that time of the year again. After a whole month of abstinence,
it is time for Bangladeshi Muslims to celebrate the most popular
festival of all-- the Eid-ul-Fitr. The shopping is over and
the gifts have been distributed. It's time to get dressed
in new outfits, over-indulge in both the savoury and sweet
and meet with friends and relatives you haven't seen for years.
Thus the ritual starts all over again. For many, Eid has become
a chain of obligation and monotony. So how can we break the
routine? Star Weekend Magazine explores a few possibilities.
Sometimes, all it takes is a cosy boat ride with your significant
other or just with your close friends, to get into a more
relaxed frame of mind. Dingy, the city's only self styled
boat-café, has its own plan to celebrate Eid. Situated
on Dhanmondi Lake, the club will remain open on Eid day; a
single boat ride on the lake will cost Tk 25. It is an ideal
dating spot for young couples who hardly get any place in
the city to have fun. The boats have to be manually paddled,
so when you feel tired, have lassi or a soda from
the cafe. Or you might prefer to lie on the green and chill.
you get really tired of having shemai and phirni,
it's time to try something sharp. An ideal place can be on
Dhanmondi Rd. 5, where the phuchka and chotpotiwallahs
will be ready to serve you with the traditional delicacies.
A plateful of either chotpoti or phuchka
costs only Tk 10.
Horse carriages have recently been off most
Dhaka streets but some still ply on the Gulistan-Coronation
Park route. Given the bad traffic in the area on any other
working day, it might sound a hellish experience, but on Eid,
it will surely be a breeze. A single ride through the old
part of Dhaka will cost Tk 10.
For those of you who don't want to spend Eid at home or at
a friend or relative's house, many restaurants will be open
on Eid day. Some of these restaurants, such as SKs Khazana
located in Gulshan 2, will be having Eid specials. Khazana
will be offering a package combo meal instead of its usual
buffet in addition to its a la carte menu. The combo meal
will include a soup, a starter, a main course and beverages
for the total price of Tk. 399 plus VAT. Of the food included
in the combo meal, eight or nine of them will be new items,
which are not on the original menu.
Fast food joints such as Wimpy's, which is
located on Kemal Ataturk Avenue; Dominous Pizza which has
branches both in Dhanmondi and behind Iqbal Tower in Banani;
Café Mango, which has branches both in Dhanmondi and
Gulshan 2 and Pizza Hut, which is in Gulshan 2 will be open
although they do not have anything special planned for the
Joints Billiard Centres
Proprietors of the Dhaka Billiard Centre (DBC) located in
Gulshan, have their hopes up for the new café that
they built alongside the pool area. "Like every other
Eid, we will have a huge number of people, especially the
younger ones," says Swapan Kumar Debnath. "They
play late into the night, and ask for refreshments in between."
Pool Lovers and Rocking Zone, located on opposite
sides of Kemal Ataturk Avenue, and equally popular with the
university going students, are also places one can go to and
spend time playing pool. "Entertainment is still very
limited in Dhaka City," says the manager of Pool Lovers.
'That's why many youngsters just end up playing pool here
and spending quality time together."
Atiqur Rahman, assistant co-ordinator of Sports Zone, in Mohakhali
is confident about their arrangement for this upcoming Eid.
"Our doors will be open from 9 in the morning till midnight."
Entry fee is free in the morning but from 1 p.m., it will
cost Tk 30 for people above 10 years of age. Special discounts
will also be available on the bowling allies and the pool
centre. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., bowling will cost Tk 70 instead
of the regular Tk 100 charge and pool will cost Tk 100 instead
of the regular price of Tk 120.
To commemorate Eid, a special Video Games
Competition will also be held all throughout the day. Participants
will be challenging the gaming consoles, beating certain opponents
and breaking records for prizes that mostly include free-food
Amongst a host of shoot-em-up games, arcade
games and rides, there is also a movie theatre, Turbo Ride,
which will feature two shows, "Dino Island" and
"The Lost Temple". Tickets cost Tk 100 and the shows
will start every hour, on the hour.
