Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 54, Tuesday july 19, 2005




Shop Special

Unmasking Kaat-Thhokraa

In the past few years masks have become extremely in vogue interior décor items. Be they symbolic of fertility or to ward off evil or simply pleasing to look at, people these days are beginning to collect masks whenever they see something they like or whenever they are abroad.

Some people are so fond of masks that they have adorned entire walls with masks. There are masks for every occasion and every symbol. Unfortunately there aren't too many places in Dhaka that sell masks. But Kaat-Thhokraa at Concord Arcadia Shopping mall is a store that solely specialises in masks. These masks aren't the same as African or Thai masks but they are just as unique. Made out of mainly terracotta or wood these masks lean more towards representing Bangali culture. The owner of the store Mr Anis Ahmed oversees the design and creation of all these masks.

There are masks in every size, shape, and colour. Some masks have multiple copies but are descending in size so that they form an entire set of their own. The shop has some gruesome albeit unique masks. And there are a few masks made of paper mache` that are extremely time-consuming to create.

The price range is very varied and affordable to all, making Kaat-Thhokraa's products extremely desirable both as home décor products and gifts. Beyond it's masks it also has some bags and pottery, both of which are equally artistic and affordable.

So the next time you are gift hunting or want to adorn your wall with a mask go to Kaat-Thhokraa. They are located at Concord Arcadia Shopping Mall 1st Floor, Shop Number- 223.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob

Shop Talk

Banana Hammock
Bananas are a very difficult fruit to store. Put them in a bowl like oranges and they will bruise. Hang them by twine from a hook and they will fall. So what is the best way to store them? Simply get your bananas a hammock! Yes they do have hammocks for bananas! These hammocks are made of thin stainless steel pipes that are curved in the shape of a boat and suspended in a stand that allows the stand to sway. The thin pipes prevent bruising and the boat shaped hammock conforms to the shape of the bananas. Available at Shagatam Traders, 344 New Supermarket, New Market, and they cost Tk300.

Cookie Jar
The best way to store cookies is to get a large ceramic cookie jar. These jars have airtight lids that help cookies and biscuits keep their crunch and they are big enough to store large amounts without the cookies crumbling. And lastly they come in various cute shapes that make them presentable even when guests are in. Priced at Tk650, these jars are available at Chadni Stores, 820 New Supermarket, New Market.

Having a hard time shredding that cheese? Want to mince carrots? Then get a grater. This stainless steel utensil has four different sized grating surfaces that allow you to grate things in four different ways. Ideal for cheeses, vegetables, and fruits, the graters handle ensures that it won't move while you grate. Available at Shimu Enterprise, 345, New Supermarket, New Market at the price of Tk220.

Measuring Cup
The key to good baking is precise measurement. A quarter cup of extra flour and that cake your making might as well turn to an inedible lump. So why make that mistake when you can get a measuring cup? Measuring cups come with different cup levels that tell you how much you need. Made of glass they have a handle for when you want to pour something straight into the pan and three open sprouts to guide the contents. An excellent utensil for baking they cost Tk100 and are available at Abtahee Trading 368, New Supermarket, New Market.

Knife Set
Never use a single knife for all your cutting tasks because that will render the knife blunt in no time. If you aren't aware, there are various knives for various purposes. There's a knife for slicing bread, another for cutting cheese, another for meats and so on and so forth. Such knives often come in a set. The set usually is comprised of five knives and a kitchen scissor, each having their own purpose. So get yourself such a set and eliminate all those slicing and dicing problems. Available at Kaniz Enterprise, 814, New Supermarket, New Market, they cost Tk 550.

Airtight Glass Jars
Have you ever had trouble storing sugar or coffee? Has your sugar pot ever been infested by ants or your coffee gone stale? Well rest assured there is a solution. Get yourself some airtight glass jars. These jars keep out ants and air keeping things fresh. And since they are made of glass you can see what's in them straightaway without having to open a million jars. Available at Munsur Enterprise, 821, New Supermarket, New Market, they cost Tk 130.

Insulated Ceramic Dishes
Ceramic dishes are excellent for serving during formal occasions. But alas because of the nature of the material they become very hot and might burn your hands or destroy the polish on your wooden dining table. But these days new ceramic dishes have come out with wicker trays beneath that insulate the dish and eliminate the necessity of dish mats. And they look good as well. So why not get some for your house? Available at Khaza Enterprise, 822, New Supermarket, New Market, at the price of Tk300.

Potato Masher and Juicer
Hate mashing potatoes or squeezing out lemon juice with your hand? Well then get yourself a potato masher come juicer. This utensil is ideal for when you make chops or juice and saves a lot of time and energy. Made of stainless steel, it is easy to clean as well. Available at Sumi Enterprise, 383, New Supermarket, New Market, they cost Tk 180.

By Riyana


Death in the family, the loss of a beloved pet, moving to a new house, divorce, all of these sound ordinary, but mean twists to life, something to take into stride. To your child, any of these could be a really traumatic experience, one that could have serious repercussions on his/her future emotional well being. Help your child bounce back from a tragedy.

Tell them the facts quickly, clearly
Young children aren't able to stand back and look at the whole picture. They focus on what is happening immediately in front of them, and get confused. They are better able to cope when someone they know and trust explains the facts to them. Break the news yourself, because honestly, if it's bad news, would you want a third party colouring up the facts with gossip or speculation? Explain the facts clearly, because children often tend to blame themselves for something that goes wrong unless they are reassured otherwise. If the news is of a lifestyle-changing sort, explain to the child(ren) what to expect. The fear of the unknown is what upsets them most.

Encourage your child to express his/her emotions, but don't push him/her to do it. It is important for the child to release the pent-up negativity, but s/he should be allowed to do it only when s/he feels comfortable about it. Talk about your own feelings; this encourages them to open up about their own. If you are unable to speak about it, try writing it down. The basic idea is to keep the lines of communication open.

Focus on the future
Instead of dwelling on the pain and loss of what is happening now, think ahead. How you react to a crisis will influence how your child copes. If you keep a positive outlook, they will follow your lead, and vice versa. A change in attitudes is important. It is easy to be gloomy and let your troubles overwhelm you and your child. It is more difficult, and yet more important to see the silver lining and shape the attitude that things could have been worse. Involve your child in the decision making process. "Where do we bury the pet?" "Let's make cards to send Grandma in the hospital." Statements like this help the child feel involved, in control.

The idea is to teach the child to adjust to life's cruel curve balls. If they feel that they can handle a difficult situation, that is often all that is needed to help them bounce back.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



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