Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |  Volume 6, Issue 35, Tuesday, August 30, 2011




Eid through different eyes

If Eid had an equation for itself it would probably look something like Eid= Food + Other Variables, where as you may have already guessed food has been and will be a constant. These other variables are what make Eid have a different meaning for every individual.

Waking up even before the crack of dawn, turning on the stove in the kitchen and beginning the preparations for a day-long cooking marathon is what makes Eid special for homemaker Nasreen Ameen. Every Eid morning she brings out the whole chickens from the freezer, dips them into marinade, wraps them with strings of thread and finally roasts them. “Since I got married 24 years ago, I have cooked on every Eid till date. It is a must for me to make chicken roast and in a way Eid without cooking is an incomplete Eid for me” is how Ameen describes Eid for her.

Returning home from the morning prayers to the pleasant smell of his mother's cooking wafting from the kitchen is a delightful change for Fazle Akhter, a 22 year old residing in Dhaka, away from his family, for his studies. “Since I am away most of the time, now, for me, Eid is a chance of getting together with all those people whom I do not get to meet the rest of the year”. “Apart from that I get to enjoy my mother's delicious cooking which has become a rare privilege for me” he adds. Eid is one of those rare occasions when he can truly enjoy home.

“What intrigues me about Eid in Bangladesh is the haze of bright colours on the streets! As you pass down the road you get to see, thronging into Shishu Park or merely walking down the road, girls and women, from the not so privileged part of society in their best” was Paula's take on Eid. Young girls, some with colourful ribbons tied in their hair, some in lehenga and jewellery and women in glittering saris celebrate Eid with fervour and much more dazzle than the occasion calls for but, their contentment and delight is what makes it fascinating for her to observe.

Hosne Ara Chowdhury is a home maker and a full time professor at a private university with three full-grown kids. For her, wearing new clothes or eating delectable food during Eid day has almost no significance at all. Rather Eid day is more like a hurdle she needs to cross, with the list of groceries she needs to stock up for the day and the day-long cooking afterwards in the sweltering heat of the kitchen. But even within all these clatters, she manages to find some bliss for herself by looking at the jovial faces of her children when they get dressed up in the new clothes she has meticulously chosen for them and go out with friends, when they offer accolades to the food she has painstakingly cooked and finally when she sees them celebrate the day as she used to when she was young. It brings back memories, but most importantly it makes the day's effort worth it.

It is almost an indistinguishable metamorphosis from teenage to adulthood that most are unable to comprehend. Soon they find themselves in the realms of new responsibilities and conventions to follow as the elders, when just some time back they were on the receiving end of it. For most the alteration is unbearable, because truth be told, it is always fun to be the younger one when it comes to taking on responsibilities while the elders take care of your needs and make life easier for you. But for some, the whole idea of growing up has a different connotation, something that provides them with intrinsic satisfaction and makes them feel stronger. This is probably why Shubhro Haque likes the act of giving out salami the most on Eid day. By doing that, he just does not earn some pleasure points for himself but also disseminates the joy of sharing within others and helps bringing out some smiles.

By Karishma Ameen and Afrida Mahbub


The Eid manual

Step 1- Will wake up in the morning.
Step 2- Will have breakfast.
Step 3- Will take shower.
Step 4- Will get ready.
Step 5- Will go visit relatives.
Step 6- Will hang out with friends.
Step 7- Will finally return home.

Sounds familiar? Yes it does. That's what you did last year and the year before that and the year before that and you really do not want me to continue! And you will be doing the same thing this year too (not that yours truly will be doing anything very different), if you are not spending Eid at your ancestral home or in some foreign, exotic land!

While Steps 1 to 4 are generally followed by everyone some people avoid Steps 5 and 6 and instead like spending Eid at home either watching TV or plain sleeping (which can easily be done on other vacations!). However, Step 5 or 6 are very necessary. It is not like you have to do exactly what has been mentioned; the general idea is to go out of the house.

