Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 35, Tuesday, February 10, 2004







amplifying the spring spirit

THERE is no occasion existing in the whole wide world that does not require shopping. This may not be a huge extravaganza, but you can definitely greet the arrival of Boshonto with a little bit of shopping. The mood is already in the air, and this will only amplify the spirit. What are the objects that make Boshonto shopping different from all the other occasions?

A floral fiesta
The trend of increasing flower shops on the street tells us that the habit of greeting loved ones with flowers is fast becoming a popular tradition. A stick of Gladiolus for only Tk10 will make your friend happy. These are available in various colours. How about a bundle of Gypsy? Costs only Tk10 but the joy it brings is precious. A few roses would do the trick most of the time. They would cost Tk3-5 per stick. Yellow is colour that's making the rounds in the flower shops now. This is the season of Chandramallika. Each bundle of these dazzling flowers would cost Tk50. Calendula with a little bit of orange and a tint of baashonti is a flower that will bring on a jovial mood. These would cost Tk50-100 per bundle. To embellish your hair with style you can get Gazra at the price of Tk8-10. Marigold garlands cost Tk6-7. Get hold of one of the bouquets if you can spend a little more. Starting from Tk50 the price of these bouquets can go up to Tk500. The best place to get flowers would be Shahbag circle and Katabon market. Other than these two places, Baily road is a good place. You will also see some flower vendors on the sidewalk of every locality.

Music for the moment
"Aa haa aji e boshonte" the song that bemuses every one could be a great gift in this occasion. Songs of spring performed by Indian singers and produced by HMV is available in the market. CDs of these songs would cost Tk250. CDs of seasonal songs by Rezwana Chowdhury Bonnya presented by Soundtech would cost Tk70. Bengal Foundation has delivered cassettes and CDs of eminent singers of our country. Rabindra shangeet cassette "More shondhaye tumi-----eshecso" by Bonnya would cost Tk60. Bengal Foundation also presents Sanjida Khatun, Mita Haque, Nilufar Yasmin and many more. Their CDs would cost Tk200 and cassettes cost Tk60. Cassettes of BF is available in some selective outlets. You will get them at Aarong and Probartona. Surer Mela, situated at the ground floor of Aziz Market, Shahbag is a place where you will get all the CDs and cassettes that we have mentioned. Gitali at Elephant road with its enormous collection is one of the favourite music stores of Dhaka dwellers. From their collections we suggest Chitrangoda, a musical play by Tagore, performed by various Indian artists. The song "Rodono bhora e boshonte", portraying Chitragoda's longing for Arjun's love, will definitely inspire you. Cassettes from Gitali would cost Tk60.

Reading for pleasure
Books make the best companions. On the occasion of this majestic event present yourself with one of masterpieces written by our literary gurus. We suggest several books by Protik and Abashar Prokashoni. Tagore comes to mind once again when we think about books. His Geetobitan definitely goes with the occasion. It is a complete collection of all the lyrics written by the poet guru. Songs are arranged theme-wise and in alphabetical order, something that has never been done before in Tagore's publications. The book costs Tk250. Tagore's Galpaguchso (short story collection) from Protik Prokashoni would cost Tk 275. "Shreshtho Jibonanondo" with all the published and unpublished work of Jibonando Das from Abashar prokashoni would cost Tk375. Shreshtho Nazrul also with all the published and unpublished work of Nazrul Islam would cost Tk300. If you love to read detail elaboration and illustration of our countryside and landscape, then you must be a fan of Bibhutibhushon. A collection of his novels also by Abashar would cost Tk350. These two publishing house also has Manik and Tarashankar's complete collection. Their price would be Tk325 and Tk350. If you want one of these books then the best place would be Aziz Super Market popularly known as the boi para among the books lovers. Other than boi para, Shagor Publishers at the baily road is a good place. Ekusher Boi Mela is on the way. You can get all the books you want from the mela premise.

Getting baashonti sarees
Ask anyone what brings colour to this festival? The definitive answer would be bashonti sarees put on by the ladies. After enjoying a prolonged Eid vacation all the outlets are back in business. Taat saree mostly rule during seasonal festivals. Best place to get taat saree would be the Baily road, famous for it's long row of saree stores. Taat sarees would cost around Tk400. Among the renowned fashion houses, you can get your desired saree from Banglar mela, Nabarupa, Probartana, Grameen fashion bazaar. In all these outlets prices vary from around Tk300 to 600. Fashion houses give special emphasis on hand paint, block print, tie-dye and other decorative works. These works will add a special look to your attire. Price will vary for Tk700-1200. Elephant road hawkers market is also a great place for taat sarees. Prices will be a little less there.

The finishing touch
For a perfect finishing touch in your boshonto appearance, hand made ornaments would be the right embellishment. Terra cotta ornaments are available at all the handicraft outlets. What you need is something out of the ordinary. Every year, Ideas at Aziz Super Market, Shahbag, offers terra cotta ornaments of various colour (green, yellow, red) and mould representing boshonto. These ornaments with earrings and necklaces would cost around Tk200.
That is about all from us. Have a fun full of day on pohela Falgun.

