Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 13, Tuesday September 21, 2004







City Blues

Last time we suggested spending the weekend enjoying the serenity at home and getting things organised on the home-front. This week we suggest a sharp contrast, and state that getting out of the city is the activity that should be pursued. The place to be this Friday is out of the city, and with plenty of time to plan the short trip, we recommend that the place be Tangail.
Tangail is renowned for its 'chom chom', its other 'mistis' (sweet-meat) and of course its infamous Taat saree. Apart from these traditional commodities, this town, approximately a two and a half hour drive from the heart of the city, can be the perfect place for a respite from the havoc of central Dhaka. With the Jamuna Bridge just a few kilometres further down the highway, it also provides the convenient option of visiting the 11th largest bridge in the world.
Firstly, fix the mode of transportation for this week's trip. Try to do this beforehand and remember that you do have enough time to plan the trip. Taking a private car would be the most convenient, but for those of you out there who can't do that, buses set out from Mahakhali Bus stand almost every half an hour. The bus trip can be a bit hazardous with the whole family, so if you have the extra bucks then the option of hiring out a taxi can come into the equation. Try to set out early in the morning, as it allows one to spend more time out of the city.
The first meal of the day is an important one and this is where Tangail stands out. If one is a bit adventurous, then try out the 'misti' shops. Despite the fact that some of them maybe a bit rundown, the gorom gorom parata with fresh misti can simply be a treat for those taste-glands. Top it off with a cup of tea, and you may have yourself quite a filling meal. If you want to take back some misti, then you can visit this place later and pack some up for home. There are other hotels in and around the town for a good meal, so don't be shy to look around.
Once at Tangail, there are a number of places that one can visit. If you are trying to surprise your spouse, mother, sister, or anyone of the feminine nature, then visiting the saree shops can be a good idea. The shops are located in the heart of the town, and one can get good deals here. Friday is also a special day in the Tangail calendar, with the saree haat (a local term for an open style bazaar) at Bagidpur in full flow from 5 in the morning till about 12 midday. Bagidpur is just outside Tangail town and takes about Tk.10 by rickshaw, from the bus stand. At the haat at Bagidpur, you shall be welcomed by distinct shouts and welcomes, and it shows the enthusiasm to sell the sarees. The atmosphere at the haat is truly an experience to remember, with the vibrant colours in the stacks of sarees and all the different designs on show. Most of the sellers here are weavers themselves, and because of all the competition amongst the scores of sellers, prices fall. After all, what would a trip to Tangail be without checking out some taat.
If one is in search of a bit of serenity, then try taking a ride to Pathrail. The road to Pathrail is filled with greenery on either side, but try taking a rickshaw, as the roads aren't fit for taking the car. Pathrail is termed the "saree headquarters" and it is the place where the weavers make all the sarees. Pathrail can be an educative experience for both the old and the young. Sounds of handlooms instantaneously greet you once in Pathrail and one can sit beside the road to view these traditional ways of taat-production. Try moving around Pathrail and enjoy the serenity in the surroundings. If you wish to take a quick dip in the pukurs or the ponds in the area, some of them are quite clean specially the ones situated further into the village. But be sure to ask someone whether it's a bathing pond, as you don't want to get into a pukur filled with fishes. The people in and around Pathrail are friendly and can help out. However, before you go to Pathrail be sure to pack some food and snacks.
Once back in Tangail town, and if you are looking for more bargain buys, then before returning back to the city, check out the groceries market near the old bus stand. The traders sell their commodities beside the main road at the cheapest prices. This can be a great place to finish off the weekly groceries shopping, and remember that the vegetables don't get fresher than this. If you are lucky enough then you could even find good catches of fish, again at very good prices.
If you still have the energy then take the ride to the Jamuna Bridge. However, we warn you that it may cost a fair bit to cross the bridge. On the other hand, the ride can be quite enjoyable, so if you have the bucks go for it! Once you are heading back to Dhaka, make sure to pack the sarees and the misti for home. Tangail offers a lot but it isn't that popular amongst tourists. So look into it this Friday and try to make the most of the town; don't forget to enjoy yourself while at it. After all, this place can definitely be well worth your Friday.

By Mishel Ali Khan


Love your Cat the right Way

I recently lost 'Mousy', my cat. No, I didn't lose her to disease or under the tires of a careless truck. She just vanished one fine day. I suppose she decided we weren't good enough for her, and she left me heartbroken and wondering what I did wrong. Yes, I fed her properly, I loved her, played with her, but here's a harsh fact. They will saunter out of your life forever if they only choose to, and there's nothing you can do about it! The only thing you can do is pamper and spoil them so much that they will never think of leaving you. Asides pampering, there are certain basic things you most definitely have to do to maintain a comfortable environment for both yourself and your cat. They are as follows:
Fresh water should be available to your cat or kitten at all times.
Clean your cat's food bowl, water bowl, and its litter box regularly.
Cats are very clean animals, and are usually easy to house train. Just deposit your kitty on its litter box right after you have fed it. You can also help by scratching its paws in it so that it gets the message.
Don't ever give your cat or kitten a piece of chocolate. It is supposedly not good for them.
Cats love Tuna, but avoid feeding it to them as this can contribute to premature kidney failure.
If you don't want cat hair all over your furniture, brush them regularly, especially longhaired felines. And trust me, they love being groomed. Just make sure you don't rub its precious fur too hard as it might hate that.
For your cat's sake, keep your children away if they have a tendency to irritate your pet. Do not allow your children to tug its tail, pull its ears or anything that might hurt your cat.
For your and your furniture's sake (and for those who have babies or young children in the house), clip your adult cat's 'not' your kitten's nails, avoiding the hind legs. By clipping, I do not mean de-clawing. When you are clipping their nails, make sure you avoid the pink, fleshy area that their nails are attached to, or they will get hurt and start to bleed. Leaving their hind legs unclipped allows cats to defend themselves when they venture outdoors. Clipping instead of de-clawing allows your cat's nails to grow back. This helps if they decide to leave you someday and move on to greener pastures.

By Rubaiyat Khan



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