Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cat Women of Gir Forest

Bloodthirsty beasts can help women stop mass extinction: to lard up my first novel beyond that basic premise, I burrowed through as much research as I could stand. Research is not my forte - I'm better at, say, enjoying a sunset while sipping hot cocoa. So I had no way of knowing in 2009 that the central characters of my novel were coming to life, as it were, in the Gir Forest in India. There, a politician had decided specifically to hire women as wild-lion guardians. That, in a country where female infanticide is still quite common? My fantastical fiction was afoot as far from fearless feminism as it was fair to foresee!
A couple articles were published just this year about those park rangers, the "Cat Women of Gir Forest".

Now I have the opportunity to go see the actual ladies in person. I've got as far as applying for a visa online. The form asked for my religion, and it could only be one word. So I am hereby a "RATIONALMYSTIC." In true government fashion, the website kept erasing my information. The plus side is that now I've memorized my passport number; the downside is that I had to keep insisting that I am indeed a "RationalMystic."

It does seem a tiny bit mystical that I was describing those women before I knew they existed.

VC Bestor
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