Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 51, Tuesday August 08, 2006



Shop specials

Perfect saris

It has been hardly a decade since the textile industry has gone through a revival. Before that period, women considered their first choice in saris to be anything that was foreign made. The local designs and materials were not quite up to the standard. It was a time when local materials were stereotypically reserved for the village folks. Reaching the acutely style conscious women of the city was a far- flung dream.

All that started to see a change in the 90's when the local industry started to take cues form other sources into creating attractive quality printed cotton saris. Pride Textile and Perfect Textile are the two such pioneers in this trend revival. Perfect Textile started its journey into the limelight from 1995. Their goal was to change the perception that printed saris are the sole reserves of the villages. In this regard they formed something akin to two separate production lines. One line contains the usual saris with bright and conspicuous designs. The other is designed with subtle designs more in tune with the tastes of the typical city woman.

Keeping an eye on all this is the chief managing director M. Abiduzzaman. He is deeply involved in the quality control of each finished product. Considering that this is the computer age, saris have also been included into this technological advancement. First they get their own group of weavers to hand weave a design and then they computerize them for mass production. Computers make their designs even more eye-catching. Multiple media are used to create different variations in style such as using block appliqué, spray paint etc. All this produces simple yet elegant and inexpensive outfits within the range of 500-1200 taka.

Perfect Textile not only sells saris but also fatua and lungi for men as well as kameez and salwar for the women. Their outlets are situated in Mamtaz Plaza in Dhanmondi, Eskaton, Gausia Market, New Market as well as in different districts.

Keeping a keen eye on designs as well as durability of materials and stitching, Perfect Textile has been steadily advancing toward making the printed cotton sari an object of choice among the discerning buyer.

By Sultana Yasmin
Translated by Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Secondhand joy

Everybody loves stuffed toys. Even the most diehard cynic will be moved to at least take a contempt free glance at an adorable droopy-faced Pink Panther doll. Pokemons are terribly annoying unless you are a terribly annoying fan. But even then, you have to admit the tiny yellow Pikachu is cute if nothing else. Kids and girlfriends love stuffed toys but even many guys buy them and place them surreptitiously on a corner of their desks.

Buying stuffed animals and other assorted characters will cost you a hefty amount if you go to the branded shops with air conditioners and fancy lights. But if you can take yourself to the hot and humid sunlight affected footpaths in front of the Baitul Mukarram mosque, then you can find crazy bargains. The footpath is lined with makeshift stalls offering either second hand stuffed dolls or stock that was sold off cheap. Very cheap. It's like the Bongobazaar of stuffed toys. You will find almost anything and everything. Plenty of South Park characters are yours for the taking although you will have to supply the dirty talking yourself! Other common items include Pink Panther and Pokemon characters. And of course, if you look for it you will find many variations of Snoopy. I bought one dressed up like a Matador for 40 taka. Also on my list was a big headed, fat nosed, cute little Dalmatian puppy that no one can resist saying 'oooooooooo' at. Other gems include hand puppets which are rather cheap at less than 50 taka each. The price depends on your haggling powers as well as your ability to hide your excitement in front of the hawkers.

The quality is usually very good though some of them may be a little scuffed. But these are very easy to clean. Just soak them in soapy water, use a toothbrush dipped in soap for the stubborn marks and then rinse and dry. It's a veritable treasure trove for those looking for unusual pieces. You are guaranteed to find stuff you will not see elsewhere. Take for example a tiny but long bellied Dachshund dog with a zipper in its belly. It turns out to be a cute little purse for a cute little person.

Sometimes you will see stalls like these set up in front of the Bahshundhara City but these have fewer items of interest. Just remember that the shopkeepers will ask for at least double the amount for what they will ultimately sell the toy for.

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

News flash

Monsoon wedding

If there was ever such a title as the most romantic season, monsoon would probably win it by a distance. Adding now to this virtue, is another incentive that gives would-be couples every reason to settle for an August wedding: Bridal Month at Farzana Shakil! Over the years becoming one of the most trusted and sought-after beauty parlours of the country, Farzana Shakil celebrates monsoon this year with a bang, offering a month long bridal extravaganza from the 1st to the 31st of August.

The launching ceremony held on the first of this month, got underway a little after 3 in the afternoon and one of the first things to strike was the beautifully decorated building, fit to be mistaken for any wedding venue. With lights and fresh flowers adorning the entrance, walls and stairway, a feeling of wedding celebrations is quick to seep in and adding to the ambience are the elegantly clad staff, dressed to please in traditional jamdani saris.

First on the agenda was a small briefing given by the Management Consultant, Farzana Halim, explaining how this idea came into being. A number of reasons being considered, she mentions how the desire to make this day perfect for all brides in terms of looks was one of the main factors. Special promotions are on offer in this regard where bridal make-up is free if it is done by the staff with free hairstyling for two friends or relatives of the bride. For those who opt to get the make up done by Farzana Shakil, they have the advantage of getting a post-marriage special facial for free. In addition, during the time that the brides spend at the parlour, all measures will be taken to make them feel special and pampered with a number of surprise gifts and raffle draws to be presented at regular intervals.

After the mini press conference, we were guided to the second floor where a small stage was set just outside the entrance. With a heavy roof of fresh flowers, clay calabashes and wind chimes, a setting of the biggest of all celebrations, the holud, had been effectively created. Moving inside, a sneak peek of how brides (seven models) prepare was up for the guests' viewing, with a busy Farzana Shakil pinning a safety pin here and fixing a dupatta there. While the make-believe brides added their final touches, the invitees were offered refreshments on the top floor with a chance to talk personally to a number of the staff members.

When the brides were done and ready, there was little cause to wonder why this parlour maintains its position as the chosen option for many when it comes to bridal make-up. The models were physical embodiments of glitz and glamour, boasting a wide variety of outfits including saris, lehengas and ghararas. Versatility showed itself in terms of make up and style as well with some of the brides posing high hair-dos while the others had it left loose cascading generously down their shoulders. The patterns of jewellery followed traditional and intricate designs. To seal off the evening, the models had their shares of limelight by claiming the stage rotationally, giving photographers ample time and material to picture.

For brides that look for something more from a parlour, Farzana Shakil offers the best deals available, giving brides the wedding spirit before actually gracing the ceremonies and a chance to get pampered to the fullest(in care and kind), and this all exclusive of the special deals that are on offer!

By Subhi Shama Reehu

On the cover

Yet another beautiful bride graces our covers this week. Monsoon seems to have become a popular season for weddings. Check out our story on this page for more on that.

Make up and styling: Farzana Shakil
Photo: Zahedul I Khan


My phone will go on...

Buy them. Use them. Flaunt them. But what happens when they give out on you? Yes, the "they" are the mobile phones that have become an integral aspect of our lives. It is an indispensable gadget to check if your children have come home, to affirm business contracts, to transfer files, to play "Snake" while waiting in the doctor's chamber. What a mobile phone can do goes unquestioned. But the fact of the matter is that they are like all other gizmos: they need to be bought and used with care. So, here are a few pointers…

When you buy a phone, make sure the package includes a warranty card. A phone without one is most likely to be fake or of an inferior quality. Usually, there is a one year warranty. Assuming that you do have a warranty, in case any problems arise, take the phone to the customer care centre as soon as possible. Be sure to look into the terms of warranty- most centres refuse free service for water damage, neglect or if you have gotten the set checked by other mobile-servicing shops.

Many people like to charge their phones overnight, or for more-than-an-adequate length of time. By all means, keep your mobile charged. But mind you, excessive charging can weaken the battery and shorten battery life. Disconnect the phone from its charger once the battery sign flashes "full".

One of the major drawbacks of having a big friend circle: you are constantly bombarded by text messages that eventually end up flooding the inbox. Keep your inbox clean. It has its limits- keep a selected number of text messages and delete uninteresting ones that say things like "Ok" or "Will b late 2nite". Otherwise, the new messages that you receive will be incomplete or even blank!

Mobile phones, unfortunately, are very much vulnerable to theft and damage. For security, you can attach straps to your phone, and dangle it by your neck. To prevent damage from water or an unexpected drop out of the hand, get a cover for the set.

As the saying goes, "If you love it, it will love you back.”

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky



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