Jam-e-Jamshed turns 187
Jam-e-Jamshed Asia’s second oldest newspaper turns 187 this month. Ten years after the first newspaper in Asia Bombay Samachar was launched in Mumbai (which interestingly still comes out from the same place where it was started), an influential Parsi family–Marzban — started a Gujarati newspaper titled Jam-e-Jamshed mainly for Parsi community. It was first published as a weekly on 12th March 1832 from its own iconic red brick building at Ballard Pier near Mumbai Docks. In 1853 it was converted into a daily.
In Persian language, Jam-e-Jamshed means the Jam – goblet of Shah Jamshid. This has two implications. One is: the Jam of spiritual intoxication- Ishq-e-Hakiki, the Love for the Divine; and the other is: the Jam of the World-Time, in which all the past, present and future can be seen.
Early 19th century was an interesting time for people living in Bombay trying to do business. This was the time when Gujaratis, Parsis and Bohras—the three key trading communities—were slowly establishing themselves in and around Mumbai port. And with the trade bourse coming up, the emergence of a newspaper was bound to be there. And the first newspapers coming out from Bombay carried reports primarily revolving around businesses in Europe as well as events that affected the Indian sub-continent then.
Jam-e-Jamshed’s primary focus was Parsi community. It still remains that though it has moved with time- literally and symbolically. It has moved out of its iconic red brick building near Mumbai docks. It has now become a global Parsi community newspaper, in fact the voice of Parsis worldwide. There is a practical side to it. More and more Parsis are settling abroad. But they want to remain connected. The answer is a magazine like Jam-e-Jamshed with global outlook and a strong presence on cyberspace.
It is now published as a weekly in Gujarati and English (more English than Gujarati. In fact earlier it was 12 pages Gujarati and four pages English. The present editor Shernaaz Engineer reversed it) with its presence in web and social media.
Kedarnath Singh, one of the most sensitive of contemporary poets, who brought a delicate and distinctive sensibility to modern Hindi poetry, breathed his last two days before the World Poetry day. In Kedarnath Singh’s poems, you can see the shape of longing, touch the burden of memory and soak in the stench of lies. The Jnanpith award recipient was a poet of both presence and absence, of love and loss, of anxieties and questions.
Here are few lines from his poem:
When I took her hand in my hands,
I thought the world should be like this palm
Warm and beautiful.
Checking at the entry point of Railway Stations
Recently I had been to Sambalpur. At the Sambalpur railway station, there was checking at the entrance to preempt ticketless people from entering the railway platform. This, I think is a good move. Regular checking at the entry point will preempt people from unnecessarily entering platform and add to the crowd and put more pressure on the scarce facilities. Airports are cleaner not only because they are maintained better, also because there is a check on the entry of people.
Railway Platforms should also be free from beggars, vagabonds and loafers. Also from stray dogs, cows and occasional pigs. If this could be done, there will be less pressure on cleaning and maintenance. With stepped up cleaning drive, railway platforms can actually be swatch– clean.
These days, day ends with night. Earlier there used to be a beautiful evening in between.
Tailpiece 2: For a Man to be happy…
A wise man once said that for a man to be happy, he must:
- Find a woman who cooks well and knows how to keep the house neat and tidy
- Be able to exchange conversation with a woman that is at the same level as he is, intellectually speaking
- Be satisfied with his partner in bed
- Find someone who shares his dreams, visions triumphs and even failures in life
- Make sure that these four women don’t know each other.
(Courtesy: Social Media)
The author is a journalist turned media academician. He lives in Central Odisha town Dhenkanal. He also writes fiction. English translation of his Odia novel Yamraj Number 5003 has just been published. [email protected]