Why you should wear sarees more

When I think about sarees, the first thing I feel is respect for our ancestors. They literally took a large piece of clothing and turned into an attire. And it is an attire no south Asian girl should be able to discard. I know that at times throwing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt on is convenient and comfortable. But at the same time, you cannot deny the appeal of a cotton saree woven in a hut in Tangail.

But unfortunately, the number of girls refusing to put on this magnificent attire is ever increasing. The number of girls bragging about how they cannot walk in a saree scares me. They also break my heart. Why can’t they see how brilliant a piece of clothing can be?

So, here are my reasons for wearing sarees more.

It’s comfortable


Yes, I know that it sounds very contradictory. Saree and comfort? Can they go hand in hand? Yes, my friend, they can, and they do. All you have to do is pick the right fabric, the right design, and the right colour. And fortunately for you, the choices are endless. Try putting on a chiffon/cotton saree on that particularly sunny day. Opt for georgettes if you feel like it might rain. Buy sarees that are easier to wash and don’t need much ironing to look good, then go out and rock the world.

It looks good on EVERYBODY

There are few dresses that compliment every body type that there is. Thanks to the internet, you know that pear-shaped women should not wear skinny jeans, triangular people should try and add volume to their upper body and what not. However, a saree flatters every body type. It’s possible to look sexy and elegant all at once if you know how to accessorize your saree. And if you don’t want to go through that, just wear a little bit of kajal and a tip. You will be irresistible.

It keeps the tradition alive

Saree is something that is in its entirety our own. No European will ever be able to take credit for this beautiful innovation, because they still don’t get the concept of it. But if you don’t buy and wear sarees, this tradition will slowly die out. Do you know what actual Jamdani looks like? You think you do. But if you go to the market, the businessmen will try to make you buy these cheap, jamdani wannabes and you won’t be able to tell the difference. This is why it is important to know your tradition, what makes it special. Otherwise, in 10 years, traditions like jamdanis will turn into myths like the Muslin.

It helps the economy

Unlike everything you buy from fancy brands, the money you spend buying sarees stays within the country. Isn’t it nice when you can actually help the people who make your clothes?

You can use it on every occasion

Starting from wedding ceremonies to formal interviews with classes to hangouts, you can wear a saree everywhere. And there are so many ways to style it, that you won’t even feel overdressed. You have to admit that you cannot wear your tees everywhere, and salwar kameezes tend to get boring. So pick a saree. Stand out in a crowd without even lifting your finger.

If it is not apparent by now, I am obsessed with sarees. I feel it is one thing that will never go out of style for south Asians, just like ball gowns will never go out of style for Caucasians. I understand that this is a global age and you need to be accepting of other cultures as well, but let’s not completely forget what’s our own. Let’s keep the good traditions, like sarees, alive for the future generation. Because I don’t look forward to a future where every little girl doesn’t have a picture where she is wearing a saree with her mother’s dupatta. That will be heartbreaking.


Seven ways to motivate yourself to workout

Working out may result to tons of mental and physical benefits, yet we’re still so reluctant to do it sometimes. Whether you’re a newbie struggling to find motivation or a gym junkie going through a rut, here are some tips and tricks to get you started with your workout or back in it.

New Workout Attire

New attire is always a great incentive! Revamp your workout with some new workout gear. The right and new workout attire can be encouraging, enhance your performance, and it’s always more fun to work out when you look good doing it. Enclothed cognition is the psychological influence our clothes have on us. Certain clothes can cause us to experience a mental shift when we wear them, changing our attitudes and behavior as they have symbolic meaning. In short-dressing for success is very real, so gear up for gains!

Hype Music

Create a playlist of songs to pump yourself up with before and during your workouts. Let them endorphins start rushing. You’re more likely to train like a beast when you feel like one! Music can be an empowering and performance boosting tool when it comes to exercise. Consider creating a few playlists so you can listen to one that fits the vibe of your workout that day.

Saree Season

Now here’s a lady who knows how to motivate herself to work out

To all my beautiful desi ladies reading this, remember saree season is around the corner and I know we’re trying to look good for those winter weddings (at least before kacchi). Work out now so you don’t have to hide your tagged photos later! It doesn’t have to be too late to say saree.

