Born and brought up in Mumbai, and having spent five years in London, Rufus Reynolds aka The Ramu Kaka is the kind of person who could inspire anybody. He and his immensely talented team have traveled all over India and have captured moments from their travels and put them up on social media. This has garnered a huge number of followers, fame, and likes for them. 32 years of his life, this man did not know what he was doing with his life. Stuck in a cubicle of his office, the corporate life gave him money, and that’s what he thought he would be doing for the rest of his life. One fine day, his friend gifted him with a DSLR camera. And, that’s when the magic happened.
The Youth Chronicles caught up with him one fine day and came to know that there is more to this amazing man than just photography and travel.
Being in corporate life when did you have the urge to pursue traveling and photography full time?
I had always had the urge to travel the world even when I was doing a corporate job. I was lacking the confidence to take something different than mainstream because of financial worries. Being from an average middle-class family in India, a fixed monthly income was very important to survive. And once I started traveling, photography fell in place as I made sure I saw the world through my eyes and not be influenced by opinions.
What was your family’s reaction?
My father always wanted me to have a good job with good income and growth. I always had different plans. However, for 30 years I listened to my father, and one day I decided to take a stand. I asked him for 2 years of freedom from the mainstream. If I could do something good with my life, I would carry on and make them proud. And if I failed, I would listen to my father for whatever he says. Influence from family is one of the big challenges we creative folks must fight.
What according to you is your biggest obstacle now?
The biggest one would be a creative block and saturation. Failure to innovate. I can’t be satisfied with what I do, and I always have to be in search of new ideas and content. A creative block is definitely the biggest obstacle. Not to deny, I do go through it at times.
What are the pros and cons of being The RamuKaka?
The pros, well, I get to travel the world. Fuel my passion to explore this one planet we call home. I also get to keep my thought process creative by thinking of new ideas of delivering content to my clients. A lot of affection and motivation are received from my audience which keeps me charged always.
The cons, society still criticizes me for what I do. I do get cold vibes from a certain part of society which does not approve of anyone stepping out of the mainstream. It doesn’t bother me much though. I don’t think there is any other con. I’m happy with whatever I’ve got.
Whose work has influenced you the most?
This is a question I frequently keep answering and my answer is usually considered rude or mean. I would still stick to my answer though.
I have ever been influenced by anybody’s work. I have respect for everyone’s perspective. However, I have always felt that I’m on my own, my work is unique and needs no influence, nor should it influence someone. We are all here with our own talent. Might as well present what you’ve got. Hence, I don’t get influenced by anyone’s work. Their work is theirs. My work is my thought process.
Being the person you are now, what advice would you like to give to your younger self?
I would tell my younger self to proceed with caution when it comes to trusting or dealing with people. Give yourself time and understand people and their motives first. Only then decide what’s best for you. I don’t regret placing my trust blindly on everyone I’ve met, yet it has been a learning experience, and a good one.
What is one life lesson which you have learned through traveling?
Traveling has taught me to embrace what this world has to offer. It has taught me to listen, observe, learn something new every day. It has changed me as a human being. I feel like a world citizen with no boundaries. To travel is to find answers, and I’m glad I’m a Traveller. I really can’t imagine myself sitting on an office chair and spending 9 hours in a concrete enclosure.
Which is your favourite book/books?
I don’t read books. I know, sounds weird. I just don’t know why I don’t read books.