Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 41, Tuesday March 16, 2004







Kids' stationery

Buying ideal stationery items, bags, lunch carriers and water flasks for young school goers can be a real hassle for parents. As most of the items contain necessary tools to develop their eye-to-hand co-ordination and drawing and organisational skills, good-quality products are a must. The market is full of options and varieties. Starting from Barbie stationery to Harry Potter school gear, everything is available in most of the stores now. Wax crayons, Oil Pastels, brushes, pen, pencils, water soluble colour pencils, sketch pencils, sharpeners, erasers are available in every stationery stores. A special gift collection of writing, drawing and geometric instruments are the best way to introduce the inquisitive inexperienced painters into the world of knowing and learning.

Etc. Bangladesh has something different to offer. Its huge stationery product line is simply irresistible. The most remarkable item that they have is the Faber Castle Mahogany set, which is a great gift idea even for adults. The most influential and dependable place for stationery products is New Market. This place has been a great source for stationery items for a long time now. They have varieties of items in every price range and for everyone. You can find good and comfortable school bags too. A range of waterproof bags with all-time favourite cartoon characters to add a zing to your kid's day at school. You can select any convenient one for your kid and help them to get organised from the very beginning! The extension of New Market, which is popularly known as the Singapore Market is filled with plastic lunch boxes and flasks for all. You will find all shapes and any design in various price ranges for your convenience.

Gulshan Market and all the Hallmark and Archies card stores are also good for stationery items. Ice-cool in Hatirpool and Eastern Plaza also has unique products, which can't be found anywhere else in the city. The prices for schoolbags start from tk150 to 800/- and higher in many cases. The leather stores in Elephant Road have more varieties in schoolbags than any other place in the city, except for New Market for obvious reasons. Prices for lunchboxes and water flasks vary. The minimum is Tk100 and goes up to Tk500/700 depending on the quality and size.

You will find the stationery items in Haroon Stationery in Gulshan and Fakirapul, then in other books and stationery stores scattered all around the city. One should be very meticulous about choosing the right products as they play a vital role in children's school lives.

By Bohemian Soul

Shop talk

Now a lot of you will raise your eyebrows and say "What's that?" Many of you will be interested, not because the spelling (I think) is wrong, but because of its importance.
Picco as we call it is a stitch that is done to hem your anchal or duppatta edges. It's a turned-up edge twisted stitch that looks neat and very chic on the skirting of your sari or duppatta. Instead of the usual hem or uneven fringes, try this style. Ask your tailor to do it for you, though he might charge you extra for this tiny favour. If you happen to be in New Market, however, try out this little boy who sits right under the mosque with a sewing machine and will gladly stitch your edges in a matter of minutes for only taka 10. He does an excellent job, but always remember to tip the tiny one behind the watchful eyes of his master who pays him nothing as he is still learning on the job (according to him).

Rubia voile…
What would we ladies have done without this fine fabric? Stores in New Market like Matching Fair or Matching Centre boasts a huge collection of this yarn where you find the matching blouse piece of any shade, from lilac to sea green to tangerine. You name it, they've got it. Rubia silk is Tk.150 per yard and voile is Tk.130 per yard, you will also find laced edge blouse pieces here.

Well what about this age-old almost weird fashion of the fifties and sixties? You might wonder at it, but it's coming back. Young girls are wearing colourful tassels in their plaits or braids at wedding functions or melas, while older women, are opting for monochromatic ones to add the illusion of volume into their hairstyles. The nylon tassel in jet black or light brown is available at Gausia stores for Tk.120 a piece, but of course haggling starts right there and it comes down to Tk.60. So those of you with short hair or thin hairline look out for tassels in Gausia, provided you want to do that lose knot at the nape of your neck and wear flowers.

Buttons and laces
If you want to add a little colour and glamour to your outfit or your child's, check out the lace stores on the first floor of Gausia. Buttons like dolls, flowers, fishes, and bugs in happy colours are found there in abundance and laces in all colours and designs are also available. It might be mentioned that crochet collars or nylon lace collars with pearl buttons could also be found here. Prices vary and patience is the mantra in these shops, because the salespeople in these stores are of unusual temperament. They might even ignore you or ask you to leave if they not feel like talking that particular day.

Men's shirt
Our first brand name Cat's Eye, deserves a praise for being there for such a long time and more so because they still manage to satisfy their client's demand. No wonder they still have faithful customers who, no matter what new brands come to town or what they get from abroad, will visit the store and manage to pick a few comfy shirts. It's a fixed price store but check out the Pride undergarments they sell in their accessories department. However one suggestion Monsoon Rain should look a little happy, after all executives do need to look bright and young once in a while.





Essentials Special

Did you know…
that the cell phone call charge in Bangladesh is rated highest in the world? In neighbouring India, cell to cell call charge is only 40 paisa per minute while our local cell phone service providers are charging up to Tk7. Cell phone has brought mobility to our part of the world. It has made people's lives easy. The high charge rate is an annoying setback, though, and is raising a lot of questions about the fairness of the charges…

Network problem
Not only are the charges high, network access between different service providers is not that smooth. For example Aktel subscribers often experience difficulties while trying to access Grameen numbers. It goes for Citycell as well. Easy network access between all the companies will only make it easier. It will benefit both subscribers and the respective service providers.

SMS culture
Since the beginning of cell phone service in Bangladesh, SMS has become very popular among the subscribers. It has developed as a new culture in our society especially among the younger generation and the people who want to save some cash. Problems are also observed here, as it is not possible to send SMS from one service to another. All the companies should reconsider this matter.

No network in CHT
Cell phone service has emerged in Bangladesh within recent years. Vast area of the country is already under the network coverage of different companies. It is with discontent we notice that the Chittagong hill tract region is not yet under the coverage. One can only enjoy the facility from within Chittagong district. Other district of the division namely Rangamati, Bandarban and Khagrachari are still deprived. People of these area would surly appreciate the matter if the situation were altered.

Set tampering
Set tampering is another major problem. The market is flooded with fake brands of cell-phones. Salespersons claim that these replica sets are being smuggled in from the neighbouring countries and they are being sold with ease in different stores. Stolen and ill-functioning sets are being tampered by mechanics and are sold as new. A large number of people are being cheated through the process. No regulation has been introduced regarding the matter so far.

By Shahnaz Parveen






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