In this article, I discuss the representation of pets in the 2015 commercial Hindi comedy-drama (commonly known as Bollywood) Dil Dhadakne Do
(DDD), which translates to Let the Heart Beat; this is the first ever case of a Hindi movie having a dog as a narrator. For centuries, Indian animal tales have had a habit of anthropomorphizing, but generally narratives about dogs uphold the basic prejudice that they are polluting and degraded animals. DDD introduces a dog named Pluto Mehra, not only as a pet, but as the fifth member of the Mehra family, with the role of the sutradhaar
(storyteller, narrator) who recounts the story of a rich, dysfunctional family. Pluto knows the Mehras’ foibles and follies, and he is the only voice of reason among them. A generational shift in one’s outlook towards pets has taken place in the Indian middle classes: pets are no longer perceived as animals that must serve some purpose, but are actually considered to be equal members of the family, even becoming a statement of style for pet owners. I analyze this attitude reversal toward animals within the context of a globalized economy and consumerist ideology.
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