EKA EBONG KOEKJAN began its journey as a Little Magazine, in the autumn of 1979, from the non-descript railway township of Maligaon in the suburbs of Guwahati. It was fuelled by dreams and high literary ambition, but little else. With little advertisement money, and the three young founders still looking to find stable employment, the magazine should have folded up after a couple of issues. That’s what usually happens. But not with us, not with EEK. The long and winding road has been pretty tiring at times, but it has now spanned 35 glorious years, and the exciting, new world of internet has just opened up for us to explore, and to find new readers and comrades and friends.
EEK is a Bengali literary journal published from the heartlands of Assam. The first issue came out against the grim backdrop of the so-called ‘anti-foreigner’ agitation driving a wedge between the Assamese and the Bengali. The air was thick and heavy with hate, distrust and blood-lust. Our dream was to make EEK, in its own small way, a bridge between the two warring communities. We aspired to share the rich and vibrant literary and cultural traditions of Assam and the North-east with a wider readership across the Bengali diaspora. And the aspiration has come true. We have published many – both established and promising – Assamese writers in translation. We have also provided a platform to the best Bengali writings in the North-east. A dip into our back issues will no doubt yield hidden treasure – in the form of poems, stories and essays – which can be counted as some of the finest in contemporary Bengali literature.
We are no longer merely a literary journal. We have branched out into hosting cultural events featuring doyens of Assamese and Bengali music which have become a byword for refined entertainment. We are deeply involved in social work too.
Eka Ebong Koekjan is a sprawling NGO now, but the little magazine remains as its hub. It’s a vintage wine that tastes richer as it ages. Come, take a sip, dear reader.