Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 47, Tuesday April 27, 2004







Shop talk

Mosquito warfare
Having an old car that is falling apart means having to spend a lot of time tying things up. The only time available to do all that is at night. Unfortunately it happens to be a time when mosquitoes come out in full attack formation that would shame the deadliest kamikaze bombers from World War II. Work goes out the window while swatting left, right and center. Same thing happens when sitting at the computer and typing prize winning articles like shoptalk. Basically the mosquito menace is back in all its infamous glory. At Agora you can buy large cans of mosquito coils so that you do not run out. Each contains 60 coils at 110 taka.

Food coloring
Why anyone would want to drink something that looks like blue toilet cleaner is beyond comprehension. If you want to do so or create something that has a shocking blue tint then get your hands on the tiny vials of food coloring available at Agora, Mayuri in Dhanmondi and a lot of those big stores with a lot of bright lights. In fact you can make a whole rainbow of food using all the different colors. These come in tiny bottles by Foster Clarks and cost 35-40 taka depending on location. There are also different essences such as vanilla, chocolate, orange and rose.

Multiple USB ports
USB ports on your computer give true meaning to the term plug and play. Simply plug in your accessory and you're in business. Other than your mouse and keyboard you can find just about everything else such as external CD writing drives, flash cards, printers etc that allow you to utilize these ports. Of course most computers come only with two USB ports and you need a USB hub to attach more devices. You can buy these hubs at most computer stores for about 500 taka and each lets you connect up to six devices.

Mark your words!
OHP markers from Faber Castell (or any other brand) have narrow tips to facilitate writing on projector slides. It has permanent ink that enables you to write on a lot of different surfaces as long as it is not wet. You can use it to mark your immortal words, thoughts, ideas or simple labels on CDs, plastic folders, kitchen pots, books, casts on people with broken limbs and very annoying white cats. You can find these at Etcetera and most stationary shops for 35-45 taka. You get the typical blue, black, red and green colors.

Lamps and CD albums
Jatra of Banani sells beautiful inexpensive lamps using paper. They come in abstract shapes and cost taka 350-580. Different varieties are available to be hung from walls, ceilings or simply put on a table. These low illumination lamps make perfect gifts especially to create a cozy atmosphere. You might also want to check out the CD albums that are made of similar material. These are a lot funkier than your average plasticky grey/black/blue bags. Cost is 190 taka per album.

By Ehsanur Raza Ronny

Manicure Kit
Well, these days the girls take time to shape and smooth their nails at home with the help of a handy manicure kit. Many of us do go to the beauty parlours to get that elegant look, but you can easily do it at home too with the aid of those useful files, nail-clippers, tweezers, emery boards and so on. There are really cute Korean manicure kits available at Almas General Store (situated on Road # 5, Dhanmondi), which you can use conveniently at home without anyone's help. Prices will vary from kit to kit; some are priced tk.200 to tk.300 while others are priced as high as tk.400. There are about 5 to 8 items in each pack to help you give that clean and finished look to your hands. So go get a kit and make the whole world go gaga over your hands.

Nail files
The file attached to a nail-clipper doesn't always give the desired service; it's often blunt and small. Therefore, sometimes it becomes a necessity to get hold of a separate nail file to give that perfect shape and appearance to your nails. There are nail files available at Almas, which you can buy for only tk.50. These nail files are absolutely useful; they last long and work well too.

Nail Stickers
Although nail stickers have been made available in the western world quite a long time back, they are not widely available in Dhaka yet. The custom of using artistic nail stickers to add style to hands is getting popular though. At popular general store like Almas, nail stickers are often available but they sell out very quickly. At Almas, you can get hold of eye-catching, smart nail stickers and decals within tk.50 to tk.60.

Low-priced yet trendy…
What else could be more glamorous than a pair of hands varnished impressively with a choice shade of nail polish? Glittery nail varnishes are still in. Elle18 of India has introduced their "be trendy" collection with a series attraction-grabbing nail shades in fashionable little bottles. Elle18 is also available in Dhaka for tk.40 to tk.50. You can also get nail polish from Revlon, India for tk.110 from stores of Metro Shopping Mall, Rapa Plaza and Rifles Square. The Indian versions of Revlon cost much less than the American ones.

Exquisite Nail colours from Maybelline
The US brands of nail colours will naturally cost you high. Maybelline's Express Finish collection is selling well these days. Available in 6 sizzling colours (Just Pink, Silver Lilac, Cosmic Flash, Pink Topaze etc), Express Finish's nail polishes dry within 1 minute and leave no smudging or smearing. These days it's considered chic to paint nails in different shades and add glitter on top to give that dashing look.

Nail Art
There aren't many places in Dhaka where you can get decorative designs done on your nails by experts. However, there is a small Thai Beauty Saloon in Rocking Zone (Rocking Zone is located in Kemal Ataturk Avenue), where its staff will depict marvellous arts on your nails with real nail paints. Artificial nails with work of art drawn on them are also available at this saloon for tk.500.

Hand Lotion
Regular massage with a quality hand lotion will keep your fingers, nails and palm soft and smooth. In the Gulshan outlet of Almas Super Shop, you can obtain hand lotions from Avon; the large bottle will cost you some tk.280 while the small ones are priced tk.180. The store also has hand lotion from St. Michael, which is priced a bit higher. Although a bottle of St. Michael's hand lotion will cost you tk.300, it's worth purchasing one.

By Wara Karim





Essentials Special

Service elevators are missing
Most of the buildings of Dhaka lack several facilities. Service elevators for instance, are missing. It is usual for the residents of apartment buildings to pull heavy objects manually, even all the way to the top.

And regular ones too
Service elevators may seem extravagant to building owners but in many cases even regular elevators are missing. A five-story building usually requires an elevator but in Dhaka buildings even higher than that most of the times lack the facility. Those who live at the top floor of a sixth or seventh story building, know best. Everyday they endure the pain of climbing the staircases. Senior citizens, patients with cardiac disease and physical disabilities are the ones to suffer most.

Being more careful
Many fatal accidents happen during construction. Precautions always curtail mishaps. Among many other precautions safety net is a lifesaver also lacking majority of the times. Being a little more cautious will not hurt any one instead it will only save lives.

So close and dangerous
Electric poles are so close to the buildings that sometimes it is possible to touch the wires from the balcony. When the buildings are constructed owners do not leave the space they were supposed to sometimes they even encroach the streets.

Anti pollutant
There are hundreds of elements in Dhaka that makes living in it unbearable. It is polluted beyond the tolerable level for the human body, littering is an everyday routine of our life and the city is crammed with unplanned construction. More buildings are being constructed in the little space that is still left. Most of the time owners of these buildings try to utilise every inch possible leaving no room for anything else like a playground or garden. If not for a playground but it is possible for the owners to leave a little room around the building for shrubberies. Shrubberies work as great anti pollutant.

Not on the streets
It is a common practice everywhere around Dhaka to leave construction materials and rubble on the streets. This is carried out without any hindrance from the authority and causes disturbance. It blocks the streets already narrow in most of the locality and creates traffic congestion. Rubble damage tyres of vehicles, and for pedestrians. It is simply a form of nuisance. No more rubble on the street obviously means a decent locality.


By Shahnaz Parveen




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