Ghumakkar Featured Author Interview with the super talented Shubham Sarcar

One fine day, post their business meeting, Sudip Sarcar, father of Shubham,was chatting with Smita Dhall, and shared that his son has scribbled a wrap-up of his recent school trip and whether it would make sense to post it on Ghumakkar. That is how it came my way, the visionary (ouch!) in me sensed a great opportunity. It would be terrific to have a young boy, who could express so well and loved to travel, write for Ghumakkar. To make it more glamorous, we even put the hand-written manuscript along side the typed text and we published. The rest is history.

Thereafter Shubham grew from one grade to the next and continued his engagement with Ghumakkar. His first story came in June 2007, which is more than five years from now, and since then he has managed to write here, mostly around his travel to London and UK. If I leave DL, Silent Soul, Ram Dhall and few other folks, probably he is the youngest Ghumakkar I would be talking to. Someone who has never seen the days of having a single TV channel on a B&W set, no mobile phone, no internet, no malls and so on, it was hard for me to think about ‘conversation leads’. Before I realised, I started getting panic attacks. I have no idea of what Arsenal is and why half of the world is crazy for EPL (English Premeier League). With an open mind (read: blank mind) and a child like curiosity I began my first interview of the lucky 2013 on a cold wintry evening.

With Dada Dadi -2001

School Play Sohum and I


Ghum: Good evening Shubham. Many congratulations for being the ‘Ghumakkar Featured Author for January – 2013’.
Shubham : Thank you Sir. It has been a pleasure to see my stories at Ghumakkar and I am learning many new things through my interactions with Ghumakkar. Thank you.

Ghum: Shubham, you have been writing on Ghumakkar for the last five years! And at the time you started, you were barely nine years old. When did this flair for writing start?
Shumbham : It all started with dad asking me to write to improve my handwriting. Initially I used to just copy sports articles from Mail Today. Then I started writing my own reviews of the football/ cricket matches I watched with dad. Then I went to Garhmukhteshwar on a school trip (when I was in class 4) and dad asked me to write about my experience on that trip. That piece was hosted on Ghumakkar. Since then I have been writing – mainly on travel.

Ghum: I think I would borrow the thought for my daughter. Your piece on Garhmukteshwar was very well appreciated. Last I checked, it has been seen more than 14000 times by readers all around. Do you remember the feeling, when it was published ?
Shubham : Haha, not really, I guess I was pretty young at the time to actually absorb all of what was going on, I just remember that one day dad came home from office and opened your site and there i saw my article up with all those lovely comments from the Ghumakkar family, I got pretty excited upon seeing that and told everyone at school (including all our teachers) about my recently published article on our school trip to Garhmukhteshwar, my roommates on that trip (room number 16:)) especially went to the comoputer lab then itself to see my article :)

Darbar Sahib - Amritsar -2009

Darbar Sahib – Amritsar -2009

Ghum: And what about ‘comments’, you got quite a few of them.
Shubham: Again, i think I was too young to realize the importance of it all, but it felt extremely good nonetheles. I guess I was too young to understand how important it was, I did not even really reply to all the comments up untill 2011, when I really realised what a big deal it really was.

Ghum : And are you still friends with ‘Sohum’ ? :-)
Shubham : Yes, even though our sections are now different we’re still in the same bus and so we meet at least twice everyday, he is actually one of my closest friends, and now we’re even bandmates.

Ghum: Tell us about yourself, your family, friends and everything around you ?
Shubham : I have a close group of friends in school, some of whom I’ve known since I was 3 years old. I live with my parents and my dadi.

With Dada Dadi -2001

With Dada Dadi -2001

I play football and am a football enthusiast. And as it says in my profile, I am an Arsenal fan. I play a bit of cricket as well- I support Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. I am part of a band called Missing Links, formed with some of my close school friends. I am the lead singer. We’ve performed at a few places including IIT Delhi. We’re supposed to perform on Saturday 19th Jan, 2013 at La Crepe in Select Citywalk, Saket. I also play the keyboard.

Ghum: Wow! What genre do you guys play ? Please tell us more about ‘Missing Links’ and why this name ?
Shubham : We started out playing just soft-rock when we formed just over an year back, but since then we’ve diversified into playing rock, hard-rock, alternative, blues-rock, and at our performance next week we plan on including some R&B too. Missing Links is a band of which I’m a founder-member, it was formed basically by just some of my very-close friends, we had all started learning different instruments by then and decided to actually come together and do something like this together, at first it started off as just jamming sessions at my house, but then around end-jan last year we got a chance to perform at this annual cultural programme held in my colony on the occasion of Saraswati puja. I had been performing keyboard recitals there for the past 2-3 years, and so when the oppurtunity came, we pounced. Since then we’ve done a few performances at various places, including IIT-Delhi.

