The book is a compilation of bizarre lost and found maps and is meant for imaginative and imaginary geographies
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When one pursues a particular hobby for a considerable period of time, any documentation of the same in a form of a coffee table book reflects a labour of love. On Safari: The Tiger and the Baobab Tree takes us on a personal tour of the wilderness in two continents — the tiger havens of India and the exotic African bush life.
Don’t expect a Frans Lanting or Art Wolfe production. Instead this book offers the pure unadulterated joy of sharing once-in-a-lifetime experiences mostly captured in emulsion film over three decades. The book has its exhilarating moments, such as the leopard with its impala kill, (for which Babi Nobis bagged an international award), a tigress transporting her litter and a tiger straddling a tree. The African Big Five and the great migration on the Serengeti are the others.
The only bit of writing in the book is by Tina Nobis, who introduces her husband’s photography. It is nice to see that the foot soldiers of the Indian wilderness get an honourable mention. Indeed, most of us depend on the unmatched knowledge of a Nafiz, a Kuttapan and a Sabir. For those who have been on safaris, the book will evoke memories of the magnificent tusker Shivaji, on whom many a wildlife enthusiast rode in Kanha for a glimpse of the great cat. In her essay, the legend of other iconic tigers like Sita, Charger and B2 live on.
Babi Nobis is a well-known tea exporter, a gold medal-winning trap shooter as well as a natural history enthusiast. A bit of photo editing could have made the book a notch sharper but what is surprising is the omission of two tiger landscapes that are literally in the backyard of the Nobis family — Kaziranga and the Sunderbans.
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