City in Frame | The Daily Star
  • Life Not on Track

    The railway slums were immortalised and romanticised by the famous words of the legendary Azam Khan. The bleak picture he painted

  • Bird

    The Wild And The Wonderful

    Bangladesh is a country rich in biodiversity. This is easy to forget if one grows up in an urban setting where the only vista outsides

  • Cleansed by The Bay

    Thousands of Hindu devotees gather at Rani Rashmoni Ghat to observe the three-day Baruni Snan.

  • Turkey

    The Treasure That is Turkey

    For a country that thrives on meat-based food, and with our thriving agriculture, Bangladesh can be a hotspot not only for turkey rearing

  • Spring is King

    “SPRING, the sweet spring, is the year's pleasant king.” Thomas Nash's poem sums up the most colourful season of the year. Coming on the heels of a dreary winter, spring means blossoming flowers and the return of nature's hues. In and around Dhaka, the re-birth takes place at full pace as trees come back to life, sprouting fruits, flowers and leaves. Fascinating blooms juxtaposed against the concrete slab that is Dhaka city, add a soothing vibrancy. The mango and lychee trees embellish themselves in full preparation for a bountiful summer. Light breeze rustles newborn leaves, ushering in a music long unheard. This is the re-incarnation of Mother Earth; this is her wake-up call.

  • The Grace of Tallest Grass

    Bhudum, Borak, Baijja, Muli, Lota are some of the names of species of bamboo, the largest grass-type plant in the world. All these can be seen at “Bamboo Garden” of Bangladesh Forest Research Institute at Sholoshahar in Chittagong city. At least 33 plain land and hilly bamboo species were being grown in the facility since 1973. The garden exhibits the beauty of the majestic grass family herbs, some of which are 120 feet tall and some as small as a bush. A separate genetics department is situated beside the garden where some species are being conserved. All information and research records are also kept there. The garden is open to public on weekdays.

  • Festival of The Golden Fibre

    The National Jute Day was observed for the second time with the slogan: Sonali Asher Sonali Desh, Pat Ponne Bangladesh. Parts of the capital were decked out in jute promotion. Jute, also known as the golden fibre, was once the country's highest foreign currency earner. Now, a revival is in the offing. Jute's uses have been diversified over the years. The government formulated Jute Act-2017 for the development of the fibre. Jute Diversification Centre currently has 233 types of jute products. This year, jute saris were heavily promoted during The National Jute Day, a testament to the fibres' versatility.

  • Peddlers Pavement

    Peddlers' Pavement

    Dhaka north and south city corporations laid down the new footpaths with much fanfare, promising pedestrians beautified paths without

  • The Last Rickshaw Artists

    Brilliant strokes from master artisans bring vibrancy to rickshaws, the three-wheelers that rule the city streets. While considered a traffic nuisance at times, painted rickshaws bring colour to the roads. Four to five rickshaw painters in Old Dhaka are keeping the tradition alive despite screen prints offering heavy competition. Slumped over plates of steel, rickshaw artists can be seen working feverishly to bring the metal to life. Each of them can produce up to four such oil paintings a day, charging a mere Tk 250 for each. However, their daily earning isn't enough. The craftsmen learn the trade either from their father or an ustad. Although rickshaw art is a part of our heritage, there are only a handful holding onto this neo-romantic art form; possibly the last such artists in the region.

  • A Bounty of Books

    The Ekushey Boi Mela 2018 began earlier this month. A favourite fixture of every Bangladeshi, the grounds of Suhrawardy Udyan come

  • Behind The Balloons

    Balloons certainly make a child smile and excited. But the ones you buy for your children at shopping malls or fairs often have dreary

  • Turning Ruins Into Rubies

    Several factories in Hazaribagh and Kamrangirchar areas of Dhaka are turning seemingly useless plastic bottles into new items. Every

  • Festival For Consumers

    People look forward to two fairs at the beginning of the year – the first being the Dhaka International Trade Fair and the second Amar Ekushey Boi Mela. While readers are attracted to the book fair, consumers from all walks of life are drawn to the DITF at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar. From cinnamon to cars, and from mobile phones to mustard oil, everything is available and for reasonable prices too. Big brands, national and international, bring in their best to woo consumers. People in their thousands visit the fair every day and the crowd in the weekends are almost unmanageable. They queue up at the gates and leaves with shopping bags full of things designed to make their lives easier. Like previous years, the DITF would be open for the entire month of January.