Mix up Your Workout Routine

Pro tip: If you’re doing the same workouts regularly, it might be time for a change. Not only will doing the same workouts cause your muscles to develop immunity and hinder growth, but it can become boring. Push yourself to do more reps or use heavier weights. Incorporate new variations and exercises. Try a scene change and workout in a different environment. Try running at the park if you’re always running on the treadmill. You’ll experience better results and having something new to look forward to can be a great motivator!

Buy Fitted Clothing

Buy some clothes that’ll perfectly hug and show off the fit body you’ll soon have. Imagine how good you’ll look in them once you reach your desired goals. Allow them to serve as a reminder to get in shape. Try them on from time to time. If they don’t quite fit you as you’d like them to, then it’s time to hit the gym and work harder to get your money’s worth! Remember, do it for the after picture!

Workout Apps

Self-motivation can be tough. So don’t do it yourself. There are so many cool apps which exist to remind and motivate you to workout. Most fitness goals require you to track your progress, which they’ve also made easy. Some apps assist you further by offering you work out guidance, which can especially be helpful if you’re new to the world of fitness. Try some and find which ones work best for you. They can definitely be handy and helpful tools to make your fitness journey a lot easier!

Plan Ahead

It can be incredibly demotivating to work out when you are unprepared. Prepare your gym bag the night before and clear out a time slot out in your schedule accordingly. Decide which muscle groups you will target or what kind of workouts you’ll be doing beforehand. Do your meal prep ahead of time. You’ll find it a lot easier to stay focused and motivated when you actually know what you are doing and when.

Modest influencers who rock Instagram

The one place where you can meet social influencers, talented photographers, artists, models and many more is Instagram. Each profile has something different to put out for their followers and this is where we get to see the individuality that resides upon each one of us. From the past few years, the Hijab community has successfully torn down all stereotypes and brought something new to the table. With charm and confidence, these women blend lifestyle and fashion only to bring out a new formula to the table!

Rock it all with Azrin Alom

The first one of the modest influencers on our list is the owner of Sciccoso, Azrin Alom is an entrepreneur, architect, mother, and a fashion blogger! This superwoman knows how to handle life the elegant way. With fresh ideas in mind for Sciccoso and new posts each week, she will definitely make you believe in having it all and still rocking it in your own way.

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/azrinalom/?hl=en

Slay with Mumtahana Elahi

Modest influencers on instagram HiFi Public

Collaborating with companies like Sunsilk, Elle magazine, La Mode etc. Mumtahana Elahi has brought innovative ideas in Bangladeshi fashion industry with her magnetic personality. She has represented herself and the country in places including Singapore and Jakarta. Popularly known as Abayaholic on Instagram, her beige feed is an absolute pleasure to the eyes. Filled with fashion and lifestyle aesthetic if you want a change in your fashion this season, follow away because she is here to slay!

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/abayaholic/?hl=en

Minimalistic-ally beautiful Aydha Mehnaz

Modest influencers on instagram HiFi Public

Fashion Marketing Strategist, Aydha Mehnaz believes in good work ethic and has an eye for creative corners everywhere. Currently studying in France, Aydha was born and raised in Bangladesh. She has a knack for flexible fashion ideas and has great tips for fashion and lifestyle. Her frequent participation in different Paris runways and fashion collaboration is what makes her different from the others. Her minimalistic feed will make you fall in love with the simple things in life. ‘

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/aydhamehnaz/?hl=en

Fashion Website: https://www.aydhamehnaz.com/

Say Amen with Amena Khan!

A mother, wife and a fashion influencer, Amena has established her own fashion website and placed a name in the world of modest Instagrammers. Obsessed with skincare and fashion, Amena is all about a healthy lifestyle. She is globally known to be one of the most famous fashion influencers for giving her followers the confidence to be unapologetically loving towards themselves.

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/amenakhan/?hl=en \

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/user/Amenakin

Smile with Sayeeba Islam


Known as Smiley Sayeeba, with currently about 10k subscribers on YouTube, Sayeeba has successfully established her contents with quirk, happiness, and fashion to her subscribers and followers. If you are a tea-holic and want your feed with great photos, subscribe away!

