of The Print Ltd.// hoichoi:হইচই//Tapati Bharadwaj

of The Print Ltd.// hoichoi:হইচই//Tapati Bharadwaj


The Print Ltd. is a collaborative concept of: hoichoi/খেলা:খেলা// হইচই/ https://hoi-choi.org.


Our amnesia is an act of coercion; - if we refuse to acknowledge the knowledge systems which we have inherited – we deny coherence to the present.

Acharya Prafulla Chandra Ray’s canonical work -- A History of Hindu Chemistry, from Ancient Times to the Middle of the Sixteenth century AD. With Sanskrit Texts, Variants, Translation and Illustrations (Calcutta: The Bengal Chemical And Pharmaceutical Works Ltd.), 1903 -- aids us in recuperating scientific knowledge from ancient India.

The introductory comments in Vol. 2 of History of Hindu Chemistry draw attention to the near impossible task:
When the first volume was under preparation, it was feared that many valuable works on Hindu Chemistry referred to in Rasarnava, Rasaratnasamuchchaya etc. had been lost forever. Pandit Navakanta Kavibhushana was deputed to Benaras to make a searching enquiry and his labours have been rewarded by the discovery of several … MSS., including one of Rasahridaya. This last-named work is of surpassing interest considering its comprehensiveness and antiquity.
Early imperial print in Calcutta (1780-1820).

Till as recently as two hundred years ago, India was a manuscript culture; meaning that the printed text did not exist. When the transition took place from a manuscript culture to a print one, it seems to have taken place easelessly, implying that the shift was made without much murmurs and complaints from at least the native, elite sections of society.

We can only imagine how the print informed landscape in Calcutta would have changed in the last two decades of the eighteenth century; presses, paper, books, magazines and other print paraphernalia would have arrived as cargo in the ships from England, they would be carted across and stored somewhere and then subsequently bought by printers and booksellers.

A multi-lingual, hetero-glossic realm of print emerged - where printed texts in Indian languages created a print-induced public realm, and co-existed alongside English texts.

Remembrance of things past.