From the Editor – Various Journeys of a Traveler

What do we look for when we are travelling? I know the list can be endless. I have a long list myself – peace, closeness to nature, fresh air, a break from work, time to contemplate, and so on. But in spite of that, I often end up finding what I wasn’t even looking for. When you find something that you were looking for, you experience a sense of fulfillment, but when you find something that you weren’t expecting to find, it can change your life. The thought may sound too far-fetched, but it happens more often than you can imagine. It may have happened several times with you, but you may not have realized it. Some people find wisdom, some make friends for lifetime, and some may actually find their calling while travelling. But these things have a way of happening when you are not actually looking for them to happen and may lead to the start of new journeys.

You never know where you will chance upon your calling

I have some interesting thoughts and experiences to share with you, but let me first give out the names that I know you are searching for in this Editorial:

None other than our own Rishi Raj Gupta, whose Motorcycle Diaries have touched new heights both literally and figuratively, is the Featured Author for the month of December 2012. He is an avid bike rider and for him, riding a bike is one way of being one with your surroundings while travelling. He has climbed mountains, defeated difficult terrain, and worked his way through stark, desert landscape on his faithful companion, his bike. Congratulations Rishi Raj. Hope to see many more stories from you…

The Featured Story of the Month of November 2012 is Sanghamitra’s Christmas in Italy. Supported by beautiful photograhs, her observant, pragrmatic, and reflective writing brings Rome alive for the readers. A truly well-deserved honour, Sanghamitra. Congratulations.

And before we go back to the topic of our editorial, let me also mention a change that is just around the corner. I think of the Editorial as a conversation between you and me. It is a place where I express my thoughts freely and get to hear your responses to my stories and theories. You have appreciated, critiqued, agreed with, and also disagreed with my ideas. It has been a very fulfilling interchange. We have got to know each other and have also found out some very interesting tid-bits about each other through this conversation. Now, 2 years and 24 editorials later, I think it is time for me and the editorial to take a break – we have both achieved what we set out to achieve with this conversation. While this is definitely the end of one conversation, at least for now, I will look for ways to begin new ones– though as of now I do not know how or when. During my break from Ghumakkar, you will still find me at the periphery, perhaps a little away from the ground where the main action happens, but still keeping a watch as I am too fond of Ghumakkar to let go of it.

We have also found a new home for the announcements that you so look forward to every month. They will now be a part of the month-end newsletter, which as some of you may know, is now hosted right here at Ghumakkar. Click here to read the latest edition.

Now coming back to the topic I started with, the first story goes back a couple of decades. I am a super-excited little girl who is seeing the mountains for the first time as our taxi climbs the green hills, inching closer to our destination, Mussourie. When we reach our guest house, we find all that we are looking for: lush, green hills, tiny waterfalls, solitude, silence, and clouds that you can touch. But we aren’t expecting to chance upon a happy family who are also there to enjoy their vacations, and who would be our friends for several years to come. We would visit each other’s homes, share each other’s joys and sorrows, and grow up together. At the culmination of our journeys in search of peace and relaxation, our new journey as family friends begins.

Each new commitment is a journey and each new relationship an adventure. At any given point in time, we are all travelling towards one destination or the other….

When Nidhi (name changed) joined her MBBS, she was anxious as well as happy. She was moving out of her parents’ house for the first time ever and she was headed to a completely new place and to a completely new way of life. She was going there to build a career of her choice but she never knew that she would run into the person she would be spending her life with. Both of them together concluded their journeys towards becoming doctors, and are about to embark upon a new adventure together, through which they will rediscover each other again and again.

One doesn’t always need big plans to be able to change one’s life. At times, you just need to give life a chance to spring a surprise upon you….

When Jodie Underhill arrived in India in 2009 from the UK expecting to conduct some workshops here and then return, she had no idea that she would stay on and become committed to the cause of a clean India. She would battle hardships, cross roadblocks, face disappointments, and bring about the change she never expected to be the cause of.

Jodie Underhill, Founder and Managing Trustee of Mountain Cleaners, recently resigned from her job as a Project Manager

The surprises that our journeys spring upon us may be tough at times, but they leave us with new knowledge and experiences and give us strength to go on…

It is wonderful to live life like a traveler…

It’s bye for now, but I will be back in some time, in some other avatar.


  • Congrats RRG . You are one of my Favorites here.

    Congrats Sanghamitra. Well deserved .

    Good One Vibha

  • D.L.Narayan says:

    Dear Vibha, let me congratulate you completing an exceedingly successful stint as Editor. We have got used to looking forward to the first of each month to read your elegantly written editorials on a wide variety of topics and giving us plenty of sublime insights about various aspects of life.

    “At times, you just need to give life a chance to spring a surprise upon you.”….I totally agree. In the English lexicon, there is a lovely word for it – serendipity. Serendipity should be the spirit which should pervade all ghumakkari should be performed, including that great ghumakkari called Life.

    As you have said, it is time to move on, don a new avatar. Change is the only constant in life and all good things must come to an end. It is great to know that you have an able successor in Archana Ravichander who has written some beautiful European travelogues.

    • D.L.Narayan says:

      I was a bit emotional about Vibha leaving us that I forgot to congratulate the featured author and the writer of the featured story of the month.

      Congratulations, Rishi, on an eminently deserved accolade. You have been to some wonderful places and have captured the ethereal beauty of those distant places both with your camera and with your words. Each and every post is worth going through again and again. Looking forward to many more such adventure stories from you.

