Knights of the Western Ghats - Kalyan Varma's photoessay

Kalyan Varma has relaunched his website, and with it, some very absorbing new features. His photo-essay on the Lion-tailed Macaques (Macaca silenus) of the Western Ghats is beautifully captured and enchantingly told. Ok, ok, I know I'm going wild with the superlatives, but great photography often does that to me. And by great photography, I don't refer only to images that dazzle with their excellent composition and perfect lighting. You know, the kind that has a congregation of fellow-shutterbugs go 'ooh' and 'aah' and launch into impromptu discourses on F-stops, and finally sign off with the intriguing three-letter acronym (TLA) 'TFS' (fans of India Nature Watch will know what that means). Kalyan inspires more than that. As I have said in these pages before, I admire his prowess for telling stories with his photographs, to capture interesting and insightful aspects of animal behaviour, and more than ever, to underscore the imperative for conservation. And finally, because the Lion-Tailed Macaque (or LTM, if you prefer TLAs) is itself a species very dear to me. And because on my visit to Valparai, Divya Mudappa of the NCF told me the heart-rending story of a roadkill involving a pregnant female. And because Kalyan's camera was there, without blinking, to grieve that grisly death, this story must be told. And no one but Kalyan can tell it like it is. Kalyan Varma's photoessay>>