kunzum We travel. What do you do?
August 15, 2013 Fortnightly Issue 11
OF YOUNG INDIANS
MUSIC FOR THE ROAD JJ Cale, Michael Bublé
TECH FOR TRAVELLERS
5 GREAT TRAVEL BOOKS - FREE!
KINDLE PAPERWHITE, ACER ICONIA W3, LG OPTIMUS G PRO
6 Apps to Add Fizz to Mobile Photography
We travel. What do you do? The Kunzum Magazine is back. In a new avatar. With a fresh design and a spunkier editorial agenda. And we are feeling good about it. For those who came in late, the mag used to come out as a monthly till last year. And then we gave ourselves a break. We took time off in-between to travel, and recharge our batteries. We are energized enough to bring you not one, but two issues a month from now on. Starting with the Independence Day edition. After all, travel sets you free like nothing else. This is what we do. We travel. It defines us. And we love to share our stories, experiences and images with you. To inspire you to take off yourselves. We want you to travel - after all, almost everything else in life is incidental. There is something to be said about this mag. We have kept it very pictorial. And thrown in additional features for travellers covering photography, tech, music, books, films, apps and more. We will be adding more sections soon and video too. Yes, the mag will be multimedia just a few editions down. And it has been designed to be read on any device - iPad, iPhone, Kindle, and all other tablets, smartphones and computers. If you notice, we have also given it a landscape (horizontal) orientation, and why not - our screens are all horizontal. This minimizes the need to scroll around while reading. Our columnists and designers have been carefully selected to maintain the highest standards of writing and photography. We will not have it any other way. This is us. We travel. Join us in our journeys. What would you rather do?
AJAY JAIN SUBSCRIBE to the Kunzum Magazine and access earlier issues at http://kunzum.com/mag
Portraits of Young Indians Signature Dish
Suckling Pig in Spain
Across India, on an Elephant
4 24 25
5 Great Travel Books that You can Read for Free 26 Kindle Paperwhite 6.0 27
Neena is an ardent historian and archaeologist who, after a successful career in financial services including banking and private equity, is now following her dream with the recent launch of her travel venture Diva Odysseys (http://www.divaodysseys.com) which offers experiential, luxury travel for women.
Nimish has been writing on technology, music, sport and books for more than a decade now. He has been published in a number of leading magazines and newspapers, and has also written two books for young adults.
Tech for Travellers
Acer Iconia W3 28 Blackberry Q5 29
Five Phones that can Make You Leave Your Camera Behind 30 Six Apps that Add Fizz to Your Photos 31
Music for the Road Vintage Tulsa For The Road 32 No Sign of the Bub(b)lĂŠ Bursting 32 Diva Travel
Hello Ladies! Travelling Solo? 33
Shubhra is the Editor of Travel Secrets magazine (www.travsecrets.com), and the author of five successful books about good living and fine cuisine published in America and India. Over 18 exciting years, she has worked with leading lifestyle publications such as Cosmopolitan and Femina. Shubhraâ€™s writing credits include Conde Nast Traveller (UK and India), The Sunday Standard, Asian Age and many more.
Meet madpaule, Our Art Director
Madpaule describes himself as a photographer, illustrator and manipulator. And he makes for an ideal choice as the creative force behind Kunzum. Madpaule has worked as an Art Director in leading South East Asian Ad agencies and exhibited his Art works in many galleries and festivals in India and Overseas including Arles Photography festival in France.
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PORTRAITS OF YOUNG INDIANS AJAY JAIN For me, meeting people is perhaps the best part of travel. No doubt landscapes, events, wildlife and buildings hold their own attraction - but it is people I am most drawn to. Why? Because it gives me an understanding of this world and its inhabitants not possible any other way. It helps me realize that deep down, we are all the same. We may differ in our social structures, customs, festivals, food, dressing, habitats, and occupations - but humans are humans. Any difference is only in our minds, our conditioning and our politics. And when you allow yourself to understand and respect others for who they are, you will grow as a person yourself. Narrow-mindedness and stereotypes will no longer have any meaning, and the world will seem a more beautiful place. You will make special friends and develop bonds not possible on Facebook. You will be rich in ways that have no worldly measure.
