Chirag’s Story – Listen To Your Heart

For personal reasons, the author has wished to remain anonymous. Out of respect, we have used an alias name.

People have stories to tell but don’t expect this from me. Actually what I’m going to tell you is what I kept in my mind for years and didn’t know I wanted to escape it. When I started capturing memories with my buddy, the world didn’t understand why a boy who scored 94% in SSC and who dreamt of pursuing aeronautical engineering, now wanted to see the world with his 4 eyes, through photography.

10 years ago the world witnessed a new era in photography, DSLRs took the market by storm and every second teen wanted to be a photographer. Clicking a photo was definitely easy now and DSLRs made it even simpler. No offense but many people started to see those enthusiasts as photographers; there was a huge pool of budding photographers. 

My obsession and urge to learn photography was beyond words, I learnt all the basics, colour correction, pros and cons and technical aspects of it. Few of my friends said “Champ, you shouldn’t do this, we have lot of guys like you who just click portraits or why are you here in mechanical engineering if you wanted to be a photographer”. Well, I am an engineer and I also loved photography. The pre conceived notion that men in our society are to be well settled and they must pursue a 9-5 job started spreading its wings around me. Why can’t so many people like me pursue a unconventional professional? With time people from my town started trolling me, it first started with unwanted suggestions and later proceeded towards more unintentional emotional strain. One of the well-educated teachers asked my father “काय कमेऱ्याच डबड घेऊन हिंडतोय पोरगा, लक्ष नाही का तुमचं?” (What does he keep on doing all the time with that camera, are you aware of him or not). Because of all the societal comments my family didn’t have much trust on me or to put it in other words they weren’t sure if photography was the right thing for me.

The trolls from the society didn’t stop, the emotional and the mental pressure started affecting my mental health but somehow I managed to channelize my emotions and started again. Shifting from an ‘ideal boy’ image of someone who could have earned 40k as an engineer, but was rather earning very less as a photographer was difficult. Convincing my family was even more difficult.

Today, I am a self-made, little established photographer and a happy person earning okish. I am doing well and I have a long way to go, and no one can steer my determination. I am not here to listen to what you think of me, but I have one request for all of you –  Don’t judge others too soon, if you can say anything good about them at least don’t say anything bad about them, don’t make fun of them. 

I try and share my knowledge about photography on my social media, even though I am not a pro but that’s the best I can do as of now to help someone struggling. I hope many people think the same. I choose to share my story because I want to let others like me know that hard work and dedication pays. Ignore the noise around and focus only on what you want to be, that will be ray of sunshine and reason to live.


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