Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 31, Tuesday February 8, 2005






Shop Special

Ganthan- Venture of an Amateur Painter

It started on a very small scale in one corner of her house's parking lot, but today that tiny outlet has expanded enormously with one showroom in Mirpur and two others in Banani. Binota Mahbub, an amateur painter and the person behind Ganthan started working on saris back in 2000. Attractive Tangail saris are the specialty of Ganthan. With eye-catching hand painting, and beautiful work of batik and block prints, this is a great place for women who have a liking for fine-looking high quality cotton saris.

The stores of Ganthan uphold a wide range of locally produced cotton saris like taat, booti, kota, muslin and others. Ganthan also sells un-stitched salwar kameez sets and panjabis for men.

The venture that started some 5 years back on a really small scale now has fourteen hired hands working day and night to provide complete satisfaction to Ganthan's customers. Besides, graduates of Dhaka University's Institute of Fine Art also brush paint saris for Ganthan. With every stroke, these young artists create fantastic images of the rural Bangladesh, flowers, birds, leaves, sky and so much more. Ms. Mahbub and her associates use each sari as a canvas; their artistry takes the shape of reality in every sari.

Binota Mahbub has named her third outlet KrishnaKali. Located on a common stretch of road in Banani, two of these showrooms and the outlet-cum-factory of Ganthan at Mirpur attract a considerable number of sari lovers each day.

Ganthan would market its gorgeous Spring collection very soon; yellow will be the key color this season. Right now, Ganthan is busy compiling its Pohela Baishakh collection. Shades of red and black will be the theme of this special collection. Besides these, a unique collection on the occasion of the Mother Language Day will soon make a place in the shelves and hangers of its stores.

From 2001 till 2003, Ganthan's saris have won awards in Ananda Bhuban Eid Fashion Contest. This sari store also participates in numerous trade fairs namely the popular WVA Fair that is held every winter.

If you have passion for this beautiful outfit named sari, then do pay a visit to the outlets of Ganthan. Two of their branches in Banani are located in Block-D, Road-11 while their Mirpur showroom is situated in House-15, Block-G, Avenue-3, Section-2.

Remember that Sari has a magical power to bring a woman's purity to surface. Don't forget to get adorned in a lovely sari on the first day of the forthcoming spring.

By Wara Karim

Shop talk

A couple of days to go, and the lovebirds will be on their wing in the world of cupids, cards, flowers, special treats and gifts.

Jewellery-watch sets
If you are planning to give your girlfriend a really cute gift this year, then stop by the Banani outlet of Archies. This store now upholds a collection of watch-jewellery sets especially brought for the occasion of the Valentine's Day. The heart-shaped boxes are really lovely with an attractive watch, a pair of earrings and a chain studded with stones bestowing on it an extra loveliness. The price of each of these jewellery-watch sets will be between tk.525 and tk.575.

Decorative Items
A decorative piece can always accompany your core gift on the V-Day. The outlet of Archies at Banani has an assortment of sweet, little decorative items featuring cuddly teddy bear, couple etc. Each of these adorable items is priced at tk.95. You can also visit the Banani branch of Hallmark for cute, transparent candles with a heart floating inside; the candles are cute and small and they are definitely worth buying. You can pay a visit to both of these gift shops if you are looking forward to buying attractive vases and photo stands for the one you love.

Cakes and Pastries
Don't you think your loved one would be simply flattered if you surprise her with a delicious cake on the big day? Even a slice of scrumptious cake from the King's Confectionery might be an innovative gift item this year. Confectioneries like Cooper's and Hot Cake prepare cake on order. They have a catalogue with scores of wonderful designs of cake; choose an out of the ordinary shape for the person you love. Come up with a creative phrase to write on the top of the cake. Place the order and rest assured; your loved one can't help but love such a fine gift.

Fresh Roses
Roses have been a common gift on Valentine's Day from time immemorial, yet the charm of long sticks of red roses has not diminished a bit. Roses are quite cheap in Dhaka these days. So to celebrate your love this year, grab a bunch of long sticks of red roses, tie the bouquet with a cool ribbon and wrap the ends with silver wrapping paper. Prices of roses inflate on the V-Day, so you might have to pay as high as tk.6 to tk.8 per rose on this special day. Stop at the flower shops located at Baily Road, Banani and Shahbagh for best quality flowers. And for fine ribbons, you can check out Lavender.

