Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book Review: The Book of Indian Dogs by S. Theodore Baskaran

-Introduction--
  • ISIN: 978-9384067571
  • Genre: Non-Fiction / Dogs
  • Publishers: Aleph
  • Price: Rs.350/-  ( I got the book for review from the publisher)

The Book of Indian Dogs is the first comprehensive book on Indian dog breeds in over fifty years. It features the twenty-five breeds that most breeders and dog fanciers agree constitute the country’s canine heritage. Divided into three groupings—working dogs, companion dogs and hounds—the book provides detailed background notes to each breed, along with information on its physical characteristics, behavior, uses, origins and history. Along with popular breeds like Caravan hounds (or Karuvanis), Chippiparais, Mudhol hounds, Pashmis, Rajapalayams and Rampur hounds the book also features lesser known breeds such as the Alaknoori and the Jonangi. The fruit of several years of travel and research into India’s dog breeds, as well as S. Theodore Baskaran’s hands-on experience of raising various dogs, this celebration of our dogs is a book that no dog lover can do without.

Behind the Book

Source: Goodreads.com

About the Author

A lifelong dog lover, S. Theodore Baskaran has raised many dogs, including two Indian breeds. He has been associated with the Kennel Club of India, Chennai, and was a member of the show committee. He was instrumental in bringing out a set of four postage stamps on indigenous breeds of dogs.

Baskaran is a well-known naturalist and conservationist. He served two terms as a trustee of WWF India and has been an honorary wildlife warden in Chennai. His book The Dance of the Sarus: Essays of a Wandering Naturalist was published in 1999. He edited a book on Indian wildlife, The Sprint of the Blackbuck. He writes frequently on conservation for The Hindu and Frontline. He has also contributed to important anthologies such as An Anthology of Indian Wildlife, Waterlines: Rivers of India and Voices in the Wilderness. He writes on conservation in Tamil in magazines like Uyirmmai and Kalachuvadu and also has three books on conservation in Tamil to his credit. He believes that to make conservation a people’s movement the discourse has to be in local languages.

Baskaran’s other scholarly interests include film studies and art history, areas in which he has published books and articles. His book, The Eye of the Serpent, won the National Award for Best Writing on Cinema, 1997. He was awarded the Iyal Virudhu for Lifetime Achievement in Tamil Writing by the Canada-based Literary Garden. He is a graduate of the National Defence College. He retired as Chief Postmaster General of Tamil Nadu. He lives with his wife in Bangalore.

Me thinks

When I was a teenager I always wanted a dog as a pet. After growing up I realized, I was looking for a companion who could be the most loyal than any other species on earth. One of the many reasons why I choose to review this book was this special attachment I have towards dogs. Of course, just to clarify I could never have a pet but maybe someday I will sure. I am hopeful, more-so after reading this book. 

I truly admire the amount of research that has gone behind this book by the author. He has meticulously given out details of all the species of dogs in India, with pictures. I have had the privilege of interviewing him HERE and could know how passionate he is about it. What I admire about him is the way he has nurtured multiple talents and ensured he does something for each one of them. That is something I really want to imbibe into myself, as I feel in focusing on one, other passions get neglected. 

Till now I knew only about a handful of species , thanks to friends and family who had adopted them. But this book felt like a different world altogether. From their ferociousness. to their hound sounds, sight sounds and their reaction to their surroundings. What is also noteworthy is how two dogs of the same species need not get along at the first instance itself. The author has done an amazing job with this book as he has ensured that all the people who pay a bomb for a particular species no longer get cheated. They should know what they are getting home, not only as a value for money but also because that is how they can ensure that the dog gets the best care according to its natural needs. 

Excellent read, one that I am proud to add to my bookshelf and also would be gifting to other dog-lovers within my circle.

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Coffee Cake - Deliciously different and one that leaves a long lingering flavour in your mouth.

Source: Cook Diary