By Shahnaz Parveen

celebrating the festival of colours

WITH winter mists melting in the sunshine, Falgun brings new life to every leaf and bud, announcing that boshonto has come with its grand display of shimul, polash or mango blossoms. While nature wears its colourful new robes, the vernal equinox brings hope to the people. Springtime is the nature's festival of colours. Along with nature, people add colours to the scene as well by joining the festival with fervour.

In Bangladesh this celebration takes on many forms. Different cultural organisations arrange programs on the day. You can celebrate the festival of colours through adda and enjoying the musical performances in one of these places.

As usual the heart of the festivity will be the Bakul tola of the Fine Arts Institute and the entire DU campus. Every year the Jatiya Boshonto Utshab Udjapan Parishad arranges a cultural program to usher in the season, setting the stage under the shades of the Bakul tree. The slogan of the festival is "Esho mili praner utshabe" ("Come, let's celebrate life together"). The festivity starts at around 7am in the morning with an instrumental rendition of Bhairabi raga, the tune of the dawn. The euphony of flute, tabla, and tanpura, creates an enchanting atmosphere. the instrumental are followed by dances and songs of Nazrul, Tagore, Atulprashad and many more. Mita Haque, Rezwana Chowdhury Bonnya, Khairul Anam, Adity Mohsin, and many other artistes will perform the songs.

The leading cultural organisations of Dhaka, Chayanaut, Shurer Dhara, Shuro tirtho, Bafa, Nrityalok, and Spondon will join the line-up.

There will be a rally in the morning. The morning session ends at 10:30am. The Second session starts at around 3pm and continues till the evening. Greetings card and rakhi's made of flowers will be exchanged. These will be sold during the programme.

Ekushey Boi Mela is on the way. It is also a great place to hang out with friends and loved ones. On pohela falgun the mela premise usually turns in to a gathering of revellers. Bangla Academy arranges cultural programs almost everyday. This year pohela falgun will be celebrated on Friday. There will be a cultural programme for kids on the mela stage. Visiting the mela could be a great family outing on the day.

Shilpokola Academy situated at Shegunbagicha is planning to arrange a musical programme comprising of Uchango shangeet (classical music). A brief rickshaw ride will take you there. For serious music listeners it could be the hotspot to be on a day like this.

Choose your hangout for the day and celebrate the festival of colours and rhythm with style.

By Shahnaz Parveen

valentines day spots

IT is that time of the year in which love is in the air. Valentines Day is just around the corner and spring is already here. Couples around the country shall be celebrating Valentines Day in their own special way on the 14th of February. However, there are a few places in and around the city that are worth checking out. We highlight places that have been popular over the years and some that are new additions to the city scene.

Taking a drive out of the city on Valentines day is definitely a great way to spend the occasion. Amongst all the places to go, Ashulia and Savar seem to be the best options. Ashulia can be quite romantic during the afternoon and the drive there can be a great way to spend some time together with a loved one. Visiting Little Italy can also be a good idea to get some of their mouthwatering pizza. The Shritishoido at Savar is one of those unknown spots for most couples in the city. It can be amazingly romantic during afternoons again and just sitting under a tree beside the lake can be quite an experience. The best part about this place is that people don't bug you much, although there may be a few looks from curious onlookers, so cool it down a bit. Bashundhara City is also a great place to go for a drive, it's one of the best places to celebrate the occasion in solitude.

Dinghi at Dhanmondi lake is all set to become a very popular hang-out during Valentines day. The place brings a new experience to all Dhaka dwellers and couples from around the city visit it everyday. Dhanmondi lake was always a popular place for couples, and Dinghi brings a new touch to the lake. The idea of drifting down the water in a paddle-boat seems distinctly romantic for couples. The charge for 45 minutes is Tk.150. The best time to visit the place is when the sun is not as scorching.

Café Mango may be a stereotyped dating place, but we still say that it is worth visiting on Valentines day. The atmosphere definitely suits the love-is-in-the-air occasion and it is a nice place to talk to your loved one. We are almost certain that the place shall be flooded with couples on the 14th, but we also think that if you have issues that need to be sorted out, this is the place to be.

Rickshaw rides in and around the city can also be a nice way to spend some time together. Although one may have to face a bit of fright from being spotted by elders, rickshaw rides are always pleasant. Rides in Dhanmondi, Gulshan and even Uttara may be quite pleasant, however try to abstain from crowded places.

Dhaka's new found 'high' skyline, has created new places for couples to date. Many love-birds date on the roof of their apartments, and sometimes this gets quite risky. However, risks are always enjoyable!

Different branches of Movenpick are also nice places to date at times. We also presume that these branches shall be filled with people. We also think that it is not the best season for ice cream, but do try out the coffee.

Love stuck valentines visit the DU campus as well. There is nothing much to do in the campus but to sit around the mall chottor, fuller road or in and around TSC and munch peanuts and jhalmuri. Lovers of Dhaka, clad in red sarees and panjabi with roses and gypsy (a flower) in their hand enjoy it anyway.

