Sometime in the mid 1800s, magazine publishers in England launched Christmas specials to provide cheap reading material to the aspiring middle classes. The colonial conduit brought the custom to Calcutta, and when Bengali periodicals emerged, they launched holiday specials for Durga Puja. In the early 1900s, when Bengali Muslims started magazines they pioneered similar specials for Eid. And so it has continued in Bengal, from Calcutta, India, and Dhaka, Bangladesh, and perhaps other places as well, a tradition of providing a gift of new prose and poetry on Puja and Eid.

This year’s Eid in Dhaka brought quite a bounty. Several specials were over 500 pages long.

I recently wrote an article on the recent Eid specials. It’s posted on the Words Without Borders blog.

Two pieces of mine came out in the latest Eid specials. The New Age carried a short story “Man in the Middle.” And the Daily Star included a personal essay “Will we ever know our fathers.”