Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 32, Tuesday August 14, 2007



Spot light

Decency in public places

Love is natural; it is as natural as raindrops that fall from a cloudy sky or the bright sunshine after the long and dark night. It dates back to the times of Adam and Eve because the very first two people to traverse this Earth were very much in love. With reference to current context, visit any public place like parks, restaurants or TSC and a common sight is couples huddled together. Love is pure, divine and universal. But display of affection in public places is a sheer nuisance.

Dating is a common practice among people in love. Couples want to spend as much time as possible with each other. They are not just satisfied with talking nightlong over the cell phone or staring at each other with wide grins on their faces. The expression of affection more often than not stretches into a desire for physical display of feelings. So long as this is restricted to holding hands in public places, it is accepted by people but when it gets beyond that, it becomes a menace to society. Couples should understand that love is blind but this loss of sight does not extend to people around. If people want to get intimate, there really is a time and place for it.

In a moderately conservative Muslim society like ours, public display of affection is considered unacceptable. For many families, rural and urban alike, even the very word “love” is considered a taboo. People feel uncomfortable around couples who are physically intimate and any even avoid zones where couples meet. Some restaurants even have a code of conduct on acceptable behaviour displayed for this reason. Intimate couples are acceptable, but only on satellite channels and foreign magazines. As for Bangladesh, it is an alien culture and it will still take some time before people accept it and consider it a part of everyday life. But before that time comes, it is still considered very vulgar. People must be considerate of others and respect their values and understand the norms and traditions of our society.

By Nazia Atique

Check it out

Online food delivery service launched

In a bustling city like Dhaka where time is money and we are chasing one appointment after the other, we often do not find the time for a decent meal. Instead, at the end of the day, we end up with fast food in front of the television. To save this from happening, a group of young entrepreneurs have launched Dhaka's first online food delivery service called “Room Service”. They deliver a variety of local and international cuisine from various restaurants right until your doorstep, whether at home or work. As the entrepreneurs of Room Service mention, their main aim is to provide people with easy access to food online, as they may not be able to make the time to visit a restaurant in person.

The steps for ordering are fast and hassle-free. One simply has to click on the logo of his or her favourite restaurant on the website www.roomservicebd.com and select his/her favourite menu from more than 1800 items that are currently available for delivery and order by dialing the phone number 0171 3333200 at a professional call center. Ordered food is delivered within 45 minutes in Gulshan, Banani, Baridhara, Niketan, Mohakali Link Road and DOHS. Customers have to pay similar prices as those quoted by the restaurant. They offer a great variety of cuisines like Bangla, Chinese, Continental, Greek, Indian, Italian, Korean, Mexican, Seafood, Thai. Food is available from 12 restaurants which are in collaboration with Room Service, namely, Aristocrat, Bàton Rouge, Casa Greek, Flambé, Heritage, Khazana, Mexicana Chics, PM Lounge, Kasturi and Saltz. Services are available 365 days a year from 11:30 am to 10:30 pm.

-LS Desk

A true taste of Asia

Minted Lamb Kebabs
6 lamb leg chops
2 red peppers
125 g mushrooms
1 whole pineapple
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup French dressing
2 tsp chopped fresh mint
1 garlic clove
Salt and pepper
2 tsp sugar

Crush garlic; combine with all remaining marinade ingredients.

Remove meat from bones, cut off excess fat and cut meat into 2.5cm cubes.

Cut peppers in half, remove seeds, cut into 2.5cm cubes; slice mushrooms in half; peel pineapple, slice, remove core and cut into 2.5cm cubes.

Thread lamb, peppers, pineapple and mushrooms alternately on bamboo skewers, brush well with marinade; stand 1 hour, brushing frequently with marinade.

Cook kebabs over barbecue or under grill, brushing frequently with marinade until cooked and golden brown.

Masala Egg
6 eggs
2 onions
1/2 kg tomatoes, dried
2 tsp chilli powder
5 tsp oil (sesame)
1" ginger
4 garlic flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Boil eggs and peel the skin.
Cut into square pieces.
Grind tomatoes and onion.
Heat the oil and fry the paste.
Add ginger-garlic paste and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add turmeric powder, salt and chilli powder.
Add 1/2 cup water and let it boil for 2-3 minutes.
Add the egg pieces and let the gravy thicken.

