Our personal friendship spanning almost three decades now, blossomed in the 80's in Chennai. Amidst rows of street houses, we played on open terraces and verandahs, rode bicycles cruising among cattle and bustling everyday street life. Fast forward to the present, we are mothers raising children of our own. Living in the
In our pursuit for a pastoral setting to give it a realistic edge, we knew from the very start, that the grasslands and wilderness abundant in
Gir was also the last home to the endangered Asiatic lions. The fine balance that existed between the people and the lions of Gir intrigued us. The story of the endangered lions and the marginalized lives of the people that shared the forests also needed to be told. This we came to realize, while still holding onto the simple outline we had originally created about dairy making. We had grown to love the parallel threads so dearly, it was clear we needed to tie the threads together. When the Asiatic lions gained equal prominence along with Maldharis, the jigsaw seemed complete. Typically, lions feature in fiction as unconquerable creatures. In our case, they are real and threatened in their only home. And so are the people. The intersection between the Maldharis and the lions became the perfect backdrop.
Scenes or sights inspire stories. Sometimes, experiences provide the material. For us, it was a little bit of everything – a process that continuously evolved and culminated in this fabric woven out of individually rich strands. In
- Meera Sriram and Praba Ram, authors
P.S. A review of the book is up at Saffron Tree.