Meet Ananth Rangaraj, a wildlife enthusiast, amateur photographer and, wait for it, an IT professional who didn’t let the four walls of his cubicle diminish his dreams.
Read on for some inspiration!
What inspired you to take up wildlife photography?
Ever since I was a child, I have always remembered a huge pile of really old, dusty National Geographic magazines in the bookshelves at home. I remember spending hours just looking at all the pictures of the world around us, completely fascinated. I think these magazines were my first real inspiration.
Which parks in India are you eager to visit?
My favorite park is Kaziranga in Assam. I love it because of the landscape and the One-horned Indian rhino. There’s something about that park that keeps making me go back there year after year. I’m yet to visit Corbett national park, Uttarakhand and Kanha national park, Madhya Pradesh. Corbett for its landscape and habitat; I have heard you get to see hundreds of elephants in the grasslands while the Himalayan foothills always make for a stunning backdrop. Kanha for its lovely, unending meadows and the Chousinga and Barasingha deer.
Have you noticed a change in our national parks over the years?
I think information about our national parks and access to them has gotten a lot better, and that definitely has made a big difference. Also, with technology and social media, there is more awareness about conserving our parks. This has brought on the problem of overcrowding in the national parks, but I must say our forest departments are doing their best, keeping the balance between having people visit yet not overcrowding.
Would you like to share an experience while you were shooting that left a lasting imprint?
This incident was at Bhandoghar in Madhya Pradesh, while we were tracking three cubs and a mother. As our vehicles were approaching, we heard deafening roars from the thicket on our right. It was the mother of the cubs being loud and aggressive towards a huge male tiger that was trying to eat a kill she had made. Just seeing how she managed to stand her ground and chase that big tiger away was amazing. Once the coast was clear we saw the cubs cross over to that area to eat. After witnessing this event, I really understand the term ‘tiger mom’.
Lastly, what advice do you have for people who have an interest in our natural world but don’t know where to start?
I would say, pick a place to visit, even if it is close by, and just go! It’s one thing to sit on the couch and learn about these amazing creatures on TV or the Internet, but it’s a whole new experience out in the wild. Just go!
As told to Riccha Paul | 4 Photos | Edited by Dominic D’Cruz