Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 54, Tuesday August 29, 2006



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Rhythm of colours
"I love to play with colours. Placing random lines and splattering the canvas with paint is a joyous pastime. Although my technique is a little scattered in essence it gives way to artistic form."

Nilufar Jahan Babli comments on her artwork displayed in Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts. She resides in Paris specializing in contemporary concepts of art. The years of work with techniques of using bold colours, lines and spots has culminated into this collection titled Other Rhythms. A source of inspiration that the artist draws upon is that of nature and it's fluid movements. In her displayed work multiple media is used such as paper, canvas, silk etc.

Abstract themes are mainly used taking inspiration from the American abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock who specialised in dabbing with spontaneous brushstrokes. All these have been created over the last few years while she has been residing in Paris and the exhibition has been arranged in Bengal Gallery to give her country folk a chance to view her artwork.

Nilufar's talents also include that of a fashion and textile designer and a plastician. In her visit lasting a few days she has lent her talent in the creation of some one-of-a-kind saris using her favorite colours white, black and red. Particularly eye catching are the white silk saris with black and red splashes of vibrant colour one of which she wore herself during the day of the exhibition.

Nilufar has been involved in the local design business since the 80's She was one of the early pioneers who worked her magic on the jamdani, shawls, panjabis and kameez that came out of Narsingdhi. She made a name for herself with her unusual designs and was popularly known as Babli. She also used her considerable talents with handloom goods. Later on she maintained the position of best designer for several years in the contest carried out by 'Shaptahik Bichitra'.

According to her one major advantage of working in Paris is that production houses bought an individual designer's concepts as well as using a copyright law that prevented others from stealing the design.

An exhibition like this brings forth to the art-loving folk yet another artist and her amazing work.

By Sultana Yasmin
Translated by Ehsanur Raza


Bengal curry taking over the British menu
“The British came to Bengal with gunpowder. The scenario totally overturned in the past 50 years, as Bengal took over Britain or rather the stomach of the British people and their menus with curry power”. The latest slogan that has become more and more popular among the Bangali British community once again gained momentum during the British Fusion Food Festival 2006.

The three-day festival starting from 26 August was organised by UK based magazine Curry Life and Dhaka Sheraton. This year four of the celebrity Bangali chefs from UK travelled to Dhaka and unveiled their creations at the inauguration ceremony on the evening of 26 August. Later they showcased wonderful gastronomic delights for the guests eating at Bithika, Sheraton. The menu at the restaurant's buffet during the festival served their fusion food.

Also a new dimension to the festival this year is the addition of the part held in Kolkata. The chefs will host the second leg of the food festival at the ITC Sonar Bangla Sheraton Hotel in Kolkata from September 1 to 4.

Bengali culinary delights are now way beyond Chicken Tikka Masala. It has weaved its way deeper into the British way of life. There are around 12 thousand Bangali restaurants in the UK. Chefs from Bengal travelled there with magic spices, learned new twists from the British cuisine, added a few tricks up their sleeves and created wonders in the kitchen. Thanks to their work of art Bangla curry is now one of the most favourite British dish. The British people even declared 10 November as the National Curry Day.

By Shahnaz Parveen


Pride's collection for the coming Eid
Pride, a fashion house having over 60 retail outlets spread all over Bangladesh, is a well known household name mainly for its saris. These six yards of fabric are synonymous with elegance, beauty and style. The sari is the world's longest-running fashion story, as relevant today as it was a century ago. A living garment, a part of the daily lives of women from Nepal to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, the sari is a forgiving garment which conceals a woman's imperfections and enhances her special qualities. Even today for a young girl, draping a sari for the first time is the ultimate coming-of-age experience. Fads come and go, but the sari survives them all. While the sari lives on in villages and cities, young innovative designers are now giving it fresh life and a new twist for the new generation.

And so on the 25th of August at the Sheraton Winter Garden Ballroom, the three brothers behind Pride Limited, Mr. Md. A. Moyeed, Managing Director, Mr. Md. A Momen , Director and Dr. Md. A. Moyeen, another Director, organised a fashion show, 'Pride Eid Collection 2006' which mainly showcased their top exclusive designer saris. The models displayed a gamut of looks, from full-on glamour when wearing the beautiful cotton and half-silk saris, to casual chic when wearing the ready-made Western-ethnic ensembles. Each time the strong, dramatic simplicity of the clothes were relieved by accessories like large, metal earrings or necklaces.

The glamour-packed show was launched with embroidered white kota sharis, after which the models were sent out as slim columns of fluid geometric patterns, the saris printed in stripes, triangles and ovals. There were one-colored, pastel-shade cotton saris with intricate embroidery and sequins work, and there were cotton saris bursting with vivid prints of sunburst orange, bold azures, and sexy mauves. Then there was a brief foray into Western attire after which the focus returned to saris, this time to half-silk, some in zebra prints, some with all-over intricate embroidery and jori work.

To sum up, the whole show managed to capture the audience's attention offering dazzling, visual proof that the Pride team has the skills and infrastructure to leave their mark in Dhaka's world of fashion.

By Simin Saifuddin


Silver shopping @Chandni Chawk

Silver jewellery, its popularity and style statements need no introduction. You can wear it casually or formally, it's not as expensive as gold jewellery and it never goes out of style. It reinvents itself constantly to match changes in fashion. Dhaka's originally popular silver jewellers in Chandni Chawk had lost their charm to Aarong and other stores who design silver ware in modern, less cumbersome designs, sometimes oxidising them for effect.

However, as prices in the larger stores have begun to soar, these old stores are now back with a boom -the trend wheel has gone a full circle and vintage designs are back in style.

The value of silver has gone up and is now Tk- 550 / bhoree but surprisingly the jewellery is still very affordable. And pushed to excel by the competition, these stores now have a wider variety of styles and types for you to choose from. If you want plain sterling silver jewellery, you can get earrings, rings, necklaces, anklets, key rings (tucked to your sari at the hip, like in Devdas in other old movies), tiklis for your forehead and much more. Sets of earrings and necklaces cost between Tk.800-2000 unless you want something really elaborate which would cost you as much as Tk.3000. Earrings can be bought separately and prices are open to bargaining. Key rings cost between Tk.600- 1000. Tiklis are also in the same price range.

If you want something more glamorous than plain old silver, go for the kundan-like jewellery in gold plated, jewelled silver. These are available in sets of earrings and necklaces between Tk.1200-3000. Earrings alone are sold for Tk.800 and above and are highly recommended. Any coloured stones you want, antique painted or plain gold plated, these can be made to order and would add to fabulous ensembles for weddings and other glamorous occasions.

If you're planning on getting anything from this place it's best to get it done right away before the feet crushing last minute Eid shopping crowds hit Chandni Chawk. So what are you waiting for?

By Diya

Pop Up

Pick me up

There's no secret about chocolate being the ultimate feel-good food. However, if a choco-binge brings about a wave of fat-and-calorie guilt, it actually negates the mood boost that chocolate provides. Don't lose hope yet, though. Buy chocolate that has at least 70 percent cocoa. It's high in cholesterol-fighting antioxidants, and the flavour is so intense that a little goes a long way.


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