Selfie reveals the photographer in banker Shah

KATHMANDU: “Photography is my passion. It’s a source of relaxation for me,” said Anil Shah, CEO of Mega Bank, at ‘Selfie’ at Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikuti Mandap on March 3.

Selfie, a monthly event organised by the National Forum of Photo Journalists (NFPJ), featured Shah in its second edition. In the event, he began by stating, “Banker is not a sufficient introduction of Anil Shah. He is more than that. He is also a passionate photographer.”

Recalling his photography journey, Shah said, “When I was pursuing my high school in Delhi in 1980, I encountered the camera for the first time. My father had bought it from ... I forgot the country’s name. I took some photos of my school and residence. When I saw the photos I had taken I was happy. I didn’t have words to express it. I knew then that photography makes me happy. I could tell my feelings through photos because it was my angle.”

The banker regrets photography could be his profession — if only he had courage to ask his parents back then. “I never had the courage to ask my parents, and I never asked them. Now, sometimes, I think if I had asked them ... maybe ...”

Shah hid his passion from his family, but did not forget his dream of being a photographer. “When I was studying BBA in USA, my father came to meet me and saw my photographs. He liked those and told me to keep doing my hobby. He asked me if I needed anything; I asked him to buy me a camera. We went to a shop and bought a Canon. When we were leaving, the shopkeeper asked, ‘Don’t you need the lens?’ We didn’t know camera needed lens!”

Shah’s interest is nature and wildlife photography. “Human beings never attracted photos because I have limited time. And I couldn’t work with their time. But mountains and animals are always there. I can go and click the Everest any time, go to Sauraha any time to click those wild animals.”

He also informed Nepal is the best destination to take photos. “Because we are gifted by nature and our ancestors,” he stated. As per Shah, “Photography is being at the right place at the right time. If you are fortunate enough, you can get the perfect photos.” However, Shah claimed that he has never clicked the perfect photo.

For aspiring photographers he suggested to “learn the craft first, choose what kind of photography you prefer and invest enough time in it to get that perfect photo”.

Being a photographer also has painful memories for Shah. “When my younger brother passed away due to a heart attack in the US, my mother asked me to take his photo to show the family who were in Nepal. I took the photo of the dead body of my brother. It

was the most painful moment of my life.”

Thirty-four photos taken by Shah of different places of Nepal were displayed at the programme. The photos of sadhus of Shivaratri at Pashupatinath Temple, Nyatapol temple, two rhinos drinking water at Sauraha, a mother elephant with baby elephant in a river and Machhapuchhre with Phewa Lake from plane were some

of the photos that were displayed.