Reading hymns of nature with camera

S. ANANDAN

Fr_Pathrose

Sans cassock, Fr. Pathrose could be mistaken for a professional nature photographer.

Impulsive and passionate about photography, the priest of the Syrian Church sets off with his backpack at the drop of a hat to destinations as far and rich in biodiversity as Nepal, Bharatpur, Tuticorin, Wayanad and the like to delight in the ‘camera moments’ that the nature offers to him.

“He’s a blink and you miss him-type,” beams writer and actor V.K. Sreeraman, who fostered the priest’s talents with the lens. “And, like me, he’s a resident of Kunnamkulam, widely known as Kerala’s haven for fake goods. But in reality, it has several original gems like Fr. Pathrose.”

In fact, the priest wears several hats: he’s the principal of the Bethany St. John’s English School at Kunnamkulam, a karate black belt, naturopathy expert and a poet.

A native of Nedumkandam in Idukki district, he enrolled himself in a seminary in 2000 before joining Plus Two.

“I used to write poetry and stories during that time, but when I enrolled for degree at the Catholicate College in Pathanamthitta, film personality and Professor Madhu Eravankara introduced me to the finer aspects of viewing a scene through the lens. Kathaprasangam artist Prasad Anchal further fine-tuned it into a love for nature,” explains Fr. Pathrose.

Starting off with a second-hand camera using film roll, he slowly graduated into wielding an ordinary digital camera before obtaining a DSLR.

FACE

The Forum for Arts and Cultural Events (FACE) instituted by Mr. Sreeraman organised the first exhibition of his nature snaps at Kunnamkulam along with those of seasoned lensman Manoop Chandran. The show has come to the city’s Durbar Hall now.

“It

s only recently that I realised I’ve shot over 1,000 pictures of birds and animals in the wild and from the Kole fields of Kunnamkulam,” says Fr. Pathrose, currently in Munnar on a photography sojourn. “Those who say everything in nature has been lost haven’t looked around. I’ve clicked so many rare birds. It’s a pleasure to see how they interact with their surroundings,” says the priest, eager to rush off to Kashmir at the next opportunity.

Father Pathrose is a man of many talents. Nature photogprahy is just one

of them.