|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 6, Issue 05, Tuesday, February 01, 2011|
Fingers crossed as D-day looms
The staging of a momentous event such as the World Cup is something that all Bangladeshis should draw a great measure of pride from. It is a comment on the country's development that something as big as a World Cup will be hosted here. Mixed with all the pride and anticipation, however, is a lingering question on the minds of city-dwellers: are we ready?
There is a hint of dissatisfaction cloaked in the above question. In an ideal world, this question would not be asked less than two weeks before the tournament's start. The question, however, is inevitable given what many believe to be the modest preparation for the showpiece event.
Last week, the World Cup trophy (in some quarters rumoured to be a replica) was paraded on the streets of Dhaka, an initiative organised by Hero Honda, one of the tournament sponsors. According to Ali Hossain Babu, the Host Tournament Director of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), the show will be repeated on February 9. “The ICC (International Cricket Council) gives the sponsors opportunities to promote themselves. After Hero Honda, Pepsi will organise another road show on the 9th,” he said.
“The LOC will organise a road show on the 14th and 15th, with the Cup staying with us till the19th. I cannot disclose exactly what we have planned, because the proposal is with the ICC for approval,” he added.
The concern, however, is not about what type of road show the city is going to see, but how the city will be seen by the huge influx of foreign guests and the international media once the tournament starts. Such an event offers hosts the golden opportunity of improving perceptions across the world. This is all the more important for a struggling country like Bangladesh.
Babu was confident that the city would be in good shape come the World Cup. “The cleaning up of the city is up to the City Corporation, and they have been doing a pretty good job,” he said of the commendable efforts of the City Corporation, an example of which is the removal of overhead electrical wires. ”As far as branding the city for the World Cup goes, it has already started. If you have seen the Sangsad Bhaban and the road from the airport, you would have seen that lights have been put up. We have also positioned a lot of World Cup-themed billboards, and you may have also noticed the foot overbridges that we have branded with images of the World Cup and of cricket.
“There is still work to be done, but I can say with confidence that you will see a new Dhaka by the 10th of this month,” Babu said confidently.
It remains to be seen whether Dhaka can be transformed in a matter of days, but a problem that we can be sure will affect city life is the traffic. Already worsening with the passing of each day, the increase in population during the World Cup promises to push our traffic woes to the limit.
Joint Commissioner of Traffic Mohammad Shafiqur Rahman, while agreeing that the traffic will be a problem, pointed to some positives, “If you look at the schedule of matches, it is an advantage that most of the matches will take place on Fridays. Also, a lot of the matches will be day/night affairs, so the traffic will not be at its worst when people are returning from the stadium at around 10pm.”
Also, according to ICC regulations, the roads surrounding the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium will be barricaded, allowing only authorised vehicles marked by stickers to pass. “The players will journey across Rokeya Sharani on their way to the stadium. During this time, public vehicles will not be allowed on the western side of the road to ensure that the players can reach the stadium on time,” Rahman elaborated on the measures taken to lessen the effect of Dhaka's traffic on the tournament.
When pushed on the issue of whether anything can be done to reduce the traffic congestion during the showpiece event, and whether the aforementioned measures will make matters worse for the average city dweller, Rahman said, “We have to remember that we are living in Bangladesh, and as you know there are fundamental problems with the infrastructure and facilities, so there are no quick fixes. The people have to make sacrifices when it comes to the traffic problems, and be sporting about it. I am hoping that the situation will not worsen, and we will be trying our best to see that that is the case.”
Rahman has called upon the indomitable Bangladeshi spirit to deal with the challenges this World Cup will throw up, and the work that he and his department will be doing will undoubtedly be indispensable during the tournament. But it is only natural to ask whether these problems could not have been addressed earlier and some real changes made. The questions will be answered over the following seven weeks, and we as a nation can only keep our fingers crossed and hope to make the best of it.
It is also up to us to make sure that visitors coming to Bangladesh will leave the country with happy memories, and not remember it as a 'hardship tour'. The coming weeks will be a joyous occasion, and it will be one where we are put under the microscope as a nation. We pride ourselves on being good hosts. The world is coming; time to put on our best behaviour.
By Sam Q
As the temperature starts to go up and a warm breeze starts blowing outside, the windows of the house are opened for the first time in two months. Winter is preparing to take leave and spring is finally knocking on our doors. A popular concept in the western world, spring cleaning as its name shows, is the cleaning of the entire house from top to bottom for the first time after winter. Cleaning the entire house can be a cumbersome activity but, if shared by the entire family in an organised and enjoyable manner, it may not seem that burdensome at all. Put on your favourite music and sing along with it as you get ready to wage war against your house. To make your spring cleaning easier and more organised here are a few tips that may come in handy.
Start from the ceiling
Let the lights glow brighter
Clean your furniture
Wash those carpets
Let the cabinets breathe
By Karishma Ameen
Outfit by Kashfi Saber, the latest fashion house to enter the Dhaka scene, provides its customers with a great shopping experience: access to not only the most sought-after products (often at privileged prices), but also true lifestyle experiences. With a handpicked offering of luxury fashion and beauty brands and a commitment to bring that lifestyle to life beyond your closet walls, Outfit promises to soon become the go-to destination for the savviest shoppers.
At Outfit, the belief is that jewellery is not just an adornment, but an assertion of the wearers' individuality. Jewellery is not pure ornamentation, but a non-verbal mode of communication, a liberating expression of one's personality.
The jewellery is a compilation of designs by some of India's top designer houses such as Amrapali, Amrita Singh and Rahul Popli.
Amrapali is the only Indian jewellery line to present their collection in the Fashion Weeks of Milan and New York. Amrapali traces its origins to the year 1978 and its list of distinguished customers includes Her Majesty Ashi Wongchuk Queen of Bhutan, Maharani Padmini Devi and Princess Diya of the Jaipur Royal Family. Internationally known families like Hermes, Corum, Porche, Barbie-Muller are also on their list. Amrapali had the honour of designing gifts presented to the former US president Bill Clinton on behalf of the Rajasthan Government.
Although jewellery making began as an “accidental love,” it grew into a unique and compelling “passion” according to Amrita Singh. Her design interests are global, reflecting the city that she inhabits and works in: urban, culturally diverse, and infused with artistic inspiration.
Studying the intricacies of Indian art through travel and extensive independent work, Amrita draws upon the designs of India and the Mughal dynasty to create her designs. Her jewellery fuses Old World aesthetics with New World fashion, resulting in breathtakingly unique, wearable works of art.
The exhibition will showcase a collection of earrings, bangles and pendants, plated in gold and encrusted with kundan, semi-precious stones and raw diamonds (polki).
The exquisite jewellery exhibition and sale presented by Outfit will be held between 11 - 12 February, 2010. 11am - 6pm. The Nest (Rooftop @ The 8), Road #2, House #24, Gulshan 1
By Tanziral Dilshad Ditan
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