Jeyanthi Manokaran dips into the world of the ‘fairly intrepid Guppy’ or Grown up Puppy, scooping up dollops of his thoughts, temptations, affections and of course, ‘canine angst and bliss’. A review of The Canine Chronicles: Love and Laughter in the Times of Corona.
Who is this supercool black labrador Aryan favouring ‘mango-banana-cherry-custard’? This is not fiction. Author Ramendra Kumar ‘loves canines and hates the word ‘dog’ except when he exclaims – ‘OMD! (Oh My Dog!)’. Aryan is in fact a ‘fairly intrepid Guppy’ or Grown up Puppy.
With gentle humour, we get glimpses of the family through Aryan’s eyes – his fun brother Ani and endearing sister Anki who have arrived home due to the lockdown, cuddly mumma, oddball papa (‘who between you, me and my favourite lamppost is a Narcissist,’) and creative fibber, housekeeper Sharda Aunty.
After a bit of confusion Aryan understands what Corona is all about – something that brings families together, playing board games. Also brings neighbours together under Modi’s orders – playing on kitchen bands or lighting diyas in their balconies. ‘I knew my family was bananas, but this performance proved that they are an entire fruit basket.’
When confused, Aryan calls upon another Guppy for help – Pri ‘my partner, my mentor, my soulmate’ who acts like she’s ‘a doctorate from Tharoor university,’ and came from a house that was like a battlefield. Pri is the only one to chide Aryan when he gives into the ‘tsunami of temptations’ and gratefully gobbles everything Ani and Anki tried to decide which he was more fond of – ‘from bun to bone, cheese to chicken, mango to mutton..!’ Pri appreciates Aryan’s Papa too. ‘If more and more people become childlike, the world would become a far, far better place.’
Ramendra dips into his diary to flashback on tragic tales of his very first pet Mini, with long floppy ears, when he was a little boy. What happens when Pri’s family is transferred? Spin along with Ramendra in his skillfully woven tale of canine angst and bliss. ‘If a man loves dog, he is a good man, if a dog loves man, he is a good man’.
Author: Ramendra Kumar
Ebook: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Blue Pencil
Published on: 1 November 2020
Available on: Amazon, Flipkart, Blue Pencil
Kindle: India, USA, UK, DE, AU, CA and more.
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