Missing Links at IIT Delhi

Missing Links at IIT Delhi

When we formed we never thought we’d ever get to perform or anything, so none of us really bothered coming up with a name, but then finally our chance to perform at Saraswati Puja in my colony came up we brainstormed for names for our band, we asked all friends and relatives to pitch in with some good names, we’d come up with about 20 different names, and we hadn’t decided on which one to keep till we were minutes away from going on stage, so finally we just gave our keyboardist (incidently, this was Sohum) to announce us on stage with whatever name he felt was the best, and so he went with missing links (this name was suggested to us by our lead-guitarist’s elder-sister actually).

Ghum: Amazing. I do not remember anyone, from my active memory, out here who has a band (Ok, Rajeev Tewari and Srijesh do a lot of performances) or is active in this field. Do you have any recording or something on youtube which we can share
Shubham: Yes, , here is the link to our performance at IIT-Delhi –

Lets take a little detour and talk about your travel tales and your association with Ghumakkar.

Back seat driving -on the way to Chakrata -2004

Back seat driving -on the way to Chakrata -2004

The little Ghumakkar at Renukaji -2006

The little Ghumakkar at Renukaji -2006

Ghum: I ask this question to everyone and probably in this case, I know the answer but for our readers, how did your acquaintance with Ghumakkar happen?
Shubham : My dad knows Smita aunty, and he mentioned about my writing to her. She suggested I write about my trip to Garhmukhteswar, which I did. He showed it to her, she shared it with you, and the rest, as they say, is history…

Ghum: Indeed. Did you follow any format for your travelogues? We would like to know how you compose your stories…
Shubham: No, not a specific format as such. I generally start my articles with a glimpse of what all I have planned for the day, following with details on what all happened. I take along a notebook when I travel ,and at the end of each day I jot down pointers about the day. Once back, I put actual pen to paper and write the articles. I try to make it as interesting as possible.

Dad and I -2002

Dad and I -2002

Dad and I -2002 Dad and I -2002

Ghum : Since you are so young, yet writing for a long time now, do you travel differently than your friends who are your age?
Shubham : I dont know if I travel differently. I do try to absorb as much as I can about the places I visit, so that once I’m back I can paint a mental picture of my destination.

Ghum: What excites you, what do you want to do when you head out ?
Shubham : I want to absorb the local setting, as much as possible. Everyone has their own wishes, own interests like beaches, cities etc. What I really want is that if I go somewhere, I really want to live there. You know, spending time with family, eating nice food all together is what I do but at the same time I would want to experience a local game of Cricket or Football or anything for that matter. I am a great sports fan, any sports.

IPL - Delhi Daredevils vs Pune Warriors 2012

IPL – Delhi Daredevils vs Pune Warriors 2012

Ghum: You have done a lot of travel in U.K. and have written very well on the areas in and around London. What has been your most memorable place?
Shubham: Edinburgh is surely the most beautiful of all the places that I have visited. But I have to say that when London is spoken of, it’s not Trafalgar Square, the London Eye or Westminster Abbey that comes to my mind, it’s my nani-mausi’s house in Hornchurch. That, for me, shall always be synonymous with London, and the most memorable place.

Ghum : Apart from London, what are the other places you would like to visit?
Shubham : New York, LA, Las Vegas, Iceland, New Zealand, Madrid, Munich, and Egypt for the Pyramids

Ghum: That is a long list Shubham. Who and what inspires you the most, when it comes to travel and when it comes to writing (both)?
Shubham : What inspires me to travel is the desire to explore the world and experience different cultures. My dad inspires (drives) me to write.

Stretching out at a Dhaba - Renukaji -2006

Stretching out at a Dhaba – Renukaji -2006

Ghum: And how does writing help ?
Shubham: It gives me a sense of achievement. A sense of satisfaction. Instead of sitting idle or watching TV, if I do writing , I feel very good about it, in the end.

Ghum: A lot of our writers would want you to read and comment on their stories. Is there any message you’d like to give them?
Shubham: I can only get guidance from the contributors at Ghumakkar. Especially you, Devasmita ma’am, Vibha ma’am, DL Narayan Sir, and Bhalse Sir.

Mom and I - 2010

Ghum: How much time do you get to spend at Ghumakkar ?
Shubham: Actually not much. It is in spurts. Sometimes I visit it very often but sometimes I do not visit the site for weeks and months.

Ghum: Yes, I guess that us true for many of us. Before I windup, I wanted to know one more thing for the benefit of our readers. What all do you read ?
Shubham: I read a lot of fiction as well non-fiction.