Instagram Link: https://www.instagram.com/smileysayeeba/?hl=en

YouTube Link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmljCKUl5xJnGDgwT6-O0sQ

Instagram has opened the horizons to different communities. These modest Instagrammers have put themselves on a position to not highlight their lifestyle, but also to share their fashion journey with the world. These beautiful ladies are creative content makers with brilliant ideas to showcase. Here’s to women who wrap their Hijabs with elegance and confidence!

5 reasons not to get married before thirty

In countries like Bangladesh, marriage is not just a tie between two people, but one between two families. The entire process of getting married and staying married can be extremely tedious. On top of that, many of our parents continue to believe that a blind date with a stranger in a public restaurant is enough to decide whether you want to spend the rest of your life with them. The fact that the divorce rate has doubled and that the separation rate has tripled feels almost expected in these circumstances.

Even with such grim prospects, avoiding marriage all-together may not be the solution. So what are the other options? Delaying marriage by a little. Our take on this – don’t get married until you’re thirty. And here’s why.

  1. Weddings are expensive

In our country, weddings feel like a competition of displaying extravagance and opulence. Are you sure you want to spend your father’s hard earned money on an event that will be criticized no matter what? If not, consider bearing the expenses yourself. And for that, you need time. So, our advice is you take your time. Budget, earn the money you think you want to spend and have the peace of mind – that your father didn’t face bankruptcy because you decided to have a lavish party on your way to starting a family. The first of many steps to earn and save enough is an education and a stable career. These are achievements themselves.

  1. The responsibilities are less overwhelming

Major responsibilities come with starting a life with someone new. When you are 23, moving in with a new family and adjusting to their lifestyle is a gruelling task. In this misogynistic society, all the expectations are on the girl. The guy also faces the heat of taking on the responsibility for someone else as well. When you are slightly older, you can be more prepared and take mature decisions during this phase of abrupt change in your life. Embrace this new chapter of your life with proper enthusiasm.

  1. More life experience, fewer mistakes

Have you heard the phrase “young and dumb”? That’s exactly what you are in your 20s. And we all know that only fools rush in, and it has the risk of ending in a messy situation. Waiting gives you time to reach a level of emotional stability necessary for such life-altering situations.

  1. Kids, duh.

Making babies is a big motivation to get married. It is as simple as that. It is a basic human need to pass on your genes, repopulate the earth and so people have children after they are married. But when you are in your 20s, you are practically a child yourself. You don’t have nearly enough experience or understanding of the cruelty and complexity of the world out there. Bringing a life into this hellhole without knowing what you are doing will just result in yet another broken adult, roaming the earth because of bad parenting. Don’t be that person. Have patience, and work towards a better world fit for your future children.

  1. Travelling

By getting married, you’re tying yourself to the other person. Every plan you make, every vacation you want to take- you will have to take into consideration someone else’s wishes, plans, and schedule. And what if you can’t match your schedule? An inevitable compromise in your freedom comes out. So travel as much as you can and see as much you can before settling down.

No one is telling you to be a nun, my friend, nor are we telling you to choose a life filled with a series of relationships with no long-term commitment. Life can get hard and lonely; a partner to sit out the storm is a blessing. Growing old with someone you love doesn’t only happen in movies. But make sure you actually love them before taking such a huge step forward. And when you’re older, at the very least, you can say that it is your decision, and nobody else’s.

Best of luck. Please send me kacchi. You will get unconditional love from me in return.

Felt really down and didn’t know where to get help? Here is a list to help you next time.

October 10th was World Mental Health Day, an opportunity to talk about mental health.
What do you do, if you are in Dhaka, having a really bad day and need help?

Reaching this conclusion is an amazing feat in itself. There is enough stigma, social and personal barriers that prevent people from going to a therapist. You do not have to be diagnosed with anything, you are not ‘crazy’ or ‘weak’. Sometimes its just nice (and necessary) to talk to a professional, who has the tools to listen.

Here are a couple of places that we recommend.  Our recommendations are based on therapists who seem non-judgemental, are easy to talk to, maintain confidentiality while meeting mental health and wellness needs :

Praava Health

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/praavahealth/

Address: House 9, Road 17, Block C, Banani, 1213 Dhaka

Phone Number: 09678701701

Psychological Health and Wellness Clinic – PHWC


Website: http://phwcbd.org/ 

Address:3rd Floor, Caldwell Centre, House 54, Rd No. 11, Block C, Banani, Dhaka 1213

Phone Number: 01777-772764

Opening hours: Sunday-Wednesday 9.00 – 19.00, Thursday 9.00 – 17.00, Saturday 10.00 – 18.00

You can request English speaking therapists if needed.

