Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 37, Tuesday February 17, 2004







Tune in

Italian inventor Marconi probably never imagined that one-day his creation would captivate the world. Yes, we are talking about the radio, a device that has become indispensable to the human race since its conception.

Radio was born with the sole purpose of relaying news and information. Now it has opened up a huge realm of entertainment what with talk shows, dramas, musical and sports programs, literary discussions, and let's not forget the big world of advertisement.

A radio is so important that it is almost everywhere. Every new car, whether stratospherically expensive or dirt-cheap, comes fitted with a radio. It is so deeply entwined with a nation's culture that it almost becomes the messenger of information.

Radio culture in Bangladesh
The audiences really do not have to allocate valuable time dedicated to the radio. Anyone can access the programs from any place using a portable unit. It helps provide aural entertainment even when you are busy with work or lying in bed due to an ailment. It provides a tune you can enjoy without putting in too much effort. Sometimes it can be a nostalgic experience, momentarily taking you away to a different time altogether.

Radio audience can be divided into segments based on both social class and age groups. It is a universally recognised fact that the young and the not-so-young never agree upon the same type of programs. The only thing that brings all sorts of people together to some extent is sports. Of course they beat each other senseless by favouring opposing sides, but at least the program is listened to by all.

Before the launch of Bangladesh Betar, people of this country used to listen to the foreign stations especially those of our neighbouring countries. BBC and Voice of America were the top favourites throughout. These stations still enjoy huge audiences, consisting mainly of the people who have not yet been completely bewitched by satellite television.

Past and present audience
It is a humid summer afternoon and the heat is unbearable. The grownups of the family are taking a respite from the heat by lying on the beds and gossiping. The radio is humming atop the dining table. Any moment the weekly drama aired from the Calcutta 'Ga' station will begin. The children have been put to sleep so they do not interfere during the show. At 2:30 there is pin-drop silence as the drama unfolds through the speakers.

This is a scene taken out of life a couple of decades ago. In 1960, Nasima Islam of Calcutta was married to engineer Nurul Islam who was at the time studying in Calcutta's Shibpur Engineering College. In their long married life there were few disagreements. The biggest similarity they had was their choice of some particular radio programs. They regularly tuned into the stations that aired the favourite dramas and request music shows. It was a difficult move for Nasima when she came to Bangladesh. The one thing that helped ease the pain of leaving her country was the radio. Programs of her country lessened the distance. At 55, she never forgets to tune in every day.

A large portion of the local audience still wake up to the 7 o' clock news on Dhaka Betar. Housewives often dial in to listen to the music channels in the afternoon. The young generation have their long running favourite World Music. Then there is the BBC and VOA for those interested in world affairs. Sports fans can be seen travelling to their destinations with a mini radio plugged into their ears.

New Wave Metro Radio
Radio Metrowave, established in 1999 created a flurry of excitement. Their aim was to present news and entertainment in a different manner to attract people back to the radio.

Director Imran Mahmud believes that music is very powerful media to get messages across. Hence the importance of music to human life is immeasurable. It has the power to soothe like nothing else can.

The airtimes are 7:30 to 10:30 in the morning and again from 12:30 in the afternoon till 3:00. A large segment of the audience consists of people travelling by cars. There are also plans to start off drama serials in the near future.

The roots of radio in our country go very deep. During the Liberation War the radio was the indispensable companion of the Bengali people. It is a source of entertainment for the people in the rural areas. If nothing else, these people will at least be the proud owners of single-band radios. It helps them keep abreast of news regarding food and health as well.

Many say that radio is an outmoded device, but it happens to be something so entwined with our culture that its influence will never diminish.