A Beautiful Young Nyishi Girl
In this special issue, I have painted portraits of young Indians I met during my travels their innocence, their freshness, their happy states of mind are a message that we should never stop being children ourselves. Say hello to our young friends.
In Boasimla Village, Arunachal Pradesh 04
A Humbling Experience NEAR KARGIL IN LADAKH, JAMMU & KASHMIR
Driving to Zanskar in Ladakh, I stopped to take pictures of the landscape near Kargil - it was evening, and the high altitude mountains and villages were a photographer’s delight. And then I noticed some children approaching me from a village situated a few metres below road level. I assumed they would expect me to share goodies from my tuck with them - only to realize they were coming to present the stranger fresh peas (as seen in one of the girl’s hands) from their farm. My thinking was stereotypical - and I stood humbled in front of these children living in God’s land. 05
The Youngest One An infant belonging to the Mishmi tribe in Pukhuri village near Wakro in the north-eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh 06
Boys caught in the rain near Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh Kibithu is the easternmost motorable point in India on the Chinese border - and the approach to the same can be tricky when the rains come in. The landscape experiences regular landslides and rockfalls, and it can get very cold. Driving in such conditions, I could not help noticing these boys caught in the showers - huddling close to keep the water away and their bodies warm.
Children near Along in Arunachal Pradesh
On the way from Along to Pasighat, a short detour takes you to a shaky suspension foot bridge across the mighty Siang river near Pangin village. This bridge is the lifeline of villagers living across the river; the region is also famous for its oranges and farmers need to send their produce to the market across this bridge on time. How this bridge is navigated with heavy baskets of fruit is another matter what caught my attention were these happy children who were playing around while their parents went about the job of delivering oranges to waiting trucks. 08
Everyone Loves a Joyride In Ziro, Arunachal Pradesh The Ziro Valley in Arunachal Pradesh is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. While I was shooting a celebration in a temple in one of the villages, these children hopped into my car uninvited and got my co-traveller to take them around on a joyride. Their expression says it all. 09
The Young Musician from Barmer in Rajasthan
The Bikaner Camel Fair is one of the best festivals in Rajasthan; it is full of colour, music, dance and more. One of the attractions in recent years has been the troupe from Barmer performing the Lal Angi Dandiya Gir Nritya dance dressed in all red - and this young man is one of the musicians of the group. Loved his expression. 10
The Ghee Seller in Bikaner in Rajasthan
Rajasthanis love their food - and always want it prepared in a certain way with the right ingredients. Much of the food is cooked in Ghee, a class of clarified butter - health experts may scoff at its rich contents but that does not stop anyone from using it. This boy is selling Ghee with a promise of 100 percent purity in one of the busiest markets of Bikaner. 11
The Young Camel Driver AT THE SAM DUNES NEAR JAISALMER IN RAJASTHAN
The Sam (pronounced ‘some’) Dunes are a popular spot for those wanting to catch stunning views of the setting sun - and also to camp in the area. You park your car and go over the dunes on camels - managed by ‘drivers’ of all ages including this boy.
Zarina, the Girl near Kargil in Ladakh
I met Zarina when I stopped at her village near Kargil in Ladakh in the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir. As I stood taking pictures of the stunning setting, more than a score of children floated in from nowhere through the fields. They just stood while I clicked - efforts to make conversation did not get me far due to language barriers. I shared some chocolates and biscuits, and Zarina the â€˜ringleaderâ€™ took it upon herself to share it with other children. And just when I was driving off, she pressed her face against the passenger side window - and I captured the moment in a reflex. 13
Children at Martanda (Sun) Temple in Kashmir
The Martanda (Sun) Temple near Matan on the way to Pahalgam in Kashmir is truly a hidden wonder in the state - it is a must-visit if you are driving in those parts. The other surprise that awaits are the good looks of people in surrounding villages. Can you take your eyes off these children? 14
The Bored Lama Boy at Hemis Festival in Ladakh When the rains come down, a lot of plans go awry. Including the start of the annual Buddhist festival at Hemis Monastery near Leh in Ladakh. This lama boy, all enthusiasm in the morning, wore a bored expression waiting for the prayers and masked dances to start. 15
Lice in the Hair
IN KHONOMA VILLAGE NEAR KOHIMA IN NAGALAND
Lice in the hair is a common problem in a tropical country like India - especially when living conditions are not ideally clean. And mothers have quite a job at hand plucking these lice from the hair of their children - like in this case in Khonoma village near Kohima in the north-eastern state of Nagaland.