Healing Heart Counseling Unit


Address: House 121, Road 6, Block-B, Bashundhara R/A, Dhaka

Phone Number: 01752-074497

Nasirullah Psychotherapy Unit

Facebook: facebook.com/pg/npudcp.bd

Website: npudu.org

Address: 3rd floor, Arts Building (beside Population Science Dept.), Dhaka University

Phone Number: +880 1755654835, +880 1727906007

How to appear more confident

Confidence. The magic solution to every problem.  We have all heard, “Be confident, be you, and success will follow”. This seems to be the key concept of every motivational speech out there. Sounds easy, right?

It’s undeniable, confidence is crucial in every aspect of your life. But what if you are not comfortable in your own skin? What if you have issues like anxiety, depression, panic disorders, or other mental health issues that are not obvious at first glance? What if “being you” doesn’t always feel like an option? At those times, you have to take certain measures to mitigate the situation.

Here are a few tips and tricks to make yourself appear to be more confident.

Dress fashionably

Appearing confident-HiFi Publlic
Credit: Giphy

Dressing fashionably does not mean that you have to wear branded clothes at all times. You can wear cheap clothes and still look chic and put together. Take a little time for yourself in the morning. Think about the mood of the day, think about the social situations you might have to tackle throughout the day and dress accordingly. If you are a girl, take a little time for your hair, take a little time to put on a little makeup.  Being conscious about your appearance draws attention to you, and the first step to being an actually confident person is to become comfortable in your skin, regardless of the staring eyes and the hushed voices. It won’t come in a day, but if you continue practicing, you will get there.

Improve your posture

Appearing confident-HiFI Public
Credit: Giphy

A common trait in confident people is how they hold themselves. Square your shoulder, hold your head up high, and straighten your backbone. Poor posture makes you look sloppy. Make yourself look bigger and bolder. And once you see the effect it has on people, you will automatically feel more ready to take on the world.
Practice your speech in front of the mirror.

Suppose you have a big presentation coming up in a week. Start preparing now. Write down your speech, and make sure to practice every day in front of the mirror. Make a list of all possible questions that you might face, and practice the answers to those questions. Getting cold feet? If possible, go to your presentation venue a day before. Walk around, get the feel of that place, and practice your speech before an audience. It can be anyone, from the janitor to a passer-by to a friend. This will familiarize you to the situation that you’re about to put yourself in, and it will help you feel in more control of the situation.

Take help

Appearing confident-HiFI Public
Credit: Giphy

You do not have to do everything by yourself. If you don’t want to invest in leadership courses, don’t. But pay attention to the people around you. Everybody you come across has something to offer you. Listen to them, watch them, and take in what’s good. If you get confused, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Remember, most of the people will be happy to help you- and you are equipped with enough 6th sense to distinguish the ones that won’t. Trust your instincts, and you will be fine.

Learn to be comfortable around strangers

Appearing confident-HiFI Public
Credit: Tumblr

If you’re constantly afraid that the whole world is out to get you, then you will never truly experience the joy of life. So smile more. Breathe more deeply. If you see a stranger on the street who is wearing a pretty saree, stop and compliment them politely. Start hanging out with yourself, and with strangers. Having trouble maintaining eye contact? Look in between their eyebrows. Work continuously to be a better person every day. Practice does make a man perfect, so practice being confident. And in time you will thrive.

If you think I’m ripping these off from generic internet articles, then you are wrong. These are all tested on me, by me. I am certainly not a hundred per cent successful yet, but I am on my way. At the very least, I have turned into an ambivert from a regular, shy introvert. So why don’t you try these on yourself, and let me know the results?

I pray for your success.


4 Essential Tips to make cooking a little easier

Some of us know cooking as digging through bound books of Siddiqua Kabir or a collection of firsthand secrets from grandma to mom. Some of us watch too many episodes of Top Chef, Masterchef. Then we too want to curse like Gordon Ramsey over our scrambled eggs or charm like Jamie Oliver while drizzling balsamic vinegar. After countless nights of dining out or getting takeaway, we wish we could cook.

But, cooking can be daunting. Cooking can feel like risking this short life, the few limbs and the condition of the stomach. Cooking can be overwhelming to start and easy to get lost in because there are so many things to do.

Here are some few essential tips to make cooking a little easier:

Have the Right Equipment

Make sure you have the right kitchen utensils for the job.

The most basic ones are the pots, pans, colander, spatula, spoons, knives, to get you by for most recipes. However, if you want to try your hand your baking, you might need a grill oven, a mixer or food processor.

My personal recommendation for a grill oven: Miyako Grill Oven. This device is inexpensive, easy to use, has a good heating power and it comes with a rotisserie option.

Learn the Basics

Get acquainted with terms such as julienne, chop, mince, resting, blanching, etc. Youtube is great place to start. Find out what they mean, so that you don’t get intimidated if you come across the words in recipes.

My personal recommendation: Learn how to peel a vegetable first and then learn how to cut it. Do not peel with a knife like a Bangladeshi mom, use a peeler.

One of the best places to learn these techniques is the Allrecipes youtube page. 

Keep it Simple

After  your kitchen utensils are in order, check the ingredients. Find your recipes by googling your ingredients and browsing through your search results or check Allrecipes  or Tasty or Buzzfeed for easy facebook and youtube videos. Stick with recipes that are simpler–has few ingredients and the assembly requires simple techniques. Pick a recipe and go for it.

My personal recommendation: Italian pasta dishes are great for beginners. Boiling pasta is hard to mess up. Sauces for most of these dishes are easy to make.

Practice Makes Perfect

It is okay if you fail the first time around. You might misjudge a measurement, overcook, substitute the wrong ingredients. And THAT IS ABSOLUTELY OKAY.  Check where you went wrong and fix that the next time when you are making that dish again.

Happy cooking, just don’t give up and keep at it.

5 strategies to surviving desi weddings when you’re single

Desi weddings are weird–the celebration of a happy marriage is also one of the biggest gatherings of mostly unknown people dishing out unnecessary criticism. It is a chance to pull out the once worn outfit or a competition to show off your (real or unreal) wealth. Nonetheless, from Holuds to Mehendi nights to Haldis to Biyes, we are there and need to be trying surviving desi weddings, because, well, free food.

Let’s admit the truth, being young and single is no easy task. The societal pressure to find someone and settle down is so immense that at times, even the most accomplished, talented, ambitious people cave into the pressure. And things are ten times harder when you are a girl, as from the moment you turn 20 (sometimes 18), the endless stream of aunties with 30-year-old sons start flooding into your home. Why are they trying to scout you, a 20-something year old who sometimes forgets to take a shower?  Surviving desi weddings become difficult for the young adults because the concept of “live, and let live” is completely foreign to many elders.

Is that the end of the road, then? Will you have to spend your life getting overpriced and subpar Kacchi from sultan’s dine? Or should you sacrifice all your hopes and dreams and just get married for the sake of Kacchi?

Lucky for you, here are a few strategies you can follow to make the best of the situation.

“Every time you see an auntie approaching you, square your shoulders, plaster a fake (or genuine) smile on your face, and nod to whatever they say until they find a new target. “

Condition yourself properly.

annoying aunty, desi

In martial arts, the process of conditioning your bones involves hitting them repeatedly until it doesn’t hurt anymore. Use that principle on yourself. Every time you see an auntie approaching you, square your shoulders, plaster a fake (or genuine) smile on your face, and nod to whatever they say until they find a new target. Doing this once week will train your mind to tune out everything that you don’t want to listen to, and you will be able to enjoy your food without letting the disruptions bother you.

Travel in packs.

squad, skwaad, squad goals

No matter how old you are, it will always be awkward to interrupt a group of people in conversation, making it another solid way to try surviving desi weddings. So whatever you do, do not stay alone at the event. Keep a trusted ally close, and start a conversation whenever someone starts walking towards you. In the worst case scenario, if you absolutely can’t find anyone to hang out with, then find a group of strangers in your age group and lurk near them, and pretend that you are a part of that group. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Try to blend into the background.

beige, dance

Colors are great. But if you’re going to be surviving desi weddings where you will face unpleasant questions every five seconds, it’s probably wiser to dress in matte beige, off-white and pale colors instead of bright red and yellow. Save those colors for a wedding where none of the murubbi know you. Just be bold and do you.

