Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 50, Tuesday January 20, 2008



Dearest diary,
There are certain things in life that go hand in hand. Say for example...women and romance. This killer combo is absolutely unbreakable. We women tend to run after this myth with a single-minded obsession for some sort of return. And how I have come to this mind frame is to once again have a flashback of my childhood. During my teenage years when my hormonal tsunami was released, I fed myself a staple literary diet of Mills and Boon romance stories. Then when my actual knight in shining armour arrived, my romantic expectations were sky high. To cut a long story short, all I can say is....men should have themselves classified before they embark on their journey of the heart. You know how we say....he is a non-smoker, a non-drinker, a non-shopper, and mostly a non-romancer. They should have a little badge stuck on them before they lull us into a false sense of security and then...BAM! It hits us.

My poor man, bombarded with not-so-subtle hints over the years eventually tried to come up with his own brand of romance (bless him), and today diary I want to share with you some of his hard thought out romantic gestures.

The year was 1984, our first wedding anniversary. As he came home that evening with a big box in tow, I was very excited. Then, with very much like the flourish of a matadors cape, he showed me the present...a brand 'new' second-hand VCR. Diary, in case you have forgotten what VCR stands for, let me refresh your memory...video cassette recorder.

A gadget buff himself, thought it to be the ideal gift for the both of us. At that time I actually felt quite grown-up owning a VCR. But later I realised it was not the done thing. There should have been candles, dinners, flowers...not a TV dinner at home watching Grease.

Anyway my second jolt came on our 8th anniversary. This time however the build-up was fabulous. A small box, expensive looking wrapping paper, fancy ribbon. The heaviness of the box should have been my smoke signal for not to get so excited. Earrings or a ring would not weigh so much. But I had thrown caution to the wind and opened the box eagerly. To this day I marvel at myself how I kept my face straight long enough to ask him, what it was. It was a small, square, clear heavy piece of crystal with a thumb print size dent in the middle. And here I was quickly thinking...."is it a paper weight or some fancy rock...what?" And then next to it I spy a small little spoon in the midst of the crackling tissue wrapping. Then looking at my still bewildered expression, my MOTH (man of the house) decided to help me out. He then explained how we had a nice dinner set and some nice cutlery and the only thing missing was a...salt server. So he bought me something to serve...salt. Diary, I am no Xanthippe (Socrates scolding wife), but that day...I could have turned into one very easily.

So by this time I have given up on romance from his side, thinking that I have enough for the both of us. As our 25th was arriving we planned a quiet get-together with our son in Canada. Again to cut a long story short, due to a family crisis our plans were stalled and my husband had to return to Dhaka a day ahead of me, and I, actually on the D-day was sitting in Heathrow making moony eyes at Hrithik Rowshan instead of him.

So as my BA flight landed at some outlandish time as three in the morning, I was just happy to be home. Feeling all tired and grimy, as I was about to enter my bedroom, I was absolutely transfixed. The room was filled with flowers and there was this lace like flower curtain surrounding my bed. And it did not end there...there was this huge red heart, made of red rose petals on the centre of the bed. As I was taking all this in...the only thought that was crowding my head was...."what are the house help thinking?" So to make sure that nothing like the hindi movie happens, no bruised petals and no tousled bed, I promptly fell asleep on the couch. But it was so cute. I was really touched by his and my sister's effort.

So today I am going to do the ultimate embarrassing proclamation of romance. I am going to wish my man a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY on newsprint. SURPRISE!

And to put my 'romantic' point across, I would like to say (the cheesiest line from a Hollywood flick) "you complete me", and from the top of my head, "it has been nice growing old with you buddy."

Happy Birthday once again sweetie, and...um…do not even try to upstage this stunt of mine, because I think I have clinched the deal in the romance sector for the next 25 years at least.

So have a good day the Sam Q way.

Cakey chocolate sandwiches
A creamy filling sandwiched between chewy cookies make these like a miniature version of a well known cookie.

½ cup butter
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp yoghurt
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp whipped cream

In large bowl beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg yolk. Beat in yoghurt and vanilla. In separate bowl whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir into butter mixture to make smooth dough.
Roll into (1 tsp) balls, arrange 2 inches apart on baking tray, and flatten into 1-inch rounds. Bake in 350 F oven for 5 to 6 minutes or until firm to the touch. Let it cool.
Filling: In small bowl beat butter until fluffy, beat in sugar and cream until smooth. Spread over half the cookies and sandwich with the rest of the remaining cookies.

Check it out

Bridge over troubled waters

THE new bridge connecting Banani with Gulshan is a welcome addition for residents of the area. Inaugurated on December, last year the bridge became the third connecting Banani with greater Gulshan. The previous two were both densely populated, and so highly prone to traffic congestion.

The bridge starts from the eastern end of Banani road 11, a road that is gradually becoming busier. Cars cross the bridge from Banani enter Gulshan 2 through two roads, road 41 and 43. From the Gulshan end cars approach the bridge from a different road, thus avoiding two-way traffic in the small alleys that make up the roads of the residential area. This has ensured that there is not much traffic congestion in the narrow streets.

Although the bridge does not completely solve the problem of congestion in Gulshan and Banani, it eases the pressure on the two other bridges, which are on the main thoroughfares. Previously, all the traffic crossing from Mohakhali or Banani to Gulshan were concentrated on the two bridges. Other than its functionality, the bridge is also pleasing on the eyes, lending the area some much-needed beautification. A common sight near the bridge is that of young people hanging out there and soaking up the atmosphere.

Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed



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