Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 6, Tuesday February 5, 2008



Shop Special

Flowers on sale!

Early bird catches the worm- or so they say! 5 a.m. in the morning, when most of us are still wrapped in blankets, comfortably in our beds, a section of Dhaka wakes up, and exercises their way to good health. A minority, however, take upon a different path; an early rush to earn a living.

It's a hub that starts off in the early hours of the morning and ends by the time most of us start our day. It's most likely that you have missed it, or had a mere glance of the bustle. For the flower market at Shahbag, the day starts before the break of dawn.

Flowers have come a long way if we consider urban living. Even a decade back its use was mostly in weddings and extravagant parties. Now, we use flowers to add colours to our rooms, to add vitality in our lives. Fall of price has given rise to a broad market and the spread of florist across Dhaka only testifies to it. The market at Shahbagh offers an opportunity to buy flowers at wholesale rate, if you are willing to buy a bunch. This will allow you to decorate your home with flowers in almost every corner, and that too without taxing your purse.

A stick of gladiolas or a bundle of gypsy will cost you little but the joy it brings is precious and you can't put a value on that. A few roses would do the trick most of the time. This is the season of the dazzling flower chandramallika. Calendula with a little bit of orange and a tint of baashonti is a flower that will bring on a cheerful mood any time. Red roses in a bunch will cost you Tk. 50 to 100, whereas white roses Tk. 60 and multi coloured roses are Tk 80 to100. Rajanigondha sticks in bunches sell at Tk. 60 to 100. Gypsy is available at Tk. 10 to15, and gladiolas at Tk. 250 to 500.

The month of February is a floral fiesta for our nation. From the romantic and brilliant Pohela Falgun to solemn Ekushey, flowers are a must. The recent, alien invasion of Valentine also sees to a great demand on flowers. To adorn your hair with style, a Gazra is an obvious choice. Marigold garlands can also be an option. The first day of Falgun signifies the change in the air, a new season, new colours and a new beginning. Picture perfect with flowers!

At Shahbagh, you can find flowers in all shades, shapes and sizes. Marigold garlands of 20 pieces cost Tk. 100 to 150, jasmine garlands Tk. 15 each, pom pom or chandramallika (small) Tk. 10 to 20, and calendula Tk.60 to 70 per dozen. Chandramallikas are sold at Tk. 50, a bunch of ten orchids will cost Tk. 200 to 250. They have as many as 20 different colours of orchids. Rajani-golap garlands cost around Tk. 100 to 200. Kath Belir mala is available at Tk. 200 to 300 per hundred pieces and Rajani chain at Tk. 5 to 10 per piece for decorating bashor ghar. Rongon phool garland will cost Tk. 300 to 400 for 100 pieces.

Days of national solidarity, independence and mourning create a price hike of flowers. Unless you order ahead, chances are you will be left out buying flowers at a high price.

Some street rules for the Shahbag market. More you buy, the less you pay. So rather than buying flowers for yourself only, buy for a group. You need not buy the same colours, or types but buying in bulk will ease on your wallet. Check the flowers before buying them. It is not uncommon to find withered flowers in garlands or bunches. And finally, as we have already said…hunt early, prey in the hours of day break and win a bargain!

By Md. Shamiul Haque (Rossi)
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Shop Talk

Although we are not renowned as a nation of coffee drinkers, the winter season does bring along the need for a hot cup of coffee now and then, especially on chilly and foggy mornings. Among coffee producers, Nescafe has emerged as the leading brand, others making an occasional guest appearance at the shop counters. Original, Classic and Gold are the three Nestle coffee products available in the market. Prices vary from Tk. 300 to Tk. 800 per 200g of coffee, sufficient to give approximately 100 cups of beverage.

Maccoffee is another brand of medium roasted, granulated Arabica, which has just about the right caffeine content. This also gives 100 cups of coffee per 200g containers.

The Nescafe 3-in-1 sachet is also available for the benefit of those who want everything made easy. The sachets priced Tk. 5 has a combination of coffee, creamer and sugar to give you just the right taste of a cup of coffee.

Along with coffee comes its mate- creamer. Coffee whitener is especially formulated to give a smoother, more mellow, creamier cup of coffee. It also helps keep your beverage hot so you can savour the taste for longer. Nescafe coffee mate comes in 170g and 400g bottles costing Tk 100 and Tk 175 respectively. The 450g pack costs Tk 175.

Different multinational brands highlight their products but these are mostly outdated designs, with few options. However, the Philips HD 7448 is a good choice considering the price tag. At Tk 2800 you can have a machine, which brews coffee instantly. It has a detachable and dishwasher proof swing filter and holds up to 15 cups of coffee, which comes to no less than 1.7 litres of beverage. This particular machine consumes 1000 W of power and comes with a two years guarantee. The HD 7466 has a similar design and feature but has a less beverage capacity. Amongst the two designs of Philips, HD 7448 definitely stands out as the better deal.

A hot drink of coffee is never complete without a favourite mug. Archies and Hallmark galleries showcase a wide array of mugs but if you want a cheap deal, head to good old New Market. Haggling is a must for a good buy and look for any apparent production defects before paying for your purchase. Prices range between Tk 70 to Tk100.

Last but not least, we have coffee candy. Rich in carbohydrate and moderate on caffeine, these brown pieces are simply delicious. So when the need is high for coffee and theres none available, try out these sweet, caffeine tablets. It's as close to having the real thing! Price Tk 2 per piece.

By Barista

On The Cover

Come February and its flowers that we seek. From paying respect to our Language Martyrs, to wooing your beloved to brightening up your room or to adding a touch of vitality to even the dullest atmosphere, flowers are indispensable. Tuck a fresh bunch into a vase and watch your space light up.

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Check It Out

Aarong's handwoven splendour

This season, Aarong's latest addition to its winter collection is the huge array of cotton handloom fabrics. From soft pastel shades of blues to burgundy reds, vibrant pinks to regal plum, smoky greys to charcoal black, these fabrics come in different striking hues. Each fabric is exclusive for its intricate designs, colour combinations and woven textures. There is also a huge range of stoles and dupattas perfect to accessorize with a kurti or tops. One can easily mix and match these beautiful fabrics with dupattas to create their own unique pieces.

Wear handloom to not only create a fashion statement but also to contribute to the development of the handwoven textile industry of Bangladesh.

Aarong's cotton handloom fabric is available only at Gulshan Aarong outlet for a very limited period.

Italian buffet at Pan Pacific

Nothing says Italy like its food, and nothing says Italian food like pasta, pizza & tomato sauce. Pan Pacific Sonargaon has arranged for a week long Italian food promotion from 4th to 10th February 2008. A wide range of delicious Italian buffet delicacies is laid to satisfy your appetite.

Enjoy a delicious buffet dinner at their restaurant “CIAO”. The price starts from only Tk 1801++ per person (adult) and Tk.901++ (children below 12 years).

For reservations please call at 8111005 ext 4240.



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