Editorial

Ghumakkar Monthly Digest – January 2014

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The cold is almost on the way out. Out here, in the National Capital, we witnessed a lot of action, both on and off the road. Suddenly Delhi is abuzz with a new Government, and almost everyone wants to talk about politics. However, it is a low season for travel since most of us are just back from the year-end vacations. Kids are back to school and grown-up are getting busy with the chores. Though it is a low season, we were able to churn-out some real gems of travel writing, and a few from the forgotten years as well. I would take you through the stories in a while but first things first, our Editor-on-sabbatical went the Mom-way early this week and the baby and mom are doing fine. And our Editor-on-Desk is working hard to finalise the Featured Story of the month so that I can include it before finishing this piece.

January is also a time for new resolutions and I am hoping that Travel has a firm and steady place in your resolutions for 2014. In the words of Gustave Flaubert, “Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” Once you know this well, it is never hard to leave your place for some place else.

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Ghumakkar Monthly Digest – December 2013

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Now back to our roster on December. The month definitely belonged to Ajay Sharma who kept driving, almost every single day. If you have not been able to read his road-trip spanning thousands of kilometres then please take some time off and cherish this real road-trip. Closer to home, Avtar Singh brought two poetic and lyrical logs on Amer Fort (Rajasthan) and ‘Sabir Ali’s Dargah’ (Western Uttar Pradesh). Both the logs were tremendously liked, commented, discussed and excited among us also took well-meaning jibes at our Editorial desk. Thank you. Going further Ram finished his North-East trip with a excellent log on Majuli, a nondescript island town and treasure trove of art and culture. Before we move further, let me take a little break and take you through this snippet from the Interview post where Archana interacted with Upanshu Singhal, our outgoing Featured Author.

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Ghumakkar Featured Author Interview – with Upanshu Singhal

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We froze a mid week day 8:30 pm slot for our telephonic conversation. After a tiring day at work, would the person have mood to give an interview? Well, I was really skeptical about it. TO add to my apprehensions, the phone rang for longer than expected rings. I cut it and redialed again. Now, the network provider shooted an automated message “The person you have called has redirected calls to another number. Please hold on as we connect to the other number” and some “melodious” tune to keep me happy waiting  Well, I thought I would try once last time and then send a mail to reschedule the interview slot. But, there is always light at the end of the tunnel! A friendly voice answered the call. What happened next is spread on the table for you readers to relish!

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Ghumakkar Monthly Digest – November 2013

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As a travel blogger and in some sense an amaetuer writer on internet, I have often wondered on how we can formalise the authorship process. Anyone can have a blog with any name. How do we authorise a certain piece by a certain person. In the old world, one can get a unique ISBN number for a book. Each book clearly mentions the details of the authors, there is a publisher to connect to and so on. Eveneven if you copy-paste Premchand’s work and put it up as your own and publish your own book, it is hard to get enough readership to sustain such an effort. Publishers of repute would ensure that it is your original work and your ‘Authorship’ gets formalised. This institutionalisation is something which I have seen missing on internet. And it is a paradox, a big paradox. It is a paradox because unlike printed work, everything is far more easily accessible and more importably, auditable. So a work of plagiarism is easy to catch. The great thing about internet is that it has made writing and publishing accessible to almost anyone, which is brilliant and needs celebration. If you work is good, it would travel. Now from the same premise, it should have been simple to institute a process around ‘Authorship’.

I have a feeling that people who are more connected to the world of writing, unlike me and some of my fellow writers at Ghumakkar, probably have some kind of ‘Author Authentication Directory’ or some such thing. There are many ways through which one can establish one’s identity on internet. An identity once created in the form of a profile, can then be blessed by the relevant community, in a way authentication it. Almost akin to the attestation process by a Gazetted officer serving for Government. If there are enough authentications, then that profile gets approved and sort of certified. Any work coming out of that profile, say a poem or a travel log, can then be attributed to that profile or that person. If you are using a pen name like mythical Silent Soul then your journey is a little longer where as if you are some one like dear Mukesh (with h) Bhalse with enough of personal photos of self and family then you get certified much faster. Phew, problem solved, at least on paper. Places like Ghumakkar should contribute towards this process and may be act as platforms, like signing authorities.

