Born to a teacher father and homemaker mother in Kanthala, Chandigarh in 1960, young Suresh still remembers his childhood walks to the nearby jungle patch on morning walks. His love of nature, photography and travel, gravitated him towards Indian army where he received a short service commission and rose to become a Captain. And, had a rewarding stint of six years which took him to various corners of India and abroad. As a young officer he served in the 93 Field Regiment and had a memorable year with 111 Rocket Regiment. He was a marksman and won Div Championships for three consecutive years. He was a hockey player and an ace mountaineer and was also selected as liaison officer for foreign mountaineering expeditions. But the most challenging yet most rewarding opportunity with army was his being a member of IPKF in Sri Lanka for a year and a half where he was also injured. “IPKF changed my life,” he says. In 1988, he came in contact with Satish Bhaskar at Chennai, well known for his work about marine life, especially the sea turtles. This was the turning point in Captain’s life.
Satish introduced Suresh to Dr Indraneil Das at Madras Croc Bank, Mammallapuram. He applied for ‘leave without pay’ from the army and went to work for three months on a film called ‘Love at first sight’. With his love for nature in full bloom, he bid the Indian Army adieu but only in letter. Because he remained, a zealous soldier in spirit. Like he puts it “I owe a lot to the Indian Army. I have learnt a lot it and now apply it with a bit of modification in my civil life and I get results in life to be happy.” After some initial hitches, he could see his path clearly. He began focusing on ‘Conservation through education’ and started ‘Snake Cell’. With his wife, another snake enthusiast, he took the venture to a different level. Alongside, he has been constantly been fuelling his passion for filming and photography, his creative skills, making him a favourite with some experts.
He has been associated with wildlife film projects including two for the National Geographic Society, USA. With his assiduously built knowledge bank, he is considered an expert by the experts. He was appointed as Assistant Director of a World Bank project involving breeding of the green frog in captivity. Multi talented, he has also shot pictures for a coffee table book on The Indian Army, been a special invitee for exclusive photo-session with Prince Charles during his visit to Punjab, travelled to Egypt to do a project for Egyptian tourism and has been highly applauded by International community on Flickr where he has had more than 2.40,000 hits on his photostream. “Camera”, he says, “has made me humble, taught me how to look at my own country, people and culture.”