Ghumakkar Monthly Digest – November 2013

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.

While I have been wondering and wandering on this subject, I hit into something which was exactly I was looking for. Some people call it destiny, I call this humility. In more words, there is always someone who has thought of it before . So without much ado, let me share more about this ‘Authorship’ program which Google launched sometime back. Instead of writing more, let me show this in action. If you search for ‘Travel Writer Archana’, you would see something like this.

Certified Authorship

Certified Authorship

Along with the photo, the search result qualifies it further by mentioning the name of the Author. And if one clicks on it, it takes one to Author’s ‘Google Plus’ page. In a way the process authenticates the author and that makes life better for everyone. Over time, an Author builds equity and readers have a verified way to read the right thing. To establish this authorship for your Ghumakkar stories, you have to do only two things. One be nice to me and 2nd, read this log till the end.

Now back to the editorial desk. Very happy and proud to share our new authors of November, 2013. Please put our hands together and welcome our new authors, Jitendra Upadhyay and Dr. More. Welcome aboard Jitendra and Dr. More.

In their own words

About Jitendra – प्यार के शहर (आगरा) में जन्म लेने के बाद जब पहला प्यार हुआ तो प्रकृति से, उचे पहाड़, ठंडी हवा, गिरते हुए झरने, और प्रदुषण मुक्त हरियाली का आनंद, प्यार की निशानी (ताजमहल) के आसपास तो नहीं था पर फिर भी हमेशा आपनी तरफ हमें आकर्षित करता रहता है ! मोका मिलने पर हम भी निकल पड़ते है आपनी पहली मोहब्बत प्रकृति को आपने आगोश में लेने के लिए……. एक और बात आपने प्यार से मिलने का मजा सबसे ज्यादा परिवार के साथ जाने में ही आता है।

Jitendra took all of us on a real long drive to Manali and after taking us to Hidimba temple, and making us change hotels once, we are all waiting at Mall road for next steps. Very soon it would be December, Rohtang pass is already out of bounds and I am hoping that we get over with Manali soon. Isha Allah.

Dr More is working as a director at Dr Reena Janana & surgical hospital in Delhi.He is fond of travelling, driving & writing blogs for travel sites. Dr. More took us a on a quick tour to Andamans and we are all wondering on his next plans. We have not heard much from him and I am guessing that he is already working on his next story.

Clap. Clap. Clap. In a month of not many new stories, it is heartening to see new Authors joining us.

Talking of stories, we had a good ride beginning with Ajay’s drive to Kumaon which gave us a great view of Kumaon, from Corbett to Nainital to Kausani. Ajay, who started with a harmless tale of Bharatpur, and then took a adventurous turn to Leh is fast preparing his Gujrat stories. I am told that he drove more than 6000 Kms during this month itself.

Naresh finished his Ujjain saga by dedicating his last post of the series to Mukesh (with h) Bhalse while Mukesh himself took us to Shirdi, without losing his camera. A special mention to Manisha’s log on Mandu-Maheshwar-Ujjain and a special thanks to Mr. Rastogi for publishing his Sikkim and Gwalior stories braving editorial censors and cuts.

We didn’t get as many new stories this month as we have been getting in the past so we used those empty slots for nostalgia. And this made the buffett really super with travel from Ecuador to Switzerland to Mystic Alleys of Delhi to Chhota Chandratal to Goa to Chail to Pelling to what not. Thank you for all the inspiring tales and I do hope that all of us are more learned about these places after reading your beautiful and brilliant logs.

And finally, the interview by Archana of our outgoing ‘Featured Author of the month’, Ram Dhall. Archana caught up with Ram over email, chat and phone and came out a heart-warming account of Ram’s life and his works. To cite an excerpt

Ghumakkar: Any anecdotes to share while you remember the past and about your passions?

Ram: There are many of them but the one I share with you here will perhaps remain in my memory always.
The sitar maestro, Pandit Ravi Shanker ji used to come to India on his annual visit. He had many disciples including Pandit Satya Dev Pawar (violonist) and Pandit Gopal Krishan ji (vichitra veena vadak) and he used to sit with them and spend an evening in the “Guru- Shishya Parmpara”.