  • A Decade of Inclusivity

    Sporsho Braille Prokashona celebrated the completion of its decade-long journey through a day-long festival at Bangla Academy on

  • Celebrating The Life Of A Great Teacher

    The three-day long “Zainul Utsab and Zainul Mela”, held at Charukola (Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University), drew admirers from all walks of life. It was a testament to the artist's enduring legacy and timeless relevance. The festivities commemorated the Shilpacharya's 103rd birth anniversary. Paintings, sculptures, busts, ceramic statuettes, entire installments and photographs were all on display, available for perusal and purchase. The celebration put together quite a display, showing the prowess of Bangladesh's art body. Many of the selected motifs incorporated and honoured Bangladesh's culture, traditions and beliefs. Charukola organised the event at the Bokultola part of the institute. The festival also featured a photography exhibition, poter gaan, a screening of Manpura-70 and many other attractions. Zainul Abedin is considered “The Great Teacher of Arts” and the “founding father of Bangladeshi art”. His Famine series paintings of 1943 thrust him towards the spotlight and sealed his legacy.

  • Parked On Pavements

    The footpaths of Dhaka often have a lot fewer feet on them. Pavements across the city are turned into makeshift shops, parking spots and even car repair shops. In a city already choked by lack of space, whatever little room remains for pedestrians is encroached upon. Cars and bikes are seen parking on the footpaths, even if there is a sign explicitly warning against such actions. Shops are set up forcing pedestrians on the road and right in front of traffic. The culture of impunity and a sense of perverse entitlement exacerbate the situation. While there are laws, no one is around to enforce them. The lack of parking space is another issue. Commercial buildings rise towards the sky with the fanciest of shops and offices generally forgoing the need for providing designated parking. Some rent out whatever space they have. Cars parked haphazardly narrow even the most important of thoroughfares and all this goes on right under the noses of law enforcers. The law enforcers slap fines and tow vehicles but it is business as usual moments later. Pictures were taken from Bijoynagar, Gulistan, near FDC, Tejgaon, Karwan Bazar, Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, Malibagh, Rajarbagh and Mohakhali. The Daily Star and other media outlets have been running reports on illegal parking and occupation of footpaths for years, yet the situation does not change. Measures to stop illegal parking have been scanty. Hardly any multistoried car parks have been built and only a handful of basements of commercial buildings have been cleared for parking cars.

  • Warming up in Winter With Pithas

    The descending fog never fails to merge with the delicious steam wafting from plates of pithas, a winter favourite in Bangladesh. Come the chill, street corners transform into tiny food courts, offering the best of pithas, a type of rice cake. Traditional favourites such as chitoi pitha, dudh puli, tel er pitha, bhapa, patishapta and many others are sold for affordable prices. Where once, homemakers began toiling over creating the delicacies, nowadays city dwellers can go absolutely anywhere for their fill of this tasty treat. Streets in Shahbagh, Mirpur, Mohammadpur, Farmgate and in front of Bashundhara City all offer pithas. Available in both sweet and sour flavours, with helpings of milk, coconut, jaggery, shutki and a lot of other ingredients, it's hard not to have a favourite when it comes to pithas. Winter and pitha are synonymous in Bangladesh.

  • Magic of The Mountains

    The five-day Mountain Fair held at Shilpakala Academy in Dhaka came to an end this week. The fair attracted people from all walks of life, offering them a chance to celebrate the diversity of cultures present in the mountains of Bangladesh. The event was organised to mark International Mountain Day 2017. Over the five days, visitors were dazzled by numerous cultural performances by indigenous groups. There were also stalls showcasing various handicrafts and food of the highlanders. The grounds of Shilpakala were also designed to recreate the highlands, providing a peek into the day to day life of the indigenous community. The theme for this year's festival was "Mountains under Pressure: climate, hunger, migration". The fair consisted of 55 stalls offering food, clothing, books, souvenirs and a lot more. The huge number of visitors added a further shine to the event and stall-owners expressed happiness at the amazing response.

  • Wild Flavours From Wild Fish

    As canals, ponds, and rivers dry up around the country, it proves to be fortuitous for fishermen. With fish farms facing a lull, wild fish have begun flooding the market. These fish are highly favoured by fish lovers given their taste and natural freshness. Koi, katal, pangash and chitol are among some of the wild fish found in the markets of Karwan Bazar, Shantinagar and Jhigatola. The prices of the wild fish are a bit higher. Where a rui or rohu from a farm will set one back around Tk 300, a wild rui will cost between Tk 350-400. Wild fish are considered to be more nutritious and come winter, they arrive as another treasured bounty of the season. Apart from canals and ponds, the rivers Padma, Meghna, Jamuna and Halda are other water bodies from where these fish are caught.

