Irish writer Paul Lynch won the Booker Prize for fiction on Sunday with what judges called a “soul-shattering” novel about a woman’s struggle to protect her family as Ireland collapses into totalitarianism and war. “Prophet Song,” set in a dystopian fictional version of Dublin, was awarded the 50,000-pound ($63,000) literary prize at a ceremony in London. Canadian writer Esi Edugyan, who chaired the judging panel, said the book is “a triumph of emotional storytelling, bracing and brave” in which Lynch “pulls off feats of language that are stunning to witness.” Lynch, 46, had been the bookies’ favorite to win the prestigious prize, which usually brings a big boost in sales. His book beat five other finalists from Ireland, the U.K., the U.S. and Canada, chosen from 163 novels submitted by publishers. “This was not an easy book to write,” Lynch said after being handed the Booker trophy. “The rational part of me believed I was dooming my career by writing this novel, though I had to write the book anyway. We do not have a choice in such matters.” Lynch has called “Prophet Song,” his fifth novel, an attempt at “radical empathy” that tries to plunge readers into the experience of living in a collapsing society. Read: Writers from 4 continents up for International Booker Prize “I was trying to see into the modern chaos,” he told the Booker website. “The unrest in Western democracies. The problem of Syria — the implosion of an entire nation, the scale of its refugee crisis and the West’s indifference. … I wanted to deepen the reader’s immersion to such a degree that by the end of the book, they would not just know, but feel this problem for themselves.” The five prize judges met to pick the winner on Saturday, less than 48 hours after far-right violence erupted in Dublin following a stabbing attack on a group of children. Edugyan said that immediate events didn’t directly influence the choice of winner. Lynch said he was “astonished” by the riots “and at the same time I recognized the truth that this kind of energy is always there under the surface.” He said “Prophet Song” — written over four years starting in 2018 — “is a counterfactual novel. It’s not a prophetic statement.” “I wrote the book to articulate the message that the things that are happening in this book are occurring timelessly throughout the ages and maybe we need to deepen our own responses to that," he told reporters. Read: It's a tie: Atwood and Evaristo share fiction's Booker Prize The other finalists were Irish writer Paul Murray’s “The Bee Sting;” American novelist Paul Harding’s “This Other Eden;” Canadian author Sarah Bernstein’s “Study for Obedience;” U.S. writer Jonathan Escoffery’s “If I Survive You;” and British author Chetna Maroo’s “Western Lane.” Edugyan said the choice of winner wasn't unanimous, but the six-hour judges’ meeting wasn't acrimonious. “We all ultimately felt that this was the book that we wanted to present to the world and that this was truly a masterful work of fiction,” she said. Founded in 1969, the Booker Prize is open to English-language novels from any country published in the U.K. and Ireland. and has a reputation for transforming writers’ careers. Previous winners include Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie and Hilary Mantel. Four Irish novelists and one from Northern Ireland have previously won the prize. “It is with immense pleasure that I bring the Booker home to Ireland,” Lynch said. Asked what he planned to do with the prize money, he said it would help him make payments on his tracker mortgage, which have soared along with inflation. Read more: Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood on Booker Prize list Lynch received his trophy from last year’s winner, Sri Lankan author Shehan Karunatilaka, during a ceremony at Old Billingsgate, a grand former Victorian fish market in central London. The evening included a speech from Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British-Iranian woman who was jailed in Tehran for almost six years until 2022 on allegations of plotting the overthrow of Iran’s government — a charge that she, her supporters and rights groups denied. She talked about the books that sustained her in prison, recalling how inmates ran an underground library and circulated copies of Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” set in an oppressive American theocracy. “Books helped me to take refuge into the world of others when I was incapable of making one of my own,” Zaghari-Ratcliffe said. “They salvaged me by being one of the very few tools I had, together with imagination, to escape the Evin (prison) walls without physically moving.”