Girl Weaving Cloth in Khonoma in Nagaland
It is common to see families weave cloth for their personal use in the north-eastern part of India. All such weavers seem adept at weaving beautiful patterns. And why not? After all, they start young like this girl in Khonoma village near Kohima, the capital of Nagaland.
AT CHRISTMAS BAZAAR IN KOHIMA IN NAGALAND
Every occasion is reason enough to celebrate in Nagaland - especially Christmas. The main market streets come alive with bazaars after shops close - with ample food, music and dance for all. And hot cuppas of tea served by attractive girls. The tea certainly tastes sweeter.
Bird Hunters in Longkhum in Nagaland
There is an unfortunate phenomena in the beautiful state of Nagaland - you will hardly hear the chirp of any birds. Why? Because most have been hunted for the dinner table by locals. Including boys like these who prowl the greens with their air guns to hunt any bird they spot. 19
Assamese Girl by the Highway
Driving from Dibrugarh in Assam to Wakro in Arunachal Pradesh, I stopped at a village by the highway for a bit and got to meet its wonderful inhabitants. Including this girl dressed in a school uniform, looking enchantingly beautiful from behind the fence. 20
Karna Ram, the Young Herder
IN OSIAN IN RAJASTHAN
The Thar desert in Osian in Rajasthan, though scrubby, makes for a beautiful landscape. It is young Karna Ramâ€™s job to ensure his herd of goats and sheep get fed daily. Karna has a perpetual grin on his face, and speaks fondly of his animals - he also knows each by name, just like family. 21
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SUCKLING PIG IN SPAIN SHUBHRA KRISHAN Madrid is perhaps the most underrated Spanish city, gamely playing second lead to beautiful Barcelona. But put it on your itinerary, and it wastes no time in flaunting what it’s got. Enchanting architecture, a nightlife that blends seamlessly into morning and then goes on all day. And The Old Quarter, where taverns and pubs huddle together, mothballed in history. It is while wandering enchantedly through the Old Quarter that you will stumble upon the pig. As in suckling pig. It presents itself as a glazed face staring at you from an open oven in an open kitchen in an old eatery. (Some of the taverns here are among the earliest in the world). But back to the pig. The face, you quickly notice, is attached to the body. It glistens with a caramelly glaze. Suckling pig, slaughtered when still feeding on its mother’s milk, is Spain’s national delicacy. The baby animal is coated with lard and roasted whole—crisp on the outside, tender inside. Some call it ‘flabbergastingly delicious,’ others simply don’t have the stomach for it. If ‘roast suckling pig served with Sevilla oranges and caramelised shallots’ gets your juices working, Spain’s the place to try it!
Shubhra Krishan is the Editor of Travel Secrets magazine (www.travelsecretsmag.com)
Across India, On An Elephant Travels on my Elephant Mark Shand
208 pages Rs. 317 (on Amazon Kindle) NIMISH DUBEY An Englishman. On an elephant. Travelling more than 800 miles across north and central India. If that sounds eccentric to you, just wait until you actually start reading Travels on my Elephant, an utterly delightful book about Mark Shandâ€™s endeavour to traverse India on one of its most amazing animals, the elephant. Right from his attempts to purchase an elephant (the amazing Tara), to his learning to cope with its eccentricities to negotiations with mahouts and amused state officials, this is one crazy joyride. And no, unlike some authors who tend to go on and on about the spiritual side of such journeys, Shand is remarkably matter-of-fact and wonderfully self-deprecatory. The result is a slim volume that finishes way too early and leaves you yearning for more. Shand, incidentally, did write two more books, but this is the one that set the ball rolling for him. It will have you rolling with laughter, we wager.
