15 June, 2021

Felines Too Can Be Fun

Don't judge this book by its cover, it's better than it looks

Felines Too Can Be Fun
NORMALLY, I’m all for judging a book by its cover. I’m the sort who buys wine according to how prettily it's labelled. But once in a while, life tosses you a pleasant surprise, like this collection of short stories: a subtle little vintage masquerading as cheap plonk. So, following the well-tried tradition of working from the outside in, let’s start with the packaging.

The back cover is entirely taken up with a large photograph of seven assorted holy men with the author, centre-stage, strumming her acoustic guitar. The ash-smeared sadhu to her right looks suitably perplexed. The overall effect is Snow White and Seven Dwarfs on MTV Unplugged, leading you to expect the worst of the stories inside. The dippy, trippy naivete of the cover penetrates as far as the dedication and the opening poem but, thankfully, no further, and the writing itself is shot through with a welcome wry humour.

In The Visa , the snobbery and back-stabbing of the ladies’ weekly card party is wickedly and wittily dissected. For Ritu, one of the main characters, the...

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