Marathi Magazine run from Canada for last 24 years

Arun D. Jatkar, Ph.D.
Editor, Ekata

Ekata is the leading Marathi periodical of North America and a topnotch literary Marathi magazine outside of India. Mr. Vinayak Gokhale of Toronto, Canada, (an architect by profession) was editor for 21 years - since the magazine's inception in 1979 until Dec. 1999. Today, Ekata is in the 24th year of non-stop publication. The magazine is published every three months and hence four issues come out each year - January, April, July and October. By carefully selecting the material received from various writers and poets, Mr. Gokhale ensured from the very beginning that Ekata held a high standard, while encouraging the Marathi-speaking people in North America (Canada and USA) to write and share their literary talent with Ekata readers.

Ekata is an all-volunteer effort. Writers, poets, people on Ekata's editorial review board, those who type the approved material, those who do proof-reading and those who help distribute Ekata receive no monetary remuneration. The only exceptions are the contestants. Every year Ekata sponsors a short story contest. First, second and third place winners receive cash awards. Their stories are published in the October issue of Ekata each year.

Also, seven years ago Ekata introduced 'Samasya Purti' contest. (A line of verse is given and contestants are asked to compose additional lines, preferably in the same metre or vritta and appropriately complementing the thought or idea expressed in the given line to complete a poetic composition) Top three compositions receive cash awards. Samasya Purti contest is conducted in every issue of Ekata.

Ekata encourages writers who have settled outside India in preference to those who are in India. The idea is to keep Marathi alive even though we have left India and have settled abroad. Several Marathi writers in India have expressed a great delight on reading the issues of Ekata

Over the years, several writers have shared their memories and life experiences with the readers. Ekata has brought out the talent for writing in many people. In the early 1990s, Mr. Gokhale was honored at the World Marathi Conference held in Mauritius for his dedicated efforts via Ekata.

During the last six years, some interesting new features were added to Ekata. These include a tastefully composed Marathi crossword comparable to the New York Times crosswords in format, structure and thematic consistency, 'aja-stambha’(one or more columns of spirited, funny and sometimes biting verbiage), 'Aswad' (rasa-grahan of well-known Marathi poems), 'kavya-shastra-vinodena' (detailed explanations and translations of Sanskrit subhashitas) and 'pustak-parichaya' (brief review of newly published Marathi books).

Ekata introduced 'Chitragupta', a brand new feature in the July 2001 issue. It carries a cartoon and a fairly simple-looking question, the answer to which is contained both in the cartoon and a couple of lines of verse that accompany the cartoon. Readers are asked to pick out the correct letters from the verse in order to come up with the answer to the question.

Ekata also endeavors to publicize various non-profit institutions in India and carry out significant and meaningful social and charity work. Ekata would like to reach all the Marathi-speaking people of North America. The annual subscription (4 issues) is $ US 20 and Lifetime subscription is $ US 300.

Recently, Ekata brought out a collection of 30 selected short stories, 'VIDESHINEE'. These stories had first appeared in the past issues of Ekata. The collection was printed by Lokavangmaya Griha in Mumbai on behalf of Ekata Publication of Toronto, Canada and has received excellent reviews in India. It is available from Ekata Publication for $ 10 (+ the cost of shipping and handling).

For more information click here (Ekata Magazine)www.ekata.ca