Diamond ring
If you are a man and have a large budget for this year's Valentine's Day, then do consider buying a diamond ring this time. Well if a diamond ring sounds too expensive then just go for a gold ring. You can pay a visit to Carbon Kraft located at the Rifle's Square and Dia Gold situated in Iqbal Cetre if you are looking forward to stunning your girlfriend or wifey with a lovely diamond ring on this year's Valentine's Day. But remember that you will have to pay around tk.7000 on the minimum to acquire a diamond ring from the above stores.

Novels and Movies
Who wouldn't love to watch a romantic movie or read a mushy novel on the Valentine's Day? Go for the work of romantic novelists like Sidney Sheldon, Eric Segal, Danielle Steel and others. Even a DVD of a romantic movie can be a great gift item for your valentine. You can opt for some of the all-time romantic movies like A Walk in the Clouds, Sweet November, Pretty Woman, City of Angels, You've Got Mail, Notting Hill, An Affair to Remember, Love Story etc. Don't forget to take some help from the DVD sellers to choose the perfect movie. DVDs are quite cheap these days; you can afford to buy an English movie for as low as tk.100. For DVDs, check out Eastern Plaza and Rifles Square. And for books, pay a visit to Etcetera (they have an impressive collection of all sorts of novels of all kinds of writers), Boi Bichitra, Gyan Kosh and New Market. English novels usually cost high, you might have to pay between tk.350 and tk.450 to buy a book of an eminent author.

Fragrance is one of the oldest gift items bought by lovers on the Valentine's Day. But before buying perfumes for tk.2000 or higher, talk to your loved one and try to find the kind of fragrance he/she prefers. You can check out the outlets of Almas and Priyo for original perfumes by CK, Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren, Elizabeth Arden, Giorgio Armani and other popular brands. At the Banani outlet of Priyo, you can even try out these perfumes before purchasing; they have a shelf full of testers.

By Wara Karim




Looks like we're in for a long spell of hartals that won't let up anytime soon. One or two in the middle of a busy month might come as a respite from the humdrum of daily routine. A long stretch of these pseudo house arrests however, not only brings the economy to a standstill, and creates inconveniences, it also leads to a feeling of boredom and frustration. After all, most people have nothing to do with all the reasons behind these endless strikes and still have to pay the price for them.

So here's a small checklist of things one can do to while away the tedium in a productive manner.

Sorting spells
"A tidy desktop is the sign of a cluttered desk drawer". Whoever came up with this adage definitely lives in this day and age. How many times have you just swept everything off your worktable and shoved it in the drawers because there was just no time to arrange things properly? Well, with the hartals on full blast, there's plenty of time and since you're bound to be stuck home for a couple of days at a stretch, cleaning out those drawers and rearranging all that desktop detritus would keep your hands full.

Pamper yourself
Can't go visit your favourite beauty parlour because they're all closed due to the strike? Bring the parlour home. Give yourself a relaxing manicure and pedicure. Since chances of there being visitors are few, you can just slip into that comfy but well-worn outfit and pile up the hair oil and maybe even a home facial. By the time the schools and offices open again, you'll be facing the world looking your best.

Reading rendezvous
A hartal is a great opportunity to catch up on all that reading you felt you should do but kept putting off because there was no time. Pore over your favourite magazines, brush up on some classics, or just read the newspapers from cover to cover. If nothing else, you'll come out of hibernation as a lot more well-informed.

Mail trail
When life is at its most frenetic, it's hard to stay in touch with those who mean a lot to you. Take advantage of these breaks to catch up on old friends. Answer all those letters and e-mails that have been vainly begging for your attention. Not only will you stay busy, you'll make someone else smile.

And finally…
If all the suggestions above sound lame to you, then I hope you'll join me in praying that our political parties can find a more constructive solution to the current situation and not make the public suffer with all these hartals and violence on the streets.

By Sabrina F Ahmad

On the cover

This February, send a valentine to the environment by opting for eco-friendly yet trendy saris in vegetable dyes.

Arannya shows us the way with their timeless collection, in smart designs and exotic colours in vegetable dye, which is fashionable in any season, and a must have for any fashion-forward woman."




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