From the Editor – What Kept us Busy!

Howdy Ghumakkars!

Hope you are having fun and making plans for your next trip! This particular Editorial was going to be about something else altogether. However, there have been several changes at the backend – some good, some that may prove to be good in the long run. So I thought that I would acquaint you with these in this editorial and push everything else to the next one.

But before that, here are the announcements I’m sure you have been looking forward to:

Featured Author for the Month of April 2012:

Some people have been a part of Ghumakkar for really long and because of the awards being introduced recently, we were never able to take out time to acknowledge their brilliance and inspiring style. So this time, we are again going back into the past to pick out the person who has the most number of stories to his credit and without whom, no exaggeration here, Ghumakkar wouldn’t exist today. The Featured Author for the Month of April 2012 is none other than the first citizen at Ghumakkar, Mr. Nandan Jha. There’s a lot he has contributed to the travelling community and I thought it was high time we recognize his efforts. And what’s more, this time we will witness another unique phenomena. In the Featured Author Interview, Nandan will be interviewing Nandan. Let’s see how he pulls that one off. :) Please do take time to congratulate him.

And now for the Featured Story of March 2012:

I am really sorry but there was a mistake in this month’s newsletter. Umm…not a mistake really but a bit of oversight as a result of the haste to announce the featured story of the month. However, with due apologies to Giriraj, whose story I annouced in the newsletter by mistake, I would like to announce the Featured Story of March 2012 once again. And it is “Going Crazy in Mukteshwar and Nainital” by none other than yours truly, Vibha Malhotra. Read and please do encourage me by leaving a comment or two.

Going Crazy in Mukteshwar and Nainital

Anyways, you all know that the team at Ghumakkar is pretty busy preparing and curating the stories on Ghumakkar. But we do make some mistakes. After all, we are all human. However, we had beeen brainstorming for a really long time to see how we can minimise the mistakes and we were pretty convinced that if one of the top publishing house in India was running this site, our work would be cut down to the minimum and then we can concentrate on other things. We identified the publishing house that we would like to associate with and then approached them. It was a tough job, but our brilliant marketing team finally convinced the publishing house that it was a win-win situation and even though the alliance isn’t finalized yet, we are feeling quite positive about it. There are some trade-offs involved since the publishers are taking over a big chunk of our work.

The publishing house has some really famous travel authors writing for them so they wanted somewhere prominent to feature the stories written by these authors. This means that the stories of these authors will now be published on the home page and we will need to move our stories elsewhere.  After strong negotiations, we have convinced the publishers to let us have another page entirely for the content from Ghumakkar Authors. This new page will be displayed on clicking the “Content from Other Authors” link at the bottom of the home page. All our stories, including the Insights, Interview, and the Editorial, will be moved to this new page.

Also, in order to come to a common set of post publishing guidelines between Ghumakkar and the publishers, we are considering modifying the post submission guidelines a little. The minimum word limit may be raised to 5000 words. And it might be made mandatory for the stories to be accompanied vy only one photo but can contain up to 3 videos and each video may require the author to be featured prominently to ensure that the content is an original work of the author.  A video reflects a truer picture of the place than a picture since a picture can be easily edited. The updated guidelines will be circulated soon after the things become clearer.

Also the authors’ page will need to be changed a little. If everything goes well with this alliance, the slot of the top 50 authors will be reserved for the authors of the publishers. Though this might sound like a big change but in reality it only means that the “Recent 5 Authors” section and the “Recent Active Authors” section will have to go. It will be replaced by a new section, which will most probably be called “Top 50 Authors” and will have all of the publishers’ authors. And we will have the rest of the page to ourself which we can use as we want.

The publisher has expressed extreme confidence in the quality of the stories by authors and have, therefore, assured us that even with the stories not being published on the Home Page, they are sure that our stories don’t loose out on audience. They insist that the stories by the authors at Ghumakkar will not need any special marketing because their quality speaks for them. Coming from such a publisher, this is indeed high praise.

