Sunday, November 03, 2013


The things one could relate to Durga Pujo are manifolds but as a kid and teenager growing up in a remote town I had far too many. One of this has been the 'PUJO BARSHIK' (yearly Bengali magazines) that has stayed with many years now. I walked into Abahan store last month and purchased copies of Desh, Shuktara, Prasad and all. Over the years, the price of these magazines has not increased by much and I wonder why.

During my last trip to the city of joy, Kolkata I visited College Street. It is a popular street in Kolkata near Esplanade which has vendors of publishing and printed industries. Here ages ago, the great doyen of Bengali and Indian Cinema Satyajit Ray sat and enjoyed browsing through books of multiple orders while puffing a smoke now and then.

I went and inquired in one of the publication houses as to why the rates of these magazines have never gone up. The answer was that over the decades these magazines have an ardent followers with an age range from kids to elderly groups and they fear that a sudden spurge of rise in prices would decrement their fan following. That too but with the rise of printed papers they have made an increase in price from Rs.20 to 50.

I then asked that what do they think of fans from various parts of world an cities who cannot get a glimpse of the magazines unless they subscribe to it. In this day and age of internet an online publication would make a lot of sense. But they fear that this would mean additional cost to their publication houses and somehow they don't think they are ready to manage the entire vendor management online.  I then realized that it makes sense economically as well from a client side.

Towards the amount shared with the authors I got to know that it is highly minimal than what one would receive from writing in English publications. Readers read it out of sheer enjoyment and authors write it for sheer love. A lot of them have been readers once and now they are repaying it by being authors.

It will be interesting to see how it fares in the longer run with the growth in technology but there has never been a substitute for quality and I think PUJO BARSHIK will sustain the fan following base in the years to come.

No comments: