Thursday, June 17, 2010

Long running stories

Almost from the time it was begun, the blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) has been the logo of the Madras Naturalists' Society. It has also been the name of its quarterly journal, which has been in publication since 1983. Over the past 27 years, the journal has published articles from both the amateur nature lover to the celebrated naturalist.

Somewhere along the way, Penguin India decided that the archives of the Blackbuck were worth preserving; and so came about the anthology, "Sprint of the Blackbuck", edited by the well-known nature lover S. Theodore Baskaran. The volume was released a week ago by the former governor of West Bengal, Gopalakrishna Gandhi.

Theodore Baskaran's task must have been difficult, as can be seen from the end result: the writings vary in their level of detail and documentation, as can be expected. More importantly, he must have known every one of the contributors to the Blackbuck over all these years and it would have been difficult to explain why one of his friends has not made the final cut!

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