Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 30, Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Special Feature

Books galore!

Buying books in Dhaka is not a straightforward task. Not all shops carry an equal number of Bangla and English titles; some specialise in English while others opt to keep more number of Bangla titles.

However, with bookshops such as PBS opening up, booklovers can now find a good blend of subjects -- all under one roof!

Although shopping for books is not a clear-cut task, that is not to say that Dhakaites are without choices when it comes to bookshops. There are bookshops all over Dhaka selling books of differing types, qualities and prices.

Zeenat Book Supply Ltd.

Zeenat at Dhaka New Market is a famous name among avid readers and non-readers alike. Established in 1963, this half-a-century old store maintains a good stock of imported and original books, which after all, is a hallmark of Zeenat.

Textbooks are usually not available, except for some textbooks on Architecture.

Specialising in English books, shelves at Zeenat are packed with books on a diverse range of subjects as philosophy, history, modern literature, fiction, classics, arts and social science. There is also a small selection of Bangla classics on offer, as are books for children and teenagers.

The prices range from Tk 100 to Tk 1000. “We sell the books at reduced prices, cutting down our profits,” said owner of Zeenat, SAS Muhammod Faisal.

Zeenat bookstore also offers special service to its loyal clients. “If our old customers request us to send a book to their address, we send them that book through courier service,” he said.


Without an iota of doubt, this is the place to be for medical text or reference books. At Parash Publishers, Dhaka New Market, you can get classic like Grey's Anatomy, books on pharmacy, herbal medicine and even veterinary medicine. It would not be wrong to term it as a “doctor's book store”.

Now celebrating 25 years in the business, Parash deals with original and imported titles, which is the underlying reason for their relatively high price. The prices range from Tk 1000 to an astounding 1.5 lakh sometimes.

Another reminder that 'medicine' is not for the faint-hearted.

The Bookworm

Adjacent to Bangladesh Air force Selection Centre at Old Airport Road, lies the small bookshop that has been there for the last seventeen years. The Bookworm attracts an upscale clientele, but the sheer quality of its collection brings book aficionados from in and around the city.

From timeless classics to latest reading trends of New York and London, the shelves are packed with titles that lure the readers to The Bookworm. They also maintain a good stock of non-fiction -- biographies to political essays.

Apart from a few Bangla works, the entire collection of The Bookworm is primarily in English. Discounts are offered on outdated editions and also to the loyal customers, said Md Zahurul Alam, a salesman of this bookstore. “We try to fulfil our clients' requirement and maintain good relation even if the book is not available at this bookstore,” he said.

The price range of the books at this store is from Tk450 to Tk4000 but one must keep in mind that The Bookworm is firm on their policy against piracy and hence promotes original editions, even if they are a little expensive.

Omni Books

Interestingly, it is a little known fact that popular bookseller Omni Books has its primary outlet inside the Dhaka International Airport. Their other venture is at Genetic Plaza, Level 3, House 16, Road 16 (new), Dhanmondi.

Omni got into the business of selling books in 2002 but has now expanded into embracing musical CDs and musical instruments at their Dhanmondi outlet. They also have a musical school. 'Omni books' has an excellent collection of autobiographies, as well as books on astrology, business and management, environment, defence, careers, computers, psychology, art, architecture, religion, health, science fiction, women & gender and children's education.

The Bangla section is relatively small compared with the wide range of English titles that are offered at Omni. Giving young readers a platform to meet and get together, Omni often arranges book launching programmes at the store premises.

Prices tend to be a little on the higher side, from Tk 100 to Tk 5000. Omni Books remains open from 10am to 8pm throughout the week.

Words 'n Pages

This is not your average bookstore. Not only does it stock books on myriad topics but Words 'n Pages also boast a wonderful collection of movies at its new location, house SW (B), Road 7, Gulshan 1.

Books on fiction, travelling, management, current affairs, women and gender, health and fitness, cookery, classics, biography, history, religion, art and architecture, Bangladesh, sports, film, music, defence, classics, lifestyle, beauty, self help, fashion and photography are available here.

Words n' Pages does not deal in text books and primarily devote their shelf spaces to English books. “In order to stop piracy Words 'n Pages buys books from its readers who have bought books from this store previously,” said Mustaq Ahmed, a salesman of this bookstore.

Words 'n Pages also issues gift vouchers with unlimited validity to encourage people to read. Although it does not generally provide discounts, they are sometimes given to loyal customers to maintain good relations.

The store remains open everyday from 10 am to 8 pm.


