We, the people of Jayanti

By Arunima Sikdar Jayanti, a quaint locality, situated near its namesake Jayanti River, is characterized by an amusing admixture of geography, ethnicity and history. Within an area of 759 square kilometres, it harbours a river, a mountain, an international border and people of at least four different ethnicities. One can easily sense the uniqueness of…

Early Indians: how migrations created the Indian melting pot

A review of the book, “Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From.” By Vikram Aditya Race, religion, culture, language – these ideas have been debated throughout history. Nationalist groups have used these constructs to emphasize their supposed uniqueness, antiquity and superiority over other groups. Similar claims have also been made…

What’s in a name?

By Arunima Sikder   The science of naming organisms is as old as science itself. Plant names can be repulsive as they resemble complicated Latin words (which they are). You can end up pronouncing Pseudelephantpous as Atlantis and I would understand!     Although Naturalists since the 1700’s had to meticulously observe each twig, each…

Gubbachi

By Apoorva. R “The little sparrows were freely hopping and flying here & there, Pecking on grains scattered on the floor. As I stood patiently watching them on that quiet afternoon Much like the many afternoons where time stands still…. The sparrows seemed to be least disturbed. Not even by the children running around And…

Desert Carnival: Experiencing Rajasthan’s Annual Pushkar Camel Fair

By Priya Ranganathan The landscape is a myriad of colours, pulsing with life, dazzling, radiant. A burst of chaos amidst a sea of sand and Prosopis. My nostrils flare to absorb the unfamiliar mixture of smells, from camel hide to tanned leather to sweetmeats to sweaty horse to cattle droppings that litter the sandy soil….

‘Garh’, Mahua, Its People and Few Questions

By Abhijit Dey ‘Now everyone enters the forest by themselves to collect Mahua (flowers). They divided the trees like this is mine, that one yours. There was a time when the entire village used to go to collect Mahua. Those days are lost, those days have gone…’                …

Kannapuram Cattle Market – learnings from an 800 Year Old Institution

By Rathnavel Pandian The Kannapuram annual cattle market or Shandy (Sandhai in Tamil) takes place close to two famous and old temples – Vikramacholeswarar temple built by the King Vikrama Chola in early 12th century AD and the Maariamman temple at Kannapuram village in Tiruppur district of Tamil Nadu. The market, primarily for the sale…

A diary’s page from the field

By Ovee Thorat In all of Banni I can trust this guy completely. He was introduced to me by a researcher friend of mine who received a lot of help from him in time of need, help which was provided without expecting anything in return. She needed to take soil cores deep inside the hardened…

A ride through southern Bastar – a paradise taken hostage

By Vikram Aditya The evening skies turned crimson as the darkness crept in, the traffic died out and I was surrounded by an eerie stillness. The deafening silence was only punctuated by the croaks of frogs in the stream below the bridge, and the calls of cicadas echoing from the forest. I was on the Sukma-Konta highway,…

Rewilding the Arctic Fox – The Dovrefjell Breeding Centre

By Anjan Katna Norway has been at the forefront of the Arctic Fox rewilding effort. Arctic Foxes have been facing threats due to rapid land-cover change, climate change, corresponding range expansions and hunting. These foxes are important species for the ecosystem and their numbers in the past had reduced to just one breeding pair in…

Of Land and Rights

by Nita Shashidharan   “O! Who does this land belong to my friend? Are they rich or poor, all the same or different? Does it belong to us humans, or the other animals, or even water who may take over the land? I walked in my neighbourhood, and what did I see, huge houses, and…