Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   | Volume 6, Issue 40, Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Up close and personal: Mishu Rahman

In an age when women's empowerment is a much talked about topic, stories of women who have made it big are truly inspirational. Such a name in the scenario of Bangladeshi media would be Mishu Rahman. After a decade of hard work starting as a television news anchor and holding the post of a communication manager at a multinational company, Mishu started her entrepreneurial journey.

Her education in Economics and Development Studies teamed with her work experience in media including her know-how of program production, from her part-time job during her college days, came together resulting in the research based Purple magazine and communication research firm, Media Arts and Technology Research (MATR).

Today apart from being the CEO of MATR, Mishu is a prime time news anchor and also the host of a weekly TV show Chakri Chai which is based upon career counseling. “Everything that I do is an outlet for all the things that I am passionate about” says Mishu, about her various work.

the CEO
Involved in several other activities apart from running her company, Mishu has to fill in a number of shoes. “When I start my day, some days are really hectic. I have to manage people, photo-shoots etc. It's almost like everyday fire-fighting”- this is when she prefers her outfit to be comfortable and simplistic, not overly colourful. She makes sure her get up does not intimidate her team yet is formal. She chooses to sport Bangladeshi outfits at work instead of opting for suits; fusion is also something that she wears to work often.

“I think Western wear envelopes more than saris but, the latter is an outfit that people here can relate to. What you choose to wear is very important depending on the work schedule that you have for the day”.

the Socialite/ TV personality/Host
For those days when she has an engagement in the evening like an inauguration, launching event or a corporate get-together, she chooses her garments accordingly. “You have to wear something traditional but, look glamorous as well. Sari does that job for you. If you wear the same sari in a toned down manner you will be good to go for the morning”. For her regular TV appearance Mishu follows the same mantra.

On the other hand when she is hosting more casual programs like concerts Western wear is what she chooses to wear.

during leisure
“When hanging out with friends or family something comfortable which is not imposing is my choice; kaftans, fatuas are ideal.

Mishu continuously strives to take the Bangladeshi media forward by promoting new talent and ideas and addressing social and political issues, along with entertainment, through her magazine and her company.

By Karishma Ameen
Model: Mishu Rahman
Make-up and styling: Farzana Shakil
Wardrobe: Farzana Shakil
Photo: Nirjhor
Photo courtesy: Farzana Shakil


Going Green: A deceptive revolution

The cries for a brand new revolution resonate throughout the world. New World revolutionaries are born every day, draped in green, vowing to protect the very Earth that will one day consume their remnants. However, for all its flash and pizzazz, the flames of the Green Revolution are slowly being reduced to tired embers; dying flickers which symbolise the transformation of a great movement to a mere fad.

Going Green has been a most noisy mantra throughout the decade. Unfortunately, the need to be environmentally responsible has been replaced with the desire to seem environmentally responsible. Now, the whole green act is more of an attempt to boost one's image than actually doing anything concrete.

The sudden craze for hybrid cars presents a notable case in point. In the rush to 'help the ailing environment', many people have moved towards these new generation cars. Since the launch of Prius back in 1997, a steady flow of such 'conscious' customers has lead to over a million units sold. The buzz words 'fuel-efficient' and 'environmentally friendly' were tossed about carelessly to boost sales. Celebrities such as Cameron Diaz and Leonardo Di Caprio, promoted the cars.

Top Gear, the bible for car aficionados, pitted the Prius, their 'City Car of the Year' against the BMW M3, showing that the latter, though considered less economical, proved to be 12 percent better in terms of fuel economy over 10 laps in a 1.8 mile track. Although numerous critics trashed the findings, the Sunday Times went on to support Top Gear's results by showing how a BMW 520D consumed an average of 55.4 mpg to Prius' 65.7 mpg. This cast serious doubts over the supporters of the hybrid, seriously questioning the intentions of politicians who continue to sport a soft corner for the so-called fuel efficient machine.

