A passionate eye: An oncologist makes time for his hobby
While dealing with his busy schedule as an oncologist at Global Hospitals and Basavatarakam Indo-American Cancer Centre, Dr Ravi Kumar also makes time for his passion — photography. And this oncologist surely knows how to create magic with his creativity. It was in May 2015, when he was on an adventurous road expedition with family — wife Nitika and two daughters, Sanjana Saxena and Radha — from Kashmir to Ladakh, that it all started.
Narrating his trip, his eyes burn with passion. “During that trip, I clicked more than 3,000 photos — army men holding fort in the inhospitable terrain, staying in sub-zero temperatures day and night, while keeping vigil. They also maintain the roads and take care of the health and well-being of the local population,” begins Ravi Kumar. That is the reason why he is dedicating his photo expo to Kargil heroes.“My daughter, Radha and my wife took over as curators, bearing the pains of selecting, editing and preparing 75 photos and 24 poems for the exhibition,” he adds.
He calls photography his second profession and shares that it’s a serious hobby in addition to playing tabla, painting in watercolour/acrylics and hockey. “My biggest challenge now is to steal time for photography from my busy schedule,” says Dr Ravi, who is also a visiting faculty at the University of Hyderabad. His photographs display a sophisticated grasp of medium, “It is very different from medicine.Photography is a creative and technical challenge,” says the oncologist, who exhibited his works at The State Art Gallery on March 6.
He is making his bid for recognition as a serious photographer, his true love outside medicine. “Most of the pictures shot by me during our trip were from the window of a jumping SUV as we drove. At times, while it was snowing, I had to put my camera out of the window for blind shots of the snow-scape. Our driver discouraged us from stopping and getting down as this terrain is prone to frequent land and snow slides.
Further, these passages are extremely narrow to negotiate. As we reached Khardung La Pass, our heads turned dizzy as the atmospheric oxygen was very low. We carried oxygen cylinders in our car all the time. We would all cuddle for most of the journey to keep ourselves warm,” recalls the 55-year-old doctor.
Photography, today, serves him in two ways. He says, “It takes me to places, gives me an opportunity to meet new people and is a great stress-buster which helps prevent a burnout from my hectic professional life. And it also comes in handy to create medical records.”
As someone with no professional training, Dr Ravi speaks about his approach to photography. “My initial interest started while I was in the primary school. I started using my father’s Kodak Retinette 35mm which he later gifted to me. I progressed to become our family’s photographer covering all family events. My interest grew further and I wanted to do cinematography. I made a deal with my father that he will buy me cine equipment if I got a medical seat in Eamcet in 1977. And, that I did, and it was not long before we went to Delhi and got the same. Over time, I moved over to new Canon 35mm Film SLR camera and lenses, and later Digital Nikon DSLR cameras and