Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 9, Tuesday July 29, 2003






Shop Special


For a house of haute couture, Jatra is startlingly minimalist. This is a classic Bengali store without the chintz, the overstuffed couches and lace sheers. The hall is brightly lit, full of warm tones and vibrant colours, and the enchanting sounds of the flute, dotara and dhol create an uplifting mood.

As you walk into the store the traditional culture of Bangladesh is laid out before you. You are greeted with a welcoming ambience and brightly painted coloured pictures on various walls. The interior of the shop is very tastefully decorated as well. The occasional use of green plants here and there gives the whole place a very fresh and an attractive look.

The shop is owned by Anushe Anadil, vocalist of Bangla - one of the popular bands of our country. This talented lady has made major contributions to all the works that are seen around the shop. Milita, who is also an artistic young lady, also shows her interesting works through the imaginative styled garments that are available at this place. The office of this place is named Charuta, and from outside the shop this is the name that you are going to see.

The uniqueness of Jatra comes from its very own hand-made fabrics and textiles. It promises its customers trendy outfits made of fabrics like jamdani, khadi, tie-dye, the traditional block print and many more. I was particularly attracted by the sight of the light pink jamdani tops and tie-dye kurtas that can go well with jeans or any black trousers. These garments come in various sizes to make shopping easier for its customers. Jatra mainly deals with fabrics in earthy tones and bright colours like red, yellow, dark blue etc. The attractive kameezes come between Tk 1000 to about TK 1400 and the kurtas and tops range between TK 250 to TK 600. The artists in this shop are so innovative that even pieces of cloth like gamcha are very imaginatively utilized. It was actually very surprising to see how the traditional gamcha was used in making bags and even lamp shades.

As you walk through the shop the beautiful seating arrangement suddenly catches your eye. On one side of the hall is a wooden floor and sprawled on it are seat cushions that come in colourful tie and dye fabrics. Among these seats wooden tools with attractive painted tops are arranged with lamps here and there. These are also for sale and the whole arrangement creates a very lively look. The use of dried flowers and jute mats is very significant in this shop and the powerful language of art and culture is reflected in every nook and corner of this place. We believe all of you who visit this shop will definitely love the hanging lampshades that come in various shapes and colours, and which hang in one room. The frames of these lamps are typically wooden and the cloths that are used as covers are either tie-and-dye or floral prints.

The other artifacts that you are going to find in this shop are clay diyas that come in various shapes and sizes, hurricane lanterns that cost about Tk 180, cane trays and jewelry boxes that cost about Tk 195, foot shaped ashtrays that come at affordable prices, jute bags and mirror-fitted bags which are about Tk 180. Even the dikkha pots that are crafted and supplied from Modhupur of Tangail are simply amazing to look at. You can even get beautiful clay jewelry which are as cheap as Tk. 50, and the wooden and beaded necklaces that come in various attractive hues such as orange, maroon, and aquamarine, will leave you totally spellbound. The other commodities that are found are pen holders, seashells, candles which cost about Tk. 300, photoframes, attractive candle-stands and what-not. You name it and its there.

Jatra - the journey of craft is actually a museum of craft and culture. That's because even the colourful dupatas that are used as curtains speak the language of Bangla. So you get the essence of our land wherever you look. The place guarantees its customers can view and enjoy the splendid exhibition of textiles and fabrics. Basically, Jatra tries to create an awareness of the richness and diversity of the Bangladeshi culture in the hope that people will be inspired and act as catalysts in motivating other people to enjoy and preserve the rich heritage of this country. The place is located in Kamal Atarturk Avenue on the third floor of a red brick building beside the Banani lake.

By Sarah Zermin Huq

Shop talk

Cool sunglasses are really in now. They are happening. Blue, black, gray, brown - you name it you've got it! These sunglasses, more popularly known as 'shades', are tinted rather than coloured and allow people to see your eyes. They come in all sizes and in all the 'in' shapes. They are small, compact, lightweight and cheap too. Available at Eye Vision, Elephant Road prices start from Taka 200 onwards.

Hair pin
Remember those old hairpins made of silver we'd see in old movies and in our mother's hair bun? Well they are back in fashion - only not in silver but in different materials such as plastic and wood. They come in different sizes and styles. Some are plain, straight, no-nonsense like the ones Japanese and Chinese women wear. Some have a ball head or a French knot top and look very funky stuck inside that French roll.

Bathroom set
Looking for a matching bathroom set with soap dispenser, soap stand, brush stand and all? These look very good in your bathroom adding that simple yet chic touch. They are in different shapes and sizes - so if your child wants a yellow duck set, even that is available. These can be found at Hallmark, Hatirpool or at Mohakhali China Market. Prices start from Taka 500.

Essence burner
Essence really relaxes you and helps you get de-stressed. These essences come in different fragrances such as rose, jasmine, musk, mint, etc. Even the stands are very artistic with frosted glass holders and round candles in a multitude of colours. These essence stands are available at Hallmark Hatirpool and cost Taka 200 plus.

Wooden antique jewellery caskets
Often you have big pieces of jewellery and you just don't want to keep them in those crummy red boxes. Or it's a special wedding and you want to be artistic. So why not use wooden painted antique caskets. They are very artistic and have a lock provision so that your jewellery is safe. And they take you back to medieval times. They are beautifully carved out of wood. Available at prime, Dhanmondi Road 5, they cost taka 700.

Whether it's for your mother, your teacher or your boss, mugs are ideal presents. They are personal and show that you care. They come in different shapes and sizes and have different writings on them. So there's one for every occasion and for every possible relation you can think of. These mugs are made of ceramic and are available at New Market and cost Taka 80.

By Tahiat-E-Mahboob







Did you know…
cellular phones can interfere with the functioning of pacemakers? People with pacemakers should not carry cellular phones in their breast pockets. At least a 6-inch distance should be kept between the two. According to independent studies, some digital wireless phones may interfere with some hearing aids too. So, why take the risk - put the phone somewhere safer. If there is any reason to suspect that interference is taking place experts suggest that you switch off your phone immediately.

Traffic safety
Safety always comes first. Always remember that using the phone while driving can cause fatal accidents. If you take any call while driving, please park the vehicle.

Honking and awareness

Indiscriminate and unnecessary use of powerful vehicular horns is a major source of noise pollution inside the city. It is a common practice among our drivers to honk while they are stuck in a traffic-jam or at traffic signals (as if honking will help them get out of it). Even besides school building and hospitals, they keep on doing it. Awareness among these people is essential. Hydraulic horns, although banned, are still used by many, which makes extreme noise. Vehicle owners have a major duty in this regard. They can help their drivers to learn about noise pollution and its effects and get rid of cacophonous horns from the vehicle.

Punishment for littering
DCC has recently installed trashcans in lamps post. City dwellers will use them we hope. However many people will obviously ignore this new introduction. Extreme measures should be taken if they do. People who do not care about their surroundings and keep on littering should be fined.

Spooky underpasses

Underpasses are spooky, if they posses certain elements and characteristics. Very little light, ghastly corners, defective ventilation that gives birth to horrible odours and suffocating environment, garbage lying and being kicked around: these elements are certainly there at both the underpasses of the city. All those who used underpasses would agree. Added to all this we have more elements such as snatchers and molesters. Enough elements to scare people away, don't you think!

By Shahnaz Parveen



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