Jamdani saree, an emblem of Bangladeshi tradition, symbolises cultural richness and artisanal finesse. Distinguishing a real Jamdani from cheaper replicas necessitates keen attention to intricate details and a deep understanding of its defining characteristics. This ensures preservation of the material’s true essence and craftsmanship. Why Jamdani Saree is Unique The Jamdani saree originated from the Bengal region. It represents the pinnacle of meticulous craftsmanship. Crafted with fine cotton, it boasts intricate designs often inspired by nature or folklore, defining its renowned elegance and desirability. An authentic Jamdani saree is a masterpiece. It showcases exquisite craftsmanship, with seamlessly woven intricate motifs that reflect the expertise of skilled artisans and the traditional weaving technique. This hallmark garment is coveted for its delicate patterns and holds an essence that resonates deeply with its authenticity. Read more: Personal Grooming Tips and Tricks for Better Life and Career Tips to Recognise an Authentic Jamdani Saree To discern the authenticity of a Jamdani saree, careful scrutiny of various elements is essential. Weaving The weave is a critical factor. Authentic Jamdani sarees are distinguished by their supplementary weft technique. It boasts flawless structure, free from loose threads or irregularities. They show the diligent interlacing of extra weft threads. An authentic Jamdani’s borders are a testament to supreme craftsmanship. They feature distinct patterns that complement the overall design flawlessly, devoid of fraying or uneven edges. Rough or uneven designs may hint at a saree's lack of authenticity. Read more: Gemstones Guide: Precious, Semi-precious Stones Used in Jewellery
Enjoying the unparalleled beauty of nature cannot be measured by any monetary value. However, everything in the world comes with a price, tourism is no exception. Though travelling costs are getting higher day by day, Bangladeshi tourists can visit overseas within a tight budget with proper planning and right information. Let's explore some popular international tourist attractions to visit with 10,000 taka. 10 Overseas Places to Visit from Bangladesh with a Budget of BDT 10,000 Cherrapunji This city, which is also called Sohra, is situated in the East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. Notable attractions here include Mawsynram, the Double Decker Root Bridge, Mosmai Cave, and Mokdok View Point. Foreign visitors are drawn to enchanting waterfalls like Nohkalikai Falls, Thankharang Park, Mosmai Falls, Kalikai Falls, Rainbow Falls, Krangsuri Falls, and Seven Sisters Falls. To reach Sohra, travelers must take a train from Dhaka to Sylhet and then a bus to Tamabil. The minimum train fare from Dhaka to Sylhet is around BDT 400, and the bus journey from Sylhet to Tamabil costs BDT 35. Read more: 10 Most Affordable Destinations in Indonesia: Winter retreats on a budget Upon reaching Tamabil, complete Bangladesh immigration and cross-border checking at Indian customs. Subsequently, a taxi or minibus will leave for Shillong through Dauki Bazaar. Cherrapunji is a bit further, past the Wardslake gate of Shillong. For budget accommodation, homestays in Naingriat village can be arranged, with room rents for 4 people ranging from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500, approximately equal to BDT 1,330 to 2,000 (Rs 1 = BDT 1.33). The cost of food can range from Rs 160 to Rs 200 (approx. BDT 215 to BDT 266) per person per day. All in all, one can travel from Dhaka via Shillong to Cherrapunji and back to Dhaka in 3 days for around 8 to 9 thousand taka. Read more: Best Asian Alternatives to the Maldives: Affordable Island Getaways Delhi Delhi, the Indian capital on the banks of the river Yamuna, retains its popularity among travelers due to its historical significance. Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar, Chandni Chowk, India Gate, Red Fort, and Emperor Humayun's Tomb are among the city's prominent sightseeing spots. Dhaka residents can reach Delhi affordably by first taking a bus to Kolkata. A non-AC coach will cost around BDT 890 to BDT 900 per person. From Kolkata's Howrah, they need to take a train to Delhi, with a non-AC sleeper costing approximately Rs 650 to Rs 700 (close proximity to BDT 865 to BDT 931). Opting for a tour agency's sightseeing package, which typically costs Rs 300 to 500 per person (hovering near BDT 399 to BDT 665), is recommended. The average daily cost for food is Rs 390 (roughly BDT 519). Double-bed rooms in Paharganj can be found for Rs 500 to Rs 650 (approx. BDT 655 to BDT 865). Read more: Shopping in Malaysia: What to Buy, Where to Buy from Shimla The capital and largest city of Himachal Pradesh in North India is known as the Queen of Hill Stations. Places to visit in the picturesque city include Mall Road, The Ridge, Summer Hill, Viceroy Lodge, St. Michael's Cathedral, Himachal State Museum, and Jakhu. Budget visitors must first come to Kolkata from Dhaka by the ways mentioned earlier. A minimum of BDT 1,100 will be spent here along with the immigration process. After that, the explorers have to go to Howrah station in Kolkata as before. From there, the Kalka Mail train will take them to Kalka, for which the ticket price will be around Rs 710 (about BDT 945). Toy Train fare for Kalka to Shimla is Rs.50 (close to BDT 67). A room in Shimla can be rented for Rs 1,000 (near BDT 1,330), and food per day can cost Rs 194 (almost BDT 258) per person. Read more: Lawachara National Park Travel Guide: Evergreen forest in northeastern Bangladesh
