Hand lent by Dhiraj Singh
  First issue, first words  

  Vol I : issue 1

  Noam Chomsky
  Amartya Sen
  Ashis Nandy
  Nabaneeta Dev Sen
Raj Kamal Jha
  Martha Nussbaum

Krishna Sobti
  Ramakanta Rath
  Mrinal Pande
  Antara Dev Sen
  Only in Print

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for finding us. We, the little people, will continue to be amazed at every fresh glance that comes our way because we are not in the business of collecting eyeballs. That’s the job of big magazines and bigger newspapers, with big marketing wisdom and big money. We, with none of the above, are happy with just your mind.

Sure, it’s tough to find these days, you can’t quite remember where you put it last. Never mind. It’ll come back to you, by and by.

You'll need it. The minds-free, automatic nirvana that we have got used to is a sexy but badly-constructed lie. Reality is infinitely less sexy, embarrassingly more persistent. It seeps through in the shape of the stereotype beggar-urchin at the stop lights, the bright, depressing fervour with which we are assured that the beggar-urchin is an irrelevant stereotype, the small, everyday incidents which urge us to turn the other way, if not the other cheek, the little single-column items buried in the newspapers which tell the real story of our part of the world.

We can’t afford slick, mass-produced dreams. So we have decided to make our own demotic version. Feel free to join us.

At the little magazine, we are not looking for the clever set, the people with all the answers who know all about the world and how to change it dramatically by next weekend (and then we'll party till we drop, won't we now?). We tend to avoid the polished crowd. We are happy with ordinary folk, preferably duds, unfit to survive in a perfect world of virtual reality, who are forced to believe, for lack of an option, in the hand-me-down dreams of the clever set. People like us. We welcome those who don’t quite make it to the end of level one in any computer game, those who are the first to be decimated by psychedelic monsters and can never aspire to even reach the beautiful princess in harem pants, let alone possess her.

For we have discovered that there are people in our country and around the world who are as ignorant as us. People who don’t know their CKs from their DKNYs, don’t know which filmstar is going out with whom or what they ate at the minister’s bash. Or what they wore there. Frankly, we believe that this is essential information for only a tiny fraction of the population. There are people who have other needs, people who hold other views, people who have the heart to worry about circumstances which do not directly affect their daily lives. People who think about other people, about other communities, other societies, other situations, possible worlds. People who get angry for no obvious reason. People who write poetry that no one will ever read. People who help us come to terms with ourselves and our world. People who give them space. People with conscience. In the new world order, prisoners of conscience.

It’s a choice we have had to make. A choice between comforting, easily digested aspirations and raw, fractured images of reality that you may wish to make some sense out of.

We offer you your self. And a chance to heal that scratch you dare not itch. The scratch that is especially bothersome at the stop lights.

They told us it was suicidal to launch a magazine which dealt with issues, with literature, with non-partisan politics. They told us the young were not interested and the ‘mature’ (back-handed disrespect knows no bounds these days) too tired. They told us we were mad. Maybe we are. But what’s wrong with attempting the absurd? After all, our leaders have made it into an art form, and we give them the keys to the kingdom.

Our needs are more basic than theirs. We only want your mind.

Over to you, dear reader.


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