In August 2012 on my first day as an intern at Forsyth Lodge in Satpura National Park, I opened Indian Mammals: A Field Guide by Vivek Menon and entered the exciting world of Indian natural history. As with most beginners, I was glued to the pages on cats, clueless then that 15 species of wild felids exist in India. The smaller cats I’d never heard of before caught my attention immediately: golden cat, marbled cat, and rusty spotted cat. But one image stood out. It was the Pallas’s cat (Otocolobus manul), a strange looking creature from Ladakh, photographed by the German naturalist Otto Pfister. It took me a while to get the pronunciation right (both cat and photographer). When I asked my colleagues and mentors about the Pallas’s cat I was told: “How many tines does a spotted deer have? Learn that first”. I followed that advice and delved into the world of Central Indian wildlife. My time in Satpura and Kanha brought me close to many mammals that had piqued my curiosity when I had first opened India’s mammal bible. I saw tigers, the rusty-spotted cat, jungle cat, leopard cat, civets, otters and more. I was hooked. In 2017 one of my dreams came true when my colleague and friend David Raju and I brought out Wildlife of Central India: Photographic Field Guide our guide to Central Indian wildlife.