Types of people you see during puja

It’s that time of the year again when you will have to go through your closet to find sarees and panjabis that shoutout “Amit Ray” and “Labannya” from “Shesher Kobita”. Yes! It’s time for this year’s Durga Puja and all the festivities it brings along with it. During these festivities, it is hard not to jump into the celebrations like everyone else. Any event or occasion in Bangladesh is as hectic as they come, and you will meet a wide spectrum of peoples in these five days. Somehow we all have a particular role to play. So, here are the handful of the different types of people you will probably bump into this puja. So which one of the following types will you fall under?

The ultimate mandap hoppers

Durga Puja-HiFi Public

If you live in Dhaka there are a host of options for you to choose from for your puja hopping adventures. Almost every neighbourhood has little their mandaps set up for the occasion. However, there will be some who won’t be satisfied by going to just one or two mandaps. They will not leave out a single puja mandaps in the vicinity. From Jagannath Hall to Dhakeshwari Temple to Banani to God knows where they will be there battling through Dhaka’s traffic. Where do they get the energy?

The social media fanatics

Durga Puja-HiFi Public

These are the bunch who dedicate their lives to social media. You will see them in the perfect puja attire going to fancy restaurants with the best offers for this holiday. Also, they will not leave out any of the typical puja rituals either. From dressing up like Aishwarya Ray in Devdas to ringing the puja bell to playing with siddur, you name it. They will have done it all as you can see from their Snapchat stories and Instagram feeds. And don’t forget the hashtags #shoptomi, #oshtomi, #nobomi, #doshomi, #PostPujaShenanigans.

The unfortunate hosts

In every circle, there will be one or two unfortunate beings whose homes become the ideal spot for post puja hopping hangouts. Your close one or two Hindu friends will be there as your saviour and accommodate you after a long day of hopping around. They will have to feed all the hungry ones that end up in their doorsteps while also managing to juggle their ongoing family responsibilities as well. But can you really blame us? Luchis are love, luchis are life.

The ones that are never there

Durga Puja-HiFi Public

AKA the getaway groups. These are the individual who always either makes plans or are the most hyped about it. But when it comes to actually appearing they somehow always manage to go out on quick one or two-day getaways out of town. Because no matter what you plan on puja it cannot measure up to their special getaways. Plus they somehow always have the perfect excuse that ends up saving their sorry asses. I must say these people are the smartest and are the ones winning at life.

And last but not the least, the people who never get any puja vacation

Durga Puja-HiFi Public

These are the guys who belong to the institutions (ahem ahem, private medicals students) or workplaces in which they never give any vacation during puja. They are the saddest bunch. They will have to work hard all day and after getting home will have to tolerate the social media fanatics online. If you are one of them take my advice and avoid social media for a few days.

So here’s to all the different type of people we will be meeting during this puja season and শারদীয় শুভেচ্ছা ও ভালোবাসা.

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

Sayeeba

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!

Reach the workplace easily with the Shohoz rides app

Every day millions of people are working in Bangladesh. Some are busy with their work, others are roaming around the busy city. Every major city is busy in the world, and Dhaka is one of the busiest cities among them. Around 20 million people live in Dhaka. Some ride in cars, some in rickshaws, some in CNGs, and others in motorcycles.

Everyone’s main target is to reach the workplace safely and on time. However, can they reach on time given the time-consuming traffic situation? A lot of people choose a motorcycle to reach the destination, and that is possibly the fastest way. But not everyone can afford a motorcycle or ride them. Sharing a ride is currently very popular among the urbanites of Dhaka city. Many platforms are trying to provide this service. One of the most popular providers among them is Shohoz. Around 1 million people are using the Shohoz app to reach their work on time.

The rating of the app is pretty high in the Google Play store; its 4.1 out of 5. The size of the app is small so it could be downloaded quickly. The app won’t drain the battery and it uses minimal internet data. As the app has a high response time, its easy to use it. A user can request for a ride in less than a minute on an average. Bkash is available as one of the payment option. One of the important features of the app is that the emergency number of 999 could be called. The following are the features of the app:

Platform

The app is available for both Android and IOS users. Both the users could download the app for free from their perspective stores.

Registration

To register, the user has to provide their name, phone number, email ID, and a picture. It is necessary to provide the required information for the safety of both the drivers and riders.

