Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 40, Tuesday April 12, 2005






Shop talk

Binni, Kumari, Radhuni Paagol and more
Wondering what these are? These are the names of a local species of rice, almost on the verge of extinction. Thanks to Ubinig's Noya Krishi Andolon and Shoshyo Prabartana, you still have the opportunity to savour their taste. Shoshyo Prabartana, situated at 2/8 Sir Syed Road, Mohammadpur is offering various kinds of local rice produced completely without the help of any chemical fertilisers or genetic modification. Their huge collection includes 'Dheki chhata chaal' (manually processed), Kumari, Digha, Biroi, Afsaya, priced between tk26 to tk28, and Binni tk40. At the store you will also get Polau rice, Radhuni paagol, Kalijira, Begun bichi, Shaheb Chikkon, Tulsi mala and more. Their prices range in between tk35 to tk42.

Hilsha fish
Boishakh with Ilish-panta, has become the fad these days. At Karwan bazaar, Hatirpool and New Market kitchen market, you will get Ilish or Hilsha at around tk120 to tk150 per kg. The price may vary if you get it from the local kitchen market.

Mustard oil and pickles
Pure mustard oil is hard to find these days. To feel that aroma of mustard oil in your favourite bhorta or that hot spicy punch in your aachar, visit Shoshyo Prabartana. 400gm of mustard oil costs tk50 and a bottle of 800gm costs tk100. At the outlet you will also find homemade mango, tamarind, chalta, garlic, boroi aachars (pickles) and more at tk60.

Lifesaver umbrellas
One must invest in an umbrella this season; in fact, it might turn out to be a lifesaver on Poila Boishakh. New Market is the best place to buy umbrellas. The suitcase and bag stores are offering various kinds. Singapore market behind the New Market is also a great place. In both places, the price is almost the same. The price range of manual umbrellas in different colours varies from tk175 to tk200. The ones with an automatic button system will cost tk375. To buy an umbrella you can also visit Elephant Road, Mouchak Market, Baitul Mukarram and Polwel Super Market. Prices will vary.

Juiciest of summer fruits
Watermelon, the juiciest of summer fruits, is flooding the market. Their prices range between tk35 to tk60 depending on the size. According to doctors, wood apple is a highly nutritious fruit. In the market, one medium sized wood apple is sold at tk12 to tk15. Other summer fruits are slowly arriving in the market. Green mangoes are also available. One kilo costs around tk35 to tk40.

Cool T-shirts
Situated on the third floor of Aziz Super Market, Nittyo Upohar specialises in t-shirts. They have introduced their Boishakhi collection lately. These cool t-shirts titled Moslin, Gazir pot, Pot chitro, Madhu mala, Mymenshingho gitika, Lokoj, Puthi, Lokoshilpo and Lakhsmi pecha are designed by Dhrubo Esh, Anisuzzaman, Saleh Mahmud, Konok Adityo and Shobyoshachi Hajra. Kids t-shirts will cost tk130 and adults, tk160

Coconut water
Obviously, you will be hanging around Ramna Botomul and the DU campus on the day of the festival. Be sure to drink a lot of water. During the day, you can also quench your thirst with coconut water. This highly nutritious drink is quite cheap and abundant. One green coconut usually costs around tk10, but on Boishakh, it will increase up to tk15. Rickshaw vans with coconut water roam around the campus area on this day or any other day during the summer.

Beli, Rajanigandha and more
Even though you are decked in the perfect sari, along with the perfect ornament, the festive mood would be more or less incomplete without the beli mala or gajra. Usually a beli mala costs tk5 and a gajra costs around tk15, but during festivals, prices soar. Just multiply the actual figure with 2. Flower vendors at Shahbag and Katabon have the best collection of flowers. Rose sticks cost tk3 to tk5, and Rajanigandhas cost tk2 or tk3. Gladiolas available in various colours cost tk10 to tk12 per stick. Gypsy costs tk10 to tk15 per bundle. Garlands made of Gaada would cost Tk6-7. You can also buy bouquets. Their price ranges from tk50 to tk500 depending on the size and type of flowers. Again, don't forget to multiply.

The sales of tube hennas soar before any occasion. Very popular among young girls, a wide range of tube henna is available at any toiletry shop in New Market, Gausia, and Eastern plaza. Mehendi, Rani, Madhuri, Mumtaz, Rima, Ligion and Shehzadi are brands mostly available in the market. Their prices range in between tk30 to tk35 per tube. Powdered henna is also available at Aarong, priced at tk25.

