Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 38, Tuesday September 30, 2008




Exciting Eid get-aways!

Everyone is busy getting fresh and dressing up well, lots of Eidi, and swaggering from one house to the other visiting friends and family.

To most, Eid-ul-Fitr is all about feasting after a month long of abstinence. The night before Eid, the chand raat, is in itself very exciting. Everyone goes out shopping, makes sweets or gets henna and buy box loads of coloured glass bangles. The houses are all spick-and-span, every so often flaunting new furniture. Many rush to the terrace to sight the new moon of joy.

Eid comes and goes but leaves its memories behind. Don't let the spirit of Eid fade away, and make the occasion extra memorable. Many people go to their home towns, or the familiar dialect, gramer bari. It is a wonderful idea to flee away from the hassle and relax in the sweet smelling meadows with all your relatives around. For those who are trapped behind in Dhaka, make the most out of your stay.

Here are some finicky picks of amazing places to hang out and rejoice on Eid days, be it with family, or friends!

Cineplex is a popular place in the city for most modern, comfortable, cinema viewing experience of Hollywood and quality local releases for the youth and family centered audiences. You can also grab some pop-corns, soft drinks or wide varieties of knick knacks from the concession stalls within the theatre to munch away during the show time. And after the show, you can enjoy a quality meal from the assortment of restaurants or fast food chains at level # 8 in Bashundhara City Mall.

Salt Grill is a new restaurant on the floor with luminous blue lights and aesthetic spacious interior that you can't miss spotting. It has a playing-zone for the children and a large multi-media projected screen ensuring full entertainment. Their yummy luscious combo burgers are worth a try.

Want to inculcate optimistic scientific temperament in the minds of your school-goers? Bhasani Novo Theatre is the place for you. Here you can acquire some knowledge along with entertainment. Besides the Planetarium Show a very exciting Ride Simulator, model of Planets of Solar System, Scientific Exhibits and some portraits of world-renowned Scientists and Scholars are also available at the situate. However, the institute remains closed on Wednesdays and other government holidays.

If you want to take a flight away from the common buildings and roads and get lost in an absolutely different world of frenzy, Fantasy Kingdom is the next stop for you. Located in Ashulia, this entire complex is themed as a mysterious Lost Kingdom comprising of unusual architectural landmarks that can be seen for miles around. The theme is carefully designed to blend large and dramatic buildings within a fantastic, imaginative landscaped setting. It has all the facilities you need for a great day out.

Get fanatical on the crazy rides like magic carpet or else giant splash or get astray with your better half on the tranquil boats while the little ones have a fun filled ride on the amusing merry-go-rounds. Beside Fantasy Kingdom is the Water Kingdom. This world class water theme park with a number of water slides, a wave pool, lazy river and facilities for smaller children bestows you a perfect escape from the straw-hat heat. Superb concerts, fashion shows and DJ shows spice up the experience in the Kingdoms.

If you do not want to head back home so soon, you can opt to have a BBQ or a good night's rest in the luxurious resort of Motel Atlantis, after the fun and frolics of the parks.

Did not have enough of water-fun? A day out on a cruise is exactly what you need! Sarina Cruise is another alternative to leave your mundane life behind and break out to a water therapy. The only floating restaurant in town is an ideal place to spend time. It certainly is a heaven for couples; with a very minimal entry fee which also includes drinks and other snacks of that range. Stationed in Ashulia BIWTA Terminal, the luxurious ship also offers seven hours' cruise- sailing. However, you need to book your reservations beforehand. "The ship can accommodate 80 persons in theatre style on the Main Deck, which can be extended to 90. The restaurant has a capacity for 60 persons which can be extended up to 70." said Zahedur Rahman, Assistant Manager-Food and Beverage, Hotel Sarina in an interview, adding "we offer complimentary live band in case of daylong cruise." Besides, Ashulia itself is a terrain of magnificence and makes a terrific boating place.

