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“Window Seat Project” : This Instagram page captures the nostalgia of Train Travel in India

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New Delhi, April 24, 2017: Indian Railways — one of the world’s largest railway systems that runs over 12,500 trains every day — is more than just the country’s transport lifeline. For the 23 million passengers who use it daily, it is almost a way of life — with a unique charm and special rhythm of its own.

Capturing the nostalgia associated with the train travel in India is a crowd-sourced community page on Instagram titled “Window Seat Project” which has been ruling the social media platform for quite some time now. The pictures and their catchy captions will convince you to start travelling by train once again.

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With more than 20,000 followers and 654 posts, the community page is a melange of emotions and scenarios, from the endless sea to lush forests and woods, from food vendors to passengers and from railway platforms to the interiors of the train — all captured through the camera. Some of these exquisite pictures are in monochrome while others are in colour.

The story of the Window Seat Project started a few years ago when Shanu Babar (whose brain child the community is) began it as a hobby that gradually turned into something he started caring more about.

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“And now, it has become my reality,” Babar exclaimed in an email on the move, while travelling from Mumbai to various places in Rajasthan — by train, of course.

A graduate from Pune’s Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Babar is a cinematographer based in Mumbai. He has been associated with multiple television shows like “MasterChef India” and “The Voice and Taste Down Under”, to name a few.

But he soon realised that the monotony of sitting and editing had begun to suffocate him and, therefore, he started the “Window Seat Project” as a getaway from his humdrum routine.

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Babar had to submit a dissertation as a part of his course. Along with his classmates he went off on a train journey from Pune to Kanyakumari asking a variety of passengers just one question: “What kind of India do you see from the window seat?”

“I realised that I was not the only crazy person who loved trains; there are thousands of them out there. And it is because of them the page has flourished,” Babar added.

Babar finds Indian Railways “a mixed bag of a plethora of expressions, emotions and cultures”, something worth exploring. He finds a story in every passenger and likes to take these stories — captured in frames clicked from different angles — to the world through his community.

“Trains are like the veins of this country, they are a platform to enter people’s lives. Every passenger is a story. They come from so many different walks of life. Railways give you a wholesome experience, not only in terms of languages and ethnicities but also food and so much more,” he added.

So, how does he select the best picture in a day for the Window Seat Project?

“There is no process as such. The pictures have to be about trains, of course. But the primary criterion is that the pictures should speak for themselves. They should be relatable. Almost everybody has travelled by a train at some point of time in their lives. The pictures should make them relive those nostalgic moments,” he responded.

Despite much popularity on the social media platform, Babar said that Indian Railways probably has no clue about the page. But that does not disappoint him.

“I have not been approached by them but I would surely love to work with the Railways. There are so many railway publications that need pictures, so many new trains that have started that need to be featured. I would love to be the one covering them. It would be like a fan working with his superstar,” Babar quipped.

Planning a railway journey soon? Don’t forget to take a picture and share it on Instagram with the hashtag “windowseatproject”. Till then, keep clicking and happy journey. (IANS)

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Facebook might bring Stories on desktop

Facebook users will be able to upload photos or videos, or shoot them with their webcam to post from desktop

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Facebook to introduce stories on desktop.
Facebook to introduce stories on desktop.
  • Facebook believes their stories can fetch the company money with correct advertising
  • They are trying to create and share stories through desktop
  • Users will be able record stories via their webcams

Although Facebook ‘Stories’ is not as popular as it is on Instagram and WhatsApp, the social media giant is convinced that the feature can fetch money through effective advertising and due to this, the company might soon launch it on desktop.

The company said that the narrative, ephemeral, camera-first format is the future of sharing… and advertising, Tech Crunch reported late on Thursday.

The report said that Facebook was doubling down on ‘Stories’ by testing the ability to create them from desktop and a much more prominent placement for viewing it atop the News Feed instead of in the sidebar.

Also Read : Meet the man behind Facebook’s successful ad business

Facebook is trying on many changes to increase the feasibility of their story feature. Pixabay
Facebook is trying on many changes to increase the feasibility of their story feature. Pixabay

“We are testing the option to create and share ‘Stories’ from Facebook on desktop and are also testing moving the Stories tray from the top right corner to above News Feed, just like on mobile,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying.

Previously users could only consume ‘Stories’ on web that had to be created on mobile.

Brands, Event promoters and Group admins who manage their Facebook presence from desktop might embrace ‘Stories’ more now that they can post from there, too, the report pointed out.

Facebook believes their stories can do great with better advertising.
Facebook believes their stories can do great with better advertising.

Also Read : Why Facebook blocking posts in India is necessary

Advertisers are likely to be more comfortable after getting Stories on desktop.

Moreover, a Digiday report said that Facebook was also building an augmented reality (AR) team in London to help it pitch sponsored AR filters to advertisers.

Facebook users will be able to upload photos or videos, or shoot them with their webcam to post from desktop. That could attract the monologue-style YouTube vloggers who have trained themselves to talk into their computer. IANS