PBS Ltd is the first ever chain bookshop of international standard in Bangladesh. It is situated at 43, Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin Sarak (old 16 Shantinagar). This double-storey shop was launched in February this year.

One can search for books here using a touch screen system. An excellent section for Children's toys and a designated playing area for them, LCD monitors for gaming and watching cartoons, food court and a music station are factors that have set this store apart.

Fiction, non-fiction -- women and parenting, health and fitness, cooking, religion, business studies, humour, arts, current affairs and all academic books of schools, colleges and universities are available here. It also has a magazine section, which keeps all foreign periodicals on fashion, glamour and international politics..

“We provide the required book to our valued clients within seven days even if the book is not available,” said Administration Officer of PBS Ltd, Md. Shamim.

To attract a wide audience, PBS offers part-time job opportunities for university students. Another interesting aspect of the store is that it arranges 'Celebrity Adda' every month and this event is broadcast live on radio channels and covered by the media.

Price range of books at PBS is from Tk 35 to Tk 7000. This bookstore is open from 10am to 8pm everyday, and remains closed on Thursdays.

Sagar Publishers

“Tobuo Boi Porun”-- with this slogan of M R Akhter Mukul, Sagar Publishers, now a popular bookstore at Natak Sarani, New Baily Road, started its journey in 1987.

Known for its excellent collection of contemporary Bangla literature from both East and West Bengal, this bookstore also carries non-fiction, pictorial albums, DVDs and audio CDs, which primarily focuses on the liberation war.

Some imported English books on biography, history and children's book of stories, comics, puzzle and art are available here. The local books are sold here at a 20 percent discount. Each imported book contains a seal, so readers can change the book within 24 hours with books of same price.

“Sagar Publishers also sell drama tickets without charging any commission just to make itself culturally integrated,” said its proprietor Md Jakir Hossain Prodan Jewel.

The above are just a few of the many good bookstores in the city. To get the most out of them, you have to decide what you want and how much you want to spend on your purchase. According to these parameters, you will surely be able to find at least one bookstore to suit your needs.

By Mahtabi Zaman
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Shameem

Health wise

Perils for the better half

Shimu, twenty-two and a housewife, came to BSMMU at Dhaka to have a check-up for cervical cancer. She came from Tongi with swelling in her cervix and a complaint of unbearable pain.

There had been a discharge from her uterus for the last couple of days and this has been the second time Shimu had experienced such symptoms. It was two years ago that she first went through similar problems, which were mitigated by taking medicine.

Shimu got married eight years ago at the age of 14. Her first child is seven years of age and the second, three. Once experiencing gynaecological problems, it was with the suggestion of her elder sister that she came to this hospital to have a check up.

Early marriage, multiparous births, sexually transmitted diseases, lower socio-economic condition or lack of personal hygiene and non-existence of screening methods are considered the main reasons for higher incidence of cervical cancers in developing countries.

Cervical cancer is the second-most prevalent among all kinds of cancers in the world. It is the main reason of women's death in the developing countries. Early detection of such disease and its cure is very commonplace in developed countries while in the developing countries, in 80 per cent of cases, diseases are detected at the final stage.

Thirteen thousand new patients with cervical cancer are detected in Bangladesh every year, according to a survey conducted in 2002.

Another deathly blow that looms over women aged above 35 is breast cancer.

“Women who do not breastfeed their children, give birth after the age of thirty-five or have no child at all, marry after thirty, consume oily and fast food frequently, have history of cancer and family history of breast cancer, have had chronic hormonal treatment and been using contraceptive oral pills for a long time are at risk from breast cancer,” said Professor Ahmed Sayeed, secretary general of Bangladesh Cancer Society.

Both cervical and breast cancer have three stages of prevention. The first stage is screening or regular check-up; at the second stage there is early detection and treatment and the final stage is the last stage, which is in fact not prevention, but mitigation of hardship.

If check-ups are conducted regularly, symptoms detected early, and proper treatment given, timely prevention of breast cancer is possible in 80 per cent cases. Like other cancers, women with breast cancer come for treatment at the last stage in Bangladesh.

“If any one feels any hard growth, infection or any abnormal growth or secretion from and inside of the breast, they should go to any general physician for a check-up,” said Professor Ahmed Sayeed.

According to the hospital reports in Bangladesh, among all kinds of cancers of women, prevalence of cervical cancer is 25 percent, breast cancer is 17 percent and the rest 58 percent are other kinds of cancers.

