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Clay & Life- a Harappa exhibition

The largest pottery, terracotta and art ceramic products manufacturer of the country, Harappa introduces its 5th exhibition 'Clay and Life', which is being held at Drik Gallery, Dhanmondi. The exhibition will run from 3pm to 8pm from the 29th of September to the 6th of October.

Harappa, named after one of the most fascinating yet mysterious cultures of an ancient civilisation, was started by a group of 6 soul-searching friends; 3 artists and 3 entrepreneurs. They realised how terracotta, an important functional art, was on the verge of extinction due to the flow of industrialisation. Bangladesh has also got thousands of years of rich heritage in clay sculpture and traditional pottery and the founders of Harappa realised it was of increasing importance to conserve, protect, restore, and develop this age-old medium of arts.

The 6 friends thus set out with the oath to rejuvenate the age old art with a touch of new and so far they have done a marvelous job of it. Harappa started in 2006 and has since familiarised the old artisans of the craft with modern techniques and technologies. They have also made the artisans more market-focused so that they can help themselves and also help their ancestral tradition to survive through the harsh reality of mechanised society. Harappa has managed to introduce their products into many of the leading crafts houses of the nation and has a dedicated Harappa corner in the shop 'Aquarium' in Gulshan DCC market. Harappa's future goals include making it an internationally renowned brand and exporting their products to the world market.

The current exhibition is thus more of a statement of how far the institution has progressed. It features the various works drawn from Harappa's unparalleled collection. The exhibition shows a vast array of styles, techniques, colours and textures within the simplest domestic objects from wall panels, tiles, functional tableware, fountains, light shades, crockery and masks to purely aesthetic miscellaneous pottery. There are terracotta works on display which are a blend of folk and urban concepts. Several experimental works have also been done by integrating brass, wrought iron, cane and wood along with the clay. The exhibition is a testament to how Harappa is both trying to revive our traditional terracotta art and improvising its own style to elevate this medium of art to another dimension.

Harappa has organised this exhibition for people from all walks of life, which is why you will find Harappa goods worth Tk.50 to Tk.50,000 in the exhibition. “We do not want clay art to be unaffordable luxuries but rather what they used to be in the past -- a proud declaration of one's own heritage displayed in every house of the country,” says Afsar Ahmed, one of the six founders of Harappa. Rudro Naser, one of the three Harappa founding artists, adds: “We have searched deep into the heritage of Bengal and introduced motifs familiar to old zamindar houses. At the same time we have framed the artwork in modern wood frames to create a soothing blend of the old and new.”

In this collection, Harappa clearly shows its success in reaching international standards. The finishing of the products is highly professional in nature and the ideas are indeed out of the box. All products are available for sale at the exhibition.

By Raisaa Tashnova
Photo courtesy: Harappa



The exterior really gives no hint to what awaits inside. Dingy and almost dismal, from the outside it seems like just about any other streetside eatery. However, looks can be deceiving and so if you are one who doesn't judge a book by the cover, you certainly are in for a treat.

Welcome to Adda -- Prabartana's snack corner, located right next to the main building. Serving local snacks like shingara, samosa, halim and laddu, Adda is open from 9 a.m. till 9 p.m. every single day of the week. Regulars throng the store during the afternoons and early mornings, stopping in for a light breakfast or lunch. Lunch usually consists of parata and a steaming plate of chicken or beef kebab. For Tk.120 for two pieces of chicken and Tk.60 for beef, the prices don't reflect the assurance of taste and quality.

Mohammad Zakir Hossain, a businessman, is a regular customer of Adda. He comes in at least thrice a week and enjoys having the parata and kebab. Zakir Hossain is among many regulars all of whom add to the joint's personality, lending it a familiar and homely feel, which helps customers feel at ease.

Another delicacy here is the carefully prepared khashir tehari, while you have lassi and the famous tetuler shorbot to quench your thirst. It's also noticeable how the clientele changes as business hours end and the evening sets in. Office workers are slowly phased out by a younger segment, who really define the word 'Adda'. Munching on the king-size samosa, Adda transforms into a springboard for the ideas of the younger generation, coming closer to perhaps attaining the romance associated with the cafeteria at DU or the eateries at Aziz Supermarket.

In the evenings, when the place is really buzzing, that's the time to visit the place. Although the seating is still limited, the throngs of crowd make the place lively and its cosy enough so you may find yourself engaging in conversation with complete strangers, provided you are the social type. The smell of tehari, shinghara and kebab are all intoxicating and if you weren't hungry before, you sure would find yourself starving when the party really starts.

