Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 4, Tuesday June 24, 2003






Shop special

Book stores

“Tobuo Boi Porun" at Baily road, one of the most important book stores of Dhaka, was established in the 80's. When I was in school back in 1990 Sagor Publisers (Tobuo Boi Porun) was the only reliable store where we could get books by all the Indian as well as the Bangladeshi writers, as well as Archie comics and the teenage favourite Mills & Boon novels or Sweet Valley Teen series. The owner M R Akhter Mukul (famous for Charam patra 1971 Bangladesh Betar) established this store to create a reader's group by selling books at reasonable prices. The store is still there standing proud, serving people of all age groups, but especially kids. The Kid's Corner of the store is excellent. They have good English and Bengali books including the popular comic series. It also has a huge collection of Bengali books from Bangladesh and Kolkata. The store played a great role in serving our needs for good Bengali books. The stores only shortcoming is that it is basically a Bengali bookstore, with a few English books, mostly for kids.
The second important but not well-promoted book store is our good old Book Worm. I love this store. I can buy the latest X files, autobiography of many political characters and also the latest fiction and non-fiction English books. Situated on the Old Airport Road this bookstore is known to many and loved by all of them. Specially this was a great source of good books before Omni books, ETC and Good Books arrived on the scene. This store has the opposite character of the above-mentioned store - lots of English books, but very few Bengali ones.
Finally we have Omni Books (122 Gulshan Avenue) or ETC (Gulshan Avenue) and Good Books (Rifle Square) where we can get a wide variety of English and Bengali books at one go.
Omni Books is a classic example of a good bookshop that has a rare collection of classic novels, South Asian fiction and also gems from different categories. The store has diversified categories, and the books are in an affordable price range. The shelves are well managed and groomed in a manner that complements the books and their writers.
In the same neighbourhood there is another bookshop with a huge collection (after World Book centre in Kolabagan) which is called ETC. This store has a large variety of books - you can get cookbooks, dictionaries of various categories, fiction, non-fiction, science-fiction, classics, literature, art-books, architecture books and even textbooks. The supplementary stationery section complements the store, constantly giving people a good source of quality stationery products.
Last but not least is Good Books at Rifles Square, Dhanmondi. The Oxford India paperback classics are cheap comparing to other titles found in this store. They also have a section for second hand books like ETC, where you get very good deals for great books. The translation section is also impressive. Another impressive feature of this store is that it stocks translations of the classics. The small corner book shop is not as well organized as the other stores, thus I felt "lost" at one point while looking for something particular, as there is no proper shelf-management.
Books are really great for soul searching. They give peace and explore different shores of our minds. The classics found in these stores are irresistible along with the latest South Asian fiction by Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy, Rohinton Mistry, Shirshendoo Mukharjee, Shankar etc. As a regular shopper at Nilkhet Boi Bazar I feel uncomfortable paying high prices at these stores. But as more and more people engage in the reading habit, the price for good books should be rationalized.
I would also like to mention Reading sessions. I feel that if these shops can arrange regular reading sessions, they would make a real difference in Dhaka readers and will be a good platform for creating a huge readers group that is very much needed for in happening city such as ours.

By Bohemian Soul

Shop talk

'Rain rain come again' a very sweet, charming rhyme you may have read it in your nursery. However, while going to the office or some other destination, it may not seem so sweet. You must buy an umbrella this season, to gain a little relief, and New Market is the best place to buy one. The suitcase and bag stores are offering various kinds of umbrellas. Singapore market behind New Market is also a great place. In both the places, prices are almost the same, ranging from Tk175 to Tk200 (for manual umbrellas in different colours). The ones with an automatic button system will cost Tk375. To buy umbrellas you can also visit Elephant Road, Mouchak Market, Baitul Mukarram and Polwel Super Market. Prices will vary a little.

