May 15, 2015

Capturing Wildlife Moments in India- Book Review



Capturing Wildlife Moments in India
Author/Photographer: Ashok Mahindra 
Publlisher: Oxford University Press(OUP) & Bombay Natural History Society(BNHS)
My Rating: ***1/2
About the author: Ashok Mahindra of The Hemchand Mahindra Wildlife Foundation is an avid wildlife enthusiast who has traveled to capture his passion through the camera lens.


Ustad! Yes, he is the Bengal Tiger rightfully adorning the cover of the book. The skillfully shot picture of the fierce animal enjoying his moment of royal leisure,,has given me a beautiful mental picture of the kind of brilliant photography I can expect in the book. 

The note that accompanies this picture clicked at Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan also makes for an interesting read.

I wish to highlight the 'Dedication' included at the beginning of the book. It is indeed a very strong message to our generation-

"I dedicate this book to young adults in the hope that they, and through them their children, will understand better that without forests and rainforests, without mangroves, woodlands, wetlands, swampy marshes and mudflats, there will be no species left for the following generations."

What follow are some 120 photographs of animals and birds of India, photographed from visits to over 30 parks,sanctuaries and other locations. Each photograph has a precisely written and very essential footnote which proves to be very informative for amateurs like me. 


I believe that for a majority of Indians like me, it is not so easy to venture into the wild. And I am thankful to photographers like Mr. Ashok Mahindra, who put their heart and soul into capturing some awe inspiring photographs of India's living treasury. While reading his notes I have also understood what risks he must have run to get that close to some fierce animals and reptiles! 


He has indeed brought the wildlife closer to us. What better way than a collection of snapshots in a well compiled book, if not in the real!

One gets to see the spotted owlet-one of my favourite kind of birds. Then there's a photograph of the Snake Bird or Darter, caught at that precise and opportune moment when its rising from the waters with a tiny catch in its beak. 

Oh! How beautiful is that shot of a large Indian hare looking right at the lens with beady eyes and both its ears perked up on high alert.

There's one particular picture in the book that has caught my fascination and that is of the Termite mounds. These mounds seem like such an interesting feature, housing millions of termites in a cool, air-conditioned environment.

"There is more to the forest than tigers.

You only have to look!"- writes the author. So true!

The foreword had included the maxim which goes “When you see it, you will like it; when you like it, you will protect it.”
After going through the book, this statement will truly make a whole lot of sense. 



At the end of the book, the photographer has very thoughtfully also included details about his camera and techniques applied.

For those wildlife and nature enthusiasts who enjoy and revel in beholding God's creation in action, this book is not only worth a dekko but also deserves to be included in one's private collection.

 The book will be available at most of the major retail outlets across India and also through online retail sites like Amazon, Flipkart etc.It will also be available for sale through the BNHS website and is priced at Rs.1450.

This post is a part of the book review program of at Saevus Wildlife India in association with The Hemchand Mahindra Wildlife Foundation for the book Capturing Wildlife Moments in India

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