Since the place attracts different groups of people, from the white collar workers to even the kids who come in after a good day's football match at one of the nearby fields, Adda doesn't really cater to a fixed demographic. Furthermore, Adda also serves as a somewhat meeting point for those residing in the same residential area but hardly get to meet elsewhere. All that familiarity, makes you feel at home too.

Finally, after the taste and the menu, comes the hygiene. All the ingredients are made by Prabartana and everything is similarly homemade. Thus, hygiene is assured, as mentioned before.

Classy and cosy, Adda lives up to its purpose; that of stimulating conversation amidst good food. Although prices maybe be comparatively high, you can't really put a price on quality, can you?

By Osama Rahman
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Location: Adda, Sir Syed Road, Mohammadpur, opposite Priyanka Community Centre.


By Tanziral Dilshad Ditan

North South University Food Carnival 2012
Date: Till Tuesday, 2 October, 2012
Time: 9 a.m. till 7 p.m.
Venue: North South University (NSU)

North South University Food Carnival 2012, organised by Public Health Club (NSU), is an initiative taken to bring together reputed companies associated to the food and the beverage sector under one roof.

About thirty reputable companies are participating in this two day long program. Features of the event include food exhibitions, food competitions, lotteries, interactive seminars and fun and games. This carnival is open for NSUers only.

A Lesson in Thrash
Date: Friday, 05 October, 2012
Time: 4 p.m. till 7 p.m.
Venue: Russian Cultural Centre, Dhanmondi

Thrash is summoning the first ever "Thrash Metal Gig" in Bangladesh and also going to release their first Extended Play (E.P.) “A Lesson in Thrash” from 'Incursion Music' -- featuring Battle of the Bands winner "Friday The 13th", also includes other music by Dissector. Anger and madness just got a whole new meaning.

Tickets will be available at the venue along with the E.P. and other goodies. Gates open at 4 p.m.

Group Art Exhibition
Date: 20 September 11 October, 2012
Time: 11 p.m. 8 p.m.
Venue: Bengal Art Lounge, Gulshan

Beginning 20 September, 2012 this group exhibition will showcase works by some of the biggest names in the world of Bangladeshi art. Under the same roof, the walls of the lounge will feature pieces by Qayyum Chowdhury , Samarjit Roy Choudhury , Hashem Khan, Rafiqun Nabi, Monirul Islam, Mahmudul Haque, Farida Zaman, Mohammad Eunus, Rokeya Sultana, Kanak Chanpa Chakma, Mohammad Iqbal, Bishwajit Goswami et al.

If you have an eye for visual art, this is an opportunity not to be missed.


Radisson celebrates Blu Day

Along with all the other Radisson Blu hotels over the world Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel Dhaka celebrated Blu Day on the 28th of September. Blu is the premium brand of the chain of hotels of the Carlson-Rezidor Hotel group and their campaign “Turning the World Blu” was started last year. With that view, Radisson Blu Water Garden Hotel Dhaka went all blue - the colour to celebrate “the coolness all around” as put by the general manager, Madhusudan Jhingon.

The hotel was adorned with blue to celebrate the day, from blue flowers in the lobby, everyone wearing blue ties, blue handkerchiefs in pockets, blue saris to even the food -- blueberries were a big part of the serving. The mystic blue lighting of the lobby and the décor all around set the perfect ambience for the coolness quoted above.

The general manager, in his brief introduction to what the Radisson Blu as a brand signifies, talked about the consistent service provided by the chain all over the world, and how promoting Blu Day, the hotel is offering unique services which include complementary Wi-Fi for all rooms and a “Grab & Run” breakfast for the early birds. He talked of how the five-star hotel chain has always been a market leader and that by celebrating Blu Day, the global Radisson family is coming together.

All guests were welcomed with blueberry muffins and blue mocktails, and the Blu Brunch was filled with delicacies mostly blue in colour. For the kids, an in-house artist was also available for face painting.

When asked why the colour blue, Jhingon, with a smile on his face said that blue is cool and it's a colour which sets the mode and atmosphere like no other. “It is generally a more likable colour than others.”

Overall, the blue vibe, which the hotel wanted to promote, was very soothing. The celebration, which carried on till midnight all over the world, is something Jhingon hopes every member of the Radisson family -- both staff and guests -- will commemorate every year. With their motto “Yes I Can”, Radisson guarantees one hundred percent satisfaction for their guests -- and Blu Day to celebrate the brand was another step forward for the global brand.

By Moyukh Mahtab


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