A Dog’s Guide to the Great Indian elections

india dog rickshaw
Are we there, yet?

Did you hear, the great circus is in town?

Every five years, they return. Pagliacci, the clown and Dud, the tightrope walker; Minnie and Mona the juggler-duo and all the uni-cyclists, vying for the crown. Enough vitriol in their veins to put any GoT villain to shame.

As the world’s biggest democracy heads to the polls with as many as 879 million eligible voters ― chimerical dreams are on sale. Fake news, hate speeches and propaganda videos have taken center stage whilst pressing issues peek meekly from bygone manifestos.  

Dog’s Guide to the Great Indian elections

Animals don’t vote.

If they did, the world would have been different. We understand the clarion call for Climate Action as we scout for trees that aren’t there; water that has long turned malignant and air that reeks of carbon. We, the dogs, aren’t happy with the state of affairs. Bears, elephants and dolphins fare no better.

Also see, the world’s best politicians

But I’m just a stray dog on the road, a low life, facing the wrath of the sun, day in and day out. No caste card or religion to root for, no poster boy or supreme leader that I trust in but I know when the dust settles it is going to be an even hotter year on record. We’d be engulfing more toxic air, the tree cover is going to dwindle even more and the plastic would be plastered all over the roads. But this ain’t no spoiler alert, you know this.

I hope I am wrong and things take a turn for better. The little girl who pats me during her evening walks tells me they are planning a Climate change march at the school. Hope floats.

Also read: I’m a doggo in Bengaluru

I am… features snippets and stories of cats, dogs and other friends this roving dog have met in places near and far.

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Dogman review – Gritty, gory and gorgeous!

Dogman movie review

Marcello, the dog groomer, in Matteo Garrone’s Dogman is easy to empathize with ― an endearing neighbor, a devout dog lover and a doting dad to his daughter from a failed marriage.

Working in a long forgotten grim Roman suburb, where it is always raining or about to rain, Marcello ain’t without flaws – he does some low-level drug dealing on the sidelines, for reasons as naive as making extra money, to go scuba diving with his daughter.

Dogman review

But the gentle dog groomer isn’t suited for the world of crime. Dragged to assist in robberies by the town bully, Simone, he climbs back into one burgled house to rescue a chihuahua who was left to die in a freezer.

Also, can someone who shares a plate of pasta with a dog be evil?

dogman review

Toyed at the hands of the violent former boxer and present-day bully, Marcello even serves the prison sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. All in for some misplaced notion of loyalty.

Ostracized from the community, he called his own, with no place to turn to and subjugated again, he retorts and shows some teeth to his tormentor, Simone. The script sets up the final stage beautifully, drawing parallels to puppy-like devotion of Marcello against mad dog act of Simone.

dogman italy

A riveting portrait of the criminal underbelly of a Roman suburb, Dogman explores how crime creeps up in the life of a timid man who wants to stay out of trouble.

Dogman lapped up two awards at Cannes ― the Best Actor for Marcello Fonteore, and Palm Dog Award (the unofficial Cannes prize for best animal performance) for the dog cast.

Complement your watch list with ‘White Dog’, perhaps one of the most profound cinematic experience against racism. Also watch Kornél Mundruczó’s White God that delves deeper into the societal mix and speaks for ethnic groups, the minorities, and the settlers.

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