Among the different cancers of reproductive Bangladeshi women, 70 percent are cervical and 30 percent are related with other reproductive organs.

Surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and treatments combining all these three are different treatments of these cancers. Bangladesh Cancer Institute, BSMMU, as well as 14 government medical colleges and 7 non-government medical colleges provide treatment for these two cancers.

Visual Inspection of Cervix with Acetic Acid (VIA) method is considered an effective method in the socio-economic context of Bangladesh. Using VIA method 10,224 people with cervical cancer were detected among 50,667 people between January 2005 and December 2009.

Women who are suspecting these cancers can visit BSMMU and can have free check-up service from 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, every working day.

A vaccine of cervical cancer was introduced in Bangladesh in 2009 in a limited form. This vaccination can reduce the power of human papilloma virus, responsible for cervical cancer. Three doses of this vaccine are given every six months. This vaccine is available at around Tk 8000 to Tk 10,000.

By Mahtabi Zaman


KFC @ Mirpur

Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) continues to spread its wings across Dhaka city, opening their seventh outlet at Mirpur 11 on the afternoon of June 22. The newest branch was launched by honourable MP Illias Mollah in the presence of a group of celebrities. In a speech to the assembled guests and media, Mollah lauded Mirpur's burgeoning development, the latest instance of which is the opening of KFC's outlet there.

Also present at the event was Akku Chowdhury, Executive Director, Transcom Foods Ltd., who said: “I am delighted to launch KFC at Mirpur. Mirpur has been an area of Dhaka that's rich in culture and heritage. Our new outlet is here to celebrate that heritage and I hope the people of Mirpur will welcome us warmly. I ensure the food lovers will enjoy our 11 secret spices recipe, and overall outstanding dining experience.”

Due to shortage of adequate power in the area, KFC Mirpur will take a few more months to operate at full capacity. Till October 2010, this outlet will be open from 3pm - 10pm every day. To ensure customers' comfort during this time, KFC has installed generators and a 2KVA hybrid solar power system to produce the required backup power.

The outlet has a seating capacity of 99 and also boasts a fully equipped play zone for children. So, for Mirpur residents wanting to enjoy great fast food, and especially great chicken, a high-standard option is just a hop and a skip away.


News Flash

Dorji Bari celebrates Friendship Day

This Friendship Day, like in previous years , fashion house Dorji Bari has made special arrangements for the occasion. Available at all Dorji Bari outlets are Men's shirts, pants, shorts panjabi, long panjabi, fatua, ties, as well as all kinds of casual wear. As always, this line is predominantly made from cotton keeping the summer heat in mind.

The dominant colour is dark, and the styles include shabby chic. All the clothes are designed by Fazlur Rahman.
Contact: #01675803776


Doutique Shadakalo is introducing suitable gifts for the coming Friendship Day on the first Sunday of August. Mugs, T-shirts and cards are available with excerpts of poems. Also available are friendship bands in an attractive gift box.

Available at all local Shadakalo outlets, along with their shop in New York.


Adroit is introducing a collection of dresses with new designs for all ahead of the friendship day. Different colours and combination of embroidery, appliqué, block, manual work, spray, hand paint and tie & die will be the highlight of the new arrivals. Sari, shalwar kameez, fatua, panjabi, shirt and T-shirt will be available in all its showrooms. Special discount are also on offer.

Price range of shalwar kameez is from Tk820 to Tk3850, sari from Tk490 to Tk14,450, fatua for woman from Tk295 to Tk1,180, men's panjabi from Tk520 to Tk3,500, men's fatua from Tk275 to Tk1050 and T-shirt from Tk150 to Tk950.
Dresses for children are available from Tk120 to Tk550.


To add more colour to friendship day, boutique Rang is introducing a special T-shirt. Designed in the memory of late Syed Zakir Iqbal, who was a true friend of Rang, the words 'Tribute for friend' feature on these shirts.

During the initial period of Rang, late Zakir Iqbal had significant contribution. He had selfless involvement in all aspects of Rang, starting from the logo to the product line.

The other products for this special day are saris, fatua and kurta for both boys and girls, CD of songs for friendship day, mugs, friendship bands and T-shirts.

The new dresses, available at all Rang showrooms, are available within Tk 260 to Tk 3,500.

Chandan- perfection for your wedding

In Bangladesh, weddings are not just the biggest event for a particular girl's or boy's life, the whole family goes through just as much excitement as the bride and groom.

