Going to bat for our guardians of the night

Since 1972, the Indian Wildlife Protection Act has cast fruit bats into the schedule V category. It means they are considered ‘vermin’—like crows, mice, and rats. Except for Salim Ali’s Fruit Bats, Kolar Leaf-Nosed Bats and Wroughton’s Free-Tailed Bats, the rest are unprotected. Even stranger is that the Wildlife Act still does not recognize the... Continue Reading →

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Whose life or death is it anyway?

We may be ungrateful for what we have because we think we deserve more. In the process, we forget to ask ourselves - who owes us anything at all? When our plans are left to die in the gutter, is there a someone we can hold accountable? If our tireless efforts go south, whose collar... Continue Reading →

Man vs wild: The fantastic beast edition

(Updated - with videos) I have had a few memorable experiences with the Indian Gaur - the largest bovine species in South East Asia. During our introduction in 2012, I saw a herd crossing a golf course in Kodaikanal. Awestruck by their imposing physique, I approached them with reckless abandon. Mercifully, one of the alpha... Continue Reading →

Mama said there will be days like this

As a child, I was in awe of the role that my mother played in my life. But I was baffled that she had the final say on everything I did. She could take decisions on my behalf. Order me around to do chores. Create arbitrary rules I had to abide by. Even though it... Continue Reading →

4 smartphone apps that can make you a better human being

When I was 24, I swore that I would never use a smartphone. It seemed like an Orwellian abstraction. A sling blade that hurled a hateful stone at the third eye of the collective consciousness. A step closer towards a totalitarian future in which the government implants computer chips in our brains to keep track... Continue Reading →

Paradigm lost, Panthera Tigris found

On December 5, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu had passed away. The city of Chennai came to a screeching halt for 24 hours. The stillness was eerie. It didn't help that we were already dealing with demonetization, the government's mischievously impotent strategy to fight corruption. It was a stressful day. But it was nothing... Continue Reading →

When humans attack

Nobody knows what they are capable of unless the situation demands it. Heroism isn’t hereditary. Circumstances make people do extraordinary things. Most of us would like to think we are capable of some bravery in the face of danger. However, when the threat is posed by a wild animal, valor can be misplaced. In 2013, during an... Continue Reading →

The lizard or the panther?

I used to obsess over spotting wild cats in their natural habits. Leopards, tigers or jungle cats, it didn’t matter. I would feel like a fortunate son of the earth as long as it had whiskers. While I gave up the search in favour of bird-watching, the felidae family members continued to haunt me. Even now, when I explore the... Continue Reading →

Bear mountain blues: Meghamalai

Does the journey really matter more than the destination? It sounds like a consolation prize to me. Why must I emotionally invest in a process when I can figure out what my goals are, and do what I can to achieve them? Last week’s visit to the Meghamalai mountain range left me with some answers.... Continue Reading →

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