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Friday, December 07, 2007


I remember the magazine Bhavans journal from my childhood ,in the yesteryear Madras many houses I visited had this small cute magazine lying with the newspapers on the front table and I remember browsing through some as I was attuned to get my hands on anything in print from those days .

The articles didnt make such sense to a small boy at that age ,to me Richie rich ,his valet Cadbury or the goggled Phantom were more attractive but the pictures and mythological stories were inviting ,I considered it as something like Chandammama my another favourite with an Indianness to it .

I had wanted to subscribe to it for a long time but never came to it though I did several others .

This is a periodical that sells every fortnight more than 7,25000 copies ,and it caters to good taste with no obscenity or glamour as its sales pitch ,on the contrary it dealt with the heritage and greatness of Bharath ,its spritual wisdom accumulated over the centuries .

It brought out the wisdom from our wise .
It was on November 7th 1938 that Shri Kulapati Munshiji who later became the Education minister in Pandit Jawarhalals cabinet founded the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan with the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi .

His dream was a centre to crystallise the ancient learning and modern intellectual aspirations of this land to create a new literature and culture .

From humble beginnings today the Bhavan has come to occupy a position as a centre for Indian culture and Indological research .

The trust runs a string of schools all over the country called Bhartiya Viday Mandir where children are given holistic education abiding to the cultural values of our forefathers
.My daughter today is a proud student of one Bhavans school .
The journal was started in 1954 .
It was in my middle age that I finally got Bhavans posted to me every fortnight and strangely as a well prized gift from someone .

When I was at Lakeshore hospital working in the medical oncology department Ms. L was one of our patients suffering from acute Leukaemia ,she would stoically bear the rigors of her treatment and always had a smiling face when I met her on rounds ,I always used to see her with a Bhavans Journal among other books with her and I used to leaf through them ,
she gave me back issues to read and we used to discuss the articles .
The unfortunate inevitable happened and L left us one day,
After a few days her husband came to meet me in the hospital ,he had a big bundle of Bhavans journals with him and he said L wanted you to get this after she was no more and I have instructed them to post further issues to your home adress every fortnight ,
my eyes was full as I got the books from him .

so now as I read my Bhavans I always remember L and her wonderful gift to me ........
( the image above is fictious )


Maddy said...

know what - i have only leafed through a couple in the past, used to think it boring..but that was like you as a child..same with the malayalam - 'guruvayurappan' magazine!!

harimohan said...

maddy ,please do read an issue now ,it may be simple but it is good ,tks for the comment .

MM said...

I came across the Bhavans journal at my sister's place a few months back, since my nephew happens to be a Bhavans student. I was real awed by the kinda elegant standards maintained through out, and was wondering about the inititive that leads to a publication as this...

Hats off..

Dr. Mohan said...

I Have Also read The Bhavans Journal.
I always thought That it was a Publication Of "TheHindu" Newspaper chain.
After Nearly 50 Years Of Its Exsistence Iam Confused as To why It Is Not Published In a south Indian language.I Think It Has A sanskrit Edition

raj said...

when it matters dealing with diverse topics 'harimohan ka jawab nahin!This retrospective post will surely fetch us the nostalgic memories of our childhood and teenage days; the comics, magazines, newspapers, novels and even cinema notices all played their part to form a generation which was obsessed with words and letters!

Dr.Thomas Antony said...

Dear Hari,

You have weaved a story into your anecdote. I had seen Bhaven's journal when I was (I consider so) too young to understand the contents, probably in Ernakulam Public Library. You reminded me of the childrens' comics; Richie Rich, Archie, Polka and the like. Takes me back...I borrowed these to read from our sindhi neigbours in the late 60s....

One feels sorry to learn about L. Though ficitious, it is a nice pic you have there..



Nebu said...

Hi Hari,

That post was very touching indeed.
Finally you found time to update your profile as well.


harimohan said...

dear maddy ,raju ,suresh ,mm,tks a lot for your wondeful comments and TA tks for that indirect compliment ,yes nebu i did forget the profile till date tks for the comments

Nanditha Prabhu said...

my house was full of thwese books ..and my dad still has a good collection of them.
your story was very touching!

harimohan said...

tks nanditha

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Anonymous said...

very useful post. I would love to follow you on twitter. By the way, did you know that some chinese hacker had busted twitter yesterday again.

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