"Other than our regular attractions,
we will have a cultural programme on November 17 featuring
kids and teenagers," continues Rahman. "There will
be a fashion show, singing and dancing. This is going to be
free to all our clientele and is mostly to create a family
ambience during this special time of the year." The next
day Sports Zone will have a Musical Evening featuring band
shows. There will be two bands featuring 'Black' and 'Maksud
of Dhaka'. Tickets will cost Tk 100 to enjoy the Musical Evening.
Tickets can be bought in advance, as a limited number of people
will be allowed to keep the atmosphere enjoyable. Both the
shows will commence from 7 p.m. There will also be a raffle
draw on the entry tickets sold during Eid.
In the past three years, younger people of
the city have found lots of new ways to entertain themselves,
including a game of pool. Nowadays, just about every other
youngster prefers to accept the challenges of hitting the
'solids and the stripes' with his/her cue stick after class,
rather than simply hanging out at a fast food stand or playing
Sports Zone is expecting a big crowd of pool
players this Eid. "It's a very common scene every Eid,"
says Rahman. "The Bowling rink and especially the Pool
areas become over crowded with people."
Located in the heart of Gulshan, Wonderland has made quite
a name around for all their cheap thrills. To celebrate this
Eid, it will introduce some new rides such as Bumper Boats,
Volcano Adventure and many more. Though they are still under
construction, the Project Director is somewhat confident that
they will be up and running before Eid. There will be no special
discounts during Eid and hence, entry fee is going to be Tk
50 per person. The rides in Wonderland include the Merry-go-round,
Train Ride, Boat Ride, the Ferris-wheel and more. Ticket costs
range from Tk 10 to Tk 100, depending on the nature of the
ride. Though this place is jam-packed with rides, most people
will surely turn up to take a nice stroll with the family
and take in the pleasant setting.
Some say life begins when you're 18. Others say it starts
at 30. In the context of Bashundhara City this Eid, life begins
at 2 p.m. This is the time the city's entertainment zones
will commence their thrills for all the wonder seekers to
Panthapath. Among them are Star Cineplex, Toggi World and
the Arcade Zone, the latter with its duplex pool-and-billiard
level. Entry ticket to the Arcade Zone is Tk 5 but tickets
to each game are a little steep at Tk 15 per game and the
settings for the games too are set to maximum difficulty.
Nonetheless, it is fun to see little kids pointing the toy
guns at the screen, enjoying the display while the monitor
fervently blinks 'Insert Coin'.
Toggi World, the first indoor theme park in
Dhaka, is going to provide a lot of chills-n-thrills this
Eid. With their fun collection of rides, this place will surely
be alive with children and parents alike enjoying rides like
the mini Eiffel Tower, the indoor train ride, a Merry-go-round
and much more. The place has nice lighting to give it a festive
atmosphere. The entry ticket is about Tk 50 per person and
the rides ranging from Tk 20 to Tk 30 per ride.
new 'hangout' mall is also expecting a crowd on the 8th floor,
where the pool tables are located. "We still have to
get new snooker and pool tables to fill up the floor,"
says one of the officials, pointing at the four or five tables
which were booked until closing time, that is 9:30 p.m. Don't
miss out on the mall's Cineplex screenings during the Eid
break, of the romantic comedy 50 First Dates starring
Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler and Humayan Ahmed's brand
new flick Jay Jatra.
For the young and the restless, Baily Road is an exciting
hangout on Eid Day. The Broadway of Dhaka may seem impoverished
compared to its international counterpart, yet it has its
honour and pride glued to it. And the crowd seems to swarm
the road in their effort to brush some of it in their new
attire. The reason behind the unofficial gathering is not
the food offered by the series of stores that line the two
sides of the road. But that doesn't mean that the food buff
should avoid the spot. In fact in the last six or so years,
this small vicinity has attracted not only culture seekers
but also people with overactive salivary glands.
