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It's Crunch Time

August 2006: Evolution never gifted us the ability to see, hear, smell, touch and taste for our pleasure. The single, overriding objective was to arm us with survival tools.


Every species studies, adapts and uses the evolutionary toolbox to take mundane (should I eat that fruit?) and not-so-mundane (should I run and hide, or throw a…

To Save The Tiger, Save The Tree

June 2006: He has launched a thousand poems. Inspired timeless art. Stirred millions of hearts down the ages.  And thus far survived brutal assaults by otherwise sane humans who foolishly believe that spilled tiger-blood might magically transfuse valour, courage and power from slain cat to feeble man. Nothing, however, has prepared the tiger to deal with the Indian politician, Politicianicus…

The Art Of Death

April 2006: He was afraid for the minute; but it is impossible for a mongoose to stay frightened for any length of time, and though Rikki-tikki had never met a live cobra before, his mother had fed him on dead ones, and he knew that all a grown mongoose’s business in life was to fight and eat snakes. Nag knew that too, and at the bottom of his cold heart, he was afraid. –…

Eternal Vigilance

February 2006: What you love. What is precious. What you hold dear... you must protect. So. The questions must be asked. “Do we love wild nature? Are our forests, rivers, coasts and mountains precious? Do we hold our natural heritage dear to us? And do we wish to secure these assets for posterity?” If so, the price we must be prepared to pay is ‘eternal vigilance.’

Command And Control

December 2005: The vision disturbs me every day of my life.


Like exquisitely crafted sand castles collapsing under the weight of soggy impermanence, the tapestry of human happiness wilts – forest by thinning forest, river by lifeless river.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

October 2005: I cannot imagine a world without tigers. And no, I am not one of those ‘bunny huggers’ that hard-headed ‘realists’ love to hate. I cannot imagine a world without tigers because I know that their presence, along with that of snow leopards, whale sharks, Siberian Cranes, blue whales, giant squirrels and king cobras, is proof positive that ‘Nature’s Plan’ has…

The Magic Machine

August 2005: Consider the lowly termite. Every moment of its incredible existence is spent in a grand conspiracy to propagate life on earth. For a 100 million years and more, termites have been emerging from eggs to become workers that will build and repair nests, winged reproductives to take their colonies forward, or soldiers destined to defend not just their oversized queen and her…

In God We Trust?

June 2005: I sat for two hours in the leaf litter and summer dust of Gir in the company of a lioness and her three cubs. Watching her watching us watch her cubs, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace envelope me. Interrupted by nothing but bird calls and the hum and buzz of insects, my lifelong belief that ‘there is no god’ was momentarily forgotten.

Food For Thought

April 2005:I am a dyed-in-the wool vegetarian. I do not eat animals because I do not associate them with food. Just as you would not bite into a stone, a camera or a shirt, I would never dream of putting dead animals in my mouth. But my vegetarianism has nothing to do with religion, nor do I make value judgements on those who eat meat; apart from stating with some confidence that Homo…

Blake’s World

February 2005: To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
                            And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
                           Hold Infinity in the Palm of your Hand,
                          And Eternity in an Hour.

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