Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 64, Wednesday September 27, 2005



News flash

Trendz…now in Banani

After making a splash in Bashundhara City, the fashion outlet Trendz opened their second outlet in the lively and upbeat Banani Road 11.

A concern of the Babylon Group, which has had a wide experience in the export and manufacture of readymade garments since 1986, Trendz was a natural development in the Babylon journey. Having kept a close eye on the demands of the consumers both here and abroad (both in terms of styles and fabrics), and having observed the ups and downs of their local competitors, this newcomer in the ready-to-wear couture industry promises quality products that look good and feel great.

The new outlet was opened to the public in a simple launching ceremony on Friday, September 23, which was inaugurated by Bibi Russel.

The Trendz label features casual wear, and has an exclusive executive line. The casual wear features fatuas, jeans, shirts, skirts and capris, which essentially follow the western designs, but are inspired by traditional trends. The beauty of these products lies in their clean, simple lines, with emphasis on the fit, and of course the quality of the finishing. The talented designer duo of Shamim and Shadhin explain their work as being 'uncomplicated, comfortable, and versatile'.

So if you want something trendy and comfortable, don't forget to give Trendz a try.

The new Banani outlet is located in Hakam Tower, House 98, Road 11, Block C, Dhaka.

Cats Eye launches Eid & Winter collection

Cats Eye held a "Collection Launch" at Bangladesh-China Friendship Convention Center at Agargaon on Friday, 23 September. Known for their unique style, Cats Eye designed and displayed their collection to its customers in style through a fashion show. This new collection highlighted the designer wear and displayed techniques at the venue.

The clothes on display were specially created to be environment-friendly and occasion-worthy. Starting from the first week of Ramadan, the Cats Eye collection items of "Monsoon Rain" and "Unlimited" will be showcased at all the outlets of Cats Eye.

Also, Cats Eye made an inspired choice by appointing renowned singer and teenage heartthrob Habib of the "Krishno" fame, as their brand ambassador.

Their Eid line, which included panjabis with turbans and an innovative Winter collection will have most fashion enthusiasts looking forward to some extensive shopping in the months ahead.

Rupahali centre at Gulshan

Amidst a lot of fun and festivity Rupahali Centre started its stylish journey in Dhaka. Their grand and tastefully decorated showroom in Rangs Arcade 153/A, Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan-2 became the centre of lot of attraction. With the official start of the festival season, Rupahali aptly grabbed the buyer's attention. So for your Puja or Eid shopping don't forget to stop at their showroom.

-LS Desk

Diary of a Food Obsessed Person

BY Sam Q

Dearest Diary,
Guess what I am doing right now (apart from writing to you)? I am treating myself to some Belgian truffles which my friends got for my hubby dear while at the same time watching a sauna belt ad, which is showing some miraculous changes in the abdomen area. I am mentally getting sucked into thinking, "okay from tomorrow…" God!!
I have lost count of how many tomorrows have come and gone by……

Know something diary? I was born to be…big. Unless a magical belt like that envelopes my whole body like Aladdin's magic carpet, there is no hope for me. And by the way, the belt uses Velcro to keep it fastened. Well! Velcro fasteners never really worked for me. How do I know? Because, I do check my blood pressure once in a while. That's how. The sound of r-r-i-i-p-p-p-i-i-ng Velcro is euphonious to my ears.

Anyway diary, I believe, that there is a plan for every individual even before he or she is born. The plan for me, from up there, was to be a happy, disease free (so far mashallah), stress free, diva-like big person. But somehow, family, friends and society beg to differ. I am the lone dissenter when it comes to thinking that big is beautiful.

But have you noticed diary, one will reach for the biggest fruit in the basket, eat the biggest slice of pizza, choose the biggest rose to give, the biggest house to live in, the biggest hummer to drive, but no…you can't be big. And then again a fat gurgling baby is cute, a fat dribbling puppy is loveable, a fat juicy lychee is worth dying for, but no…you can't be fat. What hypocrisy!! I have seen and read about racism, but we Bangalees are the biggest racists when it comes to big…ism.

Actually if you want the honest truth diary…I hate big people too. If my better half puts on a mere 2-3 pounds I will immediately get on his case to lose the extra flab. My sister watched and listened with amazement at my tirade against his weight gain. My only comment to that look of shock and awe was, "I can't see me, but I have to see him." So hence, he has to lose weight. And if he has a problem looking at me, all he has to do is…maybe…ask.

Well he has a better plan for me. He has promised me a BIGGER house and a BIG holiday if I come down to the size Asif has suggested.

