Manipal Universal Press
Malekaadina Kathegalu is a fictional story set in the rich, dense rainforest of Agumbe. It narrates the journey of a young girl, Nitya who travels to the small village with her father, a conservationist. Set in the Western Ghats, the story weaves popular references like Malgudi Days in the narrative with the experiences of the people living in Agumbe, Karnataka. This book is the result of a research experiment responding to and reimagining the People’s Biodiversity Register (PBR), a tool used to document biological diversity of local communities
To most people, the Western Ghats is a range of hills on the west coast of India with lush rainforests and a repository of minerals. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a biodiversity hotspot. To the residents of Agumbe, it is much more. It comprises of cultural relations, ritual practices, and connections with other-than-human sentient beings. The close association of nature and culture in the everyday life of Agumbe is experienced by Nitya throughout the story.
Malekaadina Kathegalu reflects the realities and complexities surrounding countless changes in ancient ecologies due to pressures of rapid development, and the diverse aspirations of new generations in a time of environmental crisis. Based on primary research using creative mixed methods, it records the rich diversity of other-than human beings, and material and atmospheric changes across time.