Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 19, Tuesday October 7, 2003






Shop special


Shahnaz Parveen

This week's shop special is for book lovers only. Book lovers, who will go beyond the popular best seller fictions. There are many bookstores in Dhaka but most of them offer very limited deals, either novels or textbooks for different English and Bangla medium schools. Only few bookstores offer a balanced collection. Ekushey is one of them.

Ekushey was established in 1993. They mainly sell imported books. From philosophy to recipe, Ekushey covers a vast area. The books sold here cover a range of subjects from social science, philosophy, art, architecture, to film theatre, music, literature, language, linguistics…the list goes on.

In their packed racks, you will see names such as Edward Said, Bertrand Russell, Nehru or James Joyce. You will see books of globally acclaimed novelists such as Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Jean-Paul Sartre, Milan Kundera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez or current literary gurus like Arundhati Roy or Salman Rushdie. The store has books on the shelves, on the floor and on the counter. You will find book lovers with the desire to broaden their knowledge on Anthropology or Archaeology, there will be someone who wants to know all that is to know about current politics. There are always people in there, scanning the books they desire or simply discussing about it, for hours sometimes.

There are books on light subject matters too. If you are looking for a book on interior designing, Ekushey can definitely give you some. Maybe your area of interest is fashion designing and you're looking for books on the subject. Well, Ekushey is your place. Thinking a lot about health and fitness lately? They sell books on fitness too.
Ekushey has an enormous collection of dictionaries. English to English, French to English, English to German, or Spanish, Ekushey has them all. Major academic dictionaries like medical, physics, art, or philosophy are also available there. If it is not there, you can order them to get you one.

If you love to collect paintings of famous painters, but cannot afford to buy one, then you can always collect albums of painting photographs. If you love Picasso, Michaelangelo, and Van Gogh or maybe da Vinci, albums comprising all their masterpieces are available there.

Books from all the major publishing houses you can name such as Oxford India, Blackwell, Routledge, Sage, Rupa or Penguin are available there. All these foreign names might give you the impression that local books are not at all featured there. Well, they have books from local publishers too.

Ekushey has its own publications. They publish a few books every year because their intention is to present consumers with good books both in terms of production quality and content. To maintain the production quality, their books are a little more expensive than other publishing houses of our country.

Not many people have the habit of reading books and not many people have a personal book collection at home. However, Ekushey has become a very favourite name among those who read just out of sheer necessity, academic or non-academic. If you are one of those people who treasure books more than anything else in this world, Ekushey can help you enrich your collection with their diversified and well-selected books.

Ekushey is situated at the ground floor of Aziz super market, Shahbagh, popularly known as boi para. If you are in boi para check out all the other bookstores too. As the name boi para reveals, the market is full of bookstores, that offers a wide variety of books.

Shop talk

Down the drain
Here's to literally throwing money down the drain only this time it is for a good cause. You throw all kinds of material in the sink or the washroom drains. Food particles, hair, shaving foam along with certain gross material add together to create something worse than any nasty Hollywood horror movie. With little children around you can add toy parts, jelly, mud, paint and the entire content of the toothpaste tube. In the end you have your personal pond in the sink because of a clogged drainpipe. You can use drain cleaners available at most of the general stores. A plastic jar of the cleaning powder from Kiwi costs about 95 taka or you can get small packets for about 15 taka. All you need to do is pour the powder into the drain and wait for it to dissolve the gunk.

Wet wipes
Tissues are indispensable in a country like ours. The heat, humidity and dust help to create a face pack any fancy spa would be proud of. Wet Wipes are damp tissues that feel oh-so-cool on a hot summer day. They easily wipe off dirt leaving the skin feeling clean and fresh. You can get these in pots or boxes and are great for keeping in cars and in living rooms. They cost 70-140 taka and can be found at Jans Supermarket.

Leather care
Car manufacturers nowadays kill a lot of cows so we can sit back in luxury. Such selfless sacrifice on the cows part needs to be cherished (not that they had a choice). Car seats suffer a lot from spilled drinks, dirt and ultraviolet rays that can harden, discolor and crack your cherished seat cover. Other than car accessory shops Pick N' Pay in Gulshan 2 sells paste or liquid polish for leather costing 175-250 taka. Jans Supermarket in the same location has spray on polish costing 375 taka. It keeps the leather supple without any color additives. This prevents clothes from staining. It can be used on the dashboard and other plastic surfaces as well as any leather goods. Leather in cars is put under a lot of stress in more ways than one so take care of it while you can.

Shiny paintwork
If you bought a shiny new car and wash it with Jet detergent powder it will not stay shiny too long. In fact you will probably wash off the paint in a couple of years leaving bare metal. The auto accessory shops have a plethora of car polishes out of which one of the best is Formula 1 polish. It is in paste form and comes in a small yellow pot with a foam applicator. It costs about 200 taka and contains carnauba wax. In laymans term it has a special additive to create a smoother layer over the paint. Applied once a month will keep your paint sparkling for years. Don't store the polish hoping to use next year because once opened these dry up.

Check bags
Jatra in Banani sells funky "gaamcha" bags. Yes, the bags are exactly like a typical red and green checked "gaamcha" but as a bag it actually looks desirable. The bags are very basic in design and with a simple flap over the opening. This simplicity highlights the printed material. Cost per bag is about 200 taka.

Stars within your reach
Children would love to have these glow in the dark plastic pieces to stick up on walls. Actually, some grown ups would not mind either. These come in different colors other than the usual green such as pink and yellow. They come in several sizes and packets and cost Tk.80-150. There is also a set with tiny glowing frogs. These products are found at most stationary stores.

By Ehsanur Raza





Last week, the make-up of our Lifestyle model, Fadia, on the cover, "Cities in Puja Frenzy", was done by Farzana Shakil. This was not mentioned in last weeks issue.

Public toilets needed
Dhaka lacks so many facilities that it should have as a capital city. Public toilets, for one, are very scarce. The number of existing toilets is quite pathetic, actually. When you add to that the condition of these existing facilities, the seriousness of the situation becomes more apparent. It is high time that the Dhaka City Corporation should take steps to provide clean toilet facilities that the city so badly needs.

It is the same everywhere
Even in offices, there is a scarcity of toilets. The same scenario prevails in shopping malls, educational institutes and financial institutions. The building authorities neglect this area during construction. New market, Chandni Chawk, and Gausia, the largest shopping areas of the city have no proper lavatories. Everyday thousands of people shop there, the majority of them being women. Every now and then, they experience the sheer agony. Yes, it can be painful when you really need to go and there is no toilet in sight.

People who suffer most
Women are the ones who suffer most. The rate of occurrence of urine infections and kidney problems in women has been increasing recently, as more women join the workforce, and, due to the lack of proper toilet facilities, either hold it in, or reduce their water intake.
Pregnant women are greatly at health risk. According to doctors, there is always a possibility of contraction if a pregnant woman controls her urinal pressure. Possibility of urinary infection is always higher during pregnancy. Kids and senior citizens are also vulnerable.

Not on the streets please
People are in a real dilemma in the city when in need of responding to nature's call. Public toilets are very scarce in the City although it does not exempt anyone from the crime of urinating in the open. As we have mentioned earlier, enormous number of men simply do it on the sidewalk. We would like to remind them of the agony of the people who suffer most and urge them, please not on the streets.

By Shahnaz Parveen




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