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As the uproar at Shahbagh becomes deafening, the relevance of the theme of the seventh edition of Chobi Mela gains further credibility. The prestigious event kicked off on 25 January of this year with 35 exciting exhibitions all based on the concept of “Fragility”.

Artists from 24 different countries made this year's Chobi Mela a feast for not only the eyes but also the soul. Views from the lenses of members of the most demographically inclusive group captured vivid images of a tortured planet, forever frozen in time.

The numerous exhibitions expose the many layers of fragility, from our at times tormented everyday existence to bringing to the fore the hidden beauty behind everyday struggle.

The event's success was always a foregone conclusion, considering the presence of internationally renowned artists such as Eugene Richards from US; Gideon Mendel from UK; J. D. Okhai Ojeikere from Nigeria; Lu Guang, Muge and Zhang Hai from China; Graciela Iturbide from Mexico; Max Pam from Australia; Pablo Bartholomew and Richard Bartholomew from India; Ziyah Gafiæ from Bosnia and Sandra Vitaljiæ from Croatia. Such a diverse group, along with seven very talented local artists have given the theme a fitting tribute. As the echoes from Shahbagh become louder, the dawn sets on Chobi Mela, and everyone who took part, truly comprehend the “Fragility” that encompasses us.

Photo credit: Wahid Adnan, HabibulHaque, Debasish Chandra, Ranak Martin, Md.Main Uddin & DRIK


The unspoken rules of marriage

There are very few people on earth who are married and have not said one or both of these sentences at least once in the course of their marriage, “Getting married was the biggest mistake of my life” and “I never should have married you!”. Of course saying this does not always mean that the couple hates each other or their marriage will end, but it is just a sort of outburst that happens when things get tough.

Obviously, when one gets married they never hope to have to say such things but at times circumstances appear which lead you to end up blurting out such hateful comments. A lot of rocky situations in life are brought about by a few unintentional, extremely hurtful statements.

While honesty, loyalty, truthfulness are the core needs of a successful marriage there are also some unspoken rules that may make or break a marriage.

Refrain from criticising your in-laws or your spouse's friends
Whenever it comes to your family, they can tick you off but no one else can dare speak ill of them in front of you. It is for that very reason why you should tread carefully with your in-laws and your spouse's best friends. So no matter how much they get on your nerves do not impose your negativity on your spouse.

Tell your spouse about any encounters with an ex
Whether you get a Facebook friend request or run into an old flame at a coffee shop, keeping the news to yourself could backfire, despite having zero feelings for the ex. Needless to say, if there is nothing to hide, then why hide it? Hiding it adds to an air of secrecy which could end in your better half suspecting you for no valid reason at all.

Keep unsolicited advice to yourself
Offer your support, lend your ear, but avoid speaking in an "I know what's best" tone. This goes for everything from your spouse's outfit choices to how s/he deals with a work issue. Give your spouse space to make decisions and gain confidence through trial and error and ask that they do the same for you.

Don't bring up past arguments
Or at least put a statute of limitations on them. People repeat ancient disagreements because they haven't resolved the problem. Letting things fester often causes marriages to break down. It is important to address issues as they happen and come to some sort of resolution -- agreeing to disagree counts.

Choose your battles, but don't stifle your feelings
Shoes are going to be in the wrong places and the wet towels will be left on the bed. If you have a problem with that, try not to order your better half to stop doing it; explain to them why it bothers you. Also remember they do not intend to upset you every time they are being forgetful or sloppy.

Log off
When your attention is focused elsewhere, your spouse is bound to feel unimportant. So make quality time a top priority and restrict tech gadget use if necessary. Create a rule that works for your household and stick to it, whether it's no devices at the dinner table, shutting down phones at 9pm or going gadget-free on weekend afternoons.

Don't use the "D" word (divorce, that is)
Even in the heat of an argument, avoid threatening to pack your bags or head to the lawyer's office. Besides the "D" word being downright hurtful, repeated warnings may result in a spouse calling the other's bluff. Threatening divorce is never useful, and it only makes the probability of separation more likely.

Be each other's number one
In other words, be wary of outsider influence, like a friend putting relationship-threatening ideas in your head or work or hobbies competing for your attention. Happy couples have just as much conflict as those who divorce, but they know ways to get through it. A couple has to have a strong boundary around themselves that does not allow anybody to get in between.

By Karishma Ameen

Men, women and in-laws

The chemistry of relationships with in-laws is so complex that it successfully supports a whole segment of the Indian entertainment industry! This age-old problem is particularly at play in our society where a woman is expected to live with her in-laws at least for the first few years of marriage. These first few years are the crucial defining moments of the relationship between a woman and her in-laws.

Early in the marriage, interference by the in-laws can be seen by the woman as preventing the formation of a strong bond with her husband. It is thus important for newlyweds to establish clear emotional boundaries when it comes to dealing with in-laws.

This is easier said than done. In our culture mothers find it extremely difficult to let go of their sons and with the sons' best interests at heart, they can often come off as authoritative and overbearing. This situation is made worse by the woman's inherent trait of taking what the in-laws say very personally. The end result? A man torn between the two women he loves the most.

