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So you know where to shop?

Part # 2

After our successful rendezvous at the Dhaka College area, we decided to find out the other places in the city that were famous for its street shops. Huddled over a map of Dhaka city (!) that lay on top of our office table, we marked potential sites with pins. In hushed tones, we discussed a number of locations. Several cups of coffee later, we agreed to take down two targets in a day.

Farmgate was the place we hit. With the roads packed with honking busses and pavements milling with people, Farmgate was the perfect scene to portray Dhaka city's rush hour. There were people striding purposefully towards the over bridge, there were those people who stood at a corner all day and did nothing at all (except stare at other people) and there were street vendors lined up along the footpath. With our hopes raised high, we set off for a journey to the unknown! Ahem!

Back to street shopping, we started at the pavement a few kilometers from the over-bridge and found street vendors displaying things we were definitely not looking for clothes for kids, fruits and not-so-nice-looking sunglasses. After treading on the same path, we ended at the Farmgate over bridge where we finally hit jackpot (or so we thought).

A handful of hawkers were selling off the basic accessories for men: rings, belts, hand bands, chains and bracelets. The rings that should be rightfully priced at Tk.10 were worth Tk.20 instead. But one thing good about the place was that they had a variety of lockets and chains priced from 60 to a maximum of 120 bucks. But haggling is a basic necessity despite whatever price they state! Prices of bracelets ranged from Tk.50-120 and belts, though not trendy enough, were being sold at Tk.150. Surprisingly or not so surprisingly, these vendors were constantly surrounded by eager costumers, who were mostly young guys.

Although not part of the shopping, food as always, was a very integral part of our exertion. We stopped by at a shop for some mouth watering, awesome tasting fuchkas and lassi. Since there wasn't much to look out for at Farmagte, the next stop was Lalmatia.

Now Lalmatia is famous for genjams, muggings and coaching centres…but definitely not street shopping. However, there is one small place you just might have overlooked. Just beside Aarong (obviously Aarong was not where we're heading!) you'll find a middle-aged lady selling off knick-knacks made of puti beads. There are anklets that come in several colours and cost 10 bucks each whereas I remember someone buying the same thing for Tk.120 from Gulshan. Besides anklets, she sells necklaces and bangles made of beads too. A set consisting of a necklace and a pair of bangles are worth Tk.120 and a pair of bangles alone cost Tk.60.

Right beside the lady, you'll find a man! No seriously, right beside the lady, there's this old man who sells stuff made of beads and stones. But beware; even though he sells really beautiful earrings and necklaces, they are far too expensive. His prices start from Tk.300, but maybe the same stuff costs a lot more anywhere else.

Of course no other place can beat the prices over here. These are the places where you can haggle to your heart's content! Guys looking for trendy accessories at low prices can check out Farmgate.

There are fewer vendors in these areas and so there is not a wide variety of stuff available. Some shopkeepers might act all high and mighty. So you must take caution beforehand. By the way the crowd at Farmgate is worse than the one at Dhaka College due to the presence of the bus-stand.
Rating: 3/5

By: Nayeema Reza and Faria Sanjana,
Photos: Faria

Power of paper

“If you write your name on a piece of paper, it is only to fade away”, are the lyrics of a famous song by eminent Bangla singer Manna Dey. On contrary anything written on a piece of paper can have long lasting repercussions on our lives. Indeed if you think, from the point our first cry echoes on this earth, our lives are defined by a set of paper that documents every deed we do and define our very existence on earth. Starting from our birth certificates to our death certificates, each of these documents is important and so is the preservation of it, although just like the singer said, it is “only to fade away” if you are not careful enough.

A friend of mine once told me that after food, the most widely used item of consumption is paper. And the most important papers are the once that signal the important events of our lives. Indeed they are so much more important, that they even surpass the lives they are supposed to represent. Hence it is important to preserve these documents, pieces of paper, in the best possible condition.

For students, perhaps the most important papers are their academic records. My father preserved each and every document regarding my education starting from playgroup. He held the view that each of my grade sheet is a leaf out o my life, much like the rings that are visible when you cut down a tree. I used to laugh at his idea, but as it turned out, the practice did pay off in monetary value. He was able to extract a handsome scholarship from my school by showing my records and more. Now of course that is not a practice maintained by most people, but it can come in handy. Think about your university grade sheets. You may think that they are as a matter of record only. But if you preserve all of them, chances are, in case of any misplacement or computer error or anything, you still have proof of your achievements.

