Rom felt that all the trappings of the human world interfered with his ability to find king cobras. So he discarded his watch and shoes and stripped down to a loin cloth. Not the best attire for his first brush with the devil nettle!’ what’s it like being married to Rom Whitaker– herpetologist, wildlife conservationist and founder of the Madras Snake Park and Madras Crocodile Bank?. Janaki Lenin, his wife, tells us, ‘There’s never a dull moment’. In this compilation of stories, Janaki– also an animal enthusiast– gives us a peek into the zany and unpredictable world that Rom and she have built together, deep in southern India. They battle tree frogs that insist on colonising their house, travel to the wilds of the world pursuing venomous snakes and monster crocodiles, devote precious hours to befriending Gila monsters, playing with porcupines and taming opinionated shrews. Entertaining, playful and downright amusing, the essays shed light on the kingdoms of beasts and plants. They provide flashes of insight into animal disposition, relate human stories about the world and our place in it and demystify nature’s secret code. Most of all, they highlight Rom and Janaki’s wide-eyed wonder at sharing this diverse planet with all creatures, large and small.
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