Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   | Volume 7, Issue 21, Tuesday, May 22, 2012



Outdoor seating

When we talk about an indoor setting, we usually refer to four walls that define a room which need to be furnished according to need or preference. But in terms of outdoor settings, a few fruit trees, a flowering pergola, someterracotta pots, two small wooden chairs or a single bench under the umbrella can suffice to create a wonderful ambiance.

We spend most of our time with family and friends in indoor spaces although outdoor areas have the potential to become favourite spots for eating, entertaining, visiting and relaxing. A green space for gardening, dining or just getting away from the chaos of city life can often provide much needed respite.

This week I discuss some outdoor decor ides for homes, restaurants, book shops or cafés. Over the last few years, I have travelled to many places in South-Asia and urbanisation is a dominant trend in most cities. High rise buildings replace large open-spaced, traditional layouts but city dwellers still crave for some greenery in their dwellings. Extended sunshades or small patios are being into lovely green areas.

A summer barbecue can be a fun event through which to reconnect with friends. This summer enjoy your outdoor grilling experience with traditional clay pots, plates, banana leaves as table mats and so on.

As a designer I think, when planning for space management, courtyards should be kept in consideration. A courtyard is a cool place to escape the heat in warm climates. It is also the perfect spot to set up a dining area for a sun-kissed lunch or a casual coffee or tea with friends. Within the privacy of four or three walls, a courtyard falls somewhere between indoors and outdoors. Situated between interior rooms, it functions as a lively, transitional space to connect indoor and outdoor areas. If there is scope for more interaction between the interiors and exteriors, we can install a wall of glass louvers. Open them and the sounds and scents of the outdoors drift inside; close them, and the room is shut against unwanted drafts and cold weather. Sometimes, a courtyard or main entrance is a welcoming area shaded by tall tropical plants.Tropical plants, Balinese furniture or even our traditional furniture like cane sofas, mora or chokyorharican lights can make for vibrant open air layouts. A vibrant curtain of Bougainvillea or kamini looks amazing in summer. A collection of potted plants can also easily fill in empty spaces along pathways and corner areas.

For restaurant décor, dockside seating can be arranged under the shade. For shops, make sure that outdoor sitting areas are protected by a canopy of some kind of industrial sheeting, polycarbonate sheeting, or soft cover shade clothing. Enjoying a quiet moment with coffee and a novel or having a relaxed weekend brunch with friends or family members outdoor offers a more pleasant feeling than closed door rooms. Lakeside restaurants or a busy road like Banani Road 11 that has many small cafés and restaurants have converted their verandas or courtyards into open sitting areas.

Dining alfresco means eating in fresh air, which is not quite the same as “roughing it”. For an experience at the table that is as fresh as the outdoors itself, forget about folding chairs, paper napkins, or plastic utensils and style a tabletop with the elegance and comfort of its indoor counterpart. Use bright red, orange or blue striped table cloths, blue napkins, red or white table mats, modern juice glasses, colourful water jugs, vibrant red or blue plates for fancy lunches or dinners. Décor can be elegant and elaborate or rough and trendy with easy maintenance. Style is yours, but the theme of open sitting is really refreshing.

Nazneen Haque Mimi
Interior Consultant
E-mail: journeyman.interiors@gmail.com
Photo Credit: Journeyman Archive


By Tanziral Dilshad Ditan

The Vagina Monologues
Date: Friday, 25 May. (Women only)
Venue: House #80, Rd #23/A, Banani.
Date: Saturday, 26 May
Venue: American International School -- Dhaka, Baridhara.
Date: Thursday, 31 May
Venue: Goethe-Institut Dhaka, Dhanmondi.
Time: 7 p.m.

V-Day is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that raises funds and awareness through benefit productions of Playwright/Founder Eve Ensler's award winning play "The Vagina Monologues" and other artistic works.

This year, V-Day, Dhaka brings to you the award winning performance of "The Vagina Monologues", a step towards bringing people together from all over the world and forming a united voice of solidarity for the equal and humanitarian treatment of women.

Tickets: Tk. 500; available at the venue.

Outside the Cage
Courtney Sato's Fulbright presentation on Tagore & 'Fireflies'
Date: Thursday, 24 May
Time: 7 p.m.
Venue: Chhayanaut

Fulbright Research Grantee Courtney Sato will present her paper titled “Outside the Cage”: Rabindranath Tagore's Cosmopolitan Experimentalism. Advised by Dr Fakrul Alam and Dr Manzoorul Islam of Dhaka University, Courtney's research addresses poet Rabindranath Tagore's divided legacy. Artistic experimentalism was crucial to Tagore. Even in the last decades of his life, he took on new artistic forms such as painting. The research on Tagore is timely and pertinent given the commemorative programming that will extend beyond 2011, as 2012 marks the centenary publication of GitanjaliTagore's first English translation and foray into the Westwhile 2013 is the 100th anniversary of his Nobel Prize.

Tickects available from the venue from 15 May, 2012.

Friday Night Live (FNL)
Date: 25 May
Time: 8.30 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Venue: Nest @ The 8, House #24, Road #2, Gulshan #1.

Friday Night Live (FNL) promises to be a treat for music aficionados, providing a musical platform, which bridges barriers, celebrates diversity, encourages unity and instils a sense of pride. The vision of this event is to bring people and voices together to reinvent music.

