THE TEENAGER TODAY crossed another milestone last month — 55 years of uninterrupted publication — a unique record in the history of youth magazines in the country. Besides being the first-ever magazine specifically for teenagers, it has also been a magazine by the youth. Many of those who are our regular contributors are not “teenagers” now in the strict sense. But, they all began their association with the magazine when they were “teenagers” or even younger.
Gp. Captain Achchyut Kumar was a primary school student (St Joseph’s Collegiate, Allahabad) when his headmaster Fr Aloysius G. Rego, joined Fr J. Maurus to found THE TEENAGER. As a high school student, he became possibly one of the earliest readers of THE TEENAGER, and later as a college student, he started contributing to the magazine. Even when he was with the Indian Air Force, he kept close to THE TEENAGER! In addition to his regular cover story he recalls, this month, his unforgettable experience at the church premises where Fr Aloysius Rego, the co-founder of our magazine, is buried.
I can vividly recall the day I first met Manoj Pal at Allahabad. Though already employed with another publication, he happily accepted my invitation to join THE TEENAGER as a part-timer. He soon became part of Better Yourself Books (BYB), publishers of THE TEENAGER and numerous self-help books, as well. When BYB and THE TEENAGER moved to Mumbai, Manoj Pal too came along. He continues to design most of the covers of BYB, in addition to those of THE TEENAGER, with one difference — he does it from Kolkata, his home city.
Another person who deserves a special mention here is Dr Anthony Grugni, our youth counsellor for over three decades. Dr Grugni, an Italian by birth, came to India in 1976. As a medical practitioner, he worked with leprosy and tuberculosis patients for many years, in Warrangal, now part of Telangana. During these years, Dr Grugni came across THE TEENAGER, and offered to work as the youth counsellor through his column, Ask Dr Grugni. At 77, he continues to listen to the woes of young people offering them sound advice, and “wiping their tears”, as well.
Verus Ferreira, our music columnist, Navniit Gandhi who joined THE TEENAGER while she was a college student, Pearl D’Souza, Teen of the Year 2002, Maya Shah who joined us while in college, now a special teacher and also handling our Mind Games column, are all with us this month to make the present issue a true souvenir of our 55th Birth Anniversary.