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




Treasure hunting on a lazy afternoon

Have you ever been in a goldmine? Did you know that we have one right here in Dhaka? With Doel Chattar, Curzon Hall, Shishu Academy and the High Court building around, there is no way you will miss it. No shady caves or spooky ambience, it is out in the open right on the sidewalk, has about 30 shops, selling all the treasures gathered from the deepest corners of the country.

Take an afternoon off and make it a lazy one, to hunt for treasures. You have to have spare time because every single shop has something interesting to offer. If you start your stroll from the Doel Chattar end you will see the little sheds standing in a row. There is hardly enough room for one person in them as every inch of it is stuffed with surprises.

Now let the excavation begin. First appearances might not please you but don't walk away just yet. Dig in a little. Nick-knacks come here from various regions of the country, prepared by low profile artists. Potteries, burnt clay showpieces, woodcarvings, ornaments and ornament boxes, vases, houseplant tubs, jute bags and more. You name it they've got it all.

Look closely and you will discover little secrets. Gift items that are available in all the trendy gift shops of Dhaka are available here too. These items are mostly rejected products, slightly damaged. They are almost so perfect that you will fail to discover the flaws in most cases. Choose your items wisely- the shopkeepers will ask for higher prices in the beginning. Most items are quite cheap here with some exceptions. You will find pieces that sell for real high prices.

The stroll doesn't end here. If you love a little greenery around your home you will love this place. Adjacent to the sheds are more shops lined up with thousands of houseplants. It will definitely soothe your eyes, which may result in you ending up with plants you already have or with rare species you've just laid eyes on. Walk a little further towards the entrance of the High court and you will find fresh flowers to your heart's content. Well not quite, you'll only get them if you pay the vendor!

On a lazy afternoon, reward yourself with spicy jhal muri, lolly lemon ice cream and a stroll out in the open. Rest assured, it will truly be a pleasurable experience!

By Shahnaz Parveen

Check It Out

Scarves and bags at Aranya

One of the pioneers in introducing scarves and wraps in Bangladesh, Aranya has left little to be desired in terms of variety, including hand woven silk, cotton, khadi and a host of blended fabrics in their range of productions. It has developed a number of weaving techniques and styles, which are equally popular in both domestic and overseas markets. Recently Aranya has introduced a range of casual bags in a variety of designs and styles made in woven jute, block prints, tribal fabric and handlooms with embroidery, mirrorwork and other embellishments. With bags being an all time necessity and scarves the latest rage, stop by Aranya for creative designs and materials that will add some spunk to your accessories.

-LS Desk

Cookbook Clips

Mustard Fish
750gms Hilsa or any other fish (cut into 1cm thick slices).
3 teaspoons mustard, salt to taste, 1 teaspoon turmeric, 6 green chillies, (3 whole, 3 slit), ½ cup water, 2 teaspoons yogurt, 4 tablespoons mustard oil.
Rub fish with salt and turmeric grind together mustard and whole green chillies, adding a little water from time to time. Mix yogurt with the ground paste and apply to fish. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pan. Add fish and fry for few minutes. Add water and oil. Cover the pan and cook until fish is done.

Fish Vindaloo
1kg fish (10-12 slices)
10 cloves garlic, 2" piece of ginger
2 tablespoons mustard powder, 2 tablespoons cumin powder, 1 tablespoon chilli powder, ½ teaspoon turmeric, 10 green chillies, 2 teaspoons salt, ¼ vinegar.
For seasoning:
1 teaspoon mustard, ¼ fenugreek
10 curry leaves, 6 tablespoons oil
Heat oil add mustard, fenugreek and curry leaves. Add slit green chillies, ginger-garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the cumin powder, mustard powder, chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Fry well for a couple of minutes. Add the vinegar and the fish. Cook on a slow fire until fish is done.


Breaking ties with
bad habits

Sayma's lunch swirled inside her stomach as she watched one of her classmates biting his nails- the tips of his fingers were red and swollen and his nails almost invisible from a distance... Nail biting is one of our most common bad habits. It starts at an early stage, usually in a person's childhood. And if not taken care of in time, this habit can turn into a dangerous problem in the long run. We have heard of people whose excessive nail-biting habits even resulted in serious infections in their fingers. Nail biting is not only harmful for one's health it is also socially unacceptable. Although it is tough to fight such a habit when we are grown-ups, efforts can always be undertaken. Ask your close ones to stop you as soon as they spot you chewing your nails. For girls out there, if you have this bad habit apply nail varnish regularly. Nail polish usually has a bitter taste, which is likely to keep your fingers away from your mouth. At the same time, nail colour would add beauty to your nails and teach you to appreciate the new look of you hands.

Belching is probably one of the other bad habits that most Bengalis have. Knowingly or unknowingly, most of us belch after a good meal. Some people even associate belching with a form of appreciation! Yes, we often consider belching as a form of appreciation for good food. But in countries outside this geographical region, belching is regarded as nothing more than an awful habit.

Then shaking feet in public is considered another dreadful habit. It not only looks bad but also at the same time causes irritation in the minds of the people around us. I know it's a habit that most of us have trouble with, but we can always try to keep our senses active and stop shaking our feet despite the urge to do so. We can also seek help from people around us to fight such a tendency. This is especially a big problem when you are sharing the same bed, couch or table with others. The trembling of your feet affects the people sitting or lying next to you.

Coughing or sneezing in public is not only bad but also harmful. Many dangerous microorganisms tend to spread through coughs and sneezes. Carry hankies or tissue paper to deal with those uncontrollable moments when you can't help but sneeze with a bang.

Bad habits like smoking, overeating, excessive boozing cannot be fixed overnight. Habits that have been built over years must be managed with care. Setting a target could be the first step in such a case. For instance, as you try to break up your tie with tobacco limit the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. If you are currently smoking twelve sticks per day, bring it down to eight sticks per day instead of quitting completely. Rayan, who once happened to be a chain smoker, emphasized the role of friends and family in helping one getting rid of his/her bad habits. His sister and younger brother played the key roles as he tried to limit smoking, and the day he finally overcame his strongest urge to light a cigarette his siblings threw a big party at home to celebrate his win against such a destructive habit. You can also reward yourself as you make progress in your effort to quit a bad habit. Treat yourself in your favourite restaurant, or buy yourself some good clothes, books or DVD's. Breaking ties with bad habits is not an impossible task. Our willpower can do magic therefore gather all your will to say goodbye to bad habits. Friends and families should also come forward to help their near and dear ones in their endeavours to break habits that are not only displeasing but also devastating.

By Wara Karim


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2006 The Daily Star