  • Winter Means Vegetables

    Come winter, as we prolong our slumber, the earth seems to wake up with a vigour. Under blankets of mist, far from the sun's glare, the ground comes alive, sprouting the tastiest vegetables of the year. The trees too refuse to miss out, dangling delights that satiate even the most critical of palates. Areas of Munshiganj, Savar and Keraniganj become busy harvesting the fruits of their labours come winter. Delicacies such as lal shakh (red amaranth), pumpkin, bottle gourd, cabbage and others are all grown around the city, meeting its dwellers' growing demand. However, farmers say the cost of both purchasing and growing the vegetables have increased over the years meaning a rise in prices is inevitable. But a growing supply aims to keep costs within the reach of the common people.

  • Making Them Smile

    On a wintry morning in the northern district of Rajshahi, about 100 people joined a queue in front of the Janata Bank's Halidagachhi

  • The Flight of Rainbows

    Have you ever seen a rainbow fly? There is a place in the port city for one to witness just that. Here, the slightest disturbance will awaken

  • The Disappearing Hillock

    Illegal stone extraction by vested quarters has led to the disappearance of the Shah Arefin Tila in Companiganj of Sylhet district. The mazar of the sufi saint Shah Arefin Mokam and the hillock encompassed an area of 137.50 acres of government khas land. Influential traders, taking advantage of the loopholes in the law, steadily excavated the stones, erasing an important part of the country's history and removing any trace of the knoll. Every year, many workers lost their lives while extracting the stones from the area. On January 23, some five workers were killed while lifting stone from a quarry in the area. Two others lost their lives at the same site a few weeks before.

  • Safety Derailed

    Safety Derailed

    Negligence on the parts of the authorities, travellers and the people around the rail lines often contribute to fatalities.

  • Not for Passengers Anymore

    Brand new passenger sheds, third row left, on Airport Road. Gleaming black rods and digital boards both combine to hint at Bangladesh's

  • Celebrating Puja

    Durga Puja, the biggest religious festivals for Hindus, began on September 26 and ended on the 30th. The five-day festival begins with the “bodhon” (incarnation) of the Goddess Durga. While Durga is the focus of the celebration, other deities are also prominently featured and revered during the festival. The festival is one of the most colourful around with beautiful crafted idols dressed in many different hues and dazzling ornamentation. Artisans began to make the idols months before the festival and puja mandals are set up around the country. Devotees throng the festival areas in Chittagong in huge numbers. The religious festival culminates with the immersion of the idols of the goddess in rivers and water bodies around the country, in this case in the Bay in Patenga.

  • The Fishermen's Tale

    Before we can relish that fresh fish cooked in a combination of our favourite spices, a lot of hard work goes into bringing it on our plates. In Cox's Bazar, one can see the amount of dedication, courage and perseverance fishermen needed. An average trip means a seven day foray into deep sea with the powerful waves only one of many elements to be braved. Ten fishermen with one boat usually go into such week-long trips, risking their lives in the tempestuous sea, only to make living. The fishermen though aren't rewarded a deserving price for their labour nor for the fish they bring. Regardless, they go on, in a tradition passed down from generations, sometimes stuck in a vicious cycle of exploitation. The fruits of their labour are various; from hilsa, koral, loitta (Bombay duck) and many others. Businessmen buy the fish from them and send them around the country where they are loved, with some earmarked for export.

  • Another Man's Treasure

    In the capital's Chawk Bazar, Gulistan, Mouchak, Malibagh and opposite the Nagar Bhaban , second hand consumer electronics are becoming highly popular. What they have on offer isn't always serviceable but people still find various uses for them. From discarded electronic parts, broken mobile phones, used table fans, computers, laptops and even a Sony PSP, a gaming device, can all be found here. Bilkis, an 8 year old seller, opposite Nagar Bhaban, makes a profit of Tk 300 per day selling old torches, headphones, irons and so on. An old mobile phone will set one back Tk 50, Tk 600 for a table fan, Tk 20 for headphones with prices depending on the condition of the wares. Many buyers even scavenge parts, fix electronics and sell for a higher mark up. The customers are usually from the lower-income groups, but in area, such as around Dhaka medical, patients come to buy what they need in case of an emergency. For instance, if one forgets to bring a charger and has to stay at the hospital overnight, even that is available for a low price of Tk 40.

  • Quack, Who Only Pulls Out Teeth

    "ADAR DOCTOR” has only one cure for most ailments of the teeth. He tells most people with toothaches to get rid of their bad tooth.

  • Trekking out of horror

    Oing back is like drowning in the sea, said a woman residing in a makeshift camp in Teknaf. Her sentiment is shared by more than

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