The K stands for kalyan. We had originally met him when he had just joined as a naturalist at B R Hills, with Jungle Lodges and Resorts, one of the best wildlife safari-venue operations that I have seen...amazing that it is a Govt. of Kanrataka venture.
Madhu Kurup was with him at the startup of Yahoo! India and had pointed us in his direction, so much so that we impulsively decided on BR Hills because he was there. It was, for all practical purposes, shortindiangirl and chaibacca's honeymoon, but we were tagging along as we all wanted to spend time together. Kalyan was sick at the time and was running a temperature, but we could not mistake his enthusiasm for wildlife and we had a great time. I was quite impressed that he had chosen to leave the beaten path for a time at least, when he could afford to do so, rather than "get ahead" in the rat race.
Over a period of time, I have been following his LJ entries and his great talents as a wildlife photographer were appreciated by hundreds of other readers too. He has taken the only known picture of the Oriental Bay Owl, right here in Karnataka....go to his LJ and go through his pictures, I don't need to tell you how breathtaking they are. I wish I knew how to post the link to some of his pictures...but I guess all you need to do is to go to his LJ and see them.
I suppose I also always knew that his IT skills were also above the ordinary...but just how much so they were, was revealed to me when he came over to meet us today. The guy won a "superstar" award in Yahoo....with 2 business class tickets to the US (with stay in a fancy hotel and chauffeur-driver limousine to boot...OK, after the allotted no. of days he decided to stay on and the boot was, he says, literally applied...the carriage disappeared like the pumpkin of Cinderella's did at midnight, and he and his mother, who had gone with him, were back to multiply-each-dollar-by-45 reality.)
He brought his laptop over and I had a wonderful time looking at a lot of his photographs, including some that are posted on his LJ. He seems to have absorbed an amazing amount during his time as a naturalist....and a lot of it is documented in those fabulous photographs. Kalyan..I wish you would post many, many more of your pics on your LJ.
He has also had the courage to set up on his own and the enterprise seems to be doing reasonably well too. He still finds time to answer the call of nature a little differently from the way most Indians answer it...off he slips into the jungle, whenever time permits.
He is as fascinated by a spider in a REAL website as he is by his various encounters with tigers and leopards. His pictures of the delicate tints of wild impatiens flowers are as much a treat to see as his snaps of snakes and gaur. I couldn't appreciate the technical details of camera,lens,flash and zoom...I was just reacting to the snaps themselves, and the fascinating stories that came with each photo.
He looked at my spouse's camera and its latest look-like-Apollo-11-lunar-module lenses, and really appreciated them. They happily talked camerese for a while, and then other gizmese...he talked about buying an MP3 player and then breaking it open for the 5 gb card inside ( I hope I have the details correct!)
Later on in the visit, he talked about more general things, the general hypocrisy, over-expectation, and prudery that governs the Indian social scene, and we compared our opinions on several things...I like the way he is matter-of-fact about himself and his various abilities...he almost makes me forget how unusual a guy he is!
If he is representative of the new Indian generation...well..I am really glad. But I still think that his kind is not very common here, alas.
More power to your efforts, Kalyan, and to your camera...and looking forward to the next trip to the forests that we can make with you and the knowledge you have gained about wildlife. I had a great day...thank you! Your parents must be so proud of you....and so must Noella!