Last week, rained in and far removed from nature, we stumbled upon a quiet and green corner of the internet.
Wild Gundmi is a project by Sri Harsha Maiya, an erstwhile software security engineer who spent his childhood in Gundmi, a lush and sleepy coastal village in Karnataka, and returned fifteen months ago to help his “mom with agriculture work, grow veggies, photograph the snakes and birds.”
He wasn’t expecting to spot the variety of wildlife he did as he went about the latter, and so a website archiving his observations was born.
A photographer from a young age, Sri Harsha developed an interest in making photos thanks to his uncles who would lend him their film cameras to experiment or take him hiking and camping in the Western Ghats while growing up. With Wild Gundmi, he takes us on a visual journey around his village, with incredibly detailed macros of tiny beetles and pictures of slithering rat snakes and purple herons in paddy fields.
The site is bilingual, which we adore, with captions and stories in both English and Kannada to make it accessible both to outsiders and locals alike. “If I have to show the website to my lovely elderly neighbours around in the village, I simply can't have it all only in English, no? It helps in reaching more people, gives the project an intimate feeling to all Kannadiga folks,” he explains.
The project will be updated with stories, and any other animal sightings as well as “many species of birds and snakes that I haven't managed to take a good picture of yet!” and later turned into a coffee table book. “The aim is to showcase that wildlife exists even in the most average of villages and towns! All one needs is a bit of compassion and curiosity to discover the life living around us.”
Visit Wild Gundmi.