Travellerâ€™s Quotient Best for a short trip, really, as it gets over way too soon. But very very readable nevertheless. And with great repeat value. 24
E-BOOKS Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
FIVE GREAT TRAVEL BOOKS THAT YOU CAN READ FOR FREE NIMISH DUBEY
Want to read about travel, without blowing a hole in your wallet? Well, you can do so by just heading to Project Gutenberg (http://www.gutenberg. org/) and downloading some of these classic titles that are now available free of cost.
Seldom can any trip have been described as hilariously as this boat trip between Kingston and Oxford. Be it the adventures of the four travellers, the descriptions of those they met, and well, even the attempt to open a can of jam, there is plenty to make you laugh here! Although fictional, easily the most entertaining travel book ever.
The Worst Journey in the World by Apsley Cherry-Garrard
This book details the 1910-13 British Antarctic expedition that claimed the lives of Robert Scott and three of his colleagues. Wrap yourself up well when you read it, for, no matter what the temperature is, you will feel a chill around you as Cherry-Garrard describes Antarctica, its beauty and its dangers.
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
Verneâ€™s classic is a work of fiction, but it captures the thrill of travel like few travel books do. It all begins with Englishman Phileas Fogg taking a bet to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days - a tough ask in the nineteenth century. Things are not helped by the forces of nature, an eccentric valet and a suspicious detective.
Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes by Robert Luis Stevenson
Best known for classics like Kidnapped and Treasure Island, Stevenson is also believed to have paved the way for modern travel writing this account of a 12 day hiking trip in Southern France. Yes, he did take a donkey along.
Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
Before he became a celebrated author, Mark Twain was a steamboat pilot. Life on the Mississippi details his training for the job as well as a trip from St Louis to New Orleans. It is considered a travel classic and has also inspired its share of films and other books.
Love to read and going out on a long-ish trip (hey, most travellers love to read)? We suggest you grab a Kindle Paperwhite (3G) and take it along. No, it’s not because we are gadget freaks (we are not), but just because we love reading, and travelling without it seems impossible for us now. Check our six-point rationale:
Kindle Paperwhite 6.0! SIX REASONS WHY A KINDLE PAPERWHITE IS A GREAT TRAVEL COMPANION FOR BOOKWORMS NIMISH DUBEY
Hundreds of books in your pocket: You can store hundreds of books in it - it’s like carrying multiple book racks in your coat pocket.
Leave the charger behind: One charge should see you through almost a month of usage - in other words, through most trips. Leave your charger behind. We do.
Close to paper experience: It is good to read on - e-ink is the closest thing to digital paper we have seen. Fonts are sharp and can be tweaked as per your needs (make larger, smaller, etc.).
Keep reading after lights-out: It glows in the dark. Yes, you can even read it inside a tent or in the dark interiors or a bus/train. And yes, the battery holds up just fine.
Download on-the-go: Yes, we know the Wi-Fi edition is cheaper, but there’s a reason we are recommending the 3G version - you can use it to browse and download books without paying for the Internet connectivity. So you are literally carrying a bookstore with you - the Kindle store has hundreds of thousands of books.
Lightweight, but packs a punch: The Kindle Paperwhite is 9.1 mm thin, and weighs slightly over 200 grammes - that’s about as much as a run of the mill bestseller and a lot lighter than some of those hefty travel guides!
Price: Rs 13,990; Available at www.amazon.in 26
Tech for Travellers
BlackBerry Q5 For Messaging Types NIMISH DUBEY
What makes it special?
At Rs. 24,990, its perhaps the most affordable phone with a modern OS and a proper QWERTY keyboard. The only alternatives in the price range are the older BlackBerry devices.
How well does it work?