Settings

Through the settings, the users are allowed to choose the language they prefer: English or Bengali. There is an option for the users to set both their home and work address in the app.

Ride

The total cost of the ride would be informed after the riders choose their destination. The app would start looking for available riders after the user confirms their choice. The user would be able to contact the chosen rider.

Notification

Users would be able to view various offers and notices in the notification section.

Trip History

The section “Your Trip” would have the information about the number of trips the user has completed. The detailed information about the trip would be available.

Referral

Referral
Referral screen

The users can refer the app to others and if the referred person start using the app, then the user would receive discounts.

Coupon

Shohoz, coupon
Coupon screen

The users would able to use the available discount coupons which would be available under the coupon section. Other than that, the users would also be able to use Bkash offers.

Safety

The app was created by thinking about people’s safety. Native language was used while creating the app. Shohoz does background checks before hiring a driver and also make sure that the provided documents are valid. The app has been built in such a way that user can easily access the app and reach their chosen destination safely.

Technology has made people lives easier. New innovations are getting created day by day. Shohoz is one of those innovated apps.

Struggles of an older sibling

Anyone with siblings knows that life will be absolutely different without them. The older sibling has an experience that only other elder siblings can relate to. Here are the struggles that will certainly feel familiar if you are an elder sibling in your family:

1. The Guinea Pig:

For one, you’re the guinea pig of the family. Since your parents have never had kids before, they have a tendency to overdo things in their attempts to figure out what’s best for you, only to realize that the endeavor is worthless. So, now the younger siblings get the advantage of not going through all of that. Tasnova, the eldest among three sisters, shared her experience of shifting between 6 different schools as her parents figured out the best, while the other sisters got the stability of being in the same school all their lives.

2. You’re old news:

There is no way you cannot relate to this! The moment the younger sibling arrives, you’re old news. Your parents’ world that once used to revolve around you suddenly shifts. Everyone gets new stuff for the baby, while you still wait for your mom to maybe just notice you, let alone buy you that red jacket you asked for like three months ago. When I was 6 and my little sister was born, I was so frustrated I literally picked up my stuff (a red dress, an old sock, a Tk. 2 note, and my teddy) and ran away. I sat at the porch waiting for someone to come looking for me. After like an hour of waiting, I eventually had to get back home when I got hungry. So yeah.

3. A live-in babysitter:

You know what? You’re probably better at feeding babies and changing their diapers than your mom used to be. Because you are the most underrated and unappreciated goddamn live-in babysitter in the whole wide world! What’s worse is that sometimes you have to take them with you on your hangouts, so that they don’t feel left out while you feel left out from your hangout because you’ve brought a responsibility with you!

4. You’re a live-in tutor too:

Having been sent to like hundreds of tutors since you were a kid, you are now expected to be a live-in tutor for your siblings too. Like you did not have too much on your plate already.

5. Your thing is now their thing:

So that signature move that you had after saying something cool is not so awesome anymore because now it’s their thing too. No matter if you have a brother or a sister; they will try to follow every single thing you do. Whatever your favorite thing may be, it becomes their favorite thing too. You feel like their idol and it feels cute until it gets really annoying.

6. The responsible one:

The eldest is expected to be the responsible one in the bunch. Even when the little ones are fighting, the eldest must resolve things. While talking about how their fights used to end up, Maliha told us that when she and her younger sister were both fighting, she was the one who used to get in trouble. Why? Because she’s supposed to know better. Duh.

7. You’re the late bloomer:

You sit there clueless while your friends talk about all those cool retro bands they learned about from their older siblings. I mean your little siblings have you, who’ve you got?

8. Watching them get away with murder:

“Watching them get away with things that you used to get ‘Jharur barees’ for is the worst feeling ever” said Rayhan while he was telling us about the time his little brother Farhan got away with cigarettes in his pocket because according to his mom “He doesn’t know any better”. Like, mom, he’s 19. He DOES know better!

9. Absolutely no privacy for your things:

Finding your little brother wearing your favorite shirt, spilling soup all over it or finding your little sister chewing on your favorite lipstick and smearing it all over her face and teeth; all because ‘they want to be like you’. Been there? So have I?

10. You’re super protective:

You’re always cautious and protective about them so if you ever find someone hurting them, you just can’t take it. You want to probably break their face in half, whoever it is, and do anything to make your little bundle of joy feels better.

