Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 11, Tuesday August 12, 2003







Decision makers and the dearth of prudence

It was June 8, a day when dwellers of Dhaka City saw something very new. Female traffic police dressed up in blue trousers, untucked shirts with white sleeves and oblong caps directing vehicles in the street, a very unusual scenario for all. It was a very interesting development.

An ambience of vivacity was sensed. The atmosphere was full of speculations about this new introduction. The decision was acknowledged as a unique move by many while so many others were sceptical about the whole idea. When a new idea is introduced in a society, confused reactions from different factions are expected.

However, just when we were beginning to be comfortable with the scene, female traffic police ceased to appear in our streets. From July 16, inhabitants of Dhaka did not see females traffic police beside their male counterparts controlling traffic any more. They were withdrawn only after 35 days on duty. Once more, postulation on the subject matter was predictable.

The explanation given by the Police Department was that the absence of restrooms around the duty area was creating problems for the newly deployed personnel. Uniforms and duty hours were also indicated as a cause of problems.

It is only natural that one might need to go to a restroom during a four-hour shift. It did not occur to them when the idea was at a discussion level. It is not a matter of surprise that people at the decision making level in our country do not explore all fields before taking any new initiatives. The dearth of prudence was present in this case too.

What is more surprising, or should we say, it is only natural, is that there was never any facility for male traffic police either. We wonder where or how they respond to nature's call during duty. Why wonder, on the sidewalk of course, like everybody else. Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) was established in 1976 and no one ever before thought of arranging lavatory facilities for them. City Corporation, which is obliged to provide public toilets for everyone residing in or visiting the city, is the responsible party here. Thousands of pages can be filled writing about their deeds but lets not go in to that.

When the subject of female traffic police was new, there were news items about it in every national daily. Ashraful Huda, commissioner of DMP, while answering to the questions of reporters of different newspapers said "as women are at par with their male colleagues in all fields, there is no reason why they should lag behind in this department". He was only being honest about the original situation. There has never been any restroom facility for male traffic police and there will be none for females either. After all, it is the era of gender equality.

By Shahnaz Parveen

Check it out

Wood Metal: furniture and beyond

Clear lines, simple yet smart in design, pine and rain tree woods, no maintenance required and the range covers beds, sitting room furniture, dinning table, divans, sitters, dressing tables, chest of drawers and to the length and height your imagination can take you. Check out the retrospective show room "Wood Metal" in Elephant road designed by Rokunuzzaman Babu, an interior designer.

The show room is filled up with stylish chic furniture made of pine or rain tree wood. The designer completed his academic career from Dhaka Fine Arts Institute. The three dimensional study inspired him to make look-good furniture for his home and close friends or relatives. Their encouragement and appreciation led him to open a show room last year. He is basically a set designer of NTV and was engaged designing sets for ETV as well. But he has taken designing interiors and exteriors as a profession.

The dining table range starts from Tk. 12,000 to 16,500. Sofa sets are available within Tk. 12,000 to 30,000. Slick dressing tables will cost you Taka 2,500 till 8,000. Single chairs are priced taka 1,700 to taka 2,200. Divan can be purchased by 7,000 taka. The wonderful queen size beds are taka 8,000 to 15,000. His price range depends on the design, material used and wood. You will also get kitchen shelves, chest of drawers, sitters, wardrobe etc. Babu also accepts orders. One can either order from his portfolio or can order, as one wants which he agrees to.

The owner plus designer informed us that he designs furniture that is comfortable. The small apartment culture influenced him to make furniture that suits small households. His furniture would brighten up any space with its uniqueness in design and attribute. The funky yet smart furniture is for those who like something not traditional but that gives your house a decorative mood. He believes in low furniture, the typical Japanese style. He also offers duco painted furniture in bright red, green, blue, yellow colours. Though his work area is based on wood but the small touch of metal here and there is very artistic, which expresses his aestheticism and zest for cool decor.

So drop by at WOOD METAL, 234 New Elephant Road, (Second floor of the Masko Shoes building), Katabon Chattar. Or contact at 019 340 143.

