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By Lady Orochimaru and
Professor Spork

We all know that it's the feet that make the man. More often than you may think, they make the woman too. Shoes are, without doubt, the most integral part of any girl's outfit. What adorns your feet, be it flats or heels, boots or sneakers, or even nothing at all, is what completes the look that you want to pull off.

Now that we've established the importance of shoes, let's focus on how to acquire them. Not all of us have the personal dough to go off to Cat's Eye or Bailey Star and grab the niftiest pair of cowboy boots in stock. Yet never fear, for this is, after all, Bangladesh. You want affordable shoes? Elephant Road in Dhaka is where you should go.

As it happens, once you're done going over all the hundred stores along the road, you realise they all sell pretty much the same thing. So if we may give a suggestion: try the group of stores called Chowrongi Bazar, directly opposite the giant Bata/Westecs building. It has almost the full collection of Elephant Road cooped up in its twenty odd stores, and although at first the sequins can blind you, if you take the time to look, you'll find quite a few treasures hiding among the tackiness.

And don't worry; they'll last long enough for you to get tired of them.

Flats Ballet flats are totally in right now, but the stores here don't have many of those. For the most gorgeous ballet flats in town, check out Bailey Star (Bailey Road, Dhaka) instead. Pumps are also in short supply. However, if you don't mind the other kinds of flats, feel free to push aside the weird silver ones to the lovely pair of whites hiding in the backdrop of all the flashy colours. Don't let the crafty shopkeepers talk you into buying any pair of flats, no matter how pretty, for more than 300 taka, max. Not even the gladiators. If need be, use the bargaining tips dished out by Musarrat and Jawad a while back.

Medium heels Trying to find a good pair of these is like fishing; be patient, and it'll pay off in the end. The most you should be willing to pay for these is 500, and even then it's a loss.

Boots There's a fair share of boots in these small shops, and if you're into star-spangled, you should certainly give them a shot. They cost a lot, mind you, with a starting price of over 20,000. We refrain from advising you on a price range for these, but please take a skilled haggler with you to help out: remember that the shopkeepers will always quote a price at least twice the original.

High heels Ah, stilettos. Girls are nothing but love-struck fools when it comes to these babies. Enter Chowrongi and take the first door to the left to behold a beautiful collection, and troop downstairs to the larger section for the best selection in the Bazar. You could also discover the most daring gladiator heels staring at you right in the face from beside some dazzling atrocity in a tiny shop, so make sure you look around. The starting price will always be above 1500 taka, but it can come down to anything between 500 and 1000 taka.

Higher heels Have you ever ventured to New York or Vegas, or even an anime convention, and wished you could find those shoes in your city? Just because they're that awesome? There is one store, in the entirety of the shoe haven in Elephant Road (and possibly the rest of Bangladesh as well), where your dreams will be answered. Take the first door to the right on the ground floor - slide open the hazy glass doors, and say hello to cosplay heaven. Style, check. Flashing colour, check. Glam, glitter, height, check, check, check. Walk in and look around, just once, if only to feel your jaw drop.

We don't know how much they actually cost, but we'd sure as hell be willing to dish out half our savings for a pair of those tall, sparkly, golden platforms sitting on the top shelf.

We'll be back with the lowdown on men's footwear (also very important!) soon enough.

The last issue went with the topic Puppet Strings and the entry below really impressed us. When we first started BetaWriters our intention was to inspire young writers to explore a given topic with all their imagination. This write up is one that we really enjoyed. For next week, we have Names. Write-ups have to be written within 500 words and sent in by noon Sunday to ds.risingstars@gmail.com.


Puppet Strings

By Tahsinul Huq

In the beginning, there was naught. Neither knew the other. Our existences; they did not cross paths. There was nothing to warn us of the future.

And then, we met. There was a hint of promise; it was no ordinary meeting. And yet, there was little that we had now. There were no strings. No puppet strings, from one to the other. And yet, there was promise... a potential that we explored.

We began to converse with one another. To talk. We began to know each other, and, ever so slightly, we drew nearer. The first, fragile strings were laid out on the table. They were flimsy, and yet, they were the key to further delve into the promise that this held.

The strings took hold. Of both of us. They attached. Not so firmly yet. And, ever so slightly, we drew a little closer. The promise began to bloom. There were most certainly possibilities here...

We began to talk more. We began to have meaningful conversation. The strings grew stronger. They grew more firm. They began to gain a little control. More strings were laid out. They lay limp, waiting to grab on.

We began to understand, just a little. We began to know one another. The strings held us tighter; firmly enough, now, for us to acknowledge their presence. The fact was slightly frightening; and yet, it was enthralling. The potential had really begun to show. There was no turning back now.

We knew the strings were there. And we embraced them gladly. New horizons opened up to us. The strings now, gained control. They pulled us nearer. They pulled, in an inexorable way; it was almost impossible to stop them. It was only possible to wait and watch. The power of the strings was frightening; and yet, so very alluring.

There was now mutual understanding. There was trust. The strings that bound us to each other were firm and stable. There was no doubt. The promise had indeed bloomed. The power of the strings was indeed great.

We pondered. We wondered, about how the strings had attained control. How they could manipulate us, influence our lives. Indeed, the bonds of friendship, true, real friendship, are strong. A puppeteer manipulates his puppets, through the physical strings that we don't see. The puppet strings of friendship, are different. They work in both directions at once. One manipulates the other. To truly attain control, these strings, bonds, must be connected. They must reach deeply into both. For to truly gain influence over another, you must know them, understand them, to their core, their heart. The thing is; the same strings will control you in return. That is friendship.

All the same, we did wonder: what happens, when one end of the string breaks? One heart shatters? Or perhaps, when one rots, what happens to the other? Or perhaps the eventuality that we know will come: what happens, when the strings of friendship, are broken with force?


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