Co-Founder’s Farewell to Monsoon
by Kassian Polin
There is a saying that in his later years, Pablo Picasso was not allowed to roam an art galley unattended, for he had previously been discovered in the act of trying to improve on one of his old masterpieces. As a founder of Monsoon and a graduating senior, I do not share Picasso’s paternal anxiety over his prized creations. I believe that the journal has steadily matured since its inception in Fall 2003. I also know that the new leadership is more than capable of taking the publication to greater heights.
On the surface, today’s Monsoon bears little resemblance to its budding self in 2003. Our expanded student-run Editorial Board, which reflects an unparalleled diversity of talent from all walks of life, is the envy of our colleagues in other campus media organizations. Our deeper pool of contributors, which range from Brandeis students and faculty to overseas scholars, underlies our distinct brand of Asian cosmopolitanism. Most importantly, our readers are increasingly outspoken on what they would like to see as we cover the political, economic and cultural realms of Asia.
There are certain elements that will not change, however. Our uncompromising pursuit of the highest journalistic standards undergirds the fact that Monsoon is the highest Student Union-funded publication within a year of its founding. Our ongoing efforts to engage students and faculty with a globalizing Asia through forums and other outreach programs will seek to build upon the success of our last event in Spring 2004 – “Globalization and its Costs in Asia” – which drew more than a hundred guests from the campus and beyond. Finally, our creed to wholeheartedly embrace enthusiastic students – Asian or not – into our closely-knit family will continue to be a key pillar that nourishes our work.
In the foreword of Monsoon’s maiden issue in November 2003, I wrote how many Westerners and other peoples have been deprived of the joy to appreciate the Indian fascination with the annual monsoon. Our mission has been, in an Asian context, to highlight how ignorance is the greatest obstacle to discovery and self-fulfillment in a rapidly shrinking globe. I hope that Monsoon has made its modest contribution in achieving this goal, and will continue to Bring Asia to Brandeis with flying colors. We may not be able to bring you the magnificent intermingling of monsoon thunder, lightning and rain that Indian royal families have traditionally enjoyed in their palaces. However, we can deliver to you the best of Asia through the enriching discipline of the written word.
Thank you for your support.