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From the Lens of an IRS Officer

Sometimes in life, a mere thought can have an indispensable impact on the course of our life, and that thought struck a chord with Indian Revenue Service officer, Surbhi Garg who discovered her love for travelling during her UPSC interview round that eventually led to her unflinching passion for photography.

To Travel Is To Live

While reminiscing her interview, Surbhi modestly shared, “I had mentioned travelling as one of my hobbies in the UPSC interview form. One of the interviewers of the final round asked me, ‘Isn’t travelling a Fool’s Paradise?’ since a traveller or tourist typically explores only those areas that have an interesting history or beautiful scenery and tends to learn only a limited amount of information about it. This prevents them from learning the full story and keeps them from understanding the true nature of the place.”

To this, she modestly shared her personal experience with the panel about missing her train from Jaisalmer and how some locals went above and beyond to help her catch the train from another location on time by arranging for a taxi and other necessities for her and her friends.

“It was a wholesome experience and that’s when I realized that travelling isn’t about scenic locations and famous touristy spots or monuments; it is all about the people you meet and the experiences that you gain from a place when you visit there,” Surbhi smiled.

An Eye for Photography

An officer of the Indian Revenue Service working as Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax, Surbhi’s passion for photography came to her as an epiphany when she signed up for it while training at The Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie.

The pictures that she captured during the Himalayan Trek to Gaumukh (mouth of the Ganges) were appreciated by her mentor, Sh. Ganesh Saili, winner of the National Award for Best Travel Writing, who further encouraged her innate skills.

“He motivated me and told me that I had a good eye for photography. He guided me the entire time and corrected me where I erred. His words inspired me to take more pictures, which sparked my passion for photography,” Surbhi recalled.

From thereon, she continued to garner her passion for photography with each passing day.

Giving Back to the Society

Surbhi’s passion comes with a purpose – a purpose to contribute her bit to the society and her ongoing photography exhibition titled “Traveler’s Footprints” stands testament to the same.

Her photographs (with frame) are on display at the Chandigarh Lalit Kala Academy and all proceeds from the sale of these photographs will go to charity.

“It’s a compilation of more than 40 photographs from all across the country which will be on display for around a week,” Surbhi informed.

The exhibition will remain open till 26th January daily from 11:00 am to 6:30 pm.

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