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Season 2, Part 1

So you know where to shop?

WITH the sun beating off their backs, this dazzling duo set out on a combat mission which was well, the first part to the second season of street shopping. As recession was on the rise, the budget was set on the 300-taka mark. The streets lining the New Market area was the assigned battleground.

The first hit was the dupatta and stoles section which was abundant with stacks of vibrant colours. You can find dupattas of a wide variety of materials including cotton, nets, georgette and mixed. Prices range from Tk. 70 to 120. Looking for a dupatta for that favorite dress of yours? This place is the best bargain for your match, maybe not in terms of quality but definitely in terms of price.

As you walk a bit further down the lane, vendors with sunglasses are sure to catch your attention. Of course the shades are never your original Ray-Ban or Fendi but nevertheless not less trendy either. The shopkeepers are quite aware of the latest fashion as the duo noticed that there were shades with bigger and more rounded rims. Numerous frames of red, purple and blue flashed apart from the hackneyed black and brown ones. These were priced at Tk.200-250. However you can hitch them off with a much lower price if you know the art of haggling.

Bags continue to remain a woman's best friend. The duo shudders to imagine what a woman would do without the existence of hand-bags. This place can be the answer to your “baggy” woes as there are variously styled bags displayed by a number of shopkeepers. Costing a maximum of Tk. 150 these bags are good enough for everyday daily use.

If you keep on walking you'll find few people roaming around the area showing off their wares. Over there the usual “wares” are nose pins, earrings and rings. Okay, to speak the truth, the pieces there are much more beautiful than the ones you'd find in larger departmental stores. What's even better that they are way cheaper, with rings costing Tk.10-15 and nose pins and earrings being priced at Tk. 20-30. An eclectic collection of bangles of different sizes can also be seen with prices ranging from Tk.10-30.

This place may not be your conventional clothes store but interested shoppers can actually nick off some pretty t-shirts at Tk. 60. T-shirts with prim feminine cuts are available while there are some cotton ones which you would definitely like to make use as night-wear.

There are also some magazine stores where you can get magazines both local and foreign ones. Although these come in fixed prices, what really caught the duo's attention were the little books titled “SMS Guide of Love” and “SMS Guide of Friendship”. These are must buys if you're looking for the much desired laughter. Filled with hilarious quotes, you can get these at Tk. 25.

Fashionable and very much “in vogue” stuff are available over here. Prices are of course cheaper than the usual malls. Moreover, you can haggle to your heart's content.

In this weather, walking around can be really troublesome. You have to be careful too to avoid getting tricked. Quality control is a problem and well you really got to search a lot for the “perfect” piece of merchandise.

By Faria Sanjana and Nayeema Reza
Photo: Lifestyle Archive

The earth is not a cold dead place

DECKS of tarots assure me that someone is my soul mate; someone that I've already met. I gave Someone a face, and it looked like Eternity. I gave Eternity a name and it sounded like Woman. I called her and only you answered, unknowing, unbeknownst, unknown.

But I know I've already met you and you're my soul mate. It would appear that the tarots cannot tell me anything I don't already know, but I still want my own deck like I want you.

I foresee in the near future that the only parts of you that truly belong to me anymore are your memories. Rather than owning them I plan to let them wholly own me.

I learned from you that someday we could ascend greatness. We, pitifully littered across the surface of a cold dying planet, could become powerful- truly powerful.

I always believed there was no meaning to our lives we mortals could grasp but oh, the meaning of our lives! We could become eternally powerful and wise. We could grow and we could learn. We could become invincible. Once crawling on all fours and creeping out from swirling oceans, we can one day be the most worthy, most noble, most beautiful beings ever to grace the universe.

Someday we could be it all, if only you could learn too. Learn that we could ascend greatness through love.

By Ahsan Sajid

Book review


THERE are few better writers of sci-fi than Isaac Asimov, the first person ever to use the word robotics. He also happens to the creator of the Three Laws of Robotics. Although Hollywood was more interested in his writings involving robots [I, Robot, starring Will Smith and Bicentennial Man, starring Robin Williams, are both based on his stories], his most loved and most famous series is the Foundation series. And Foundation is the first installment.

Where do you go when you reach the top? Why, down of course. In the distant future, the Galactic Empire, stretching twenty million worlds housing quadrillion human beings, has reached its prime. It is then that Hari Seldon, one of the greatest mathematicians in history, discovers psychohistory. It is a form of statistical mathematics which can mathematically predict the actions of a great numbers of people. It predicts mob mentalities in short; the greater the number of people in the equation, the greater the accuracy in prediction. Using this, Hari Seldon comes to know of the gradual and unstoppable decay of the Empire.

Hari Seldon deduces that within three centuries, the 12000 year old Empire will be completely broken up. Science will be forgotten, technology will rewind to the primitive methods of burning coal and oil. And thirty thousand years of barbarism and human misery will pass before a second Empire is formed. With his bands of psychohistorians, he looks to minimize that time to only a millennium. It is for that reason he sets up two Foundations, at opposite ends of the Galaxy, under the pretense of preserving the accumulated scientific knowledge in the form of an Encyclopedia. But of course, there is more to it under the surface.

We follow the actions of the first Foundation, founded on a planet called Terminus at the outer edge of the Galaxy, which soon comes to learn that Seldon has put them in a strategically placed position and intends for them to serve as the nucleus of the new Empire. Every once in a while, a Seldon crisis would come to pass where the Foundation is threatened from internal and external forces, something that Hari Seldon foresaw in his “Seldon Plan”. There would be only one course of action, and that would take the Foundation into a new direction of opportunities, hastening its rise in power.

The book contains four stories, stretching two centuries, outlining how the Foundation used its technological superiority and ingeniousness to control worlds surrounding it. There are weird resonances with our current world. It is devoid of romance but has a gripping charm and wit that keeps you hooked and eager to know more.

I found the book in New Market, where they have the whole series. Keep a look out next week for the review of the next book of the series.

By Kazim Ibn Sadique



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