The Lost Land of the Tiger- A review by Pat Little

This fascinating wildlife film, screened over three days, follows a BBC natural history crew, under leading tiger expert Dr Alan Rabinowitz, to the Himalayan foothills of Bhutan, to collect evidence of the existence of tigers in this remote and sparsely-populated mountain kingdom. The timing of the screening seems particularly appropriate, 2010 being the Year of Biodiversity, with an International Convention on Biodiversity meeting in Nagoya. More specifically, a Global Tiger Summit took place in St Petersburg in November 2010, highlighting the precarious future of the tiger. The makers of the BBC film are therefore hoping that with increased knowledge of its living and breeding patterns, this magnificent animal might be brought back from its current status of one of the most endangered species on the planet. Although tigers used to roam all across Asia, there are now estimated to be as few as 3,000 left, with 98% of the tiger population lost in the last century, due to habitat destruction and poaching. Continue reading

Book Review by Annie Dibble : The Open Road the Global Journey of the 14th Dalai Lama. Pico Iyer, 2008.

Open Road book coverTHE OPEN ROAD – the Global Journey of the 14th Dalai Lama. Pico Iyer, 2008.

Vintage Departures, Random House, New York.

In 1959 the 23 year old Dalai Lama arrived into Delhi having safely escaped Tibet. The low profile news reached a Hindu Brahmin from Bombay who was then Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University in the UK, researching into Mohundas Ghandi. He lived with his wife, also a scholar from Bombay, and their small son, Pico. At the first possible moment Iyer senior boarded a boat and sailed to India to meet the young Dalai Lama, five years his junior, acutely aware that, ‘A great treasure had come out into the world for the first time really, in history’. The two men developed a strong friendship. At the age of 17 his son Pico was privileged with an introduction, and that friendship continues beyond the death of his father, until the present day. The relationship is clearly unique, Iyers speaks of their meetings over thirty years with a sense of intimate camaraderie, and he appears to have a rare ease of access to His Holiness. Continue reading