'There is an elephant called Gangadharan roaming the forests near Masinagudi in Tamil Nadu. The local forest guides named him after Gangadharan Menon. This might sound strange because the tusker almost gored to death this traveller-writer-photographer. But Menon himself refers to him fondly as 'my tusker'. Lying in hospital after the attack, he remembers he was still watching Animal Planet. His love affair with wildlife would continue in his second life, as he puts it. The attack was just an accident: they had stumbled right in the path of the tusker - and that was the territory of Gangadharan, the elephant, and not Gangadharan Menon. He knew that.
There are many travel books about India, but few that have the depth of passion and understanding that Gangadharan Menon brings to his collection of narrative essays titled Evergreen Leaves: Recollections of My Journeys into Wild India, published just a couple of months ago. These are recollections that span 36 years of travelling to places we only dream about, but Gangadharan actually visits. There is a down-to-earth quality in his writing and an eye for beauty in his photography that makes the book the second best thing to actually going to the places he describes. You can download it in seconds to your Kindle or, if you don't mind paying a little extra, you can order the print version full of wonderful glossy photographs. Thank you, Gangadharan, for sparing the life of this wildlife lover!,