Read Gour’s Antiquarium – Retrobrowsing every Monday in Different Truths

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Readers of just three or four decades back might have been familiar with the terrific magazine culture of those times. The arrival of the latest issue of Life or The Illustrated Weekly of India or JS or Imprint lent instant zing to the pleasure-prospect of the days ahead.

For the contents were devoured, discussed and leafed through repeatedly and saved in a common pool of discourse – until the next issue arrived. Some of this vibrant space was claimed by television, some by the tabloids, and some by the expanded arena of film reportage, celebrity gossip and mega-consumerist advertising, and by the late nineteen eighties or early nineties, before we knew it, that great harvest of quality magazines catering to a general audience, was gone. We have magazines now but the primacy and concentration of interest is over. However, readers of those decades could also never have imagined the quantum leap in our lives heralded by the internet, and the webzine might well have been a piece of science fiction.

This column, beginning July 25, is conceived as a space where the magazines of the past and the webzine of the present shall meet. I call it my Antiquarium, and every Monday I shall bring you something interesting, provoking and meaningful culled from my collection of antique magazines, along with a little commentary and some reflections and maybe some questionings. For years I have intended to archive them and this column has the added advantage of providing me the chance of sharing them with those who are familiar with that time and those who are not. A space, I hope, where some of the valuable magazine stories of the past and the lightning circulation and perspective of the present meet.

I’m going to have fun and I hope you do too.

Books written by Neelum Saran Gour (NSG):

1. Grey Pigeon and Other Stories (Penguin)

2. Speaking of 62 (Penguin)

3. Winter Companions and Other Stories (Penguin)

4. Virtual Realities (Penguin)

5. Sikandar Chowk Park (Penguin)

6. 62 Ki Baatein (Penguin-Yatra)

7. Song Without End and Other Stories (Penguin)

8. Three Rivers and A Tree- The Story of Allahabad University (Rupa Publications)

9. Allahabad Aria (Rupa Publications)

10. Invisible Ink (Harper Collins)

11. Messres Dickens, Doyle And Wodehouse (Halcyon Books)

12. Raja Rao’s Metaphysical Trilogy (Kitab Mahal)

13. Allahabad Where The Rivers Meet, (Marg Publications) Edited by NSG.

14. Growing Up As A Woman Writer (Sage and Sahitya Akademi), Fear Factor (Pan Macmillan), Only Connect (Brass Monkey and Rupa Publications), The Fiction Collection (Penguin), The Creative Process, (Institute for Research in Interdisciplinary Studies), Indian English And Vernacular India (Pearson) ,Learning Non-Violence (Oxford University Press) and Desert in Bloom (Pencraft) carry inputs by her.

©Neelum Saran Gour


Neelum Saran Gour is a well known Indian English fiction writer and academic. She has been an active book reviewer, critic, translator, humour columnist, creative writing guide and jury member in the award of national literary prizes. She works as Professor of English Literature at the University of Allahabad.