However, one cannot compare fresh henna leaves with dried and processed henna. Although it is hard to find these days the demand is always high. Vendors of New Market somehow manage to sell everything that a consumer might need. If you want to adorn your hands with fresh henna, you ought to visit New Market. You will find hawkers at the gate with a variety of items that you haven't seen in a while including henna leaves. A bundle will cost tk15 to tk20.

Traditional ornaments
Tucked in a corner at 67, 11/A Dhanmondi, Piran is specialised on brass ornaments. Their brass ornaments are simply elegant with an ethnic look. The price of bangles start from tk25 and goes up to tk200. Earrings cost around tk20 to tk100, lockets tk60 to tk200 and the price of necklaces with earrings cost tk90 to tk350. Also checkout Bibiana's ornament section for brass items. Their bangles cost tk100, earrings cost tk40 to tk100, and necklaces with earrings cost tk140 to tk350. Bibiana is located at house no 6, road no 7, Dhanmondi. Aarong currently has five outlets in Dhaka. Check out their maaduli, haashuli and maakri. These traditional items cost around tk195 to tk560. Don't miss the terracotta items at Ideas and Vertical at Aziz Super Market in Shahbag. At Ideas, necklace sets range from tk70 to tk200, bangles tk50 per piece, and bracelets tk40. At Vertical, exclusive items designed and prepared by the students of Fine Arts, are available. They offer earrings at tk20 to tk30, bracelets for tk25, bangles for tk35, and necklace sets at tk50 to tk85.

By Shahnaz Parveen

LS alert

Boishakh events

Poila Boishakh is right around the corner. This year there will be two Boishakhi rallies. Students of Fine Arts will arrange their regular rally starting around 8:30am. In the last few years, Charukala rally lost its original spirit to some extent. For a change you might want to try the other rally starting also at 8:30 from Shahid Minar. The rally titled 'Mongol Shova Jatra' will follow Doyel chattar, Matsya bhavan, Shahbag, Elephant road route and will end at Dhanmondi Rabindra Shorobor Moncho.

On the day of Poila Boishakh, Shammilito Shanskritik Jote will arrange their programme from 4pm at Rabindra Shorobor Moncho. Hrishij starts their programme at 8:30am in front of Shishu Park. On 13 and 14 at 4pm, Bengal Foundation will arrange similar programmes at Wonderland, Gulshan. At 4pm on 13, Padatik Natya Shangshad will celebrate Chaitra Shankranti also at Dhanmondi Rabindra Shorobor Moncho and stage their play titled 'Jalbalika'.

However, Ramna botomul will be the ultimate destination for merrymakers. Chayanaut will start their usual botomul celebration at 6am. Set your date and have a blast.

By Shahnaz Parveen

Pop ups

Designer's Block!

One of Lifestyle's major tasks is to roam the city streets and catch the hip-hop in action. As a result, come a festival and we ceremoniously ride the bandwagon and go out to actually see whether the press releases, sent to our desks in hundreds, are justified or not.

This Boishakh, we literally went to all the places from sari stores in Baily Road to exclusive boutiques in Dhanmondi, Gulshan to nearly all the city shopping malls. It is with a lot of disappointment that we report that most of the boutiques and stores are suffering from 'designer's block'. We were struck by déjà vu every time we entered a store; every design we saw reminded us of something we'd seen before.

The shops are decorated all in Boishakh colours, the Boishakhi lines are all ready, but almost all of them are lacking the 'wow' factor; their work seems repeated and over used with nothing new to offer except for stuff that's been done to death.

As a result, for every designer that comes up with some fantastic fusion, there are at least half a dozen others with half-baked ideas, heavily 'influenced', who are coming up with nothing that merits a second look.

Except a handful of brand names, nothing is nouveau this Boishakh. Lifestyle recommends those do-it-yourself sorts of attire in traditional taat and mulmuls or just go for cotton 'kora' jamdanis, for this fun-filled but hot and humid Pohela Boishakh.

One small wish that we want our fashion houses to actually grant us in the coming festivals, is to give us 'something totally new', we want them to trash those gaudy fake jaris and botas, those over-used blocks and try new bold ideas in gorgeous rich colours. Till then we keep our fingers crossed and hope that we see the creative designers soon.

By Raffat Binte Rashid



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