      Congratulations to Sanghamitra too. You have written some delightful travel stories from Europe. Hope this recognition spurs you on to greater heights.

      • DL,
        I thank you for your kind words. I really enjoyed the rides – and wanted all other Ghumakkars to see those places with me. I feel good when I note, through the comments, that the purpose of being of Ghumakkar is getting fulfilled.

      • Sanghamitra says:

        Thanks DL. Glad you liked my posts on Europe.

    • Vibha says:

      Thanks DL, I have always looked forward to your comments on the Editorial and to be honest, I was waiting for it today as well. Thanks for your motivation and inspiration. I will still be around and may perhaps get more bandwidth to write some traveloguesso lets see.

  • Vipin says:

    Congratulations RRG & Sanghamitra Ji! Motocycle diaries was awesome RRG!

  • Mukesh Bhalse says:

    Many many congratulations for this achievement. Your motorcycle riding experiences are all time inspiration for the upcoming bike riders.

    Congratulations for your story being chosen as the featured story of the month.


    • Mukesh,
      Your stories are equally amazing and I have always liked them for the simplicity they offer.
      I am sure people like us will help increase the culture of leisure bike-riding…

  • Congrats RRG & Sanghmitra !

  • JATDEVTA says:

    ???? ???? ?? ?????

  • Congratulations RRG and Sanghmitra. Adieu Vibha. Hope to hear from you again and again even though in a different format, if not the Editorial.


  • Praveen Wadhwa says:

    Congratulations RRG and Sanghmitra.

    To Vibha:
    Farewell Amigo.
    In this communication age actually nobody can ever leave behind anybody anyway so see you around.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    Congratulations RRG. Thoroughly deserved.

    Congrats Sanghmitra one more time :-). Enjoy.

    Vibha, Wishes and Lucks. May you be always blessed.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Congrats RRG and Sanghamitra.

    RRG – Your bike-hikes have mde a niche over here in Ghumakkar. Keep riding and writing.
    Sanghamitra – your articles interestingly written being supported by equally qualified pics.


    Your editorials always manage to touch the emotional chord and this one, obviously, more so. Forgive my ignorance, but I trust the journey hereon is more promising (is that the correct way of putting it? Any journey; ask someone who travels, and who is better at that than you; is more promising than the last one).
    Nice to know that you will continue to watch/ be linked to Ghumakkar. It grows on you (now.. there… while talking about you, wouldn’t one say that Ghumakkar grows/ grew from you and Nandan).
    And… the article is dated as 1st Dec – I would like to believe that you have got December mixed-up with April :-)
    So long,

  • Ritesh Gupta says:

    Congrats RRG and Sanghamitra.

    Nice editorial vibhaji…

  • Surinder Sharma says:

    Congratulations RRG & Sanghamitra. Vibha and Ghumakkar both looks same to me. But change is life, hope Vibha will make comment on posts here and we feel she with us. God bless and Good luck Vibha

  • Hey guys, it appears I am the last one to note the commendation bestowed upon me. All thanks to Nandan, else I had nearly missed it. The email newsletter was always superbly penned by Archana and I read the same. Just now noted the editorial!

    Vibha – thank you. I appreciate the honour and glad to receive it from the Ghumakkar Team. I am active here for over 9 months now and have always received praise from everyone for The Motorcycle Diaries.

    A big thanks to all Ghumakkars!

  • Dear Ghumakkars,

    2012 has been really exciting. It brought back the biker alive in me

    In December 2011, Neha, my better half, who doesnt take no for an answer for long, persisted and booked the new bike in December 2011. However, as we booked the bike, I still had some dilemma. Will I be able to ride it to my fullest enthusiasm of old times or the hectic work-life will take over after a month? When the desire prevailed over the dilemma, next big question was should I go for the height of selfism the single-seater option the one I always wanted to cruise upon?

    Neha again came to the fore and supported the decision of bringing home the pleasure named ‘True’. Once the single seater bull came home, I remember making a resolution in Jan; I will ride to Ladakh.

    The kind of work I do, it was nearly an impossible task 18 days off work! Not easy

    Well, I kept the resolution! And not only Ladakh, many more rides did take place this year

    With Motorcycle Diaries clocking over 11000 kms in 2012 alone, – and you Ghumakkars being more than generous with your praise, it feels really nice. Nice to receive accolades for these rides, nice to inspire people for joining the club of bikers, nice to be able belong to the road, again!

    I am sure, I will keep riding


  • Sanghamitra says:


    A big thank you. I’ve not been a ‘regular ghumakkar’ out here. And for that very particular reason I really appreciate your ( and Nandan’s too) help and effort in making new people part of this ghumakkar family.
    Also, it’s an honour. And it does feel great.


  • Archana says:

    Dear Vibha,

    I feel this is the right forum to express my gratitude towards you for constantly mentoring me. If not for you and Nandan, my journey from being an author to a member of Ghumakkar editorial team would have been a tough one.

    Your posts and personal blogs are some links which I always frequent. And they surely have told me more about you than you have about yourself :)

    We look forward to seeing you more here and good-luck for your future endeavors.


  • Nirdesh says:

    Dear Vibha,

    All the best in your future endeavors!

    RRG – Lets see True clock 20000 kms in 2013

    Sanghamitra – great post on Armani land!

  • Amitava Chatterjee says:

    Congratulations to RRG & Sanghamitra once again.
    Hope to see a lot more from both of you in future.

    Finally, Vibha, we will look forward to your post, journey and experiences through this site from now onwards. Congratulations for posting gem after gem for so many months and wishing you all the best for your future assignments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *