New Delhi: Top writers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have come together with a bunch of stories that celebrate love across cultures and love that defies barriers and threats.Stories of cross-border love and bonding by authors such as Selina Hossain (Bangladesh), Taha Kehar (Pakistan), Aditha Dissanayake and Daya Dissanayake (both Sri Lanka), Balraj Khanna (India) and Paola Martani (Italy) are included in the fifth anniversary edition of the quarterly The Equator Line magazine.The first issue of The Equator Line (TEL) in 2012 titled "India: Waiting for a New Helmsman" had on its cover a caparisoned elephant, its howdah empty, outside a red- sandstone fort.Author Robert Hutchison wrote about the evolution of Mussoorie, its ups and downs, since the colonial days. Indian entrepreneurs successfully doing business in many obscure corners of the world were also featured in the issue."The response was mixed - the younger the reader the stronger the approval. The older ones, more used to the conventional format, wondered whether TEL was indeed a magazine or a book," recalls TEL editor-in-chief Bhaskar Roy.The subsequent issues touched upon a myriad of topics like stories from India and Pakistan, leadership question, the tinsel world of Bombay talkies, diaspora, war, the new woman, faith, rivers and football.The late journalist Dilip Padgaonkar had described TEL as a magazine that "remains equidistant from the two poles of journalism: one catering to a mass readership, the other to a niche one".Veteran journalist Mark Tully called TEL a "deeply thoughtful magazine" which "challenges me to think and always learn from its editions"."We remain relevant so long as we continue to surprise our audiences remaining within the liberal parameter. Five years the first important landmark, but the journey has just begun," says Roy.
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