Sandesh, the Bengali children's magazine that earned an iconic status, was first published by Upendrakishore Raychaudhury in the year 1913 under the aegis of his own printing press M/s U. Roy & Sons. After Upendrakishore passed away in 1915, his eldest son Sukumar succeeded as the editor. It was Sukumar who gave a new meaning to the magazine, combining his literary fervour with a touch of his characteristic humour, which appealed to the child’s consciousness and understanding. However, the publication of the magazine was stopped in 1925. In 1929, it was revived briefly only to be discontinued in 1934.
The year 1961 saw the revival of the magazine under the leadership of its new editor Satyajit Ray, who was assisted in his editorial job by poet Subhas Mukhopadhyay. The first Ray story published in Sandesh was Banku Babur Bondhu (Banku Babu's Friend), a Bengali science-fiction story that was adapted into a script for the film The Alien, the production of which was unfortunately cancelled.
His iconic status, and the very respect that his name earned, helped the magazine in more than one way. It ensured that Ray always remained one of the prime contributors to the magazine, most, if not all of his stories, being first published in Sandesh, therefore succeeded in maintaining the popularity of the magazine.
Ray also introduced his super sleuth Feluda, and his eccentric scientist Professor Shonku in the stories he wrote for Sandesh. Therefore in a way it was this magazine that formed the diving board for Ray to introduce his literary creations to the world.
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