When I first picked up this book, I thought, ‘Ah! I’ll be done with this one by the evening’. It’s a slim little one that seemed to be an easy read. However, three days later and I’m still gasping to catch my breath. For this is not a book to just skip through. You are so spellbound that you just don’t want to miss a word. Big hearts really do come in small packages.
The cover has a tiger approaching you, emerging out of a forest. But this is not a usual tiger story. Because some of it is told in the tiger’s own voice. And those are my favourite parts, because Anjana really does get into the tiger’s skin to bring us never seen before insights into the big cat’s world. There’s a particularly hair-raising moment. You first see the incident from the point of view of the young protagonists—Rohan, a city boy struggling with maths and holiday homework, and Manjul, a village girl who herds her cows, struggling to put some money for her father’s operation. Both are out further into the forest than they’ve ever been before. They don’t notice the grass shaking more than the breeze could be shaking it. They leave, unaware of the danger that was so close. Turn the page and you read the same incident, but seen through the tiger’s eyes. And he’s close, just a deadly leap away.