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Book Review : 'Capturing Wildlife Moments in India'



Name of Book : ‘Capturing Wildlife Moments in India

Author : Ashok Mahindra

Publishers : Oxford University Press and Bombay Natural History Society

Price : Rs. 1450/-

Pages : 160

Genre : Non-Fiction, Wildlife travel and Photography


Welcome to the bewildering world of Indian wildlife moments.

Bestowed with 120 stunning photographs of Indian wildlife, the coffee table book ‘Capturing Wildlife Moments in India’ authored by Mr. Ashok Mahindra emancipates the knowledge about India’s eclectic collection of flora and fauna to its readers. It sensuously attracts the readers’ heart and acts as a wake-up call to save the wild treasures of India.


Mr. Mahindra, an erudite personality and a former treasurer and Vice-President of WWF India, has in this book endeavoured to capture the multihued aura of the Indian forests and its wild inhabitants. After his retirement from the corporate world (retired Co-Chairman of Deloitte, Haskins & Sells, and as Senior Partner of A.F. Ferguson & Co.), the author has travelled widely as a wildlife photographer and has shared tales of his most prized encounters with Indian wildlife with the readers of this coffee table book.

 As appropriately stated in the foreword of the book by Asad R. Rahmani, the Director of Bombay Natural History Society, “When you see it, you will like it; when you like it, you will protect it.” - this book brings the jungle to the readers’ home.

With the aid of this book Mr. Mahindra aims to capture the attention of young Indians (forming 50% of the Indian population) towards the need of preservation of wildlife.

Every image is accompanied by interesting and informative text. Many of us are well aware of the endangered status of Bengal tiger but the author reminds us of the critically endangered but highly neglected Gharial, the endangered Hoolock Gibbon and Wild Ass, the vulnerable Barasingha and the near threatened Malayan Giant Squirrel. These and many other species which are part of the IUCN Red List are clearly specified by the author.

The author also consciously and constantly strives to extend the significance of Indian forests beyond its ferocious big cats. He encourages visitors to look out for the diverse collection of trees adorning the forest, the small mammals, reptiles, amphibians and avians as well as the other awe-inspiring wonders which amuses jungle lovers and admirers such as the termite mound, the fire breakers or nests of weaver birds. Some amazing behavioural information regarding the animals are also provided in the book.

Every Indian state has a state bird or animal which often goes unnoticed. The author here illuminates us regarding the state animals of India. All of us aware of the fact that tiger is our national animal and lion is the state animal of Gujarat. However, did you know that the giant wild buffalo is the state animal of Chattisgarh and the Sarus Crane is the state bird of Uttar Pradesh? More such information is available in this book.

The vivid encounters of the author with the king of the jungle have also been cinematically described here by the author. Meet Zalim, Machli, Aakash and Ustad and read their unique and unusual stories some of which has even baffled wildlife experts.  

For the avid wildlife traveller, the author meticulously enlists the wildlife hotspots, locations, UNESCO Natural World Heritage Sites and interesting places to stay in the heart of the wildlife.

There are also good photography tips in the book for the zealous wildlife photographers.

Capturing photographs of the wild requires immense amount of patience and skill which is displayed in the author’s work. The intense research and scintillating snaps renders the price of the book worthy of its value.

The author also pens down the ‘Thirteen Ways Forward’ where he provides thirteen useful directives that will help prevent wildlife crimes and spread awareness for wildlife conservation.

Considering the above facts, I believe that ‘Capturing Wildlife Moments of India’ has the power to mesmerize the young adults (the target group of the book) and motivate them to ruminate and act on the perilous state of affairs faced by India’s dwindling wildlife.

The book will be available for sale at the major retail outlets across India, through online sellers like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. and through the Bombay Natural History Society website.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to not just the young readers but to all seeking a tryst with the Indian wildlife.

Reviewed by :

Oishimaya Sen Nag



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

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