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Mirror mirror on the wall…

"Ei chehara ar airhostess?" asked a perfectly good-looking girl to her dark reflection in the mirror. Not familiar with the commercial? Why it's our very own Fair and Lovely ad- an ad and a product that regularly tells viewers that it's not ok to be born with dark skin and it certainly isn't ok to be happy with the way you were born.
But why just focus on one product and one commercial? Isn't everything around us these days telling us how we should look, what we should do and bit-by-bit grinding our self-esteem to pulp? And add fuel to the fire, everyday new cosmetic surgeries are being introduced so that we can attempt to reach that "perfect ten". But isn't it funny how if you take one step towards that "perfect ten" it seems to move five steps away? It's like you go in to wax your legs and next thing you know, you're being talked into getting the full wax-mani-pedi-trim round. An even worse scenario is when a forty-something year old goes into get wrinkles removed and the next thing she knows, the doctor is recommending a chemical peel.
Perceptions of how we should look have given rise to a whole new industry that has redefined the meaning of the word "cosmetic". And it has also given birth to a new formula for self-esteem where self-esteem is directly proportional to how good one looks.
In the past braces were a means of fixing disproportionate teeth. Now people rush to get designer braces for the tiniest gaps. It doesn't end there. Even braces have been given a facelift with the introduction of Invisaline that helps you align teeth without being seen.
Previously plastic surgery was a means of restoring a burn or accident victim's face or body. Now plastic surgery is being used to give ordinary people extraordinary celebrity faces. I mean come on people, there's nothing wrong with the way you look. Your face is Nature's creation- so get over yourself! I mean if you can't live with who you are, a million celebrity faces won't help you live with yourself. All you'll see in the mirror is a fake version of the original thing like a fake Luis Vuitton bag bought in Chinatown.
You know what the worst thing about all these new treatments is? It's teaching every new generation that it's not okay to have a plain face. It's not ok to have a few extra pounds. And it's not ok to live with yourself for being ordinary. This new movement is sucking out the humbleness from society and giving everyone major shots of vanity.
To make matters worse, there are always people to add fuel to the fire. I don't know if the cosmetic hires these people undercover or what but you'll always find a next door aunty remarking on your breakouts or a distant granny not so subtly hinting at the weight you've put on. Hey I've been fat all my life and honestly it doesn't bother me that much. Why? Because I'm happy the way I am. Well, of course I want to loose weight for health reasons. But if being obese had no adverse health effects, I probably wouldn't mind being fat for the rest of my life. The funny thing is that when people chastise me for being fat, they don't say, loose weight or you might die of a coronary; most of these "well wishers" say, loose weight or you won't find a husband. What's worse is, over the years I've noticed that since these people usually can't find too many things wrong with me, it's always my weight they are after. I'm not saying I'm perfect. But I'd much rather appreciate a person telling me my last article sucked or that my words are like acid to their ears instead of yapping about my weight.
In the end it all comes down to if you're happy with whom you are. I know I am. Are you? So next time before you get a Fair and Lovely or a facelift ask yourself if you're doing this for yourself or you're doing it for that "perfect ten".

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob

Book review

If you're tired of the traditional romance novels, why not give something new a try? I believe I have just the thing for your! The novel 'Killjoy', by Julie Garwood, is an electrifying thriller that's compels one to keep turning the pages till you reach the very end of the book.
'Killjoy' is a story about a beautiful FBI agent called Avery Delaney, her beloved aunt Carolyn, her psychotic mother Julia, a brilliant killer named Monk, and a handsome (ahem) Marine agent called John Paul.
Carolyn and Avery both believe its high time they took a holiday. So, when Carolyn gets an invitation from a luxurious health spa called Utopia, informing her that reservations have been made in her name, she jumps at the chance. Carolyn also convinces Avery to join her, and makes another reservation in her name. Avery, unfortunately misses her flight, and has to wait till the next day to join her aunt. However, she's in for a shock when she arrives at Utopia and finds out that her aunt is missing. Her anxiety increases when she finds John Paul at the scene, also looking for her aunt, and seemingly agitated when she informs him that her aunt had called her and informed that she was in the company of someone called Monk.
Avery soon finds out who Monk is. What scares her is the fact that Monk is acting upon the whims of Julia, her mother. Julia then sends Avery and John Paul on a wild goose chase, referring to it as her personal 'treasure hunt', promising Carolyn to Avery as the finishing 'treasure'. What happens next? Well, you'll have to read the book to find out, as I'm not going to spoil it for you! The novel comprises of quite an elaborate plot, with a lot of twists and turns along the way. Reviewers say that the incidents in the novel are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, each jigsaw piece makes no sense on its own and we only get the complete picture after all the pieces manage to come together! So, don't you think you'd better hurry and get your copy before they all sell out?

