Oil palm expansion in forest and traditional agricultural lands, Mizoram

The march of the triffids

“In temperate countries, where man had succeeded in putting most forms of nature save his own under a reasonable degree of restraint, the status of the triffid was thus made quite clear. But in the tropics, particularly in the dense forest areas, they quickly became a scourge.” —John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids In […]

एक फोटो खीछो

In Hindi by Swati Sidhu अंकल, कहाँ से आ रहे हो ? ऊपर उस पहाड़ के टॉप से l मतलब कहाँ से हो ? चेन्नई से l झूठ बोल रहे हो ? (हँसके) अरे नहीं तो l मेरे पीछे मेरे दोस्त आ रहे हैं, उनसे पूछ लो l यहाँ क्यूँ आए हो ? पक्षी देखने […]

Take our photo

“Uncle where are you coming from?” “From top of that mountain” “No, where are you from?” “From Chennai” “You are a lying” (giggling) “No I am not lying, ask my friends coming behind me” “Why you have come here?” “To watch birds” “What is that?” “It’s a camera” “Take our photo” (giggling) Read this in […]

Why Mizoram must revive, not eradicate, jhum

There is something extraordinary about the cheraw (bamboo dance) performed during Chapchar Kut. The dance is unique, elegant, and spectacular, but it carries a deeper connection to the land and lives of the people, particularly to the remarkable practice of shifting agriculture (or jhum) which subtly encapsulates the dance of the bamboos themselves on the […]

Birds on a wire

This is a longish account of a long drive from Bangalore to Kibber in the Trans-Himalaya. Notes I kept during the 10 day journey are largely conversations I had with myself but also with my partners in travel, and are used here to share what we experienced, saw and spoke of during this journey across […]

Living in an extreme world

by T. R. Ramachandran and T. R. Shankar Raman (This article appeared as a lead on the edit page of The Hindu on 13 July 2013) The recent flood-related disaster in Uttarakhand was labelled a Himalayan tsunami, recalling the deaths, damage, and destruction that followed the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami of December 2004. Yet, […]

The MSc High Altitude Techniques Tour

Published in the WII Newsletter in 1993 or early 1994 (Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun) “We at W. I. I.” I curse, “are nothing but a bunch of overgrown children playing at Cowboys and Indians. I mean, is this any place to be? The temperatures are so low, I am sure any decent thermometer would […]

A tale of two valleys

…at the ends of the Himalayas: life in Spiti and Siang valleys – Kulbhushan & Karthik     A dialogue that sparked off between us about which dried-meat tastes better; Mithun or Yak, instantly became a meaty confab beyond bovids that revolved around communities in Spiti and Siang valley and their practices. One look at […]