By Sultana Yasmin
Translated By Ehsanur Raza Ronny


Special recipe by Sanjeev Kapoor

Jal Pari Kabab (Tandoori Promfret)
Ingredients Measurement

Promfret Fish 300 Gram
Salt as per taste
Lemon Juice 2 tblspn
Yogurt ¾ Cup
Egg 1 pc
Ginger/Garlic Paste 1 tblspn
Carom Seeds (Ajwain) ½ tspn
Gram Flour (Besan) 2 tspn
Turmeric Powder ½ tspn
Garam Masala Powder 1 tspn
Butter/oil 2 tblspns

Method of Preparation
1. Wash, clean and apt dry the fish. Make diagonal slits on either side of the fish using a sharp knife. Rub salt, lemon juice inside and outside of h fish. Keep aside for half an hour preferably in the refrigerator.
2. Combine all the ingredients of the masala and grind to a smooth paste, using little water if required.
3. Apply the paste on both the sides of the fish and keep aside for fifteen minutes preferably in the refrigerator.
4. Cut the onion & other soft vegetable into roundels and then separate into rings. Keep aside to serve as accompaniments.
5. Arrange the fish in north south side on a skewer and cool in the preheated oven at 250 degree centigrade for fifteen minutes basting occasionally with butter.
6. Serve Hot with onion rings and mint chutney.

Tukra Shahjani (Chicken Leg in Chandi Kaliyan Style)
Ingredients Measurement
Chicken two leg portion (medium size 300 grm)
Fresh Cream 4 tblspn
Yogurt 1 cup
Ginger/Garlic Paste 2 tblspn
Olive oil 1 tblspn
Cashew nut paste 1 tblspn
Almonds paste 1 tblspn
White pepper ¼ tspn
Besan (gram flour) 2 tbslpn
Green Chilly 4 pieces

Method of Preparation
1. Trim, wash and cut chicken legs Make diagonal slits on each sides if the chicken.
2. Grind Garlic Ginger & green chilly into fine paste.
3. Heat oil in a pan and mix all the paste with besan and heat till golden colour & cool it.
4. In a large bowl combine all the brown paste, hung yogurt, fresh cream, ginger garlic paste, garam masala powder, salt. Add chicken & mix well and allow to marinate for one hour preferably in the refrigerator.
5. Skew the chicken leg in the skewer and cook in the preheated oven at 250 degree for fifteen minutes basting with butter.
6. Server hot with ring onions and mint chutney.
Chef's tip: to make hung yogurt, tie up fresh yogurt in a muslin cloth and hang it with a bowl underneath, preferably in a refrigerator, so that the excess water is drained away completely.



Check it out

Tetley tea

A lot of great moments are normally associated with tea, around the world. Keeping this in mind, famous tea company, Tetley, is offering 20% extra tea with its 200gm and 400gm packs. This promotion shall be effective around the country till the end of February. Tetley has been a globally famous brand when it comes to tea, and it has over 5000 tea gardens around the world. With this new attractive offer in Bangladesh, it is definitely worth trying out.

Hanging Out


One place that's remained a popular hangout both for the young and old, is Candyfloss. With one branch in Gulshan and the other one in Uttara, these little food shops have been selling fast food items for quite a long time.

The outlets of Candyfloss might be small, but their food is prepared in a hygienic way and taste great too, and above everything, the stores charge very reasonable prices for their products.

If you pay a visit to Candyfloss, try their hotdogs, which their consumers admit, are mouth-watering. Besides, they also serve flavoursome coffee, which you can try as well.

The Uttara branch of Candyfloss also sells fresh and crispy popcorn. Each paper cone of this popcorn will cost you tk.10. Besides all these, you can obtain burgers, pizzas, sandwiches, lassi and many more yummy foods at the branches of Candyfloss.

The best thing about Candyfloss is the fact that the quality has not wilted over all these days. This fast-food joint has been around for ages and yet the burgers taste pretty good. This maintenance of quality seems to be the key behind its success as a food shop.

So if you are ever in a mood to crunch crispy popcorn, delicious coffee or tasty hotdogs, set your feet inside Candyfloss.

By Wara Karim


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