At first glance, Ranthambhore: The Tiger’s Realm might come across as just another run-of-the-mill picture book of an animal that is woefully close to extinction. But a closer examination of the book reveals a world that has been intricately captured by three completely different people who look at the domain of the tiger within the confines of our own world, bringing to bear their own unique perspectives on what they contend is the Jungle King’s realm. To that end, this book, written and produced by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Anjali and Jaisal Singh, brings to life not just the tigers of Ranthambhore, but, equally, the legacy Indians have inherited and their interpretations of what this legacy heralds.
There are no stories that are either trite or for that matter predictable. Nor is the book a tourist’s guide to the abode that Ranthambhore has become for the King of the Jungle. Indeed, it is a celebration of Ranthambhore! And is a poignant and very personal account of three individual journeys into the heart and mind of the tiger as also the wildlife that it shares Ranthambhore with. So what the reader imbibes is not just the tiger’s world, but far more importantly what that world means to three very ordinary people who are passionate about both the tiger and the shared interplay between the tiger and the worlds they live in. That is the essence of this magnificently produced book. But the book also transcends the personal and moves on to the families of the authors and the myriad colourful animals that call ranthambhore home. The splendid stories of the tigress sisters, Shadow, Brat, Split, and other tigers like Zaalim, Junglee and Macchli are reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling’s jungle musings.
Tiger see, Tiger do Priyanka doing her best tigress act, pouncing on an unwary Rajiv