The most exotic delicacies are made in the
Exotic in a sense that, in an urban setting pithas
are a rare treat. Pitha Ghar has it all, from cream-filled
patishapta to oil dripping pakon.
junk food lovers there are plenty of opportunities to take
a break from the heavy fare prepared at home. Palki, New Dahlia's,
La Vista, Golden Food and even Domino's Pizza remain open
on the day of Eid and the few days after. But most store personnel
claim that on Eid Day the demand for food is less and it is
the drinks that the crowd craves for. However,
Shahidul Islam's testimony nullifies this claim. As a worker
of La Vista and with a seven-year-long experience on the job,
he is assertive about the sale of chicken fries, sandwiches
and even burger. But he also stresses that it is the fountain
soda that sees an unprecedented boost in sale; the young people
who throng the road on Eid Day and the few consecutive days
thereafter are heavy drinkers (soft drinks of course!) and
those with discerning taste buds coupled with an ample wallet,
Swiss Bakery is a marvellous option. After all, the bakery
still tops in the list of the food hierarchy. There is Bamboo,
which will remain open on Eid Day, and for people willing
to forage for more protein-heavy stuff, like parathah
and kabab, it is an ideal place.
Baily Road is definitely a place that beckons
the young for it is here that they let down their guard and
exchange secrets among their buddies. And that's not all.
For the usual Eid ritual of the young and bold -- the almost
compulsory flirting with the opposite sex -- Bailey Road offers
immense possibilities for romance and the romantic.
Dhakaites have a tendency of going 'out of town' to get away
from it all. This in most cases is as far as Ashulia. Now
for those people who have had little chance of visiting this
spot, Ashulia consists basically of a strip of land, connecting
Savar to Uttara with most of the road oozing with trucks and
buses. A careful eye can easily pick out the pockets of people
huddling around little makeshift chotpoti stalls.
A gawking eye can easily pick out all the pretty girls in
the crowd. Such is the mixture of people who visit this site,
not only for the scenery but the escape from the fumes and
dust of Dhaka City. Here, people can hire boats and launches
and enjoy the clean air since it is fast becoming a rarity.
Fantasy Kingdom, the only theme park of the country, is adding
a 3D film show for this Eid. It will of course, has its usual
thrilling rides to cater to the young and the slightly reckless.
For a great splash there is Nandan Park in Baroipara Savar,
which will be open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Eid day and 11
a.m. to 9 p.m. the following days. The only new attraction
for Eid at Nandan will be a "newly choreographed"
musical dancing fountain with Bangla songs.
in the Warmth of Old Dhaka
As in usual times Old Dhaka wears a different
look from New Dhaka on an Eid day. Since Dhaka's population
loses much of its weight on Eid, New Dhaka by and large assumes
a lifeless and deserted look. The joyous festive mood is much
more manifested in Old Dhaka. The celebration begins with
crackers blasting right after the moon sighting on the chand
raat. Preparation for the Eid goes on until late at night.
Women start preparing spices, men are sent to the kitchen
market with long lists, friends meet to decide where they
would say the Eid prayer and discuss their plans in detail.
The saloons are open until the small hours of the next day.
The mood of festivity is unmistakably present.
Old Dhakaites popularly known, as Dhakaiyyas are socially
and culturally close-knit; there is strong sense of belonging
to the community. And this closeness gives Eid celebration
in Old Dhaka much of its appeal.
Eid Old Dhaka is full of colour, music and life. Children,
young men and women in their new Eid clothes are a frequent
sight on the streets of Old Dhaka. Eager Eid kolakuli (embrace),
performed with great enthusiasm, are another common sight
one would come across every few yards. Groups of youths wearing
punjabis can be spotted almost in every alley blasting the
recent hit Hindi film numbers or Bangla band songs and shops
are decorated with colourful festoons.
If you are a New Dhakaite and have never seen
Old Dhaka's Eid you might consider exploring it this time.
The usual inextricable and messy Old Dhaka traffic jam is
gone and stays this way for a few days after Eid day. All
you need to do is hire a rickshaw for two hours, go around
as you wish and you are sure to get a feel of Old Dhaka's
But there are also definite destinations to
explore. One is Ahsan Manzil, the former palace of Dhaka's
Nawabs which has been transformed into a museum. It's in Islampur,
one of the furthest corners of Old Dhaka and is open on Eid
day from 9 am to 5 pm. The entry fee is Tk 5. Articles of
the Nawab family like chairs, beds, kitchenware, medical instruments
and portraits of the Nawabs are on display in around one and
a half dozen rooms in the huge two storied palace.
