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So you know where to shop?

It is true that there can hardly be any city other than Dhaka that buzzes with life 24/7. The fact that the city has been struck by urbanization cannot be ignored either. What with all the shopping plazas and malls, shopaholics should not have much to complain. But it is seen that despite the availability of malls people are unhappy as they do not seem to find the right thing at the right price. So it is for those that we've decided to hit the road and check out the street shops of Dhaka.

Our first shoppers' haven was none other than the pavement opposite Dhaka College leading to the footpath underneath the Nilkhet over-bridge. Here you can get numerous hawkers displaying their wares starting from accessories to portable radios. We happened to come across some selling common girly stuffs. Rings, bracelets, earrings, bangles you name it and they have it! Rings were the most abundant. You can get all sorts of them including toe-rings. Rings made of steel with nice design and words such as Kisses and Love engraved on them cost from Tk.10-20. And if you're looking for stones pitted on them you just have to pay Tk.5 more and voila! Nobody can even guess that these were picked up from the street instead of any other expensive general store that would raise the tag to Tk.50.

Next our attention turned towards the bracelets. Over here, you can get all sorts of bracelets from steel to beaded ones. The steel ones should look funky on guys while the colorful beaded ones should be perfect for girls. Searching for the perfect gift for that friend of yours? You must get one of these bracelets. They are sure to bring a smile on his/her face! The steel bracelets cost around Tk.40 while you can get beaded ones at Tk.20-25.

As we moved ahead, the clinking of bangles caught our ears and we looked around at the shopkeeper who was arranging them. There were a variety of colored glass bangles ranging from Tk. 20-30 (half a dozen). Although the bangles' collection is not as hip as the ones in Gausia, it is worth a look for such a comparatively cheap price. Earrings over here are pretty popular. You are likely to come across the long jhumka types or big round types. These should be no more than Tk.70-80. You can also get earrings in sets with necklaces. These sets cost around Tk.120. However, if you want earrings your pick should definitely be the wooden ones. These come in cute designs and are quite uncommon (we found only one or two shops selling them). You can find these in vibrant colors or just simple brown ones. For a price of Tk.40 a pair, they are a must buy!

The shoes and bags collection of the street shops are surely going to blow your mind! The prices are fixed at Tk.150 per pair of sandals. You must be thinking that the designs should be quite awful. That's what we thought too but our misconception was broken as we saw them with our own eyes. You ask for sandals of any color and type and trust us you'll not be disappointed! The bags too are chunky or in floral prints and promises to go with your new dress. Clutch bags, purses or plain day bags you can get all of these at Tk.100 only! These pieces can also be great gifts for your mom or sister if you're looking for something neat within a low budget.

Under the over-bridge connecting New Market and Chandni Chawk, we found a shop selling gorgeous malas. If you're wearing something casual then these malas are great accessories to jazz up your outfit. At Tk.160, you are bound to find lots of beautiful ones. Roaming the streets at this point, you'll find a few nupur walas selling nonetheless nupurs. We happened to come across a crazy nupur wala who wanted to hand over a piece no matter how much we refused. Initially he wanted Tk.160 and later he agreed to give them at Tk.50. Just imagine!

Belts are accessories that can never go out of fashion. The shops here have lots of belts to offer that come in different colors and shapes. Although, most of these do not create such a good impression but if you look carefully you can find really stylish ones at Tk.100. Another item which we thought was worth buying was nail-cutters priced at Tk.40 as these are available in attractive shapes. You can get a portable radio for your grandfather at Tk.150.

The best thing about this place is that you get stuff at a price half of all the posh places and shopping malls. Other than that, you can bargain as much as you want to without looking cheap or anything. The shopkeepers are friendlier and rather eager to sell off their products to you. On top of that, you could stop by for some yummy road-side delicacies if you want a break.

Since the prices are so good, it definitely attracts a huge crowd. You have to beware of the pushing, the walking and the heat. But if you can, then push some people too! There are some psychotic street vendors who won't get off your back if you don't buy what they're selling.
Rating: 4.5/5

Story and photos by Faria Sanjana and Nayeema Reza

Babhodan... now on the shelves

Press conferences are usually a big bore. Yours truly went to the Press Club on July 28, expecting something some kind of Hitler to give a speech, and a whole lot of newspaper crew dislodging their shoulders to get glimpse of everything in general.

It was not the case however. The launch of the debut album 'Babodhan' of the band 'Bohemian' was quite the informal event. There were more smiles than frowns, and the whole atmosphere was quite homely.

