About Me

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Mumbai, India
I'm a landrace dog fancier, birder and amateur arachnologist. Founder of the INDog Project (www.indog.co.in) and the INDog Club. Before that, worked with urban free-ranging dogs of Mumbai from 1993-2007. Also a wildlife conservationist working in the tiger reserves of central India with Satpuda Foundation.

This blog is for aboriginal breed enthusiasts. It is part of the INDog Project www.indog.co.in. Only INDogs (Indian Pariah) and INDog-mix mongrels are featured here. The two are NOT the same, do please read the text on the right to understand the difference. Our aim: to create awareness about the primitive natural breed called the Indian Pariah Dog/INDog. I sometimes feature other landrace breeds too.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Black Dog Squad: INDogs of West Bengal

I love these pictures of street dogs waiting for handouts at a tea stall. They were taken by Gautam Das in the town Kalyani in southern West Bengal.

The first words that came to mind when I saw these were aap kataar mein hain - "you are in queue" - that's Hindi and the wrong language for Bengal, but most Indians will know what I mean!

This is such a familiar sight all over India. The intelligence of these animals, who know exactly how to interact with and "work" humans, never ceases to amaze me. Well, they've had thousands of years of experience and know our species pretty well by now. A whole lot better than we know them in fact.

If you'd like to see more pictures of free-ranging dogs and how they live side-by-side with people, have a look at Eloise Leyden's beautiful photography book
"Slum Dogs of India." Here's a post about her in this blog.

Photos: Gautam Das,
West Bengal


Veera said...

What a lovely queue:) Thanks for reminding of Leyden's book. I just ordered it!

Sarah said...

I just finished unpacking some boxes last night and I came across Eloise's book. When I just saw this post, before the text, I thought to myself that it reminded me of a couple of images from the book where the dogs are patiently waiting for scraps or handouts.

For Pete, even though I have told people to not give in to him ... they have confided in me that when they were dogsitting that he would follow them to the kitchen, step at least 5 feet away and sit up straight with the most patient and attentive posture they have ever seen! And they would also give in with a piece of whatever they were eating.

He is always watching and extremely alert. :)

Beautiful photos by Das, love the tones.

Rajashree Khalap said...

Lalee does exactly that, looks at people as if she hasn't been fed for several weeks! I've caught our Mumbai help and our Nagaon caretaker giving her much larger quantities of food than they're supposed to, because "she looks hungry, her stomach isn't full!" They look only at her face and not at her stomach, which is perfectly full and round :-)

Supriya Sircar Dasgupta said...

Beautiful blog! Cal used to relate very naturally to it's "urban wildlife" (as i call it). Every locality fed it's dogs and cats with whatever they could give- i have seen poor people making up extra rice or chappatis on their roadside shacks to share. In our locality, in 1974, the community adopted a lovely fellow we all named "Public". i dont know if that kind of compassion happens in Cal these days- with more of those housing estates, there is bound to be less humanity and tolerance.

Rajashree Khalap said...

Thanks! Yes it was good in Cal in the old days with all the friendly "pada" dogs. There's a lot of anti-dog feeling now with the mushrooming crass nouveau riche lot. There's a lot of cruelty to dogs in places like Salt Lake with their pseudo-posh buildings and low-life moneyed residents. A Mumbai friend lived there for a while and she has come back with the impression that Cal people hate street dogs. I've given up trying to convince her that this is not true, or rather was not true until recently. It's the same phenomenon with the newly developed suburbs of Ahmedabad I'm told. Lots of people with new money and savage attitudes to dogs, very different from the traditional Gujarati tolerance for animals that you see in rural areas.

ajeya said...

I am using one the pictures posted in your blog. I wanted a picture of black and white Indian south street dog. Could not find a better option online.
I have borrowed your photo and used it in my blog address: https://ajeya.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/a-piece-of-biscuit/. I have given a link to your blog and credited it. Hope you are fine with it. Leave a comment if I should remove the photo from my blog.

Thanks ,


Rajashree Khalap said...

Thanks for asking Ajeya. It's perfectly okay to use the photo with credits, as you have done.