Remember, realising dreams and having freedom comes at a price! Though, everyone loves freedom and have dreams to realise, but most do not know how to get it in first place and then how to maintain. Everyone has to pay a price for it. And then the next biggest hurdle for most of us is that we want everything in this world.
I have always loved freedom, earned it and have not let it go at any cost, though paid time to time for `renewal’ of it.
I wanted to travel and enjoy doing what I love doing without any restrictions like a free bird. I have succeeded doing that quite a bit and have understood about what is the package in this deal, clarity in your thoughts and vision is a must, however simple you may be. There is nothing which comes as `stand alone’, we must know that anything in life comes as a package, some understand and most do not. One must be prepared that `ups and downs’ and sometimes `living on the edge’ very precariously are part of this kind of nomadic life which is full of freedom. I take it as adventure, while doing it one has to sweat occasionally. LIFE HAS A LOT TO OFFER US, WE MUST KNOW HOW TO TAKE IT. Its equal for everyone, there is no disparity on earth but we deny ourselves a lot, which life offers as free, almost. First, take what it gives and its plenty. Beyond this is `greed’ which will never let you go closer to freedom and your dreams.
For this freedom, I hung my army boots, which I loved the most, bid a tearful adieu to the Indian army in 1990. And for this freedom, once again, I consigned my new profession of fliming to the winds. I loved this new profession of wildlife film-making a lot like a mad young man does and held it above all in my life, therefore got exploited as well. I loved it the most in my life, but then once I got into it, realised its `dog eat dog’ world every where i.e. faking, lies, high-jacking others work, exploitation were common even in the field of wildlife and wildlife film making. I had dreamt of a wonderful world in this field and expected everyone to be a nature lover truly thus very close to God, but the fog which every naive and passionate man has, dissipated soon. In the beginning, everyone in the field of wildlife is good, it seems, but as they start realising the need of money and competition (greed) in life to keep ahead of others and this starts `coloring’ as new profession, all turns as black as the other world of materialism.
In 1999, when all my friends, classmates and coursemates from the army, were all married had their own houses built; I thought of making my own caravan instead of building a house. I knew this would give me immense freedom to travel and visit villages to spread around about snakes and snakebite. I just did not bother what future had for me, I was excited about having great time on my caravan and travel around in India, as I dreamt. I have no regrets about investing my money into caravan, though I could have bought a three bedroom flat for the same price in those days, which stands at Rs 150, 00, 000 (rupees one and half crores as of now) today. But the freedom and fun I had in life, is undoubtedly priceless and most of you envy me. The money which I paid or say lost to have this adventure, will come back to me but the time gone past will never. I made the best use of my time and money.
In April 2000, I got married to a wonderful lady Rajbir, who has supported me for anything and everything I do in life; I have never imposed myself on her for anything. My wife and me travelled a lot till 2003 when our daughter Sukhmani arrived in our life and continued till she started going to school in 2006. What a wonderful life for 6 years ! I was paid for this long holiday by Him.
With the grace of Almighty, I have total freedom, I can do what I like doing and I do not have to apply for leave or wait for the weekend. These days, I get up early, go out for uphill cycling and there is no pressure to get back home on time, as I do not have to attend an office. I take my own sweet-time, depending on the energy and the distance I have done uphill and the breeze in the folds of hills of Morni – the only hill station of Haryana state. How lucky I am … I am next to such a wonderful uphill track for cycling, the best in the region I bet; no traffic, smoke & noise free, full of oxygen, the only noise I heave is that of my cycle chain or the birds, langurs, trees and bushes whooshing of trees. try to imagine about the life I am having … but do you know the price I have paid for it. I am sure not. None of you will have the courage to do so. You have tried controlling your life too much and also let others control your life. Now, most of you are controlled, unfortunately, by your wives. Most of who deny access to your freedom when you try to realise your dreams of having camera or a bicycle to enjoy some freedom or to recharge your energy. Marriage is a subject which all young Indians must understand before they decide to tie this `knot for life’.
Now, its too late for you to emulate me, long ago you had the opportunity to take this turning, the least treaded path, but it did not have that stylish `signboard’ but I knew that I wanted to be a nomad and roam these open `pastures of life’ where there was no one to discourage me or dissuade me. I married to someone who is a wonderful human-being first, she cares for me and I reciprocate. This another `secret key’ to open the gates of freedom for you. I knew I would roam around like a shepherd with my flute to accompany me and enjoy the music of life flowing through my own `flute’. Everyone gets a `flute’ to play and enjoy in life, some sell it for short term gains and some just dump it somewhere unknowingly. What I walk as `freedom’, you have to work hard to spare time for `morning walks’ even so you could control your `blood pressure’. But I enjoy it like a sparrow, pay no price everyday, though I paid before you all, when you most chickened out to pay. For I knew that I have to pay some price and I paid without hesitation.
Soon after I hung my boots, I thought of tourism as my new profession (after all one needs money to survive). Tourism offered me plenty of freedom to travel and that too at others expenses, also my old experience of the army service would be useful. But this new profession could not take off in 1991, which I had planned to set up at Madras (now Chennai), I had no local support at all and was not a rich man to survive till the project had taken off in that `foreign land’ of Tamil Nadu. After about six months, I was forced by the circumstances to look for a job. And after I worked in private sector two years, I realised that I am not cut for any jobs and I have to fend myself. I have been a free bird eversince!
Since I have tasted this freedom and the dream of travelling, seen most of you looking at me with envy filled in your eyes, thought of sharing this with you all. I know most of you, rather majority (about 98%) are in jobs and can not spare time the way I can. I would be offering you all a new kind of travel and photography – full of freedom and next to free air … so to say… I am about to commission an outfit named as GREEN DOT EXPEDITIONS. Please take a peek and you would love it.
I love the quote of Steve Jobs – “STAY HUNGRY – STAY FOOLISH”. This is the secret to success and happiness.
Our caravan KINGCOBRA was designed by me and my wife and fabricated at home, though I had a carpenter to do wood work and I did the fitting. I did the air-conditioning, electrical fittings and water supply all by myself