 'Praner Manush'. There are seven uniquely designed T-shirts of Tagore's writing and artwork.

Besides, artist Dhrubo Esh, Sabyasachi Hazra, Mahbubur Rahman, Bahar rahman, Nazib Tareq and Onahid Jaffrey also designed some t-shirts.

Moreover, saris of three different designs have been done by Chandrashekhar Saha, Dhrubo Esh and Bahar Rahman. Besides, panjabis and fatuas are also available in this boutique. The price range of saris is between Tk1150 to 2600, panjabis between Tk600 to Tk900 and T-shirts are between Tk180 to Tk300.


Boutique Bibiana, in commemoration of the sesquicentennial birth anniversary of Ranbindranath Tagore, has brought out their latest collection featuring Tagore's poetry and his sketches on saris, shalwar kameez sets, dupattas, fatuas, panjabis and bags.

The selection of colour has been apt, highlights of which include off-white, red, brown etc. The price of saris range between Tk1000-2000, shalwar kameez sets between Tk1000-2000, fatuas between Tk500-800, panjabis between Tk500-800 and price range of bags between Tk500-750. Available at all Bibiana outlets.

150th birth anniversary of Tagore

Boutique Rang prides itself as being a torch bearer of traditions. Keeping the coming Rabindra Jayonti in mind, this boutique puts on a festive garb. Each of the saris, shalwar kameez sets, panjabis and fatuas have been designed to celebrate this auspicious occasion. Also available are designer mugs featuring his poems and lyrics. CDs of Tagore's renditions can be found on the store shelves. 8 May also being Mother's Day, the boutique has an excellent array of attires that are suitable for the occasion.


As The Daily Star has moved to its new premises, we request all our event invitations, press releases and other forms of correspondence be sent to Raffat Binte Rashid, Editor, Star Lifestyle (7th Floor), 64-65 Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Dhaka 1215. Email: lifestyleds@yahoo.com or raffat@thedailystar.net


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