Bloating is an uncomfortable sensation often caused by gas or indigestion and can significantly impact gut health. However, a natural and soothing remedy lies in the comforting world of teas. With their diverse flavours and healing properties, certain teas possess remarkable abilities to alleviate upset stomach and enhance digestion abilities. Let's explore ten teas that aid gut health and contribute to overall well-being. Best Herbal Teas to Relieve Bloating and Indigestion Peppermint Tea Peppermint tea, with its refreshing taste and soothing properties, is renowned for its ability to soothe an upset stomach and support digestion. Its menthol content relaxes digestive muscles, lessening gas and discomfort. This tea soothes the gut, alleviating discomfort and promoting a healthier digestive system. Moreover, it offers additional benefits such as freshening breath and providing relief from headaches. Brewing this remedy involves steeping peppermint leaves in hot water for 5-10 minutes. It offers a simple yet beneficial cup to support overall well-being. Read more: 10 Best Winter Teas to Fight Cold and Flu Ginger Tea Ginger tea boasts a zesty and revitalising taste. It serves as a reliable solution for excessive gas and digestive concerns. Its anti-inflammatory qualities effectively reduce digestive problems by calming the intestines. This tea actively supports gut health by alleviating digestive discomfort. Additionally, ginger tea offers benefits like providing relief from nausea and boosting immunity. Making this therapeutic drink involves steeping fresh ginger slices in hot water for 5-10 minutes. It creates a flavoursome concoction that aids digestion and keeps you fit. Dandelion Tea Dandelion tea is mildly bitter in taste yet effective. It enhances digestive functions and diminishes gas. Its natural diuretic properties reduce water retention and bloating. To prepare this cleansing infusion, steep dried dandelion roots or leaves in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Read more: 10 Best Teas for Weight Loss Besides aiding gut health, dandelion tea offers additional benefits such as detoxification and liver support. You may indulge in this beneficial brew for a mildly bitter yet cleansing drink to promote digestive wellness. Cardamom Tea Cardamom tea is famous for its aromatic and subtly spicy taste. It holds digestive properties that alleviate gas and discomfort. This tea aids in regulating digestive functions, supporting overall gut health. To prepare this flavoursome brew, steep cardamom pods or powder in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Besides aiding gut health, cardamom tea offers benefits such as freshening breath and providing antioxidants. Enjoy this aromatic infusion for digestive relief and a delightful beverage. Read more: Top 10 Kidney Cleansing Teas with Recipes Coriander Tea Coriander tea is famed for its mild and refreshing taste. It naturally aids in alleviating gut health. Its properties calm the stomach, easing gas and discomfort. It provides support for digestive good health. To make this tea, steep crushed coriander seeds in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Other than gut health, coriander tea offers benefits such as improving cholesterol levels and providing antioxidants. Embrace this soothing infusion for digestive comfort and overall health support.
Monsoon rains have finally passed and floods blocking the lone dirt road have retreated enough for a small truck to climb these Himalayan foothills to a gurgling spring. It spews water so fresh that people here call it nectar. Workers inside a small plant ferry sleek glass bottles along a conveyer. The bottles, filled with a whoosh of this natural mineral water, are labeled, packed into cases and placed inside a truck for a long ride. Ganesh Iyer, who heads the operation, watches like a nervous dad, later pulling out his phone, as any proud parent might, to show the underground cavern the waters have formed in this pristine kingdom, the world’s last Shangri-La. This is no ordinary water. It will travel hundreds of miles to some of India’s luxury hotels, restaurants and richest families, who pay about $6 per bottle, roughly a day’s wage for an Indian laborer. Millions of people worldwide don’t have clean water to drink, even though the United Nations deemed water a basic human right more than a decade ago. Yet, even as extreme heat dries up more aquifers and wells and leaves more people thirsty, luxury water has become fashionable among the world’s privileged, who uncap and taste it like fine wine. This “fine water” is drawn from volcanic rock in Hawaii, from icebergs that have fallen from melting glaciers in Norway, or from droplets of morning mist in Tasmania. Connoisseurs, some who study to become water sommeliers, insist this trend isn’t about snobbishness. They appreciate the purest of the pure. “Water is not just water,” says Michael Mascha, a founder of the Fine Water Society, a consortium of small bottlers and distributors worldwide. He likens consumers of high-end water to foodies who’d drive miles to find heirloom tomatoes or a rare salt. Some drink fine water instead of alcohol. “Having the right stemware, drinking at the right temperature, pairing it with food, celebrating with water – all those kinds of things are important.” As a truck rolls out of the Bhutanese bottling plant, operated by Veen Waters India, the 40-some line workers take a tea break along a short row of employee housing. They check their mobile phones and chat, while birds chirp in the background. Laundry hung out to dry flaps in a subtle breeze. It’s a steamy day, even at this higher elevation. Up a hillside behind them is a mineral spring, once a source of fresh water for nearby villagers, who used bamboo rods as pipes to help funnel some of the steadily flowing clear current into buckets they carried home. Now that source, which Veen purchased from the previous owner more than a decade ago, is kept behind a locked gate for safekeeping. Veen’s business slowed to a trickle during the pandemic, says Iyer, Veen’s managing partner. But now the company is exporting about 20,000 cases — or 240,000 bottles — of the water into India each month, minus the occasional few that break on their bumpy multiple-day trek. He figures they’ve tapped only about 10% of the potential market so far. After crossing into India, the trucks carrying the bottled water run through lush green Darjeeling tea plantations, past road signs marking elephant crossings and the occasional cluster of teenage boys cooling off in a rain catchment next to rural villages dotted with banana trees. Eventually, the cases are delivered to luxury hotels and restaurants many hundreds of miles away in cities like New Delhi, Pune and Mumbai, where Veen is headquartered. A few wealthy families get weekly shipments. Iyer jokes that the richest of the rich buy so much that they “probably bathe in it.” Market reports predict even greater demand for premium water worldwide in years to come. In India — now the most populous country in the world, with a rising standard of living and growing concerns about water quality — Veen is poised to help satisfy that demand. For many Indians, however, the story of water is very different, including in Mumbai’s Dharavi neighborhood, one of Asia’s largest slums, jammed with working families. There, water arrives in municipal pipelines just once a day, from about 6 to 9 a.m., setting off a flurry of activity as the day’s crushing heat arrives in spring and summer. The three-hour window for water shapes the neighborhood’s rituals. Men in shorts or underwear lather up in a bath area. Their upbeat banter is constant as they prepare for the day. Residents of this labyrinth of narrow alleyways and small homes brush their teeth while standing on front porches, spitting toothpaste into water that runs along the uneven blocks of concrete on the ground. They fill up buckets and reclaimed bottles to keep water at home. A few women wash aluminum pots and pans or briskly scrub T-shirts, scarves and other clothing. Still others are more desperate, such as Rekha Nagesh Pawar, who lives with her four children in a tent made out of blue plastic tarps along a busy Mumbai roadway. The water she gets from a neighbor, when he’s feeling charitable, has been siphoned illegally from a public system with a garden hose. She says her husband, a mason, died from a heart attack in 2021, leaving her to beg for money for food. She frets that there’s often not enough water to bathe her children or wash their clothes. “We have to live in filth,” the weary-eyed woman says. It’s hard for her to fathom that someone would pay a day’s wages for a bottle of fancy water. Veen is far from the most expensive in the fine water category. The rarest of all, often bottled in collectable glass, sell for hundreds of dollars apiece. This scene was on full display when members of the Fine Water Society gathered in April at a swanky hotel in Athens, Greece, for their annual international tasting competition and symposium. With bottles and glasses lined up before them, judges from several countries sampled various brands, swishing gulps of water and sometimes spitting mouthfuls into canisters, as wine tasters do. Spectators seated before them watched intently. Many were bottlers who’d come to compete. The judges flipped cards to indicate their scores for each entrant: 92, 98, and so on. “Who wins here? It’s really sometimes very hard to predict,” says Mascha, who served as a judge. “There’s always a sleeper.” Twenty years ago, people mocked his fascination with water, which grew from his doctor’s insistence that he quit drinking alcohol. He searched for alternatives that might enrapture him the same way a complex bottle of cabernet once had. As he tried more waters from small batch bottlers, he discovered like-minded water devotees. That group has only grown. They discuss “virginality,” or purity. They learn about “terroir,” the environment in which water originates. They compare the total dissolved solids, or TDS. Waters with low TDS are more like rainwater that hasn’t touched the earth. Those with high TDS — such as Vichy mineral water from thermal springs in France and Catalan — have robust mineral content that may include calcium, magnesium, potassium or sodium, among others. A few restaurants in countries such as Spain and the United States now have menus that pair food with particular