Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 24, Tuesday January 24, 2006




Marking the months the artsy way

Other than brand new hopes, each new year brings us a few new tangible items in the shape of diaries and calendars. Reputed business houses, banks and multinational companies produce these diaries and calendars by thousands and they also try to promote new artistic works and ideas. Amongst these, the calendar is a good source of short-term income for designers, artists and photographers. Above all, it provides these artistic people with a proving ground of their talents. However, the artists usually have to bend to the will of the sponsors and thus cannot enjoy full artistic freedom.

Then there are people like Dr Mahboob Ali, a professor of the National Institute of Cardio Vascular Disease by profession and a photographer by hobbywho spend their own resources to do something simple, yet creative.

Cave Hotel Cappadocia

Ali produced a very small and humble desktop calendar that fits quite appropriately in the smaller office cubicles. The black and white calendar puts up 24 of his photographs taken during his journeys to different countries of Asia, Europe and USA.

Ali is a well-known photographer among wildlife lovers of the country because for decades he has been taking thousands of Bangladeshi wildlife photos during his weekends or other vacations. He has also photographed life on the streets and at selected spots. Many of his photos landed in the newspapers due to their merit.

In recent years, he has switched completely to black and white photography and focuses more on landscape and playing with light and shadows. In the last several years, he has piled up another few thousand pictures of this kind. Many of them were taken during his visits abroad and Ali picked some of these photos for the calendar.

His idea of this calendar is that small is beautiful and it does not have to flash colours to stand out. The crispy black and white photos here have all stood out by their own merit.

The photographs cover from New York's skyline to Roman Colossium or the Dzongs monastery in Bhutan to the Cave Hotel in Cappadocia. Each page is intriguingly interesting for the diversity. How's that for making your year a really memorable one?

By Sharier Khan
Photo: Ali Mahboob


Don't let the noose of Asthma go loose

For asthma patients this is the season to take extra care. Asthma attacks tend to be severe and frequent as the mercury gradually dives downward with the beginning of winter. Children and elderly people with asthma suffer the most. Here are a few advices that would help you keep asthma under check at this time of the year.

Keep your inhaler and all other medications near you; it doesn't matter if you are at home or outside. If you are planning for a vacation then don't forget to take the life-saving inhaler with you. If you are planning for a long vacation, carry at least two with you.

Remember that cold air is one of the common triggers of asthma, therefore wrap yourself properly in this cold season. Wear a muffler whenever you are outside. Dress small children in layers before taking them out-of-doors, the same thing is recommended for adults too.

Those of you who exercise in the open air must take extra precaution because cold air causes dehydration in the airways of the lungs, leading to a spasm. Therefore, it's suggested that you use the inhaler 15 minutes before you begin your outdoor exercises. Call your physician as soon as you undergo an asthma attack.

Hydration is important; therefore drink plenty of fluids during this cold season to prevent asthma attacks. Ensure that you don't catch the flu during the winter. In the western countries people don't forget to take their annual flu shot before winter, but since we don't have this practice in this country, you need to survive the winter with proper medication, rest and a balanced diet. Experts say that the best defence against colds and the flu are frequent hand washing and getting enough rest. Wearing a scarf over your mouth and nose will cut the incoming of cold air, therefore lessening the chance of catching a bad cold.

By keeping yourself warm, drinking plenty of fluids, and opting for a balanced diet you can keep your asthma under your control throughout this cold season.

By Penelope

A true taste of asia



Halibut or Betki Cubes in Thai Green Curry Sauce Recipe Ingredients
2 tblsp Thai green curry paste (see notes)
¼ cup sliced green onions
½ pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 tblsp Thai fish sauce
1 pound halibut steaks or betki fillets, skinned, boned and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium firm but ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and coarsely diced
1 handful of fresh basil or mint leaves OR a combination

Do not shake coconut milk before opening can. Skim 1/4 cup of thick "cream" from surface of milk and heat it in wok or saucepan over medium heat until bubbly. Add curry paste, green onions and green beans and cook until mixture is quite fragrant and oil begins to separate from cream.

Discard remaining cream from coconut milk if desired, then add remaining milk and fish sauce to pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium and cook until mixture is reduced by half. Add fish cubes and tomatoes and simmer until fish is done, for about 6 minutes. Stir in basil leaves and serve with rice.

Notes: Coconut milk is high in saturated fat, so if you're watching calories, discard the oil-rich coconut "cream" and use 1 tablespoon peanut or corn oil when cooking the curry paste, green onions and green beans. You'll lose just a bit of the coconut flavour.

News flash

Winter at Rong
Although winter has arrived a little late for the fashion-house 'Rang', it has arrived with a bang. They are exhibiting a whole new colourful winter collection including saris, salwar-kamizes, punjabis, fotuas, shawls,and even long-sleeved designer T-shirts. The special attractions are the distinctive shawls coming from Tangail, Narshingdi and Comilla taat, embellished in plenty of art work, including tie-die, block, spray, appliqué, karchuppi work and even embroidery. The best part is that they come as matching ensembles for the saris.

'Rang” has incorporated plenty of colour with their blacks and whites, and handy touches of sequins, appliqué work, tie-die, block, spray, karchuppi and embroidery.

As winter lasts for only a short period , Rang has kept the consumers' requirements in mind and replaced winter textile khadi with pure cotton , so that the same salwar kamizes, punjabis and fotuas can be used all year round. Those who prefer not to rely greatly on shawls can use thick material dopattas with their fotuas.

A wide variety of embroidered bedspreads, khathas, and mufflers are also neatly displayed in the showrooms. Rang can be discovered in its' various branches spreading from Narayangang, to Shantinagar, Lalmatia and Banani in Dhaka.

Nittya Upahar's gift
to the country

A year has already passed since Bangladesh won its' first test series and 'Nittya Upahar' has decided to present the citizens of our country with a memento to remind us of our victory.
Cricket heroes Habibul Bashar Shumon, Nafis Iqbal and Enamul Haque Junior were there to inaugurate the release of the t-shirts to the public.

The owner of the shop, Bahar Rahman highlights the fact that sports have never been portrayed through clothing in our country, and the best way to start this culture would be to secure these memories of our joy in the form of these souvenirs.
These exclusive pieces can be bought from “Nittya Upahar” at prices ranging from Tk. 180 to Tk.240.

LS Desk



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