Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home



Cool with pool

There's hardly a teen in Dhaka who's not familiar with the game of pool. Well, I'm not so sure about girls, but boys most of them are crazy about it. Especially in the last few years, the popularity of the game has gone skywards. In between their busy routine of studies, flirting, dating, maastani and what not, most guys love to shoot a few of the solids and stripes with their friends. So, here's a look at some of the coolest pool joints in Dhaka. In order to avoid unnecessary comparisons I'll discuss them in alphabetical order.

DBC needs no introductions to Dhaka's pool lovers. Established in '96, Dhaka Billiard Centre was the first to offer quality entertainment to the idling youth of an urban jungle. Although back then they were pretty expensive, now their rate is Tk. 20 for a game of pool and Tk. 150 per hour for snooker the usual in any pool centre. Situated at Gulshan, DBC has a billiard joint consisting of 13 pool and 2 snooker tables, along with a cool café.

I wouldn't rate the tables and cues too highly they're pretty old and the cushions don't play too well, but if you want a cool place to hang out with friends, DBC is definitely worth a visit. It's practically a hotspot of cultural activities. It's worth mentioning that they regularly organize and host underground concerts and stuff.

Fantasy has a huge contribution in popularizing pool and making it the favourite past time of our youth. The first outlet of Fantasy opened in Shantinagar in 2002 and the going has always been uphill since then. Currently having 6 branches in operation (one each at Shantinagar, Iskaton, Paltan, Gulshan and two at Banani), Fantasy reaches out to the pool lovers all over Dhaka. While all of the branches have great atmosphere, the food courts at their Banani and Gulshan outlets act as something of a bonus. Fantasy import all their tables from Japan and their dedication to quality is unquestionable. So with a nice environment, great tables and cues and a fine choice in music, Fantasy is an experience not to be missed.

Pool Lovers
Pool Lovers opened in 2003 in Kamal Ataturk Avenue and is a popular spot for hanging out as well as playing pool. You can find it teeming with students of the nearby universities most of the time. They have 9 tables altogether, so you can easily get a game even if the place seems a little crowded. The tables are imported from Taiwan and they play very nicely. The food court overlooking the street below makes it even better. So, if you want to spend your recess playing pool or hanging out with your campus buddies, this one's worth a shot.

Rack & Q
Rack & Q opened in early 2004 in 'Concord Arcadia' in the Science Laboratory road. It started out small with only three tables and limited resources. But it wasn't long before the number of tables doubled and the number of players became uncountable. In a very short time, Rack & Q gained popularity unparalleled any other and a pool crowd quite unique to itself.

The tables here are, without doubt the best in Dhaka, and along with quality table lights, cues and balls make Rack & Q a pool lover's heaven. Unfortunately, they don't get any points for the dark, smoky and somewhat suffocating atmosphere. Moreover, if you're a newcomer you might have trouble finding a table. But once you get the hang of things around here, you wouldn't want to go back.

Wega Zone
Wega Zone is one of the most popular pool joints in Shantinagar. It opened two years ago in Baily Road. It has seven tables, all imported from Taiwan and play pretty well. The interior's also nicely done, even though the place is pretty small. And location is also a plus point you can find almost anything just around the place. All in all, Wega is definitely among the best pool clubs in Dhaka.

There are pool clubs mushrooming almost everywhere nowadays and many of them are actually good. But due to shortage of time, money and article space I could only cover those which I think are some of the best, if not the best around. But pool joints like BBC (Bangladesh Billiard Centre), Pool World and Boomers are also mentionable.

Pool joints definitely provide good entertainment to thousands of teenagers today. At least it keeps their minds away from a lot of the evils of our society. So if you think you're bored, tired or frustrated and need a little recreation, then take that cue and go for a few shots at the old solids or stripes.

By Zeeshan

Little Jewels School
Celebrates 50th anniversary..

Little Jewel School (LJS) celebrated its 50th birthday in the auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum on August 8, Monday. It was a grand celebration as hundreds of present and former students along with the teachers joined the ceremony with great fanfare.

The programme started with the recitation from the Holy Quran and welcome notes by the co-ordinator Ms. Sonia Imran. She was an ex-student, ex-teacher, an administrator of LJS and the daughter of the founder principal Mrs. Anwari Kabir.

The little students of LJS sang the welcome song in their wonderfully cheerful voice and set the function in a jovial mood. The little students presented the history of LJS in the tune of a jari gaan. They sang We Shall Overcome and a nice recitation of a poem by Satyandranath Dutt. The performance by the LJS Alumni Association was also quite spectacular.

Renowned singer Nashid Kamal and Shakil Kasem were the MC of the ceremony. Nashid Kamal a proud student of LJS hosted the nice evening with her fluent and articulate speech. There was hardly anyone who was not impressed with her eloquence. She became lost in walking down the memory lanes from time to time while speaking her thoughts in retrospect concerning her childhood school. She also wrote about her memories of LJS in her book juifuler varanda. Shakil Kasem was also a student of LJS.

LJS started its journey in 1955 as a pioneer in Montessori Method of teaching. The Founding Principal Mrs. Anwari Kabir was an enthusiast of the Montessori Method. She went abroad to learn the method and started LJS in 1955.

