Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 6, Issue 08, Tuesday, February 22, 2011















Foliage and female forms

The vibrant water colours of Najmul Haq Bappi decorate the gallery of Alliance Francaise like some work of Mellow artist of Oriental Art. A student of Dr Abdus Sattar and Nasreen Begum, Najmul has utilised the subjects for which Nasreen Begum is famous: cacti with thorns with bright, delicate flowers and delectable women's figures. Dr. Abdus Sattar is also well-known for his women's forms , seen against nature such as flowers, leaves, tendrils and tree branches . Dr Sattar and Nasreen Begum's women have gazelle eyes and gorgeous facial features to accompany the trailing tresses and seductive, curvaceous figures. Thus, Najmul cannot go wrong. The beauty and delicacy of nature and man have been adapted from Mughal Art with all its delicacy and minute details of female forms set against nature.

Najmul's mother and child themes are set against sea-shells, ladybugs, tendrils, dried, fallen leaves, and birds with exotic feathers, beaks and eyes. The colours are flamboyant blues, madder reds, earthy pinks along with lapis lazuli greens. The hues don't hit the eyes. The backdrops are deep and subtle. When blacks and vermilions come, they remain delicate and precise. Worms and seashells are placed carefully and exquisitely. There is nothing that is not neat and precise. These Oriental art pieces, done on paper are prize-winning items for the Shilpakala Academy or the Department of Fine Arts, Dhaka University.

This is not to say that Najmul has not other medias that he has experimented with and which arrest the eye. He has done birds' eye views of the city in acrylic -- done both with the daylight and night-life timings. Here, the tall buildings and the lighting of the houses, along with the clouds and bars of light in the sky, as well as the forefront have all been done meticulously. They certainly please the viewer.

Najmul has done portraits of an old musician with “ek-tara” and a trailing, greying beard and a child playing with a makeshift musical instrument in a slum area, with a broken hurricane to light up his bronzed face. Similarly, the woman, with her face criss-crossed over with lines of despair and unhappiness, especially her eyes, is a fine presentation of people and their agony with no light at the end of the tunnel for them. These acrylic portraits are promising and precise in their choice of lines and colours.

The Hill Tracts landscapes, with their muted browns, greens and blues, bring in the tops of trees, shadowy hills, looming pagodas and waving, thin, palm leaves. The details of the abodes of the hill people, such as the stilts on which the huts are built, the steps, rooftops and other outlets of breeze have been included with rapidly applied subtle colours, with their highlights, including the play of sunlight and shadows.

Portraits of our famous Bangla poets such as Rabindranath Tagore, which have been included in the exhibit are moving too, with all the graphic details speaking of skill over realism.

There are about 40 paintings in the display.

By Fayza Haq


Prize giving programme of “Best Wedding Moment” contest

Every photo tells a story and to preserve the wonderful moments of life, people take photos. People cherish their memories by viewing those photos for a long time to come. A photo refreshes memories and brings back glimpses of times that we want to relive. It portrays care, tenderness and a love that can never be explained. A photo is precious, something to be valued, loved, and cherished!

A wedding is an auspicious occasion and a beautiful day to capture pictures on. After a wedding ceremony, photographs will revive the memories and Rahimafrooz IPS took the initiative to display the stories of such special days in an innovative way.

Rahimafrooz IPS teamed up with Unitrend to find real-life photos that best capture wedding moments. The “Best Wedding Moment” competition finished on 31st January, 2010, where contestants were asked to send their best wedding photographs.

This event was arranged through a contest which was advertised publicly in the newspapers two months ago. Amid a variety of photos, the judges chose candid shots of the couples.

Out of hundreds of photos, ten reached the semi final. The top ten pictures were selected and all ten couples took part in the final prize giving ceremony. Out of these, three were chosen as the best 'moments' and received awards from Rahimafrooz IPS.

The judging panel included Rahimafrooz IPS and Unitrend officials. The top three winners are: 1)Alimur Reza and Farzana Khiljia; 2) Dr. Rezanur Rahman and Dr. Nayareen Akhter and 3)Nazmul Hasan and Moutushi Sharmin Sharna. The first prize was a Rahimafrooz IPS VLX 600 VA, the second prize a Rahimafrooz IPS Radiant 550 VA and the third prize a Rahimafrooz IPS Radiant 350 VA.

In addition, all ten winners received gift hampers, 10% discounts on CNG conversion from Rahimafrooz CNG Ltd., privilege customer cards for purchasing Rahimafrooz products from any of its outlets, Agora gift vouchers worth Tk.2,000, 5% discounts plus free installation of Rahimafrooz IPS purchased from any UREKA outlets.

Musical performances marked the closing of the prize giving ceremony held at a city hotel on Valentine's Day. Among others, CEO of Rahimafrooz Distributions Ltd. Pervez Saiful Islam, GM and Head of Electronics Business Yeamin Sharif Chowdhury were present on the occasion.

