Founder at 'Archer's Club'
There are various skills and sports that often do not get the limelight. Many are not even exposed to the existence of such skills which leads to it being forgotten. But every once in a while, a true lover of the art emerges and wishes to revive it. One such individual is Pravin Ramachandran, who is an avid practitioner of Indian traditional archery.
Pravin, after a twenty-five year stint in the corporate world, finally started investing time in his true passion, archery. In this pursuit, he has founded “The Archer’s Club”, a seventy yard archery range in Trivandrum, Kerala.
The main aim of “The Archer’s Club” is to revive and teach traditional as well as instinctive archery, an art that seems to be forgotten. Pravin also aims to create a community of like-minded folks to get together and do what they love the most in a safe and ethical way.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Pravin:
When and why did you take up Indian traditional archery?
I started off about 15 years ago. I was working in Sharjah, Dubai and I passed by a shooting club and went in for the first time. But I think the interest towards archery was always there within me. We grew up with stories of Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas. And as a child we were just walking around with a bow and arrow pretending to be Arjuna and Rama. So I wanted to try that and I went out there and shot a few arrows. I found that I had a natural affinity towards it. The archery that interested me was what I was introduced to which was the simple bow and arrow. This is the traditional archery which does not have your sides and stabilizers that you find in modern archery. That part never interested me so I went completely into traditional archery.
So that time you had already quit your job?
No, I was still working. I actually quit my job two times. The first time was when I wanted to ride my bike and wanted to go to the Himalayas. My wife is from the Pahadi areas and I wanted to set up a tourist place there with a cottage and archery as well. But then you need money for something like that. So I came back with my “tail behind my legs” and continued working. But at the age of fifty, I quit my job. I would not say I was unhappy, but I was not content. I felt that now was the time for me to do something that means something to me so I quit my job. I am fifty one now, so it has been a year since I quit.
What was the idea behind taking up archery as a profession?
I would not call it a profession. A profession would be something you would earn money from. I studied Hotel Management, I worked and then I managed my family business which is a printing press. So I believe a profession comes to you. Making money from the thing you love doing the most is a good thing. I would not call archery my profession. Rather it is something I am really passionate about and I am extremely curious. The best part of something you love is when you share it with someone. So that is where I am at right now. I want to share it with people. That is what we are doing at “The Archer’s Club”. We want to revive this forgotten art of archery which has been prevalent in our culture.
Would you call archery your passion?
I know it sounds extremely vague to talk about spirituality. But for me it is a way of life. I call myself the ‘urban hermit’ because it sounds very cool, but I am in the urban setting. And I am a hermit of sorts, since I like my solitude. I like the stillness and that is probably why I became obsessed with archery. If you are disturbed, you will not hit the target in instinctive archery. You have to be at perfect balance with your breath and yourself. It is like that scenario in Mahabharata where Arjuna replies that all he sees is the eye of the parrot in the dark. This is actually true, because in instinctive archery you are only gazing at the target. You are not aiming, the arrow will reach there. So, archery is something that is spiritual for me.
What is a typical day for you?
I meditate, I walk a lot, I ride my bike. I shoot. A lot of shooting is involved. And right now I am involved in the building of the archery range. That is a work in progress and everything’s coming up as we speak. So, that would be a typical day for me.
Connect with Pravin on Instagram.
If you are an aspiring Archer or a Professional, visit The Archer’s Club for a lifetime experience. Google Map to reach The Archer’s Club.
Listen to our interesting conversation and also watch some of the amazing Bows and Arrows that Pravin showed us.