Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 7, Issue 03, Tuesday, January 17, 2012




The watchman

Watches make the man. This is a fact, but many people choose to simply ignore the idea completely, reducing wristwatches to just another piece of jewellery. Before World War I, men actually considered wearing a wristwatch (then known as a wristlet) akin to wearing a skirt!

Pocket watches were then a symbol of class and status but the war changed all that, when the soldiers found pocket watches inconvenient. They preferred strapping their pocket watches on their wrists and hence the once-considered passing fad began to take shape. This was a massive fashion movement, on the same level as that of the blue jeans.

Bangladesh is a haven for cheap knock-offs, a place where Rado and Rolex watches sell for as little as Tk.350-800. But do not be deceived. There is a huge different between a fake and an original.

Firstly, you need not be a watch aficionado to tell the difference between an original Rado and a fake one. The clue is the weight. Fake watches are always much lighter and their bands, specially the metal ones, shine a bit too much to be considered even real metal.

Secondly, there is a world of difference between fake and original in terms of durability and looks. The watch you wear says more about you than you think. It is still a symbol of status and class, but it amplifies the presence or absence thereof of good taste. Hence, the choice is really yours on what kind of impression you want to make.

For those concerned about their budget, Fast Track provides a feasible solution. Fast Track has taken the South Asian market by storm and there is no denying that they are trendy, sporty and make the wearer look good. Starting from around Tk.1800 to 5000, Fast Track watches are the best short term solutions to an impending wristwatch crisis.

The only drawback is the fact that Fast Track watches, for both the genders, are more rugged than classy. That's when Swatch comes into play. For around Tk.5000 and above, one can procure a pretty decent and sophisticated looking Swatch watch.

Of course, the one for the ladies is a bit steeper but it doesn't exceed the range by too much. Time Zone, Almas and Priyo usually have Swatch watches. Apart from that, one can always fall back on the affordable and reliable presence of Citizen.

Citizen watches have a range of prices to choose from and thus offer more. With a sizeable budget, one can get pretty decent Citizen watches, although, at times, Citizen isn't for those with a taste for flamboyance. But, those with a penchant for sophistication, especially females, can get some really chic looking Citizen watches.

A watch should be considered an investment. If you can invest so much money to buy an Ipad to keep yourselves entertained, what harm can there possibly be in splurging to make yourself look good? Plus, there is a certain sense of confidence and satisfaction that can be derived from wearing a really good wristwatch.

Kenneth Cole, Pierre Cardin and Romanson all come with the x-factor. They are dignified yet loud enough to get people to notice. Here loud doesn't mean gaudy, but rather it means magnetic. The attention is immediately drawn to such watches. They don't come cheap, mind you. But with a budget of Tk.15,000-25,000, all these watches are procurable.

The fairer sex, with such a budget, can opt for the glamorous Longines. This same range is applicable for some very suave and elegant looking Tissot watches for the girls.

If the urge to splurge is really excessive, head off to Karbon Kraft, located on the top storey of Rifles Square. This diamond shop is home to perhaps the only collection of original Fossil watches. And those Fossils are delicious. Sexy to a T (or Y), Fossil watches add so much more than meets the eye. It transcends a style statement. It breaks free of class barriers and takes you on an entirely different pedestal. And it's pretty rare in Bangladesh. Dreadfully rare. With a budget of around Tk.45,000, you can actually own these beautiful pieces of heavenly metals. Unfortunately, the four pieces available are all for men.

Speaking of heavenly metals, have you met Rado? Whether it's the most elegant looking simple Rado Black, the diamond studded Rado Jubile eSenza, Rado Sintra or the new Chronograph versions; Rado watches are unbeatable. Priced between Tk.75,000 - 200,000, every penny spent on a Rado is worth it. It really is time to go crazy when it comes to owning a Rado. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And it looks so beautiful on every single wrist in the world. If you wear a Rado, Time will stop for you.

But those who give in to excesses unimaginable, say hello to Rolex. The ground floor of Iqbal Centre is probably the only place that has a good collection of Rolex watches. There is no need to mention a price tag here. If extravagance and opulence had a pictorial manifestation, it would be a Rolex. Suffice to say that

Tk.100,000 will not even get you a proper Rolex metal band. But, every individual in this entire world, male or female, should own one Rolex.

Before you go on to complete yourself by getting a watch, remember a few things. Metal bands go with all sorts of outfits. Leather straps have both formal and semi-formal designs. And those huge bulgy watches are completely ridiculous and out of fashion. Finally, after everything has been said and done, invest in a sports watch, make sure your watches are waterproof and if you want to buy a really expensive watch, ensure that it is scratch-resistant.

By Osama Rahman


Taking responsibility for your own health


Enough of the band aid solution for keeping health at its best! Let us now focus on prevention rather than cure. Health can be naturally improved by choosing foods wisely and following a fitness regime that suits your lifestyle. Good health, longevity and anti-ageing are no longer a secret. Whether you are in your early thirties or late sixties, believe me, optimal mind and body fitness is not impossible, rather it's easily achievable.