In the 60s and 70s LJS was a household name in good schooling. Mrs. Anwari was the first Bengali woman to start a school on her own. It was quite tough for the Bengalis at that time to go along with their endeavour as the time was against them. But Mrs. Anwari went against the tide and made LJS a success.

Mr. A Matin Chowdhury the president of the LJS Alumni Association gave a nice speech about the Founding Principal and the history of the school. Mrs. Anwari also gave her valuable speech. The chief guest of the programme was Minister of Education Dr. Osman Faruk.

Crests were presented to the Chief Guest and the Founding Principal and Long Service Awards were presented to the teaching and non-teaching staff. Mrs. Sheela Khatun, Mrs. Sabera Sayeed, Mrs. Nilufer Khairun, Rosy Rashid and many others were given the Long Service Awards. Mrs. Anwari thanked the teachers for their long time service to LJS.

The Honourable Minister spoke at the ceremony and congratulated the people behind LJS for coming this far. He said first he had a mixed feeling about coming to the celebration of a school as most of the time he has to attend the ceremonies of universities. But still he wanted to attend this programme because good schooling is very important in the making of a good student. He also wished his grandchild to become a proud little jewel. The Minister said that he was pleasantly surprised to see the performance of the students in Bengali songs in spite of studying in an English Medium school.

The programme ended with the concluding remarks by Member, LJSAA Justice Dr. Syed Refaat Ahmed. It was a very nice evening for both the present and the ex-students to reminisce about the days gone by.

By Durdana Ghias

Dare to be a non-YO

Thanks to the numerous local TV channels, all of us are familiar with the peculiar range of our commercials. There's this one of a very 'hot and happening' package offered by a popular mobile network where this fatso comes up from nowhere and starts abusing an imaginary guitar. Thank God someone invented a remote control.

Moving on from TV to the billboards, which is the next most widely reached media. The one especially I would refer to is a promotional campaign by yet another mobile network for a special package that targets the so-called 'Generation Yo". It shows a few guys and girls (or should I say, dudes and chicks?), dressed up in 'cool' attire. The twisted fingers and slogan says it all: "It's yo life, live it YO way".

Let me clarify before proceeding any fUrther that I've got nothing against the telecom giants. In fact I believe they are doing an excellent job in extracting cash out of us gullible lot, but hey! That's a completely different story. I am trying to focus on the fact that the media is trying to force us to be labeled as the 'YO' people, and the telecom industry is being most active in this drive. Outrageous as it is, those carefully designed freaks on the ads are actually meant to represent 'us'!

The lifestyle being explicitly referred to is a fusion of deshi with the west. There are of course a few who actually fancy this lifestyle, and it's up to the individual to choose, and I have nothing against them. But to stereotype the entire teenaged population as being this muddled melting pot of eastern and western values and cultures that you'd need a different dictionary to understand their language…is just unfair.

As it is, we never seem to be able to rid our parents' minds of numerous wrong notions. And what this drive by the media is doing is further strengthening the view: "Ajkal kar chhele meyera shob spoilt hoye jacche". It is being drummed into the elder generation's head that all the young people out there are like the ones you are seeing on TV. Nobody's prejudiced against this way of life, but this is not us and we won't be segmented into something we are not. We should be proud of what we are, because that's our true identity no matter how 'unkewl' it may seem apparently.

The motive behind these campaigns is purely commercial, and the strategies can only be appreciated from a business perspective. But instead of coming up with true representatives of the teen population, all they have managed is a bunch of freakish cultural crossbreeds. So no matter how much we are seduced, lured, threatened or herded, we shall dare to remain Non-yo's, as long as it means being original.

By Tausif Salim

Remembering Sasaki Sadako

On 6 August, 1945, American planes dropped atomic bombs on Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In an instant two whole cities were wiped out. The radioactive waste left behind affected a lot of people who died slow torturous deaths. Sasaki Sadako was two at that time. She luckily managed to survive the wrath of the bombs. She grew up to be like any other child.

But at age eleven she was diagnosed with blood cancer. This was the bomb's after effect on her. She started spending her days in a hospital bed. And it was during this time her friends told her an old Japanese folk tale. In the tale it was said that if you folded paper and made a thousand cranes, God would grant you your wish. Sasaki Sadako started to make cranes within the confines of the hospital bed. Her wish? To lead a healthy life where she could once again play freely.

Alas her wish didn't come true. Sadako died on 25 October, 1955. But children all over the world didn't forget her. Her courage and determination to go on was what was most important. Her school friends compiled her letters and published a book.

That book created a sensation around Japan. Children raised money and erected Sadako's Statue in Hiroshima. This started a peace movement around the world.

On August 6, Hiroshima Day, the Liberation War Museum in Dhaka had a memorial celebration for Sasaki Sadako. At this memorial, with the help of students from SODA, UCEP and Rajarbagh Police Line School, the Museum made thousands of cranes and hung them all around.

The event included dance performances; a movie on Sadako's life; Progga Laboni's recitation of Sadako's mother Fujika's letters; speeches by Mofidul Haque (a Museum trustee) and Japanese Embassy Councillor Masahiko Kiya; and performances by Soda and Rajarbagh police Line School students. The event also showcased pictures of Hiroshima taken by Dr. Noazesh Ahmed.

Sasaki Sadako might no longer be in the world but her memories still remain fifty years later- a symbol of hope and determination.

By Tahiat-e-Mahboob


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2005 The Daily Star