Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Ghumakkad turns Five

Ghumakkad's blog-- your own blog-- completes five years on 25th May 2017. It is each one of you who has helped us sustain this exciting journey. A journey of exploration, adventure, thrill and discovery. When we started off, we never knew we would reach out to so many netizens. With just 234 page views in first 12 months in 2012-13, your blog has now crossed 92,500 page views. 

It took three years when 'Ghumakkad crossed 25,000 mark'.
But it took just one more year to reach the 50,000 milestone. And the next 42,5000 page views came in this year taking the count to 92,500! Credit for achieving this landmark goes to each of you.

Numbers don't matter. What gives us a kick is when someone travels all the way to Port Blair or Africa based on our picture stories and gives us a pat on our back! We feel humbled in adding happiness to your lives.

Over last five years, you have liked and appreciated more than 6000 photographs in this blog taken around the world--spread over 230 posts with 30 embedded videos.

Of course, the journey continues. As we said earlier, 92K page views in cyber world is no big deal. But for a non-commercial, non-political, non-religious and non-celebrity blog it means a lot. It is truly a humbling experience for me. 

Credits: Many readers have given regular feedback to enrich the blog. Please allow Ghumakkad to mention few regular readers (please pardon us for omissions if any!):

(Late)Manorama Bhargava
PSP Sarma (Octogenarian)
Trixie Asirvatham
BD Bhargava(Octogenarian)
N Sridhar
Pramod-Helga Lakhotia
Umesh Dhyani
Pramila and Mani Thomas
Rajendra Singh
Sunil Sud
M Sitaram
Manasi Panigrahi
Aditya Jain
R Raghuram
MV Vasudevan
Suchitra Chowdhury
Raj K Mehta
Vinod Dhanuka
Avinash Tiwari
Supradeep Sen
Pradeep Mohan
Ashok Kota
Masthanaiah Aluru
Arun Dhupar
A Ramnath
Rani PAR Kumar
TJ Master
BU Vuppala
Lakshmi and NR Ravi
RB Dhavare
Vinay Prasad
PG Bhat
K Gopu
M Ramesh
Anand and Farida Jain
Kirti Sharma
JA Rama Moorty
Kingshuk Nag
Brijesh Kalra
GR Nair
Swati-Swayam Mishra
Vasu Iyer
BK Nagaraj
Pradeep Siwach
C Raghuram and many more

Credits are also due to: CD Sawant,  RRN Chowdary, Deepti Thakur, A Mohandas, LV Mohandas, S Santhanam, AVS Madhav Rao, Sangeeta Agarwal, V Ramachandran, Chaitanya Shiroor, Vijay Bal, Umesh Kumar and the entire Bhargava clan spread  around the world. 

Time for a quick recap. Our first story five years ago was titled 'Exploring Bhutan Part-1: The Team'

We started off as a travelogue. Change is part of our life and soon other subjects got added. The flavour of the blog has thus changed. We invite you to sample some of the stories spanning various aspects of our life. You may click to browse any of the posts hyper-linked in parenthesis:

You can also search within the blog for any topic of your interest.
Once again we would like to thank each one of you for your continued support  and encouragement. Ghumakkad hopes to bring you more pictures, more stories and more insights into our life.

Hope you enjoy the blog as much as we do creating the stories for you.
Thanks for browsing and being part of our exciting journey.

   - Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 25th May 2017/ 

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Mother's Day 2017

I was looking for a suitable picture for Mother's Day post. As if on cue, a cat which had adopted our car garage with her recent litter, came out to feed her three kitten. Two kitten brownish golden and the third one greyish. In the morning light, all of them got illuminated well. The resulting picture says it all- Mother's Day- Today and Everyday.

Greetings to all the mothers in the world.
Mothers make a difference in their children's lives as well as all others whom they impact. For example, a teacher makes a difference in the life of her students, a doctor on her patients and so on. Without mothers, we wouldn't be in this world!

Mothers discharge many roles at the same time. Some of these roles can be browsed by clicking the story 'A mother is a mother'. Ever seen a cat protect her kitten from a huge dog like a St Bernard? Click the story 'Facing the Enemy'.