By Bohemian soul

South Indian Savories

These are some extremely tasty & easy & versatile dishes and can be served with tea or at cocktails. It can also be starters for a tasty lunch or a great dinner.
Masala Wada:
Ingredients required:
· 2 ½ cup Channa Dal
· 10 Red Chillies
· 2 Sliced Onion
· 2 Sliced Green Chillies
· 4 Tea Spoon Chopped Coriander
· ½ Grated Coconut
· A few Mint Leaves
Preparation procedure:
1. Soak Dal overnight.
2. Grind the Dal with Green Chillies & Red Chillies.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the grind.
4. Shape into Round Balls & Deep Fry
* Note: Use very little Water while Grinding
Serve & Taste this with Coconut Chutney for about 6-8 people.

Coconut Chutney:
Ingredients required:
· ¼ Cup grated fresh coconut
· 1 ½ tbls spoon roasted Bengal gram
· 5 green chillies
· A little imli (tamarind)
· ½ tea spoon salt
· ½ tea spoon mustard seeds

Grind all the ingredients together into coarse paste. Heat little oil & season with mustard seeds. Pour on top of Grinded coarse paste & mix well and the chutney is ready.

Aloo Chaat:

Ingredients required:
· 1 ½ kg boiled and cubed potatoes
· 3 tomatoes
· 4 green chillies
· 25 grams ginger
· 2 tea spoon chaat masala
· A pinch Ajwain
· 2 tea spoon chilli powder
· 2 tea spoon dhanai & jira powder
· 6 tea spoon oil
· salt to taste
· Chopped coriander for garnish

Roast the Ajwain a little. Add all the ingredients in a bowl. Finally add chaat masala & garnish it with coriander.
The tasty aloo chaat is ready for 5-6 people.


Bye Bye Baby

Here is a list of information that you can leave with your babysitter/ nanny just to ensure that elusive peace of mind.

Emergency information:
Make sure you make a list of the following information in a neat legible hand and give it to the person in charge:
We are at:
Contact phone numbers- yours and hubby's (mobiles if available).
Doctor's phone numbers and times available.
The address of your home and the home phone number.
A physically close alternative contact, their names and numbers.
Location of the First Aid Kit.
Medications your child can have.
Medications your child can't have.
Medicines and first aid kit, should necessarily consist of a thermometer, baby nail scissors, cotton, band aids, paracetamol drops for fever or general body ache, skin cream for rashes, clamine lotion for allergic eruptions, antiseptic cream for minor, cuts, fruit salt or any other tummy relievers for gases and stomach pain, Vaseline, for chapped lips, electral or any other oral re-hydrant in case of diarrhea.

Hanging Out

Serenitea - the
garden café...

The owners of "Serenitea"- Tauseef, Tasneem and Tanzeem- has done a wonderful job as they opened a café in their garden surrounded by thousands of rare orchids, flowers and plants of different varieties and fish in their extraordinary pond.

As you walk through the bamboo made entrance the beautiful smile of the owners will make you feel at home. The chairs and tables have been made with outstanding creativity in a minimised budget. The wonderful collection of music will add an extra feeling to your atmosphere.

You must be thinking that the café is probably all about beauty and décor. But the menu has a lot to offer too. The names themselves are quite mouth watering. They have varieties in cakes and brownies. Sandwiches with fresh salads, Bagel (my personal favorite), chicken sandwich, Bagel sandwich, samosa, puri, deep dark chocolate cake, scone, banana cake, coffee cake, vegetable balls (coming soon), potato chop (coming soon), Bagel cream cheese, hummus (coming soon).

The drink menu is very refreshing, order Santra mantra, sparkling coffee, tea raw/lemon/ice/ginger/mint/jasmine etc. The coffee family has espresso, latte, frappocchino or ice coffee, cappuccino, mochacchino and mineral water. You will also find tomato soups chicken soup, Thai soup. The ice creams have only two varieties. The vanilla flavoured Arctic adventure ice cream, chocolate flavoured drown in brown chocolate ice cream is very good. They will cost you 35 taka per scoop.

The best part is they have wonderful lunch set menus like chicken biriyani, tehari, soup, noodles, rice, chicken salad, potato salad etc. The lunch will cost you Tk. 80 per person.

The café deserves a loud applause as to my knowledge this is the first garden café around which really makes the sense. 'The café is only over a week old but it is catching up quickly and it has started creating a regular customer group', says the café sources. So next time when you plan for a tea or lunches with your loved ones definitely go to "Serenitea" the name that describes its peaceful environment and serves tea. This wonderful place is situated in "Nasheman" (Road # 95, Gulshan #2) opposite the DHL office.

By Bohemian Soul




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