The Fall of a Sparrow – Salim Ali

NPR392.00

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The Fall of a Sparrow tells the real life story of adventure and self-discovery of Salim Ali, India’s original bird man. Chronicling an era gone by and vividly describing forgotten landscapes, this engaging tale describes how a childhood curiosity for nature and an intrepid adventuring spirit led to an unusual career choice.
Born into a Muslim family of Bombay, Salim Ali was orphaned at the age of ten, and brought up by his maternal uncle and aunt. The then secretary of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) introduced him to the serious study of birds as the result of Ali’s chance encounter with an unusually coloured sparrow. This episode and the subsequent tours of BNHS’s stuffed birds collection sparked off the twelve-year-old’s life-long passion for birds.
Eighty-seven at the time of writing and an internationally renowned figure, Ali vividly describes his childhood forays in the wild and subsequent expeditions to almost every part of the Indian subcontinent. The bird-watching stories are interspersed with lively details of his family life and youthful adventuring. The more than 100 visuals – comprising photographs, drawings, and paintings of birds by past masters like G. M. Henry, J. P. Irani, D. V. Cowen, and C. J. F. Coombs – are an unusual feature of this edition. These paintings were originally prepared for the ten-volume Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan (OUP, 1971) which continues to be in print even today. The colour section, featuring some of the paintings in their original avatar, will delight both young readers and collectors.
The Fall of a Sparrow – Salim Ali

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