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I Made my Hobby a Living
[Updated :: 2011-08-22 09:20:08 Hours]

He sees what others do not see. He sees some beauty in each and every object he meets. He captures them and shows them to the world because he is a professional photographer.

Gurunathan Sri Ranganathan met us during our tour across the peninsula while he was working in his studio at No. 309, Navalar road, Anaipanthy, Jaffna.

“Good morning, please come in,” the CIMIC team received a friendly welcome from this 52 years old gentleman who stepped forward keeping his work aside for awhile. Then he wanted to offer us a cup of tea and her eldest daughter Pavithra ran towards home for that assignment.

Our first question about his native place gave the start to discussion.

“I was born in Kantharmadam on the Palaly road. I am a proud old student at Jaffna Hindu College where I completed my GCE A / L in science stream.” He looked happy when he remembered his school days.

After A / L examination, Mr. Ranganathan followed a course in air conditioning at a local private institution and obtained a diploma.

“My father Velayathipillai Gurunathan and mother Parameshvari Gurunathan did not have much wealth to give us all we needed. I have two sisters and six brothers. My father was a meter reader of the Jaffna Municipal Council,” he added.

In 1981, Mr. Ranganathan flew to Saudi Arabia seeking a job to earn money. He was able to collect some Riyal fixing and repairing A/C machines there to start a self employment and returned to the island in 1989.

“I came to Sri Lanka in 1988 to get married to my wife, Valarmathy and left for Saudi Arabia again,” said Mr. Ranganathan.

“When I returned in 1989, war situation prevailed in Jaffna. So I had no work. There was no air conditioning work. On the other hand, there was no electricity. I had a craving for learning photography and video filming from my school age,” he continued.

With the money available with him he then started a small studio. Unfortunately, his family was displaced in 1995 due to terrorist activities. He had spent the life with his family at Usan until April 1997. Upon his return to Jaffna, he restarted his studio.

“Now I get so many orders. I am doing video filming and still photography of all types of ceremonies and making albums. My hobby ultimately became my livelihood. Now there are four working under me. My elder daughter Pavithra is helping me inmy studio work. She is now 21. Younger daughter Semithra is 17 and studying at Vembady Girls’ High School. I put my son’s name Aravinth to my studio. He is now 15 and attending Jaffna Hindu College,” Ranganathan went on talking about his nest.

Mr. Velayathipillai Gurunathan had died in 1995 and Mrs. Parameshvari Gurunathan is now living in Canada with one brother and one sister of Ranganathan.

“Life has changed. Those days we had a lot of troubles. I am happy now for being able to live in peace,” he concluded while we wished him good luck and left his studio.

Telephone Number of his “Aravinth Digitals” is 021 2222190.

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