Magician Jewel Aich and Bipasha Aich were present as special guests, while Farah Sharmin anchored the programme. "The selection criteria includes smile, look, bonding and overall presentation of a photograph," said the anchor.

CEO of Rahimafrooz Distributions Ltd., Pervez Saiful Islam praised the enthusiastic interest of people. " Each image is an exceptionally heartfelt image, where emotions are evident on the faces of brides and grooms. The outstanding wedding photograph resonates joy in the faces of brides and grooms," he added.

GM and Head of Electronics Business Yeamin Sharif Chowdhury mentioned in his remarks, "The competition was a massive success for us. Rahimafrooz IPS brings families closer. In the time of power failure, family members of the home come together in one room and save fuel. Thus, the bond of families become stronger."

In addition to the award winning photos, a hundred other photos were praised and were presented during the ceremony.

By Farizaa Sabreen


Early morning meat meet

A popular saying says 'no man is an island'. In these politically correct times, neither is a woman, child or furry animal. People and furry animals are social creatures. They need each other to stay alive and sane. Hence, the popularity of Facebook. But social networking sites aren't really 'real' if you know what I mean. As people, we need to be in touch with other people, literally. That's what weekends are for. Plan them right, utilise every waking hour and get in touch with friends, family and even foe.

In these modern times we all 'do lunch'. We meet up for dinner. But why shun breakfast? It's the perfect time to meet people you love or moderately like (such as most family members). It's the start of a new day, minds are rested and it's a time ripe with possibilities. The best part is that people are in no rush. It's Friday morning, shops open late, offices are closed and as long as you don't turn on the TV, the world is apparently at peace.

Best of all, it is not too hot yet. The mornings are chilly and it feels great to be in bed. But an even better option is to get out of said bed and have something delicious and warm. Enter your Nehari Breakfast Meat-up (pun intended).

For the uninitiated, nehari is a delicious dish that's soup, meat and awesome all in one neat bowl. It's primarily made from cattle legs with generous helpings of meat. The bones are rich in thick tasty marrow. The ingredients are boiled till the bone itself softens a little. The beauty of nehari is that it's an overnight dish. Cook it, leave it, and let it simmer. That way, the bones are juicy and soft and the meat is tender enough to melt in the mouth. When morning comes, heat and serve.

We just passed an Eid a couple of months ago where cattle left the green pastures for the cool comfort of our freezers. Some stocks may still remain. Add some spices to the concoction as you wish and it can be tailored any way you please. Call up friends and family. Meet up as early as possible and it's a meet-up unlike any other. It's a heavy breakfast so leave plenty of time for lunch.

If you don't want to cook it, go to Old Dhaka or try Star Kebab. In the winter, most of the food shops open early and they all pretty much serve the dish. Have it in your car, take a takeaway or better yet, find someone who lives there. Nehari goes perfectly with some naan roti. After serving, lemon squeezed judiciously makes it taste even better. And you can feel slightly at ease knowing the vitamin C in the lemon is somehow offsetting the juicy cholesterol of the red meat. Somehow.

By E R Ronny


Rang's World Cup Cricket arrangement

Bangladesh is one of the co-hosts of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and the whole nation is abuzz with excitement and anticipation. This adrenaline rush has also seeped into various fashion houses across the country, such as the celebrated boutique Rang. Rang has introduced special T-shirts for cricket fans with the logo of the World Cup. Different aspects of cricket have been screen printed on kurtas and the Bangladeshi flag is also featured on t-shirts. Prices range from Tk.500 to Tk.5000.

Chakka-Char Board Cricket Carnival

Large number of students from 40 different schools of Dhaka division gathered at Rabindra Sorobor premises on 11 February to take part in the Chakka-Char Board Cricket Tournament arranged by Kenton Edutainment vying.

Ten separate tables with live size chakka char cricket boards were set to run the matches suitably. Twenty candidates were selected to compete for the second round which will be held at six divisional cities of Bangladesh. The champion will win return tickets to Hong Kong Disneyland along with his/her parents that includes three day hotel accommodation and tickets to enjoy all the features of Disneyland. There will be souvenirs and gifts for all who will compete at the following rounds.

A unique cricket show titled as "Chakka Char" will be telecast on Boishakhi channel from the 18th of February. A good number of ex-cricket maestros of Bangladesh cricket and celebrities will appear as guests on the show. Viewers can learn all the rules of cricket and win gifts by answering live quizzes from the show.

Aloha Bangladesh's 4th children Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Competition

Over 600 students of 250 different schools from all over Bangladesh took part in the fourth national level Abacus and Mental Arithmetic competition at the Charukala Kendra at Shilpakala Academy on 11th February. State Minister of Primary and Mass Education Md. Motahar Hossain was the chief guest, while the founder of Aloha International Loh Mun Sung (Malaysia) was the special guest. The event was organised by Aloha, Bangladesh.

