hits counter
Home   Books   Readers' Comments   School Program   School Visits

- The Book

THE BOOK - Ladakh Adventure

Ladakh is the land beyond the Himalayas. On a visit
to this distant frontier of India, Vikram and Aditya camp out
on the lofty Changthang Plateau. Here, they meet a young Tibetan
boy named Tsering. But Tsering is unexpectedly abducted and Aditya
pulls off a daring rescue. Suddenly, Vikram and Aditya are on the run. On
the frozen plateau, often referred to as the ‘Roof of the World’, the two friends
play a dangerous game of hide-and-seek with a band of mysterious men.

Who is Tsering? Why is he being chased with such fierce resolve? Discover the fascinating secret of Tsering in this fast-moving adventure tale.

THE BOOK - The Snow Leopard Adventure

The snow leopard is a rare animal of immense beauty. But so elusive is the snow leopard that it is often referred to as the ‘Grey Ghost of the Himalaya’. Joining a team of ecologists and explorers, Vikram and Aditya set off on an expedition to the Zanskar Mountains of Ladakh to search for the fabled leopard. Here, Vikram meets Caroline, a beautiful and confused American teenager. Though he befriends her he cannot understand her compulsive desire to come upon a snow leopard. The saga of Tsering, the young lama, also continues in this story. Despite having being thwarted by Vikram and Aditya, his kidnappers are not about to give in.

Camping under glaciers, tramping above the snowline, searching for blue sheep and the magnificent leopard – ‘The Snow Leopard Adventure’ is a riveting story set amidst soaring mountains and deep valleys.

EXTRACT from Ladakh Adventure

...The sight of the dog brought a sudden chill to Vikram’s spine. The animal was swimming towards the birds.... Meme Chacko had said that dogs were a terrible menace to cranes. Adult cranes easily evaded them by flying away, but chicks, especially those that couldn’t fly, were easy prey...

...The dog flashed forward the moment it reached the shore. All three birds were taken by surprise. The parents, who had been busily poking at weeds, flapped their wings in alarm, taking off into the air. But it wasn’t the adult birds that the dog was after; it shot forward with startling speed towards the baby crane.

The hatchling shrieked. Tilting its head forward the little bird ran. The dog pursued. The bird leapt, flailing its wings desperately. The distance between the hunter and its prey shrank rapidly. The bird cried loudly, wailing for its parents. The big birds flew behind the dog screeching at the animal. Elsewhere, geese honked and ducks swam away moving to the far shore of the lake.

The chick was doomed. It simply could not outrun the dog. Despite the cold morning air, sweat flooded Vikram's brow. He wished he had a gun. At this moment even he would have shot the dog.

The dog was right beside the little bird, just a couple of metres separated them. The chick leapt, jumping as high as it could. Its wings spread outwards, probably for one final time, thought Vikram. They beat downward, pressing against the still morning air. In the twinkling of an eye the wings spread once more and then beat down again.

Vikram couldn't believe his eyes. The hatchling was flying. It lifted skywards as the dog yelped and rose on his hind legs. The adult birds flew forward encouraging their young one. But all was not well with the little bird, despite frantically beating its wings it lost height and fell to the ground. The dog barked triumphantly and leapt forward. The baby crane ran, stretching its wings once again. For a while it did not beat them, it just kept running, then suddenly it leapt and flapped its wings. The bird soared upwards.

Vikram watched in fascination as the little bird worked its wings. No longer did it flap frantically. Now the wing beats were controlled, rhythmic and relaxed. The dog had come to a halt once again. Vikram heard a high-pitched whine followed by a yelping bark. Some distance ahead the little crane came to the ground again. However, the dog made no effort to resume the chase. The adult birds spread their wings and circled above their offspring. The young bird ran again with its wings outstretched. It took off effortlessly, rising into the sky. The three birds made a pretty picture as they flew away towards the white waters of Tso Kar.

EXTRACT from The Snow Leopard Adventure

Vikram was dreaming. He had to be dreaming. There was an animal in front
of him. It was standing above him. Vikram found it extremely odd - he was
below and the animal above. Could it be that he was lying on the ground?

...The animal above him appeared silvery. It was a silver shadow against
a backdrop of glittering stars. It had wonderful fluffy fur. Vikram couldn’t
help admiring its magnificent coat. The animal wasn’t very tall and it
had a long tail. Indeed it was a long tail, almost as long as the animal.
The tail too, was silvery. Two ears protruded from its head and he saw
delicate whiskers on its snout. Its eyes glimmered in the faint moonlight
and they were staring at him. Vikram gazed back at the eyes.

Now Vikram was convinced he was dreaming. This gorgeous animal which
stood above him was a snow leopard. “It isn’t possible,” thought Vikram. Only
Raghu could find these mysterious ghosts of the Himalaya. This had to
be a dream...only in his dreams would he ever find a snow leopard.

...The leopard wasn’t a very large animal. For a carnivorous cat its face was rather small, much smaller than that of
a tiger. Vikram chided himself at making such a stupid comparison, all leopards were smaller than tigers. Even little
children knew that. But the leopard was infinitely more beautiful. Vikram had never seen such perfection in form:
the handsome face; the glimmering eyes; the powerful shoulders; its thick furry paws and above all its glorious,
radiant coat...