Jalchhabi, an illustrated monthly Bengali journal for boys and girls, made its first appearance in Baishakh 1344 B.S. (1937) under the editorship of Prabhat Kiran Basu. Radharacharan Chakraborty and Satyacharan Das are mentioned as the joint editors of the journal. The journal, priced at 4 annas per issue, was published from the Kamala Publishing House, Calcutta. It published juvenile literary fiction in the form of poems, stories, novels and plays that seemed to have become very popular. The journal, as it grew, began to have several regular sections: ‘Gyan Bigyan’ (Knowledge and Science), ‘Sadharan Gyan’ (General Knowledge), ‘Khelaghar’ (Sports Matters), ‘Swasthakotha’ (Health), ‘Bichitra’ (Various), ‘Grahak-Grahikar Pata’ (Page for the Subscribers), ‘Sompadoker Chithi’ (Editor’s Letter), ‘Chithi Chapati’ (Letters to the Editor), ‘Khoborakhobor’ (News and Information), and ‘Dhandha’(Puzzle).
The most notable authors of the time who contributed to the journal included Ashutosh Mukhopadhyay, Kumudranjan Mallick, Sibram Chakrabborty, Sushil Prasad Sarvadhikari, Prabhat Kiran Basu, Indira Devi, Hemendra Kumar Ray, Jaladhar Sen, Girija Kumar Basu, Premendra Mitra, Jogindranath Sarkar, Kalidas Ray, Gourgopal Bidyabinod, and Ashoknath Shastri. The contributions were diverse, ranging from humorous short stories and funny poems to Puranic or epic accounts. Adventure seemed to be a very popular theme for the authors, who wrote travel experiences or translated some popular English adventure novels. For instance, Victor Hugo’s Toilers of the Sea was serially translated by Bishu Mukhopadhyay. Similarly, ghost stories seemed to have become a popular read for the journal’s audience. Biographical accounts and obituaries also featured in the journal.
The section ‘Khoborakhobor’ gradually developed into a very informative segment on contemporary international affairs. The sports news section (‘Khelaghar’) was also elaborate, providing regular updates on major sporting events and developments. The journal occasionally ran a crossword competition with monetary rewards for the winner and the runner-up. The contributions were mostly accompanied by apt illustrations. Paintings and still photographs on different subjects also appeared in the journal.