As it often happens, a book, a story or an interesting persona transforms your thinking and urges you to take the uncharted path. Reading ‘The Maneaters of Kumaom’ by Jim Corbett was that moment for me at the young age of 12.
An interest in nature and wildlife led me to study biology and become an educator in the field of botany. It was during my post graduation days at St. Xavier’s Mumbai, I felt that city life chaffed me and the call of the wild soon pushed me to become a researcher with the BNHS (Bombay National Historic Society).
I was always interested in photography. This took a turn towards wildlife photography when I was posted at Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur. Because that’s when I got to interact with many professional wildlife photographers and observe them as they worked.
I was taught wildlife photography in the school of Trials, Errors and Experiments. As a Wildlife Photographer, I have travelled extensively across India and have covered varied habitats from cold deserts of Ladakh to blue lagoons of Lakshadweep and from hot deserts of Rajasthan to the tropical wet evergreen forests of Assam. While the variety of flora and fauna held my interest, it was the behavior of various bird species that I enjoyed capturing most.
After a decade and half long career of bird photography, a turning point for me was the opportunity to work on documenting big cats in urban areas. Since then, Urban leopards have been a single-minded obsession and the sole focus of my photography.
My primary role as a Biology teacher and educator has only enhanced my photography experiences. It is an ongoing endeavor to sensitize people to animal behavior and create awareness on conservation of India’s rich wildlife heritage through my pictures.