On a chilly evening in December 1975, my brother told me that his close friend Dr. Verma (who was a disciple of Pandit Gopal Krishan ji) was going with Pandit ji to meet the Maestro and had agreed to take the two of us along. The meeting was to take place at the residence of Dr. Bharat Ram (Of DCM)’s residence at Malcha Marg.
It was a private gathrering of around 25 persons. Guru ji (Pandit Ravi Shanker, as he was called) heard the disciples for a couple of hours. Even Birju Maharaj the greatest Kathak exponent was there and sang two difficult ” bandish”. There was a small break after which Guruji asked Birju Maharaj to accompany him on Tabla (this was a big surprise to me as Maharaj ji was a Kathak dancer). They started at around 11 in the night and the two masters played continuosly till 4.00 a. m. in the morning.
That evening will always remain etched in my memory.

My family

My family

And if you missed reading it, then here is the link with a strong recommendation. If you do get to read then please try to leave a comment. It greatly encourages both the young featured Author as well as our wise and old Editors.

And that opens the forum for next months’ “Featured Author”. Before we get there, let me take a step back and share with you the Editor’s pick i.e. ‘Featured Story of November 2013’. And it is none other than, Ajay Sharma’s log on Kumaon.

A great mix of travel-action and local information, Ajay shares with us his rich experience in as rich a detail. To quote from the story, …………. Thandi Sarak (cool road) fills the mind with an extensive fulfilment and feed the soul with immense ecstasy besides relaxing the body and rejuvenating it. ……….

Nainital in 1885

Nainital in 1885

Congratulations Ajay. Very well deserved.

And finally, if you allow me to distract you from your pangs of claiming authorship of your work, I would take a little more time to share the ‘Featured Author for December – 2013’. This author has been associated with Ghumakkar from initial months and has been around for last 6 years. Personally I have known Upanshu for close to 15 years. Coming from GZB, he is currently at Blr and enjoys his time amid Bollywood, Cricket, Photography and Travel. Please join me in congratulating Upanshu Singhal, for being our ‘Ghumakkar Featured Author for December – 2013’.

We would try to present more about him in our interview post on 15th of this month. We would also be re-publishing his first work as well his favourite work during the month.

And now as promised, here is the drill for claiming authorship. Please finish following as your time permits
– Sign-up a ‘Google Plus’ page, put a good frontal-face shot and use the same ‘Display Name’ at Ghumakkar as well as GPlus.
– Make yourself discoverable. Check “Help others discover my profile in search results” in https://www.google.com/settings/plus
– And please add ‘www.ghumakkar.com’ in the ‘Contributor’ section. You can find this on your ‘Profile -> About’ page. For me it is here – https://plus.google.com/+NandanJha/about In your case, you can replace +NandanJha with your PlusID or a vanity-URL if you have one.

Once you are done with above, shoot a mail to me sharing the link of your Google Plus page and I would finish the plumbing from Ghumakkar end. Hopefully over next few weeks, your photo and name also starts appearing along with search results. So I would leave you now and look forward to hearing from you. Please do not forget to welcome our new authors, congratulate Ajay and Upanshu and continue to travel and write. Shabba Khair.

15 Comments

  • AJAY SHARMA says:

    Dear Nandan,
    Great write up! Good to know about the Authorship! Congratulations to Upanshu and thanks a ton to the immaculate team for honoring my log as the featured story of Nov’13. Many thanks to all fellow writers for their valuable remarks and suggestions which is helping me in the learning process. In less than three months, I feel like an indispensable part of this family. Honestly, its an addiction now.

    Regards
    Ajay

  • SilentSoul says:

    Nandan Jha this post was started with an unusual and unique style… specialised JHA style.

    welcome to new comers and congrats to winners. Please reply / acknowledge comments written by readers on your posts. Many like me stop reading and commenting if their comments are ignored.

