RAMNAGAR, India — The sun has started to rise over the arrow-straight road that heads north from Ramnagar. Beside me, Isher is pushing his ancient Maruti Gypsy jeep to the limit. He swerves to barely avoid the silhouette of another scampering jogger and slams on the brakes.
“Jungle cat,” he hisses through the fog of his bidi cigarette. He wags his finger in the direction of an emaciated tabby skulking through the undergrowth. Nice try, Isher, I think, suddenly doubtful as to the proficiency of my local guide. This is not the feline I’m after.