But if you are not an ardent museum enthusiast,
you can still visit Ahsan Manzil. The large lawn with well-groomed
neatly pruned grass-carpet right in front of the palace is
quite inviting. One can also sit on the huge staircase to
get a nice view of the river Buriganga, quietly flowing by
Baldha garden in Wari can be another option.
It's also going to be open for visitors from 9 am to 5 pm.
The entry fee is Tk 5. In a city where greenery is rare to
come by Baldha Garden could be a good choice if you are looking
to spend some time enjoying Nature's bounty. It's not as noisy
as the parks in New Dhaka like Ramna or Suhrowardy Uddayan.
Since one has to buy a ticket to enter there are no pestering
beggars, tea vendors and badamwalas. Hundreds of rare plants
and trees will greet you as you step into the garden. Eating
is not allowed, but the guards are often indulgent enough
to overlook it if you are suddenly caught with a few munchies.
There is also a beautiful little pond with a quaint staircase
that leads into the water.
A word of caution however - the large number
of trees attract an equally large number of birds. And you
know how uninhibited Dhaka's birds can be -- they scarcely
miss an opportunity to target the head of an unsuspecting
homo sapien, with the ultimate dropping!
Eye on the Tube
our not-so-social couch potatoes, fear not, for this Eid (like
every other) brings you an assortment of fun television programmes
including dramas, tele-films, feature films, children's programmes,
musical and magazine shows.
A few highlights . . .
eve of Eid
A man with a lot of money wants to give it away to deserving
villagers. So he shaves off the hair of those who pass his
rigorous interviews and lets them join his group of bald men.
But what are they really up to? Find out in Rezanur
Rahman's comic drama Ektara Dotara
Featuring: Tania Ahmed, Ahmed Rubel and others
9:45p.m. on Channel i
The ever-funny and very popular "Nana-Nati"
show, "Gombhira" on 8:30a.m.
Baul music programme "Mon Amar Shandhan Kori"
9:30a.m. on ntv
Musical programme "Kichhu Kautha Kichhu Gaan"
Featuring: Syed Abdul Hadi, Kanak Chapa, Sadi Muhammad, Rezwana
Chowdhury Banya, Samina Choudhury, Ferdous Ara, Bappa Mazumdar,
Subir Nandi and others
12:05 p.m. on ntv
of very different people sail their way to freedom in '71
amidst a turbulent tide of events and relationships . . .
Humayun Ahmed's Bangla feature film Shyamol
Featuring: Shaon, Riaz, Humayun Faridi, Ahmed Rubel and others
3:00p.m. on Channel i
Premiere show of Bangla film Prem Korechi Besh
Featuring Reaz, Rituparna, Poppy and Chankey Pandey
3:30 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Drama Missed Call
Directed by Humayan Ahmed and Abul
7:50 p.m. on ATN Bangla
A gentle, poetic NGO worker turns terrorist for the sake of
love . . . in
Balak Balika, Written by Anisul
Haq, Directed by Mostafa Sarwar Farooki
Featuring: Mahfuz Ahmed, Api Karim and others
7:50PM on Channel i
Humayun Ahmed's two-part drama Shedin
Featuring: Riaz, Shaon, Jayanta Chattyapadhya and others
Day 1 and 2, 8:25p.m. on ntv
Musical programme "Purono Pop"
Featuring five first generation pop singers Fakir Alamgir,
Ferdous Wahed, Pilu Momtaz, Lucky Akhand, Azam Khan
8:25 p.m. on ntv
Magazine Show "Paanch Phoron"
9:00 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Runa Laila's solo musical programme "Geeti
9:40p.m. on ntv
Abdullah Al Mamun's drama ''Shokhi
Featuring: Ferdousi Majumdar, Abdullah Al Mamun, Jitu Ahsan,
Ishita, Tarin, Shahiduzzaman Salim and Abdul Kader
10:30 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Mustafa Munwar's special programme for children
"Chander Moto Mon"
The theme: "Happiness is not for yourself but to be shared
with others, like the moonlight that touches everyone."
9:30a.m. on ntv
Sonia keeps her windows shut because women across the street
flirt with her husband. After months of doing this, she finally
opens them up. Trying to see if she can do what the other
women on her street do, she smiles at a man on the street
and sets off an unprecedented chain of events herself . .