'Green' buildings, supposed to aid in cutting down energy consumption, have actually been found to increase energy usage by nearly 30 percent, compared to an ordinary building. In a Legislature's audit in Washington , it was found that schools meeting the 'green' requirements not only used more energy, but were comparatively not doing any better and usually performed worse in terms of student attendance and grades than schools who did not comply with the green regulations. This can be down to a system of belief; being placed in a green building, one feels less likely to make a personal attempt for the cause, leaving the 'building' to do all the work.

To put another dent to the world's green ambitions, recent reports inconclusively prove that biofuels such as rapeseed and corn produce more than 50 percent and 70 percent more greenhouse gases, respectively, than traditional fossil fuels. Although other forms of biofuels are doing much better, the fact that corn, the darling of the biofuel world, has faltered miserably in its attempt, is seen as a sign of alarm. Greenhouse gases apart, these biofuels are also notorious polluters, producing harmful by-products, which, in one instance wiped out an entire population of the endangered fat pocket mussels in Missouri back in 2008.

Perhaps to add a final nail to the coffin of the green do-gooders, the Composite Environment Impact Index of plastic stands at 6.46 to paper's 77.69. This could be down to the fact that paper uses more resources and more waste, even if recycling is taken into account. The findings, all of which were released around the year 2008-10, have largely been played down as inaccurate and containing a hidden agenda, but no attempt has been made to prove them wrong. But perhaps, instead of refuting anything that contradicts our conception of things, it is time to stop dressing green and actually start living green.

Instead of cutting down trees to constantly make the little environmentally-friendly paper bags, it is time to use the same plastic bag over and over again and then dispose of it properly. Instead of relying on a Hybrid to be fuel-efficient, how about walking the extra mile? It is up to every individual to conserve energy when possible and not be deluded into believing that cars, buildings and corn can do the task for us. The Green Revolution cannot be just another passing fad. It has to be taken seriously and done for the purpose of the planet and not be used just as another fashion statement.

By Osama Rahman


It is easy living

The easiest thing in the world probably is to be a man. Think about it, we hardly have to suffer from most of the things that the opposite sex is wrecking their lives over. But, its nature's fault really; far be it for us to actually feel guilty about what we aren't responsible for when we are not even guilty for the things we really do.

So before the men start stressing over things, chill out and realise that man was not meant to be worrying. No. Life just takes care of most things for us. Life and perceptions.

To elaborate on that point, let us think of a few things that have been turned into jokes despite containing hard germs of truth.

Firstly, men can have chocolate anytime they want. Waistline means absolutely nothing to us for the most part of our lives. We do not have to worry about gaining two measly pounds. In fact, half the stuff we consume, we do not even know where they go and what part is affected. Contrary to popular belief, all men are not dogs. Chocolate is not and never has been poison for us. That is half a battle won right there.

The fact that we only have to shave our necks and faces, keep the same hairstyles for decades and usually have one mood all the time, adds to the positives of being male. The fact that the shoes we buy do not attempt to mangle our feet to the point of amputation is just an icing on the cake.

Isn't it also amazing, how men always age gracefully? The years only add wisdom and another dimension to our sensuality. Look at some of the top actors; they are all over a shade of 40 yet continue to turn heads. Age only adds to the handsomeness for us, pot-belly, grey hair and all. Wrinkles? Wrinkles add character. That is a known fact. So, ultimately, it's a win-win situation.

To top it all off, men always look perfectly suited for any occasion. When we wake up in the morning, the only thing that bothers us is perhaps the dragon and the sand monster. Apart from that, everything is peachy keen. We don't have messed up hair or really prominent puffy eyes. That has to be nature's way of saying something, right? No risk in alluding to what it may mean, but it is a thought all the same.

Despite all that we have been given, there is one thing that we falter at. Men need women. Much more than they need us, perhaps. In the form of a mother, wife, sister or a confidant; men need the love, care, understanding and affection that only women can deliver, on top of other things. And hence females deserve every ounce of respect we can muster for them and then some, because it takes tremendous strength, courage and conviction to actually be a woman. Yes, as said before, it is much too easy being a man.

Before we conclude, let's draw a tangent here to the opening sentiment; that men do not feel guilty for their most obvious faults. The reason? “Committed men should forget their mistakes. There is no need for two people to remember the same thing.”

By Osama Rahman


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