1st Bengali travel magazine turns 40
Bengalis are permanently bitten by the bug of wanderlust. The slightest of break makes our mind wander the far-off exotic places. Our body responds to the call and embarks on the quest of the unknown and unseen. Modern backpackers have the advantage of consulting the myriad variety of travel magazines published. They help a proper planning of the tour and give us a preview of the look and feel of the place. Travel mags are also sort of consolation of the travel addict handicapped with either money or energy. Development of tourism was perhaps turned into an obsession from a hobby in the 60’s. Writers like Subodh Ghosh, Probodhkumar Sanyal was careful to incorporate travel in their writings. But the need for travel magazines was still an affair unheard of. Apart from large scale commercial productions, a descendant of Mullick house in Chuchura, Pratapaditya was the father of the first small-scale travel magazine. The off springs of this house were never interested in conventional 10-5 works. The eldest son Pratapaditya was bitten by the wander bug very early. Sometimes on foot, sometimes on cycle this man has toured entire India in the 60’s. Later he traveled in groups. From such passions about travel sprung the idea of travel magazines. A magazine dotted with articles of real-life experiences by tourists. The process was further fanned by writers like Sanyal, Sanku Maharaj, Subhas Samaddar, long standing acquaintances of Pratap. He overcame several odds, convinced a many about the practicality of such magazine. Among severe shortage of funds Bhromonbarta came out on the eve of Mahalaya in 1971 priced at a modest 4 annas. On its cover was printed Pratap’s dream – ‘Do travel, read travel, discover your country through travel’. The rest they say in history. Pratap’s unfailing interest has cruised the paper through 4 decades of hardships and troubles. In these years Bhromonbarta has been upgraded and made sleeker, coming out every month. Not only travel, travel addas are also regularly held in Mullick House, every second Sunday of the month. The adda has lost much of his sheen but still continues to tether on. A community dedicated to Bhromonbarta has also sprung up. The community is a jewel in its crown. With a member count of 40, the community is 3 years old. Bhromonbarta has started researching about the tourist hotspots to give the readers a taste of real India. Pratapaditya is now a man of 75 years old. With his failing eyesight and tall frame, he still sweats to find advertisements for Bhromonpatrika. The man is still dedicated to the paper with a religious zeal and wants to keep the reins of paper in his own hands.
Article: Sujit Sengupta, English version by Kush