Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 28 , Tuesday July 17, 2007



News Flash

Sonargoan- live and… umm... cooking

Tired of walking into a restaurant and shovelling into your mouth whatever is dished out by the waiter? Perhaps the steaks are a little too tough for your teeth? Or maybe a tad bit too tender that they slide down your throat even before you can bask in their flavour? Bored of looking at yet another array of buffet trays with no personality?

Questions. Questions. Questions. All that questioning does lead to frustration, and as a favourite saying of mine goes, bad food is bad news. Enough gustatory philosophy (or rather, stomach-talk). Before the write-up winds up sounding too much like an over-run commercial, let me get to the point.

This week's food quest led me to Pan Pacific Sonargoan. The hotel is venturing into the route taken by many international hotel chains in the past. They have recently introduced live cooking in their restaurant, Café Bazar. Every day the Café will be having two items, which will be cooked in front of you by well-trained chefs.

What this means is, you no longer have to take for granted food over the cooking of which you have no control. Indeed, instead of picking and choosing from whatever is dished out by the waiter, the wheels are in your hands. That is to say, you may prefer a dash of some particular herbs here and there, and similarly, choose to avoid some. Moreover, you may elect to have your food cooked in a personalised manner- for instance, the fish may be left half cooked, done medium, well-done, tenderised and so on.

Many prefer live cooking because of suspicion of what really goes on behind the scenes (that is, behind those kitchen doors). For some, it is somewhat a reassurance that the food that is going into your mouth is being prepared right in front of you, instead of behind some door labelled: “Authorised Personnel Only”.

In any case, Pan Pacific Sonargoan has taken a step, and a great one, in handing over the strings to the customers. Make sure you swing by.

By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky

Fashion from both sides of Bengal come together

Fashion trends over the past couple of years have long untangled themselves from the limitations imposed by physical international boundaries. And as such, Bangladesh too has incorporated into its own clothing culture designs from far and beyond. Although the destinations from which styles and couture have seeped in vary considerably, some things do remain constant-our dominating fancy for Indian designs for one. This is usually taken to mean cherished trips to Kolkata for shopping sprees from our side and an appreciation for silk and Jamdani from theirs.

Bringing a much welcome end to all this to and fro will come an event titled Puja Shringer '07: Boutique and Designer Week- a venture intending to bring about an amalgamation of fashion from West and East Bengal. Organised jointly by Matrix Solutions, a Bangladesh based public relations consulting company and F3 Incorporation, their Kolkata counterparts, the Indo-Bangla designers' week will be held from the 1st to the 8th of September 2007.

In a pre-event press conference held on the 12th of July at Drik Gallery, Dhanmondi, details of the upcoming event were disclosed by the CEOs of the two firms, namely Shakhawat Alam Rano from Matrix Solutions and Rajarshi Das of F3 Incorporation. The idea is to merge fashion houses and designers from the two Bengals and over a period of one week, a total of 75 boutiques and designers, 45 from Kolkata and 30 from Bangladesh, will showcase their lines in an exhibition to be held in Kolkata. Aside from the exhibition, a gala ramp show will be held on the 9th of September and two workshops entitled 'Globalising Bangla Fashion' and 'Fusion Over Decades' will be conducted for the participants' benefit.

Renowned designers, local fashion school students, beauty experts, photographers and media personalities were present at the press meet and if their speeches and comments bear any witness to the reception of this merger, then evidently the event will be well received. All the guests present unanimously welcomed and applauded the effort to bring together fashions from both Bangladesh and Kolkata on one platform and some expressed the wish to see the event being hosted in Dhaka in years to come.

Although that may still be a year or two away, during this year's designer week, an entire team of selected journalists, photographers, make-up artists and models will be chosen to attend the event. And interestingly, to uphold the spirit of togetherness, Bangladeshi models will wear designer wear from Kolkata and Indian models will be clad in designs from our local fashion houses at the gala ramp show.

The official media partners for this project are Tara TV and Power FM 107.8 in India and Radio Foorti 98.4 FM and Anandadhara in Bangladesh.

By Subhi Shama Reehu

Shop Talk

Removing unwanted hair has become a new phenomenon that is a necessity for almost every girl. The following are products you can use if you are planning to avoid going to parlours and trying something at home by yourself.

Although this may be seemingly impossible without a parlour, the wax-making method is a very easy process that will take at most half an hour. Firstly take squeezed lemon juice (four lemons) in a bowl and then mix it with sugar (1kg/1000gm). Then heat until it becomes sticky. If the mixture is dry then add more lemon and if it is too watery, add more sugar. The cloth to be used for waxing has to be number 1 "markin" material. Tips: After waxing, clean the area with water and then apply some moisturiser to avoid dryness.

Veet, Fem or Nair are products easily available in the market but just make sure you check the expiry date before buying. The big cream costs around Tk 195 and the smaller ones around Tk 100. They can be also found as sprays that are a more bit costly, around Tk 345 but these are easier to use.

If you are used to waxing and threading, this shouldn't hurt much. This can be a bit more expensive than the rest, especially the branded ones like Braun (Silk-Epil) or Panasonic and can be found within the range of Tk 2200 to Tk 4800.However, less known brands might cost around Tk 1500.You can check stores like the ones in Kamal Ataturk Market which have a wider variety of epilators. Nowadays most epilators are cordless and use batteries which make them easy to carry around especially when travelling.

The most pain free way of removing unwanted hair is using a razor. Nowadays there are special razors for women found in the market that leave your skin less rough and dry. Try to look for them at a nearby supermarket and even though prices vary from brand to brand, they are all quite reasonable.

By Tashmia Zaman

On The Cover

Teens these days are getting more style-savvy and beauty conscious. Farzana Shakil's Salon recognises this need for self-expression with special offers for teenagers under the tag of "Teen Time" between the 13th and 19th of every month. So swing by her parlour and make the most of these special deals.

Photo Courtesy: Paper Rhyme


Memories maintained

We all love taking pictures: of ourselves, our friends, our families. And with new innovations people no longer have to worry about looking bad, Photoshop is always there to the rescue. But digital cameras have only been common home gadgets for less than a decade. Before that and for some, even now, traditional film cameras still prevail. And with traditional cameras, the hassles of negatives still remain. So how does one go about sorting through the old camera prints, proceed with new digital media and keep their photos in order?

Sorting the old
Take out your old negatives and hold them up to the light to better identify them. Once you know what pictures they hold, label the negative sleeves accordingly. Once you have done all the labelling, arrange these according to year, events, subject matter, or even in the order in which you've put the pictures in photo albums. Then store these in a preferably air-tight box or add a few bags of silica gel to the box to keep the moisture at bay.

Giving them a facelift
Various photo-printing shops now offer negative scanning services. This allows you to digitise all your old negatives so that even if they do get ruined by moisture, you now have a digital copy. These digitised negative scans can be stored in a disk. Generally one disk stores up to eighteen 36-snap negatives. So that gives you a lot of negatives to play with in one single disk.

Creating multiple back-ups
With negatives scanned and digital cameras already allowing for photos to be stored on disks, all that is left to do is to keep back-ups of everything. Three is a good number of back-ups to have. So every time you have digital photos on one disk, make sure there is another identical disk to compensate if the first somehow gets ruined. That gives you two copies. For the third, create web albums for your personal viewing with all the digital photos you have. This will allow you to enjoy your photos from anywhere in the world and if by chance the disks are damaged, you can still create new disks from the pictures uploaded onto the Internet.

Photos do not recreate a moment in time. But they do bear witness of something special. So keeping them in order is absolutely essential!

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob



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