Now, how to preserve paper that is meant only to face away? Surely it is no easy task. Scientists have pondered many years on ways to preserve paper so as to preserve the writings on it. If you have read Angels and Demons then you have read how meticulously the Vatican has preserved important papers in vaults for hundreds of years. Fortunately, you don't have to go through all those; a simple plastic folder will do. But do take care to organize and arrange them in a systematic way. Chronologically or by any other way so as to not lose it or misplace it. A lot of people have the habit of twisting or folding important documents. It is highly unadvised. However if it is a large paper (larger than A3) then you may twist it like a pipe and preserve it in circular holders. Again, a lot of people laminate their certificates. It is also unadvisable. Although lamination preserves the paper, but a lot of institutions want to see or inspect the intact un-laminated certificate, in that case trying to remove the lamination can distort your important certificate.

A lot of students don't really understand the value of papers. Of course we Bengalis couldn't bother less about many official papers. I have friends who didn't have their birth certificate or lost it and had to suffer while trying to attend important international youth events where a proof of birth or age is needed. In places like America, if you don't have a birth certificate, it may as well be that you don't exist! So preserve it or secure these much before you realize that you need them. Organize, so you don't lose them. Nowadays of course you can also scan these papers and keep a soft copy in your PC so that in case you do lose them, you can another one from the authority without much hassle. Of course if these are government documents, then it is still a stiff task.

Keep your eyes peeled for more tips on documentation required for applying to universities abroad. Till then, ciao.

By Monty Python

Goodbye, tonight

‘OJ Simpson said in an interview last week that he's still trying to bring the killers of his ex-wife, Nicole, to justice. Hey OJ, forget about it. We tried that once. It didn't work.'
- Jay Leno

He was christened James Douglas Muir Leno. Born to an Italian father and a Scottish mother in the April of 1950, James (known to the rest of the world as Jay Leno) grew up in Andover, Massachusetts. As a child he suffered from dyslexia, and at school he was more the comedian than a serious scholar. His fifth grade teacher once remarked that Jay would go on to be a big star someday. She was right. He would.

Leno went on to study speech therapy at Emerson College in Boston, and graduated in 1973. He started off his stand-up comic career by opening for Johnny Matthis and Tom Jones. Back in the struggling days, Leno performed three hundred nights at a club in Los Angeles. Soon enough he got a job as a writer for the show Good Times. He made his Tonight Show debut in 1977 as a comedian; the following year he was cast in the movie American Hot Wax. He made several appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, and since 1985 guest hosted for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. In 1987 Jay Leno became the exclusive Tonight Show guest host, though when Johnny Carson announced his retirement no one expected Leno to replace him. The mantle was thought to be passed on to David Letterman, so when Jay Leno became the new host of The Tonight Show in 1992, much of the industry was blown away. Letterman was dropped by NBC and moved to CBS. His The Late Night Show with David Letterman went neck-and-neck against The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Ratings-wise, the audience seemed to prefer Letterman's 'snarky' sarcasm to Leno's clean-cut, laid-back, hands-in-the-pockets humor. That changed after Hugh Grant made his first national television appearance on The Tonight Show. From then on, the 'battle of the late-night ratings' had a new champion.

Leno won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy, Variety, or Music Series in 1995, and followed that with another Emmy the next year for Outstanding Technical Direction. His comedy routine involves the Monday night special 'Headlines', and Jaywalking, where Jay flags down unsuspecting pedestrians and quizzes them on things like current events.

Jay Leno met his wife Mavis Nicholson while performing at a club in Los Angeles. She sat in the audience and, according to Leno, laughed at 'all the right moments.' They don't have any children, but they do have a cat, and Leno spends his spare time tending to his antique car and motorcycle collection. He has over 30 classic cars and over 40 motorcycles, his very first automobile being a 1934 Ford V-8 truck that he restored himself when he was fourteen years old. Leno is a huge fan of Elvis Presley, Patrick Rondat and Johnny Cash. In an episode of The Tonight Show in November 2006, he ate a vegetable for the first time in 37 years.

Jay will host his last episode of The Tonight Show in May 2009. After a seventeen year-long stint in the late night circuit, he is going to be replaced by NBC's Conan O'Brien. He will be missed.

By Shehtaz Huq





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