Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 12, Tuesday August 19, 2003






Shop special

Monsoon wedding…

Bohemian Soul

I always come across those colourful decorative shops in Elephant Road but never got the opportunity to take a look inside. The wedding stores in Dhaka are not very impressive but the materials that they keep are appealing, therefore I couldn't help but get in finally.

The funniest thing that caught my eyes was the list they have. The salesman offered me a list that he thought is a must see. It is an all-purpose wedding list, things that are a must in wedding packages. The list starts from Pagri to safety pins. The prices are there beside each item (which is of course negotiable).

As I asked for bamboo baskets they showed me many varieties and shapes. The colours are also different from one another and the shapes are oval, square, round, triangular and not to mention shapes that can't be found in your geometry book.

The prices start from Tk.50 till as much as they can haggle for. But size does matter in this case. As the size increases the price shoots up too. Many baskets are coloured and wrapped in "chundri" print cut pieces and some have local hand paints. The biggest basket would be best if you can buy it with 300 taka and not a single penny more. For the final choice, have a small tour to the market, hop in other stores evaluate the prices and then buy.

Then I moved forward to the Bengali culture, "gaye holud" products. I was always very curious about the items these stores keep for the "wedding shower" ceremony. The oil, fennel seeds, turmeric, and a packet of seven different items for showers are amazing to look at. They are also wrapped up in two ways. One is silver or golden packing, another is the chundri one, which looks better I think. All these formalities will cost taka 450/-.

You can also get the soap, perfume, comb/brush, toothbrush & toothpaste, mirror lotions and many more. These are good in quality but I would suggest not getting the female cosmetics range. To pack your things you need wrapping paper. One good suggestion is to check out the Gulshan "Archies" opposite wonderland. They have good wrapping items. The ribbons and papers are very impressive, decorative and colourful. The wrapping papers and ribbons are Taka 5 to Taka 10 per yard. In some cases it is Taka 15. But the Elephant Road shops have nice rolex papers in bright glossy red, blue, green, golden and silver. This rolex is also good for decorating a gorgeous wedding package let it be for the bride or the groom.

"Pati" the bamboo made mattress that is used for holud sessions are also found in many types and colours. The best idea is to get a plain one and put your creativity in it. But in times of emergency get the painted one or the plain silver one, you can add little stars here and there, later on. The price range for pati starts from taka 150 to taka 300 highest. I would suggest you to read the list- it would remind you of the things you want. Try to haggle as that is the custom over there and one more thing get- scissors, tapes, glues and pins for proper placement. Events like weddings have many more things to cover but this space doesn't allow me to make the shop special any longer.

As I completed my visit I will sum up saying that the products are good, people are friendly and you can't find them elsewhere. So as I was coming out of the market I couldn't help but dream of owing one shop as colourful, friendly and important.

Shop talk

This week's Shop Talk is dedicated to the Betty Crocker disciple with a sweet tooth. If you have baking plans in mind, and shopping plans for the like on your agenda, you might want to keep this section handy. So, let's get cracking, shall we?

Starting with the smarts: Cook books
So you aim to please the crowd with an Angel Food Cake or your crè me brulee. Next question…do you know how to actually make the above-mentioned dishes? Even if you do, it can't hurt to keep notes on measurements, etc. at hand. Step right into Omni Books, Gulshan, and you'll have a load of cookbooks to choose from. Our recommendation? The Robert Rose Classic Desserts priced at Tk 360.

Bowlin' them over: Mixing bowls
Whether you're whipping up chocolate brownies or buttery lemon squares, you have to have something to hold the dough in while you add in those ingredients. A good-sized mixing bowl is what you need. Try looking for a sturdy plastic one… my favorite glass one broke the other day, and so did my heart. Your average large-sized plastic mixing bowl costs around Tk 80, and is available at any hardware/cooking supplies store.

