Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 6, Issue 05, Tuesday, February 01, 2011















Scintillating flowers and feathers of the forests

Like all endeavours of Bengal Gallery, the latest one on conservation of forests was also a superb exhibition. This comprised of paintings of twelve senior local artists, including Qayyum Chowdhry, Hashem Khan, Rafiqun Nabi, Nasreen Begum and Kanak Champa Chakma.

Rafiqun Nabi believes that good drawing is the basic need for fine artwork, being trained by master artists like Zainul Abedin, Safiuddin and Mohammed Kibria. His overseas studies at Athens added to this belief.

With swift lines of the basic colours, with pastel shades to fill the rest of the void, along with other essential inclusions of the Dhaka scenario, Nabi builds a veritable Arcadia in the capital city, although some may feel that the metropolis is nothing but a cage of cement jungles.

Kalidas Karmakar, who has studied at different places, like Kolkata, France, Poland and Japan said, "I attended many residencies and got scholarships and fellowships. I had interactions with the influences of the countries that I went to. As a student, I always dreamed that I would study old and contemporary masters of art, whose work I saw in books. My roots and my development in my own country are the origins that are reflected in my work in different ways."

Hashem Khan, speaking about his work, had many inspiring and interesting things to say about his style and subjects. In doing so, he obviously brought in his background and sources of inspiration. Asked to speak about his nostalgic works, paintings and collages, Hashem Khan said that an artist is after all a human being and it is normal that the kites, boats, flowers, and grass that appear so often in his works, and for which he was famous, are an integral part of nostalgia which is obviously what a senior artist like himself often dwells on. He does not only concentrate on collages, watercolours and oils, but opts for mixed media too.

When working, the female figure is featured on my canvas quite prominently,” says Farida Zaman, on whom an interesting documentary has been made recently.” I work with female emotions but this is done subconsciously. Very often I portray the fisherwoman. I feel that women can work wonderfully, and are struggling hard, side by side with men. When I first went to study in Baroda I noticed women's participation in our economic and social life. I was amazed at their tenacity and dedication. I normally also bring in moonlight, weeds, flowers and water into my work.”

Farida herself has had to struggle in life. “When I began painting I knew that I would have to put up a fight. In order to study my subject deeply and closely, I've had to struggle. I enjoyed my work and so kept up with it. Since the time I painted, I studied life in my country and transformed what I saw into paint on canvas and paper,” says Farida.

Kanak Champa Chakma's comes from Rangamati. She presents her subjects with great care on each canvas and focuses on mixed-media, framed with soft or sharp bars. The figures are held within frames, while motifs are added with imagination, care and perfection.

Nasreen Begum's ongoing exhibition at the Bengal Foundation is buoyant and confident. It is scintillating with joyful colours and happy images as it reflects a phase in Nasreen's life that is now peaceful and meaningful. She has struggled hard through the years to come to the stage of being the head of Oriental Art and rightly deserves the place, going by the successful exhibition with its numerous paintings; each piece a gem on its own.

Each of the entrees in the exhibit was worth admiring and keeping in on one's collection.

By Fayza Haq


Nurture yourself with honey

The benefits of honey for health, beauty and overall well-being can be a wonder to many people, although sometimes it is overlooked or even misunderstood by some. But the fact is that anyone would be amazed to discover the myriad benefits that honey offers. It is very well known for its healing properties, and is used in a lot of products, for various purposes.

The American company "Forever Living Products" has hit the Bangladeshi market with its three bee honey products, which are: Forever Bee Pollen, Forever Bee Propolis and Forever Royal Jelly.

Pollen comprises of germ cells of flowers. Bees gather and bring it back to their hives for food. Without pollen, plants, trees and flowers could not exist; even we depend on it.

Forever Bee Pollen is gathered in specially designed stainless steel collectors from the blossoms that blanket remote, high desert regions. This ensures the freshest and most potent natural food. Forever Bee Pollen is all-natural and contains no preservatives, artificial flavours, or colours.

Bee Pollen is readily digestible and easily absorbed by the human body. Research by scientists suggests that Bee Pollen provides energy and may enhance stamina. This product is priced at Tk975.

When we think of bees, honey and pollen are foremost in our thoughts. Yet another important substance, propolis, is a sticky resin collected by bees. Honeybees collect and metabolise the propolis, then line their hives with it to protect the hive. It's so effective, the interior of the beehive has been found to be safer than most operating rooms.

The name Propolis is derived from the Greek meaning “before the city,” signifying that propolis defended the entire community from external threat. Propolis has a 5000 year history. The Assyrians and the Greeks used propolis to help maintain good health. Fortified with royal jelly, Forever Bee Propolis is an excellent way to help support the body's natural defences.

Forever Bee Propolis is gathered from pollution-free regions. To further assure purity, specially designed bee propolis collectors are used. Priced at Tk2041, Forever Bee Propolis is 100 percent natural with no added preservatives or artificial colours.

Royal Jelly is a substance derived from the pharyngeal glands of the honeybee. This “super food” of the bees is specially blended with enzymes and fed to each bee destined to become a queen. It is the exclusive food of the queen bee throughout her highly productive life, enabling her to lay up to 3,000 eggs per day during her six-year lifespan. Worker bees eating ordinary honey live only four to six weeks.

Royal Jelly can help support the immune system, increase energy, and benefit the skin and hair. Royal Jelly is gathered from dry, remote, high desert regions where pristine conditions provide the ideal environment. Price Tk2110.

By Ekram Kabir
For further details and purchase, please contact #01614079030.


Cold feet and winter weddings

Maybe you feel the way I do; like you didn't grow up thinking of weddings, like you suddenly realised that despite thinking you would someday get married; it felt like one of those things that would never really happen and like it wasn't just winter that was giving you cold feet.

Let me tell you what it feels like; suddenly you realise what have you done with your life and feel a little disappointed and scared. It's something that creeps up on you even though you thought it through, discussed it with family and friends and are madly in love with your partner. It's not the curse of the modern woman, an idea I had in my head for a long time, or maybe it is.

I always thought I would have lived on my own for a year, travelled more, followed my heart with work and thrown caution to the wind taking photos, sketching and writing bad poetry on my own. The reality is my in-escapable South Asian roots that never would have allowed me to spend my savings travelling around doing any of that. However it doesn't stop me from feeling like maybe I had more to do before I took this step.

I can't pinpoint when I realised I was being silly and thinking like what in my mind felt like the new age lead character of “Eat, Love, Pray” but I did. I realised that my fiancé is the best thing that happened to me and to quote some wonderful people including my fiancé and my cousins; “being married would be a different kind of fun”, that “I could still do everything I wanted to”, that “that I don't have to be boring just because I'm married, after all married people aren't all boring” and most importantly “having support and being yourself with someone was the best opportunity to do anything I wanted”.

So every now and then when I feel irrationally like that again I spend an evening out, or go to a party without my fiancé (who is now away in Australia anyway) and remind myself how good it feels having someone to lean on, joke with, have a private moment with and just how lucky I am, and I come back home and can't wait to get on the net for my video Skype date.

It may help you get over your cold feet this winter as you watch your friends get married and wait for your turn. My parting tip, remember he's not your fiancé because you can't tell him the hard stuff and share everything including doubts and fears. It's too hard to admit having cold feet but if he's a keeper he will tell you how he feels and make you feel less like getting married is a gilded cage and more like it's a license to be yourself.

By Choto Mishti


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