Being the only child in the family, I developed a habit of reading and exploring books in the shelf to spend chunks of time. As the short stories seemed to end up too early, I switched over to abridged novels. From the stories/novels I read, various ideas started tickling my mind which I compiled into stories of my own- ‘Adventure at the Treasure Island’, ‘Mystery of the Diamond Ring’, ‘The Time Travel Adventure’ etc. Gradually, my interest on magazines drifted from ‘Magic Pot’ and ‘Tell Me Why’ to ‘Brainwave’. The concept and interactive approach of Brainwave inflicted the spark to set up a magazine. The interactive contests allured me to participate which I liked much and wished to apply this to all my classmates through that very magazine – ‘Get, Set, KNOW!’(December, 2014)
Readership spreads from classmates/friends to uncles/aunts through the mail and hard copies printed at home. A few copies also go to the library which widens up the circle and also reduces my effort to personally distribute.
Collecting information, particularly for the second issue was challenging and thus became fruitful. More contribution flooded and now the enthusiastic school readers contribute without needing to ask, knowing that the issue is coming out. Fact is that I also often now get asked about the issue arrival. Disadvantages included junk contribution which had to be included for vibrancy in content sources. School readers contribute on paper, (often rotten, crushed, neglected) be it a story or a drawing. Some readers, after fresh arrival of the issue, immediately subsidize, others don’t until the day before the printout. I send mails asking for contributions, one common to all, and personalised to some. Sources of articles written by me, include various encyclopaedias, newspapers, and in some cases educational websites. For details, I even had to go to Delhi to search specialised books; such as I did for the cover story ‘Civilizations’ (Complete History of the World).
Since many magazines have limited topic coverage, Get, Set, KNOW! covers many domains of knowledge such as Current Affairs, Wildlife, Space, Environment, History, Science, Sports, Great personalities, Health & Nutrition, Travel & Leisure, Puzzles, Quiz, Drawings and Stories etc. Some new additions such as introduction of cartoons and the looks and presentations on the characters and the Cover Story section have to be worked out. And yes, contests in some sections were added to make the whole lot interactive and competitive. Invited feedback and suggestions from the readers help me to take the editorial decisions. However, I consult my parents and uncles in tricky situations like selection of articles.
Five years from now, it would be the magazine’s 12th or 13th issue. By that time, I expect Get, Set, KNOW to imbibe the enthusiasm in students to think beyond the confinement of the textbooks and create a competitive environment. Although many digital forms of it may appear, even then I want it to go on in its printed form which creates the magical effect. For its wide distribution and improved face value, this magazine will seek a genuine publisher.
Muhammed Muaaz is a student of class VII, The Blossoms School, Aligarh