Cubs Corner: Little Footprints In The Woods

Little Footprints In The Woods

By Drishti Hoskote

Do you equate qualities like high thinking and deep contemplation of life and nature with adulthood and grey hair? Think again...

Meet Drishti Hoskote from Bangalore, India and your perspective is going to take a U-turn. This youngster has passion for nature bubbling out of her. Her trigger happy fingers has put the shutter on many a breath taking image.

Four years ago my dad gave me the best gift anyone could ever give. He showed me insights of nature. He took me bird watching to Hessarghata, a lake on the outskirts of Bangalore. On the bicycle, a pair of binoculars to guide me, my dad and I trailed along looking for birds. Rollers, Bushchats, raptors, and everything including the trees pulled me into their world, a world which I never want to leave.

That was the start of my journey with nature. Three years ago, I was gifted a camera, so I could record whatever I saw. That camera became a part of me since I received it. I shot pictures everywhere even though I had no clue what I was clicking. Eventually, love for nature grew and the bond with my camera strengthened.

India’s wildlife sanctuaries... Kabini to Corbett, Ranthambore to Bandhavgarh, forests pulled us like magnets. Photography had become a family hobby by 2014, and I had never been more grateful. I had fallen in love with sunsets and bird chirps, wild animals became my biggest fascination. I still wait eagerly for any trip, may it be a forest or somewhere nearby to embrace nature’s beauty. Nature made me notice the tiniest of moments, from watching skies change dramatically as the moon replaced the sun, to staring at constellations and imagining  gures. My senses sharpened inside the forest, hearing every alarm call, scanning for tigers. It brings me all the happiness in the world.

Nature hasn’t only brought me joy, but has also taught me to love, take pleasure in tiny moments. Also, awareness that there is always a balance. Good and bad, a beautiful mixture of both.

Photography came along with nature for me. Learning from each trip I try and improve the best I can. My camera became my best buddy. I started photographing school events, broadening my perspectives, started trying landscapes and night photography.

My recent trip to Ladakh was a game changer. I got into more of night photography. Waking up to cold winds, sleeping on deserts of Nubra under the galaxy, waiting for the moon to set, setting up the camera while the winds froze my fingers, dipping my legs in Tso Moriri... I will run back to that place if given a chance.

Four years and nature has brought me far. Photography has taught me skills while nature taught me patience. A part of who I am is because of nature. As much as I love the city buzz and tra c noises, a visit to a forest or a place close to nature heals and purifies me inside out.

It hurts to see the current depletion. What happens when this beauty ceases?

What happens when this balance of nature is disrupted? As I said, one of the things I’ve learnt is that nature is all about balance. And honestly, if this rate of depletion continues, if this rate of pollution continues, maybe not our generation or hopefully not the next, but our grandchildren or great-grandchildren will definitely face the wrath of nature. The Earth is a beautiful planet, unfortunately not many recognize this beauty. The day a majority of people respect what Mother Nature has given us, the day they see the beauty and realize how blessed we are, that day is the day we win, Nature wins. That’s the day we fall in love with existence all over again. I hope I will continue to have this opportunity to be part of Nature and contribute to her existence in a positive way.

At the Nature-InFocus event (Asia’s premier nature and wildlife photography festival), I won awards in the Young Photographer category – both in 2015 (special mention) and in 2016 (1st prize). My images and articles have been published in Sanctuary Asia magazine and other newspapers/online magazines over the last three years. One of my image also reached second round of judging at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition conducted by Natural History Museum, UK.

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