Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 1, Tuesday January 9, 2007



Shop special

Pidimm premiers…

Lodged in a comfy nook of Road-32, Gulshan, Pidimm is exactly what the title claims to be- a village lamp. With its (metaphoric) light, it is all set to fuse rural craft with modern trends. The store, although at its initial stage is operating on a modest scale, has huge potential. To those raising eyebrows, they can drop by for reassurance. Pidimm opened on December 25.

The prime aim of Pidimm is to bring forward the art and the cultural heritage of Bangladesh through its product line. It is geared towards taking the concept to a global level as well as penetrating the global market through international trade fairs and so on. This, Safina Rahman- the Chairman- suggests would serve a dual purpose: it will highlight the Bangladeshi culture, all the while being useful to foreign buyers in everyday life. When asked what is so different about the store, Shoibal Shaha- the Program development Director- states that Pidimm provides in-house product development that ensures exclusivity.

The first thing that catches the eye is the store's ambience. Guilty, that I am not an interior decoration expert. But there is this interesting burnished-wood look that triggers a nostalgic feeling. Furthermore, the store is subtly spotlighted throughout. The mirror and the candles on display flaunt their glitz at the entrance. Clothes are hung in unique hangers that are wrapped with 'hogla' leaves dried out.

So what has Pidimm to offer? There are saris, salwar kameez, fatuas, panjabis, clay and bamboo items, candles and kitchen accessories among other things. While the product line seems clichéd, all the items come with fresh looks and are exclusive. One example: the terracotta platters are coated with 'gaab' juice instead of industrial burnish.

For more, be sure to pay a visit to Pidimm. Address: House-6, Road-32, Gulshan-1. Phone: 8856773.

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Sididky

Chondon chic

The ever spiraling number of boutiques and their branches across our city leaves no room for debate over what the current most popularly invested in industry is. Restaurants might provide useful competition but whoever said fashion had to take a back seat to food? The good news though, is that for all the mushrooming of branded clothing outlets in Dhaka, demand never ceases to decrease.

And facilitating just that, this week we shift our focus to a not-so-unknown boutique by the name of Chondon. With a firm foot set on the patriotism bandwagon, their line of clothing concentrates extensively on Bangladeshi materials such as motka, taat, cotton and Rajshahi silk. In conversation with the proprietor and designer, Chandona Dewan mentions that although they offer the usual options of salwar kameez sets, saris, shawls and fatuas, Chondon's true exclusiveness lies in that all their outfits are produced in single quantities.

As concerns colour scheme, her palette knows few restrictions and she works with a vast range of vibrant colours such as black, green, peacock blue, red, magenta and violet. The same amount of options is also provided in terms of embellishment and she uses one or a combination of mirror-work, zari, beads, patchwork and block print. The salwar kameez sets are priced between Tk1200-6500, saris range from Tk1000 to Tk17 000 and fatuas Tk400-2500.

Aside their clothing line, Chondon also has an impressive jewellery section with either silver or gold plated ornaments. On these are set a variety of semi-precious stones such as black onyx and amethyst. In future, Chondon hopes to expand their range of clothing to include bridal wear, a limited collection of western attire, formal wear and traditional outfits for men. For a designer line slightly different form the rest, stop by either of Chondon's branches at Plot Number 1/A-2 (SWE), Road Number 7, Gulshan 1 or Plot Number 25, Road Number 118, Gulshan 1.

By Subhi Shama Reehu

Shop Talk

In the last few weeks, Eid and wedding season brought us dangerously close to not so healthy, showering us with heavy doses of meat, greasy food and tons of calories. The year may have started this way, but let's quick-fix it with healthy, light and organic eats that will help us live to see many more new years.

How about some Tofu?
Tofu, or Bean Curd as some people call it is not a novelty for most. Low in calories with absolutely no cholesterol content and a high level of proteins and sometimes Calcium, it makes a great addition to your daily or weekly vegetable dishes. It originated somewhere in China and is made from coagulating Soy Milk and pressing the resulting curd. It can be eaten fried, stewed, in kebabs and barbeques with meats, in soups, sauces and as stuffing or fillings. Many believe that tofu consumption reduces the possibility of women developing breast cancer but it hasn't been proven scientifically. If you still want to give it a shot, it is sold at the Dhali Super Shop in Gulshan 2 at Tk-15 per portion.

Drink your worries away with soy milk
Often also called 'vegetable' milk, soy milk is also of Chinese origin and makes a great replacement for cow's milk which many are allergic to or try to avoid because of the high levels of proteins, hormones and antibiotics, etc. Soy milk has almost the same amount of protein but some varieties have less. It is a good source of Lecithin and Vitamin E and is sometimes also enriched with Vitamin B12. It is a good way to keep your diabetes in check and also great for lactose intolerant people. Get yourself a carton from Dhali Super Store at Tk-120.

Equally satisfying
The most widely known replacement for sugar in the world, Equal is made from Aspartame unlike other artificial sweeteners which are mostly saccharine- based. The ingredient was discovered to be sweet and tasty by a scientist at Searle in 1965 and was first consumed as a sweetener in foods in France many years ago. It has zero calories and allows you to have a sweet cup of tea and sweetmeats without having to worry about diabetes. It comes in packets of about 50 or so sachets but these are hard to come by here in Dhaka. However it also comes in tablet form and you can buy a pack of these at a little over Tk-100 at Agora or Almas in Gulshan.

Fruity solutions
Fruit juices and their high supply of nutrients need no introduction. But do be sure to go for the ones that say, 'no sugar added' or 'made from concentrate' on the carton or bottle because these are usually the ones that have all the vitamins and minerals that are supposed to come from the fruits. They may taste a tad sour at first but they are doing you a world of good. Pacific Orchard juices are available in Almas and other stores. They have apple, orange, passion fruits and other flavours. Go for the smaller bottles sold at around Tk-60 or above and try out your flavours before buying the bigger ones. Dewlands, available at Agora and Dhali Super Store is another great option that brings you apple, orange, guava and mango flavours. You can get these at Tk-120 per carton at Dhali.

By Diya

On the cover

We're getting back to basics with an eco-friendly approach to life in 2007. Check out our stories on Centrefold, Page 4 and Back.

Amirul Rajiv


Energy Saving tips
An eco-friendly lifestyle isn't very hard to adopt if you can develop some simple but useful energy-saving habits.

* Unplug your chargers when you're not using them.

* Use power strips to switch off televisions, home theatre equipment, and stereos when you're not using them.

* Enable the "sleep mode" feature on your computer, allowing it to use less power during periods of inactivity.

* Configure your computer to "hibernate" automatically after 30 minutes or so of inactivity. The "hibernate mode" turns the computer off in a way that doesn't require you to reload everything when you switch it back on.

* During the winter, leave shades and blinds open on sunny days, but close them at night to reduce the amount of heat lost through windows.

* Close shades and blinds during the summer or when the air conditioner is in use or will be in use later in the day.

* Set the thermostat on your water heater between 120 and 130 degrees. Lower temperatures can save more energy, but you might run out of hot water or end up using extra electricity to boost the hot water temperature.

* Make sure your refrigerator door closes tightly.

* Don't preheat or "peek" inside the oven more than necessary. Check the seal on the oven door, and use a microwave oven for cooking or reheating small items.

* Wash only full loads in your dishwasher, using short cycles for all but the dirtiest dishes. This saves water and the energy used to pump and heat it. Air-drying, if you have the time, can also reduce energy use.

* Turn off the light and fan before leaving a room. Remember this at the office too. A typical commercial building uses more energy for lighting than anything else.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2007 The Daily Star