Nowadays, more than the wedding, the holud is what is given more importance to. The holud is something that the family ends up planning for months before the occasion. The new trend is the dances set up for the holud by the bride/groom's younger brothers and sisters dedicated to the couple.

Some of the toughest things to deal with during a holud are the decisions on making the dalas, decorating the stage, finding the right accessories to fit the theme and mood of the event and so much more.

This is where Chandan saves the day! Chandan offers you holud accessories such as dalas. Dalas are something most people dread setting up since it has to be just perfect!

All these years, people had to make the dalas with different things such as cardboard boxes and more. Chandan gives you dalas made of satin; velvet and you have many more to choose from to suit your holud's theme. They also have everything you'll need for the seating arrangements of the bride and groom, such as piris and patis.

Other accessories include bowls and plates to keep the sweets and holud in and they all come in particular sets so you can mix and match.

After the long-awaited holud comes the grand finale - the wedding!

Chandan is also known to sell wedding accessories. Everything you will need for these important occasions, Chandan will help and also at reasonable prices. Not only does the store have accessories to help with the occasions but they also have fabulous bridal apparels and stunning clothes for the groom.

Situated in Gulshan #2, Road #103, for families that are going to go through a child's wedding for the first time, shopping at Chandan's will be of immense help. All you have to do is give them a call and tell them your wanted colours and accessories for the theme of your event and you'll have your needs ready in no time!

By Naziba Basher

Aarong Photo Frame

Check out Aarong's lovely line of elegant photo-frames and Jewellery boxes adorned in ever appealing Nakshikatha. Your cherished moments and valued jewels surely deserve the rare treat of a graceful touch of the timeless craft.

Available in various designs and three different sizes from large to small- the frames and the jewellery boxes are skillfully designed and well shielded. The depiction of birds and flowers, leafy trails and stitches on black, and the graceful play of subtle colours on white, would create an undying elegance to your treasures.

You can buy sets of frames and boxes or go for individual pieces however you like. Do not keep your photos and jewels devoid of such a luxury, go pick one now and take pride in our tradition.

Arabesque- a majestic Eid Collection from Aarong

Inspired by the motifs from Islamic art, Aarong's new attire range for the upcoming Eid, 'Arabesque' brings in majestic and graceful designs in saris and shalwar kameezes. Linear geometric motifs, abstract plant-based patterns and Arabic calligraphy combine to form Islamic ornamentation on the dresses. Interesting placements of the motifs on the outfits give them an out of the ordinary look and the range stands out as a unique assortment. Done on georgette, cashmillon, crepe silk, muslin and half silk; the collection of shalwar kameezes includes semi-dressy and dressy wears. A range of casual wears are also available in cotton and voile. The saris are dressy and done in silks. Various suitable colours in light to darker shades are used to complement the mood of the attires.

Check it out

Keep track of your car now!

Having a car, despite the obvious benefits, is a headache. You work hard, spend a hefty sum to purchase a car, and keep pumping money into it to pay for maintenance, fuel, etc. And yet, sadly enough, you have no assurance of its security!

The chauffeur may take side-trips to make a little money, wave off in any direction and misuse your car in any way he likes, and, worst of all, you might have your car stolen. This is very common these days. But there is a solution…

Your problem can be entirely erased. Kranti Triofil Limited's Realtrac is a Real Time GPS Tracking System that displays vehicle movements on your computer, displaying the location, route, stops and speed status online twenty-four hours a day, everyday. In case of theft, you can locate your vehicle, no matter where the thief takes it - with a GPS vehicle tracking system. After identifying the location, one can cut off the engine, and immediately notify the police.

To smoothen the process even more, the company came into a collaboration with the police: a control room is installed at the Detective & Crime branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Headquarters to oversee the movement of registered vehicles. The system also keeps a historical archive of your car's whereabouts and other statistics. And not just theft, with this system, you can ensure your car is not abused by the chauffeur, which, saves a lot of costs -- in terms of fuel, wear and tear, etc and also minimises numerous unwanted risks. All you have to do is install a device in your car. The whole system coordinates three technologies -- GPS, GPRS and GIS -- to bring you all the benefits. Install one today, and cut off a major source of tension from your life .

In this hectic life we lead, where a million things occupy our minds, we cannot afford to have such worries all the time. What we can afford is this Tracking System. Price of this device is approximately ten thousand; which is a smart investment, considering the value it provides. And still if you are not convinced, there's more: if you buy Realtrac, you get discount on your car insurance premium. For more information, call 9123273, 01678031177.

By M H Haider



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