Missing something dear to us – a very strong feeling that at most times end up making us do stupid things. But not all the time. Sometimes, it’s these strong emotions like missing something or someone that brings out the best in us. And when a strong emotional drive is combined with passion, love and professional expertise, what comes out is exquisite and unique.
Purva Grover landed in Dubai a year back and almost immediately started missing home, she started missing India. She couldn’t leave behind her passion for journalism & the love for home. A journalist by profession, with experience in the publishing industry as associate editor for luxury magazines in India, she decided to start her own magazine. A magazine through which she feeds all things Indian to the starved Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) all over the world. And thus, The Indian Trumpet was born. An Indian online magazine, by an Indian, for all Indians all over the world. Purva has what they call the ‘trumpet blowers’ aka contributors in the magazine from first time writers to professional writers, immature photographers to award winning lensmen/women. However, Purva is happy playing the roles of a founder, editor, PR, peon, marketing head, tea/coffee girl, designer, sales representative, etc of the magazine.
In an exclusive and engaging conversation with LifeBeyondNumbers, Purva Grover talks about India, her passions, The Indian Trumpet magazine, her journey, the latest issue of her magazine focusing on women and lots more…
Inception of The Indian Trumpet
The story of The Indian Trumpet magazine has been that of knowing Indians all over the world and falling in love with all things Indian all over again. Running the magazine has been an exciting, fascinating and challenging journey. I have lived through moments that made me smile and scream at the same time. There were times when the laptop misbehaved, fonts got mixed up and writers and photographers missed deadlines, but then these were complemented with times when my inbox got flooded with encouraging words, download speeds improved and colors and words just fell into place. I even accepted that while I couldn’t do it all in one issue, each day would bring me one step closer than I was the day before to achieving my dream of starting my own magazine. I began to smile at the thought that as an NRI, I was getting a chance to love, miss and appreciate the ‘home‘! And honestly, even if someone had told me that this is how tough the journey would be, I would have still done exactly the same thing and with the same enthusiasm.
The Indian Trumpet is a bi-monthly e-magazine for Non Resident Indians (NRI) and we’re thrilled to be blowing the trumpet all across the world and connecting Indians via the magazine. We capture the color, culture and chaos of India that NRIs crave & miss in our 100 pages. The online nature of our magazine has ensured that we are read and followed by not just NRIs but also Indians in India. Interestingly, even non-Indians are loving the visual read. We launched our debut issue on July 1, 2013, and our fourth issue went live on December 29th, 2013. We are being studied by a senior academician in London School of Journalism as a part of a course on Internet Journalism. A NRI magazine, which is a couple of decades old, has expressed interest in re-printing our articles in their magazine. They recently started by reprinting one piece with our permission & giving due credit.
The Indian Trumpet spells the pleasure of eating the creamy-rich butter chicken gravy, the emotion of hearing and singing the National Anthem, the excitement on watching Sholay (a Bollywood blockbuster classic film) for the 1000th time… It’s emotions like these that make the magazine. It gives one and all a chance to re-learn the history & geography of the country by flipping through the pages. It is a place where Indians share their stories of leaving homes and starting life afresh in an alien land or talk of how they were born and brought up in a foreign land & yet have deep roots in India. The Indian Trumpet is a place where we celebrate the wonderful and unique elements that make India and Indians. And we don’t do it in a sob-sob manner, but in a celebratory manner.
The Indian Trumpet aims to give everybody a chance to discover the India they fell in love with, the chance to stand up and fight its evils, the chance to defend it when need be, the chance to take pride in it… from streets to chai, protests to justice, corruption to honesty, cuisines to culture… celebrate everything.
Response, Readership and Popularity
After the debut issue of The Indian Trumpet, our inbox was flooded with mails from ex-colleagues, ex-classmates, ex-bosses, relatives and friends. These were words of encouragement, appreciation and love. By the second issue, messages from fellow NRIs from not just in Dubai but even from Turkey, the United States, Kuwait, Oman, Australia, London and more started reaching us. They demanded, we delivered & they appreciated, we strived to work harder. In less than a year, we have managed to connect with thousands of Indians all across the globe, and we aspire to give many others a chance to indulge in all things Indian. The popularity is also visible in the fact that while the magazine has no permanent team except me, it has people (Indians & non-Indians) from all over the world contributing towards it.
Challenges, Learning and Future
Any new venture has its share of challenges and rewards. I don’t think I can single out any particular situation as a challenge, for these are just hiccups that any start-up faces. But yes, as an individual it has been a challenge to switch roles between an editor, founder and entrepreneur. This magazine is less of work and more of a passion and desire to give the NRIs as well as Indians back home, a chance to connect with each other through the common thread, their love for ‘home’. When I decided to start this magazine on my own in an alien land, I didn’t look at it as a task or work to be accomplished but simply a dream to fulfill. Every moment on this journey has been worthwhile. It’s been tiring and exciting at the same time. Be it the sleepless nights, the proof-reading, the color correction, the edit list drafts, or the insane deadlines… I love every moment. Although, it was not the easiest course to take, for I am till date foremost an editor, any day, than a businesswoman!
I see The Indian Trumpet emerging as the most-read & popular monthly magazine for NRIs. I see it gathering more love from Indians all across the world. I see it achieving more laurels and love. And perhaps, transform The Indian Trumpet being a bi-monthly to a monthly!
The Indian Trumpet’s special woman edition – Jan-Feb 2014
On that fateful day I too woke up to the sounds of screaming headlines. It was my birthday on 15th December and I suddenly felt ‘guilty’ for having had a good time. I remember talking to my sister and feeling terrible for our mom and dad. I wondered if I ever let them sleep peacefully while I worked night shifts or watched a movie. I felt sorry not just for ‘us, women’ but also for our parents, who constantly worry, care and protect their daughters. I felt sorry for the parents who raised those men & were now being looked down upon and questioned. I wanted to snap out of helplessness. I was shattered. I didn’t know what to do. People were talking, panicking, protesting, screaming and wailing. Someone was chanting a hymn. Many were flooding the authorities with their questions. I couldn’t see the commotion and pain that engulfed India because I was not ‘home’. I could sense it. The sound of fear was ear deafening. Sitting in my home, away from the candle light vigils that were taking place in the country, I felt I needed a moment of quiet, to think, to figure out what I wish to pray for… And that’s how the woman issue came into being. This issue is all about the ‘wish’ we need to pray for, fight for, hope for and live for… I don’t know if this issue would be able to bring a change in thousands or even hundreds but it is making a difference in my life and all those who are working on it with me. We all need to stay angry & this issue is an attempt to keep the anger alive.
2013 – a year that was ‘welcomed’ in the midst of screaming headlines of gang rape. We were shattered and shock. We woke up, fought back. We cried, held hands. We protested, said prayers. We stood by each other. We realised it could have been ‘us’ instead of ‘her’. We found strength from Nirbhaya.
Are we still there? Have things changed? Have we become more sensitive? Is there hope? Will justice be delivered? Will our mindsets change? Will we be able to fight this plague? Yes and no. The write-ups in this issue penned down by a woman, a mother, a survivor, an activist, a poetess, a cartoonist, a man, a student, a neighbor – all raise their voice for an India where no woman suffers at the cost of mindsets, no woman’s trust is violated, no woman’s body and soul is dishonored.