an abundance of handicraft shops in Dhaka, one could easily forget that
Karika was a pioneer when it came to handloom. Established in 1974,
it is the oldest crafts shop in the country, and is owned and managed
by the artisans themselves. As you enter the Karika showroom (located
at 27 Paribagh Super Market, 1st Floor, opposite Sheraton Hotel), you'll
be comforted by its old world charm; it is much like an old bookstore,
forgotten and heaved into a corner, but its products are just as appealing
as ever. Karika's reputation when it comes to expert craftsmanship is
certainly enough reason to browse through the old showroom again.
Karika happens to
be a non-profit organization, one devoted to promoting beautiful deshi
products from all over Bangladesh. You may find a paraphernalia of Nakshikatha
products from Jessore such as bed covers, cushion covers, decorative
wall mats and all at prices ranging from Tk85-Tk4050. Colourful Tangail
sarees and three pieces in Muslin are worth sifting through, and prices
will range from Tk300-Tk1150. From Sylhet we have a host of bright Monipuri
sarees, shawls, not to mention tribal wear in silk khadi and cotton
khadi, and these include trendy sarongs and dupattas. Rajshahi brings
us cross-stitch Nakshikatha in the form of bed and cushion covers, 'Shathranji'
Jute and woolen rugs/floor mats (Price:Tk200-Tk1200), straw baskets,
coasters and a whole lot more. Straw baskets in various sizes will cost
between Tk5-Tk150, and smart Jute bags (both the vegetable dye and regular
kind) are Tk75-Tk400. Then there are cultured pearls in black, white
and pink (Price: Tk300-Tk2250) from Dhaka. Clay pottery from Faridpur
and Rayer Bazaar include glazed burnt and Terracotta. These, you may
find in the shape of pretty vases, bowls, and 'festival dolls', prices
ranging from Tk48-Tk1050. Karika also has some ethnic decorative pieces
made of German silver (Price: Tk1400-Tk3500) and Buffalo horn (Tk55-Tk675).
Leather handbags, travel bags, wallets, jewellery boxes, coin purses
and key rings are all available, including Pati and leather combo file
covers priced from Tk300-Tk500.
a trip back, because it not only houses some of the best and most authentic
handicraft products in Bangladesh, but it also helps us support our
artisans in the process.
The following items
are mainly found at Meena Bazaar unless otherwise mentioned.
Skateboards are great fun if you can suffer through the first couple
of hours of falling down. Any kid interested in outdoor activities will
love this. So far only available at Meena Bazaar these are basic skateboards
without hi-fi suspension systems. Hence, the price is low at 575 taka.
It's best used on smooth surfaces and avoid roads at all costs. For
safety reasons add some knee and elbow pads available at bicycle stores
for about 200 taka a set.
Children have the wildest imaginations possible and they will turn your
everyday object into a gizmo for their make believe games. A sofa becomes
a car, a refrigerator becomes a doorway into Antarctica and a chicken
wing easily becomes a gun. You can buy them a few toy tool sets to help
them on their way. At a price range between 175-220 taka you will find
various assortments of plastic tool sets. There's a carpentry set with
the required saw, chisel etc as well as a mechanical set with screw
driver, wrenches and hammers. Watch them build and destroy their imaginary
My tally of scaring the living daylights out of people using a ghoulish
rubber mask was in the range of double digits. Its unbelievable fun.
You can find masks of goats, cows and pigs for 750 taka which is kinda
high for basic rubber. But the masks are well detailed and a little
improvisation at home can make them scarier. Other designs are found
at different times. These are a good source of entertainment at school
plays or parties.
Potty training for small children can start with these cool plastic
potties. You can find these in several designs such as a tiny Volkswagen
Beetle car where the kid sits on top and literally lets go. Also, there
are abstract shapes as well as animals like a cat where you place the
child on the cat's back. These look way better than the big toilets
that can look as if monster will pop out. Prices range from 200- to
600 taka and are also widely available at New Market.
Lego blocks are brilliant because you can build pretty much anything
with them. The ones available in Meena Bazaar are copies of the original
but just as good. They come in different sizes, configurations ad packaging.
There are sets available in big buckets, packets, or small sacks. Particular
sets allow you to build houses, cars or pretty much any weird shape
you want. The most common game is to build something as tall as possible
and them knock it down. Prices start from 150 taka upwards. Grownups
can join in as well.
Ehsanur Raza Ronny
The pace of urban life has certainly picked up over the last decade
or so. Whether you're a high-schooler pulling an all-nighter before
a major exam, a jet-setting social butterfly with a loaded schedule,
or even a high-flying executive burning the midnight oil trying to
meet the deadline, there are always miles to go before you sleep.
And probably even more miles awaiting you as you wake up red-eyed
to face another long day. So what's a harried urbanite to do to keep
bright-eyed and bushy-tailed throughout the day? For many of us, the
answer lies in a good ol' cuppa of joe.
right. More people are turning to coffee as a quick and easy picker-upper.
Nothing provides a sweet buzz the way caffeine does, and as the magical
little bean is gaining in popularity, coffee-shops, cyber-cafes, university
canteens and others are cashing in on the craze. The coffee dispenser
is fast becoming a standard fixture in many commercial outlets.
While a steaming cup of java is what helps you make it through the
day, the best, and healthiest way to energise is still the old-fashioned
way; adequate sleep. If you need to guzzle down cups of coffee just
to stay on your feet, then what your body is actually begging for,
is a few more hours of shut-eye, according to dieticians around the
world. And by downing one cup too many, that's what you're denying
yourself - lifesaving hours of sleep. So cut down on the coffee consumption
to a reasonable amount and take a power nap instead.
If you're not the nervous type, moderate coffee consumption gives
you a natural high and helps you focus on your work. However, the
same way the caffeine lifts your mood, it can reinforce a crash, so
count your cups. If you're nervous about an exam or presentation,
and you've already had a cup, curb the urge to grab a second; studies
have shown that excess caffeine acts as a brain irritant and aggravates
nervousness, even leading to panic. If you intend on maintaining your
cool and keeping your thinking cap on, a hot mug of chocolate milk
would probably help you more.
How do you know you're having too much? Well, if you're sleeping poorly,
and your heart is pounding even when your boss is in a good mood or
the campus cutie is nowhere in sight, you're definitely drinking too
much. So chillax and go take a nap. One espresso less won't hurt at
Sabrina F Ahmad
says apartment dwellers can't stay close to nature? Scatter some grain
on a small plank and keep it in your verandah, and you'll have a little
bird hotel before you realize it.
Raffat Binte Rashid