11. Watch them grow up to be adults:

Knowing that they will eventually grow up to be adults who have to take their own responsibilities one day is a mixed feeling. It’s just overwhelming that they will not be little forever and not need you anymore. They will have to face the world on their own.

Being an elder sibling is one of the toughest and most under-appreciated jobs in the world. No matter what struggles you may go through, you’ll probably not have it any other way. Because in the end, seeing the little ones do something right with their lives is the best feeling ever!

Bojack Horseman doesn’t get a pass

Bojack Horseman has grown enough as a show to make statements on current social issues. It also lets on whether Bojack the character deserves any sympathy.

He isn’t a good guy, he isn’t a bad guy. He is just a guy, who occasionally does very shitty things. This time, he went far enough, and pushed enough people away, to realize that he needs help to get better.

During an understated moment, midway through the season, Bojack’s dad, Butterscotch, tells him how you cannot depend on people. The only person you can depend on is yourself. And even though Bojack’s mother wasn’t the best person to be around, she was a good mother for teaching her son that important lesson.

Bojack has learned not to depend on people. Yet, others liking him is what he wants. There is a massive discrepancy between what Bojack actually is and how he wants to be seen. That’s something he has to deal with in his latest TV show, Philbert because the main character is dark, noirish and does shitty things as well.

It didn’t have to be this way. Bojack was in a better place last season, by becoming a stable mentor for his half-sister, Hollyhock, and provided some comfort to his mother in a rare moment of clarity between bouts of dementia.

But Bojack doesn’t get to be normalized. He doesn’t get to say it’s okay to be broken, because it lets the viewers who are broken off the hook as well. Diane says it best when she says that, if Philbert the show makes it okay for assholes to normalize themselves and their behavior, then she didn’t want to be on the show anymore.

Being Woke Isn’t Enough

In this season, Bojack directly addresses the Me Too movement, and the progressive, SJW mindsets deriding sexual predators in Hollywood.

Being a man and speaking up against a Mel Gibson type means that Bojack gets applauded by an audience of chickens. However, when Bojack himself steers into the irredeemable territory by assaulting his girlfriend and costar, Gina, on set during a painkiller-induced haze, Gina refuses to let the potential controversy derail her burgeoning career. She refused to let Bojack be the biggest thing that ever happened to her. She wanted her work and her career to be her legacy.

Bojack begs Diane to destroy him by doing an expose because he wanted to be held accountable. But she wouldn’t because only Bojack could hold himself accountable. At this point, he isn’t a child, or even a young adult finding himself anymore. He is an adult in his mid-fifties. He needs to embrace the help that therapy, and later, rehab brings.

The show also takes a more comedic approach with the ascent of Henry Fondle, sex robot, to WhatTimeIsitRightNow.com’s CEO role, despite having no credentials whatsoever. He is taken down when a junior executive speaks out against his proclivities and the company’s female employees are, in turn, let go as it scales back its operations in response.

How to Change, and Let Others Change Too

Two major developments in this season include Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter going their separate ways, and Princess Carolyn trying to adopt a baby. Diane embraces the loneliness that divorce brings, in order to learn how to survive alone again. Mr. Peanutbutter, on the other hand, runs after the next shiny thing and immediately gets into another relationship with another impressionable twenty years old, Pickles Aplenty.

Mr. Peanutbutter tries, alternatively, to be tougher and to grow up beyond dating twenty-somethings that leave him as they mature into more fully-formed beings. He tries to be the mature one for once and break it off with Pickles before things get too serious. But he relents and asks her hand in marriage instead.

Princess Carolyn, on the other hand, finally manages to adopt a baby by the end of the season, even though she hasn’t fully made peace with the fact that she is still bullshitting her way into getting what she wants without fully realizing the consequences. She may not be ready to give up career momentum to spend enough time with her baby to raise and nurture her. As Bojack says in the season’s standout sixth episode, you have to do the hard work of getting better every day, and that’s harder than it sounds.

Everything is Worse Now

This season does a great job in handling grief, as always, in two episodes. The first deals with Diane’s divorce as she tries to find herself in Vietnam, and the second deals with Bojack giving a eulogy for his mother, Beatrice.

