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  • Writer's pictureNikita Vyas

Bhavya Kotian


“Growing up I was constantly told to be like someone, to become like someone. But that’s the problem, I don’t want to be someone else, I have never wanted to be anyone else but me. Carve my own path, irrespective of whether the path was already walked on or was the one less chosen. It doesn’t make me rebellious but sure made me ambitious.

Growing up I knew one thing, I wanted see this world and that I wanted to share my life with someone who wants to see the world with equal hunger. But more importantly, I wanted to be informed, academic or artistic, I wanted to know it all.

I strongly believe in this quote by Richard Branson – ” if someone hands you an opportunity and you don’t know how to do it, say yes and then learn.”

So I went with the flow, accepted whatever came my way, and if it wasn’t feeding my hunger, I moved on from it.

After my schooling I enrolled to study Journalism but in the second semester was offered a full scholarship from a reputed dance company. So by the time I was 17, I was enrolled in two completely different institutions for two completely opposite learning. I feel so blessed working at the dance company because I got travel a little nugget of the world. And everyone who travels knows, once you are bitten by the bug, there is no going back.

By 21, I graduated both institutes and wanted to do more, so while working for a marketing team at a company I started getting my diploma in photography, and once I got my degree, I quit my job. A friend recommended me to a travel company and I travelled with them for 3 months in Maharashtra to places I had never been and met some really special souls. That journey changed my life in ways I wasn’t aware at the time. However, i realised there are photographers dime a dozen. I needed more, so I went on to get my masters abroad with a partial scholarship.

And I travelled. Wherever I could, whenever I could, on whatever budget I could. I have lived for weeks on just bread, bananas and water, just so I could travel. I travelled alone, I travelled with friends but I couldn’t not do it. Eventually when my masters ended, I hosted two exhibitions with fellow graduates in London and Leicester. Who would have thought !? After i came back, I was depressed, because while I was satiating my hunger for knowledge and experiences, I had forgotten about the basic concept of earning for bread and butter. So I had to start from scratch and struggle again.

My first 8 months or so was absolutely disheartening but I didnt stop trying. I couldn’t. And then, I applied to this online competition, and I never thought I’d even make it to selective pool or artists. But I did. One of my pictures went up on a digital exhibition in the bloody Louvre.

By 25, I had exhibited in London in person, and Digitally in Louvre. I was half in mind to retire and be like life can’t offer you more than this. And then the hungry beast woke up. I realised I have to keep doing this. Keep trying to be better to be may be aim for more world galleries and museums. To see parts of the world I only read about. To make a difference and to give back in whatever little capacity I can to the universe. So I think a simple thought is never say no to life, and do whatever you want to with absolute abandon. Now at 26, I still only dream to travel the world. And if I am lucky enough to do it even once, before I die, I’ll do my favourite places again and again, till I do”.

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