Why? You spent hour after hour sitting in traffic jams and contributed to making it worse, even if in the tiniest way, to get that expensive outfit, be it a sari or kameez for girls, or panjabi for boys; to buy make-up especially for Eid day and to get yourself groomed at the salon, for buying new shoes and what not.

Now, after going through so much hassle yourself and putting others through the same by your additional presence in the already crammed shopping malls now looking like the proverbial fish market, if you choose to sit at home and crease your new clothes, there really was no point in buying them in the first place. You could have done the same in clothes you already had and saved others the pain.

Steps 5 and 6 are usually disliked by boys, who, as mentioned before, would rather sleep at home, while girls quite like them since the performance of Step 4 is rather elaborate and time consuming in their case and just sitting at home after such painstaking preparations, which start a few days before Eid day itself with the visits to the parlor, is just not worth it. Plus, since expensive make-up has been purchased for the big day, sitting at home wearing it along with their shiny new clothes will just make them seem like Hindi serial vamps.

Going out and visiting others has its advantages. It gets you away from serving and entertaining guests, some of whom you do not even know, and for a change while guests are finishing off the scrumptious dishes at your place you can do the same at others' places.

And the best part about going out on Eid day is that you get to travel through the delightfully jam-free city streets!

By Karishma Ameen


Chondon opens its second outlet

At 98 Gulshan Avenue, Chondon has set up its new shop with some additions to its traditional boutique items. Previously successful for its stitched and unstitched kameezes, saris and scarves, Chondon boasts two new departments in its new outlet.

“In this store I am concentrating on western-fusion wear,” said Chondona Dewan, the owner of the store. “We have a new collection for the trendy, office going crowd, but the clothes are not formals.” As she stated the clothes in question were not at all formal wears but of the kurta/fotua variety instead. This section comprises of garments costing from Tk 3000-6000.

“The other new section is the gifts section,” Dewan says “Here you will find appropriate gifts for weddings and general house parties, all gift-wrapped and ready to be just taken away.” The gift section comprises of runners, towel sets, bags, handicraft diaries and scrapbooks, mixed baskets with mugs, bowls and such crockery. This section's goods range from Tk. 750-1700.

There are two more sections. These hold kameezes (stitched and unstitched), saris and jewellery. Cotton kameezes will cost you between Tk 2000 and Tk 8000 while the silk collection starts from Tk 5000. The racks are currently full of this Eid's special long Pakistani style kameezes. In the sari department there are cotton wears costing from Tk 2000-5000 while the silk and crepe saris starts from Tk 8000. “We now have saris which are sophisticated wears to wedding ceremonies” stated Dewan and when asked if bridal wears are also available, she said that too will happen in the near future.

So that's the new Chondon outlet, the second bead of this (hopefully) future chain store. What's nice and different about this store is the break it offers from Indian garments. Chondon offers you similar sophistication that other boutiques solely reliant on Indian imports do, but without the cut-throat, inhibitive prices.

By Raisaa Tashnova


A man's Eid

Eid means bright clothes, gaudy jewellery, reuniting with long lost relatives and of course, great food. But just before the big day if you catch yourself wondering why you aren't as hyped up and excited as you are supposed to be, don't worry; You are not alone.

Men have a different notion of Eid holidays really. Firstly, we wake up really early in the morning and shower, in order to get ready for our prayers. The key words here are 'really early in the morning'. But since all the men in the family and some friends go for prayers together, it is a really special feeling. That and the feeling of utter peace that praying offers compensate for the early morning wake up call.

The sharing of bond does not just end with acquaintances. Wishing someone Eid with hugs is an age old tradition and let's admit that it's a really good one. The lines drawn due to class and status blur to the point of non-existence and every man greets each other as an equal.

Then the men bundle together and go home. Most of us abide by the 'no breakfast before prayers' rule, so these men usually find themselves ravished. We all do, right? The building of connection with God and fellow men is an arduous process and leaves us starving.

Now, where a man chooses to have breakfast is dominated by tradition. It could be your own house, the house of your in-laws or at the house of the eldest member of the family. The best part is, Eid day is the one day when everyone has lunch together. Mamas, Khalas, Dadas and Nanis; usually everyone takes part in the lunch.

