Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 60, Tuesday October 10, 2006



Festival Weekly Planner


It's time to start spending those bonuses. You must already have all the advice to spend on useful, practical things for the house… for long term use. But do remember to also spend on some things just because they make you happy- whether it's a wireless internet connection, a Barbie kitchen set for your child or a collector's edition of some old movie or book you loved for your mom.


It's time to get a head-start on Eid planning. These things tend to get messed up if left for the last minute. So go ahead and think of what to put on the Eid day menu, make a list of people to visit and call, etc.


Everyone will be rushing to the stores in the weekend, so try and avoid hitting the stores on these days unless you're one of those people who like getting crushed in crowds. Instead, give your house a thorough cleaning before the Eid decorating starts. If you are not into big changes, just go for the cushions, curtains and smaller effects. Refer to our article on home décor tips this week and you'll know exactly where to go.


There's a load of load shedding that's going on in spite of everything the power department has promised us, so why not use this time to do something useful. There's likely to be power somewhere else, like in shopping malls, so why not coordinate your shopping times with the times when the power is out? That way, you will have used the power failure well and spent the rest of your productive time on more important things.


Instead of dozing off at work or in school this month using the unusual sleeping times as an excuse, use it to finish off as much of your work, bigger assignments, projects, etc now so that you can be free of all tension at the end of the month. Celebrate Eid without worries and without deadlines to meet.


Finish off shopping for clothes for your domestic help, chauffeurs, peons and security guards. They toil for you all year round and buying something special for them is more important than buying anything else for Eid. Gausia is the ideal place for getting these printed cotton or lower range silk saris and panjabis.


Take advantage of the day off from work and take a break from Dhaka's traffic jams and congested shopping scene. There's plenty of places just outside Dhaka that you can visit and come back within the day- don't think Ashulia and Konabari but some place like Dhamrai, Noshingdi, Ashuganj, Mymensingh, Tangail, or Bhairab Bazar. Take the train or the bus or just your car and turn your cell phones off. See how good it feels and how it rejuvenates you for the coming weeks.

By Diya

Shop Talk

Get spicy
If you are sick of having the same old things for iftar, the fried potatos, begunis and jeelapis, you'll still have a whole bunch of alternatives to fall back on. Thai Choice noodles make a good one. These little noodle packs are all over town and come in two different varieties. The first kind is cheaper at Tk- 25 and you have to cook it on the stove or microwave it. The second kind comes at Tk-40 per cup and is simpler to prepare- all you have to do is add hot water. These noodles come in chicken, beef, seafood and Tom Yum flavours.

More noodles
If you want to have noodles, Thai Choice spicy noodles are certainly not your only option. There's the widely available Maggie and Fuji noodles which are the cheapest alternatives and can be moulded to your taste by adding egg, veggies and spices. If you want something more exotic, there are now Thai vermicelli or rice noodles available at Agora. These are also simply cooked and might make just the thing to rejuvenate your taste buds.

Soup, soup, everywhere
And I don't mean fancy expensive ones that you have to actually go to a restaurant to order. Maggie soup packets cost only Tk-22 and family packs cost Tk-39. These are relatively easy to make also and if you are sick of the same Thai and Chicken corn flavours, change them a little by adding shrimps and vegetables at will. You'd be surprised of the results.

Cook up a storm
If all else fails to impress you, make your own soup. The best way to go about it is of course to make stock the traditional way. But if you don't have the time, don't you worry- just use chicken cubes instead. The best one in the shops now is the Knorr chicken cube. It comes in Tk-20 packs of two and can pretty much do the same magic as home-made chicken stock.

Sauces and pastes
To experiment and throw in with just about any recipe, there's always the wide selection of sauces- tomato, soy, sweet and sour, oyster sauce etc to choose from. There are also tomato and other flavoured pastes that can be thrown in for a little excitement and colour in your food. The new Thai Choice Tom Yum flavoured paste available at Agora at Tk-81 might be an interesting taste to check out.

By Diya

On the cover

The elegant ensemble on our cover is from Aarong's Eid collection, one of Lifestyle's favourites, so don't forget to check them out.
Photo courtesy: Aarong


Freezing Festivities in Frames

EID is a time for cosy get-togethers with friends and families. And that of course, these are accompanied by food, drinks, and the much awaited 'adda'. It is a time for memories, sharing old jokes and laughing at the punch lines as if they were fresh. So this Eid, set out to capture these times. Whip out your video cameras and digicams (digital cameras) for the special occasion. Here are a few pointers…

Although this gadget has long replaced the 'old-timer' cameras, where you had to wait for days to get the pictures developed, the basic purpose remains the same- to capture the stills. Nonetheless, there are many additional functions that permit editing, perfecting light angles, setting various modes, etc.

Before Eid, make sure that the camera is properly charged. Furthermore, Digicams have this nasty habit of flashing the "Memory Full" sign. One of the major upsides of digital cameras is that they allow pictures to be deleted or be transferred to the computer. Delete unnecessary (and often unflattering) photos or use a USB cable to upload the photos into a computer to make space for new ones.

If you are into catching some real-life action or hearing the roar of laughter at the 'adda' session, a video camera is the answer. Handy cams are the easiest to deal with. They are small, portable and permit videos to be recorded from unconventional angles. Like digital cameras, many models allow video editing and incorporation of special effects (though not the Hollywood kind!).

Have an adequate supply of camera cassettes, and be careful in labelling them properly. If you would not be using the camcorder for a considerable length of time, take the cassette out. Also, before recording, make sure you video on the empty end of the tape to avoid overwriting.

Eid is on its way, and there are moments waiting to be captured. Make use of this opportunity. Adios, and happy Eid to all!

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky



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