FNL expects to anchor itself permanently on Dhaka's monthly event calendar, and become the most sought out event of the month. You will have a chance to experience music by Pandu & Crew (Pandu, Buno, Iven and Nafiz) who hardly need further introduction. A Thai Buffet dinner will be served from 9 p.m. 11 p.m. Dynamic music and delicious food, no better way to spend a Friday night.

Tickets: Tk 1500/person
Call: 0192 755 8888, 989 2458

''Embrace of Death'' Live at RCC
Date: 25 May
Time: 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Venue: Russian Cultural Centre, Dhanmondi

Series Underground Concerts by Live Records will be held at the Russian Cultural Centre, where a set line-up will share the stage with new bands who are eager to participate. So, if you are still practising in your room with friends, it's time that you get on a stage. Check their page for further information: facebook.com/pages/Live-Records/190019031059431.

To participate, contact now!

There are limited slots available, so hurry up. There are also surprise gifts for the bands. To participate contact Sakib, Event Coordinator, #0191 121 4020

The set line-up is : De-illumination, Kral, Conviction, Deyal, Metavoyage, Massacre Machine, Necromaniac, Tempest, The Judas Cradle, Utshorgo, Zagforth, Plasmic Knock, Embrace of Death, and Retribution.


Damrail Navaratna Temple

Location: Damrail Navaratna Temple, Shyamnagar Sathkhira.
Notes: The Damrail Navaratna Temple is located in an insanely remote area in Satkhira, right beside the border with India. Beware of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) patrolling the area frequently so it's best not to go there with any ill intent. The temple was constructed in 1582 by Pratapaditya's father, Bikramaditya.

Interestingly there was never any idol within the temple as it is believed that it was never used for worship. Instead this temple is referred to as a samaj-mandir or sabha-mandir. It was built as a meeting and consultation place for important people of the community. Bikramaditya positioned himself as the head, while the assembly contained nine sages, with whom the consultation took place regarding various social matters. These nine wise men were referred to as nava-ratna or nine gems.

Getting there:
Dhaka Satkhira:
From Dhaka take a bus straight to Satkhira, Shyamnagar. We went there using Hanif Non-AC bus and boarded from Kollanpur. The fare per person till Shyamnagar is Tk.450. There are several other pretty good buses going there including the Satkhira Express. The time required varies depending on the Aricha ferry but you should be able to make the trip within 8-10 hours.

Satkhira Kaliganj: Once you get off at Shyamnagar, take another local bus to Kaliganj. The fare should be around Tk.40 per person and the ride will take around 1.5 hours. Beware, the road is especially bumpy. Take a face mask along with you if you have dust allergy otherwise you will not survive the ride.

Kaliganj -- Damrail: There is no regular transportation to Damrail village from Kaliganj. You have to get there either by bike (Tk.150 per one-way trip) or by using a Korimon (a motorised van) which should cost Tk.200 per one-way trip. The Korimon is a better choice if you have more people accommodating 6-8 decent sized human beings. However, if you respect your buttock or it is not well padded, get the bike.

Getting to the Temple Itself: I forgot to mention that you have to walk about 1.5 kilometers on very narrow embankments (aile) between shrimp farms to get to the temple. Also it is sort of like a maze. Best to tag along someone from a nearby village. Oh! and travel light.

Best time to visit: Winter. Most importantly avoid the monsoon rain and the mud.

What to expect: Snakes and shed snake skin.
In your backpack: Water bottle, dry food, umbrella, glucose/saline (you will need it), torchlight and snake poison anti-venom medicine.

Nearby places to stay: The closest place to stay is in Shyamnagar, Satkhira. The best hotel we could find there is Hotel Saudia who charge Tk.500-600 for their VIP Room which has a tiled bathroom (getting a decent loo is the hardest in that region) and can accommodate up to 3 people. Their cell number is 01711450030.

Money matters: For a one day round trip minimum costing is Tk. 2,500.

For photographers: The temple is located in a barren land covered by a shrimp field which is brilliant for landscape photography, so be sure to take your wide angle lens.

Adventure rating: You are growing up. 4.0 / 5.0. So plan accordingly.

By Adnan M S Fakir
Photos courtesy of Finding Bangladesh
Visit them



Malaysian Food Festival and Cultural Show 2012

Pan Pacific Sonargaon Dhaka, in association with the Malaysian Embassy, Tourism Malaysia and Triune Group, has organised a seven day long Malaysian Food Festival and Cultural Show 2012. The event will be inaugurated on 23 May and continue till 29 May, 2012.

A team of chefs from the award winning Pan Pacific KLIA Hotel will fly here to prepare an array of mouth-watering, authentic Malaysian Cuisine.

A troupe of Malaysian dancers will come all the way from Kuala Lumpur to perform and present their vibrant culture every day.

The festival offers a buffet dinner at Tk.3000 (all inclusive) with 50 percent discount for children at Café Bazaar Restaurant.

High on spice, the festival will surely be a scrumptious feast for food connoisseurs.

For reservations and more details about the festival, please contact #8140 401.

Summer wear at Easy

Easy Summer Collection features a wonderful array of shirts -- formal and casual, polo shirts, panjabis and pants for men. The new designs have been made keeping the ensuing summer heat in mind. With all certainty the vibrant colours, the bold cuts and the comfort of the fabrics will appeal to the younger crowd.

Available at all Easy outlets.



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