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








It was a memorable night for many music lovers at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium on the 2nd of October. Organised by The American Center, U.S. Embassy, this one of a kind "Jazz night" was lauded by many music fans. The new taste of Jazz in our saturated city seemed to bring a new dimension to such cultural programs. The show was completely free for the public, the American centre gave out complimentary tickets for the occasion. The band Jazzisimo, really brought the spirit of the music alive, amongst a crowd which really cheered the band on.

The band comprises of four amazingly skilled individuals all proven at their own fields. Virginia Mayhew is the saxophonist, composer and arranger for the band. She has been an active participant in the New York jazz scene for over 15 years. With amazing expertise on the saxophone and stunning solo performances she got the crowd to their feet.

Allison Miller is the prized drummer of the group and began playing the drums at the age of ten. She has performed and recorded around the world. She stunned the crowd at the occasion with amazing solo drumming, mixed with fusion with the other instruments.
Daniel Kelly, the pianist, works in jazz, Afro-Cuban, and electro-acoustic avant-garde music. As pianist for Eye Contact, he has toured Europe and Asia. He really impressed the audience with his composure and "fast fingers".

Harvie S, is the bassist of the band and can be heard on
several hundred CD's as a sideman, eight as a leader, and 15 as a co-leader. His new Afro-Cuban band Eye Contact has been playing clubs in New York City. Harvie S. currently holds the jazz bass instructor position at the Manhattan School of Music. His performances with the bass were truly stunning and he really set the tone for the afternoon with a stunning solo.

The band played jazz with Brazilian and Afro-Cuban influence. The samba was heavily cheered by the crowd. However, the salsa got everyone tapping and cheering. The surprise treat for the audience was the performance by the U.S. Ambassadors wife. She really captured the crowd with songs such as Embracable You, which really summed up the truly amazing afternoon.

Performances such as this from International artists are rare to attend but the number of these shows should definitely increase. After all, the crowd here in Bangladesh is widening its horizons to the taste of music.

By Mishel Ali Khan

News Flash

KoMart's new outlet
After spending years as a small store catering to the local Korean community, KoMart has decided to expand its horizons, and in an effort to achieve this, has opened a new outlet in Kemal Ataturk Road. Located opposite to the Awwal Centre, KoMart is a supermarket belonging to the owners of Dunkin' Donuts, and offers everything from groceries to toiletries.

KoMart's target is to cater to the international community in Dhaka, the foreign nationals, to provide them with products of their own homelands. The main focus is on the Korean community, of course, as the enterprise is owned by a Korean national; however, they also offer a range of products of different international brands, to attract customers of different nationalities. A spokesman for Komart commented: "As well as providing the Dhaka-based foreign nationals the products of their own countries, we also want to give Bangladeshis a taste of Korea; we want them to try out our products."
Inside the neat, bright, and well-ordered interior of Komart, on the ground floor, consumers will find a wide range of food products, ranging from fresh vegetables to frozen meats to instant soups and carbonated drinks. On the first floor, next to Dunkin Donuts, they offer a host of other products, including cosmetics, stationery, kids' clothing, gift items and CD's and DVD's, to mention a few.

The prices of some of the products are a bit steeper than those of similar goods in other supermarkets, but it bears remembering that many of the items on offer here are unavailable elsewhere. Many of the food products are beginning to gain popularity amongst deshi consumers as well as European nationals living here, particularly the instant noodle soups and snack items.

KoMart is unique in the sense that it has been established without financial assistance from any local banks or business organizations. Future plans include expanding both Dunkin Donuts and KoMart, and extending the range of products and services. Here's wishing them the best of luck. It's definitely a place worth checking out.

By Sabrina F Ahmad

RECIPES my way by Mahjabeen Khan

Interesting Interactions

He is like any other 'kola wala' (banana vendor). Taking great pride in his flawless, greenish yellow bananas and a variety of fruits from different parts of the region. One can watch him arranging and rearranging them every now and then, sometimes taking short breaks, sitting on a tiny stool close to his cart.

Nothing unusual, a fruit vendor sitting by a busy street and minding his own business. But if you have the time and are in the mood to strike up a casual conversation, especially if you think that you know more about him than he knows about you, you are in for some on-the-spot entertainment.

The professor buys bananas from him on a regular basis. He remembers the first time he discovered the 'kola wala' when one day he took a different path to the university campus. He parks right round the corner from the professor's apartment. Within a week he needed to socialize with his new found neighbor.

One afternoon on his back home he stopped to buy some fruits and asked the 'kola wala', "So, where are you from?" After a hint of hesitation the man replied, "bherry phar".
"I know very far but I mean from which country? " the professor pressed on, who by the way has long hair tied in a ponytail. The poor man had no choice but to mumble, "Bangladesh". By now the professor was too eager to continue with the tete-a-tete (one-sided!) that he asked, "But where in Bangladesh?"

To this the man said rather impatiently, "bherry north."
"Very north but which district?" the professor almost begged. The man stopped doing whatever he was doing, looked at his customer and said, "Borishaal". (Barisal? Very north?!). The professor was visibly thrilled and holding the man's hand said, "Arey bhai, koiben tho...aami o Borishaler !" Same country, same district, same dialect and the same distance from home...instant bonding.

We were in a taxi when my sister's mobile rang. It was our cousin on the other end. The three of us immediately converged on a long catching-up-kind-of-conversation, the phone changing hands every few seconds. As we approached the railway station we finally hung up. When the driver was taking our bags from the trunk we reached for our purses. He beamed at us and said, "Oshombob ! Kunno motey naa.." (Impossible, no way {can I accept anything from you} ). No matter how much we insisted he just wouldn't take the fare. Throughout our ride he must have overheard our conversation and laughter in his own dialect and was momentarily transported with longing and nostalgia for his roots somewhere back home.

