Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 6, Issue 15, Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Pohela Boishakh @ Khazana

To welcome and celebrate the ”Shubho Noboborsho”, Dhaka's premier Indian restaurant Khazana is offering their guests a special 'Opar Bangla Mahabhoj Thali' for lunch and dinner.

A chef from Kolkata has specially come over to share the taste of “O Par Bangla” for this auspicious day. There will be vegetarian and non-vegetarian thalis so that nobody is disappointed. Reservations are already on.

Every good thing should start with sweets. With this view, Khazana Mithai at Gulshan 2 and Gulshan Avenue is offering sweet treats. Special gift boxes and dalas are designed and displayed for this special occasion. Some of the highlights will be as follows:

Son Papri, Gulab Jamun, Rasmalai, Motichur Laddu, Kaju Barfi, Lemon Sandesh, Raj Bhog and more. For more information or order call Khazana Mithai: 01611000080 / 01611000090.

Additionally, Khazana will celebrate a week-long 'Dum Pukht' food festival from April 15 to discover the delight of a culinary legacy which enchanted nawabs, nizams and emperors.

Dum Pukht is a 200-year-old culinary legacy from the kitchens of the Nawabs of Awadh. Each of these dishes was created to befit a special occasion dating back to a particular era.

This cuisine, the origin of which dates back to the 1780s, was popular at the time of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah, the erstwhile ruler of the State of Awadh. Master Chefs from his kitchen created the Dum Pukht cuisine.

The best of Dum Pukht:

Mahi Dum Pukht: Rawas or Red Snapper fillets finely seasoned. Slow oven cooked and napped with an almond and brown onion sauce.

Samundri Ratan: Lobster marinated in white coconut flavoured masala, encased in rock salt, cooked on "DUM",

Jhinga Kali Mirch: Tiger prawns subtly dredged in black peppercorns, cumin, and ginger, charcoal grilled.

For reservations, please call #8826127

LS Desk


U is for ultimate like-letter

I like you. I like you a lot. But you don't want me to like you as much as I like you. Because then you don't have to admit that you like me as much as I like you.

Yet, I know. I know you like me. You probably like me a lot. It's just that if you admit to yourself that you like me as much as you really like me, you'd be setting yourself up.

Sitting on the dock of sunk relationships, you harbour the fear that if you open the sluice gates to how much you really like me, you'd be admitting to a dam of held-back feelings and, as every man fears, where there's a dam, can a disaster be far in the breaking? The impending doom of your high walls crumbling down. Then? Then: you, me, us, our worlds will get flooded away to some unknown ocean where the currents have not been measured and the depths unfathomable.

You wonder whether we'll be able to synchronise stroke upon stroke. Will we stay afloat? Or will we sink? And if we sink, will we suffocate ourselves blue? Or keep bubbling underneath? There too you sense danger. After all, how long can one struggle through murky waters until the psychedelic colours of novelty wash out of us? Perhaps, in time we will become mundane like other fish in the sea. Where's the fun in that? You can't decide which is scarier. A maybe or inevitability.

I am here to offer you option C. No fixed answer to circle. Just our lives to circumnavigate. When you think about it, it's laughable really. That someone who is so afraid of being pegged down would prefer a Letter of Guarantee over a lovelorn letter. (Sorry, did I say 'love'? No, No. I meant 'like'.)

I throw my head back and laugh into the wind. You don't like the smell of that in the air either, do you? You get all heated up and stick your toe into the water again. Our eyes twinkle across the dark unknown blue. Perhaps, we will become creatures of a new Atlantis and learn to thrive. Who wants to dive in first? We will never know what the likes of us can become unless we dive in.

So of course I understand you don't want to like me as much as you like me. More crucially, you don't want me to like you as much as I like you. It lightens the burden of your liking.

I am lucid with you. I am fluid within you. If you wish to contain me, constrain me, just-friend me, that is of course your cup to hold. Sip of it how you will. And if you wish to tip me out of your life, I will trickle away. Leaving just a tearstain on a path once converged.