Ramna Park has its fair share of mushy valentine's couples every year. This park is said to be the most popular place amongst lovers from all parts of the city. The lake and the greenery must have something to do with all of this. Couples from different walks of life sit and chat here in each other's arms with no idea of the time.

Although there may be many other ways in which the love-struck community celebrate V-day, we hope that these places may suit your wants. However, wherever you may spend your time, remember that it's the spirit of the occasion that is the most important.

By Mishel Ali Khan

talk shop valentine

IT’S that time of the year when you get generous and splurge on your loved ones. Stumped on what to get? Look no further…just read on and check out on some cool buys:

Aromatic Candles
These soothing candles are becoming something of a craze nowadays. Although they are not yet widely available, aromatic candles make a great gift for you loved one. Other types of candles are also available, including floating candles, which also make a great gift. They cost around Tk. 200 or above and are available at Etcetera and Aarong.

Perfumes and Colognes
Great smelling perfumes or colognes can be one of the best gifts your loved one can expect from you. Some good brands include Hugo Boss (Deep Red), Calvin Klein (Eternity, Obsession), Adidas, Tommy Hilfiger. The price is usually Tk. 500 and above, depending on the brand.

Chocolates are very popular gift items. Some good ones are Ferrero Rochers, Cadbury and Toblerone. These are available at super markets such as Agora, Meena Bazaar, Nandan, and also at smaller shops. These, however maybe a little expensive. But there are also many cheaper options available. Heart-shaped candy boxes are very popular and you can also get boxes of eclairs, caramel candies, etc.

Stuffed Toys
These cute, cuddly toys are sure to be a huge hit with your special one. Nowadays a lot of different types of stuffed toys are available. Teddy bears with hearts saying, "I love you" are especially great for this occasion and can be found at Hallmark and Archies. They cost about Tk. 250 or above.

Photo Frames
Photo frames, fitted with pictures of your loved one, make a very thoughtful gift. There are some really good photo- frames available nowadays and they come in all shapes and sizes. You can find ones shaped like a heart or with writings on the sides. The price range is usually between Tk. 150-450 depending on the size, design and material.

Jewellery makes a great gift any time of the year, but they are especially popular during Valentine's Day. Great looking bracelets, earrings, rings, necklaces etc. can be found at Almas and Priyo. The price ranges from Tk. 150-500. For men, there are rings and bracelets available. Beads also look very nice with both western and deshi outfits.

Bouquets of roses, tube roses, gladiola, orchids etc can be found in all the roadside stalls and they are widely available. Starting from Tk 50 onwards, depending on your bargaining skills, these bouquets are available in all shapes, colours, and sizes.

By Ayesha and Marwa

seven days of

February…brings to mind visions of spring, of love, and for us Bangladeshis, memories of our Language movement…anything else? If you can't think of anything else that makes this month stand out, read on and we'll show you why February is the steamiest month of the year.

Smile Day [8th Feb]
With life's toils and troubles, it's nice to have a whole day devoted to that fast-fading act of smiling. It's already passed, but don't let that stop you from spreading some cheer.

Clean Out Your Computer Day [9th Feb]
Chat logs, old mails, outdated documents…is it any wonder that your computer becomes slower everyday. 9th Feb…now you have a whole day devoted to showing your computer that you care…too bad it's already gone…

Grandmother Achievement Day [11th Feb]
Grandmothers…an oft-neglected part of our personal heritage. They're the best cooks, they give the best hugs, and they're often the best people to run to when your parents are on your case. So how can we ever dream of doing without them? On Grandmother Achievement Day (11th February) you can reach out to your grandmother with a really special 'Hug', Kiss, 'I love you' or a 'Have a great day' wish and make her feel totally 'GRAND'!

Chocolate Day [12th Feb]
Scrumptious, sumptuous, and sinfully delightful…whatever would we do without these sweet treats? It is only fitting that we devote a whole day to the world's favourite desserts? So on 12th February, get your friends together and stuff yourself silly with your favourite chocolates.

Dream Of Your Sweetheart Day [13th Feb]
Springtime, a time when the sun shines sweetly, and there is a profusion of blooming flowers everywhere …in other words, the ambience is perfect for budding romance. So here's a day that you can spend dreaming of your sweetheart…
be sure to let him/her know that you're thinking of him/her. Send an SMS, an e-card, or do something really special to bring a smile on your sweetheart's face.

I Value Our Friendship Day [13th Feb]
"We have grown together you and I, and as our friendship blossomed, the fragrance of our friendship spread through my life, filling it with a sense of freshness…" Okay, I guess spring has made a poet out of me, but I'm sure you get the idea. This is the time to put your friends first and show them how much they mean to you.

Heart To Heart Day [14th Feb]
Talking of hearts, let the King or Queen of your heart know exactly how you feel on Heart To Heart Day! Reach out with a romantic wish and sweep him/her off the feet!

By Sabrina F Ahmad



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