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The Eminently Forgettable Life Of Mrs Pankajam by Meera Rajagopalan Book Review

The Eminently Forgettable Life Of Mrs Pankajam
Author: Meera Rajagopalan
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 186
Publishers: Hachette India
Publication Date: 20th April, 2021

If you are looking for a short, light-hearted read, look no further.

This is the story of Mrs. Pankajam who has been advised by her doctor to maintain a journal because she is starting to lose her memory. This book is narrated through her journal entries starting from the time when her husband had a heart attack. And so she pens down about her day to day life and hence follows this story of an aging woman.

She has two daughters, Pari and Viswa. Pari is married and settled with two kids in the US whereas they are having a hard time finding a suitor for Viswa. But something feels off with Pari. They doubt something is wrong between Pari and her husband. Soon, they go to US and find that Pari has separated from her husband and is with a woman now. They have a hard time accepting this new truth but they come around it.

The journal entries were witty, filled with humor and sarcasm. I was chuckling quite a bit while reading this book. I appreciated the simplicity of the story and yet there were so many layers to this story. In those entries, she was writing down her stream of consciousness about her daily life. Something about it was so mundane that it felt like I was really reading someone’s real journal because it felt very realistic. For this reason, I ended by caring for the characters so much more than I expected.

This book is so much along the lines of A Man Called Over by Fredrick Backman. Witty and funny with an undertone of melancholy, this book will make you happy but also sad in some parts.

I liked Mrs. Pankajam as the main protagonist. With her condition of losing her memory, I already sympathized with her but she was also that kind of mother who didn’t stop her daughters from doing what they wanted to do. She was on board when her eldest daughters said she was with another woman and that speaks volume about her.

The story also takes a more serious turn towards the end. You can see her deteriorating memory through her journal entries.

Overall, this was an incredibly delightful read, one that you shouldn’t miss.

My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Author

Meera Rajagopalan is a writer based in Chennai. She sunlights as a communications consultant for the development sector. Her fiction tends to veer around issues of identity and has appeared in several anthologies, including The Helter Skelter Anthology of New Writing Vol. 6, and was the winning entry in Amaryllis’s Have a Safe Journey anthology.

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