Friday, December 01, 2006

The ’wild’ man of Thane

Poring into the eyes of a mosquito was never so good. Ask Yuvaraj Gurjar of Thane, a columnist with Thane Plus and a wild life photography enthusiast, as his pictures recently bagged two awards at a National photography competition

Yuwaraj Gurjar / Yuwaraj Gurjar receiving his award at the ceremony / (Left) A photograph of the loghorn beetle, which won Gurjar the prize in the close-up division. (Right) The photograph of a mosquito resting on a leaf after sucking blood from a larger animal won the second prize in the competition

His deep study about nature, wildlife and insects enables him to get some wonderful photographs. Yuwaraj Gurjar, a talented wildlife photographer from Thane, has proved his worth in many national and international-level competitions. Recently, he again made the city proud by winning coming second in a national-level competition titled ’Lights and shades of science’, organised by RR Mehta Educational Trust, Delhi and the central government’s department of science and technology.

Yuwaraj took a prizewinning photograph of a female mosquito in Yeoor forest, Thane. "The insect had just sucked blood and was resting on a leaf. In the photograph, we can see a drop of blood in the mosquito’s mouth. I waited a while to capture that moment," says Gurjar.

Another photograph taken by Yuwaraj won a prize in the close-up division. Also, an international photography exhibition held recently displayed 10 of his photographs, which he plans on showcasing throughout the year.

For the last 15 years, Yuwaraj has wandered in forest to capture some wonderful wildlife pictures. "Insects and butterflies are my favourites," he says. Although he works in JK Files, Thane, he donates all his spare time to pursue his hobby. "I visit Yeoor every Sunday and make it a point to visit a large forest at least once a year," he adds.
Yuwaraj’s love for nature goes back to the days when you would go trekking and bird watching. From his first salary (a guide in Renthambor), he purchased his first camera. "My love for photography began from here," he reminisces.

For the past seven years, he has written a column for Thane Plus, titled Wild Thane, which has proved popular. "I get recognition through this column," he says. His writing on environment is such that he has received fan mail from places like Jalana in Maharashtra.

He is also the founding members of HOPE, an NGO working to preserve environment. He also organises a number of slideshows and arranges nature trails for lovers of environment. He as also written two books on the life of butterflies and has two CDs on the same. With his recent success, Thaneites expect another prize in the near future.



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