Aditya Ganesh grew up in a very liberal environment. Though his father is into international finance, and his mother worked in the corporate sector for a while, they always allowed him to explore and learn on his own. Shifting at an early age from Mumbai to the ‘green’ city of Bangalore gave him ample opportunities to get closer to nature.
Animals had fascinated him since childhood, and he inevitably looked for activities concerned with the outdoors and with animals. He become a member of ‘Friends of Elephants’, volunteered with ‘People for Animals’, and kept looking around for opportunities to be with wildlife. In Class XI and XII, these activities took a back seat since, like innumerable others, he was asked to prepare for engineering or medicine. His grades actually went down for the first time since he could not connect with those careers.
After Class XII, he got back to his first love, and took up B.Sc. with Zoology in a reputed university. Even when others were questioning why he did not take up engineering or medicine when he had good grades, he himself did not have any doubts or regrets. Luckily, his parents supported him fully. Studying Zoology brought many things in better perspective for him, and he actually become one of the toppers in his university.
He kept attending many camps, and involved himself in activities concerned with the outdoors and nature.
On graduating, he wanted to get into a prestigious all-India organization for his Masters, but just missed getting selected. Since he did not want to get into a mediocre course just for the sake of getting a Masters degree, he considered the rejection as a blessing in disguise, because he could look wider with freedom. He took a gap year, which was not the ‘done’ thing, but he was not scared about his future, and once again he was supported by his parents.
Aditya dived into various activities. He went to Kochi as part of a team that was studying dolphins. He made a breakthrough with a couple of reputed professors of the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), who encouraged him to help out in research work. For eight months, he meticulously studied the behavior of freshwater fish in lab conditions, feeding them and observing them closely.
Last month, he was selected by well-known Prof. Anindya Sinha to go to Chennai and study the natural behaviour of street dogs in their own habitat without disturbing them.
He is oblivious of the summer heat as he spends hours taking notes about behaviour patterns of the street dogs, each of whom he has given a nickname.
Aditya has now obtained admission in a prestigious European university for a Masters in Ecology and Evolution, which he feels is tailor-made for him. He wants to secure his academic status by studying animals in depth, and eventually get into sustainable sciences. While not particularly sure about what and how he will achieve, and how much he will earn, he is sure his life is on the right track.
He recollects some fascinating incidents from his unusual life path. He was part of an unofficial three-day-long elephant census. The first two days, there was no sighting of any animals at all. His team kept trudging to exhaustion in the jungles. In the last half an hour of his last day, he saw 30 wild elephants and a leopard. This “unpredictability of the forest” is what fascinates him.
He has had occasion to rescue distressed animals in the most unexpected of places. He found an owlet on the tin roof of a shed, too young to fly properly and exposed to predators.
Aditya recalls how he walked gingerly on the roof of the shed and quickly pulled out the little fellow.
On another day, he found a snake stuck down the pipe of a public urinal. Needless to say, with Aditya’s rescue, the reptile is happily roaming around somewhere in the jungle right now. He also found a rare Golden Oriole bird in the campus of Christ University. Resin from flowering trees had stuck its wings shut, incapacitating it. Aditya heated up water to melt the resin, so that the little bird could fly free again.
Working without stress, Aditya enjoys every day and every experience of his life. He is happy being on his own, befriending four-legged creatures and walking an un-trodden path. He looks to thank nature for the innumerable blessings it gives us, which many of us take for granted.
Aditya is also very clear that wherever he studies and learns, he definitely wants to come back to India. He believes that this is the country that worships nature, and its creatures will welcome him back with open arms.
If you’re enthusiastic like Aditya about alternative careers that are not much sought after, do write to us, outlining your interests.