Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 8, Tuesday July 22, 2003







The art of belts

Whether you are thin or fat, a belt has to loop around the waist to prevent that feeling of 'something missing'. A belt is an accessory that a man cannot do without. Anyone who is the least bit interested in appearance has to own one good piece. Black is the universal color but owning a dark brown belt also helps to mix and match. Generally belts are matched with the footwear. It also goes with the color of the shirt to create a contrast with the trousers. Tan, dark green and dark maroon are also favorable colors. (However white is only for Indian actors like Govinda.)
Belts can be had for more than a thousand or as little as 70 taka. The expensive ones are often the branded items but in this country be wary of anything and everything. Even if they spell the name correctly instead of Hilfinger or Galvin Klein, the best bet is to go by touch rather than name. If leather is what you're after then feel it. Quality leather is generally very soft and bends easily. Of course, that does not mean tough belts are not good leather. Make sure the belt is made of one-piece leather as opposed to those made like plywood. In that case you will have a synthetic piece inside with thin layers of dead cow pasted on top and beneath. These suffer the plywood effect by coming apart in layers after repeated use.
200-400 taka should get you something very good. Watch out for the suede or synthetic belts because most of these lose color when wet. People don't generally shower with belts on but it does sometimes rain unpredictably. Stained tops can then be a problem.
There is a new type of belt that is black and shines a little. It looks nice and simple but has a plastic texture and feels quite stiff. Smell it and you will be reminded of basketballs and tire shops. That's because these are made of rubber similar to that of tires. In fact it is probably recycled tires. These are inexpensive at 60-80 taka. Any cheaper will get you a rope. But nothing beats leather.
Caring for belts is simple. If wet from water or sweat once in a while, wipe it off with a damp cloth and hang it in an airy place. Don't put it in sunlight. You wipe it lightly with baby oil to keep the leather supple if not used for a long time. Either that or you could buy some colorless leather cream. After the day is over take it off and hang it from a hook from the buckle. The shape is spoilt sometimes if left on the pants or over the back of a chair.
Speaking of buckles the choice is yours and man is it wide. You can go for big fat wrestler buckles that will save you from a knife attack. Preferably chose something a little subtler. Flash is out nowadays. Square or rounded, the buckle width should more or less match that of the belt itself.
A good belt compliments your taste.

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Check it out


Oohlala is an Australian franchise store that has been opened up at the heart of Uttara on the 11th of July. Located on the 1st floor of Uttara Tower, this small, cosy shop specialises in selling cute Australian candles and jewellery. They have a wide array of candles. The candles are available in various perfumes, moulds and colours. The shades of these candles range from lavender, sky-blue to pink, light green and many more. One can easily select a piece as a gift item or even to decorate one's home. The prices of these candles start from Tk. 40.

Besides candles, Australian trinkets are also available at pretty reasonable prices. These fashionable ornaments are characterised by metals, beads, pearls, semi-precious stones, American diamonds etc. The prices of their jewellery start from around Tk. 150 and go up as high as Tk. 4000.
It has been only a week since the store has seen the daylight of Dhaka.

Besides Oohlala's own lines of products, jewellery from few other countries are available as well. The staffs said that they are expecting a new shift of products within a few days and this time, cosmetics too, would embellish their shelves.

So, if you have a mind for Australian jewellery and candles, don't forget to check out Oohlala.

Oohlala, Uttara Tower, Shop # FF-03-19, Jasimuddin Road, Uttara.

By Wara Karim


Satranji is a type of traditional rug that bears our culture and heritage. Once a luxury at the Mughal court, these rugs still survive against all odds.
Recently a Satranji collection shop opened in Sobhanbagh opposite Metro Shopping Mall. Nishbetganj, Rangpuris the only area of the country where these are still made. They come primarily from These Satranji are traditionally made of cotton and jute or sometimes mixed with wool and then coloured with vegetable dyes. Nowadays chemical dyes are also being used.

Traditionally designs focused on motifs like Jafri, Ikhati, Latai, Elephant footprints, Zamdani, Baluchari and Geometrical patterns - all of which are an intrinsic part of the Satranji design. These highly textured and brightly coloured rugs can really attract any type of people. They can be of any size depending on choice. Unlike most crafts from Bangladesh, this is a woman's craft. Traditionally these woman weavers were a part of an insular community like Muslin weavers. They came from families with a Satranji heritage. This Satranji shop not only boasts rugs but also a variety of handmade crafts made of jute, coconut, bamboo, cane, etc. The price isn't so high and these Satranjis also give your home a traditional look.

