As you read this, popular British hunter-turned-animal conservationist Jim Corbett's life story will be retold in two dimensions. The comic book company, Amar Chitra Katha, will be launching its 48-page graphic biography of the famous author and naturalist today. Jim spent a large part of his eventful life in the jungles of Nainital, first hunting man-eating tigers and leopards, which terrorised the villagers, and later helping conserve the wild cats against poaching. The book will hit the shelves on July 25, which is also Jim's 137th birth anniversary.
The launch will take place at Jim Corbett's Nainital residence, Gurney House, where students from the local residential schools will be invited. "Jim wrote stories for kids and his message for them was to conserve wildlife and nature. So, it's best to launch the book at his old residence, with children, on a Saturday when they're off from school," says Reena Puri, the editor of Amar Chitra Katha. The idea for the venue came from its owner, Nilanjana Dalmia, whose grandfather bought the property from the hunter when he was leaving India post independence. "It was a chance conversation with Nilanjana and she offered her house for the launch. The place is still full of Jim's memories, even years after he sold it," says Reena, adding, "I'm sure somewhere up above, he will be smiling at us."
Sadly, the Corbett family is no longer with us to celebrate Jim's rich life through this book. "Unfortunately, we couldn't trace anyone from the Corbett family. After he left India and settled in South Africa, no one seemed to be in touch with him," says Reena. "His sister Maggie and he never married, so they haven't left anyone behind them."