Ghumakkad fondly remembers his mother who passed away in 2008. For me, my mother was like a rock-- a source of strength and inspiration. Am reminded of Alicia Keys lines "My Mom is definitely my rock" superimposed on a picture below.
Mothers can't be thanked enough. Pranaam Maa प्रणाम माँ -- Smt Pushpa Bhargava (1927-2008). We miss you.

We are fortunate that Ghumakkadni-Neeta's mother lives with us. On Mother's Day, our Pranaam to her as well. May her smile keep guiding us!

We are sure you will hug or remember your Mom on Mother's Day.

We can only pray to God to make us a mother next time.

       -    Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 14th May 2017/ Mother's Day

Friday, 12 May 2017

Father Daughter Duo

When a father and daughter share the birthday, how is it to be celebrated? By having a two-in-one bash! Also, by writing a two-in-one poem for them.
As our son Ankush and grand daughter Anuva celebrate their 38th and 4th birthdays respectively tomorrow, here is a small poem for both of them.
 Two-in-one Bash

Thirteenth of May
Is a very special day

When God gave us the most precious gift
In 1979 with Ankush’s birth which was swift

Followed 34 years later by Anuva’s arrival the same day
And thus this two-in-one birthday bash came our way.

As Anuva our charming princess turns four
She wants two hours at children’s park or more

Excited at going to the ‘big’ school
Her coloured drawings look quite cool

She invents new words and expressions every day
And must ‘speak’ to Kruger her Labrador, in her own way

With Appa her Dad, she shares more than her birthday
Like mangoes, which both can polish off an entire tray

Like listening to stories which only Dad can tell
And eating out whether at Domino’s or Taco-Bell

Ankush as we had said earlier is a real diamond*
Who loves outdoor life be it a forest or even a bund

We are blessed to have a grand/son like him so caring
Affectionate, responsible and ever so loving.

May God  bless Anuva and Ankush with best of everything
So that our life is full of everlasting zest and zing!

Happy birthday to both father and daughter

        - From all of us in the family@Jaipur, Chennai, Secunderabad, Mumbai and Pleasanton (USA)

* Here is an earlier poem written on Ankush's 34th birthday in 2013:

34 Carat Diamond
What is the difference between Coal and Diamond?
Constant pressure over a long period of time.
Our son Ankush has also emerged as a priceless diamond.
For he has endured work life pressure and continues to shine.
His ever ready smile, humour and helping attitude
Hideaway all the pulls and pressures that he goes through.
Of course, don’t ever disturb him while he is watching
Either an IPL match or Roger Federer’s tennis round live.
Given an option, he would forever be biking/hiking outdoors
As would Ansh who loves his Appa be it in the wild or indoors.
A caring hubby (Prabs- encore from you?),
Ankush is an equally caring son and grandson.
Today 13th May on his 34th birthday, all we say
We treasure this ‘Thirty Four’ carat diamond!

God bless and love from all of us,

@ Chennai: Mom, Prabs, Ansh and Kruger
@ Jaipur: Babaji, Chacha and Chachi
@ Milpitas USA: Ankur Jeej, Ashi and Nikhil
@ Secunderabad: Nani, Dad and Elfo

You may browse our last poem 'Anuva turns three' here. 

Once again, join us in wishing Ankush and Anuva a very happy birthday. Here is a picture of father daughter strolling after sunset in Tadoba Tiger Reserve.

God bless.
   -Harsh-the-Ghumakkad with Neeta Bhargava/ 13th May 2017 

Postscript: After browsing this story, three of our friends revealed that they also share their birthday with a family member. Who are they? All retired faujis:

  1. Kalras (Pune)- Capt Brijesh and daughter Nancy
  2. Markers (Mumbai)- Mrs Mahrukh and daughter Delna
  3. Shyams (Secunderabad)- AVM Anup and his son Cdr Abhishek Shyam
Coincidences galore! Happy two-in-one bashes to all of them!
14th May 2017

You may like to view a short video of a 2-in-1 birthday cake baked by our daughter-in-law Prabjoth in Chennai. It also shows how we remember children's birthday but tend to forget Dad's birthday on the same day!
Video credits Sameer Dogra in Chennai.