Take selfies.

selfie, sonal kapoor, desi weddings

Of course you should keep a document of how good you look in your white saree and pearl earrings. But selfies can serve a greater purpose. Use the camera to keep an eye out so no one can ambush you from behind. Also, pretend that the lighting sucks and move about. It is hard to hit a moving target, not to mention the fact that no one actually wants to talk to a plastic Barbie who just won’t stop taking photos.

Check the guys out.

hunk, cute guy, zoey deschanel

It is a universal truth that guys look a billion times better in their formals. So replace all your bitter memories of aunties with images of that hot hunk. Yes, they are very, very rare, but keeping your eyes and ears open won’t hurt much. And what better things do you have to do until the food is served?

These are just a few basic guidelines to surviving desi weddings. You can always come up with your own tricks. And if you do have better ideas, please let me know. I am running out of ways to escape.


Surviving the heavy Dhaka rain: Must have closet essentials

Imagine that one morning you wake up to the cool breeze of the wind and the sprinkles of rain touches your face through the window. You can’t wait to make yourself a cup of milk tea and grab a book to read. The scenario is nothing but pure perfection.

As much as that daydream was worth it, a part of you probably wishes life was that easy. You have to get out and put on your work clothes. With classes, jobs and chores to do there is no time to sit home and hide inside the blanket. However, nothing should stop us from enjoying the rainy season and for that the right kind of gear is necessary.

Get yourself THE Umbrella

Its time you ditch the boring old black umbrella and get yourself something funky and worth not losing! Umbrellas are a must-have during this season. Like everything else, umbrellas have their cons too. To get that one umbrella to be your saviour for this season, make sure you get the ones with a strong handle and not fragile enough to take you off with the wind.

Must have closet essentials for rainy season 6

Ajker Deal, One Stop Shop BD, Online Shopping BD, and Intermix, BD online shop — these sites have plenty on offer. You can also order custom-made umbrellas online! New Market has plenty of umbrellas for you to choose from with a price worth bargaining.

Carry something to protect your phone and wallet

Must have closet essentials for rainy season 7

This season can often catch us completely off guard. And we might let go of everything but our phones and our wallets we must carry all the time. Carry a simple polythene bag all the time to protect your phones and wallets. Thank us later.

Bring back Raincoats!

Raincoats can be that one major throwback you would enjoy to rekindle from your childhood. It is the perfect attire to protect your formal wear and enjoy the rain while you’re on the road.

Must have closet essentials for rainy season 3

If you want to get yourself something out of the box that is both useful and fashionable, try Cyclehub BD, Bike Shop BD, Auto Fair BD, among others — online shops that will certainly not disappoint. Gulshan DCC, Nurjahan and New Markets will be worth the penny too.

Rubber Slippers and Boots all the way

Skip the stylish leather shoes and amazing mini heels because it is the time for rubber slippers and some boots to shine in your shoe section! You will be amazed by the comfort and the enjoyment to jump in puddles because the streets of Dhaka will disappoint you but these bad boys won’t!

Must have closet essentials for rainy season 4

Visit any of the outlets of Apex, Bata, Step Footwear, or Lottos and you will be impressed with the variety in terms of collections they have in case of design and comfort.

Last but not least, keep a travel coffee mug with yourself to enjoy the rain all the while you’re drinking nature’s energetic gift. In this hectic life, we have created for ourselves you can only do so much to love the little things in life. We only seem to get summer and winter more often than not throughout the year so let us enjoy the monsoon season this year for a change. Say goodbye to mud-drenched pants and monsoon blues!

Why feminism is not what you think

Many people, those who claim they understand feminism but actually don’t regardless of them believing otherwise, may argue that if feminism is all about equality, then why don’t we all just call ourselves egalitarians?  Today, for you and for us, I write on the age-old question: What exactly is feminism?

On one fine day, when I had seen a young man finish off his disposal cup of coffee and later throw it on the road despite a garbage bin just laying two inches away from him- I walk upto him, pick up the cup and throw it in the dustbin right in front of him, having made the most intense eye contact in the meantime. I recount this story to my friends once, and they slow-clap in appreciation, letting me know that I am “Such a feminist!” While this is not the first time in my life that I have had to hear myself being called so, but one of the few times when it had been for such an unbelievably irrelevant reason. Most people, in fact and unfortunately, do not, even though widely heard of, understand what feminism is but they, however, miraculously understand who “feminazis” are.

