By: Ananda Banerjee(Editor)
The incredibly diverse forests and jungles of India have, for centuries, been a source of fascination, curiosity and awe. And, over the years, naturalists, biologists, hunters and gamekeepers – Hugh Allen, E.P. Sanderson, Edward Lockwood, Rauf Ali, and Kartik Shankar amongst others – have striven to evoke the sense of wonder they felt, in their works.
Nature Chronicles of India, a compilation of essays on the natural wealth of the country, is divided into two distinct sections. In the first are field narratives by some of the finest biologists, naturalists, filmmakers and journalists working in India at the moment. Essays in this section include ‘Lunch with the Snow Leopard’, in which conservation biologist Yash Veer Bhatnagar describes a magical encounter with the ‘grey ghost’; and ‘Are Warblers Less Important Than Tigers?', a well-argued piece by reconciliation ecologist Madhusudan Katti in support of viewing conservation as a holistic exercise rather than as one privileging a particular species over the other.
The second section features essays and stories penned by officers of the Raj posted in different parts of British India. An excerpt from Hugh AlIen’s The Lonely Tiger tells the story of a tiger distraught about having lost his family to poachers; and, ‘The Sal Forests’, by the author and hunter Captain James Forsyth, describes his exciting adventures in the region; dodging poisoned arrows, stalking red deer and camping on the hunting ranges of the tiger.
Insightful, comprehensive and informative, this book will excite everyone interested in the natural world.
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