By Jennifer Ashraf

Dog dilemma

Cougar's gone nuts! And that too, for a dog!
The shrill ring tone jarred me awake. It was Cougar at the other end.
'Yeah, Cougar. What's up this early in the morning, dude?'
'Well, can you do me a favor?'
'Uh-huh, what kind of favor?
'Well, can you keep a dog with you? I heard you guys live in a big house.'
'Well, what you've heard is correct. But what you haven't heard yet is that my old man will never allow a dog in the house. You guys have a nice big compound too, why can't you keep the dog with you there?'
'You know the rules in most of these enclaves; they don't allow dogs within the premises.'
'Whose dog is it anyway?'
'It's Monika's, her dad's gone crazy and he's given an ultimatum to get the dog out of the house before sunset.'
'Why on earth should he be acting like that?'
'I don't know, I don't know. Monika's been crying. She's so stricken that she now looks like a mother of five kids. Oh God! I simply can't take that distressed look on her face. Oh God! Cougar sounded as distressed as Monika.
'C' mon, you're going nuts, man! By the way, which breed is that dog?'
'Oh, it's one of those white fluffy types.'
'Okay, I'll talk to my cousin. I think she's got a similar dog herself. May be she'll agree to keep the dog.'
'Thanks, I know you can do it for me.'
'I'll do my best.'
'Hello, Khalamuni? Is Livapu home?'
'Of course, but her Royal Highness won't be up before 12 o'clock.'
'You sound disturbed. Is anything wrong Khalamuni?'
'I'm not going to let any dog prance in my house anymore. I've had enough of this.
I've told Liva to throw the dog out right away, or else I'm going to defenestrate both of them'.
'Oh I see Khalamuni, I gotta rush. Just tell Livapu that I was looking for her when she's up.'
Whew! Good thing I didn't say anything about Cougar's dog.
The phone rang again, it was Tonny this time.
'I've some problem with budgeting. But the biggest problem is that each time I tried to reach Sir on the phone he was asleep; can you help me with this?'
'I could have if I hadn't been helping Cougar out.'
'What? I've never known that guy's ever had a problem about his studies. I can't believe you can help him out...'
'Oh, no. It's all about a dog'
'Hmm... I smell a rat. Tell me about it'
'Can you keep a dog in your house for some time?'
'Wow, I'd love to have one.'
'So you're going to take that dog?'
'Yeah, I think so.'
So Cougar called again.
'Haven't you talked to your cousin yet?
'Nope, but I talked to Tonny. I think she'll take the dog under her custody'
'Oh, really? Can she receive the dog right now?' Cougar was apparently in no mood to waste time.
'Okay, let me find out. Oh damn, I don't have Tonny's number, Do you have it with you?'
The line went haywire all of a sudden.
Soon I was trying to place a call with sir for Tonny's number, but couldn't get through.
So I took the help of SMS. 'Sir, can you send me Tonny's number?
'Hey Savvy, Cougar just called me and he was asking for Tonny's number, too.
What's up with you guys? Are you both chasing the same gal?'
'Hell, no Sir. It's just that Cougar has to hand over a dog to somebody on an urgent basis. Tonny just told me that she'd like to keep the dog.'
'I see, come straight up. I'm waiting for you.'
Beep, Beep! New message:
'Here's Tonny's number, I got it from Sir'.
Hmm.... the guy seems real desperate.
'Tonny, Cougar says you can have the dog right now.'
'Hey hey! I'll have to wait for my mom's nod first off!'
'Okay, go and ask her, then let me know.'
"Give me some good news, give me some good news,' it's Cougar.
'Let's call up some dealers from Katabon....'
'No, no. That's impossible. The dog is like a baby to Monika. She simply can't do without seeing it from time to time. That's why I was looking for a pair of good hands to looking for a pair of good hands to look after the dog.'
'That's gonna be a bit complicated. By the way, how are you getting along with units 5 and 6?'
'Terrible, I can't concentrate on anything at all...I'll have to do something about the dog immediately.'
'Cool down buddy. I'm expecting some positive news from Tonny.'
A couple of hours later, at Sir's place...
'Hey is it true Cougar's out distributing free puppies?' Mez was going about his usual business.
'Not really. If you're interested in a free puppy then all you'll have to do is become good at dog sitting 'cause Cougar's girl will be dropping by from time to time to check out if her pet is being taken good care of. So think first.'
'Like hell I will. The first thing I'll do once I get the dog is sell it for a handsome stack of bucks at Katabon...'
'What if Monika shows up only to find there's no dog? How do you plan to tackle Cougar, huh? He'll simply eat you alive.'
'No way... Condition I will be: no Cougar is allowed in my house; only his chick, condition 2 : Monika must inform me at least 1 hour before dropping by so that I can pick up a proxy dog from Katabon.... simple tricks, man!'
'Very ingenious indeed. But don't you think Monika will find out?'
'Well, if the proxy is bigger in size then the story will be about wonders of new vitamin shots, if else then the explanation will be of a strong bout of diarrhea. Hey if you're so concerned then you why don't you take the dog to your house, huh?'
'If Savvy ever brings a dog home the first thing his dad will do is wring all the juices out of the dog and then make Savvy drink all of it in one swig.' This time Sir butted in and everyone seemed to laugh their innards out.
'I didn't know your dad was a Korean, dude!' Shishir bantered.
'Hello Tonny, what's the latest?'
'Mom won't allow me to have the dog, but I know about a dog care center; they've got all the facilities...'
'Cool, give me the number.'
'Cougar, this is the contact number of a dog care center. I think the dog will be in very good hands there....'
'Thanks, but I've already handed the dog to our Bua this afternoon.'
'Cool. So what's up now?'
"You know I couldn't concentrate at all for the last two days. Can't really describe just how much relieved I'm feeling now.... Hey I gotta get back to my table... talk to you later....'

By Hameem


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