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Doja also has socks both for the tiny and the older ones in the family. Since winter is only a couple of months away and you are looking for cute socks your search ends right here where you will can get pairs of socks at as low as Tk 50 and these are not the regular ugly long ones that parents used to force on you long ago!

My first memories of this place are from almost 16 years ago. I was six and my parents had taken me there. All I remember are bits and pieces of clinging on to their hands while pushing our way through very narrow aisles with small shops on either side, crowded and bustling with haggling shoppers.

I also remember I came back home with a few things I really adored, a number of tank tops and shorts with the different Disney princesses printed on them. Sixteen years later I still visit the narrow aisled maze of a market and come back with things I adore and the best thing about them is their unbeatable prices!

Doja Market has more commonly come to be known as the Dhaka College Market because of its setting exactly opposite the widely known Dhaka College. A favourite shopping haunt for females and males, alike, Doja market is a treasure of latest trends and style at more than affordable prices.

Being the huge garment manufacturing and exporting country that we are, we make garments for foreign buyers and when some of these shipments are rejected or cancelled they make their way to Doja market at unbelievably low prices; the recipe for all things in and inexpensive.

Since these garments are of export quality, Doja only offers Western outfits. One visit to Doja and you will find articles to dress yourself from head to foot, apart from shoes, and inside and out. This place keeps updating its offerings according to the season you visit, however, that does not mean you will not find off-season clothes at all, although it may be difficult to come across likeable ones.

Jeans are available all year round at a maximum of Tk.300-350 if you are a good bargainer, although at times there may some problems with the fit, it is never a big deal as you can go get them changed. Plus, most of the shops also provide altering services. Belts, big ones, thin ones, shiny ones, understated ones, are all available here for a mere Tk. 150 to 200. T-shirts and tops are the ones that usually vary in availability throughout summer and winter.

Since we are approaching the end of September, the last of short sleeved t-shirts and shirts, tank tops, dressy tops and summer dresses will be seen for the next couple of weeks, which will then slowly be replaced by more winter compatible ones. If you still want to grab some light t-shirts, tops or summer dresses you should plan a visit soon.

T-shirts can easily be bought for Tk. 100 to 120, while shirts do not sell for less than Tk. 200 to 250 and dresses are not sold for less than around 400. Soon you will find light jackets for the imminent cool weather that November is going to bring along, followed by woollen sweaters and jackets for the considerably cold winters that Bangladesh has been plagued with for the last few years. These sweaters and jackets are a steal since getting these designs at some of our local brand stores will leave a gaping hole in the wallet, whereas buying these from Doja means you can buy a number of these for the same budget.

Although general belief is that only defective rejected garments are available here that is not always the case. Since buyers have strict compliance to standards they at times reject entire batches even if there are only a few defective pieces. So, while there may be a few defective pieces the others are usually good to wear and the best thing to do is check the products thoroughly before buying if you want to save yourself another trip to change your buy.

Lingerie is a year long staple at Doja with most of the shops near the back of the market housing them. You will be spoiled for choice with different colours, types and designs at your fingertips. Pajamas and night gowns are also a staple with summer bringing in the cotton ones and winter bringing in the flannel ones.

You will soon find the flannel ones in the market, which are a tad bit pricier than their cotton counterparts. Generally you can get a huge choice of colours when buying tights from Doja but they often tear easily. Look for branded ones such as H&M; these sell for only Tk. 100 and are more wear-proof than the regular ones. Scarves in cotton, linen, flannel in different colours and prints sell for around Tk 150 to 200.

While T-shirts, shorts and trousers for children were always available here, but for the past couple of years pretty dresses and outfits for babies and infants have also been seen on the racks. These dresses, overalls, shorts, T-shirts are uber cute and are at times from brands like H&M and Zaraa. Plus, this place has a lot of stuff with Disney and other cartoon characters on them, which will undoubtedly make you an instant hit with your children.

Doja also has socks both for the tiny and the older ones in the family. Since winter is only a couple of months away and you are looking for cute socks your search ends right here where you will can get pairs of socks at as low as Tk 50 and these are not the regular ugly long ones that parents used to force on you long ago!


Although Doja mainly has stuff for females some of the stores do have t-shirts for men which come within Tk 200 and obviously they have jeans for men as well. On top of that you can get your hands on T-shirts from brands such as E-Spirit, Nike, Reebok, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein to name a few, all originally meant to be exported.

If you are a guy, the Bongo Bazaar is an ideal place for you, which is a bigger version of the Doja Market. Bongo Bazaar also has garments for women similar to those at Doja but Doja is more female product oriented one out of the two and Bongo Bazaar has a more diverse range of products. Men will find, along with T-shirts, shirts both formal and casual, belts, a range of pants among other things. This place is the best place to go if you are travelling abroad to a really cold country and looking for the thickest and toughest winter wear that you can get within Tk. 700.

Although these places are not exactly paradise in terms of the environment and the set-up, they are the best fashion deals you can get with a restricted budget. When you have places like these at your disposal who says fashion is a luxury?

By Karishma Ameen
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed


The powerhouse of energy and abundance!

By Nahid Ameen

What would you do to feel absolute abundance of energy, to be in a super fantastic mood, to have the brain power and clarity that will lead to success? To look younger everyday and have the best skin ever?

Sounds too good to be true or hard to achieve all in one go? What if I tell you it is also extremely simple, easy and economical? What if I say you can achieve all this with a proper balance of vitamins and minerals in your body. Now where do we find all these vitamins and minerals? Yes, you are right indeed! It is the fruits and vegetables that you see in your grocery store or farmers market. You can also grow them in your own backyard! The fresher they are the more potent their power is. When I say fresh I do mean local, seasonal and food that has had less storage time.

