I remember writing basic software programs for my first Apple II computer. That was the only way to do anything with the computer. Years later, that learning opened doorways for me that I could hardly have imagined at the time.

I have always enjoyed tinkering with everything I come across. So, as a child, my toys had a very short functioning life. I was curious, and I wanted to learn.

Most of my life I have enjoyed learning. I don’t know much about trains but planes and automobiles, yes. I like restoring old cars. It brings a smile to my face when the potential of something is brought to its best.

Things I like to do include spreading a message of peace, helping people find peace, reading expressions from people who have been touched by my message, flying, photography, videography, video editing, mixing and mastering music, helping people find peace, creating music and singing (I only recently found out I could), spreading the message of peace, cooking, writing poetry, writing songs, developing trainings, restoring cars, designing most anything (from watches to cards, perfume, tablet docks, and so on), fixing broken things, helping people find peace, watching my grandson do silly things, talking to my two puppies as though they understand English (haven’t talked to them in Hindi yet—hmmm) and making valve amps.  And oh, did I mention spreading the message of peace and helping people to find peace?

On a fine sunny hot afternoon I boarded a Fokker Friendship aircraft. I think I was going on an Indian Airlines flight from Delhi to Bombay (Mumbai now),  and I had the pleasure of being invited into the cockpit. Yes, this was before the days of terrorism. Life was good and simple. Standing there, looking all around a cockpit full of switches, gauges, lights and more lights—oh boy, it was love at first sight! The tinkerer in me had met its match!

I realized early on that if I was going to travel around the world, especially to places only served by small planes, I had better learn how to fly. Whenever possible, I joined a flight school in each country I went to and took as many flying lessons as time would permit. That’s all I could do to fly; I was too young to get a proper license.

Finally, I got my first license when I was around sixteen. After getting my private pilot’s license, I went on to acquire Commercial Airplane, Helicopter and Glider, Instrument in airplane and helicopter and ATP Airplane. I also got my Instructors CFII in airplane and helicopter, but that one is now waiting to be renewed, time permitting.

I worked hard to get type ratings for B707, B720, CE500, DA50, CL600, LEAR JET, G-IV, G-V, GVI and HS-125. As of this writing, I have approximately 14,000 hours of flying under my belt.

Flying is inherently dangerous. I think it has something to do with gravity. It takes prudence, knowledge and precautions to make it safe and enjoyable. I continue to learn so much, and the tinkerer in me has learned that you don’t tinker with airplanes unless you are properly qualified.

Flying makes it possible to reach people who live in out-of-the way places, not served by main transportation services. One of the routes I regularly fly in India takes 3 hours by helicopter and 2 days by car. Long live the helicopter!

I have been to some very remote places of the world, landing on runways which, just moments before, were full of sleeping baboons, donkeys and other animals. Flying isn’t always glamorous but hard work. There are early mornings, all-night flights and a plethora of bureaucracy waiting to welcome you when you arrive. I always try hard to make sure I arrive on time for my loved ones and respected audiences.

I enjoy music. At the time I was growing up in India, there was no television, and radio programs verged on boring and ended early. Entertainment came as people gathered together and sang songs written by Kabir Sahib, Meera Bai and other wonderful masters who left behind a treasure trove of knowledge and wisdom.

At these gatherings, the instruments were simple, like the single-stringed ektara and perhaps a hand drum played by non-professional musicians. Yet, they had the ability to pull me into the hypnotic charm of being lost in the realm of the heart.

I must admit that I am not a professionally trained musician, but with whatever instrument I have taught myself to play using the latest software, I will always endeavor to capture a bit of that simple magic I felt then and feel now and forever.

My background with photography dates back to my youth, when I was about nine or ten years old. I wanted a camera but didn’t have one, so I made a pinhole camera out of a shoe box and wax paper. Now that was fun!

At that time, there were no digital cameras. Am I giving away my age? You had to know the basics of film processing and developing prints if you wanted quick results. When you bought film, it came with an envelope for sending the film back to be developed. In those days, UPS, FedEx and DHL did not exist. Living in what was then the small town of Dehradun, the return of developed film was painfully slow. It took about a month to get the film back, and that was if you were lucky. (My, how India, and indeed much of the world, has changed!) So I set up my own lab to develop film and make positives from negatives. Soon my friends were bringing me their negatives to get processed.

I have always accepted the fact that there is a hidden picture everywhere you turn, just waiting to be captured. The pictures I have taken involving water, smoke and fire are a great example, and soon I will be making some of them available for sale.

Water splashes around us every day as we go about washing our hands or taking a shower, unaware of the magic dancing all around us. Smoke—that’s just a visible current of air. And fire—oh my God, fire. Wow! Fire—the moment all the right ingredients come together, frozen in time at 6400th of a second or 8000th of a second.  What would it be like to freeze that moment at a fraction of a second? After taking thousands, and I mean thousands, of these pictures, it’s incredible to notice that no two pictures will ever be the same.

These pictures go through a minimum of processing—just color balance, exposure control and removal of stray artifacts. If you look at them in detail, there are all sorts of things going on . . . and on, and on, and on. And they are not manipulated to look like they do. No Adobe Photoshop is involved here, just Adobe Lightroom. Pure and simple. Just a chance to witness the everyday world of existence with a snapshot of what is there.

The first set of these pictures was donated to The Prem Rawat Foundation and sold at auction for a total of $332,000.

Maybe the next time you see a water drop, or smoke rising in the air, or perhaps a little flame as you light your stove, you will smile and try to imagine the magic afoot.