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Stories from Kerala in Quarantine


Book: Onam in a Nightie – Stories from a Kerala Quarantine

Publisher: Harper Collins

Author: Anjana Menon

The book is set in the backdrop of Kerala, but it is also about what makes us human. Anjana Menon’s Onam in a Nightie takes the readers to a place you wish stays the way it is forever, in these true stories of hope and resilience from a midway Kerala town.

In India’s tropical paradise, Kerala stands a town wrapped around a giant roundabout, where a canny caretaker with a French connection holds sway. Vying for his attention are two competing neighbours. Appu has lessons for the living, but Maya cares only for the dead. And a gastronome dog plays ball girl to tennis-loving nuns.

At the centre is temple so ancient that no one knows when it was built. Here, even a tiny railway station has set its own rules for acceptance. A baker runs errandfor strangers in the middle of a pandemic. The fictional town of Malgudi meets reality in a book that is alternatively heart-warming and hilarious.

Talking about the book, the author, Anjana Menon, says,”When life slows down, everything comes under a magnifying glass, and we get time to observe the little coincidences, the small gestures here and there, the stray remarks. It’s almost as though they string you along to reveal how the ordinary stuff is extraordinary, and that’s more uplifting than we take it to be.”

Anjana Menon studied literature, got into journalism, and later ran a television newsroom. She is a co-author of What’s Your Story? The Essential Business Storytelling Handbook published by Penguin Random House.

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