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Rendezvous with our dear Ram Dhall – Ghumakkar Featured Author Interview, November ’13

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My call was received by a mature and responsible voice. His humbleness was shown in his very first greeting and then we began an elaborate talk! As we spoke, my apprehensions and prejudices just faded without my knowledge and the conversation got smoother and more involving. I started off as an eager listener and his knack of putting me at ease helped me strike a great conversation. It was about everything under the sun. From family to friends, from leisure to work, from the north till the south – just everything you can think of!

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Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – October 2013

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I am an year older and hopefully wiser when this digest goes for publication. But that is not a significant event in October. A little more scratching and you realise that the month almost starts with Gandhi’s birth anniversary. Someone who established ‘Non Violence’ as a primary and only weapon to fight for greater cause. He once said, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind”. As you get old (and hopefully wiser) it becomes more important to introspect, to reflect and to course-correct. We also look back at our reasons behind Ghumakkar. Through travel, one gets exposed to things which are alien to him, whether it is as simple as what one eats to the greater realms of spiritualism. When one sees more of what one doesn’t know and follow, he slowly begins to accept the existence and more imporatntly starts appreciating the relevance of them. I am far more accepting to those scorpion, proudly displayed on wooden slates, ready to be consumed on my recent trip to Beijing then on my first trip and the constant feed of these small and little experiences gradually leads to greater tolerance. A tolerance towards something which is not you. Traveling builds tolerance and tolerance builds peace. QED.

And if this is making you jump off to other sections of this digest then let me dress this with something more appealing. Yeah, Okotber is a month of fest. The Dusshera and Durga Puja celebrations just finished, Bakra-Id followed soon after, Halloween is all around and we are all ganged up to make the most noise on Diwali. The card parties are in full swing, lights are out and the weather is at all time great. So one way or the other, October is a great begining and I prod you to make the most of it.

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Featured Author interview – an involving conversation with our beloved DC

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From then till now, DC has been entertaining us with some of her amazing travel experiences. Her photography skills are commendable and Ghumakkar has had the pleasure to see a few of her best shots. The smooth blend of the science involved in detailing and the art involved in expressing is prevalent in most of her posts. Ladies and gentlemen, with so much to admire , we surely have the onus on us to give this lady a great round of applause.
Please put your hands together for Devasmita Chakraverty , fondly known as DC, who is our Featured Author of the Month of October ‘2013.

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Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – September 2013

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As an editor, it always gives me immense pleasure to put before you all these facts and figures about how Ghumakkar is progressing! With over 91000 Likes on FB, we are spreading our wings wider each day! Let us feel proud and continue to spread the fame of Ghumakkar among our own circles and gather many more friends to our community! Thank you guys for being this supportive and motivating.

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Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – August 2013

Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – August 2013

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I looked at HIM again proudly and told HIM that he wasn’t the only bright star! We do have many shiny bright ones in our community! He sniffed and then grew a bit jealous. His rays began to get warmer and more penetrating. I giggled and told him that there was more to come. More names that I would list down now. Names of those people who have been with Ghumakkar for long, like HIM in the sky, shining everyday and never losing their glamour and vigor. His jaw dropped and with awe, he said …

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Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – July 2013

Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – July 2013

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At Ghumakkar, we have a plethora of posts which talk about many good places within India and abroad. The content is so rich that it inspired us to create something called “Ghumakkar Guide”. Yes, this is the same thing what we discussed last time and really satisfies us to see such encouraging words from you all. Thank you for your support. The team is working on formatting such posts and it shall be out soon. I am sure it will evolve over time and with your feedback.

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Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – June 2013

Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – June 2013

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When I think of co-operation from within our community, the thing that comes immediately to my mind is how all of you stood by us through tough times during this year start (February month, to be precise). We faced a lot of outages and server issues and emerged out successful in fighting all those troubles. As of now, you should see the site loading faster.

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Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – May 2013

Ghumakkar Editorial Monthly Digest – May 2013

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Monsoons have set in and have sprinkled the magical showers in a few places already. They are still grooming to take their best form. For the mischievous, entertaining and lovable climate, don’t you think a fest ,a party, a carnival or maybe some great escapes to the season’s best locations is a good idea? How are you all enjoying in this fantabulous weather?

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