I talked a little bit about Diane’s sojourn in an earlier article. It’s a sweet, heartfelt reflection on learning to lead a solitary life after being together with someone for a long, long time. But it’s the sixth episode, Free Churro, that elevates Bojack Horseman to masterclass status.

He breaks down several times as he alternates between his hatred for his mother, and his vain attempts to reconnect with her over the years. He agonizes over the idea that her last words to him were ‘I see you’ and he never would have the chance to make things right with her again, or even with his father, who had passed away years earlier. Beatrice had delivered Butterscotch’s eulogy, and said, ‘My husband is dead, and everything is worse now’. And Bojack couldn’t help but echo the sentiment when he said ‘my mother is dead, and everything is worse now’.

Escapist Fantasy

What humanizes Beatrice, however, is that even though she spent a lifetime mostly drowning, there were moments, such as the times she went to a ball, that she would take flight in dance. And what humanized Butterscotch, was that he still forgave her when he remembered how he felt when he first saw her and realized that she was trying her best to do what she could, given her circumstances.

The show addresses the escapist nature of entertainment in this episode, too, when Bojack says that he watched the whole series of Becker because he hoped that his relationship with his mother would get better. That he would perform grand gestures and that would make everything okay. But he needed to be dependably good, without screwing up, and for a person like him, that was very, very hard.

Is Bojack Supposed to Get Better?

At this point, it’s hard to tell. In the third season, Bojack stopped himself while hovering on the brink of suicide after losing Sarah Lynn. In the fourth season, he seemed to accept the vagaries of adulthood and parenthood to varying degrees. He isn’t a bad person, per se, in the fifth season. Bojack is happy for his girlfriend and even goes beyond his normal grand gestures. He even steals the D sign from Hollywood in the first season. But he ends up doing shitty things regardless and ultimately hits a giant reset button when his show gets canned.

Bojack’s fifth season is great, but overall, it’s perhaps the third-best season of the show. It’s still hard to top the highs of season three. Season four stands out simply by the virtue of being uplifting and mature. It makes for a different narrative considering the series is mired in ugliness and depression. The fifth season drags most major characters through their paces, forcing them to confront major flaws and daring them to get better. Todd gets an interesting story too, but he doesn’t stand out as much when he doesn’t play off the main cast.

I can’t help but mirror Diane’s exhaustion and relief as she drives off into a tunnel after dropping Bojack off at rehab. Despite everything Bojack did to her and to others, he is still her best friend, and she cares for him. She hopes, as do we, that he gets better. But he probably won’t.

What do I want (to see)?

I sincerely hope that Bojack doesn’t waste away at a retirement home like his mother did, or die of an overdose as Sarah Lynn did. There might not be recourse left when it’s all said and done at the rate he is burning through people in his life.
It still makes for great television, of course. And I will be there, next year, like everyone else, to see Bojack get into another trainwreck when he gets out of rehab.

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.

Cheers.

7 ways living on campus is better than you think 

Living on campus is an intrinsic part of being a student for many. Unknown to many who are not experiencing it first hand, living on campus has it’s perks:

Freedom. Learning vital life skills.  

A chance to have that much-coveted freedom in our hands, a chance to step into a new life and get that first taste of adulthood. This is how most Bangladeshi students anticipate living on campus- when our strict desi parents are finally forced to loosen their grip on us at least a little bit.

This is where life challenges us for the first time and we are compelled to take care of ourselves. We learn survival techniques like keeping the places fit for living, making daily meal arrangements, cleaning, doing laundry and whatnot. We start managing our own finances and day-to-day spending. Many feel compelled to start earning to some extent.

Beating the Traffic (and not risking your life everyday just to get to class)  

Because of the hectic traffic situation in our country, living in the dorm became my only choice despite living in Dhaka. The regular commute from Mirpur to Dhanmondi drained me of all my energy and I had absolutely none left for other activities throughout the day. By the end of the year, realized I had to make the best of the situation and start using my dorm privileges.

With the regular traffic made even worse by the construction of Metro Rail, a friend of mine starts for her university at 5:30 am when there is barely any sunlight.  She describes her regular commutes from Narayanganj to Mirpur Cantonement as almost a hellish experience, saying “There is no direct mode of public transportation from my house to MIST. MIST has at least 7-8 buses of its own but those become full to the brim way before they reach my stop.  If I opt for it, I usually have to stand very close to the exits. This one time, I almost slipped while the bus hit the brakes and could have been in a serious accident if another student hadn’t grabbed my arm just in time.”

