Turning the turtle

At the edge of the foaming sea, behind the spent waves on the beach, shapes materialize in the night. They are ancient shapes that have appeared countless times over millions of years. They slowly pulse towards the shore, their domed shells barely showing at the surface. Under a waning gibbous moon, scaly flippers strike the […]

When the wind cried ‘Mary’

On a visit to Chowra Island in the Nicobar archipelago in October 2008, on being told to wait until evening to contact my islander informants, I was passing time with an assortment of police constables on duty on the islands’ lookout-post. They were involved in an intense game of cards, while I sat around bored […]

Death on the highway

This article was published in The Hindu Survey of the Environment 2009 (pages 113 – 118) without the supporting footnotes. The original article with footnotes and photographs is reproduced here. Crunch! Splat! Thud! A daily massacre is occurring under the wheels of our vehicles. Thousands of lives are snuffed out tragically, instantaneously, and yet, we hardly […]