‘Photography Has Made Me Empathetic Towards Animals’.

Arrowhead

Q. How did you get interested in wildlife photography and how did you go about pursuing this dream?

A. My first trip was to Kaziranga National Park, just to use my new DSLR camera. I had no idea about wildlife photography. All the childhood memories, when I used to observe whatever I could find—snails, frogs, centipedes, bees, wasps, jackals, bats etc.— came flooding back to me. Then, on my next two consecutive trips, the eyeball-to-eyeball incidents with tigresses, named T17 and Kankatti, got me hooked. That happened three times in a row, and so this became my calling. It also came at the right time. My children were already independent, so I just had to go after my calling, which I did without hesitation.

Q. Could you recall your most memorable encounters from the wild?

A. I have been fortunate as every trip is as memorable as the last one. During my first trip to Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, tigress T17 lifted her head and looked straight at me, which changed my life.  Making loud mating calls, Bamera, a huge tiger, walked towards Kankatti, the one-eyed tigress. So my first tiger and tigress encounter in Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve ended in seeing them mating. Some amazing time spent with Paarwali in a waterhole in Dhikala, Corbett Tiger Reserve, and the cubs of T19 frolicking in the Rajbagh area of Ranthambhore are also among the memorable sightings.

The elephant is another animal that amazes me every time. I always think that I have seen almost every elephant behaviour possible, and then they do something totally different.