Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5 Issue 10, Tuesday, March 9, 2010




Eulogy for Sharukh

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
- W. H. Auden

THE atmosphere of the memorial service was befitting; arranged at Bokultola, Charukola one could hear the cuckoo sing at a nearby tree, and family, friends and business associates of the late Shahrukh Shahid share their thoughts on the untimely demise of this creative individual.

Shahrukh Shahid was a renowned fashion designer of this country and one of the pioneers who took the initiative to harness the need for fashion houses, and designer boutiques back in the late nineteen eighties.

With a degree in Fine Arts from the Jamia Millia Islamia University Delhi, he first ventured into the art scene with an exhibition of Moghul Miniature Paintings on earthen pots. He later extended his canvas to the anchal of saris, kameezes and panjabis for men.

Reminiscing their experiences with this designer, Bibi Russell expressed grief on his untimely demise. “A designer needs to establish a niche, experiment with ideas and thus create an identity” she said, and added, “but this requires time to mature, time to play with thoughts. A life cut short, brings a sad end to such endless possibilities.”

Singer Mita Haq shared her experiences with Sharukh during the golden days of Liberation War, when they had all fled to the ancestral home of Shahrukh's mother. With deep emotions she recollected how as children they played games of 'War'.

Shahrukh had a fascination for black, but with his brush strokes brought colours to so many lives. Khalid Mahmud Khan of Kay Kraft read out a sketch of his life, how he began his work, his masterful execution of traditional motifs in unconventional colours- the vibrant hues that upheld the vivacity of life.

Shahrukh Shahid will forever be remembered for his exquisite execution of traditional styles on traditional garbs; his love for his friends, adda and music. In the recent past, he ventured into the field of creating poetry and also presented himself as a playwright.

He was a man of many talents and he will be remembered for the many facets he explored, but mostly he will be remembered as an exceptional human being.

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif

News Flash

Signature Laila…

SHE is evergreen. Born in an illustrious family that nurtured her love for music, she made her singing debut at the age of six. When only eleven and half, she made her first disk for an Urdu film. By her teens, she had a large fan following, not only for the powerful voice she possessed but also for the charisma, the grace and the appeal that was her signature. She is none other than Runa Laila.

For more than four decades she has enthralled the audience and now set to come forth with her ensemble designer wear, “Signature Collection by Runa Laila” at Etc Fashion Exclusives.

In connection to celebrating International Women's Day a fashion show was organised by Etc. that featured an extensive line of shalwar kameezes, kurtis and saris- Signature by Runa Laila.

The show opened with a vibrant segment on shalwar kameez. In eclectic colours and vibrant tones the dresses dazzled the A-list, small audience. Perfect for cocktails and as evening wear, her collection presented intricate works of zardosi, sequins and bead-work. The crowd gave a hand of applause as a model tread the walkway wearing a turquoise and off white shalwar kameez with elaborate appendage of diamontes and pearls.

The saris too carried her signature mark and showed a reflection of her taste and aura.

Of special note was an emerald sari, accentuated by elaborate leaf and floral patterns in the paar and anchal.

Prices for these creative creations are slightly on the upper side but one must not forget the graceful touch that went behind in these creations by none other than the diva herself. Signature Laila, holds promise and is sure to enthrall the fashionistas in the coming times, just as the creator herself has captivated the audiences for such long years.

By Mannan Mashhur Zarif

For the love of food
By Kaniska Chakraborty

Winter wonders

WINTER has left the town. It will be back next year. Hopefully, bigger and better.

This year, it was definitely bigger and better than the last one around. I am talking of Kolkata, where we were going through a winter withdrawal syndrome for the last couple of years. We, in the relative comfort of our air conditioned offices and cars, were discussing the effect of all that emission on nature and how that is making Kolkata a warmer place.

We were lamenting the all too short season for fresh herbs (the English kind you know, celery, parsley and the likes). So, understandably, we were delirious when winter did not make us unhappy this year.

A stint of little more than two months with temperatures hovering around 12-14 degrees Celsius is not bad at all. And with the extended winter came an extended eating binge.

The parties, both planned and impromptu. The eating outs. The frequent shopping trips. But one experience stood out in my mind, which defined winter to me this time.

It happened in Delhi- most avoidable during winter.

Bitterly cold, enveloped in rolling fog, Delhi is an intimidating city in the winter. You need to be well layered with warm clothes. Merely being well padded (as in my case) does not help at all. Adipose is most inadequate when it comes to fighting chill. Despite all that, I found myself in Delhi, in the middle of the worst fog spell in nine years, with two colleagues, waiting for our client's flight to arrive.

The flight arrived about 12 hours late and we were forced to stay back for an additional day. Having finished business, we got down to real business. Getting sweets that Delhi is so famous for. Unfortunately, we were in Gurgaon, which is, well, Delhi but not quite so.

It has innumerable malls, major highways, lots of businesses, expensive real estates, but very few sweet shops besides the usual highway eateries. After having driven for many miles, we ended up in one small shopping centre, somewhere deep inside Gurgaon, and saw a shop boldly advertising kulfi, in my mind, the best of ice creams when done right.

I went in and found out that there were many varieties available. I chose the house special 'saffron kulfi.'I was asked to wait for five minutes. At the end of the wait, I was handed a large transparent plastic bowl.

It was overflowing with objects large scoops of creamy, nut studded kulfi, lurid yellow cellophane noodles, even much more yellow saffron sauce. Topped with the ubiquitous red cherry. It looked more like a work of modern abstract art than an Indian ice cream sundae. Bit into it. The softness and denseness of the kulfi, the slurpiness of the cellophane noodles, the squish of the thick saffron sauce, aptly punctuated by the mild bite of pistachios, all very sweet, all very Indian, all very comforting.

My epiphany complete, we went off to the airport and bought sweets from a large chain that has a branch at the departure lounge. The kulfi, with all the trappings, epitomised winter. Comforting, tasty, filling and colourful.

What more could I have asked for?



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