It might be a while ago for some of us, but can you remember beginning a new year at school and waiting to get your hands on that one enjoyable textbook of the curriculum - the ‘English Reader’? If, like me, you spent the very next afternoon devouring it from cover to cover, I think you’ll enjoy Reading Hour. Like that old textbook, it’s a motley mix and simply presented.
The inaugural issue has more than 25 writers, each adding a different colour to the canvas: a besotted mother (‘Gauri’), a curious community (‘Shefali Kamdar’), jungle adventure (‘Did he do it?’), the sinner who can’t help himself (‘Hell’), good old believe-it-or-not (‘One Winter Evening’) and many others.
The few essays will, hopefully, entertain as well as provide food for thought: experiences of Azerbaijan, the extraordinary Baba Amte, a chatwith Usha K R about her writing, and more.
Are you wondering - why this magazine? A few months ago, browsing at a library in Pune, I asked the librarian for just such a magazine. Ourcombined realisation: there wasn’t one! Chatting about this withdifferent people over the next few days garnered so much enthusiasmand interest, the idea of Reading Hour was born almost by itself.
Reading Hour brings you fresh content: fiction, verse, essays and translated works, from primarily Indian writers. We welcome new writing too - so closet / occasional / compulsive writers - uncap those pens (figuratively speaking!) and write in.
The process of defining Reading Hour, building up a writers’ network and creating this first issue, has been most enjoyable; I hope interactions with you, dear readers, will be as lively! Many thanks for picking up a copy of this issue. We eagerly await your feedback and suggestions.
Here’s hoping that whenever time hangs heavy on your hands and you prowl the house for “something to read” you will pull an old copy of Reading Hour (from the row on the shelf!) and settle in for a spell of contentment.
Dedicated to my (late) father, who was rarely seen without a book, and whom I still
expect to correct the odd word, or tell me to sit up straight, or turn on another light that I may not ruin my eyes! And heartfelt thanks to the innumerable people who have been part of this project.