    Jha, I tried to google my name Silentsoul and I got the result – Silentsoul – moody and passionate -Interview by Nandan Jha …LOL .. so you have stamped my character with Moody and passionate on the internet. What can be done to change this perception?

    thanks for this wonderful piece of writing.

  • MAHESH SEMWAL says:

    Congratulations to Upanshu n Ajay !

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Ajay – Thank you. Some addictions are always good :-)

    @ SS – What has been done done. I guess another interview in 2014 might change things. :-). Can not agree any more on your ‘comment’ about ‘comment’. That is what keeps the wheel going. Being around, being responsive is the key. Thank you for re-inforcing.

  • Congratulations to all the winners.. Each category is a celebration for us..
    Nandan, a great write up.. I second SS’s words.. Different style :)

    Cheers all.

  • Avtar Singh says:

    Thanx Nandan for the nice write up.

    The words on the authorship really look impressive, I will definitely go for it.

    Congratulations to new writers( Jitendra and Dr. More) ,

    Kudos to Ajay and Upanshu for their respective achievements.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Archana – Thank you.Hope to do more of it :-)

    @ Mr. Singh – Thank you. For ‘Authorship’, once you are done with suggested instructions, then please send me a short mail having your ‘Google Plus’ Id and it should get done. The whole process takes few weeks after we have done everything from our side.

  • Thanks a lot Nandan and Ghumakkar team for choosing me the featured author. Thanks to all for your wishes, will keep sharing my travel experience.

  • Ram Dhall says:

    Heartiest congratulations to Upanshu and Ajay.

  • AJAY SHARMA says:

    Ram Sir,
    Thanks a ton for your say. The honor made me responsible to do better, besides motivating. A genuine platform to lay-travelers with honest feelings to share and re-live those moments. All credits to Ghumakkar team for their commendable, immaculate job. Hope, some day we will share the pride to be its initial well wishers.

    I must say, its a platform where, one can learn travelling besides writing from narrations from very matured works of Ghumakkars. As an instance, a recent log by Mr. AS Pahwa on Jaipur-Ajmer-Pushkar, places I have visited innumerable times, taught me how to travel with insight. I am coveted to do it once again, as a first time visitor Avtarji, all with your inspirations.

    Regards
    Ajay

  • Nirdesh Singh says:

    Hi Nandan,

    Great writeup especially conjuring up the Authorship idea; but then it seems guys at Google have thought up of everything there is to.

    Ajay’s posts on Kumaon made me visit Nainital over the weekend – great piece of writing!

    I think bringing back old posts is a good idea – you only wish those authors come back to write more.

    Will look forward to hearing from Upanshu and welcome to new authors.

  • AUROJIT says:

    Hi,

    Congrats first to Upanshu and Ajay, & welcome to Jitendra and Dr. More into Ghumakkari.

    Nandan, the quandary about ‘authorship’ is genuine and interesting. Will try to follow up g+ drill – hope to get through while keeping the ‘privacy settings’ (for whatever they are worth), unchanged :-)

    A very relevant issue that needed to be deliberated, I must say.

    Thanks.

    Auro.

  • Nandan Jha says:

    @ Upanshu – The Ghumakkar editorial team has been waiting to talk to you so the moment you started writing again, we knew that we have a reason to catch you. Thank you for you encouragement and support for last 15 years.

    @ Ajay – Ghumakkar team is as good as the collective wisdom of all Ghumakkars. People like you make our day better and make us look awesome. Thank you.

    @ Nirdesh – Yes, it is a great initiative by Google. Google wants sites like Ghumakkar to make some changes which we have done. Now the only thing left is to have individual authors link their GPlus profile to Ghumakkar’s posts, that way Google would know that you sort of authorise them to show their photo alongside their Ghumakkar post, in search results. Interestingly, I was hoping that I would get a lot of requests, but I haven’t.

    Yes, I also hope that we get to read more from old authors.

    @ Auro – Always nice to hear from you. I think it wont work with all things private, but worth a try. With internet full of content, it is a great move to begin to rate the content-writers so that the information is bonafide and in some way, certified.

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