types of fine water. A bolder mineral water, for instance, might be suggested as a companion for a charbroiled steak. More subtle rainwater might be paired with fish. This year’s champions in each category, from still water to sparkling and super-low minerality to high, came from Austria, New Zealand, Panama, Scandinavia and other parts of the world. Awards, however, do not guarantee success in what can be a very competitive business, especially for the mom-and-pop bottlers. “Every brand has to find its unique selling point,” says Jamal Qureshi, founder of the now-defunct Svalbardi Polar Iceberg Water, based on the far-north Norwegian island of Svalbard. “If it’s just like, ‘Oh, you know, we’re a special water from wherever,’ it’s hard to stand out.” His company, once a rising star in the fine water scene and winner of awards, sold melted Arctic icebergs, bottled in fancy glass containers, online. The idea was to harvest small floating remnants of glaciers to tell the story of climate change, the proliferation of greenhouse gases and its direct impact on the disappearing Arctic landscape. People paid $100 (US) for a bottle of Svalbardi. Often, the company sold out. Then in late 2020, a shipment of 15,000 empty bottles from a supplier arrived broken and scratched, forcing the fledgling company to close down. Without its opulent packaging, the average consumer might fail to taste the difference in these waters. Even sommeliers say it can take months of practice to determine the subtleties. “Please smell my water and tell me how good or bad it is,” people sometimes tease Iyer, of Veen, when they learn he’s a certified water sommelier — India’s first, he says. He takes no offense. But Mascha, of the Fine Water Society, is quick to differentiate fine water from “mega-corporations that exploit water.” Water sold in clear plastic bottles that are ubiquitous the world over is often simply filtered municipal water that’s distilled and bottled from any number of sources. In many instances, Mascha says, a water filter on your tap would produce the same result, with far less impact on the environment. When it comes to fine water, he says natural spring water, for instance, must come from a single source and be bottled near that source. He calls the bottlers in his society small “water farmers.” Solutions to the world’s water problems won’t come easily. That is the reality of life in water-stressed countries like India, a country that has 18% of the world’s population, but only 4% of its water, according to the World Bank. Water shortages have sparked protests and conflict. Last year, a man was stabbed and killed in a fight over water in the town of Aurangabad, north of Mumbai. The Indian government has promised that every household will soon have plumbing and running water — a goal set for this year that has yet to be reached. “But just because we spend money and put the pipes in, doesn’t mean that people will actually have water in their taps,” says Veena Srinivasan, executive director of WELL Labs, a research institution in Bengaluru, India, that studies water sustainability. Climate change has only worsened droughts and heatwaves and put more pressure on India’s underground aquifers, as well as rivers that also are polluted by industry, farming and sewage. India is among many countries that have built huge plants to desalinate sea water. Others, including Singapore, are collecting and cleaning up storm and wastewater to try to solve their water woes. But solutions like those are in their infancy in many countries, if they exist at all. That means the commodification of water, and those who profit from it, are likely to become more contentious. Fine water is certainly a commodity too, though its connoisseurs and those who bottle often speak of the importance of respecting and conserving an increasingly precious resource. Even for them, luxury water is often just that – a luxury. Iyer only drinks Veen when out at a restaurant. At home, he and his wife consume tap water after boiling it. As many do, he likes to store it in a matka, an Indian red clay pot that is a water cooler. He also still bathes with a bucket, while sitting on a stool, a common Indian custom that also saves water. “On one hand, we consider water to be holy and divine,” Iyer says. “But we take it for granted. We believe water will always be there.” In Bhutan, Buddhist prayer flags are a common sight -- squares of five colors, strung along bridges and at meditation stops next to scenic mountain roadways. Blue represents space. Red is for fire; yellow is earth; white is air. Green symbolizes water, a revered resource in a country known for its environmental stewardship. It is a common custom to place the purest spring water in bowls as a sacred offering in a home or a temple. Water also has economic benefits for the kingdom, where an abundance of rivers and a small population of about 700,000 mean there is a surplus of hydroelectricity to export, much of it to neighboring India. Here, water is both pure, and powerful. Tshering Bumpa, the longtime manager of the Veen bottling facility, understands the significance. “We are so proud of our water,” says Bumpa, who has dressed in colorful Bhutanese traditional garments to welcome rare visitors to this remote spot in the jungle. There is enough water to share. At least for now.