Since all of this made sense to us, we are considering agreeing to it. If you have any concerns or suggestions, please leave a comment here as soon as possible because the agreement will be signed in a couple of days. Some last minute details are being worked out. Watch out for more announcements. There may be more editorials coming up soon. Till then take care and keep travelling.


  • SilentSoul says:

    This is the most shocking news that have come to me on Ghumakkar dot com… so you people have finally sold yourself for some dollars.

    I was having good time here and could find some good friends here but Alas I have to leave this place because none of the conditions of your new publishers are acceptable to me as an Author and as a fan of this sight.


    • JATINDER SETHI says:

      Silent Soul, I am with you. My reasons. Because the publishing House(new owner) would never have accepted my posts for publishing, wouldnt even reply/acknowledge the piece sent.I have tried it with Outlook Traveller and India Today Traveller. Ghumakkar,a new start up ,accepted every thing we dished out.
      Do we say, Good Bye?Ghumakkar?
      Anyway I am an irregular visitor.
      Anyway, Best wishes to Ghumakkar Team

  • Mahesh Semwal says:

    April Fool …………………..:-)

  • ?????? ?????? ??? ! ???? ?? ??? ?? ?? ?? !

  • Dear Vibha,

    Now I am so much attached to ghumakkar that I don’t know whether the above negotiation with the big publisher’s house will have the same routine as we have here in near future. We have lot of freedom here in ghumakkar in posting commenting and sharing our open views. Also now its like a small extended family. So Lets see hope so it goes this way only.

    But I feel that you all decision makers must have thought a lot of it and specially about the authors on Ghumakkar.

    Dear Vibha , I want clarification on the concern I have,what will happen after ghumakkar merges with publishing house. Also Vibha I am not sure on post submission guidelines which you have mentioned above , whether it will work or not.

    Everything seems so obscure , please explain …………………………..

  • Dear Vibha / Nandan,

    Mr. SilentSoul has deleted all his 17 stories and i think 2 drafts . Its lot of effort . I request you to see to it asap.

    Mr. SS has entertained us by his exciting stories and FOGs. Even his comments are so entertaining . People wait for his comments eagerly.

    So missing SS jee and stories is a big loss to Ghumakkar. Kindly Restore his stories ASAP.

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    If its true, its shocking.
    It seems to be a great business strategy, Nandan is playing with our emotions for his personal benefits. We are now emotionally bound with and can’t tolerate such shocks.

    If its an April fool, I request Vibha/ Nandan to reveal the fact ASAP, because we are completely disturbed reading the editorial since morning.

    Its not the way of celebrating April Fool. After reading the news we all are heavily sad and we have tears in our eyes. Kavita is literally weeping since morning.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      Mukesh ji , are you serious ? as soon as started reading about the feature story of the month my sixth sense said some thing fishy is going in this post , by the time I finished I was sure that Vibha is playing a ” PRANK” on us.

      Its 100 % an April fool….:-) , but you are rightly said now its time to tell the truth before any other author take that step which SS was forced to take.

  • Vibha says:

    Dear everyone,

    We thought that awarding ourselves the monthly awards right in the beginning was a dead giveaway that this was a prank post. But we guess we underestimated the love everyone has for Ghumakkar. This was meant to be an April Fool’s prank but we are sorry that it ended up hurting a few of you so deeply.

    Please have faith in us. We will never do something as blatantly foolish as this post suggests. We have high regards and respect for our authors and their stories and such a huge decision can never be taken in this way.

    The new editorial announcing the actual awards is now out. Please do read and once again and forgive us for any hurt feelings. We deeply apologise for our oversight.

    • Mahesh Semwal says:

      I can say only one thing ” Dreams are not meant for Sale”, its priceless hence I was very much sure that its a PRANK post.

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    Vibha ji
    Very shocking post.
    ??? ??? ?? ?? ??????? ????? ??? ?? ???? ??? ???? ?? ?? ??? ?? ????? ???? ???? ???? ??? ! ??? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ??? |
    ???? ?????? ??? ?? ???? ???? – ???? ???? !

  • SilentSoul says:

    All of you must be surprised as to why i reacted so furiously…. well following are some of the reasons

    => I love Ghumakkar dot com and it is because of this site I started writing about my travels. There are so many travel sites, but none could ever force me to write, as Ghumakkar did. Ghumakkar is a unique site, carefully and sincerely nurtured by editors, authors and readers, there is no other site on internet like Ghumakkar. I could find some great souls here, who may become life long friends.

    => I can well believe that editors can award themselves and can sell the site for their benefit….so the fault lies with editors not me.

    => I dont celebrate April Fool day, that too on 31st March ( I read this post at 1000 hrs on 31st March,2012). I have seen most of the world and no where any one celebrates 1st April… it is only in India where only some immature youngsters play pranks on this day.

    => Nandan has always turned “Cold Turky” on my little jokes and given me the impression,of being damn serious person who doesn’t wish to talk anything else but Ghumakkar, and Vibha gave an impression of a mature, sincere little lady…. so I could not even think that such “NICE” people will crack such horrible joke, that too with sincere, elderly and loving people.

    => In India, some journalists write prank articles on 1st April but they put a small “April Fool” in the end…. Vibha should have done so…so this joke did not fulfill even the basic ethics of journalism.

    => If it were true post, it was disastrous.. and if it was a joke, then it was a cheap and sub standard joke…

    (Pls excuse me for my harsh words because I am an honest and straight-forward person…and I do not hide my feelings… be it love or anger).

    In the end I wish to thank all those great souls, who showered their affinity towards me during this episode.

    • vibha says:

      Dear SS, First of all, welcome back. April Fools’ Day has always been a risky day to celebrate. Sometimes you make friends for a lifetime and sometimes you loose them forever. I am glad that the latter didn’t happen in this case.

      I am deeply disappointed that in spite of Ghumakkar being a “a unique site, carefully and sincerely nurtured by editors, authors and readers”, you did not think that we were above awarding ourselves the monthly awards. But, nevertheless, this was a day full of learnings. There were heartbreaks on both sides of the table. Believe me!

      PS: Harsh words don’t bother me as much. I’m glad you came out and shared your feelings.

  • Deepak says:

    Dear Vibha,
    Even after finding out that this was a April Fool prank, I do not have a smile on my face, I do not feel forgiving, I am not okay with the joke. Here is why –
    Reason 1. I am not an author at but I do read posts regularly and visit the site every day and I hope you do know that I send in my recommendations/suggestions from time to time. Today after driving from 5:45 am to 4:15 pm, and 570 kilometers later when I logged in, the second site I opened was (okay first was Facebook, even though I am not a FB buff) and then I read you First post (as the heading on the second one said, we should read the First one first). While reading it, it did not occur to me that today is April 1, I was fooled, I agree. However, when I was reading the article, I jotted down 3 points to write a comment on (1. What do you exactly mean by a publishing house taking over, 2. Ghumakkar authors will be ‘Other Authors’, 3. Article guidelines). I was going to elaborate my points of contention but then I found it that I have been made a fool on the grand occasion of April 1st. I was not happy. My time and effort was wasted and even though you joked, you still made us feel that nothing is impossible (Other Authors !!!! ).

    Reason 2. Many companies etc. post such news on April 1st, but you need to understand, NO ONE crushes the feelings of their subscribers/members. Google once posted about some form of free internet through toilet seats, they presented it technically and convincingly (although I didnt fall for that one) but in that prank they were just creating some excitement and the joke was in the article itself (justifying a funny idea through elaborate technical explanations). The point to note here is how you play with the feelings of the members.

    Reason 3. Being an editor and having your post read by many people is a job of responsibility, irrespective of the nature of the site (commercial, for profit, not for profit, hobby etc.). You have demonstrated that you do not have the grasp of the critical things that are prominent on the internet viz. a) the power to express freely (anyone can become an author, and be heard or read, and be liked or criticized based only on his/her merit) and b) secondly a level of free networking, which is driven by emotions on sites like Ghumakkar where people invest their time and energy not for profit but for their passion. I am sorry, I do not feel forgiving enough to be easy on you regarding this.

    I strongly believe that a joke should be harmless. I’ll close with this quote (which I saw on my Facebook page, interestingly) – “If you succeed in cheating someone,dont think the person is a fool realize that they trusted you more than you deserved.”

    • ???? ?? , ?? ???? ????? ?? ???? ?? ???????????? ???? ?? ?? ?? ??? ?????? ??? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ????? ??? ?? ?? ???? ??? ????? ?? ?? ???? ????? ???? ? ????? ?? ??????? ??? ?? ???? ?? ??? ????? ???? ??? ?? ??????? ???? ??? ?? ? ……….

      ?? ??? ???? ?? ?? ???? ????? ??? ?? ???? ???? ?? ?? ???? ?? ?? ?? ??????? ?? ??? ??? ????? ?????????? ?? ?? ???? ???? ???? ????? ??? ??? ???? ???? ?? ????? ??? ???? ??? ??? ?? ……………..??????? ?? ????? ???? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ??? ?? ?? ?? ??? ?? ?????? ??? ???? 10 ??????? ??? ???? ?? ?? 3 ?? ???? ??? ?? ????? ??? ?? ?? ??? ?? ???? ??? ?? ???? …………??????? ???? ?? ??????? ?? ???

      • Deepak says:

        ??? ???, ?? ??? ??? ?? ?? ?? ???? ????????? ????? ??? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ???? ?? ?? ???? view ?? ???? ? ???, ? ?? ??? ??? reply ?? acknowledgement expect ???? ??? | ?? ???? ??? ?? ????????.??? ?? ??????? ?????? ???? ?? ????? ?? ??? ??????? ????? daily RSS subscribe ?? ??? ?? | ?? ???????? ?? ???? ???? 1997 ?? ??, Bachelors ?? Masters ?? ???? ?? ??? work ???????????, ??? ??? ?????? ??? ??, ?? ????? ??? ?? ???? ?? ?? ??? | ????, ????? ???? ??? ?? ????? ???? ????, ?? ?? ??? ????? ??? | ?? ???? ????? ????? ?? ??????? joke digest ???? ?? ??? ?? | ???, ??? ???, ??? ???, ?? ????? ?????? | ??? ???? ???? ??????? ????? ?? ??? ?? ??? ????? ?? |

    • vibha says:

      Thanks for sharing your feelings Deepak. We appreciate that you took out time to write here.

      “If you succeed in cheating someone,dont think the person is a fool realize that they trusted you more than you deserved”.

      I don’t think this applies here. At the worst, this was a joke that went wrong and I’m willing to accept that. But no one here is cheating anyone.

      • SilentSoul says:

        Vibhaji, from my side, this issue is dead and I think we should forget and kill this issue.

        I have high regards for you and can feel the tender spiritual energies bubbling in you. You and Nandan have done gr8 job in bringing this site on such levels… and I hope it will go further.

        If I hurt you, please forgive for that

        ??? … ?????? ??? ???? ?????? ?????? ??…

  • ?? ??????? ?? ?? ?? ?? ???? ????? ,????? ,??????? ?? ????? ??????? ?? ????

  • Nandan says:

    I haven’t read the second one and the comments on second editorial so please read it with that context.

    I was away (where else, in the woods at 7-tal, tenting, with no electricity and no network on my mobile) but I was aware of the content of the Editorial before I left.

    I am just back after 800+ KM of ‘Jeep drive’ so my sense of humor is still catching up. Reading comments, it seems that the joke has done its full circle.

    Happy April Fool’s Day. There is still 40 odd minutes left here. Now on to second one.

  • Manish Khamesra says:

    I was April fooled and I ensure that my wife also joins me in the category ;-)

    I was playing prank with my kid Rachit on the day and was not sure that someone can do the same with me as well in such a big way :-)

    I am happy that the whole episode did not turn ugly. Ours is such a close knit family that when we do not receive post from some special authors (our favourites), comments from some special readers, we start feeling concerned for them and yes they are missed in the big way.

    There are many positives in the episode and please allow me to judge people taking myself as yardstick.

    – There are people whose emotional attachment to the ghumakkar family is beyond comparison and any other site would envy that. I have no doubts that such site (read ghumakkar) and such family (we all, readers, authors, commentors) is going to thrive. If there was an iota of doubt regarding this, the episode has removed it in a big way.

    – And then there are some in the family, who were apt in recognizing it as an April fool joke. There trust on Nandan and Vibha is worth appreciating. I know Nandan very well and in retrospect I think how could I even think that this article can be true. But yes I was April Fooled. My respect for this second category of ghumakkars has also grown a lot.

    – Ghumakkar Team has clarified once and for all that such possibility does not exist. Its an event of celebrations. We know our archives/articles and comments are in the hands of sensitive team.

    – I would like to thank Vibha for bringing so many positives. It was like Samudra Manthan. I am sorry that you have to play the role of Shiv here, but I strongly feel that it has increased our trust on the team manifolds. I guess we have many personal limitations, still the editorial team is doing great job. I have noticed many positive changes after your taking over the Editorial task.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed in this discussion as in the end, I am sure, it has brought us closer and increased the trust level.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Great great,

    It was real good APRIL FOOL stuff… as a Ghumakkar, reading the post created a sense of void within me (it was a family sensation), we did not know what it means (that is, the ominous extent it foretells), till we read comments of SS above….and believe me, his comments gave word to our feelings of desperation….

    In keeping with the spirit of Part 1 of two parts, I move over to next part to continue with my comments…

  • Rahul Chawla says:






  • I am happy that this turned out to be April fool prank….

    Had it been real, it was difficult to grasp.

    Nandan, Vibha and whole Ghumakkar team, you guyes are doing a great job and please keep it up..

  • Gurudev SSji ko gussa bhi aatta hai!
    Deepak ji ne quotation to bahut achchhi likhi magar ‘cheating’ shabd main kuchh kaantay chubh rahe hain.
    Pahli nazar main Mahesh aur Manu Tyagi ne apni samajhdaari ka parichay de kar itishri kar li. Professor Sahab ko apni poori ghumakkar family par blind faith he aur apne par vishwas hai ki roothon ko mana lengay. Vibha ji se bahut dar lagta hay kyonki unke paas to editor desk hai, pata nahin mere comments bhi aapke saamne aayen ya na aayen. Aur bhi bahut saare days ka hindustaan main chalan hai, “April Fool” par hi itna strees/strain kyon. Chalo ek ‘Holi” aur sahi. Aur mhare Jaat, ka to apna blog jindabad se. Kul milakar sab barhiya se.

  • Manish Kumar says:

    ??? ??? ??? ?? ??????? ?? ?? ?????? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ???? ??? ???? ?? ?? ??? ???? seriously ???? ???? ?? ????? ??? ?? ?????? ??? ?? ?? ???? ??? ?? ????? ??? ???? ?? prank..

  • Jatinder Sethi says:

    Finally SOLD OUT?Is it lure of big buck/?
    It happens all the time and everywhere, The Start Ups Need to become Big Boys.Like the “Junglee” et-all.
    Good Luck.

    • Nandan Jha says:

      No Sethi saheb. It’s a 5 year old April Fool Joke, post. I recall that when Vibha wrote this then, it created quite a buzz.

      We continue to be the way we were. Small self owned site, with the goal of inspiring people with honest and real stories. :)

      • Jatinder Sethi says:

        While watching the International Truck Racing ,annually organised by TATAs, at Noioda(enterance Rs1000 with meals and drinks by TAJ) I saw a man looking like you with film star AKSHAY KUMAR. I almost caught him to say “SOLDOUT”
        Luckily it wasnt you but his body gaurd.
        thanks for clarifying. Hope its not another joke.

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