Student sharp-shooter calls the shots | Aga Khan Academies

Student sharp-shooter calls the shots

10 January 2023

Meet Yashita Cheeredi, a student who embodies what it is to have a wide range of interests on opposite ends of the spectrum and to be totally absorbed and fascinated by what she does. Someone who feels empowered by her accomplishments and has a great drive to learn new things. In a recent interview, she discusses her various interests and provides us with some insight into her motivations.
COVID was an oddly productive experience for many. It was the ideal time to start new activities, reconnect with existing ones, and carve out time for others.
When asked what first sparked her interest in photography, she mentioned a chance drive she took to Hampi over the pandemic, during which she captured some interesting photographs. “Analyzing the colors, the angles and the proportions gave me a peek of what it’s like to be a photographer. Something I had considered to be simple or done without much thought turned into something that required great precision and focus.“

Did you grow up surrounded by an artistically inclined family?

Yes! Indeed, I did. My love of photography was largely influenced by my father. He has an unbelievable amount of passion for wildlife photography, and I suppose that's how I got started as well. The ability to capture that one quiet moment in the midst of nature's fast pace is truly magical. I watched him be entirely enchanted as he looked through his camera and I yearned to find something that gave me the same kind of feeling.

Her being the youngest member of the Yearbook team this year as a ninth grader is remarkable. She claims to enjoy the rushing about, and the constant hustle that comes with being a photographer. She regards photography, though, as simply a means of expression put on paper; it gives her a way.

She is a chemistry enthusiast who aspires to do research in organic chemistry in the future. "I've always been a geeky science girl; I enjoy the concept of understanding how things work and discovering how little we actually understand about the world we live in.”

The hobbies she has are already intensely varied and to add to this pile is rifle shooting. Having recently been chosen for a south Zone and competing in a Nationals tournament, she has the opportunity to compete in the selection for the highly coveted KSS competition. She is now awaiting the results of the nationals, for which, if chosen, she would compete in Korea as a member of the Indian team. She recounts competing in the championships as one of the most fulfilling experiences that fuelled her passion for the game. The fact that she started practicing only six months ago, and has gotten this far speaks volumes.

Given that rifle shooting is not a typical hobby, how did you get into it?

Actually, it's a funny story. My Chemistry tutor used to learn from that trainer, and she told me about it, which piqued my interest . So I decided to give it a shot, and now I can't go a day without practicing; It now forms a part of my daily routine and. means to release thoughts that hold me back. Having said that it is not a common sport, participating in it gives me an odd sense of accomplishment. Without a doubt, I intend to continue it through high school and even beyond.

Was it scary holding a gun and trying it for the first time?

No, it's just an airgun with no recoil, so it's not at all like the explosions in movies. My brother and I both started classes, but he had to drop out because he was too young to carry the rifle safely. I adore the thought that if I ever gave up, my brother would murder me.

Even though I am aware that these aren't the most conventional or lucrative hobbies, my family has been tremendously supportive of all of my endeavors, and I am so grateful for that. Without that, I'm not sure what I would have done.

Interviewed by Hansika Kondapally, Diploma Programme 1