Bangalore International Centre, had arranged a Launch of the Book “The Song of the Magpie Robin” - The autobiography of Zafar Futehally on 10th December 2014 at 6.30 PM. The Book was released by Dr. K Ullas Karanth, Conservation Zoologist and a leading Tiger Expert. Mrs. Shanthi Chandola and Ashish Chandola who were associated with this book were also present and shared their experiences which they had with Mr. Zafar Futehally. Tributes were paid by Dr. Lata Mani, Well-known Feminist Historian and Cultural Critic and Capt. S Prabhala, Chairman of Bangalore Environment Trust, founded by Zafar Futehally.
Mr. Ashish Chandola spoke about the book, which explores the life history of the Birder, Naturalist and Writer Zafar Futehally. He reminisced about Zafar, his family and his evolution into a passionate nature-lover. As he explained, Zafar was himself not very keen on writing his memoirs. He was persuaded and helped in ths respect by Ashish and his wife, Shanthi.
Dr. Ullas Karanth spoke warmly about the humane nature of Zafar and his wife and about their conviction that the universe belongs to all the species, and not only to human ones.
Dr. Lata Mani in her observatins pointed out that Zafar Futehally was one of the pioneers of the conservation movement in India and had played a key role in transforming it from a fringe concern of the middle-class to a matter of national importance. Zafar held key posts in all the important conservation organizations and initiatives in India and abroad—BNHS, IUCN, WWF–India and Project Tiger. Witty, humble and deeply thoughtful, The Song of the Magpie Robin is a vibrant portrait of a man of principle, who spent his entire life striving to find a balance between development and nature conservation.
Captain S Prabhala, who also spoke, talked about the gentle humour of Zafar and his innate courtesy which remained in tact even under provocation.
There were several others who reminisced about Zafar and his wife during the interactive session. It was a nostalgic and memorable event on a balmy evening.