That there is a bit of Bengal in all corners of the globe was confirmed last week when the Australian Consul- General, Mr Andrew Ford, launched a special print issue of the Perth-based literary magazine Batayan in Kolkata.
The magazine is essentially an on-line bilingual publication that has sustained the roots of a cultural bond that has grown stronger as the magazine has made use of both print and digital platforms. It has raised the level of awareness of Australia through an exciting collection of art works, stories from the Torres Strait Islands and experiences of artists and authors with whom readers in Kolkata may well find creative bonds.
The good news for the organisers was that Australia would be allotted a complimentary stall at the next book fair in Kolkata where Batayanwould be available. That will hopefully expand the base of enthusiastic readers and contributors with the addition of a monthly on-line publication, Kagajer Naukaand an English edition of the quarterly magazine.
The response now extends from Kolkata to other Indian cities as well as Bangladesh. But Kolkata is clearly the natural choice for launching a special edition and mingling with the literary fraternity.