Hi everyone, HERE is Pahela Baishakh, again, the beginning of a new year on our Bangla calendar that is. There is, in fact, no new year, because time, flowing perpetually, is eternal and indivisible. Still, people across the world imagine and divide time into years, months, weeks and days, so on and so forth, for utilitarian purposes ? to asses our past and plan our future, to cultivate new hopes and draw new aspirations, et cetera, within an artificially limited span of time. Bengalis are no exception. This time it is 1417 on the Bangla calendar. But it should no way suggest that life did begin in this part of the world only 1416 years ago. It was Emperor Akbar, a non-Bengali Mughal king, who introduced the Bangla calendar, with Baishakh being the first month of the year, on March 16, 1586 on the Gregorian calendar, coinciding with his ascendance to the Mughal throne. Akbar?s idea of celebrating Bangla new year on the first day of Baishakh gained popularity among the Bengali masses, particularly because it coincided with the popular practice of celebrating Baishakh as the season of agricultural harvest in rural Bengal. Pahela Baishakh, thus, symbolises new harvest, and subsequently, new hopes and fresh aspirations of the Bengalis at large. The celebration has, over time, become an integral part of Bengali culture, contributing to the growth of a secular-democratic political value in society as a whole. As in the past, New Age has its new harvest, too, to offer to its readers and patrons on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh: a small collection of short stories in English by Bangladeshi writers, famous and budding, published at home and abroad, dealing primarily with the middle-class life. New Age hopes that the collection would help project certain creative literary exercises in English even to the readers beyond our borders ? geographical and linguistic, while it aspires to harvest in the years to come Bangladeshi literary genius aesthetically digging deeper into lives, and that too of our people at large.