The event started with an introductory speech by G. M. Quader, former MP, followed by another speech by Colonel Faruq(Business and Cultural Editor, Awami League). The speeches were short and fun, describing the achievements of Bohemian in their debut album, and addressing the youth of today to produce similar fine works of art and music.

Songs from the album were being played in the background. The genre of the music can roughly be defined as Alternative Rock. The band lineup includes Shams Quader(Vocals), Farhan(Guitar, Khaled(Bass) and Labib(Drums). Mahbub Lemon wrote the majority of the lyrics of the songs, and Ibrar Tipu is the producer. Sneaking past guards armed with AK47's (kidding), we managed an interview with the band. "Bohemian" means somebody who is beyond social bindings, and this theme is expressed throughout the entire album. The band is mainly influenced by Green Day, Porcupine tree, Tool, and Led Zeppelin.

The whole ceremony ended with refreshments for the guests, where everybody also received a free copy of their album.

The 'leader' of the band, and vocalist Shams Quader, is a lecturer at IUB. He does not plan to be a full-blown Rockstar anytime soon. The band hopes to release singles in different mixed albums, perform at gigs, and eventually release a second album. Their final message to readers and listeners is 'Thank you for your support, and hope you check out our album and enjoy it.'

By Naveed Choudhury

Food for your skin

When tomatoes, yoghurt, orange peels and milk are mixed together, you know something's very, very wrong- either with the person who's mixing it or with the person who's actually going to put all that on. But some people do put stuff like that on- which tells us a lot about why the world is in the state it is now, come to think of it. Natural beauty products (or mixtures?) are all the rage today.

Take cucumber, for example. People usually eat it; but apparently cucumber has a variety of other uses in beauty care. It's supposed to reduce the puffiness of your eyes, prevent blackheads and pimples from sprouting on your face, and remove dark circles; and here I thought you had to get several solid hours of sleep and use a good face-wash to cure these problems. Silly me. Turmeric a.k.a the good old holud, is not only used in food. I bet you never knew the reason behind gaye holud. Well, turmeric apparently makes your skin softer, smoother and fairer. While the ritual of gaye holud is adorable, it's all in fun and nobody actually believes that you can achieve a fairer complexion just by applying turmeric. Or do they?

Rose water acts as a skin refresher before cleansing and moisturizing and is used in aromatherapy. Add cucumber and rose water together, and the mixture is supposed to act as a magical cure for blemishes on your skin. Coconut water, on the other hand, is supposed to gift you with glowing skin, although most people usually prefer to drink coconut water. We wonder why.

Now we know why Cleopatra was so determined to have milk and honey baths. Honey gives you glowing skin and shiny, silky hair (again), and milk combined with crushed orange peels supposedly makes you fairer (again). Just egg whites apparently have an anti-aging and 'whitening' effect on your skin. We wonder why there are so many ways of getting 'fairer'. Isn't black its own brand of beautiful? For removing facial hair, you'd have to apply a mixture of egg-white, sugar and corn flour, while for growing more hair on your head, you'd have to apply the juice of crushed onions, or alternatively, vinegar, which is also said to remove dirt and oil from your face and open pores. Then again, it's hard to be satisfied- people just can't make their mind up about whether they'd like the pores on their faces open or closed- so a paste of bananas is used to close the already open pores, besides 'lightening skin spots' and 'slowing the aging process'. Today, oatmeal is a skin moisturizer, lemon is a bringer of healthy glows on your face, tomatoes are cures for oily skin and yoghurt is a skin softener. Face packs constitute strawberry masks, apple masks, avocado masks and mud masks. You'd probably find a good use for every type of fruit or vegetable as a beauty care product. Even ordinary mud is not to be ignored- it supposedly hydrates dry skin, rejuvenates dull skin and absorbs oil from your face. Please excuse us while we stifle our laughter. We were just wondering though. Aren't all these products (except the mud, of course) better qualified in our kitchens and better labelled as food?

By Anika Tabassum


Withered sky broadens his arms
For the fossils gathering together thousands of blood ran black
paving the way
fresh and alive
redefining the legacy of faith upon change shuffling with new times
up above the cold Everest
beneath the darkened black blanket .
gleam that reflects from the pale faces
our mother's wrinkled cheek makes a perfect triangle
vague all our tears of soul
are taking a shape …
while he shouts out loud
his first cry
resonance coming from far-far away
someone burning the pyre of
his own son ….
Buzzing a rhyme of a beautiful song
Against the gloom of hazy yesterday
a young widow
embracing her old memories
smears the coffin of her husband
cast a glance at innocent face
of her new born baby
infinitely whisphers softly
a baby sun rises
a baby sun rises .

By Sandarva Giri


Last weeks cover illustration was done by E.R. Ronny



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