Lions, Tigers, and… Elephant Gods, Oh My!

A bunch of old black and white pictures where hanging on the walls. Mostly about old hunting parties from the 40’s.

Photo © Icarus Blake

We landed in Mumbai at midnight after a twenty hours journey. The Hilton by the airport looked lush and surreal. I sat on the bed in a daze and turned on the TV while waiting for my bathroom turn. The first thing I saw was this strange commercial with real people made up like Indian gods. I loved the Ganesha kid and took a snap when the ad ran again. I think the picture embodies the mash up of old and new in Indian pop culture.

Photo © Icarus Blake

A few days later we were leaving Bombay on our way to Benares and, with a few hours to spare, we checked out Bungalow 8, a cool lifestyle store in Colaba. The store is full of very carefully handpicked objects, mostly from India’s past. A bunch of old black and white pictures where hanging on the walls. Mostly about old hunting parties from the 40’s. The one that struck me the most depicted a dead lion lying at the feet of the hunter. I knew about tigers, but I had no clue lions existed in India. I asked the owner of the store and she told me the lion in question was an Asiatic Lion, a few of them still surviving in the state of Gurajat and now a protected species.

After a bit of research, I found out most them got killed by hunters: during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, a British officer shot three hundred of them. Most of all, I like to look at these two pictures together… They tell the whole story.


Icarus Blake & Max Power: Editors in Chief

Lora Wiley: Managing Editor

Nancy Cooper: Finance Supervisor

Luigi Scarcella: Art Director

Miko Sala: Art Director

Daniel Cardona: Assistant Graphics Designer

Teo J. Babini: Senior Articles Editor

Tiffany Credle: Associate Copy Editor

Andrew Rodriguez: Editorial Producer

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Greta Pininfarina: Editor at Large

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Contributors to this cover:

Filippo ‘Phil Sick’ Anniballi/Chow Mein Might Be Responsible For India’s Rape Epidemic

Italian writer, journalist, and performer, born in 1976. Grew up in New York, and lived between Italy, the U.S., England, and Canada. His stories and essays have appeared in underground magazines such as Thorazine, Catastrophe, and Vice Magazine. He worked for the Big Issue, and published Milingo Contro Tutti (2009), which was GQ Italy’s book of the month in July of the same year. He often appears in projects and short films (turbofilms) by Alterazioni Video impersonating himself and other dubious characters.

Tishani Doshi/Falling. 1968

Tishani Doshi is an award-winning poet and writer. She has published two collections of poetry – Countries of the Body, and Everything Begins Elsewhere. In 2010 she published her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers, which has been translated into six languages. Since 2001 she has worked as the lead dancer with the Chandralekha troupe in Madras. She lives between Tamil Nadu and elsewhere.

Billy Roids/Falling. 1968

Queens native from Corona, now residing in Brooklyn. Architecture school drop out, nature lover, music nerd, addicted to toys, ancient aliens, and the list goes on…Billy Roids is a persona in response the chaos and carnality of the city that we live in. Illustrator, sculptor, painter, whatever it is at the moment of inspiration, I create. Currently working on freelance design projects, and a toy brand as well. For more info head to

Miranda Southwell/Who’s Sari Now?

Miranda Southwell is a blogger, advocate and student currently pursuing her B.A. in Communications at Ramapo College. She divides her remaining time between tending to her duties as a board member of the Upper Delaware GLBT Center, where she serves as a part of their Speaker’s Bureau and as a member of the editorial board for Swish Pride, an LGBT-Straight alliance based in NYC. She has shared her experiences as a transgender woman in numerous public speaking engagements designed to educate the world at large about LGBT issues.

Caroline Mauro/Who’s Sari Now?

Caroline is a Fashion Stylist and Certified Image Consultant based out of New York City. Her education and experience span the industries of fashion styling, television costuming, fashion show production, image consulting, visual merchandising and personal styling. She continues to apply her skills in the worlds of editorial and commercial styling in New York City and New England.

Aditya Kundalkar/The Varanasi Runner

Aditya Kundalkar used to spend hours after school taping songs off of FM radio, making mixtapes and missing homework. Not much has changed: these days he buys MP3s off of, makes iTunes playlists and misses deadlines. Two years at Time Out Mumbai taught him how to miss them less often and the other two skills came in handy when assembling the magazine’s music section. At GQ, while assembling the Insider section, Aditya learned how to make a genre-jumping playlist of cultural events and film, music and book releases.

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