Winter brings chilly foggy weather. The plummeting temperatures and fluctuating weather conditions pave the way for seasonal illnesses. Many people suffer from common colds, coughs, sore throat, and flu during the cold months. However, nature has bestowed us with a remedy – herbal teas. These comforting brews warm the soul and offer relief from the common winter illnesses. 10 Teas for Relief from Cough and Flu this Winter Peppermint Tea Peppermint tea is renowned for its refreshing taste and soothing aroma. This tea can aid in combating colds. Its menthol content helps clear nasal passages and alleviate sore throats, offering a revitalising experience. This herbal infusion holds various health benefits, including aiding digestion, reducing headaches, and promoting relaxation. To brew, simply steep peppermint leaves in hot water for 5-10 minutes. Then strain, and enjoy the comforting warmth and healing properties of this invigorating tea. Read more: 10 Best Teas for Weight Loss Ginger Tea The robust and spicy essence of ginger tea makes it an effective remedy against winter illnesses. Loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, it aids in alleviating nausea, reducing congestion, and boosting the immune system. Its health benefits extend to aiding digestion, soothing upset stomachs, and providing relief from muscle soreness. To prepare ginger tea, simmer sliced ginger in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Next, strain, and savour the potent blend of warmth and health-boosting elements in this invigorating brew. Read more: Top 10 Kidney Cleansing Teas with Recipes Chamomile Tea Chamomile tea is famed for its soothing nature. It offers a gentle yet potent remedy. Its anti-inflammatory properties not only alleviate throat soreness but also induce relaxation, aiding in improved sleep quality during illnesses. Health-wise, this tea can support digestive health, reduce anxiety, and may relieve menstrual discomfort. For preparation, steep dried chamomile flowers in hot water for 5-10 minutes and allow the floral essence to infuse the liquid. It creates a comforting brew that soothes both body and mind. Turmeric Tea Turmeric tea is of a radiating golden hue. This tea is rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant prowess. It effectively eases sore throats, clears congestion, and fortifies the body's immune system. Its health benefits span from supporting joint health and reducing inflammation to aiding digestion and improving skin conditions. Read more: Health benefits of floral teas: 10 blends you can try To prepare, simmer grated turmeric root or powder in hot water for 10-15 minutes. After that add a dash of black pepper and a hint of honey for enhanced absorption and a touch of sweetness. Green Tea Green tea is celebrated for its abundant antioxidants and serves as a versatile elixir. It bolsters the immune system, diminishes inflammation, and fosters holistic well-being. Its health benefits encompass enhancing brain function, assisting weight management, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. To prepare green tea, steep green tea leaves in hot water (not boiling) for 2-3 minutes then allow the delicate flavours to infuse. It creates a revitalising brew. Embrace the wholesome goodness and rejuvenating qualities of green tea with every sip. Read more: These are the 10 Most Expensive Teas in the World
A faded and cracked felt bicorne hat worn by Napoléon Bonaparte sold for $2.1 million at an auction Sunday of the French emperor’s belongings. Yes, $2.1 million. The signature broad, black hat — one of a handful still in existence that Napoléon wore when he ruled 19th-century France and waged war in Europe — was initially valued at 600,000 to 800,000 euros ($650,000-870,000). It was the centerpiece of Sunday's auction in Fontainebleau of memorabilia collected by a French industrialist who died last year. READ: Princess Diana’s iconic black sheep sweater could fetch at least $50,000 at auction But the bidding quickly jumped higher and higher until Jean Pierre Osenat, president of the Osenat auction house, designated the winner. ‘’We are at 1.5 million (euros) for Napoleon’s hat ... for this major symbol of the Napoleonic epoch,'' he said, as applause rang out in the auction hall. The buyer, whose identity was not released, must pay 28.8% in commissions according to Osenat, bringing the overall cost to 1.9 million euros ($2.1 million). While other officers customarily wore their bicorne hats with the wings facing front to back, Napoleon wore his with the ends pointing toward his shoulders. The style — known as “en bataille,” or in battle — made it easier for his troops to spot their leader in combat. The hat on sale was first recovered by Col. Pierre Baillon, a quartermaster under Napoléon, according to the auctioneers. The hat then passed through many hands before industrialist Jean-Louis Noisiez acquired it. READ: Maradona's 'Hand of God' ball expected to rake in $2.7m-$3.3m at auction The entrepreneur spent more than a half-century assembling his collection of Napoleonic memorabilia, firearms, swords and coins before his death in 2022. The sale came days before the release of Ridley Scott's film ‘’Napoleon'' with Joaquin Phoenix, which is rekindling interest in the controversial French ruler.