The combination of QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen can be a bit confusing, as you have to keep switching between the two. Call quality is excellent and battery life very good - comfortably goes beyond a day of hefty use with mail and social networks running.
Whatâ€™s not so great about it?
Multimedia and apps are its weak points in our opinion. The 5.0-megapixel camera is not the greatest, sound is a bit tinny and BlackBerry still does not have the kind of apps that Android and iOS do.
Should you buy it?
If you love typing and have a budget below Rs. 25,000, yes. It does mail, messaging (IM, WhatsApp and of course, good old BBM) very well.
The Q5 is built on solid rather than spectacular lines and is superb for messaging, but its poor camera could deter impulse snappers. We also think it is a bit expensive at this price.
The LG Nexus 4, the official Google phone which also costs Rs. 24,990 and has a better camera and more apps, but suffers in terms of battery life. Price: Rs 24,990
Tech for Travellers
Acer Iconia W3
What makes it special?
It has the COMPLETE Windows 8, with MS Office 2013 thrown into the mix, in a tablet with a 8.1 inch display that is smaller and lighter than the iPad with retina display. It costs lesser too.
Windows 8 in your Pocket
How well does it work?
What’s not so great about it?
As long as you stick to browsing, word processing, basic presentations and mail, it works brilliantly. Battery life is very good too, thanks to the Atom processor - almost eight to nine hours.You also have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The display is not the greatest and at 1280 x 800. Onboard storage is limited to 32 GB, although you have the option of connecting USB drives to it. This being an Atom processor, do not expect to do high-end tasks on it.
Should you buy it?
If you want something that almost totally mimics your computer and fits into your coat pocket, this is your only option at the moment. You can even attach a Bluetooth keyboard to it if you wish.
It won’t turn heads but the Iconia W3 is very solidly built. USB connectivity means it will support data cards too. And yes, it is literally like your Windows computer in your pocket.
The iPad with retina display (4th generation) which starts at Rs. 31,990 has a better display and camera and superb design. But yes, it is a different OS - no MS Office on this one. Price: Rs. 30,499
Apple iPhone 5
FIVE PHONES THAT CAN MAKE YOU LEAVE YOUR CAMERA BEHIND We still do not think that cameras on phones can compete with decent prosumers and DSLRs. But these five can more than compensate for the absence of your point and shooter and sometimes, even your DSLR. NIMISH DUBEY
Simply the most consistent camera on a phone in terms of detail and color. The plethora of high quality apps that let you do more with your pictures just is a massive bonus.
Nokia 808 Pureview
It is bulky, not very pretty, does not have the greatest interface, but counterbalances that with a staggering 41.0-megapixel sensor that takes magnificent shots.
Forget the ultra pixel hype or the fact that the sensor is just 4.0 megapixels - you get great shots in manageable file sizes with this one.
Samsung Galaxy SIII
Some might wonder why we picked it over the newer S4, but we think that the SIII actually handled colours and detail better.
Nokia Lumia 920
It might be a bit inconsistent in broad delight, but few can match the Lumia 920 when the lights start dimming. Or when one needs to shoot some video.
APPS THAT ADD FIZZ TO YOUR PHOTOS NIMISH DUBEY
One of the joys of taking pictures using your phone is that there are stacks of apps that can transform the images you take. And these six do it best of all, whether you are using an iPhone or an Android device:
Add old world camera effects and frames to images using this app. There are apps that come with more and in some cases, higher quality effects, but when it comes to ease of use and a vibrant community, Instagram stands alone.
If you are looking to add a staggering number of visual effects and frames to your snaps and are willing to be patient, this app from AutoDesk is your best option. Dozens of high quality filters, effects and frames here.
An app that morphs your image into something that came off a canvas. Yes, changing pictures into portraits was never this much fun, lots of effects too.
Take a snap, and this app will add the location to it in large letters along with a snappy slogan. That’s all. But so easy to use and very addictive.
A picture of yourself inside a logo, or inside a glass of beer, or on a postage stamp? This app does that with élan and ease - the PIP stands for “picture in picture,” after all.
