Janaki Lenin: Filmmaker and Writer
Photo credit: Romulus Whitaker

Janaki Lenin was a film-maker for more than a decade. After six years of editing advertising commercials and soap operas, she was desperate for a change of direction. Getting involved with Romulus Whitaker opened up exciting avenues. Together, they founded Draco Films and produced over twenty documentary films for National Geographic Television and other channels. Their first collaboration, King Cobra, won an Emmy.

She was the Regional Chair of the IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group for South Asia and Iran. In 2004, she expanded the scope of her work to include mammals. She facilitated a working group of primatologists which drafted a National Action Plan for nuisance primates. With Professor R. Sukumar, she authored an action plan for the mitigation of human-elephant conflict in India with funding from US Fish and Wildlife Service. She set up Draco Books to co-publish Snakes of India: The Field Guide by Romulus Whitaker and Ashok Captain in 2004.

Janaki spends her time doing what she loves best—writing. She writes about wildlife and conservation. Her first book, A King Cobra’s Summer (Pratham Books), was translated into multiple languages and ranked among the top 12 publications for children in 2011. Two volumes of My Husband and Other Animals (Westland 2012; 2018), were based on her popular column in the Hindu. Her latest book is Every Creature Has a Story (HarperCollins 2020). She and Romulus Whitaker live on a farm near Mysore.

She is co-author with Romulus Whitaker of the forthcoming Snakes, Drugs and Rock and Roll.