In our hectic life, time-saving recipes are a treasure. Microwave cooking offers convenience without compromising taste. Chicken breast, a lean protein, packs essential nutrients like protein, vitamins B6 and B12, and minerals. Here are seven delightful chicken breast recipes that can be cooked in microwave for Bangladeshi households. These dishes promise to elevate your culinary experience while saving you valuable time in the kitchen. Nutrition of Chicken Breast Meat Protein Content Chicken breast is a great source of high-quality protein. It is crucial for muscle growth, repair, and overall body function. Low Fat With a low-fat content, chicken breast is a favourable option for those seeking a lean protein source while watching their fat intake. Vitamin B6 Abundant in vitamin B6, chicken breast aids in metabolism, and red blood cell formation, and supports a healthy nervous system. Vitamin B12 Offering vitamin B12, chicken breast promotes proper nerve function, red blood cell production, and assists in DNA synthesis. Phosphorus Rich in phosphorus, chicken breast contributes to bone health, energy extraction, and optimal cell function. Zinc Chicken breast contains zinc, essential for immune function, wound healing, and maintaining a healthy sense of taste and smell. Niacin Niacin in chicken breast supports digestive health, skin maintenance, and the conversion of food into energy. Read more: 7 Delicious Duck Recipes for Bangladeshi Kitchen 7 Tasty Chicken Breast Microwave Recipes to Try at Home Chicken Steak Ingredients 4 large chicken breasts (boneless), 2 eggs (lightly whisked), 1/2 teaspoon ginger paste, 1/2 teaspoon garlic paste, 1 cup onions (finely chopped), 2 tablespoons coriander leaves (chopped), 2 green chillies (finely chopped), 1 tablespoon black pepper powder, enough to make a thick coating flour, 1 tablespoon vinegar, salt (to taste ), and oil (as required). Instructions First, flatten chicken breasts with a mallet or knife. Cut each into two pieces. Then marinate chicken with eggs, ginger, garlic, onion, coriander leaves, green chillies, black pepper, flour, vinegar, and salt for around 2 hours. Next, brush a flat dish with oil and cook covered on high for 1 minute. Now, place the chicken pieces without touching them. Cook covered at 70% power for 5 minutes, flipping halfway. For browning, turn once and grill until lightly browned. Serve hot. Read more: Popular Winter Breakfasts in Bangladesh Lemon Garlic Baked Chicken Breast Ingredients 2 large lemons, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, 3 cloves garlic (crushed or minced), 1/2 cup fresh parsley (roughly chopped), 4 boneless and skinless chicken breasts (200 grams each) Instructions First, mix lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt, red pepper flakes, and black pepper, dissolving the salt. Add garlic, lemon zest, and parsley. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Then, marinate chicken breasts in the mixture for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 400 ˚F and grease a baking dish. Next, transfer the marinated chicken to the baking dish, seasoning it with salt and pepper. Add lemon wedges and cover the chicken with oiled parchment paper, securing it loosely around the chicken. Now, bake for approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes before serving, drizzling with cooking liquid. Or slice the chicken and return it to the baking dish with the cooking liquid. Read more: Popular Winter Breakfasts in Bangladesh Tandoori Chicken Ingredients 800 grams chicken, 3 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 cup curd, 1 teaspoon ginger paste, 2 teaspoons oil, 2 dry red chilli, 1 teaspoon garlic paste, 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder, salt (as required), 3 lemon wedges, and 1 sliced onion. Instructions First, wash the chicken with lukewarm and cold water, then pat dry and make diagonal incisions. Marinate the chicken with spices and lemon juice, refrigerating for 1 hour. Next, microwave the chicken on a plate for 9-10 minutes. Follow by brushing with oil and grilling for 15-20 minutes, turning frequently. After that, sprinkle chaat masala on the tandoori chicken and serve hot with onion rings and pudina chutney. Enhance the flavour by drizzling with lemon juice. Read more: 10 Bangladeshi Winter Street Foods: Taste Meets Tradition
