Bengali Little magazine ‘Shabda Harin’ promotes newcomers

ShabdaHarin is a little magazine of poems and poetry related articles published quarterly. The little magazine that started literary journey in 2009 from Kolkata has surpassed geographical and linguistic boundaries of Bengal. It is not a mere commercial Kolkata magazine anymore.

Satyapriya Mukhopadhyay-Kapil Krishna Thakur
Partha Basu-Satyapriyo Mukhopadhyay

Besides publishing original Bengali poems and essays related to poetry, ShabdaHarin encourages translations from other Indian and foreign languages. “We try to thin the linguistic barriers and reach out to the greater Indian readers and lovers of poetry. Anyone who loves Bengali and also loves poetry is welcome in ShabdaHarin, irrespective of where they come from, what their mother tongue is,” explains editor Satyapriyo Mukhopadhyay.

A well known poet of the Bengali language, Satyapriyo Mukhopadhyay was born in Kolkata in 1958. He started writing poetry in his childhood and published his first book ‘Bolchhi Shono’, rhymes for children, during his college years in 1980. At that time, he was enthralled by the unique poetic expressions of the Great Russian poet Rasul Gamzatov and started working on his poems. In 1981, Satyapriyo’s translations of Gamzatov’s poems came out as a book named ‘Gamzatover Kobita’. During those days, along with literary activities, he was actively participating in debates, extempore speeches and his was frequently invited as lectures on literature and philosophy. Within a short period of time he established himself as an eminent debater and a non-political public speaker. Soon he became a prominent Talker of the All India Radio and had been associated with the All India Radio and Television as a creative writer, performer and coordinator of various Bengali literary activities. Nowadays, he is frequently invited to speak on art, literature, religion and science from different corners of India.

Dipan Mitra
Dipon Mitra

His curious mind and life experiences led him to the teachings of Buddha where he finds his solace in the Buddhist philosophy. His detailed studies on Buddhism, especially on meditation has made him a popular speaker around the country.

Satyapriyo also contributed significant in the field of science. His popular scientific writings have been published extensively in leading Bengali scientific journals and newspapers. He also worked as a special editor of a renowned science journal ‘Jnan Bichitra’ and was closely associated with the science department at the All India Radio. He is an internationally recognized solar cooker specialist and helped popularizing it in India, Nepal, France, and Australia. He is also an international adviser of the Solar Cookers International, USA. His own research works on Solar Cooker was pulished as a book, ‘Solar Cooker Ranna’ (Cooking With Sunshine).

Presently Satyapriyo is the Associate Professor in Bengali literature and language in a college in Nadia.

Let’s look at some of the ShabdaHarin family members – who are contributors, advisors and sub-editors in their own rights.

Partha Basu: The well known name of Bengali poetry started writing since early childhood. In his youth he wrote posters on walls and poetry side by side. His first book ‘Byang Prothamoto JibhTaKe Ulte Ney’ published in 1985 was warmly acclaimed by readers and critics. Author of many interesting books like ‘Nari Bashikaran Jane Na’, ‘Kabita Shyashther Pokka Khatikar’, ‘Smritir Songe Sahabas’, ‘Mukho Samachar Porchhi’, ‘ProsnoTai To Abantar’, Partha was conferred with ‘SahityaShree’ title, a national honor and recognition. His poem has also compiled in Anthology of Bengali poems, Post Age edited by Dr. Asit Bandopadhyay.

When asked about his association with Shabda Harin, Partha Basu said, “I know Satyapriyo for the past 10 years and we are good friends. So I gladly accepted to be with the magazine. I do not believe in any sort of ‘groupism’ and hence it is a perfect place for me to be with. Sometimes you see that people connected to a certain magazine, forms a group or they confine you to some rules. In some magazines, you have to qualify to be of certain age to make submissions. In Shabda Harin anyone can submit articles. We organize many events and discussions. Anyone can join. There is no age limit or nothing. And they never impose anything on you. I have been associated with so many magazines before. But I really enjoy my freedom here.”

Pratyush Prasun Ghosh: Born on 15th August, 1940, Pratyushprasun Ghosh was a student of the Presidency, St. Xaviers College and then completed his Masters and PhD. from the Calcutta University in Political Science. A high-ranking Govt. official by profession, he started with his passion for writing since his early days. His first poem was published in the ’Masik Basumati’ magazine. He is the founder and editor of the ‘Sanrag’ magazine for the past 40 years. Ambidextrous in poetry and essays, Pratyush Prasun Ghosh is also the author of poetry books like ‘JolChhobi’, ‘Pora Tamaker Gondho’, Megalopoliser Pakhi’, ‘Britte Bandho Kritodasi’, ‘Brihannala Jago’ and essays ‘Kobitar Prithibi’, ‘Shater Sonali Rekha’, ‘Sanrakta Sudhindranath’. He is also associated with the Bengali magazine ‘Desh’ for years.

Mainly romantic in his writings, the poet feels an element of negative instincts and sadness as well. His poems deal with mother nature, mankind, an intermingle of time and space – his unique vision and endless dexterity has extended his world of poems and explored all human emotions and angles.

Dipon Mitra: Born in 1954 in Kolkata, he spent his early life in Bihar. He received his education in Patna. The roaring seventies found him in his early youth. He associated himself with left radicals and later, after joining a service in a job, he busied himself in trade union movement. In his school days he along with his close friends started a Bengali literary journal. Poetry has always been his fascination. There was a time when wrote poems secretly and read them to his friends.

He went to Kolkata in 1991 and seriously turned into writing. In 2002, came out his first book of verse ‘Roudro Abayab’ and in 2008 was published ‘Nishibarno Gaan’, another collection of his poems. He is presently deeply associated with the quarterly poetry journal ‘Shadba Harin’.

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