What could be more convenient than just living where I spend most of my time anyway?

Having time to be involved in club activities 

You can join more club activities with all the time and energy that you are saving by avoiding traffic. Club activities are considered an integral part of the university learning process. This enables students to gain something apart from bookish knowledge and enrich their portfolio.

These serve as platforms where we also get to get acquainted with seniors and juniors alike as well as students from other disciplines to share a common ground with. It helps them hone their skills in their respective fields of interest and somewhat prepares them for their careers to come.

Experiencing cultural festivals in a whole new way  

Dorms have always actively arranged all the cultural festival celebrations on campus. Whether it’s drawing graffiti all over the campus grounds during the celebration of Bengali new year or slaving in the common rooms drawing murals on earthenware, students at MIST have been seen out an about even till 4 am before dawn just to make sure the campus is ready for the big day.

Photo:
Mahmudul Hoq Abid

It might be hard work but the excitement of staying up and out in the street with all the friends and the feeling of satisfaction after seeing their own hard work come to fruition the next day is unparalleled.

Help around every corner

Having someone to go to for help with studies at almost any time of the day. Those who prefer to stay at home most of the time choose to stay at the dorms before an important exam or to work on an assigned project or even for thesis research. These often require working very late into the night with other member of the team and being able to stay at one place makes that much more convenient.

 ”Our classes are not held at a stretch. We often have an 8am class and then a 4pm class and we need to grab some lunch in between. Buying lunch at the cafeteria on a regular basis burns a hole in many student’s pockets. ”

Being able to rest in between classes

While discussing this issue, Irin, a student from North South University brought another predicament into light, ”Our classes are not held at a stretch. We often have an 8am class and then a 4pm class and we need to grab some lunch in between. Buying lunch at the cafeteria on a regular basis burns a hole in many student’s pockets. Also, many do not habitually like to eat fast food. The situation is quite the struggle for them.” She goes on to say,” These huge time gap serves absolutely no purpose because neither can we get any work done, nor can we get any rest or shut-eye.

(For many) Living somewhere beautiful

Dorms are situated within the grounds of beautiful campuses; it is a rare chance to live close to nature. How many in this day and age are lucky enough to wake up to the chirping of birds and savor the smell of cut grass in the morning? How many have a daily view of a serene lake, or can just grab a good book to read by the view right out of their bedroom balcony? Many people living on campus can vouch for the beautiful scenery I’m talking about.

At the end of the day, what matters are the new but unbreakable bonds created between one’s roommates and learning to compromise. We learn to improvise and create our own little celebrations with late night movies along with cha and chanachur parties. Being away from home gives us a chance to appreciate the small good things in life, stop taking them for granted. Living on campus can be a rewarding experience.

Here’s to those never-ending addas and the tong er cha. Here’s to the fraternities never to be forgotten.

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.

Virtual Reality – the next step in personal entertainment

Virtual Reality is a tech of the future, and as time passes by, AR and VR tech is getting more immersive and integrated into our lives. But it’s still a long time before VR becomes a piece of tech available for the masses, especially in Bangladesh. Despite being overpriced, VR is being developed in Bangladesh, with a lot of cheaper alternatives seeing use in Bangladesh among tech enthusiasts, developers and gamers.

Essentials and useful features

A lot of prerequisites are essential for a perfect VR experience. The best headsets feature head-tracking, motion-tracking and a surround sound. A 9-axis gyroscope helps a lot in this regard. Usually lower priced headsets rely on a smartphone for providing the experience, but dedicated VR headsets such as the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift have their own screens and hardware to make the experience better. Usually these headsets connect to a PC. A powerful PC will run these headsets with ease.

The affordable options : VR with smartphones

The Google Cardboard VR Headset

There are a lot of cheap options for VR. The cheapest DIY option is setting up a cardboard headset. Here’s a guide from Google to make your own VR headset. The headset doesn’t cost much to make, and only needs a pair of lens and a cardboard box. The experience doesn’t come close to a fully fledged VR headset, but it offers a sort of experience.

The Xiaomi VR Play

The main issue with Google Cardboard is the quality of the materials. You can easily save your time and efforts by buying a Chinese VR headset instead. Options among these include Remax, Xiaomi and the mildly popular VR Box 2.0, costing from a mere 500BDT to 1500BDT, depending on quality and features.

The Xiaomi VR Headset

Move up to around 5,000BDT and you’ll get surround sound built into the headset, as well as much better head support and hardware support with the Xiaomi VR 3D Glasses. You’ll still need a smartphone to enjoy the experience, but needless to say the headset itself is quite well built. The Samsung Gear VR is a much better alternative at a similar price, but it only supports Samsung Galaxy phone starting from the Galaxy S7.

The real deal : 3 degrees of freedom in hardware

3 degrees of freedom headsets involve stationary experiences, usually seated or standing positions which measure roll, pitch and yaw axes.

The Oculus Go

Currently, the cheapest headset with 3 degrees of freedom and hardware support is the brilliant Oculus Go. The Oculus Go promises a no-frills experience by removing the need for any wire or a smartphone. And the best part is the price. The Oculus Go costs 200USD for the 32GB version, and 250USD for the 64GB version. It seems like the best starting point for getting into VR headsets, as the headset supports Netflix and a few games from it’s store.

The Lenovo Mirage

The next biggest substantial update is the Lenovo Mirage. The Mirage is a daydream VR headset which doesn’t need a smartphone to support itself. While Mirage Solo is an excellent VR device, it simply isn’t worth the 400$ price tag, especially considering Lenovo’s selection of video games and apps.

In this segment, it seems the Oculus Go is the best option for casual VR entertainment and activities.

The really real deal: 6 degrees of freedom in hardware

6 degrees of freedom allow the user to walk around inside a physical space. In addition to the 3 degrees of freedom explained above, these headsets also measure surge, sway and heave. These headsets offer the most advanced VR experiences, but they need a powerful system to run.

The Playstation VR

The most affordable experience currently, with 6 degrees of freedom is the Playstation VR. The PSVR is a great VR system by Sony. It isn’t perfect, as there are other HMD (Head mounted devices) offer far better value. But the PSVR can support SteamVR, which in turn opens up a massive library of games. The only edge the PSVR has is the fact that it has a 120hz display. But it’s also a bummer, as the display inside is a 1080p display.

The Oculus Rift

The Oculus Rift costs only 400$, and it’s the original pioneer of VR. Problem is, the Rift still needs a room tracker for it to work on certain games, and compatibility with Steam is still quite dodgy. However, the Rift stands among the headsets as one of the lightest ones in the market, and that goes a long way in terms of comfort.

The Samsung HMD Odyssey

To have the best value in terms of hardware VR, you have to spend 500USD for the Samsung HMD Odyssey. The headset is a WMR(Windows Mixed Reality) headset, and fortunately supports SteamVR app store. This means that all the games up on Steam is supported, including Skyrim VR and Fallout 4 VR. The display is fantastic, using Super AMOLED panels and the head tracking is class leading as well.

The HTC Vive

Another option in the range is the HTC Vive. HTC Vive doesn’t really need any explanation to describe it’s reputation, as the Vive already has a functional enough software experience when compared to WMR. Availability is an issue, and when compared to the Samsung HMD Odyssey, the Odyssey offers better build and display.

Utilities of VR

VR has become a useful and cost efficient tool for everyone. VR helps train workers for efficiency with little cost in a virtual environment. Creating capable workers with utility becomes a lot easier. Getting the equipment is the easiest part, but setting it up for business and integrating the system into technical architecture is the hardest part. If executed properly, it will bring a revolution to the industry.

Efficiency aside, AR helmets help bring up a heads-up display(HUD) to manage inventory for the workers. With proper wearables, it can help managers ensure workplace safety in factories by monitoring heartbeat rate and blood pressure, also being displayed in the HUD of the worker.

Tilt Brush

Artists can make 3D drawings and paintings through Oculus and HTC Vive. Google even has an app for Vive and Rift called Tilt Brush for 3D painting, featuring dynamic brushes such as smoke, snow, fire etc.

And as usual, it brings an entire new dimension to video games. The hardware hasn’t gotten perfect enough to feel more intuitive and convenient than keyboard and mouse, but it’s development has been tremendous. The Oculus GO and it’s affordable price is a testament of how VR is slowly becoming more and more affordable. At this point, we can definitely say that VR is the future, and it’ll go a long way.