Measure for measure…with spoons
Cook books and recipes are always talking about "3 tbsp. of ingredient X, 2 ¼ tsp. of ingredient Y…" leaving us bewildered as to how much to add to make that fudge look as good as it does in the magazine. Measuring spoons make life a lot easier, by allowing you to take the exact amounts. A steel set will cost you around Tk 100, while a plastic one, or an aluminum one will cost Tk 50.

Fixing the mix: electric mixing machines
Our lives these days are too busy to be spent in the kitchen mixing batter by hand. Modern technology has speeded up the process by giving us electric mixers to help save time. Starting from Tk 850 to around Tk 1400 or more, depending on the make and brand name, these mixers are available at most appliance stores, and are a Godsend when there's a dessert to be made on short notice.

Spatula Special
If you still insist on mixing by hand, or if you need to stir your batter, it's useful to own a spatula. The wooden ones are sturdy and easy to handle, and cost around Tk 60.

PANdemonium with Baking Pans
You've got the batter ready, and you've got your oven hot and ready. What's the magic item that links the two to a tasty treat? That's right, a baking pan. The serving size depends on the size of your pan, and it's very important to use the right size for any baking venture. A good quality, non-stick, six-piece baking pan set costs around Tk 800 at the DCC Market, Gulshan-1, but you might get a cheaper deal if you go to New Market.

Molding Magic: Cupcake molds
How to give your muffins the cute little cup-shape? Get yourself a cupcake mold for Tk. 10-20 each, depending on the size.

Sipping Syrup
Here's a nifty way to spice up a boring ice-cream sundae or cake roll. Hershey's Chocolate Syrup costs Tk 160 (cans), Tk 180 (plastic bottle). If you prefer something fruity, go for the Hershey's Strawberry Syrup at the same price range. Great for milkshakes as well.

Whipping wonders
It takes a lot of eggs, milk and hard work to make whipped cream on your own. If you need to save time, get yourself some readymade whipped cream. It costs about Tk 90 per pack, and is available at almost any supermarket or general store.

I sing for icing
Pardon the over-enthusiastic wordplay. One sure way to make your puddings and cakes look pretty is to add some icing. For a smooth, blob-free icing experience, get hold of a steel icing set, priced at 250.

A sprinkle of cheer
Who can resist a chocolatey treat covered with colorful sprinkles? Grab a box of sugary, multicolored candy sprinkles at Tk 25/box.

By Sabrina F. Ahmad




About the islands
In the streets of Dhaka, there are some islands under construction. The islands seem fairly wide compared to the width of the streets. At present, vehicles of Dhaka City are plying on very congested streets. We were just wondering whether these islands are going to reduce more space from our city streets or not.

Violation of international law
India recently unilaterally decided to divert waters of international rivers flowing through India and Bangladesh. It is a blatant violation of international law and it will be disastrous for our environment. Similar circumstance with the Farakka dam has already caused enough damage. Once again, diplomats are failing to retrieve the rights to have proper share of international water for the nation.

Boycott godfathers
Joinal Hazari, the infamous godfather of Feni was recently given life imprisonment in an arms case. 40 other cases were filed against him since 1970, among them he was discharged from 24 for lack of evidence, as witnesses were scared to testify against him. One can't help but wonder how it was possible for a criminal mind like Hazari to become a lawmaker of the previous parliament? Notorious individuals like Hazari should not get nominations from any party in the first place. These people should be boycotted politically and socially.

Is it modern age yet?
After the incident of finding forged notes in the Bangladesh Bank vault, it has come to light that none of the branches of the four nationalised banks have any forged note detectors. Have we not entered the modern ages yet?

Helping juvenile offenders
Currently there are three Juvenile Correction Centres in the country. Two of them are for boys and one for girls. Being accused of different crimes, they do not get reasonable treatment in those centres, which are meant to correct them. The future of a juvenile offender is not promising at all, as they do not get proper professional help to overcome their condition. The reason as to why they committed the crime they are accused of, are not properly dealt with. It is a matter of doubt whether these correction centres are beneficial for them or not.
By Shahnaz Parveen



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