Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home |Volume 5, Issue 49, Tuesday, December 14, 2010



Pala period comes alive @ Heritage Show 2010

From December 9 to December 11, Arts Council Dhaka organised an exhibition showcasing the ingenious works on the Pala period done by forty contemporary Bangladeshi artists.

The Arts Council has been holding art fairs for the previous two years in the aim of bringing young, creative artists together and giving them a platform to showcase their works. But this year, the organisation took it to a completely different level. It was thought that it would be a better idea to select and work on a particular concept or theme instead of individual artists bringing their individual works done on several things.

And the Arts Council planned to take this opportunity to display the lost glory of Pala- the magnificent artworks of that ancient period redefined by today's artists; an attempt to embrace our heritage.

Thus, an enthusiastic and passionate team visited Paharpur, where a lot of works of that era are found - an ideal place to investigate that period. After a lot of research, photography and exploration, the artists tried to reproduce the works of the Pala in their own way. The artists, borrowing the concepts, and inspired from the marvellous works, created their own versions of the art pieces, keeping in mind the culture and religion and the mindset of the people of that time.

“In my twenty-five to thirty years of experience, I think there has been no such heritage show on such a grand scale”, opined Jamil Akbar Shamim, one of the artists who took part in the exhibition.

Shamim's challenge was to work with the lost pieces of many of the artworks found. He tried to regenerate images or pieces of what could be, according to his perception, the complete work. Sometimes an artwork is found but the story behind it is missing; sometimes we have the story but the artwork is missing. Combining several sources of information and dimensions and using technology, he tried to present the complete picture.

There were many such interesting projects by other artists. Another artist, for example, produced many Buddha paintings. The Pala period was a time where Hinduism and Buddhism were practised and this was reflected by the paintings, sculptures and terracotta of that century. Hence, the heritage show had many mesmerising artworks of gods and goddesses in several themes in order to tell stories.

Among the mass people, the interest and attraction of our culture and heritage is on the wane. The rich past we had is much forgotten. Arts Council therefore stepped up to protect our heritage and publicise it, so that we understand the value of our heritage and how much it can give us in return, only if we properly utilise the resources. Maheen Khan, the chairperson of Arts Council Dhaka said in the event's brochure, “We want to share our cultural treasures in a modern world where we can try to champion our aesthetic roots and traditions and find our sense of identity.”

The word 'Pala' (commonly known as 'Pal'), literally means 'protector'. The rulers of that empire had this word as the suffix in their names. The 'protectors' are long gone, but they left inspiring valuables. Now, it is our turn to become the protector.

By M H Haider

22nd Installation of Inner Wheel Club, Dhanmondi

The 22nd Installation Ceremony of Inner Wheel Club of Dhanmondi took place on Tuesday, 7 December 2010. The function was held with much enthusiasm in the auditorium of Women's Voluntary Association Dhanmondi. Three new members joined the thriving Inner Wheel community amidst warm welcome from the current members and also former members. The former President was also present to pass on her duties to the newly installed President of the club. Chief Guest Tahera Muzaffer, Distrtict Chairman, District 328, Guest of Honour Sophia Kabir and special guest Selima Ahmed, President of BWCCI (Bangladesh Women's Chamber of Commerce and Industry) made the event even more noteworthy.

The programme started off with a recitation from the Holy Qu'ran followed by special prayers and then the National Anthem. Afterwards, bouquets of flowers were distributed among the various participants that also featured prominent Rotary Club members. Shawkat Ara Islam welcomed the President. The new President was then given the collar and charter by outgoing President Leena Taposhi Khan.

A heart-warming presentation of the children cared for by Inner Wheel Club was followed by tumultuous applause, the happy faces clearly indicating that they indeed felt joyous to be a part of the Club. Throughout the program the various members and guests emphasised Inner Wheel Club's main objectives of fostering friendship, serving the community and fostering international understanding. These three elements, especially that of friendship, remained evident throughout the whole evening.

Leena Taposhi, in her opening address, once more brought up the need of cultural events to promote the various programmes of Inner Wheel Club. The new President, Shawkat Ara Begum, also discussed her ideas for progression. Monwara Ali provided introduction for the Chief Guest whilst Atia Parveen did the honours for International Representative, Sufia Kabir. Towards the end, Special Guest Selima Ahmed took the platform. Awarded the Best Female Entrepreneur of Bangladesh, the beautiful Selima Ahmed brought some very interesting points to the fore. 'We are blessed with the opportunity of serving the community. Many people want to but do not have the opportunity, thus we should really be grateful for the chance.' She said. She also urged the members not to wait for favourable circumstances but rather to make the circumstances favourable. Finally, she emphasised the need to instil values of professionalism in all spheres of the project.