Sonargaon is a splendid location on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway. It was the seat of Deva Dynasty until the 13th century. From that century onward till the dawn of the Mughals, Sonargaon, also known as The City of Panam, was the subsidiary capital of the Sultanate of Bengal. Now, the relics of buildings of the old dynasties, Goaldia Mosque and the Folklore Zainul Abedin Museum that houses artifacts from every cultural trait of the country amplify the attractions of this place. Among the ancient monuments still intact are the Tomb of Sultan Ghiasuddin and the shrines of Panjpirs and Shah Abdul Alia. This setting along with lovely gardens also makes a great picnic spot.

National Martyrs Memorial in Nabinagar, Savar is really a scenic beauty of 108 acre of land which is also a symbol of Bengali nationalism. Make yourself and your children feel patriotic with a visit to this memorial.

Bhawal National Park in Gazipur is a vast national recreational forest with Picnic spots; jungles of Gajari trees surrounded by a beautiful lake. You can also take pleasure in the boat and horse rides here.

If you are willing to travel a little further, Gajni Parjatan Center is 220 km far from Dhaka. Bask in the beauty of nature including hills, lakes, forest and lots of birds; it is a natural tourist spot where you can see the tribal life of our indeginious people. You can enjoy boating in the lake and also there is a natural waterfall. If you are lucky enough you can spot the wild elephants in the forests.

Modhupur picnic spot is 155 km from Dhaka and is of great historical importance. There are good picnic spots in the area around Savar and Mirzapur. Other beauty spots connected by road with Dhaka include Joydevpur, Sripur, Madhupur, Rajendrapur National Park, Chandra and Salna, all of which have rest houses that can be used by tourists or visitors on request to the Forest Department. Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation owns two picnic spots with Bunglows at Chandra and Salna, which can also be hired.

Now that you know where to go to get a hold of all the rewardingly enjoyable Eid experience, get going and start planning, Eid is knocking at your door. Eid Mubarak!

By Zion Ara Hamid
Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain
Thanks to Star Holiday Archive


A good deed a day

Possibly the greatest teaching of Ramadan is to believe in Allah, the one true god and discovering humility through piety. The good-hearted nature that we have discovered in Ramadan, is a feeling that should spread across our lives.

The following are just a tip of the iceberg of good deeds that we should embrace as part of our daily lives. Every action done with the best of intention is a good deed. The reward is great, in this life or the hereafter.

Helping the aged is an act sure to bring truckloads of benefits your way. Don't hesitate to reach out whenever you spot an aged person having trouble carrying his load of groceries or help your elderly neighbour by volunteering to go the bank to pay her bills.

No matter how badly you feel the urge to yell at someone who has done something extremely wrong, be careful in choosing your words and do not be harsh or rude. Calmly explain the problem to him or her.

The importance of being kind and helpful to neighbours cannot be overrated.

Feed some needy people. You don't have to prepare elaborate three-course meals, but do care to provide them with healthy and filling food items.

Criticizing and badmouthing people is a big NO. On the other hand, do not be reluctant in speaking out in favour of those who deserve appreciation.

Keep some packets of biscuits or crisps and chips in your bag to hand out to the illustrious little ones who start learning the hard lessons of life at a very tender age, by selling candies and flowers on the streets.

Plant a tree. Each time a person or an animal sits under its shade or eats from the tree, you will be showered with Allah's mercy.

None of you should look down upon the gift sent by your neighbour. Up hold the spirit of Islam in the act of sharing.

Do something special to bring a smile to your siblings' faces and bask in the warmth of bonding.

If you look around carefully, you will most certainly lay your eyes on a family or household who are living in dire conditions. This may be your chauffeur's family or a random household in the nearby slum. Act as their secret guardian angel for a day and leave them an anonymous envelope with some cash that they can spend to make their day a little brighter and more cheerful.

Donate a wheelchair to your nearest hospital or clinic. Every time it helps an ailing person, you will be blessed.

And lastly, make sure that the house help has enough provisions for this Eid.

By Wasia Mehnaz Minna



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