|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 22, Tuesday November 30, 2004|
The City Oasis
People whiz past, as though they were on rollerblades. Like some scene from a futuristic sci-fi movie, they all walk in one direction: anticlockwise. And they walk along the one same path, over and over again. Welcome to Gulshan Tank Park.
Situated near the Australian Club, Gulshan Tank Park is now renowned among residents as being a safe haven for health addicts. Since Dhakaities don't have many options for exercising, especially open-air activities, most health-conscious people choose to go walking to get some exercise. And this park is walker's paradise. Even the gates are well-guarded and only people who appear to be serious walkers are allowed in, so there is no group of idle young men to ogle at the women.
I must admit that the first day I went there I did not go voluntarily: my over-zealous mother, who insisted that I spend all my time cooped indoors, dragged me along. I don't disagree with her statement, but before visiting the park myself, I had found nothing lacking in my air-conditioned lifestyle.
On my first visit to the park, I found myself being quite entertained as I walked past the regular walkers. First, there was the group of concerned wives who were exchanging recipes: after I overtook them, I was quite sad to miss the last half of the instructions for baking the perfect chocolate cake. Not that I cook, but maybe I could have relayed the instructions to my friend, who does….
I didn't mind being overtaken by the group of young businessmen who were discussing their respective businesses. It was evident from both their business conversations, and the speed with which they were walking, health was wealth, and time was money!
And then of course, I would have to run into those "Aunties", much as I tried to appear invisible… I picked up some speed after saying hello, and listening to how one Auntie's son was a brilliant student who always came first… and the immediate assertions from all the other women present, that their offsprings were also the most brilliant students!
Another group of elderly men were discussing their health and their opinions of various doctors, treatment methods, etc. Listening to their conversation, I had to believe that all of them were gravely ill, as were all their relatives…. But of course, it was still uplifting to hear how a few of their relatives were convalescing.
Apart from the larger groups of walkers, there are always a few couples. They are usually either romantically involved (or matrimonially involved, since I assume marriage and romance don't co-exist). There are the few couples who substitute walking for their regular dates, but most couples are the boring, middle-aged type who'd rather discuss grocery shopping than hold hands.
And the kids! Ugh, how can I forget those brats? I'm sure there are a few angelic types out there in that park, but all the ones I've had the misfortune to run into are either fat and spoilt, or hyper-energetic and prone to crashing into people as they try to kill the rabbits or geese that stay in the park.
After a few more visits, I was forced to admit that Gulshan Tank Park offers benefits other than the obvious ones that are gained from regular walking and sarcastic people-watching. The place is simply beautiful, and if it were located some distance from Dhaka in a hard-to-reach-by-car spot, it would've been an incredibly popular picnic spot. With a lake and fountain, surrounded by lush greenery and artificially introduced wildlife (geese, swans, rabbits… and I hear some deer are on the way…) it really is an oasis in the middle of our concrete jungle.
By Shimmer Charade
Did you know
Unpack those warm clothes that you stowed away in your wardrobe for long 9 months. They might smell a bit unpleasant, so lay them under the sun. Do the same with your quilts as sunlight will make them warm and fluffy. But if you are worrying about taking care of your woollen sweaters then keep in mind that woollen sweaters must kept out of sunlight and from fire or heaters, as these can cause the wool to yellow.
If you are planning to purchase new winter clothes this year, then bear in mind that wool is a great option because it naturally keeps away dirt and easily maintains its shape.
If wool causes itchiness in your skin then wear silk underneath woollen garments. And remember that dry cleaning is always the best way to take care of woollen sweaters.
So if your warm clothes haven't been sent for a dry wash yet, send them for a dry wash as soon as possible. Places like Bandbox, Li Hua and Ishiya offers high quality dry cleaning service.
It's also time to buy a bottle of olive oil to take good care of your and children's skin. Also remember to buy petroleum jelly, cold creams and body lotion of your preference to fight dryness of skin. Chap sticks are widely available at the local stores of Dhaka; most of them will cost you within tk.50. Buy one and carry it along with you. Don't just carry the stick, use it whenever your lips feel dry as chapped lips are one of the commonest problems associated with winter.
Hope you all enjoy a wonderful winter among cosy winter clothes and loads of warm mouth-watering cakes and pies.
Tomato Juice Warmer
An easy winter
& Tasty Tomato Basil Soup
Bring tomato and
juice to a boil in a large saucepan.
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