In 2002, I was trekking through the western catchment of Mukurthi National Park in the Nilgiris, photographing a Sambar Deer. Out of nowhere, a Black-naped Hare darted past me, closely followed by its pursuer – the rare and fascinating Nilgiri Marten. I followed, but was unable to take any photographs.
Nine years later, sometime in October 2011, I was back in Mukurthi. This time, I was on a trek to the peak, and I was tracking a tiger. At around noon, our group sat down by a stream flowing through the vast shola grassland to eat breakfast, when suddenly, my friend spotted some movement in the grass, and shouted “mongoose!” The 'mongoose' then jumped into the shallow stream and ran towards us, jumping over the rocks. A second one emerged, and I hurried to pull out my telephoto lens, realising I was once again in the vicinity of the elusive Nilgiri Marten. I chased after the pair, but in ten minutes they’d disappeared in the grassland.
This time, however, I was able to take photographs.
Click through (above) to see some of my favourites.