Mara, Tiglath, Pantha, Bathsheba; Torty, Rival, Patience Waddle, Tweeter, Woofer, Phash, Phoosh, the Sillies and all the strays whose lives were raided for this book.
Dr Ramandeep Chaggar, Dr Ms Chaggar and Dr Rupali, who gave our cats a few of their nine lives back; the animal shelter team at Friendicoes, Delhi.
My parents and family, especially Rudra and Antara; Tini, Baba, Peter Griffin, always; Kamini, Malavika and Hironmay Karlekar for the love and for Mara; Yusuf Merchant, Raj Mathur, Kriti, Keshav, Arjun Nath and the gang.
Samit and Sayoni Basu, Ruchir Joshi, Jeet Thayil, Mitali Saran, Anita Roy, Namita Devidayal, Rajni George and Manjula Padmanabhan for telling me to get on with it. Arshia Sattar and DW Gibson, for the priceless gift of space at the Sangam Residency in Tranquebar; TN Ninan, AK Bhattacharya, Kanika Datta and the Business Standard for their extraordinary kindness. Karthika, Thomas, Chiki, Meru, Gautam—thank you for your goodwill and friendship.
Every debut author should be lucky enough to have an agent as wise and generous as David Godwin, and an editor as acute and wonderfully enthusiastic as David Davidar. They took a scruffy, scrawny draft, and turned it into an actual novel. (Any errors are my fault, not theirs.) Prabha Mallya—thank you for breathing life into the wildings and their world with your artwork.
My thanks to Simar for all the enthusiasm and her perfectionism, to Aienla, Bena, Aruna, Varun, Ankit, Shekhar, Hina, Hohoi and the rest of the crack team at Aleph for making the business of publishing such a pleasure; Anna Watkins at DGA; Kavi Bhansali for the author pictures; my Twitter feed for giving Kirri her name.