Stories have an amazing power - to change perceptions, to live vividly through someone’s experiences, and to inspire to do more, in every way. Especially when they are stories about something, we absolutely love.
That is what I love most about listening to people’s stories. Stories have the power to bring out the child in each one of us. I am no different.
I relive a whole experience by sharing it with people who understand the joy and beauty of it. From the thrill of driving to the edge of a cliff overlooking 700 square kilometers of water in a wildlife sanctuary, to jumpstarting my car after an engine freeze on a cold winter night in the Himalayas to swimming with a turtle in the pristine blue waters of the Indian Ocean, I love sharing these stories with people who understand and value them.
Of course, a part of me also loves to see the look of disbelief on their faces and answer questions like, “How can we get the same experiences?”, or “How do you manage to find these offbeat places?” or “How do you manage to document your whole story through pictures?”
that are more than the corporate look we adorn for our company websites and professional networks.
that are much more intriguing than capital markets and economic slowdowns.
that are much deeper than the daily transactional interactions.
that has space for the things that we love to do.
And often, passion is pursued as a pastime, or even as an indulgence. It is strange how we wait to live our lives during weekends or those stolen vacation days to do the things we love. I have come to realize that this cannot be our status quo. We should be able to explore our passions every day. We should be able to read about it, interact with people who share similar interests, learn new ways to explore it, and network.
Yes, network! Not necessarily for professional or personal gain.
...But just to share the love for a common interest – like motoring or diving or photography is for me.
It is a way of life, a driving force that makes life worth living.
One day, one experience, one photograph, one dive, one drive at a time.
This is exactly how I have tried to chase my passions! I remember the unparalleled joy I felt in clicking a perfect picture with my basic, old school camera, the Yashika MF2. And I continued pursuing this joy – graduated to SLRs along the way – and created an inspiring photograph collection of all beautiful birds I have spotted globally. From capturing the black kite nesting on the tree outside my office window to a kingfisher I spotted in a nature park I ventured to when on a work trip, the best part about this passion is finding avenues to pursue it every day. And the same goes for my love for motoring and diving. I love exploring new motoring routes or dive sites every few weeks, all within a few hours from my city. And we are seeing similar changes everywhere.
There is a paradigm shift with people becoming more mindful and motivated to pursue their passions. We are seeing a transition in the psyche from a want to collect “things” to “experiences”. Earlier, passions and routine life did not coincide, for most people anyway. Of course, we have people who decided to pursue their passions with a purpose and made a profession out of it. But that is only a chosen few. The rest of us decided to focus on different things altogether and set our passions aside to be pursued later, probably even post-retirement.
While I have a friend who decided at the age of seven that he wanted to dedicate his life to his love for nature, I also have a friend who decided to pursue his interest in bikes in his forties. These contrasts are very common, which made me think
Why is passion not given the importance it deserves? Are we not passionate enough about our interests? Or are we lacking the right avenues and knowledge to pursue them? Or do we not have access to relevant interactions and learning resources?
I believe there are others like me who want to have the same opportunities but might be unable to dedicate enough time to actively pursue it or, might even be wary to take the plunge. There are endless possibilities, but we don’t really know how to approach them. There is a huge information gap. Given the means and tools to do so, the world would be a different place.
That’s the thing about having a passion-driven network – there is always someone with stories and ideas that are crazier than ours!
When we share a common passion, all the details of how, what, when, where become just that – details. New avenues open up. Information flow becomes seamless. Finding out anything new happening around the world or inspiring others with our experiences or exploring new things, all becomes possible without any hassle.
When I went deeper into finding answers to all my questions, after multiple debates, a lot of research, and hours of discussions with experts in the respective fields, I came to one conclusion.
A world where a passion-driven network is not a luxury, but a growing necessity.
While there are avenues to recognize your work as an entrepreneur or your qualification as a Harvard graduate, there is no avenue to showcase yourself as a motorist or diver. While it is easy to find people to network with for business, networking for exploring a new nature trail or a new motoring route is limited to a small group of people you personally know. While you can proudly share with the world that you were honored by your company as the best employee of the year, there is no way to tell every biker globally that you just finished a bike tour across six continents in 400 days.
A place where someone can inspire everyone with his world bike tour story. A place where a diver can celebrate his hundredth dive with other divers. A place where a nature lover can explore the wild with other nature lovers.
A revolution in the way we interact with people is long overdue. A revolution in the way we approach passion is long overdue. And a revolution in the way these interactions fuel passions is long overdue.
This is our future, where we are moving towards passion and niche communities with shared values and common grounds.