Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 7, Tuesday July 15, 2003






Shop special

Idea: For the heart
and mind

If you have been to Probortona near Mohammedpur, this shop, situated on the ground floor of the building, is hard to miss. Despite being a tiny shop, it boasts a vast and amazing array of products made mainly from clay, along with wood, bamboo, glass and fabric.

Most of the products are made by the students of the Art College and the according to the shopkeeper(s), very few other shops in Dhaka have such an extravagant display of the same items. This is the only shop in Dhaka with another similar branch in Sherpur and the main office in Jamalpur.

The first thing to catch your eyes will be the jewelry. They are made from clay, wood or bamboo occasionally accessorized with colourful beads. They include necklaces, lockets, bangles, bracelets, earrings, rings and hairpins, with no two sets of jewelry looking alike!

Then there are vases, flowerpots, hanging flowerpots, wind chimes, mirrors, bells, wall hangings, masks, lamps, pencil holders, candelabras and statues and figurines all made of clay. While some of them are painted in a variety of colours, others are left in their original hues. The vases and bells come in a variety of sizes and shapes, while some of the wall hangings, which are very colourful and come in various geometrical shapes, are also made of fabric, wood and jute. The candelabras and the lamps are of interesting shapes and have very intricate patterns. The statues vary in size and colour, as well as in complexity, ranging from the simple elephant or horse to the complex figurine of Buddha or Jesus. The masks made of clay take the cake though. They are beautiful in a very odd fashion and can add a touch of difference to every household. The masks are those of humans as well as elephants and deer.

Panjabis, shirts, fatuas and kameezes are also found here. Decorated either with block prints, sprays, embroideries and tie-dye, the clothes are rather exclusive in design.

As for the price, you will be pleasantly surprised at the costs of the products found in this shop. Not only are they very affordable, they are also very rare indeed.

By Armeen Khan

Shop talk

Woven and Jute Bags
Jute and woven bags are really in. They give a bohemian look to your whole get up as well. And now there are more innovative designs and snazzy colours to go with any outfit you want. Some are heavy duty while others add a touch of mischief to that demure party outfit. They are relatively cheap and are available at places like Aarong, Nipun and Probortona. Prices start from Tk. 90.

Terracotta Artefacts
Terracotta artefacts and showpieces are really seizing the market. You can find masks, hanging wall pieces, display items and small jewellery-trinkets as well. They are really innovative and add a unique touch. The showpieces are done in tones of terracotta and chocolate brown in the shapes of turtles, horses, dolls, etc. For people who want to use local decoration pieces, these items are perfect. Available in Aarong, Vertical (Aziz Co-operative supermarket) and Ideas (Aziz Co-operative supermarket). Prices depend on the intricacy of design.

Geometric Bangles

Bangles in different geometric shapes are now a craze among women especially teenagers. Squares, triangles, even hearts. Just name it and you have it. They are available in different shapes with tiny dangling chimes on them that tinkle when you move your hands. Mostly in metallic hues, metallic pink, blue, green and silver are the most popular shades. These bangles are available in shops like Priyo and Prime. Cheaper versions are available in New Market. A pack contains of six and costs Tk. 60.

Carpenter Box for Kiddies
Folk International now has a small carpenter box for children of pre-school age (3 plus) that contains small carpentry tools like hammers etc. It is a great educational and fun learning kit for children to while away their time. It costs Tk. 500 plus.

Frilly Pillow Cases
Folk International now also sells a range of large pillowcases. These pillowcases are in white with white cut work and frills that look really chic in one's living room or even in the bedroom. The embroidery is well done and tasteful. These pillowcases cost Tk. 250 plus.

Crunchy Cookies
There is a new cookie assortment tin available in the market now. It's called Style and comes in a long pink cylindrical tin. The assortment contains chocolate cookies, which are hard outside and have a soft chocolate filling. It also has a raisin cookie with ground raisin filling. The other cookies are assorted flavours such as coconut and butter checks. The tin costs Tk. 220 and is available at Nandan Super Store.

Brass bracelets
Check out the beautiful large bracelets found at any of the Grameen outlets. They cost 75 taka. These are chic and worn by guys even. Also you can find these from the hawkers in New Market and you'll find amazing varities including oxidised silver. Obviously they are cheaper than the ones at the brand outlets. They cover a large portion of the wrist and looks a bit like the ones worn by warrior princess Xena.

Monica Ali's Brick Lane
This controversial yet amazing story written by Monica Ali has been lauded by even the harshest of critics. The book is a great buy. Omni Books situated in Gulshan-I opposite to Azad Mosque, initially ran out of copies but they now have their second batch arriving. Each copy costs Tk. 750.

By Tahiat-E-Mahboob





Did you know…
the Jatiya Shangsad recently passed a bill raising the perquisites of the MPs? The benefits were raised by 100 to 600 percent. There will also be additional allowances such as telephone bills. The government will have to spend an additional Tk 5.31 crore to meet the benefits. You might also be interested to learn that the Jatiya Shangshad regularly experiences quorum crisis, which costs the nation over Tk 2.35 crore.

Notice how…
CNG auto rickshaws are not demanding extra bucks any more. Surprising isn't it? What is more surprising is that they are running with petrol instead of gas.

Efficient judicial system
We hail the move to use the speedy trial system to resolve some sensational cases: Bushra, Sony, Don, Ranta would have wanted it. These trials proved that it is possible to solve cases fast. But why should this only happen for a selected few cases? There are thousands more pending cases that need to be resolved, which even though not as sensational, are equally deserving of judicial efficiency. Why can't we build an efficient judicial system that ensures quick verdicts and justice for all?

A praiseworthy move

Another bill passed by the Shangsad secures one important right that should have been guaranteed a long time ago. The bill ensures that from now on, days served in police custody during trail will be deducted from the imprisonment given to a convicted person. We also hail this move. However, there should be more steps to ensure that a person does not stay in custody for long. There are scores of examples in which the accused remains in custody for years, sometimes even without trail. It is therefore necessary to resolve cases faster. In addition, a person who has served more days than the verdict announced should be compensated.

Gross negligence
On July 8, a photograph was printed in the Daily Star showing that police men at Hatibandha, Lalmonirhat are working inside the police station with umbrellas in their hands to protect themselves from pouring rain water. The thana building was build in 1916 and its condition is very poor. At the thana level, police stations are really in a sorry state. Buildings constructed during British rule are still allotted to them as housing. How can we expect law enforcers to work efficiently when we do not even provide them with proper office buildings?

By Shahnaz Parveen



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