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Stars in stripes

books Updated: Dec 03, 2010 22:23 IST
KumKum Dasgupta
KumKum Dasgupta
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story


The Tiger
Valmik Thapar
Oxford University Press
Rs 1,995
pp 184

Every time, I see book on tigers by Valmik Thapar, I feel jealous. Is it fair that the author always seems to be at the right place at the right time to capture the various moods of the stripped wonder?

But then, as another voice inside reminds me, he has been tracking tigers for 35 years now and that’s a pretty long time.

In his preface, Thapar beautifully writes what tigers mean to him: “The tiger seem to assimilate within it all the potency of the dark black sky, the ranging storm, the lashing rain, the golden sun, the scarlet sunset…”

The latest book is a celebration of the animal and its impact on art. It’s apparent that the majestic animal has mesmerised artists for centuries. Thapar traces the animal’s impact on old paintings, coins, Mughal portraits and even on Roman and Byzantine art.

It’s a collector’s item, but way too expensive for every tiger-lover to buy a copy.