Satranji, 100/A (1st floor), Mirpur Road, Sukrabad, (Opposite Metro Shopping Mall)

By Sultana Yasmin

A true taste of Asia

BY Tommy Miah

Parsee Murgh Serves

600 gms of boneless chicken
½ cup of split bengal gram (chana dal)
2 one inch pieces of ginger
10-12 cloves of garlic
2 medium sized of onions
2 tblspns of coriander leaves
2 tblspns of mint leaves
2 tspns of lemon juice
3 tblspns of oil to shallow fry
½ tspn of cumin seeds
1 tspn of coriander seeds
5-6 peppercorns
3-4 large cardamoms
1 tspn of red chilli powder
1 tspn of garam masala powder
½ tspn of mace and cardamom powder
Salt to taste

Wash the boneless chicken and drain out excess moisture. Soak chana dal for at least three hours. Peel and chop ginger and garlic finely.
Chop the onions, coriander leaves, mint leaves and mix them with lemon juice to make the stuffing. Divide into sixteen equal portions and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns and large cardamom, stir fry for half a minute on medium heat. Add chopped ginger, garlic and chilli powder.
Add boneless chicken and chana dal. Add two cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook covered till chana dal is completely cooked. Cook on high heat to dry out the mixture completely, stirring continuously.

Remove from heat and cool. Mince chicken and chana dal mixture to a smooth consistency. Add garam masala powder, mace and cardamom powder and salt.
Mix well and check the seasoning. Divide into sixteen equal portions. Flatten one in the palm of your hand and place a portion of onion stuffing in the centre.
Shape into roundels and flatten slightly. Similarly shape the rest of the chicken mixture and stuffing. Shallow fry till golden brown.
Serve hot with onion lachcha and mint chutney.
After cooking chicken mixture, if it is too moist, add roasted gram flour (besan) or powdered roasted chana dal as per your requirement.


Your leather products
need care

Leather products are not only chic but they are also highly durable. However, this durability depends on how much care you take of the product. There are simple things, which can prolong the life of your leather goods. Leather products range from shoes and bags to jackets, pants, watch bands and whatnot. Learn to take proper care of these beautiful regular accessories and give your leather a longer life.
Leather garments should be hung on wide or padded hangers to retain their proper appearance. Empty leather bags should be stuffed with tissue to maintain their original shapes. And make a habit of keeping your shoes in a shoetree.
If you find your leather product in a moist condition, then let it dry naturally. Don't expose the material to any sort of heat source.
Make sure that the place where you have kept your goods is not high in humidity or temperature. Also avoid direct sunlight.
Avoid spraying perfumes and hair sprays on your leather goods; it's better to apply cologne before you put on leather accessories. Avoid applying pins, badges and tape to your leather products.
If you have stored your leather products inside containers made of plastic or any other non-breathable material, take them out immediately. Such non-breathable covers will cause the leather to become dry, and hence harm the product.
Wrinkles should hang out. If ironing is desired, set the iron on the rayon setting, use heavy brown wrapping paper as a pressing cloth on the right side of the garment and a quick hand to prevent overheating and shine.
A little attention to your favourite leather goods will truly elongate their lives, because leather, like anything else, needs care.

By Wara Karim

Hanging Out

A whiff of Italia…

Italian food is my all time favourite and Don Giovanni's Sizzlers in Gulshan is one of the very few restaurants in Dhaka that boasts Italian Cuisine. With old wooden floors, sprigs of garlic (to ward off Vampires and give a kitchen look) hanging from the ceiling, chequered tables and an old piano, the place looks exactly like a restaurant out of an Italian village scenery.
The food? Muaaaah! Extraordinaire! Magnifique! Ok, in short it's brilliant. They have the best pizza in town and I strongly recommend the Lasagne Bolognese, the Pollo Cacciortore (chicken boiled and dipped in gravy), the Fillet Mignon (beef steak) and the Chocolate Mousse. The restaurant charges what any other would - actually the price is quite reasonable.
The only thing the restaurant lacks is space, and a redecoration wouldn't hurt either. The reason I think Don Giovanni's is a perfect hanging out spot is because you and your friends can just go and hang - munch some garlic bread or chat over a pizza. You don't have to order big. It's nice and cosy and intimate - the perfect mix for hanging out. Ciao!

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob



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