So, after all that bonding and eating, you need rest, right? WRONG. Eid is a good day right until the clock strikes 4 pm because sleeping past 4 pm ON A HOLIDAY is a heinous crime or something, right mum/wifey? That's when men are expected to stop resting and start going out and meeting relatives. Thank God for text messages. Let's face it, there are people who we have to wish Eid to but really hate to speak to.

Don't send the same message to everyone and stop forwarding messages people send to you. It's annoying. How hard can it be to come up with a personalised Eid message? You don't need to be Enid Blyton for that.

But skipping out on visiting relatives doesn't always work. Sometimes they actually come to your house unannounced. In the western world, people call before visiting. Not in Bangladesh. Here they visit. And since its Eid, they expect you to be prepared.

The worst thing really is the fact that the relatives you find the most annoying show up first. Rule for Eid? Book a hotel room and stay out of home. You can always socialise another day. Funny thing is, while you go to visit your relatives (unannounced) they actually come to visit you (unannounced). So, both of you find each other's house empty. Therefore, if you choose to get out of the house, chances are you will meet no one, because everyone is at everyone else's house. True story. Phones are there for a reason.

At the end of the day, the good always outweighs the bad and Eid turns out to be the best day of the year. That is the best day until Qurbani Eid because that means an endless supply of beef, which is way cooler. So, don't fret too much about the pitfalls and cherish the holy day. Eid Mubarak to you all!

By Osama Rahman


Eid retreat at Mermaid's

As Ramadan ends and the countdown to Eid-ul-Fitr gets closer, it is time to have some fun! And what better fun can there be than the sun, sea and sand. In Bangladesh, the sun, sea and sand automatically translates into Cox's Bazar, the country's tourism capital. As Eid-ul-Fitr draws nearer, Cox's Bazar is once again geared up for action, as tens of thousands of tourists prepare to visit the world's longest unbroken sea beach, bordered in the horizon by lush, mysterious mountains. This year Cox's Bazar is made more attractive by Mermaid's Eid offer that has something for everyone. Mermaid's three different Cox's Bazar spots have three different packages, each tailor made according to the composition of the tourist group. So whether you are with friends, family or out on a romantic holiday with your significant other, Mermaid's lodges have the perfect facilities ready. All one needs to do is to take a look at the three different packages Mermaid is offering in Cox's Bazar this Eid and choose wisely depending on whether you hang out with your family, friends or your sweetheart.

If you are on a family tour, it is recommended that you try out the Mermaid eco resort situated at Pechar Dwip. Bangladesh's only eco resort is the perfect place for a family Eid vacation. Besides the delicious food, there are facilities for movies, music and sports, all tailor made for family entertainment, complete with green tourism that gives the family a unique taste of eco tourism and eco entertainment. A taste of true eco tourism can also enlighten the children about their responsibilities to Mother Nature and how preserving the environment is vital for our future existence.

Recommended for romantic couples is the Marine Drive Café, situated 9 km from the eco resort. The place is illuminated with beach candle lights in front of which couples may dine under the starry clear sky of the Cox's Bazar beachside complete with romantic music and other facilities perfect for a dreamy atmosphere in romantic Cox's Bazar.

For a group of friends out on an adventure along the exciting Bay of Bengal, Mermaid Café, situated 8 km away at Kolatali would be the perfect hangout place. The place has laser lights, DJs and lots of facilities perfect for parties and a noisy, happening Eid vacation. The perfect hangout for those who want to party hard with lots of friends and all the facilities to make it possible!

For reservation and detail information contact: Road# 9, House #9, Baridhara D/Z, Gulshan 2, Dhaka-1212, Phone: 01841416464-9


With the Eid-ul-Fitr holidays upon us, Star Lifestyle wishes its readers a happy, prosperous and healthy Eid. Our 6 September issue will be dropped because of the Eid holidays. In the meantime, we wish everyone a heart Eid Mubarak.


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