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Scholar-Journalist of the Week: Visit Choki Dhani to feel the soul of Rajasthan

This week’s scholar-journalist, Sanober Zakir says journaling is a fun and intriguing way to record your travels



Passionate about singing, dancing, doodling and writing, Sanober Zakir is a student of Apeejay Stya University (ASU) who is currently pursuing a postgraduate programme in Journalism and Mass Communication at the institute. The Apeejay student aspired to pursue a career in Journalism given that it’s both exciting and challenging. “The field of journalism involves so much field work, you may find interesting story ideas to write on and also help in knowledge building,” she added. In this interview, the 23-year-old shares about her learnings from her writing journey.

Are you inclined towards writing? When did you start your writing journey? 

I am inclined towards writing and especially Hindi content writing. My writing journey started during my graduation days when I got my admission in Amity University, Madhya Pradesh. I thought my English was good and so I started working on my Hindi writing. I used to write a lot of articles in Hindi for the university magazine. Thereafter, I also did an internship with Infodia magazine in which my first article was published with my byline. 

What kind of articles/books do you enjoy writing and reading?

I like reading entertainment or lifestyle magazines. Sometimes, I also pick motivational and political articles to read on. And so, I also prefer writing on topics from these segments.

Which was the last book that you read? Any favourite author?

I read Gujarat Files and Rana Ayyub is my favourite  author till date. 

Your article Visit Choki Dhaani to feel the soul of Rajasthan has received great views on our platform. What inspired you to write on this topic?

I went to Jaipur with three of my friends and I visited Choki Dhani. This was my first trip with my friends and we went there to see the culture of Rajasthan. Before my trip, a lot of people told me that ticket prices for Choki Dhani are expensive. But when I visited that place, observed the culture, enjoyed the food, music and dance – all those just mersmeriesd me. And I felt it was worth buying the ticket. 

And then, Baisakhi ma’am gave us a travel journalism assignment. I thought Choki Dhani is the best article I can write. I could describe the place, the culture, and people. Moreover, my mentors always say that if you wish to be in the journalism field, you need to observe your surroundings and express that to your audience. I felt I could arouse curiosity among more people to visit this beautiful location. Hence, I thought of journaling this experience. 

Are you a traveller? What kind of places fascinate you? Which cities/places have you travelled to?

I am not a traveller but I have visited a few places with my family. I haven’t experienced solo trips yet. But the place that fascinates me is the mountains. I have been to some places like Shimla, Nainital, Panchwadi, Jaipur, and Udaipur.

What’s your idea of a memorable vacation?

I feel whoever loves to read and write should always carry a pen and notebook. And whenever you observe interesting things around you, write them down.This journaling will help in preserving those experiences and scenarios you would have felt during that moment. You can re-look at those moments with your favourite people when you go back and read them. 

What does writing mean to you? What are the key learnings you adapted from writing?

Writing is the best way to communicate your feelings and emotions to the readers and audience. Besides the anchor and reporter, writers play a very important role in the journalism field. They write to communicate a relevant message for the audience. And writing has been teaching new things to me each day. I was not an avid reader or writer when I was in school. But now, I have started inculcating these as I  realised the importance of it. One needs to keep evolving oneself in terms of writing when he/she wants to be a part of this field. My writing has improved, especially my articles in Hindi. Also, research plays an essential role. When you do an in-depth research on a topic, it will make it easy for you to write the lead, body and conclusion. Your writing and the depth of an article has the power of attracting  the attention of readers. 

What are your plans? Do you aspire to work in the mainstream media industry?

Since my communication skill and voice is good, I certainly wish to work for the mainstream media wherein I can use my skills and abilities. However, I am also preparing for different government exams and taking a few coaching classes for my preparation. 

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.