Feminism, in the most common definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities: it is known as the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes. Many pseudo-pundits, if not now, at one point in your life will happen to argue that since most women are physically “weaker” than men, equality between sexes cannot be achieved.  Can we have a little fact-check here? Feminism at its heart and centre is about equality of men and women, not “sameness.”

Parboti Roy, an academic of Gender Studies, says, “If you notice most of the “isms,” that is humanism, equalism or egalitarianism, they talk about human rights in general. Why feminism stands out is because it actively advocates for women’s rights while making sure the rights of men are retained.”

To make it clearer, here’s me drawing a parallel. You’re the only member in your family who’s not had dinner for the night, and you protest, saying, “I want food! I want food!” Your family members join in and sing along, “We all want food! We all want food!” But no, they all don’t want neither do they need food, only you do, only you. Your family members, in this case, are egalitarians, and you, my friend, with pride and honour, should call yourself a feminist.

People who are typically adamant to dissent from the idea of feminism usually associate it with women trying to achieve superiority through the movement. While Bangladesh was ranked first for gender equality in South Asia by WEF, we all know what little truth the fact holds.

It is an easier fight for women in the western countries since theirs are actually a democratic nation, where partaking in movements would not get you arrested and voicing your opinion not killed. This is why because feminism is relatively still a new concept in Bangladesh, people understand what they want to from hearsay. Feminism, according to every definition in every dictionary, rather wants women (and gender non-conforming people) to have equal stature as men, not superior. Many think that feminists hate men, find reasons to pick on men and love “putting up statuses,” or in my case, pick up disposal coffee cups and throw them into the dustbins.

Ms Parboti shares her thoughts on how people perceive feminists as women who’re tomboys or smokers. “They think women become feminists just to seem smart.”

This is why these days, despite believing in equal rights, many hesitate in addressing as well as at times take umbrage in being addressed as feminists, fearing the kind of judgement or criticism they would have to receive.

While it is true that feminism as a movement has lost its momentum because many people in the West have sullied the message of feminism to fulfill their own agenda, and that’s wrong, nobody’s saying that’s right, one has to understand that radical feminism is not the true spirit of feminism, just the way terrorists are not true face of Muslims, rapists not the true identity of all men.

But in the meantime while the West has been divided in an unfortunate debate of whether feminism is irrelevant in today’s world anymore, one cannot deny how relevant it is in our country. When we see the kinds of Rubaba Dowla, we comment on how she must have used “other means” to reach such a height; when we see the kinds of Wasfia Nazreen, we comment on how she must have had a lot of luck on her side; when we see the kinds of Joya Ahsan, we comment on how she left her husband for a world of glitz and glamour. We feel threatened on social media, patronized at office, harassed at police stations, anxious in public rides, where else do we go? More importantly, how longer do we go this way?

Feminism, in the most common definition, is the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities: it is known as the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

Because plenty people are born imbeciles, I may understand why many of them ask why we still think Bangladesh doesn’t give women their rights, especially when “the country has been always run by women.” It  critical to realize here that just because your mothers and my sisters and our friends may have equal pays at work, are rarely mistreated or never harassed doesn’t mean majority women get to live that, for the lack of a better word, luxuriously.

This is why so many men and women don’t seem to get the whole point of feminism because most of the times these people’s unambiguous views on these issues (feminism) are rooted deeply within their own individual and direct experiences, rather than on any data, research or science surrounding the issues.

Once in a while, they will, however, come across Justin Trudeau, who says “Everyone should be a feminist,” and the same people who once didn’t understand feminism or hated feminists, would suddenly mature into pro-feminists, not understanding feminism anyway.

Because feminism as a mission and an idea seems too idealistic of a state to reach, it makes sense when you think of the world as a platform of give-and-take where women cannot, by law of manmade nature, attain equality, since there always has to be one who always gives while the other takes (in majority cases).

This is why when people ask me, I tell them that if God had a universal language- it would unequivocally and apolitically be called feminism.  God, if there is any, should be a feminist.