March 13, 2011 @ 10:09 am
In the past few months, I have come across a few interesting magazines which I think are worth talking about.
One of them is The Caravan – A Journal of Politics and Culture. I quite like their style of in-depth reporting. It is unlike the other national magazines which have reduced themselves to sensational headlines and shallow content. As the editorial mission of The Caravan says:
The Caravan has been shaped as India’s first narrative journalism magazine a la The New Yorker, Harpers, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Review of Books in United States, and Granta and Prospect in the UK. It is a change from the linear ways of reporting, a change from impersonal, dry facts, to a narrative story with perspective.
The issue I bought lives up to this mission statement. And I hope they continue to do so in the subsequent issues, unlike many magazines which give a promising start but fail to live-up to the original values. The OPEN magazine, to cite a name that I easily remember, did start off with a unique set of characteristics – giving alternative views, showcasing stories that were not picked up by the mainstream bunch of journals and so on. However, since then, they slowly seem to be slipping into the “do anything to grab eyeballs” business. I do hope they fix this and return to what they were doing about a year ago.
The other magazine, rather a sidekick (if I may call it) to the primary Tehelka magazine, is the Tehelka’s “Original Fiction” issue. It is essentially a collection of short works of fiction in the pulp noir genre by some really wonderful writers. Tarun Tejpal explains the idea behind “Original Fictions” in his editorial letter:
But for one brief week, at the end of every year, TEHELKA lets go. It hands its pages over to the artisans of fiction, leaving them free to decode the world as they choose, with sense or no sense. To the critics — who wonder at such whimsicality — we say, it’s only a fleeting interlude, the stars of reality are straining at the wings ready to regain the stage. So take a deep breath, shake your head, perhaps locate a fresh perspective.
Some of the short stories are brilliant. Do check out the first one written by Atul Sabharwal. And a surprise entry in this list was Devdutt Patanaik, who I thought restricted himself only to mythology. It is an interesting collection and while some of the stories could have been better, the entire package is worth reading.
Another magazine that I came across, albeit online, was Guernica. In addition to the poignant articles and fresh perspectives that this online magazine carries, the site itself is very beautifully designed. If art and politics are what you feed on, Guernica should satiate you quite well.