Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 53, Tuesday August 22, 2006



Shoptalk special

On the side

Bathroom gear
The perfect home is never complete without the most appropriate accessories and right on top of this list are bathroom accessories. There are many kinds available in the market that are foreign made but for a little less, the RAK made ones are a better buy as spares are easy to get as well as repairs. WCs with seat and cover cost between Tk 2500-7500. Water tanks and flushing units are Tk 1550- 2500. Wash basins cost between Tk-1250- 2450. Pedestals for these are approximately Tk- 1050- 1600. If you want to buy all these together, packages cost between Tk 6600- 15000. If you want only the wash basin and the pedestal it will cost between Tk-2000-4000. Wall mounted basins cost Tk-630 only for those of you who are budgeting. The best place to buy these is at the RAK show room in Hatirpool, near Eastern Plaza where there are people and catalogues to assist you in finding what's just right for your home. However if you have your mind set on buying higher range foreign products, Hatirpul is also the place where you can find plenty of these. Luxury bathtubs can be found in the range of Tk-8000 to up to Tk 200,000. Shower cubicles with sauna features can also be as expensive as these higher range bathtubs. If you want those futuristic looking glass basins that are the rage these days, they their prices are Tk10,000 and above and they are also available at Hatirpul.

Kitchen gear
There are several places around town that you may get your ready made kitchen accessories in different combinations or you can have your carpenter make it for you at home with wood, Partex and an assortment of screws and knobs. Otobi sells kitchen solutions complete with the right stove, hood, dishwasher and other electronic accessories from Apollo. You give them the size of your kitchen or they send out their people to take measurements and they design it specially to cater to the needs of your home. You can pick the colors, knobs etc that suit you. The prices are decided based not on square feet but the number and type of cabinets, shelves, etc and summed up only after the kitchen has been designed. If you have an already functional kitchen and you just want to buy smaller accessories like a corner shelf or pull out stainless steel racks, Otobi sells these for about Tk- 2500-3700. Larder units cost about Tk-10600.

Locks and knobs
The thing to do once the home is designed and dealt with is to protect it. Security locks are no longer the cumbersome, hefty affairs they once were and come in various compact and modern designs that you can choose from. Combination locks cost between Tk-7000-14000. Higher end locks cost between Tk-4000-7500. Lower end ones cost between Tk-1050-4000. Door knobs cost between Tk-350- 1000. All these are most easily acquired at Fix It, the hardware store near Agora in Gulshan 2. But if you want to be adventurous and take to the other hardware stores or to Nawabpur Road in Old Dhaka, feel free- for all you know you might end up getting a good bargain on a unique accessory!

By Diya
Photo: Munem Wasif
Special thanks to Toto


Dilemmas in romance

FALLING in love over the Internet is no longer something bizarre. Hundreds of people around us have found their soul mates while chatting in mIRC, banglacafé or ICQ. Although this was unthinkable some ten years ago, it is reality today. Many people look down on lovers who have found someone online but those who fall in love without seeing their partners think differently. Iftekhar, who met his girlfriend Dipika in mIRC says that the absence of physical presence resulted in deeper understanding between them. Beauty and appearance played little or no role in bringing them together. Iftekhar also says that beauty, which is only skin-deep, does attract the opposite sex but when you fall for a person's look only it's difficult to take a relationship to a higher level.

Although it's difficult for many of us to even think of falling in love without seeing, there are people who have maintained long-distance relationships for years without ever meeting. Samia (not her real name) met her boyfriend only once before he left for Canada to pursue higher studies and came back to Dhaka earlier this year after completing his M.Sc. The couple is now planning their wedding, which will take place next November. Samia thinks that hers was a platonic bond that kept her from feeling depressed for staying away from her partner for years. Unlike most couples, they never dated in the past three years, never held each other's hands or quarrelled face to face. But despite that, their relationship never faced any trouble. Advances in communication techniques have made life easier than before. Internet, telephone, cell phone, web cams have all narrowed down physical distance dramatically. It now takes no more than thirty seconds to send a text message to anyone living thousands of miles away. With a web camera you can now see your loved one live 24/7. But then again, it requires a lot of patience to wait for someone, who lives so far from you. It's also difficult to trust someone without seeing. It's also quite impossible to test whether the person on the other side of the phone is actually fibbing or being truthful. All these create a lot of tension and uncertainty in the minds of the people who date online.

The best part of searching for partners online is that it allows you to meet more people than any other way. People who are shy and feel uncomfortable speaking to the opposite sex in person think online dating is the most effective way to find someone. Besides, one can also choose to communicate anonymously on the net, if s/he wants to. At the same time, one can also test whether there is a level of understanding between two people before meeting in real life.

However, the biggest flaw of online romance is probably the fear of deceit. People who meet in chat rooms may lie about themselves, including their age, gender, marital status, religion, occupation, academic qualification and so forth.

Although people like Iftekhar and Samia say that they are happy with the partners they have found online, it is also true that there is difference between virtual and real love.

Last but not least, online dating can sometimes be overwhelming, addicting and time consuming. People can become so obsessed with online chatting that they give up studies and work just to be in front of their PC's.

It is important to remember that every decision or action has its pros and cons. While virtual love is not flawless, real life love is not perfect either. Had it been so, fewer relationships would have ended up in separation. No disguise can long conceal love where it exists, or long feign it where it is lacking.' -Francois La Rochefoucauld.

By Wara Karim



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