Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Book Review: My Husband & Other Animals (by Janaki Lenin)

"It makes reproductive sense to be hot whether it's a neem tree, magpie-robin or a crocodile.
Or humans. "

Ok. This one is a laugh riot. Just the name is enough to put a smile on one's face. And I guess that is what caught my attention. Another one of my online purchases from Amazon, I picked it up merely on the basis of its catchy title, the black and yellow cover design and one fleeting glance through the blurb. Thankfully I did not regret it.

Penned by Janaki Lenin, who is married to a herpetologist and wildlife conservationist, this consists of several short length essays dealing with the couple's own experiences with wildlife (mostly reptiles) and some really hilarious anecdotes. Honestly, I am quite terrified of reptiles but all thanks to the author for making them sound almost angelic.

I have quite a few favorites among the stories, especially the ones that involve frogs. Imagine living in a house that has been colonized by frogs !! I can almost feel the author's pain as I am going through a similar hellish situation. I am having such a tough time fighting off the cockroaches that have invaded and taking over what I call my home. At times, it almost feels like I am paying the rent and the bills even as they have a free run of the place. ( And no, the Housejoy pest control services did nothing to help the situation.) But coming back to the frogs, the 'Frognapped!' story is a clear winner.

Strangely, the snakes come a close second. Being as terrified of snakes as I am, I can clearly visualize why people seem to throw their common senses to the wind even as they get a glimpse of the creepy crawlies. But burning down one's one house ? Or getting shot in the head while trying to pin down a snake with a rifle ? Incredible but true.

The crocodile stories are also quite ground breaking. One hardly associates these creatures with any kind of intelligence sans the kind required to catch a prey. But imagine calling a crocodile doing tricks that could put your doggy to shame. One is sure to treat these animals with new found respect after going through this book.

A thoroughly enjoyable read, it kind of conveys the message that it is quite possible to coexist peacefully with nature and other species. If only, we learn to respect that thing 'deliciously tangible and intangible thing' called 'SPACE' .....

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