|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 7, Issue 16, Tuesday, April 17, 2012|
The geek trick
The Shoemaker's Wife
Gender and Art
Ice Cream Price Hike
Murder & Olympics
Coffee in Amsterdam
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Short Time Course
For those who want to a career in the designing sector in a short span of time, Radiant Institute of Design has arranged 2/3 months of short courses in Fashion Design, Interior Design, Basic Graphics, Ikebana, Bonsai, Auto CAD 2D, 3D Studio Max, Bengal Clay Showpiece Design, Glass Paint etc. There are special discount offers for SSC-passed students. Seats are limited for admission. The last day of admission is 26 April and the classes will start on 27 April. Contract: Orchid Plaza (3rd Floor), House # 2, Road # 28 old, Dhanmondi, Mirpur Road.
Flaunt your beautiful skin this summer!
Beat the heat this summer, maintain your beauty and keep your skin soft, supple and well-nourished with these quick summer skin care tips.
Cleansing is also of utmost importance, in order for grime and other pollutants to be removed completely from the skin. Kaya's Soothing Cleaning Gel helps in deep cleansing without stripping away essential natural oils. It also makes the skin look and feel fresh after use.
Cover your skin:
Sun's rays are the strongest between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. so it is advisable to limit exposure to the sun as much as possible, during these hours.
Use sunglasses to protect your eyes. Try using an umbrella when you go out in sun. This will protect your skin and your hair.
Try and take a shower twice a day, to feel cool and refreshed.
Summer diet tips:
Foods rich in Vitamin A aid in protecting the skin from the sun. Foods with abundant Vitamin C help in repairing sun-damaged skin. These vitamins can be found in vegetables and fruits including carrots, papaya, black grapes, and green leafy vegetables.
Water, freshly squeezed fruit juices, fresh lime water or soda, and light summer salads loaded with plenty of vegetables and fruit are all part of an ideal summer diet.
Don't forget to drink at least 2 litres of water every day.
By Kaya Skin Clinic
Tranquillity in chaos
Making most of the space we have is a concept that will grow in importance more and more as the city of Dhaka balloons out of all proportion. How space is utilised in this city that seems to be sprouting concrete mutations in every space available is something that will determine how we live in the not too distant future.
All great cities are characterised by an ability to adapt to its unique circumstances, and Dhaka should be no exception. This adaptation is scarcely more in evidence than in a shaded nook of the busy Dhanmondi road 7/A area, an area that is known for its cultural activities as right opposite is the Dhanmondi Lake and the lakeside amphitheatre that hosts numerous cultural programmes.
From the outside, House 60 just bears the appearance of an elegant building sporting the rustic charm of red brick walls, but inside is quite a different story. Perpetually shaded, the premises, which also houses the Art Centre, is home to Ajo, a cafe quite unique in decor in Dhaka's eatery scene.
It is indeed a wonder of space utilisation; all the tables are set along the outer walls of the Art Centre building, in normal circumstances where the cars would have been parked.
The entrance speaks of shaded tranquility. Steps lead up to the first floor which has a balcony and before that, an AC room that houses a small library with a few comfortable sofas and a wall lined with bookshelves. But before ascending the steps, make your way through a narrow passageway by its side to get to the heart of the cafe. A series of tables sit elegantly along the rear of the building, the extended canopy overhead lending the feel of dining outdoors while still retaining some of the ambience of indoor seating.
The organic, almost spontaneous feel carries over to the furniture used. The decor, as talking to co-founder and interior designer of the cafe Khaled Mahmud proved, was given a lot of thought. "We visited a 400-year-old monastery in Bhutan to identify what brings peace," said Mahmud. "We have kept things basic, as peace comes from simplicity. The design was based on the four elements -- earth (the high earth walls of the cafe), wind (its ventilation), water (the small water body) and fire (the kitchen)."
Mahmud also said that Ajo, meaning unborn, sought to give identity. We as a people thrive on recycled materials -- we watch pirated cds, wear second-hand clothes from Bongo Bazar or Dhaka College, etc. Ajo gives this recycling a positive and environment-friendly twist.
A crow's nest chandelier, use of discarded ship's floorboards and metals, discarded transistors and even self-made bulb-holders, all form part of the effect.
Thankfully, prices are reasonable which is important in a cafe that caters mainly to university students who flock here from the abundance of nearby institutions. The menu is Continental and Indian, and both worlds are represented thoroughly. It is worth mentioning again that the prices are an attraction, because it is not often you get the combination of spectacular ambience and reasonable prices in Dhaka. Their most expensive item, the Ajo Special Steak, is priced at Tk.543.
Whatever sort of culinary mood you are in, you can bet that Ajo has the menu to satisfy. If you do not want anything too heavy there are rolls and salads to choose from. The grilled chicken salad is a special offering -- a healthy treat. If you want something heavier, there is an assortment of steaks and beef dishes to choose from, as well as Spaghetti/Pasta and Chicken Gyros. In the mood for something closer to home? An extensive selection of deshi cuisine awaits.
Being located in the Art Centre premises, it is a cafe that engages the intellect. Patrons are encouraged to donate books to the library and they can also borrow books if they so desire.
Ajo is indeed an example to follow for future establishments in Dhaka not only in terms of architecture and interior designing, but also in terms of the overall business philosophy. It is a place to go to take a break from the grind, and fortunately the oasis is right in the middle of the chaos.
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