Onam in a Nightie: Stories from a Kerala Quarantine is a light read, wherein the author, Anjana Menon, has chronicled her days of pandemic forced isolation in her hometown of Thrissur. Residents of Delhi, the author, and her brother move to Kerala to be with their parents during the first phase of Covid-19. In this book, she attempts to shed light on life in Kerala, as an ‘outsider,’ a non-resident Keralite.
The novel is separated into two parts. In Part 1, A Quarantine Like No Other, Menon describes her 14 days of home and then room quarantine.
Through these tales, the author shares the paradisiacal Kerala with her readers – The Thrissur Round, Bharat Hotel, rains, pappadam, and the many varieties of payasams. I could visualize the small town and its spirit. We also get to see the manner in which the Kerala government handled the crisis and the welfare measures they had put in place. Reading about the police officials and counsellors who checked on her with an alarming regularity made for a heart-warming read. I enjoyed the bits about the author’s experiences in Delhi, Noida, and Singapore. Having lived in all these places, I could connect with those parts easily.
Part 2, Shivankutty and Other Stories, is a delightful collection of stories with the unmissable Kerala essence. These are the stories of life experiences, nostalgic memories and people we know and meet in our daily lives.
The author’s writing style makes this a highly relatable read. The stories are satirical, witty, warm, and touching. Readers with a Kerala connection will enjoy Onam in a Nightie even more.
Wordsopedia Rating 3/5
|Title: Onam in a Nightie: Stories from a Kerala Quarantine||Author: Anjana Menon|
|Publisher: HarperCollins India||Publication date: December 15th 2021|
|Genre: Non Fiction – Humour||Format: Paperback|
|ISBN: 9781982137038||No. of Pages: 260|
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About the author
Anjana Menon got sucked into a journalism career that took her to Europe and Southeast Asia before she returned to India as one of the founder editors of Mint. She recently co-authored the bestseller What’s Your Story? The Essential Business Storytelling Handbook. This is her debut creative non-fiction book. She divides her time between London and Delhi.