Anjana Neira Dev
DUGGA by Written and illustrated by Rajiv Eipe Pratham Books Level 3, Bengaluru, 2021, pp., INR 65.00
November 2023, volume 47, No 11

As I opened the first page of this moving story by Rajiv Eipe, I found so much to absorb my attention that I spent a happy time weaving stories around the urban landscape and the minutiae that filled it with life. In the midst of all this busyness is our hero, Dugga, whose adorable expression and lifelike antics make him come alive and I joined him on his adventures, as I am sure the reader will be compelled to. Each frame of this graphic narrative is so vivid that words are rendered redundant, and the images carry the story forward effortlessly. The other advantage of this ‘wordless’ book is that the readers can give free rein to their imagination and animate the story as their fancy takes them. Day follows happy day as Dugga goes about his doggy business with never a care in the world, until he decides to chase a particularly pesky insect, as dogs seem hard-wired to do, and then disaster strikes. The poor creature is badly hurt by a careless car and lies writhing in pain until a good Samaritan comes to his rescue. It is her care and creative rehabilitation that give Dugga a new lease of life, a home and a second chance at life and happiness. There are many Duggas out there and this book will remind us to keep a kindly eye on them and in the process find a friend for life.