So diary what do you think? Should I make some BIG plans? Should I try to make some BIG lifestyle changes? Should I try to lose my BIG, FAT clothes and fulfill my BIG dreams?

So diary, wait with bated breath and wait, till time says to exhale.

So, try to have a good day the Sam Q. way.
A healthy start recipe for today

Quick Fusion stir-fry
Hands-on time:10 min
Cooking time: 10 min, plus marinating; serves 2.
2tbsp peanut butter
2tbsp soy sauce
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic; peeled and crushed
1 inch fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
225g (8oz) lean beef of lamb steaks cut into 2 inch strips.
2tsp sesame or sunflower oil
1 green capsicum deseeded and roughly chopped
1 small bunch spring onions, cut into short lengths
100g baby sweet corn, cut in half in lengthways
100g bean sprouts

1. In a shallow bowl, mix together the peanut butter, soy sauce, lime zest and juice, garlic, ginger, coriander and 4tbsp water.
2. Add the meat to the marinade, stir, cover and chill for 30 min.
3. Heat the oil in a non-stick or a frying pan. Remove the meat from the marinade and fry for 3-4min stirring frequently.
4. Add the capsicum, spring onions and baby sweet corn to the pan, and stir fry 2-3 min.
5. Add the bean sprouts and the marinade also stir-fry for a further 1-2 min.
6. Serve with noodles or fragrant rice and drizzle with soy sauce to taste.


The mishti talk
I always thought it weird that the Bengali word 'mishti' is such a direct literal translation of the word 'sweets' (rephrased as 'sweetmeats' in a more sophisticated version). Well, I never bothered to investigate. I mean, who would like to analyse the philosophical aspects of sweetmeats when there are better things to do… like gobbling them down.

It is true, however, on closer inspection, that 'mishti' is one of the very important (and delicious!) segments of our Bengali culture. It has become a sort of custom to distribute sweets like roshogollas, chomchoms and kalo-jaams on a variety of occasions. Consider the exams, for instance- true, that some have hard times with the results (ahem!). Yet, there are very many who pass these horrid exams (SSC/ O'Levels/ A' Levels). And how do people celebrate? 'Mishti' of course. Lately the sweet vendors seem to be making a prolific business out of it, reaping humongous profits in the post-results period.

I love the powder-crusted balushai and roshogollas drenched in warm golden syrup. Other occasions include births, Muslim milads, Hindu pujas, engagements and weddings. In the old times, 'mishti' was mostly prepared at home. Guests were entertained with 'gur', a sugar candy usually made from sugar cane or date juice. A variety of sweets were made by mixing 'gur' with coconut and chira (flattened rice) or muri (puffed rice). Several other dishes and cakes were made by adding 'gur' to dishes made with milk and unboiled rice flour or broken rice grains. Nowadays, with the still-soaring demand and competition, an expanding range of 'mishti' is available from the 'moiras' (sweet makers).

With the visits to different sweet shops around the city, I also came to know of the numerous ways of making 'mishti' more attractive and tasty. These include cassia leaves, cardamom powder, raisins, cashew nuts and orange rind that are used for flavour, variety, and decoration. The same sweets also often come in many colours and moulded in different shapes. For example, 'Rosh' sells these 'gurer shondesh' in the shape of a fish.

Each region in the country is famous for its own 'mishti.' Consider chomchom from Tangail's Porabari, or Comilla's "roshomalai". Dhaka is renowned for its' jilipi, pranhara and amriti (my personal favourite- the crispy loops always seem interesting, especially the sugary syrup that dribbles down the chin, on biting on it!). While the flamboyance in colours and shapes are nothing less than appealing, the 'mishti'-lovers over time have devised countless means of eating them, which are art in their own ways. Many prefer to have them with warm, freshly prepared parathas for breakfast. Vendors in Old Dhaka usually serve parathas with bundiya directly from the stove. In times of Hindu pujas, sweetmeats are served on banana leaves or often on silver dishes with candles and flowers.

Regardless of opinions, it is undeniable that 'mishti' makes up a very important block in the Bengali culture. With many 'deshi' goods being thought to be 'too back-dated,' I am the least bothered with sweetmeats- it would never go 'out-of-fashion.' It has an uncanny ability to modify itself to meet the taste and demand of the new generation. Shops like Plaza Central, for one, has brought a new dimension to the presentation of 'mishti.' Well, it's high time that I stop. I have to go check out my fridge now. Till then… bon appétit.

By Saadi


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