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Like a heavenly nymph on mortal lands, she walks in grace and beauty. Clad in the intricate weave of the local taant-- a vibrantly striped, unstitched fabric six yards in length -- she is the epitome of Bangalipana. Yet she stands apart from the rest.

Some of her luscious curls, which she takes prides in, fall softly on her shoulders while the rest are neatly tied in a bun at the back of her head. Her full lips are accentuated in a nude shade; the flowing sari drapes over her midriff and over her left shoulder.

And just above her forehead she places a floral wreath, a small chain of isolated white, tuberose petals. She is not the conventional Bengali maiden and as she breathes the same air and basks under the same sun, she has created a persona that radiates her individuality, her true identity.

First love!

She keeps it simple with her handloom sari but dares to go out of the box, the iconic red and white. She also chooses black, as a symbol of vivacity and fervent life and not to add a sombre note.

But it is the flower in her hair that adds that magic touch. And as she sways through the crowd, she resembles a nymph straight out of one's imagination.

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Airin
Makeup and styling: Farzana Shakil
Wardrobe: Rang


Sound of Music

Fawzia Chowdhury built her career in the airlines business but it was music that always allured her. Living her life in this dirt-stained society, with all the raging hatred and crimes, she looked for an outlet to shut out all the negativity. Hence Sound Of Music was born in May 2008, as she found her answer in one of the most ancient methods of expressing thoughts and feelings, the art of music.

Sound of Music is a school with a different touch to it, as it tries to bring together both eastern and western forms of music under one roof. They mainly offer piano, violin, guitar, keyboard and tabla courses along with dance and art. But above all, it is their exceptionally talented teachers that set them apart, gathered from all around the world and each a scholar in their own field.

They have Dr Julia Georgian, who has been teaching the piano in Europe, Russia and now in Bangladesh. They have Natasha from Russia, Amelia from Croatia, and many more of their likes who have professionally studied the piano and violin and have been engaged in teaching music internationally. They also have a pool of equally proficient and highly talented local teachers.

Fawzia believes that music is not just a form of art, but rather a language that has the power to negate the evils of the society and bring out the good by creating connections. Hence, if this language is to be spoken well it needs to be taught well, and thus Sound of Music promises to give its students individual attention by providing them one to one sessions with the teachers, unlike the common trend of teaching in groups.

'It is seldom possible for a child to learn how to play by sitting in a class full of others and seeing the instructor play. The child needs to touch the keys himself and feel them play in his own rhythm,' adds Fawzia Chowdhury. They try to keep the class size to a minimum so that each student gets to feel the warmth of personal attention.

Music knows no bounds, the reason why it is important for us to broaden our horizons. Our traditional methods of teaching music usually incorporate very mechanical methods that do fulfil the objective of learning but does not allow enough scope to enjoy it. Sound of Music tries to integrate that fun factor into their teaching, so that the students do not only gain the skill but also grow to love it.

From a meagre beginning that started from a friend's place in Banani to a full-fledged school in Gushan today, Sound of Music has come a long way. With their noble philosophy of spreading the boon of music everywhere, we believe they will attain greater heights in the future.

By Afrida Mahbub


Sheltech Award 2011

The Sheltech Award 2011 was held on 10 March, 2012 at Platinum Suites in Banani 11. This time, the award went to Valerie A. Taylor, the founder of Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP).

The Sheltech Award has been in existence for 14 years; it started in 1998 by giving its first recognition to poet Shamsur Rahman. Sheltech gives this annual award to eminent and inspiring personalities who have made a difference. Recipients of the award include Humayun Ahmed, Abdullah Abu Sayeed, Siddika Kabir and many others.

Another name has been added to the league: Valerie A. Taylor.

Taylor is well-known for her philanthropic activities in Bangladesh. Taylor arrived in our country in 1969 under a fifteen month contract with a charity organisation. A British physiotherapist, Taylor saw the negligence of society towards caring for patients suffering from spinal injuries and neurological disabilities.

Her “contract” never ended, literally speaking; she stayed back in Bangladesh. She went to England in 1973 to accumulate funds, and two years later, she was back. She founded Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) in 1979.

CRP is a rehabilitation organisation, which takes a holistic approach to treating its patients. Treatment includes physical, psychological and economic rehabilitation and planned discharge for a safe and successful reintegration of patients in society.

The amazing thing about CRP is that its scope of work covers a wide array of fields, such as poverty alleviation and health care and education.

A long time ago, a woman foreign to our land came and stayed back for the rest of her life, showering the poor and disabled with her philanthropic activities. She gained Bangladeshi citizenship in 1998.

Valerie is decorated with numerous awards; amongst many is O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire for her outstanding efforts providing holistic treatment for the paralysed) and also the “Shadhinota Dibosh Podok” the highest civilian award of Bangladesh.

By M H Haider

A surprise book for Nahin Kazi

The result of the efforts of a loving husband and younger sister, a book titled 'Surprise Book of Nahin Kazi', was launched on 10 March, 2012 as a tribute to Nahin Kazi, a renowned make-up artist and beauty expert, and to mark 25 years of her working in this field.

Nahin Kazi, was always interested in make-up since childhood and after finishing her SSC she learned the art at an acquaintance's beauty parlour and then worked at Beauty's Herbal.

Around the early 90s she set up a parlour with a few of her acquaintances. After a while she set up her own beauty parlour Biotique, thus establishing herself as a professional beautician. Apart from that, Nahin worked as a freelance make-up artist for dramas and advertisements and is immensely popular and a favourite in the entertainment business.

The book launch took place at Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies with Meher Afroz Jahan Chumki, Member of Parliament as Chief Guest. The event was hosted by TV actor Tarin, who is also the youngest sister of Nahin.

A number of well known celebrities who are close friends and well-wishers of Nahin were present at the program including Tarik Anam Khan, Saidul Anam Tutul, Bipasha Hayat, Toukir Ahmed, Ahmed Yusuf Saber, Tanvin Sweety and Apurbo among others.

“Nahin has created a place for herself in her professional life solely on the basis of her talent and skills and she has established herself amongst everyone not only as a successful woman but also as a wonderful person” said Meher Afroz Jahan. Other guests present at the ceremony also shared warm words about her.

“One day I was telling my husband that it has been 25 years since I started working. I had no idea that a little remark would lead to such a surprising outcome!” said Nahin, about the book.

The book is a compilation of numerous messages from the family members of Nahin and all the celebrities with whom she has worked with till date. A few names include Runa Laila, Sabina Yasmin, Shompa Reza, Hanif Shanket, Imdadul Haq Milon.

A short biography of her can be found at the end of the book.

By Karishma Ameen


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