The wonderful evening ended with a song sung by the talented Leena Taposhi. It was rather interesting to learn what can be done when a community joins together in a united effort. Even though Inner Wheel membership is limited to spouses of Rotarians only, they have reached many a milestone and we hope they continue to serve the community even more in the near future.

By Osama Rahman

Rang turns 16

Their journey has been a story of success. From a meager beginning at Chashara, Narayanganj Rang now has over ten outlets spread across the city and also in Chittagong.

In the past sixteen years, Rang has played a significant role in setting the standards in the fashion industry. With stringent quality control and brilliant styles, designs and cuts, Rang has been able to create a niche amongst the fashionistas of the city.

The hallmarks of Rang's collection are the seasonal specials and also the attires that commemorate special occasions -- be it Pohela Boishakh or Tagore's birth anniversary. Their offers in saris, shalwar kamiz sets, ornas, blouses have grabbed the attention of socialites. Also noteworthy are household accessories that are showcased in their outlets.

On 20 December, Rang turns 16. Keeping the occasion in mind Rang will introduce special discount cards. Also available for their loyal clientele are gift vouchers. The entire Rang family hopes that they may serve the fashion conscious people for many more years to come.

Winter fashion from O2

O2, the fashion house for the youth, have brought out a collection of various designs with winter in mind. The line includes the quintessential winter wear-- jackets, coats and blazers, and also full-sleeve t-shirts, shirts and other casual wear made from materials that trap the heat to keep your body warm.

Women's jackets in cardigan styles and other such outfits have created in a fusion of western and traditional styles.

O2's winter line is available at three outlets: Tower Part, Level-4, Bashundhara City; RAK Tower, Uttara Sector-3; House 157, Road 12, Block E, Banani. #01730116311.

-LS Desk


Come now

By Iffat Nawaz

If I were to convince you to come to this land, and you would ask me to search and list reasons why, I wouldn't know perhaps, at first, the reasons why you must visit.

But if I sat down in a winter morning when the monsoon pretence danced wildly outside my window, drenching little sparrows in melancholy rain, I would write down a few things on a blank paper. I would write, come, come for the winter rain, the smell of the earth, the dust that draws on wood, come for the grey and songs, come for one minute of silence.

Come for the talk of freedom lingering around the month of December, come for the lies on television, come for the old song of history, come for freedom fighters, not the self promoting ones, but the ones who never speak, they never tell on the bad guys or the “good,” they themselves hide behind the lost, come for them.

Come for your father, your mother, and if not for them, come for mine. Come to visit old graves of people you didn't know, come for the future, come because we need to help them forget the past, the overused past, the advertised history, the fairy tales, the heroic versions, come to find the human stories, not of saviours but of survivors.

Come because the winter is short and the summers are long and all things are temporary. Come for the dry leaves stuck to the trees, punished so they can't turn colours or fall, come and see them suffer till spring hits early.

Come for the season's fresh red jaggery, come and have it melt in your mouth. Come for good service in bad restaurants, come for new deals on mobile phones, for new voices on the radio, and come for the street vendors and their everyday new products, come for the dolonchapas, swimming to shore with bright white and green.

Come for plays and pithas, come for weddings with various price tags, come for promises that people will make, come ready for tears that will pour out of nowhere onto your lap and scar you, stain your shirt. Come for grief, forever forever.

Come to fall in love, come to fall out of assumptions, come to hold a waist, a hand, a shoulder, curves, softly marked yours. Come whisper nothing into ears, come to throw away your heart in freedom's direction and see freedom throw it back at you.

Come to learn that liberation has lost its original meaning and ask a child about the meaning of independence. When he answers, let me know what he says because I need to learn the new definition as well. Come, to help me break ices, roads, skies, bread. Come to take me away.

Come because you should have been here a long time ago, come because they are all waiting for you, come step all over us, teach us a thing or two. Come before December leaves and we have another year to call our own. Come to live again, come ready, come strong, come to take away my excuses, come now.


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