For his bucket list, Chandrashekar Kalyanasundaram has been working to bring the corporates closer to the wild. Chandrashekar’s bucket list came into existence out of an ardent love for nature. The bucket lister studies wildlife closely to gain knowledge and shares it with his followers.
He wants to help people experience wildlife in a more memorable way that leads Beyond Roads. His sole aim behind the bucket list is to encourage people out of the predominant ‘rat-race,’ as he likes to call it. He has come up with a concept, ‘Management lessons from the wild,’ where he is accompanied by corporate employees on his trips, sometimes to the tune of hundreds.
His first interaction with nature and animals was during a stay in Ooty for about two and a half years. Chandrashekar’s grandfather introduced to him, a new world of the wild through bedtime stories.
“I got into the rat race and have spent twenty-three years of my life in it.”
The passion for wildlife photography, one of the important driving forces behind his bucket list came to surface during his weekend stress-busting getaways into the jungles. It was in 2005-2006 that he got his first camera and started learning, experimenting with it for himself.
He was executing his duties as an Associate Director for MTS when he had an epiphany. The time was an eye-opener for Chandrashekar as he realized that all this while he had been equating money with happiness. It was more of a mistake, a ‘compromise’ as he calls it.
Chandrashekar had earlier travelled to a lot of places and all on business. Although, it restricted him to formal limitations of business goals, this time it was for pleasure. He has been travelling for the last two years to places like the Masai Mara, the Jim Corbett National Park, the Ranthambore National Park, the Bandhavgarh National Park with troops of enthusiastic travellers and photographers on his bucket list travels.
“Travel makes you realize. It builds on your thinking process.”
Chandrashekar believes that travelling alone gets you time for yourself. You get to know about diverse local cultures and the do’s and don’ts in the wild.
He recalls an incident when he was waiting at a cafe for a friend where he witnessed the unending strife that entangles humans. The roads were filled with people rushing to get somewhere. That is when it hit him.
He takes people along to unseen and unexplored locations where mere observations of nature and wildlife teach one how to react to adversities. Last January, he was in charge of one such group from Royal Canon where he led them on a journey in Ranthambore.
To Chandrashekar, his bucket list is all about nature, travel and wildlife photography, collaborations and experiences, knowledge and relationships. Chandrashekar has spent about twenty-years in experiencing and observing wildlife in the course of which he has built strong relationships with photographers, naturalists, forest guards, and Rangers.
Chandrashekar believes in sharing the kind of experiences that touch one’s spirit and soul. A new way of looking at life in the wild.
He is a staunch believer of the fact that the corporates have big lessons to learn from the wild. Chandrashekar narrates of such an experience where he observed a tiger in its predatory zone. He witnessed the tiger’s paw in the air for around and about 45 whole minutes with not a twitch in the muscle.
‘’Nature is a mother of all teachers. The tiger stands for Patience, Perseverance and when to go for the kill.”
Chandrashekar garners inspiration from kids who travel. The energy levels, the enthusiasm and their ability to just switch off from stress never fails to fascinate this bucket lister.
He accepts to have faced his fair share of problems and difficulties because he had to quit on a highly-paid career for a passion that has kept him enchanted for so long.
He took to clearing off his loans during 2012-2014 using up his savings. His family had always been supportive of his choices throughout. But this was a call Chandrashekar had to take. He took a leave and started exploring his passion for travel and wildlife photography.
“Kamal Hassan describes it brilliantly. Difficulties are like a stone, the closer it is to your eyes, the bigger it seems. Chuck it and your problems and difficulties are gone. I live by this.”
He admires the women in his life, his mother, wife, and daughter. He is fond of the way they overcome their fears and challenges head-on in their own, honest and ethical ways.
Chandrashekar never misses an opportunity to learn. He follows the greats like Jim Corbett, Kenneth Andersons, Michael Melford and Diinesh Kumble.
For his next bucket list, he wants to focus more on mastering the art of macro photography and wants to earn international recognition for his work. He wants to make it to the Everest base camp. On a more broader perspective, he wants to convince people to change their outlook towards life towards tourism in India.
“I believe that If I am able to convince youngsters out of the rat race, the system can change.”
What are you waiting for?
Add your bucket list here and take that first step towards its accomplishment. Don’t let your passion fade away in the pages of a resume. Take it from a profound bucket lister Chandrashekar Kalyanasundaram, who believes in it too.