Ghum: Tell me some titles which I can publish.
Shubham: Sure, the names of the books would be- Outliers, What the dog saw, Tipping Point and Blink (all by Malcolm Gladwell), Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics (both by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner),

Ghum: Whoof! I thought Malcolm and Steven Levitt are for us to read and admire. I have read most of the above except ‘Super Freaknomics’. Is it good ?
Shubham: Yes, you must read. Let me recollect some more names. The Bankroft Strategy, The Holcroft Covenant, The Ambler Warning (all by Robert Ludlum), Black holes and Baby universes, The Theory of Everything, The Grand Design (all by Stephen Hawking)

Ghum: You are one voracious reader Shubham. What about books which we liked to read when we were your age ?
Shubham : Oh, yes. I also enjoy comic strips like Calvin and Hobbes, Garfield Comic books like Tintin, Asterix and Obelix. I also love reading the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan :)

I think, I just got me a long list for reading. Thank you Shubham for being around, for being the inspiration for a lot of young people like me and for taking time out and talking to me. I am already feeling much more younger and this seems like a great way to start the new year. I wish you luck, success and a lot of wisdom. Take care and Shabba Khair.

54 Comments

  • A wonderful encounter with our dear Shubham! What he has already done, has already read, has already written, makes me feel like a primate ! I must forget about ghumakkar and should delve deep into some books which I haven’t even heard names of. :D :D :D

    Well, this is what I call the happy result of good upbringing. I must salute to Shubham’s father (and may be his school teachers too!) for inculcating in him a great love for reading, writing and of course playing.

  • Vipin says:

    Bravo Shubham! Your love for sports, travelling, reading, writing etc is commendable…involvement in all these activities at such age is really terrific & inspiring…Thanks Nandan for presenting such a nice tete-a-tete with Shubham…am sure you must have enjoyed it a lot!

  • Abhee K says:

    Congratulation Shubham.

    Wow, glad to know your wonderful qualities.Keep it up.

    Thanks NJ for such a nice interview,got to know a lot about Shubham.

  • SilentSoul says:

    Good to know that shubham has Iceland on wish list. Hope he has read my post on Iceland, which would give him insights into Iceland

    http://www.ghumakkar.com/2012/01/02/iceland-the-forgotten-heaven/

    tks Nandan for continued churning out wisdom out of authors

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Shubham,
    First of all, congratulation Shubham for being chosen as the Featured Author. Today after going through your interview I am feeling more closed to you. Your interest in literature in this age is really commendable.

    It is great to know that you are the founder member of a band Missing Links and you have performed at IIT Delhi. Your interests are also impressive like Singing, writing, football……………Excellent.

    And at last I would like to give you a sweet complement, you are looking sooooooooo dashing and cute in the picture 3rd from bottom.

    Thanks Nandan for this interesting interview.

  • Gita AM says:

    “Way to go” Shubham, as your generation would say! I have read one of your earlier logs some time ago.

    You are very cute, sorry Im sure you hated that. I should instead say that you are a handsome young lad!

    Keep writing and all the best.

  • Praveen Wadhwa says:

    Congratulations!!! Shubham.
    May one day you visit each and every country and post it here at ghumakkar.

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Congrats, Shubham.

    Will the wonders ever cease? In addition to other skills, you are a rock star too… wowwww. You sang very well but you gotta learn the body language of a rock star, man…you know, the gestures, the screaming, the hyperactive prancing across the stage. Just kidding, young man, you were great. Didn’t like the name “Missing Links” though. A missing link is cross between a man and a monkey. People might make fun of you. Spell it differently (the Missing Lynx) or better still, look for a better name.

    I hope that 3 years down the line, Aishu (my granddaughter) too will walk in your footsteps and start writing travelogues on ghumakkar. I would be extremely proud of her if she writes half as well as you do. Tell me, how does it feel to be a role model?

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    PS: Forgot to mention that I wanted to add a book to your wish list – “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson, who also happens to be an amazing travel writer too. It is a must read for everyone, especially for those in your age group. I wish someone gifted it to you (Nandan, are you listening?) :-)

    • Shubham says:

      Thanks DL Sir!
      I eagerly wait for your comments on my posts each time. I value you suggestions & try to incorporate them.
      Regards.

  • CONGRATS SHUBHAM ,

    Wonderful achievement as far as roaming and writing is concerned . After reading this I have become fan of your new talent that is playing in rock band . I was a great rock and metal fan in my engineering days and still I listen some rock every day. My fav bands are GNR, Metallica, Mega deth , Iron Maiden , Pink Floyd, Def Leppard , Eagles , Beatles , Led Zep etc. to name a few. I used to listen to them whole day once upon a time. But never could have that much talent to play any of the music instruments. So HATS OFF.

    I feel Writing , Voracious Reading , Playing and listening to Rock Music and definitely many more qualities are embedded in you .

    Well you have great career ahead . I wish you all the best in your life.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Congratulations Shubham for the ‘Featured Author Recognition’. You truly deserve it. I thoroughly enjoyed interacting with you as we worked on this interview. One of the pics was missing which I have now added.

