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Unpacking stories from nature for urban dwellers

We all have that one subject we are passionate about and derive joy out of exploring, discussing and sharing it with others.

Published: 13th January 2022 06:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th January 2022 02:54 PM   |  A+A-

Sara Mohan

Sara Mohan

Express News Service

CHENNAI: We all have that one subject we are passionate about and derive joy out of exploring, discussing and sharing it with others. For Sara Mohan, it’s science and ecology. Her inclination towards all things nature, from years of experience and exposure in the field, has taken a thoughtful trajectory with her month-old podcast Tigress on tuk-tuk. The series engages listeners on a journey of discovery through India’s natural realm.   

For this nature educator, the podcast marries two main things — the compulsive need to discuss all things nature-related and the undeniable truth that (urban) people need to rediscover their connections with the natural world. “We city slickers often tend to ignore or forget about the natural world; it couldn’t possibly be part of a fast-paced city life, could it? But it is. We need nature, especially when the humdrum of city life drowns out everything else. As a kid, I had the space and scope for growing up around nature. I would frequent my grandfather’s (our ancestral) house in Kerala for vacations, enjoy the greenery and play on the fields. My parents also used to take me on trips that were outdoorsy. All this helped nurture my connections with nature,” recalls Sara.

Listen and learn

In this podcast, she finds stories from nature and makes them relevant to urban folks. The incredible people she features on this show share their stories and perspectives that are awe-inspiring and life altering. “The episodes on my podcast are inspired by real-life encounters. The one called Understanding Snakes with Gerry Martin was inspired by an incident at my parent’s place on the ECR. We found two venomous snakes in the garden and I had a tough time convincing the gardener not to kill them and find another way out to get rid of them. Upon interacting with Gerry and reading up on the behaviour of snakes, I discovered many things about them. For someone who calls herself pro-nature, pro-environment…the kind of information blew my mind,” shares Sara, who has an educational background in biodiversity and conversation. 

In the episode Ocean’s 6: Real life Planeteers, a bunch of green mavens from Madras Naturalists’ Society talk about the beach and seaside adventure in the city. In her other episode on Don’t go all Marie Kondo on the Garden: Wildlife of the concrete jungle, Vena Kapoor unpacks the many cool creatures that run wild in the city. The conversations are light and laced with humour to keep it engaging and enriching to all age groups. 

To a greener future

The voice-over artist plans to release episodes bi-weekly. There are about four hour-long episodes on the list so far. “I’ve always had an affinity for sounds. I would often ask myself how I can transport listeners to another world without showing it to them. That’s what drew me to experiment with this medium. It involves a lot of backend work given it’s a one-woman show. I handle everything from editing to production. All the episodes for season one are ready and I will be releasing them slowly. I’m looking to raise funds to produce the second season,” notes Sara, who’s well connected with similar nature-buffs in her circuit.

Sara is working towards mini vodcasts as an offshoot of her podcast episodes. “My audience are from Chennai, Bengaluru and north India. They are mostly in their 20s and above. There are also elderly listeners who’ve told me that my podcast has helped them change their perspective of nature. The brain behind the show’s artwork (the tigress in an auto rickshaw) is 

Jemma Jose (@thatgorillagirl). That vibrant logo and the title are the main things drawing listeners to the podcast,” she adds. 

Hop on as the tigress whisks you off on her tuk-tuk with the trail of stories from nature. “Nature is all around and affects so much of our everyday living. Beings that share our beach. Wetlands that are vital to our survival. Wildlife, even way up on the 26th floor of a high-rise. The intelligence of that tiny little spider on your office wall. Bats and bees, with their undeserved bad rap, constantly working, providing and protecting. These stories come from faraway corners and from our backyards,” cherishes the podcaster. 

Sara’s podcast, if anything, helps us reimagine our place in the natural world and rediscover our connections to nature that’s all pervasive.  

‘Tigress on tuk-tuk’ is available on all streaming platforms.



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