That's how much I like you.

By Munize Manzur


The Mongol Shobhajatra

For the early bird, Pohela Boishakh invariably begins with the musical soiree of Chayanot. It's as if the nation of 160 million wakes up with music in their ears. The renditions of Tagore or Nazrul's classics accompany the rising sun and show signs of what just may be a good year ahead.

As the day progresses, people come across various other cultural programmes -- some highlighting music, others presenting poetry recitations and some a combination of all genres of art and culture. Yet for the last twenty years or so, one special event of Pohela Boishakh stands out as a reflection of the festive nature of this nation. The parade that comes out of Charukola, Institute of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka is now a national symbol highlighting a glorious culture that dates back over millennia.

It began in 1988 and contrary to most popular belief, outside of Dhaka. The Mongol Shobhajatra, as we know it, first came out at Narail, Jessore. The following year, in 1989 the parade first hit the streets of Dhaka.

Those were turbulent times and Dhaka was bearing witness to the struggle for democracy. Through the procession students found an outlet for speaking their minds. Behind every mask they tried to present a social satire.

That was twenty years ago and with time, the faces of evil have changed but the satire remains timeless. The gigantic crocodile that is part of this year's theme is not only an image of folk motif but also a representation of evil that is brewing in society. The nation has learned to come under an umbrella to stand against collaborators of 1971, and this crocodile is just a mere image of the hatred.

But then there are also elements of pure fun and pleasure. There will also be a graceful peacock along with countless masks of tigers, lions and the owl, a sign of good omen.

The expense for bringing out the parade is by no means small and to finance the effort every year the students of the Institute of Fine Arts sell artworks, mainly water colour paintings, masks and lokkhi shora, a traditional rural craft.

Students as well as teachers contribute by donating their creations to be sold directly. The nominal price tag bears an added attraction for the buyers, not to mention an opportunity to buy artworks by master painters.

To facilitate the sale, the students hold a Boishakhi Fair at the Charukola premises which is already underway and will continue till 14 April, 2011.

It is not necessary to be a connoisseur to appreciate art. One also needs not be a philosopher to appreciate life. The efforts of the Charukola students once again prove that culture is fluid and takes the form in which the nation absorbs it. Just bask in the Boishakhi sun and join the parade once it hits the streets. It's a treat of a lifetime.

By Pothbhola


Nasima's Creation

Nasima Haque, the owner of Nasima's Creation, arranged an exhibition of her products at the Drik Gallery from 7-9 April, 2011. The Chief Guest at the exhibition was Sabrina Islam, President of Women's Enterpreneurs' Associations.

Nasima's Creation specialises in producing bedding, pillow and cushion cases, designed by the owner herself using locally produced, export quality materials -- mainly Bangladeshi cotton fabrics.

Each design is sold in a set of bed cover, pillow and cushion cases. Nasima designs her products using various prints, appliqué and embroidery and concentrates mostly on light and pastel shades with each design consisting of two or three colour combinations. Various floral patterns and different shapes can also be seen in her works.

Most people opt for imported products when it comes to choosing home furnishing textiles, and Nasima started this business almost two years ago with the aim to provide such products produced locally.

”People acquire expensive local furniture nowadays, but the upholstery they need to decorate these is imported. They also want unique designs for decorative purposes rather than something that everyone else has,” says Nasima, adding, “Just like they choose designer clothes people are becoming more and more inclined towards decorating with designer products”.

Till date she has designed almost 300 sets however; not all of them have been displayed at the exhibition.

“I believe that this initiative of mine will make the idea of producing home textiles popular among Bangladeshi women and they will start similar ventures of their own. When such quality products can be produced locally people will be less inclined towards foreign commodities,” added Nasima.

The sets are priced at a range starting from Tk 2700 to 3500. According to Nasima, the response received by the exhibition was substantially more than she had expected and her work was appreciated by many. She plans to arrange another exhibition in Gulshan in the near future.

By Karishma Ameen


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