It’s easy to forget what an amazing gift life really is. I absolutely forgot this fact a few years ago and paid the price for it, only to find my calling in life which was photography and this is what I did after my accident to get to where I want to be in life.
June 05, 2017
Hi, my name is Ambarish. I am 26 years old from Chennai, a full-time photographer, a wanderer in life. I met with an accident in 2014 which was a big turning point in my life and I can’t be thankful enough to the forces of nature which made it happen.
My real education in life came from wandering for months after my accident, experiencing life as it happened and through the struggles I had to walk through with a camera to get to where I want to be.
I got my first camera when I was 14 years old, a kodak point and shoot film one , that was a magical moment early on which showed me a different perspective of the world around me , unfortunately I broke that camera and had to wait for a long time in my life to get another one and play with it . After I graduated, I was jobless for more than a year and eventually lost interest in working for someone else, instead decided to focus on what I wanted to do with my life. After few odd jobs here and there, a couple of failed startup ideas, I was into motorcycles and long distance riding for few years which fuelled the desire to just pack my stuff and travel around India without any deadline. I bought my first DSLR camera and I had to be supported by my parents for this ride with whatever possible from their side but little did I know, I will end up with an accident in just a few days which took me so close to death and changed my life completely in just ten seconds.
I was totally lost for more than a week without understanding what had just happened, I simply couldn’t accept what just happened. Once I was back home, all I could think about was when am I going to get back on the saddle again. But the MRI scans gave me a different signal to where I was heading and what I can do. I was bed ridden for a couple of months, had to go through a nightmarish surgery to walk again, and for three months I was trying to learn how to walk again like a baby and just do normal things by myself all over again. One fine day when I simply couldn’t stay inside my house anymore, my parents, even though they were worried about my health condition, bought me a backpack and asked me to just go wherever I feel like going. I went to the place called Auroville and after walking around randomly for a week trying to figure where to go or what to do, I found an amazing community where people from different walks of life lived there for few weeks and shared their stories in life. For the first time after my accident , I opened up in front of strangers about what happened to me and how I am right now, being an introvert I didn't expect to open up myself in front of strangers and more than that I simply did not expect overwhelming affection and positive energy from people I just met who helped through this dark phase in my life .
I started riding my motorcycle again and did 20,000 plus km traveling around south India with no set plans once I was back home from the community in Auroville filled with positive energy and determination to get back on my feet, do something with my life.
My DSLR was being unused all these while and somewhere around June 2015 I moved to Bangalore with a friend of mine who had similar ideas for a travel startup and we decided to try our luck in the silicon valley of India. He was a hobbyist photographer but he knew the technical stuff and everything, which made me pick up my dusty DSLR and go around with him to take photos, I was completely hooked on to creating images instantly and started shooting every day with him. Our idea didn’t work out and our crap apartment got flooded with drainage water during heavy rains one day which spelled the end to our silicon valley dreams. After backpacking for a month, went back home again with no idea where to go or what to do, totally depressed and hopeless, I left home with whatever money my parents were able to give me. My only plan was to travel, take photos and try to survive with whatever I have, come back home once I am running out of money.
I realized during this phase of my life, why am I searching for something I don't want to do just for the sake of money when I am already doing what I love unconsciously. From Jan 2016 My only focus turned to photography for the next few months even though I didn’t know what I wanted to shoot at that time. I always wanted to tell stories of how I see the world and photography became my voice in this endless confusing world. Photography has put me way out of my comfort zone right from wandering around the slums which I never dared to go before I had a camera with me and walking deep into the rain forests to photograph the life of people and nature out there.
I walk around for few hours a day with my camera no matter where I am, always in search of finding stories and moments, to capture them through my viewfinder and share it with the world. I still haven’t recovered completely from the accident yet, I can’t run, even walk fast as of now but I am sure I will be able to do everything one day and become 100% again. I still have a long a way and I have just started my journey I believe.
The moment that gave me the confidence that I am in the write direction was when I got the opportunity to exhibit my photos in Europe in July 2016. Since then I have been full time only into photography and travel, in search of the stories that I want to show the world using photography as the medium.
Thanks to my wonderful family for being supportive in this journey until I found my calling in life , it takes time to get to where you want to be , be patient , follow your instincts , it is hard and transformation takes time in life but from what I have experienced it is absolutely worth the ride .
To see more of my work : www.instagram.com/ambiphotoworks