Eid tele-film Ingit, Written and
Directed by Shihab Shaheen
Featuring: Api Karim, Intekhab Dinar and others
10:30a.m. on ntv
Solo Musical programme of Manna De anchored
by Santa Islam
11:10 a.m. on ATN Bangla
Tele-film Babodhan, Written by Pantha
Shahriar and Abdullah Al Mamun,
Directed by Zahid Hasan
Featuring: Doli Zahur and others
9:00 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Premiere show of Bangla film Onno Manush
Directed by Kazi Hayet
Featuring: Kazi Maruf and Shabnoor
3:40 p.m. on ATN Bangla
North Bengal have seen hundreds of years of peace and communal
harmony. Until the Pakistani army attacks in 1971 and a group
of people from very different backgrounds, religions, etc.,
set sail towards, hopefully, peace and freedom . . . on
The World Premier of Jayjatra
Based on Amjad Hossain's novel Eshomoy Oshomoy, Directed
by Toukir Ahmed
Featuring: Azizul Hakim, Mahfuz Ahmed, Shahed, Abdul Hayat
2:35p.m. on ntv
Drama Shopnoprapto Written by Masum
Reza, Directed by Saeyd Awlad
Featuring: Abul Hayat, Toukir Ahmed, Tarin
7:50 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Drama Cox's Bazare Koekjon Written by Anisul
Haque and Directed by S. A. Haque Alik
Featuring: Azizul Hakim, Tushar Khan and Moushumi
9:00 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Drama Naika Ashche, Script and direction:
Featuring: Shahed, Jitu Ahsan, Mir Shaffin, Joy and ATM Shamsuzzaman.
10:30 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Roosters are better-looking than hens; bulls are better-looking
than cows; lions are better-looking than lionesses; and peacocks
are more beautiful than peahens. But which is the more beautiful
sex among humans? Shubho, wannabe scientist who studies 20
hours a day, has his own theory . . . in
Eid drama Priyojon Proyojon, Written
and Directed by Sohel Arman
Featuring: Shomi Kaiser, Mahfuz Ahmed, Rumana, Shahed and
11:20 p.m. on ntv
Mahmudul Islam Mithu's "Putulnaach"
9:05a.m. on ntv
A special Eid programme called "Bhindeshi
Eid" will focus on how foreigners spend
the Eid holidays.
11:10 p.m. on ATN Bangla
"Premer Tori" Songs of
love by Asif and Kaniz, Topon and Shakila and others.
11:45 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Beauty Pagent Miss Bangladesh U.S.A. in New York.
12:30 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Anisuzzaman Tuku has a hard time providing for his family
-- until he starts making money right and left by not-so-fair
means. But luck favours him only for so long and soon life
becomes a race he can't quite keep pace with . . . in
Dulabhai, Written by DA
Taher, Directed by Shahidul Haq Haideri
Featuring: Abdul Kader, Abdus Sagor and others
2:00p.m. on Channel i
Love, marriage and finally divorce. With the parents, the
children are also separated. But when the ex-Hubby wants to
remarry, the couple again come face-to-face . . . in
Tele-film Dui Prante
Featuring: Subarna Mustafa, Bipasha Hayat and Humayun Faridi,
2:35p.m. on ntv
Telefilm Sonar Bikal written and
directed by Ferdous Hasan
Shahed, Srabonti, Tisa, Somapti Mashuh, Shahiduzzaman Sachhin
4:10 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Well known singers such as Abdul Hadi, Farida Parvin, Kumar
Bishwajit, Mamtaz and Shammi Akhter will sing their first
song in 'Amar Prothom'.
6:20 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Drama Keherman, Written by Abu
Sufian and directed by Mizanur Rahman Labu
Featuring: ATM Shamsuzzaman, Bonna Mirza, Abul Kalam Azad
9:00 p.m. on ATN Bangla
Watch the sparks fly as one celebrity interviews another totally
different one . . . in
Special Eid "anondo adda" in "Alochon"
Directed (and secret questions set) by Supon Ray
and Kaushik Shankar Das
9:40p.m. on ntv
(R) thedailystar.net 2004