As winter graces Bangladeshi landscapes, the culinary tapestry unfolds with the seasonal bounty of duck recipes. A tradition deeply rooted, the demand for duck meat peaks during this time, aligning with increased production. Beyond the practical, there is a culinary secret – the meat quality reaches its zenith in winter. So, while chicken and beef are the most popular in other seasons, in winter, duck is the most hyped. Health Benefits of Duck Meat High Protein Content Duck meat boasts a high protein content, crucial for muscle development and repair. Incorporating it into winter meals ensures fueling the body with the building blocks it needs. Rich in Iron Iron plays a vital role in oxygen transport within the body. Duck meat is rich in iron. It becomes a valuable addition, especially during the winter when our bodies crave increased energy levels. Abundant in Zinc Zinc is an excellent mineral to support the immune system. By indulging in duck dishes, you are not only treating your taste buds but also giving your immune system a boost. Read more: Popular Winter Breakfasts in Bangladesh 7 Tasty Duck Recipes to Try at Home Kerala Duck Curry Ingredients 2 tablespoons coconut oil, 6 garlic cloves (crushed), 1 ½ inch fresh ginger (crushed), 4 green chillies (slit), 3 large onions (sliced), 2 sprigs of curry leaves, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 tablespoon coriander powder, 2 tablespoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 tablespoon chicken masala, 1 kg duck (cut into medium-sized pieces), 1 tablespoon lightly crushed black pepper, 1/2 cup thick coconut milk (coconut cream), water, and salt to taste. Instructions First, heat oil in a big frying pan over medium heat. Sauté garlic, ginger, and green chillies for a delightful minute. Then add onions and a sprig of curry leaves, sautéing for 3-4 minutes. After that add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, red chilli powder, and chicken masala, stirring the spices for another minute. Next, add duck, fry for 3-4 minutes, then cover with water, add curry leaves, and season with salt. Cook covered for 45 minutes or use a pressure cooker for 4-5 whistles. Finish by stirring in thick coconut milk, and black pepper, and heating through. Relish the rich, spiced symphony of flavours! Read more: 10 Bangladeshi Winter Street Foods: Taste Meets Tradition Honey & Soy Duck Salad Ingredients 2 duck breasts (skin on), 100g bag salad, 250g cherry tomato (halved), a bunch of spring onion (sliced diagonally), For dressing: 1 garlic clove (grated), 1 teaspoon fresh grated root ginger, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 3 tablespoons honey. Instructions First, preheat the oven to 180°C. Score the duck breast skin and season generously. In a hot non-stick frying pan, sear the duck, skin-side down, for 4 minutes until crisp. Flip and brown the underside, then transfer to a baking tray. Then, combine the dressing ingredients. Spoon the majority over the duck, reserving 2 tablespoons. Roast for 10 minutes for a pink finish. Rest for 4 minutes, then slice into strips. Toss the salad, tomatoes, spring onions, and duck slices, and drizzle with the remaining dressing. A succulent delight awaits! Read more: 5 Tasty Savoury Winter Pitha Recipes for Bangladeshi Kitchen Duck Biryani Ingredients 4 duck legs, 3 cups duck stock, 2 tablespoons duck fat, 1⁄2 cup tikka masala curry paste, 2 onions (sliced), 300g basmati rice (rinsed under cold water), 1⁄3 cup sultanas, 2 tablespoons flaked almonds (toasted), and 1⁄2 cup fresh coriander leaves. Instructions First, in a saucepan, melt the duck fat over medium heat, adding and browning the roast duck legs. Set aside. Then add onions and curry paste, stirring for 5 minutes until the onions are soft and the curry paste releases its fragrance. Next, add rice, and sultanas. After that add the duck legs to the pan, pour in the stock, cover, and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 10 minutes until the rice is tender. Stand for 5 minutes, then serve, garnished with almonds and coriander. Enjoy this flavourful creation! Read more: 5 Tasty Sushi Recipes for Bangladeshi Kitchen
Weekends are like a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This period offers a precious window for rejuvenation and self-expression. However, avoiding the pitfalls of idleness and monotony during these treasured days is pivotal. It is the time to shun procrastination and embrace creativity, ensuring these moments are not squandered in lethargy. Engaging in diverse entertaining and stimulating activities can transform weekends into an enriching experience, igniting a sense of fulfilment. 10 Creative Ways to Spend Your Weekends Reading You may immerse yourself in a captivating book during the weekend to explore new worlds, gain knowledge, and engage your mind. Reading goes beyond mere entertainment; it expands horizons, fosters empathy, and acquires knowledge. Read more: Benefits of Reading Habit for Mind and Body Traversing the lines of a well-crafted story or delving into informative texts engages your mind in discovery and enrichment. Relaxation blends with mental stimulation as reading deepens your understanding of the world. Altogether it is a perfect choice for a fulfilling weekend activity.