Running into the rare brown mongoose

by Kamolika Roy Chowdhury It was a rainy evening in March this year when I heard an excited scream from Jegan who was standing outside our house in Valparai. Even before I could comprehend what was happening, Jegan rushed in and said he had sighted a brown mongoose just outside our house. When he calmed […]

Out of sight, but Not out of mind

February 2013 wasn’t pleasant. It was filled with departure and demise of dear ones. It started with the death of an elephant. She was found in a stream after many days of her death. Fishes in that stream and maggots on her body were having a feast. We couldn’t really tell which herd she belonged to. Several […]

Ptero’s story as told by a Jack tree

It was an unsettling place to land on, no leaf litter, no shade, not much moisture in the soil, and no kin around, unlike places it had visited earlier. It was April, almost peak summer. Ptero, a seed, had been drifting with the wind for a few days, finally to land on this treeless clearing, […]

Books on birds in Tamil

Birds have fascinated human beings since early times. There have been many books, notes, and descriptions of birds and their behaviour in world literature, including several Indian languages. Birds have a special place in classical Tamil literature. Names given to some birds in ancient Sangam Tamil literature are still the same and in use (e.g., Koogai – Barn Owl and Thookanang […]

Rasgullas worth their tin

by Nachiket Kelkar   It is an immense pleasure when a visitor brings you sweets in the field. When the visitor is your research supervisor, the joy is even sweeter. Dr. JK, did just. He picked up a 1-kg tin of delicious Rasgullas from Kolkata when he visited me in Bhagalpur, Bihar where I was […]

Jalebis at the forest fence

by Nachiket Kelkar “Sir, would you like some paan (betel leaf) or tambakhu (tobacco)?” The kind range forest officer was at the window of our white jeep, politely bending forward and completing the task of courtesy. As we thanked him and refused the offer, he tried again and then walked off to his own jeep. […]