Biography

Rom Whitaker

Janaki Lenin has always had an interest in animals but living with Rom took it to the stratospheric level. They lived in the Madras Crocodile Bank for a few years, surrounded by thousands of crocodiles, snakes, turtles, and lizards. Rom and Janaki made documentaries about wild life in wild places for a living.

Janaki was trained to be an editor at the Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu, South India. After six weary years of editing advertising commercials and soap operas, she was looking for a change of direction. Getting involved with Romulus Whitaker opened up a new avenue in wildlife film-making. Together they founded Draco Films and produced more than a dozen films for National Geographic Television.

When Rom and Janaki moved to their farm in rural Tamil Nadu, Janaki thought it would be a perfect retreat after the many arduous months of filming. Instead, a whole new set of challenges popped up from pesky tree frogs and adamant Russell's vipers to a dog-eating leopard. She thinks she's made her peace with the many wild creatures who have staked claim to their farm but who knows what tomorrow may bring. Rom and Janaki live with four dogs, a pair of emus, a flock of geese, and a pig. It's her childhood dream come true.

Her first book 'A King Cobra's Summer' for children was published by Pratham Books in 2011. It ranked among the top 12 publications for children for that year. A collection from her popular column 'My Husband and Other Animals' was published in 2012.

Her writings on wildlife and conservation subjects appear in national newspapers, wildlife, and travel magazines.