Men are even more astounded by the complexity of their wives' relationships with his parents because of the ease with which he can get along with his own in-laws.

In summary, both sets of parents need to keep out of their children's relationships, unless there is some sort of abuse going on, to allow them to form the strong bond which will ensure a strong marriage. The husbands need to understand the importance wives and mothers place on relationships, as a woman, and help both sides understand each other better. Wives have the immense responsibility of feeling empathy for the mother-in-law who is inevitably feeling like she is being replaced in her son's life.

By Raisaa Tashnova




Do you feel you are gaining weight despite regular exercise and calorie-counting? Do you feel depressed and tired most of the time? If the answers are in the affirmative, maybe you should get your thyroid hormone levels checked.

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped structure in your neck, which secretes a hormone called thyroxine that works with almost every system in your body and maintains your metabolism rate. The hormone is responsible for keeping you active, your energy levels up and makes sure your other organs work properly too. It affects your waistline, skin, hair and nails, your periods and bowel movement. Both high or low levels of this hormone can cause different symptoms and women are more likely to be affected than men.

When you have inadequate thyroxine in your blood you could have a condition called hypothyroidism, which results from an under-active thyroid. Classic symptoms of hypothyroidism include weight gain, constipation, being sensitive to cold, depression, muscle aches and weakness, dry and scaly skin, brittle hair and nails, heavy or irregular periods and loss of libido.

Later symptoms include hoarseness of voice, dull facial expressions and puffy face, thinning of eyebrows, slow heart rate, infertility and anaemia. In elderly people hypothyroidism may manifest in memory loss, while children will encounter slow growth and development and teenagers may experience early puberty.

A diagnosis of hypothyroidism is made on the basis of the amount of hormones in your blood. The most specific test is TSH level. TSH is a hormone released by the hypothalamus in your brain, which asks the thyroid gland to release thyroxine. When adequate thyroxine is present in blood, inhibitory signals to the brain reduces the TSH hormone secretion. So in hypothyroidism, TSH will be raised to ensure more production of the thyroxine. Normal levels of TSH are between 0.5 to 4.5 mIU/L(ref. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists), however what is considered normal varies from lab to lab and in different health systems. TSH values above 4.5 mIU/L is considered to be abnormal and is a sign of hypothyroidism.

If TSH is high but thyroxine is normal, then you may be at risk of developing hypothyroidism, in which case your doctor will check your TSH level regularly to start treatment if you develop the condition. But if the TSH level is really high and you have symptoms, you could need thyroxine supplements, levothyroxine.

Patients with an underactive thyroid usually need to keep taking levothyroxine throughout life, even if the symptoms completely disappear. Do not worry about the side effects because it's just replacing the hormone that your body would normally secrete. The dose of levothyroxine will depend on the amount of raised TSH. Every year your doctor will repeat TSH levels to see how well it's being maintained and whether the dose needs to be changed.

Levothyroxine tablets should be taken on an empty stomach in the morning at least 30 minutes before breakfast with a glass of water. If you don't remember whether you have taken the medicine or if you have forgotten to take the medicine then wait till the next routine dose, rather than popping one in right then. Missing a dose is better than an overdose. This doesn't mean you can go without medications for days or weeks. Calcium and iron tablets can reduce the absorption of Levothyroxine and you should take your mineral supplements at least for 4-5 hours after taking the hormone.

Your doctor will start you off on a low dose and then increase it if your symptoms do not resolve and TSH does not drop much. But after taking Levothyroxine if you suffer from diarrhoea, sweating, hyperactivity, palpitation, rapid breathing, weight loss and irritability, you should visit your doctor immediately because the prescribed dose may be higher than necessary. If you are pregnant and have an underactive thyroid, you should see a specialist, as you could need changes in dose and more frequent check-ups to monitor your hormone levels while you are pregnant. Special care is given to patients with heart conditions or those taking medications such as amiodarone or lithium.

By Dr.Kazi Mashfia Fardeen
Medical Expert at maya.com.bd


Couples' delight @ Nando's

The first winning couple of the Valentine's Campaign of Nando's, which started at the beginning of February, has been announced. The lucky couple, Tasmiah Jabeen Mumu and Rashidul Adnan Chowdhury, were presented with the first diamond ring on the 7 February at the Nando's Gulshan-1 outlet. The prize was given away by Bangladeshi models Peya and Zamshed.

Nando's will be giving out three more diamond rings from Diamond World over each of the next three weeks of February along with a romantic candlelight dinner to make a memorable mark in their stories. Nando's Bangladesh has designed 3 Couples Meals for Valentine's Day starting at Tk.1314. Anyone who chooses one of the Valentine Meals and fills up the heart card at the restaurant stands a chance of winning a dazzling diamond ring from Diamond World . These meals will be available throughout the month of February in all outlets. Visit the 'Nando's Bangladesh' Facebook fan-page to learn how you can win the next one yourself.


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