In the heavy rain, umbrellas are never enough. You do not want to get as wet as a crow and catch a cold do you? Monsoon being in the air will make this inevitable once in a while. At a time like this, what you need is a raincoat. Singapore market and Polwel Super Market is a very good place to look for raincoats. Raincoats for kids with bright colours will cost Tk175. For adult's, you will have to spend Tk250 to Tk320. For bikers, raincoats comprising pants and shirts will cost Tk350 to Tk375. Among other places, you can also visit Elephant road. In all the places price varies depending on the quality of the material.
Heavy rainfall also requires a pair of boots. Many places you go will be water logged and sometimes you may even have to wade through. If you want to protect your feet from being soaked with the dirty water, go get some boots. Surprisingly enough the long queues of shoe-stores in New Market and Elephant Road do not sell boots. The place that sells huge numbers of cheap but good quality gumboots is Polwel Super Market. Small to medium size ones cost Tk160 and large ones reaching up to the knee cost Tk350. Apart from Polwel the only other place this writer could find is Chelsy Shoe Store of Chadni Chawk. Prices will be a little higher over there as they enjoy a monopoly business.

Waterproof handbag
All the essential stuff in your handbag might get wet in the rain and the fancy bag that you carry might not give adequate protection. What you need is a waterproof bag. See-through plastic handbags available in New Market and Gausia will cost Tk160. Waterproof backpacks equipped with a plastic shield will cost Tk300.

Plastic folders
Important papers might get wet during the rain. To save them from potential disaster it would be wise to put them in a plastic folder when you are going out. See-through folders perfect to serve the purpose are available in all the stationery shops in New Market, Nilkhet and in other shopping areas. The price of these plastic folders varies from Tk110 to Tk175. Plastic folders with several compartments will cost Tk250 to Tk275.

By Shahnaz Parveen





Prevent rust
'Tis the rainy season and thanks to our hardworking road diggers everything is a muddy mess. Our streets become filled with brown slush that a pig would envy. The undercarriages of cars become caked with thick layers that absorb water and keep the surface moist for long periods of time. This makes the metal rust where stone chips and other vehicles have scratched off the paint. Wash off the mud regularly especially from underneath and if possible have the bare metal sprayed. A few hundred taka worth of protective paint now will save you thousands later when your car becomes full of rusty patches and holes.

Skin disease paint jobs
Have you noticed how some cars have paintjobs resembling the face of a pubescent teenager? There are air bubbles all over the place and this happens because the paint was applied to a damp surface or on a wet day. The moisture becomes trapped and on a hot day it vaporizes, expands and pushes up the paint into bubbles. Ask your mechanic to use less water on the car and to dry it perfectly before painting.

Tread confidently
Try walking with your feet pointing in awkward directions. Difficult, isn't it? Tires are the shoes of a car. Traveling through the multi potholed streets of our city the wheels take a serious beating. Often the alignment goes out of whack. Signs include steering wheel judder at speeds above 60 kmph and the car's moving to one side when you let go of the steering wheel. The latter happens because all the wheels are no longer facing the same direction. This reduces the life of the tires due to uneven wear. Also petrol consumption goes up because the engine has to work harder to keep the car moving in a straight line. Have the wheels aligned and balanced properly at least once a year. The cost is worth it in the long run.

Prevent window scratches
If you hear scratchy noises when you raise or lower your window then you most likely have tiny stones stuck along the rubber strip. If you see vertical scratches along your windows then this is definitely the case. As time goes by the scratches become deeper and more numerous. Continued wear results in ugly opaque marks on the windows. Lower the windows and use a brush or cloth wrapped around a stick to clean out the debris from the rubber strips. If the bits are still inside have a mechanic take off the strip and clean or adjust it properly. Such scratches devalue the car and hint towards signs of misuse.

Don't worry...
if you see liquid dripping from underneath the car on a hot day. It happens when you turn on the air conditioner and the warm outside air condenses against the cold unit situated under the car. Worry when you see water dripping on a dry day and you don't have an AC.

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

© 2003 The Daily Star