Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bibliophiles across the state are indulging in a kind of literary celebration during Dussehra this year. With Covid-19 taking a backseat in the State, most of them are busy collecting Puja specials of different Odia literary magazines.

As per the Maa Narayani book stall owner, as many as 40 such special editions have hit the stalls while about 60 more are yet to come. 

Popular magazines like Teera Taranga, Lekhalekhi, Sudhanya, Mousumi, Bhanjadipa, Kanakaprabham Sahityara Swara, Akhyansha, Rebati, Amrutayana, Satabhisha, Agami Satabdi, Katha Kalika, Sahitya Darpana, Sahitya Charcha have arrived at the stalls so far. The price tag of these magazines range between Rs 50 to Rs 300.

“I have bought a number of magazines this year. But I am not happy with the novels and stories as most of them are repetitive. However, few young writers have come with some fresh ideas which is the silverlining,” said a writer on the condition of anonymity.

Though it is difficult to trace the history of Puja magazines in Odisha, many publishers come up with special editions to cash in on the literary euphoria during Dussehra and boost sales.

“During Dussehra , there is an ambience of celebration and joy. People want to splurge on new things like magazines. Corporate houses and advertisers also loosen their purses which give the much-needed scopes for the publishers to come up with voluminous Puja magazines,” said Editor of Teera Taranga Bandana Mishra.

“We have published as many as four features, two novels, several essays, stories and poems in our magazine. I am quite confident that this special issue of our magazine will be liked by the readers,” said Mishra.

However, most of the readers are of the opinion that the editors are not trying to experiment with their contents.

“I try to collect maximum number of Puja magazines. It’s a kind of joy to read my favourite writers. However, new and fresh ideas are not coming and the contents of the magazines are increasingly becoming humdrum,” said Bijaylaxmi Mishra, an avid reader.