If Eid is for everyone, then why leave out the avid readers? Literature enthusiasts in the country eagerly await Eid as the newspapers and magazines bring out 'Eid-specials'. These special publications include novels, stories, short stories, memoirs, special features and more by noted and emerging writers, columnists and other personalities renowned in their respective fields. Although some magazines bring out special issues on Eid fashion, literature-based publications remain the highpoint to avid readers.
The tradition of Eid-special magazines can be traced to post-Liberation War Bangladesh when Shahadat Chowdhury (founder editor of weekly magazines Bichitra and 2000 ) took the initiative to bring out a special literature-based publication on Eid. The idea and inspiration came from 'Puja-barshiki' published in West Bengal.
Soon other magazines and newspapers started following this trend.
The latest issue of Eid-special issue of 2000 (2) poems, features, memoirs, stories and more. Highlights include Dui Jatraye Ek Jatri, a chronicle by Sirajul Islam Chowdhury; Nadipothey Amader Itihash-4, continuation of a series by Nirmalendu Goon; Nandanik Rickshaw Painting, by Mahbubur Rahman, going over the history of rickshaw and how 'rickshaw art' came into being; Dhakar Pracheen Bidyapith-er Bismrito Adhyaye, a feature by Apel Mahmud, on Dhaka's oldest educational institutions like Dhaka College and Government School, Collegiate School and their founders; Gangey Nemey Pani Chena, a feature by Saimon Zakaria on folklore fieldwork in Bangladesh and a ghost story by Dhrubo Esh.
Prothom Alo's Eid-special publication has also found popularity among the readers for its insightful features, exciting fiction and appealing illustrations. The special issue of Prothom Alo for this Eid includes Kobider Antarmahal, a collection of unpublished letters written by Bengali poets of the 1930s (collected and introduction by Abul Ahsan Chowdhury); noted poet and playwright Syed Shamsul Haq's memoir, Praneeto Jibon; Durlobh Chhobitey Shekaler Bangla by Anupam Hayat features rare photographs of prominent personalities and families (the Nawabs of Dhaka, for instance) of this part of Bengal; a special write up Kalapanir Haatchhani, by Golam Murshid, on the first Bengalis who crossed the Indian ocean to go to England.
Novels -- Teen Porber Jibon by Syed Manzurul Islam, Phirey Esho Shundoritoma by Anisul Haque, Kemon Achho Shobuj Pata by Emdadul Haque Milon, Patangader Khela O Rangin Jolphul by Selina Hossain, a translation of Tahmima Anam's A Golden Age (by Lisa Gazi) and Nat-Boltu by Muhammad Zafar Iqbal -- are special attractions.
Anyadin's Eid-special issue features noted author Humayun Ahmed's latest Misir Ali novel, Misir Alir Chashma. Needless to say, this will perhaps be considered the highlight of this publication by readers. Other notable novels include Khudhabrittanto by Syed Shamsul Haq, Bhalo Mondo Dwidha Dondo by Sunil Gangopadhyay, Swapnei Emon Hoi by Samaresh Majumder and Nibhritey Sheydin by the late author Pranab Bhatto.
The Daily Star's Literature section brought out an Eid-special issue. The issue features translated stories -- Every Day, One handkerchief by Mahmudul Haque (translated by Mahmud Rahman), Blood At Sundown by Jafar Talukdar (translated by Ahmede Hussain), Man Without His Tongue by Syed Manzurul Islam (translated by Rubana), Nostalgia For The Dodo Bird by Shahaduzzaman (translated by Sonia Amin), What Do You Have On The Menu That's Totally Tasteless? By Syed Mujtaba Ali (translated by Naeem Mohaimen), Story of a Cold Draught by Mainul Ahsan Saber (translated by Nuzhat Amin Mannan), The Flower In Him by Hasan Azizul Huq (translated by Jyotiprakash Dutta), A Life Like A Story by Syed Shamsul Huq (translated by Khademul Islam) and more.
A list of Eid-special publications would not be complete without mentioning popular cartoon magazine Unmad's newest issue. As usual, this issue includes spoofs of hit deshi and bideshi movies like Darun Chinir Dwip and Fantastic 420. Then there are cartoons on contemporary issues, write-ups and poems -- all taking a lighter approach.
With all these options, bookworms should have a great time on Eid, reading in their leisure.