-LS Desk


The welcome that wooed

It was an electrifying night and for many Bangladeshis it was a night they will talk about for years to come. The spectacular opening ceremony of the ICC World Cup Cricket 2011 hosted in Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka on the 17th of February, left each Bangladeshi proud and euphoric to be a part of one of the hosting nations.

Dhaka streets are aglow with lights, and adorned with festoons and banners; starting from sampans, the traditional fishing boats that have been painted in ICC colours and are now gracing important street corners, to huge pankhas, the local fans used by farmers, things on display decorating the streets welcomes the guests in true Bangladeshi style.

Though these street decorations have plenty of room for improvement and in places lack in creative or artistic inputs, Dhaka right now is seeped in patriotic fervour.

“Honestly speaking I didn't think it would be possible to pull off something to such staggering magnitudes in Bangladesh. The build-up to the event was extremely drab and to some extent lacked inspiration, but the surprise inaugural ceremony compensated for all the shortcomings during the teething period,” says Shahana Huda, Communication Manager for a local NGO.

The programme details, which were kept undisclosed until the final hours leading up to the ceremony, paid off when the 14 captains of the participating nations arrived in illuminated rickshaws. This was no doubt the highlight of the event second only to the projections and the daring live acts that were combined to put together the first ever aerial cricket match. All three host nations, India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, showcased their own cultures, heritage and history. Beautiful Bangladesh, an AV on tourism was also a gem of an inclusion and an insightful preview into an often marginalised South Asian tourism trove.

Huda echoes the sentiments of the masses. The festivity and jubilation is tenfold greater than any of the country's religious festivals, like Eid or Puja. The shops are buzzing with activity from Chawk Bazaar in Old Dhaka to Bashundhara City Mall as cricket enthusiasts are busy buying their teams' jerseys. Designer boutiques are also showcasing their new lines based solely on the theme of cricket.

Obviously Bangladeshi captain Shakib Al Hasan's jersey is the hottest item on sale, but fans are also getting their hands on their second favourite team's jerseys, like India, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. Vuvuzelas, though banned inside the stadium, are selling like hotcakes along with the sticks that make quite a din when knocked together. “Sales are as high as any Eid market and my customers are mainly rickshaw pullers and day labourers. To students I am selling almost 30 jerseys a day -- this is besides the caps and other items,” reports a street side vendor doing brisk business of selling cricket paraphernalia. The official team jersey is what the young people are donning these days even to work or on top of their corporate suits or designer fatuas and short kurtis in red and green with different aspects of cricket portrayed in the centre.

“Yes, I am a proud Bangladeshi. Yes, the Opening Ceremony was awesome, but what is yet more awesome is the contagious collective pulse of the Bangladeshi spirit in the Dhaka streets at night. The lights, the tiger masks and jerseys, strangers dancing to drum beats at 1 am, the random roadside fireworks have added an element of a vibrant night life to a city that usually has little to offer after hours. Sadly, I didn't go to the stadium but it must've been amazing upfront. But yes, we did go out from Gulshan to Mirpur and then to Uttara after the ceremony. Everyone was out in the streets and it felt like one big carnival; Dhaka is looking great and more importantly clean,” says Saadi Siddiky, a young barrister working in a reputed law firm, who was partying on the streets till the wee hours of the morning.

The razzmatazz of the lighting all through the city brought out the young and the old to the streets, who were enthusiastically signing the gigantic good luck bat on exhibition, taking pictures, going out on motorcycle rides and singing the theme songs.

Cricket has now become the national obsession and for those unfortunate ones who couldn't get hold of match tickets, they have made elaborate plans to watch the game with friends and family either at sports cafés or lounges or simply at home with a larder full of match munchies.

“As is the case with any other part of the world, sport is a great leveler in Bangladesh. Urging, obliging and inspiring fans to transcend all boundaries and submerge in the wave of celebration regardless of age, sex, class or religion'' said Subhi Shama, a 23 year-old development practitioner.

This occasion also brought to Bangladesh, for the first time, an international rock sensation and pop legend, Brian Adams. Adams not only enthralled the crowd at the inauguration but also performed a concert before thousands of fans in Dhaka on Friday, adding extra colour to the whole event.

“This World Cup provides an ideal platform for Bangladesh to showcase its unbridled passion and love for the game. And as a hospitable nation that hardly needs an occasion to celebrate, we invite the cricketing world to come and join the festivity. We can proudly claim we are cricket fanatics,” says Amin, a sports journalist.

The 400 year old city of Dhaka is all set to hone their hosting instincts and Bangladeshis all over the world are eager to please their visitors. This is truly a momentous occasion for the country, because in the words of the song, now is the time to know Bangladesh.

-- Raffat Binte Rashid
Phto: Star


As The Daily Star has moved to its new premises, we request all our event invitations, press releases and other forms of correspondence be sent to Raffat Binte Rashid, Editor, Star Lifestyle (7th Floor), 64-65 Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Dhaka 1215. Email: lifestyleds@yahoo.com or raffat@thedailystar.net



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