Can you believe achieving health, longevity and beauty can be that simple? That you really do not need to spend lot of money to buy beauty products or pills? So lets get a glimpse of what these nutrient rich foods do to us.

The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables:
* Living foods that contain enzymes which aid digestion.
* Reduces inflammation in the body
* Rich source of anti-oxidants that fight with free radicals in the - body to protect us from diseases.
* Absolutely essential for cleaning the colon due to the fibre content
* Boosts immunity and increases energy
* Alkalises your body.
* Balances your hormones which will result in clear glowing skin, thick glossy hair and strong nails and bones
* Reduces craving for processed foods
* They are naturally low in fat and high in fibre therefore they maintain healthy weight and reduces belly fat
* Reduces stress and improves sleep
* Contains protein and complex carbohydrates! Yes and that is why vegetarians tend to be healthier if they eat more vegetables than grains and lentils!

OMG! So many benefits? So economical? Yet people keep on looking for their answer to health in so many other avenues. Fruits and vegetables are, dare I say, your “natural pharmacy.” Your medicine. Now I am not the first person to say this. Hippocrates, who is the father of modern medicine as well as Ayurveda which is the 5000-year-old traditional medicinal practice, say “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Especially during Ramadan if you eat lots of fruits and vegetables at night you will feel satiated for the longest period of time. Why don't you take it up as a challenge? A five day challenge out of your thirty days of fasting through which you give your body the optimum nutrition and see how it brings changes in your health and mood.

Here is a story I want to share with you today. In July 2011 I decided to visit this place in Atlanta USA where people were being healed by food. I contacted the owner and asked what can I do to come visit. It cost me almost five thousand dollars in expenses for me to visit Atlanta, stay there for ten days and attend all the lectures. So I started paying them on a monthly basis. In June 2012 I finally reached my destination and met the most incredible healers of the world. The owner was diagnosed with ovarian and breast cancer and was given six months to live. She was recommended radiation and chemo. She took charge of her life by changing diets, adding herbal remedies and incorporating lifestyle changes. She lives now at the age of sixty looking and feeling her best as well as being completely cancer free. Although her diet and food habits may seem to us an “extreme” choice, I would beg to differ. What is more extreme -- the health condition she had suffered or the health improvement she experienced by changing her diet? Let's not keep it a secret anymore. She followed a “vegan” and “raw food” diet. She ate lots of vegetables, sprouted seeds and lentils, water and some spices. There are other angles of this diet which would require for me to write not one but 5 articles! But to keep it simple I just wanted to mention the above. Just imagine if vegetables have the power to heal, what can they do to prevent? Or make our bodies more powerful?

The connection between diet and health is clear. To grow properly and function normally you need a complete range of essential nutrients from protein, carbohydrate, fats, water, vitamin and mineral-rich foods. Fruits and vegetables have all of the macro and micro nutrients.

The foods we eat contain two types of nutrients: macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients. Macro-nutrients are needed in large quantities everyday and form the foundation of any diet. However we often neglect the power of micro-nutrients: vitamins and minerals. They play a critical role in maintaining the body's normal processes and functions. Most foods contain both macro and micro-nutrients in varying proportions. The key to achieving a healthy, well-balanced diet is to eat a wide variety of different fruits and vegetables that contain protein, complex carbohydrates, fibres, vitamins and minerals. Now where to get the fats? Dried fruits, nuts and seeds are packed with essential fatty acids needed for proper brain function.

A little bit about Vitamins and Minerals:
Vitamins are classified as fat soluble and water soluble based on how they are absorbed by the body. Although most vitamins in our diet come from food, there are a few vitamins obtained by other means. For example, microorganisms in the intestines commonly known as gut flora produce vitamin K and biotin [note that prolonged use of antibiotics will kill the useful bacteria that makes this vitamin K]. We also make one form of vitamin D from sun. Vitamin D is synthesised in the skin with the help of natural UV sunlight. It is important to remember that we need all of the vitamins in our body in order to function properly.

Plant foods are also very rich in minerals, they take up minerals from the soil. No single food is the best source of all minerals, but by eating a variety of fruits and vegetables we can ensure maximum intake. A good thing to note about minerals is that the body can store it for future use when intake is low.

What happens with processing these foods?
Vitamins and minerals are often lost when food is processed. One good example is whole grains because fiber, B vitamins, potassium, iron and chromium are removed from them during the refining process. Refined grains sometimes contain “enriched” vitamins and minerals to compensate for the amount lost. Table salt contains added iodine, and many of the breakfast cereals and milk are now fortified with a range of minerals after stripping away the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. These minerals cannot be digested naturally as they are added after processing. Do not rely on processed and refined foods as your only source of nutrients. Instead, eat your veggies.

Preserving the nutrients in fruits and vegetables:
Fruits and vegetables contain their highest level of nutrients when they are harvested at full ripeness and eaten soon after, with minimum processing. Frozen foods are an alternative to fresh produce because they are generally picked at their peak freshness, quickly frozen and stored in cold temperatures to preserve nutrients. Fruits and vegetables that are high in Vitamin C and B (B2) are very light sensitive. Therefore storing them in a cool dark place is best. Unfortunately, cooking contributes towards vitamin and mineral loss. Many water soluble vitamins are destroyed by heat. Keep cooking time to a minimum and avoid boiling vegetables in large amounts of water because the vitamins and minerals will leech into the water. Steam vegetables in small amounts of water to preserve their nutrient contents.

I think we can all benefit from a little more energy, a bit more excitement and great health all the time. Visit your local stores or call upon a “feriwala” to see what is in season. Preparing a big bowl of salad or steaming vegetables is not very time consuming. Make your salad exciting and adventurous. Go online t discover great recipes.


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