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Steed of the Jungle God: A crusader's memoir on experiences in the wild


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Naturalist Raza H Tehsin has come out with a new book in which he narrates his real-life encounters in the jungles, busts many a scary myth and also provides a glimpse into the psychology of why hunters ended up becoming conservationists.
"Steed of the Jungle God: Thrilling Experiences in the Wild" is replete with anecdotes, mysteries and legends.
"This book is about the mysteries that I and my family have encountered in the wild during more than a century of our jungle wanderings and the quest for rational explanations behind these phenomena," says Tehsin.
Tehsin's father TH Tehsin served as the deputy mayor and then mayor of Udaipur city and also as the honorary magistrate.
His wanderings with his father in the jungles fashioned Tehsin's young mind and he grew up with a hunger to explore forests.
Tehsin uses words like 'game', 'bagging' etc, in the book for maintaining the tone of how hunting was spoken about in the olden days when it was legal.
But he bade farewell to hunting in the early '70s and joined the field of conservation.
According to the author, the jungles have become more of a mystery to humankind as they have faded.
"I have a story associated with every hill and a memory with every other stream in this part of the Aravali hills. A silent battle is waging between man and the wilds and all signs indicate that the wilds are losing ground rapidly," he writes.
He also mentions several ghost stories that were prevalent in the jungles and nearby villages.
"While in some cases, such stories could have been concocted to hide a misdeed, in other cases, it could actually be a clue about a rare phenomenon. Or sometimes even a normal occurrence could appear supernatural to a biased mind," he says.
Tehsin has co-authored the book with his daughter and fellow conservationist, Arefa Tehsin. The book, published by National Book Trust, has illustrations by Sumit Sakuja and Sonal Goyal.
The author says occasionally, people might tell stories to portray their heroic fearlessness. But ghost stories are born, when city dwellers, who never deal with darkness and jungles, encounter loneliness, hallucinate or misinterpret the events.
The stories in the book are not only a chronicle of adventure encounters but also a peep into the times, peoples and wildlife of Mewar.

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First Published: Jul 30 2018 | 3:00 PM IST

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