Shoot a small video, then ‘freeze’ all elements and just retain movement in one. You can have mountains and a moving river, a glass of coffee with steam coming off it...use your imagination.
Music for the Road by NIMISH DUBEY
No Sign of the Bub(b)lé Bursting
Vintage Tulsa For The Road
To Be Loved Michael Bublé Rs. 80
Gold JJ Cale Rs. 250
He may not make headlines as often as the boy bands or the heavy metal giants, but Michael Bublé just keeps selling albums and topping charts with something akin to effortless ease. And he is close to his best again in To Be Loved. There are fourteen numbers here - ten older ones that he has re-rendered (‘covers’) and four originals. Honestly, while one of the originals (“It’s a Beautiful Day”) is topping charts, we must confess that for us, the highlight of the album are Bublé’s rendering of classics like You “Make Me Feel So Young,” “Have I Told You Lately” and “Who’s Loving You.” While he does not deviate too far from the original tunes, he does add a touch of elegance to them - “Who’s Loving You” for instance, loses its manic high pitches and becomes much smoother in his hands and vocal chords. There are also some interesting collaborations - with Bryan Adams in “After All” and Reese Witherspoon in “Something Stupid.” All in all, well worth a listen, especially if you are a classics fan.
When he passed away in July, the music community was plunged into sorrow, but most casual listeners shook their heads and wondered just who the guy was. Hardly surprising as JJ Cale, the man many credit with creating the “Tulsa” sound - a mix of jazz, blues, folk, country, and the odd touch of rock - was a bit of a recluse by nature and shunned the spotlight (he did not even let his photograph appear on the cover of his initial albums). To those who really knew their music, however, Cale was the man who originally sang classics like “Cocaine” (yes, it is NOT a Clapton song, as many believe), “After Midnight,” and “I Got the Same Old Blues.” And these three classics are in this collection, along with thirty three other terrific numbers, highlighting Cale’s skill to produce music that was memorable without being loud. You might wonder what the fuss about the man is about when you first hear it, but as the mellow tunes of “Cajun Moon” and “Sensitive Kind” find their way into your ears, accompanied by the cynical chords of “Money Talks,” you will find yourself under a spell. Understated vocals, understated guitars...Cale was a master of delivering maximum effect with minimum fuss. Buying the album would be a perfect tribute to one of music’s original masters.
Traveller’s Quotient Some might find Bublé too slow and old-fashioned to listen while driving. However, if you want to put back your head and listen to some very good music while sitting or lying down, and have a soft corner for the classics, this is a very good album.
Traveller’s Quotient If you love country, blues or soft rock - and we know many who like driving, do - then this is one album that you must carry along. It is soft enough to enchant without being loud enough to distract.
HELLO LADIES! TRAVELLING SOLO? Be Safe. And Have a Good Time! NEENA JHANJEE
Lately, we’re hearing horror stories of increasing attacks on female travellers all over the world. So should that stop solo female travellers from travelling to these ‘unsafe’ countries altogether? I don’t believe so. Go out there and live life but make sure you carry your commonsense along and trust your ‘female instinct.’ A few tips to stay safe and make your odysseys memorable: • • • •
For starters, don’t go down dark streets and don’t hitch hike. Always use authorised taxis or public transport. Try having your main meal at lunch time to avoid going out at night. You meet this oh-so-charming guy, but don’t get carried away! Beware of date rape drugs and never accept drinks from strangers. Don’t encourage unwanted male attention in the first place. Being friendly and making eye-contact can be mis-read in some cultures. Always wear appropriate, neutral clothing that is a cultural fit with your destination. Keep valuables in a fanny purse close to your body to beat pickpockets. ALWAYS carry your pepper spray .
• • • •
And no, I won’t suggest you wear a fake wedding ring, because it’s not a big bad world out there. When you travel solo, you’re more approachable and more likely to approach and meet fabulous people that make up this wonderful world! Isn’t that the idea of travel solo in the first place?
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