Chapatti Rolls
1/2 tin baked beans
1/4 cup cheese
4 tbsp sauce
For filling:
1 carrot
5 French beans
1/4 cup boiled peas
1 capsicum
1 large floret of cauliflower
1/2 cup cabbage, shredded
3 green chillies
1/4 tsp garlic paste
1/4 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp Soy sauce
1/2 tsp tomato ketchup
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

Clean and chop carrot, capsicum, cauliflower and French beans into thin 2" long slivers or sticks.
Chop green chillies also into small pieces. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add green chillies, garlic, ginger and stir.

Add all other vegetables, stir-fry on high till veggies are tender. Add Soy sauce, tomato sauces, lemon juice, salt, sugar and stir. Divide filling into 6 portions.

Take on chapatti, put filling in half portion. Spread over half area evenly. Sprinkle some cheese. Fold empty half portion over.

A half circle with stuffing inside should result. Apply a little water to the inner edges, press together to seal. Arrange them in a shallow oven-proof dish.

Pour a half tin of baked beans in tomato over them. Sprinkle cheese, sauce and bake in a preheated oven (200C) for 10 minutes.

Shop special

Of bags and boutiques

With certain booming industries come certain difficulties. With the fast food industry of Dhaka, for example, the difficulty of title and hence calling every outlet some 'fried chicken' or the other. And with the mushrooming fashion industry, the prospect of there being a boutique behind every alternate doorstep gives rise to the problem of introductions when reviewing them in such publications as this.

However, every now and then comes an enterprise that eases the above mentioned maladies by a miniscule and we are able to sieve through an entire trend of one and the same thing in every boutique to find one right little streak of difference that sets a certain store apart. In context of article at hand-bags.

Nandan Kutir, a quiet little two-roomed venture inaugurated in March this year, is a name that houses a considerably well-varied product line. With initial footing on small beginnings, the entrepreneur duo behind the shop, Tania Tufail Haq and Md. Shahidul Haq, custom-made bags for sale with their primary clientele being the Dhaka University students.

With time, although market demand has dictated sharp increases in production, the concept behind the bags have remained constant. The bags have either one or a combination of hand stitches, mirror work, patchwork or beadwork for embellishment and come in an assortment of colours such as black, orange, green, red, brown and olive. Most of the bags that make use of hand stitch portray depictions of scenery such as kash bon, rivers, flowers, bok pakhi and other sights of rural Bangla, each image creatively developed and exclusively drawn by either of the owners.

Aside from the variation in colour combinations and designs, the bags also cater to a variety of purposes. The narrow Bottle Bag created for the purpose its name suggests costs about Tk 100, book bags (which they call Diary Bags) ask for about Tk 400 and are apt for students, purse sized bags titled Passport Bags have a minimum price of Tk 120 and Mobile Bags (purpose suggested by title once again) are approximately priced around Tk 80.

As concerns their other products, the men's section houses fatuas priced between Tk 400 and Tk 600 while the women's section holds a wider variety in terms of three-piece salwar kameez sets (Tk 1250-2000), skirts, fatuas, straight pants and single salwars or dupattas. Home décor products include lamps made of patchwork or paper the prices of which range from Tk 350 to Tk 1500 respectively, cushion covers, pottery vases, photo frames made of khadi and silk and exclusively designed cards which use handmade paper materials from bamboo, cane, jute or grass. A small amount of shelf space is also dedicated to jewellery that mainly uses different coloured thread, clay, beads and mirror work.

Since conclusions run just as dry as introductions, in end note we will part with the information that an exhibition focusing on bags will be held from the 12th to the 31st of this month at Nandan Kutir's premises located at House Number 10, Road Number 5, Dhanmondi. A special discount of 10% will be given to students carrying satisfactory ID so be sure to drop by anytime before the turn of the month.

By Subhi Shama Reehu





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