I needed to buy a phone with a built-in answering machine and was advised to go to a particular shopping area that carried a wide variety of dual voltage electrical goods. The three of us, my daughter, a friend and I set our priorities right and first went and consumed a most delicious buffet of comfort food. After lunch when we walked into this 'departmental' store I was not surprised to see things from fabrics, saris to pots and pans and electrical appliances, from glass bangles and gold jewellery to bed sheets and luggage...everything stacked in one little place! I found a phone I liked with a pleasing price tag on it. Noticing my luck my daughter decided to buy a phone for her Internet and asked the elderly salesperson (possibly the owner) and wanted to have a look at one she spotted in the showcase. (Her accent is very different from mine) He looked at her and asked, "For where?"

I saw the puzzled look on her face with this silent 'hello?' expression the members of the new generation use when they are shocked! But she simply replied, "For here". "No, no, nothing for here. Everything for India, Pakistan, Bangladesh...." he replied in quite a dismissal tone and moved away. Not one to accept complete dejection she said, "Oh well, but does anybody do threading here?" The girl behind the counter immediately said, "Yes, Bombay Salon, just round the corner."

As we walked out of the shop our friend asked us, "What is threading?" "You will see," my daughter replied. Once we were inside 'Bombay Salon' I quickly slouched into a comfortable chair, almost dozing off after the huge lunch. As my daughter took her position on a leather swivel (our friend hovering close by, not ready to miss any of the excitement) a young woman came with some white thread, twirling the strands as she approached her customer. Holding the joined end of the yarns with her teeth and the two other ends with her delicate fingers she groomed my daughter's brows literally in seconds!
It is difficult to explain (same as one of the items in a menu we read, 'Too difficult to describe but highly recommended'!) the art of threading and quite understandably, I saw my friend's jaw drop. Everything was over before she could fathom what it was all about!
As we sat in the train on our way back home, both us mothers, each holding a 'phuler jharu' (broom) for our children's new apartments, she seemed still in a daze. All she could say was that it felt like she had just visited a throbbing city in Asia somewhere.

But Carolyn, we were, after all, in Jackson Heights! A whole half an hour's ride from downtown Manhattan!
Fried Fish With Sesame Seeds

1 kilo fish (your choice of any white, firm fish e.g. bhetki)
1 cup sesame (teel) seeds (or more)
2 eggs (beaten)
2 cups flour or as needed
1 cup oil soy sauce and sweet and sour chilli sauce as accompaniments
Fresh coriander leaves (dhaniya) for garnishing

Cover the whole fish or fillet well with flour (add a pinch of salt to the flour) on all sides. In a flat plate spread the beaten egg and turn the fish a couple of times until it is completely covered with the batter. Spread the sesame seeds on a tray and again turn the fish covering it with the seeds, patting gently until it forms a crust. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Fry the fish, both sides, until cooked and golden brown. In a separate bowl, mix the soy with sweet and sour chilli sauce. Either serve it on the side or pour
over the fish. Garnish with coriander leaves.



Tress Tales

The most effective means of treating hair loss is treating it with natural ingredients. Herbs have medicinal properties that can control infection besides stimulating hair growth. Basically, herbs, fruits and vegetables have antiseptic properties and are wonderful cleansers.

Oils: Herbal oils prepared from coconut, almond and sesame are great for the hair.

Eggs: Hair and eggs always went well together. For a conditioning effect, it was mixed with brandy or curd- a recipe for later day egg shampoos.

Papaya: The fruit when ripe is an effective hair nourisher and is rich in Vitamin A. It is also a great hair conditioner and a good medium for mixing with various herbs. Especially good for coloured hair.

Amla (Emblic Myrobalan): Another important ingredient used in ancient hair dyes. When used n oils, it darkens hair and promotes hair growth.

Here are a few remedies to improve the quality of hair to add bounce and shine.

Hair nourishment: Begin with a hot oil massage with any of the following: Olive, coconut, almond, sesame oil. Take a matured Aloe Vera leaf and remove the gel from within. Grind into a paste along with papaya fruit or coconut milk extract. Massage or apply the entire paste all over scalp and hair. Wash off with herbal shampoo or soap nut decoction.

Take two whole red beets and grind to extract juice. Add the slice of a half a lemon. Add one teaspoon of castor or sesame oil to the slice and rub this mixture on your scalp every third day for two weeks.

Hanging Out


Anybody been to 'Khushboo" yet? Well if you have not then you are so missing out on a treat. It is not your usual run-of-the-mill fast food joint; this is where you get wholesome food for the most reasonable prices. Starting from plain rice-yes I know, some of you are already thinking that is what home is for, but I bet you cannot get fish that tasty anywhere else. And if you are in the mood for tehari or biriyani even better, because even now just thinking about it makes my mouth water with anticipation.

Khushboo is located near the cul-de-sac just before Bata in Elephant Road-it is pretty hard to miss because the dé
cor even from the outside is very inviting.

Inside the place is perfect if you want to spend some quality time with that special someone, or maybe even your parents if you ever need to have a heart-to-heart with them on neutral territory. The lighting scheme is absolutely enchanting, so is the new-age half-completed brick walls that are becoming quite the norm nowadays. One can find people from all age flocking Khushboo at all hours of the day. It gets more than quite crowdy during the mornings and afternoon lunch hours, but after 3 it is one of the nicest place to be. If any of you have a hankering for borhani or faluda then Khushbu is definitely the place for you. You should really try the place out sometime, that is if you have not already, and what else can I say but- Bon Appetite.

By Sumaya Siddiq Shashin




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