Mayas’s father is cricketing legend Anil Kumble, who also happens to be an avid photographer.

Anil Kumble, Jayanth Sharma, Mayas Kumble and VVS Laxman at the coffee table book launch.Special Arrangement
news Book Wednesday, March 09, 2022 - 13:59

The encounter happened suddenly and it did not last long. Maya, the famous tigress of Tadoba was fighting another tigress, an intruder. “I had around six seconds to take the picture,” said Class 12 student Mayas Kumble, who managed to capture the moment for posterity. He was speaking at the launch of his coffee table book, Safari Saga: Wild Encounters of a Young Photographer in Bengaluru on March 8, Tuesday. Mayas is no stranger to photography. His father is cricketing legend Anil Kumble, who happens to be an avid photographer.

Anil Kumble has not only photographed his fellow cricketers on the field but also has an interest in wildlife photography. It was in 2017, when father and son were at Ranthambore National Park that Anil handed his then 13-year-old son a camera. Mayas took a picture of a leopard on that trip. “It helped me unlock a whole new world and started my photography journey,” said Mayas. While his father was his initial teacher, he was later mentored by well known wildlife photographer Jayanth Sharma.

Maya, the tigress fighting an intruder at Tadoba National Park.

Over the past few years, Mayas has travelled to Kabini, Nagarahole, Tadoba and Ranthambore, among other places, taking photographs of a variety of animals and birds, and honing his skills. The images he captured during those trips are part of his book. There is a photo of a crested serpent eagle sitting on a tree. “It was only after processing the image that I realised that the eagle was holding  a common toad in its talons,” said Mayas. There is also a shot of a spotted deer at a waterhole. “I wanted to make an ordinary subject look extraordinary,” said Mayas. The deer is drinking water and because of the angle at which the shot has been taken its velvet antlers seem to glow as it reflects the sunlight.

During the event, Mayas also said that the long hours spent waiting to capture the perfect shot had taught him patience and to remain calm. Wildlife photography also helped him develop an interest in conservation.

Mayas said that his father and him have always shared a love for wildlife. And the bond has been strengthened by photography.  “I am very proud of him,” Anil Kumble told TNM. “He’s a very quick learner and I am pleased at the way he’s progressed. There are times where I now seek his help when it comes to the technical settings of my camera.”

Former Indian cricketer VVS Laxman and photographer Jayanth Sharma were chief guests at the book launch event. Laxman spoke about Anil Kumble’s proficiency with the camera and how photography was a form of meditation to him.

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