Many of us are still obsessing over finding our passion, but we should ask ourselves: Is there something we already love doing? If you have the answer, then that’s it! There you have found your passion and you should leave no stones turned in building yourself up around your passion. But that doesn’t mean that you can just give up your regular jobs and start running towards your passion. Do as much research as possible, ask around, and surf the possibilities. One can always follow passion on the side, and not above everything. We have one such story to share. One of our users has shared his story on how he made wildlife photography his passion. Let’s hear it from him.
Before I tell you about my love for Wildlife and Photography, Let me talk about my friend X who brought me to this world. X had been going to these reserves for almost 15 years now and every now and then he would post the pictures of tigers on different forums, and all these seemed very exciting to me. I would often tell him about taking me to these tiger reserves. The day finally came, it was way back in 2011 when without knowing where I was headed I said yes to a weekend trip. My curiosity was building listening to the stories and incidents from him and his friends about their visits to the reserves.
We were visiting a famous park in central India called Tadoba Andheri Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. The trip was one of the best experiences of my life where you see wild animals in the wild in their natural habitat. On my first trip I was able to sight 12 different Tigers in 2 days and was super excited. I learned & experienced a lot of things on the trip. I felt and decided that there was no looking back and this would become a part of my life. After that trip, my way of relaxing and enjoying trips changed. I did many such trips, had lots of memories, which taught me how to deal with disappointments, and of course how to be ready for the right moments. Jungles, especially Tiger Reserves are very unpredictable and hence you have to be patient as things could change at any moment and at times you would not notice anything. The important thing is the positives, to be patient and take a feel of the forest as the forest is not only about the tiger but about the different flora and fauna around you that city dwellers like us would not see. Slowly I realized that I am there to relax and not to get frustrated on the fact that I haven’t sighted anything.
During this course, I also picked up photography, a super vast subject & that’s what increased my interest even more. Photography in Wild is always a challenge as you have to be ready for your moment, correct angles, visualize landscapes & the most important depend on natural light & shadows which could change with time, location & habitat. With all these things in my mind, it takes me to a new world and helps me get out of my routine life and rejuvenate.
It later started to become a constant thought to visit the forest once in a couple of months and my wildlife enthusiast friends were always eager. But not everyone can have a day off easily so we had to work around that. We would finish off work early on Fridays and start driving in the night to reach the forest in the early morning right before the safari. Used to sacrifice sleep for my passion. But whenever we had a long weekend we would plan 3-4 months in advance to have a relaxed trip and we always plan for budget trips and do more of them over a year.
Our contacts in the wildlife fraternity grew and a lot of friends who I am regularly in touch with became wildlifers. A few years ago my Facebook wall would be all about which friend of mine is partying and where people are traveling. These days I only post wildlife on my Facebook as most of my active friends are wildlifers and keep sharing their experiences and post on a daily basis.
I was always a travel enthusiast and loved to travel from my teen years. Did a lot of trips across India covering 3 corners of the country. Over a period, I have visited lots of Tiger reserves like Tadoba, Tippeshwar, Pench, Umred Kharandla, etc. but Tadoba always remains my favorite place. I have seen over 100 Tigers in these parks and I can’t get over it yet. It’s become an addiction now. Initially, I was seen as a person doing a lot of trips at home and the constant question was again to the jungle. But slowly they observed that I had developed an interest in wildlife and I had considerably reduced my travel on other holidays.
This one thing in my life changes me so much from my usual self. I was never an early person and because of this passion of mine at least for 2 days in that month even without the alarm, I get up to be at the gate of the safari and sleep early. The trips teach you to be disciplined, respect nature, and how it is rapidly diminishing and find happiness in simple things in life.
**All the photos used in this story are clicked by Rohit.