    @ Vipin – Actually it was pretty hard in the beginning before we both got into the flow. :-)

    @ Abhee – Thank you Abhee.

    @ SS – Thank you. I would want to do the ‘Video’ thing. Every time I think about it. May be it needs someone like you, again to revive the ‘Video Interview’.

    @ Mukesh – Thank you.

    @ DL – I missed the encouraging words from you. he he. Yes. I got it. Just a trivia, I did read a bit of Bill’s ,’Down Under’, and got carried away (you know thoughts like, why I am not writing more). I got the hint. Thank you.

    • D.L.Narayan says:

      Sorry, Nandan, for the omission. You do the interviewing in such a smooth, non-intrusive way that the interviewee stays firmly in the limelight. I did intend to congratulate you for yet another excellent interview. I had also noticed that you are slowly creeping towards the 100 mark (97 posts to be exact) and I hope that it wont need another 3 months to see you joining the Jat Devta in the list of centurions on ghumakkar.

      • Nandan Jha says:

        No Sorry DL. I was kiddin.

        Yeah, it should not take. I went to a place called ‘Bundi’ (and Jaipur for the nth time) during the NewYear holidays and decided that I must write a log since no other log is there as yet on ‘Bundi’ and it is an interesting place but got pulled in other things. I would try to live-up. :-)

    • Shubham says:

      Thanks Nandan Sir!
      It was an honour to be interviewed by you.
      Regards

  • Surinder Sharma says:

    Congratulation Shubham, This is big platform to write your post. Writing skills are very helpful in future working life.

  • Smita Dhall says:

    Very nice interview!

    Congratulations Shubham! It’s been a pleasure reading your posts! Am sure your folks are very proud of you. Keep doing the great job :)

  • Sorry Nandan

    I like DL , omitted you , that always has been the case whenever your featured author story is released . Actually I was so engrossed in Shubham , that I forgot that it was because of you actually who really has showed the hidden qualities of Shubham.

    Thanks Nandan a lot for this splendid stuff.

  • Anjali says:

    Excellent interview.
    It was great to hear you singing Shubham. I think ‘Missing Links’ is a great name for your band. Original.
    Keep up the good work and looking forward to seeing you back in the UK soon. Mum will be thrilled that you love Hornchurch!

  • Congratulations!
    You will definitely be the inspiration of many children, as well as the grown-ups.
    There are a lot for me to pick-up from here, as I also have a son, who is 5 years now.
    My best wishes are always with you, do well in studies and excel in all other fields of your interest.
    Wishing you all the best for ‘Missing Link’ (or Missing Lynx :-) ) & may be one day we will also be there in your concert.

    Do take care and keep traveling..

    Really a great way to start the year, Nandan. Look forward to Bundi and many more from you.

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    Congratulation ! Today i knew more about yongest feature author of this site….. My wishes with you for your bright future.

    @nandanji… Thanx for the nice interview….

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    Congratulation ! Today i knew more about yongest feature author of this site….. My wishes with you for your bright future.
    @nandanji… Thanx for the nice interview….

  • Stone says:

    Congratulations Shubham.
    Hats off to the parents for initiating you into so many varied fields.
    Pleasure to know more about you.

  • Ash says:

    Congratulations……………….. This is wonderful news dear Shubham, you have a skill and must develop it further. Please do ask your parents to enroll you in the 8-week Creative Writing programme at British Council. It will help you to further refine and develop your skills…………………

  • Congratulation Shubham ,
    for being the featured author of the month..you are already a matured writer but keep writing to improve you skills further..

  • Ashok mishra says:

    Great job done Shubham Congratulations May Ma Sarswati bless you for a very bright future.

  • Soham Mandal says:

    Hi Shubham, congratulations for becoming the featured article of the month! I keep reading your stories from time to time and I really enjoy them. My best wishes are with you bro, take care;)

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi Shubham,

    Congrats for the feat.

    Great that you grasp that journey/ movement is the constant.

    Visiting a place and imbibing things which enable enhance our perception is very important. Sharing the experience with others is more so.

    The band seems to be enticing :-)

    Keep going……

    Auro.

  • Mayank says:

    Congratulations Shubham, keep up the good work, and I look forward to reading more.

    Regards
    Mayank

  • Anurag Shukla says:

    Great stuff, Shubham! Proud of you!

    Please post these pics on FB as well (or ask mom to do it, if you are too shy. :))

    Anurag

  • dr.suman banerjee says:

    WOW! amazing Shubham……………

  • Rajeev Tivari says:

    Amazing Interview! And feels great to be mentioned, thanks a lot Nandan.
    I remember having read the initial posts of Shubham (Mukteshwar or Gadh mukteshwar i guess, on school trip?) back when i could frequent Ghumakkar more often. Way to go young man! Keep rocking and Ghumakkaring!

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