Kan tleirawl chhuah ve a Magazine ka hmaih miah loh Junior Statesman JS kan tih mai kha Desmond Doig a kha Editor thin ani. A chhuak thar apiang kan titi tui pui ani thin. 1970s tawp lam hnaih khan an titawp ta. ka va ui tak. A copy hlui te kha vawng thra awm tak maw.
JS : An Era Forgotten
by Rumjhum Biswas
That was one beautiful era; there wasn’t so much of material wealth, but there was so much of hope in the air, so many dreams to catch and so much of beauty for the sake of beauty.
For those of us who got their daily doses of good western music from Radio Australia, Radio Ceylon – Eric Fernandez, and Jija Bhattacharya of Lunch Time Variety, JS was a feast, serving up gossip and news about the world of rock and pop music to starving fans like me in small towns.
I remember the ghost story contest that JS would hold just before winter started, and the winning stories would be published in December. Jug Suraiya once wrote a real funny one called The Srinagar Ghost or something like that.
Two people who wrote a lot of non fiction articles in JS were Mohan Bawa and Rima Kashyap. I don’t know what happened to them.
Till the age of twelve or thirteen I used to contribute regularly to the Benji Club in JS, I even won prizes in their contests a couple of times. I wonder whether old copies of JS are still available somewhere. I would buy the whole lot if I could lay my hands on them.
JS – Not just a Magazine
by Dr. Amitabh Mitra
For me JS was not just a magazine
It was much more than that
Through JS I met the most talented and charismatic people who influenced me in my later life.
The JS Blueprint brought out the works of Pritish Nandy, still a struggling poet during that time. He had started his poetry journal ‘Dialogue’ which was even publishing poetry of Underground Poets in the former Soviet Union. I was surprised to find that some of Dialogue journals are still available at Amazon.
Then there was Braz Gonsalves, Pam Crain and Usha Uthup, musician and singers from Kolkata, nothing happened better than them
I saw Astad Deboo on a NDtv interview the other day. I remember his photographs on JS dancing on the streets of Kolkata, specially the one when he climbed a lamp pole
I always wanted to do something like that.
But most of all was its Editor, Desmond Doig, Artist, Poet, Writer, Yeti Hunter, a human being with such qualities that remains superlative till today.
His works can be seen at the Shangri-la Hotel that he helped to build in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Thanks to JS, we still happen to be the world’s oldest teenagers.
The saddest part I believe that my children would never be able to enjoy a cult movement that took us all by a storm.
A Magazine that Thought Young
by Glory Sasikala Franklin
It is with pain mingled with nostalgia that I recall those times.
Hard to believe that I was once part of that swinging generation that seemed like just one endless springtime.
JS was not just a mag. To us, who were in Kolkata at that time, it was a city come alive all of a sudden. It was role model for us teenagers; it was a way of life.
If you look back on the 70s, that was the time that produced some of the most swinging, melodious, English songs as well – Boney M, Abbas, George Baker selection John Denver and Glen Campbell’s Rhinestone cowboy, etc.
And that is the heady mix that Amitabh, who is of my generation is talking about. It was a time for experimenting.
To try the sherry and the cigarette, to try the jingle and the hop, to collect lyrics, to exchange books, to dance wildly on impromptu dance floors.
We lived then in the Airport area in Kolkata. And Saturday evening meant hopping from one foot to another and then making a grab for the JS copy.
Wondering if the cover or the poster was good.
It was the huge, life-size Bruce Lee poster in the hall that scared me every night in the moonlight. It was my mother’s despair as my brother went into wearing floral printed shirts and cut his pants up to add patches and my sister cut her hair.
It was checking to see if Zeenat Aman really did solve our emotional problems. Trying out Simi’s beauty therapies.
It was all those odd names, Jug Suraiya ….now I do not know why but that name stands out when you think of JS.
JS was not just a mag. They made certain places in the city and certain hangouts their own.
Thus, JS meant the vintage car rallies and carnival time. It meant dancing to Daddy Cool on the vibrating wooden floors of the Jean Junction on Lindsay street while a gooly wooly who looked like part of the Boney M group took your orders.
It was the watchword in fashion.
It meant certain people were in. The suave Victor Banerjee, and the debonair Aparna Sen. And our own beautiful girl next door – Nafisa Ali.
JS was exchanging “love is” notes and squealing over David Bowie.
It was the top of the charts. It was some music shops – not others.
It was for us teenagers also the reason why we hung around The Statesman office waiting to see – what?
All those ingredients of the witch’s brew walk in and out.
We truly believe that a continuous carnival went on inside that staid building.
And it was sending Ramesh Rangan, DJ for Yuvavani, Kolkata and our good friend, to get us the inside story.
How did the Osibisa look like in person, what did they eat?
Which is how we knew months before it was wrapped up, that it was going to be.
My eyes mist over even now as a colorful city went back to black and white.
On a personal note, Ramesh Rangan too died a year later. He was drowned in a lake.