An effortless translation of passion into art – that’s the story of Sanjay Keswani.
Sanjay’s dealing with hotel management brought him an opportunity four years ago, which got him into food photography, and that grew as a new-found passion for a man who is always ready to allow himself new experiences.
Once he began to understand the finer details of the art of making images, Sanjay decided to develop his passion for capturing wildlife as well, that part of nature that has always fascinated him. He hadn’t pursued his passion for wildlife through photography using a DSLR until one day, he stumbled upon Toehold while surfing the internet, and decided to go on a Photo Tour.
Bandhavgarh was the first Toehold Photo Tour that Sanjay went on, and the sublime beauty of the forest containing mesmerising wildlife has made that place his favourite ever since.
“Toehold opened a whole new world for me, and I enjoyed beholding and making images of wildlife in Bandhavgarh with people of similar passions on the Photo Tour,” says Sanjay.
A man with varied interests, Sanjay tells us: “I have also tried street photography, which I think, is simultaneous complex and exciting. But I eventually want to move on to nature photography in a holistic sense, which doesn’t necessarily have to be about wildlife. I am just working around my time as I know the possibilities are plenty and I want to make the most of the time I get for travel and taking pictures that speak to me.”
On why Bandhavgarh is his favourite travel destination, in his own words: “Not only have I visited Bandhavgarh many a time with Toehold, I have also travelled there with my daughter who has, to my deep joy and amazement, taken a liking to travel and exploring, and wildlife and nature, and appreciates the minute details of beauty. Watching my fifteen year-old little like that in the forest fills me with an inexplicable joy that can only be felt when one is in the wild, in the depth of the woods.”
Another reason Sanjay says he loves the place is because he has understood that when joy has a very specific reason, which is clear and devoid of vagueness, it reaches us very deeply. “I fathomed it when I first beheld the tiger Bamera,” he says, “who passed away recently, and there was an instant connection that has since then been otherworldly in the way it manifests as an emotion.”
Sanjay continues to explain rather poignantly, “There is a difference between going into the wild and observing those details that unravel without really anticipating anything beforehand and going somewhere with a specific subject in mind. The latter is what makes venturing into the forests special for me. It’s the specific want or need or wish that I want to see, something that I have envisioned already, and that’s why Bamera or the Rajbehra female in Bandhavgarh or any tiger that we can recognise as an individual becomes so special and encountering them becomes a sublime experience.”
Sanjay likes macro photography as well, and his experience on the Coorg Photo Tour once has made him want to go there again with Toehold. He wishes to explore more species of frogs and snakes in the area and photograph them in their natural habitat.
When asked about what photography means to him personally, Sanjay elucidates: “I don’t do photography to showcase my work on different platforms or to get anything out of it. I do photography for myself, to express myself for myself, and I am passionate about the very process. What follows next is a sweet satisfaction that only hard work gives.”
On that note of sweet selfishness that an art form brings for an eventual liberation, we wish Sanjay Keswani more rewarding and enriching experiences in travel and photography.