I have seen some people in their eighties playing tennis, jogging and enjoying life at its fullest. Now I know that I have something to look forward to at the later stages of my life. The most important thing to understand about life is that you do not want to be sick and dependent on others. Often in our society ageing is looked down upon. It is the mindset of some people that ageing means “older generation”, “poor memory” “fighting of diseases” and “a state of dependency.” All these notions are the creation of a society where more and more people become sick as they grow old. Disease has nothing to do with age! That's right, you heard me! Human beings are or can be challenged with health and wealth at any stage in their life. How you take responsibility and act will determine whether you will live to be 100 and healthy or if you will live as a fragile individual who has given up on life.

I was born a night blind. When I was nineteen I started losing my peripheral vision and have had great difficulty seeing in the distance. My MD in Dhaka told my family I may only “see” for another 2 or 3 years. My parents never treated me any differently. On the contrary they sent me abroad to complete my University degree. In 2008 I was declared “legally blind” in Canada which is a status given to those who have lost their sight significantly -- in my case I am left with tunnel vision. Today I still work full time and go to school. Other than taking responsibility myself I do not depend on doctors for any treatment. The doctors here have found no cure for Retinal Dystrophy and have urged me to learn how to use the cane. Illness is a challenge; your body is trying to tell you something. Your doctor is there to support your health but they do not have “magical” cures for everything! You have to take responsibility. I will admit that it took me a while to understand this but today I do my part by adding more “greens” to my diet. Fish, fish oil, leafy greens and detoxification has helped me continue in life. In addition I eat a lot of coriander leaves which is full of Vitamin A. I have not yet used my “cane” to do any regular tasks such as travelling for work or at work. My vision impairment has been my teacher and I will continue my learning.

If we have a chronic condition there are two basic reasons for it. One, you lacking in proper nutrition and two, you have over-ingested something that your body could not digest. Hence you have a toxic overload in your body. There could also be the environmental pollution, exposure to chemicals or toxins, emotional stress, etc. These are the underlying causes of a diseased state of mind and body.

In today's setting we eat “food-like substances” more than “food.” For example we eat more dehydrated, frozen and fast foods that are depleted of nutrients rather than whole foods such as fruits and vegetables that are nutrient-dense. We enjoy “apple juice” rather than a wholesome “apple”. Therefore both the conditions apply to some of us. How do we change that? By taking responsibility of our own health and making better choices. I believe the most powerful decision a person can make is “voting” for the right foods. Think about it. You eat three times a day [or more], What you choose to “buy” with your hard earned income is a vote to either a company or nature. Whoever prevails.

Your body is designed to digest foods that come from nature. Therefore give nature a chance. I believe if you understand some basic principles of nutrition you will never feel exhausted, sluggish or struggle with body strength or memory. Here are my few secrets:

1. Eat fruits twice a day between your meals. Choose fruits that are less sweet to eat more frequently if you have a “sugar imbalance.” Apple, Pineapple, Cucumber, Guava, Mango, Papaya and Pomegranate are great choices.

2. Eat raw or cooked vegetables three times a day with your main meals. Choose leafy greens or orange-coloured vegetables such as pumpkin. Pumpkin seeds are great to protect against prostate cancer.

3. Eat fermented foods such as yoghurt at the end of your main meals. Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria that are awesome to keep your gut healthy.

4. Make beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and fish you main source of proteins rather than red meat. Your body will easily digest them and your memory will improve significantly. The essential fats in fish, nuts and seeds are awesome energy foods and great for people who exercise.

5. Drink plenty of water, herbal teas and coconut water!

6. Add a bitter to your diet bitter groud [korela], neem, etc. are very bitter and has the ability to cleanse your blood. Please do not cook or fry them to death. Light “bhaji” using less salt and oil is great.

7. Maintain 80/20 rule, where 80% of your diet will come from local, seasonal, whole, fresh and vegetarian source. 20% can be fats (nuts & seeds) and proteins (fish, lentils or legumes)

8. Eat foods that are high in enzymes [papaya, pineapple, spinach etc]

9. Add one bee product in your diet. Nothing better than honey! Get the local, un-pasteurized raw honey. Honey has 21 amino acids which makes it a protein rich food. Use honey as your daily sweetener.

10. Stay away from “white foods” flour, rice and sugar. If possible avoid wheat due to the fact it has a tendency to make your digestion sluggish.

11. Absolutely avoid “high fructose corn syrup”, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavours, sweeteners and colours in your food. These are unacceptable as food.

12. Maintain personal hygiene for achieving the best health ever! Squeeze lime juice when you wash your hands for anti-bacterial effect and discard toxic hand washes. Use clove oil or clove under your tongue to freshen breath and to maintain oral hygiene. I have not used toothpaste for one year. I use neem powder mixed with rock salt [Himalayan pink salt] and clove powder to brush my teeth. Your teeth are alive, don't brush too hard.

It is not about being your own doctor, rather taking control of your health, knowing your body and preventing diseases. At the end of the day you can simplify health for yourself and set an example for others. Enjoy great foods not food-like substances. If you have a chronic condition please look into your diet more closely.


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