Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5 Issue 38, Tuesday, September 28, 2010



Style Check

Strings of fashion

Strings made of pearls and uncut stones are the new 'in thing' in the world of fashion. As a matter of fact, it has been so for quite a while and it's not ready to go down in the list anytime soon! What's amazing about them is that they go with absolutely anything.

Pearl necklaces always bring elegance to your attire. Pearls, in all their pristine purity, are the most resplendent of jewels. The strings can be made of many different kinds of pearls - white, pink, black. Pearls are the perfect things to wear at a classy outing where you want everyone's eyes fixated on you!

What's fabulous about the ones made of uncut and semi precious stones is that it goes with absolutely any attire you want to look fashionable in. Pants, skirts, saris, kameezes, you name it. They can be found in almost any colour you want and they're good enough to keep people staring at your neck for hours.

The indefinite shine of the uncut stones brings a different kind of glamour to your fashion. Found as a single strand or more than 10-15 strands together, they're perfect for any occasion.

You can also mix and match and wear bright colours with darker coloured clothes to make a strong fashion statement.

A lot of stores around Dhaka sell pearls and stones strings. Bashundhara City, for one, has countless jewellery stores with these unique strings used as the main attraction for buyers. They are also available in Rifles Square and lots of other big shopping malls.

The market at Gulshan #2 also has a little store filled with these charming pieces of jewellery. You can never get enough stares when you have something of this sort hanging by your neck, so if you're planning on buying some make sure you're ready to feel like a superstar!

By Naziba Basher
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Model: Chaitee
Makeup: Hasna Rahman

By the time I sat down to write, my insides had turned into salt. It was the fourth day in the depths of the Sundarbans, on the western side, near the border of India. The saline water had splashed my dust covered face innumerable times by now. I felt the contended mixing of salt and sand on my face; my lips tasted like blood. There was a cut somewhere but I couldn't find it.

A tiger had been seen in a village nearby. He had taken a woman as his prey eight days earlier. She had gone to the forest to cut some wood, so she could boil four potatoes for dinner, one for her, two for her husband and one for their son. It was the standard daily meal, what the average villager was convinced to be satisfied with, one boiled potato with "kacha marich" per day.

That day the potatoes remained un-boiled, her striped sari disappeared with the stripes of the Royal Bengal Tiger. Her family had rice the next day, the entire village chipped in for a decent meal for the funeral and her son and husband went home mourning with full stomachs.

The tiger will be back any day everyone said. And I hoped it would be soon so I could get a glimpse of the magnificent beast. I hoped my body would smell less like salt and more like water, I hoped I could find that cut in my body and dress it before the meeting with the tiger, so he didn't find me more palatable than I actually was.

At night I would strip down to nothing in my little cabin, the smell of shrimps hung heavy in the air, the little fan dragged his feet wanting to quit any minute. The staff of the boat roamed around outside cursing tigers and humans.

I lit a candle to inspect my body, to find my wound but there was no sign of a cut, yet I could smell the blood on my breath, I could almost feel the wound with my fingers. But there was no red, yet it hurt, especially when the salt from my inside rubbed the wound.

When I sat down to write the boat was moving towards the border of south, my skin was peeling as a result of the sun's overpowering lust. I was no good, there were not many days left I knew. I had to write something, anything, before it was all over. Before I came to any border, before I puked blood the colour of salt and water, I had to write it down.

The sins took two pages, the confessions took twenty, the will took two lines, and the regrets stayed inside the pen. I wrote a nice letter to the ones I love without addressing any of them directly, “let it remain a mystery” I thought.

That night when the tiger came, he found my cut, he licked my wound, I put my arms around his neck, he carried me into the depth of the Sundarbans, a fisherman sang a sad song, like they usually do. I saw no more.


Special Feature

night bazaars

It was a starry night with the full moon hanging low on the Western sky; a fisherman standing on the banks of Padma was docking his boat to bring home his day's catch. The soft waves made their tired last splashes on the fisherman's bare feet as he pulled his boat to shore; and one by one the other trawlers made their queue.

Just at the crack of dawn, when the sky was a hue of lapis lazuri, the crow's first cry of the day brought to life Mawa Ghat's fish market. The traders and fishermen line their bounties to shanties that were dead silent only a few minutes ago and amazingly came to life in a matter of split seconds, literally rising out of the darkness of the night.

As the bidding starts, the fisherman puts up his treasures for sale and the auction begins, and only within a few minutes of frenzied action and rapid, synchronised movements, our fisherman has his day's earning.

His story ends here for the day and mine begins. I walk around in a hypnotic spell: I am totally lost among all these hyperactive transactions that are completed within seconds. The lively ghat is bustling with activity and a young lad of hardly ten years, who happens to be a broker, assures me that he will get me my most fancied fish, the almost extinct 'ritha'.

We bid at the auction and lose; we bargain with the seller and lose. But I bag big slivers of silver, the treasured hilsha, gorgeous blue lobsters and shrimps, delicacies like sweet water pabdas, kajilis and kaikas and still the elusive ritha remains out of my reach.

I return very content but with a definite longing for another trip back to Mawa Ghat.

Dhaka nights are romantic, you have to agree with me on that; after midnight the city comes to life from a totally different perspective. I love the neon lights and their glow that gives the night a dreamy aura, and these outings are always double the fun because of the night bazaars.

You can be bold and head out to Comilla for a late dinner of beef bhuna and paratha in one of those restaurants where the buses make their stoppage. Crossing the Jamuna Bridge with Sirajganj beckoning or you might try the awesome food at Aricha ghat. And always drop by these haats at dawn for an offering of organic produce straight from the villagers' backyards. But you can also forget all these long routes and simply make a trip to Karwan Bazaar to get a bag full of fresh produce while the trucks are still unloading, then a late dinner of pigeons and parathas at Three Star in Maghbazar.

However, the hilsa fry, by chef Mujibur Sheik at the Bangha restaurant in Mawa Ferry Ghat, with piping hot rice and tempered red chilies in mustard oil tops the list and returning home with crates full of fresh fish just adds to the euphoria.

So here's to night bazaars and dreamy nightly sojourns.

By Raffat Binte Rashid
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed



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