Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 51, Tuesday, December 28, 2010




A seasonal affair


Rajib and at least a dozen others in Azimpur colony have completed Junior Secondary Certificate (JSC) examination this year and with plenty of time on their hands, play badminton at the colony playground. This is an annual ritual really, where the whole community chips in to prepare a badminton court, buy provisions required such as lights and also sporting accessories like the net and racquets.

Rajib's friend, Dhiman said, “We all contributed Tk100-150 each and our total collection was around Tk1200.” They spent the money to install a lighting system, to buy a net and the shuttlecocks. “Everyday we need five to six shuttlecocks and we have to spend a good amount of money for this purpose,” he said. “This time of the year is really a very good time for us, because in other seasons of the year we, the city dwellers, don't have any kind of physical exercise,”

Lke Rajib and his friends, people aged between seven to fifty are seen playing this winter sport wherever there is space. In such a densely populated city, where finding space for any recreational sport is difficult, people somehow make space for badminton, no matter how small. As they say, youth is uncontainable, because even with such limitations the young boys somehow manage to play their sport of choice.

If you go around the city in the evenings you will find boys playing badminton on the streets, on grounds recently made vacant for construction work, or on the rooftops of apartment buildings. Children who are not allowed to go outside, play badminton in their rooms, verandahs or rooftops.

Badminton is not an indigenous game. It was invented long ago; a form of sport played in ancient Greece and Egypt. Badminton came from a child's game called Battledore and Shuttlecock, in which two players hit a feathered shuttlecock back and forth with tiny rackets. Badminton quickly spread from England to the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and made big strides in Europe.

Why do Bangladeshis play this game in winter? Sajib, an LLB student at Demra was quick to answer, “Because, when we sweat after playing the game we don't feel tired or fatigued in winter.” Why do people feel more interested to play badminton rather than any other game? To answer this question, Wasi, a private university student residing at Banani answered, “There is not much wind during the Bangladeshi winter, which helps to control the shuttlecock.”

Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players (singles) or two opposing pairs (doubles), who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court that is divided by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquets so that it passes over the net and lands in their opponents' half of the court. Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes over the net. A rally ends once the shuttlecock has landed on the floor.

The shuttlecock (or shuttle) is a feathered projectile whose unique aerodynamic properties cause it to fly differently from the balls used in most racquet sports; in particular, the feathers create much higher drag, causing the shuttlecock to decelerate more rapidly than a ball. Shuttlecocks have a much higher top speed, when compared to other racquet sports. Because shuttlecock flight is affected by wind, competitive badminton is played indoors. Badminton is also played outdoors as a casual recreational activity, often as a garden or beach game.

Bangladeshi boys are very enthused about playing badminton, as observed every winter. The limitations of growing up into a good badminton player in this country is that there is lack of family support as it is a very costly game, and also, lack of sufficient space for exercise and adequate institutional support. But that does not deter people enjoying spending time striking the shuttlecock up in the air, whenever and wherever possible.

By Mahtabi Zaman
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


To catch a fish!

A hunter needs his equipment, so does a fisherman. An angler needs his fishing tackle- the equipments needed for fishing. If you're an angler, you'll need a fishing rod, fishing reel, fishing line, fishing hook and float.

The ideal places to buy these are from Fakirapul and Chokbazaar. The latter is mainly known for wholesale while Fakirapul sells for both wholesale and retail. But if you are an individual buyer you need not bother about it.

In Fakirapul, there are two shops specialising in such equipment: King Fisher Fishing Tackle Store and Kabir & Brothers. Both are located in D. I. T. Extension Road, Naya Paltan, Fakirapul.

Fishing rod
There are mainly two types - telescopic rod and two-part rod. The first type can open up to a very long rod and also collapse down to a small one, just like a telescope. The latter kind, the two-part fishing rod, is folded into half for convenience. When needed, you simply unfold for a longer rod. Prices start from around five hundred taka, and can rise to as high as six thousand. But if you are getting a local one, a budget as low as Tk100 -120 will do.

Fishing reel
This device you have to attach to the fishing rod works as the spinning reel for the “thread”. Local ones cost between Tk150 to 600; foreign fishing reels can be quite expensive, similar to that of fishing rods - Tk500 - 6000.

Fishing line
This is basically the “thread” we were talking about- the cord used for angling. Fishing lines come in two forms. If you go for one in a coil system, it'll cost around Tk40 - 50. Fishing lines (100 meters to 150 meters in length) on a reel system cost Tk150 - 250.

This is nothing but the bite indicator that alerts you that a fish is eating the bait. Local ones cost Tk10 maximum, whilst imported ones are about Tk35.

Fishing hook
A very important part of fishing tackle indeed! Hooks come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the type of fish you hunt. A packet of fishing hooks has a price tag between Tk30 to Tk100.

Fishing bait
This can be found in stores as well as the sites for angling. Prices can vary widely depending on the type of bait you buy. For example, a kilogram of ant eggs (which is quite a yummy treat for fish!), will cost you about Tk300. But you can always go with your own source, like bread, grasshoppers, worm and so on.

By M H Haider
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


Bibi at Brussels

Model presenting the work and creation of Bibi Russell at the TEDx conference in Brussels

Twelve years ago Bibi Russell returned to Bangladesh to preserve the ancient craft of hand-weaving. She pays thousands of impoverished women all over Bangladesh to weave materials for her which she uses in her own line of designer clothing.

With the set up in 1995 of Bibi Productions, she has given the Bangladeshi weavers and artisans the golden opportunity to utilise their considerable skills and talents to achieve economic survival and to build towards a prosperous future.



home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2010 The Daily Star