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Shop special

Shopping for Durga Puja

If you take a trip to Dhaka's fashion houses lately the presence of reds and whites will confuse you for sure. Hey is it Baishakh already, you might wonder. Now don't get mixed up folks, it's the Sharodiya festival and once again it is time for Durga puja shopping ,followed by more shopping for it is Ramadan as well. Fashion houses of Dhaka are all dressed up for the festival season.

If you are all set to spend the contents of your wallet one of the first things you might do is to pop into the new outlet of Rong at UAE Shopping Complex, Banani. This Friday, September 30 -the new outlet first started selling.

A short ride to 106, Hosna Centre, Gulshan Avenue will take you to the new outlet of Prabartana. Their line up includes fatuas and tops with long skirts in magenta, burgundy, and orange. Their prices would be Tk1250 to Tk1950. Prices of ladies cotton three pieces range from Tk950 to Tk1750. They have three pieces in silk as well. These would cost Tk1450 to Tk2950. In the men's line look for casual wears in black with a combination of red and white. Also available, an exclusive line of panjabis made with silk-cotton blended fabric with pure silver or bronze buttons. You can also visit the other outlet of Prabartana at 2/8, Sir Syed Road, Mohammadpur.

Then on to the outlets of Kay Kraft situated at Kemal Ataturk Avenue, Malibag, Baily Road, Sobhanbag, Anam Rangs Plaza, Plaza A R and Rifles Square in Dhanmondi. They've launched their puja collection on September 17 in all of these outlets. Their sari collection includes kota, moslin kota, balaka silk, taat and jacquard pattern saris in different sheds of red, orange, kora and white. Prices of these saris range from Tk500 to Tk3000. Salwar-kamizes with block, applique, embroidery cost from Tk800 to Tk3000. Fatua and tops in cotton, silk and endy cost Tk295 to Tk1200. Prices of cotton, khadi, and silk panjabis with hand stitch range from Tk600 to Tk1200. Exquisite sherwani cut panjabis cost Tk1600 to Tk2500.

Don't miss Shatabdi at Plaza A R, Dhanmondi. At their outlet look for Dhutis, the essential attire for men during puja. These Dhutis are embellished with block print. Saris in red-white combinations also have block print on them.

Also for Dhutis, check out Ghorey Bairey situated at 351, Rifles Square.

And finally if you live around Mirpur, drop by at Palli the new outlet that sells exclusive taat saris.. Palli started its journey just this September and one of the first things they did was arranging a taat sari exhibition at their outlet. From September 24 they are displaying handloom saris by famous weaver Neel Kamal Bashak of Patrail, Tangail. The Managing Director of Palli tells us that they are not here just for business. They have a goal to promote the taatis of Bangladesh. In the future they plan to arrange more exhibitions to highlight the works of our rural taatis. Creating work for the taatis and to later on help them sell the merchandise is another goal of Palli. They believe this is the only way to revive the age-old heritage and improve the living standard of the taatis. Display of Bashak's saris will continue till the end of Durga puja and Palli is situated at Mirpur section 6, right opposite the swimming pool.

By Shahnaz Parveen


The ultimate nightmare for the food-lovers…

Do you ever wonder what was in the chicken fry you had for lunch in the office canteen? Or the crispy-crusted apple pie on the downtown shop window? How about the sweetmeats you distributed for your good results? They have always been there. Always there, lodged comfortably between the two lumpy apple cubes or jiggling like belly dancers in the sugar syrup. They have daunted us for years- decades, to be more specific- hidden from our view or knowledge. Now after all this time, the truth is out….

It does not take much to realise that I am talking about the adulterated food that seems to be mushrooming all over the country. This is not new…it's just that the government is finally doing something about it. Plus, the large-scale media coverage has made us more aware of what we eat. (Oh God! No more street food for me, the ultimate lover of food prepared outside home! What a nightmare!)

The mobile court jolted to action overnight, and appears to be doing a great job as of now. The exorbitant (but justified!) fines are being charged for any seller caught "red-handed." Furthermore, the fines seem to be effective in motivating the manufacturers and retailers to be more careful about what they put into their products. Amongst many restaurants and one-stop shopping outlets have been fined for selling rotten fish, non-approved consumer oil, date-expired biscuit, atta, flour and chanachur. The Court, led by Magistrate Rokon ud- Dawla, also raided many shops in Malibgh, Motijheel and Mogbazaar for selling unhygienic foodstuff contrary to the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI).

Several ice-cream factories were also fined in the Tejgoan commercial area for using chemicals and colourings without any label, and not having the expiry dates printed on the ice-cream packets. Some factories were found recycling unsold ice-creams, that can be extremely hazardous to health. On the other hand, several shops- although fewer in number- were found to be conforming to the BSTI standards. These include the fast food shop Coopers in Gulshan, which is encouraging to know.

What is not so encouraging, however, is the fact that some of the offenders have not yet learned their lesson. Just a few hours back, the news reported on Nabisco, the biscuit factory, which is continuing to use packets without the expiry dates marked, even after the initial fine. Unquestioningly, the penalty was much greater this time, with a final warning given. With the Ramadan approaching, there would inevitably be a lot of buying iftaari from the streets. After all, it has been somewhat of a custom for years. It is a different kind of fun altogether to choose out pakoras and thin jilipis, although with all the below-standard products, I am having doubts. After all, who would like drumsticks of dead chickens or piyaju fried in unlabeled brands of oil? We can all hope (sigh!) that the vendors become more considerate… and not act "unholy" in the Holy month.

By Saadi


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