Book Review : LOCKED DOWN by Manjul Bajaj

Locked Down‘ by Manjul Bajaj is an unconventional book. In fact, if these were ‘normal’ non-COVID times, it wouldn’t make sense to write it, much less to read one like it. But it’s because of the unusual times that this book was actually written – and why it’s so necessary to read it!

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Locked Down‘ is about our shared journey.

We’re all riding the emotional roller-coaster, as day follows day, some up and some down – varying only in the degree of our mood swings, not in its essence.

And Manjul beautifully traces this ride in her brief musings.

You feel the ebb and flow in her energy, enthusiasm and mood from one mini-narrative to the next… and I wondered at the magnitude of my own mistake in not journaling my feelings this way over the past couple of months.

I smiled at her having words with her “dishwasher” – and then laughed out loud a few pages later at the description of a “pre-pandemic inner garment“.

Her story about shared citizenship at the ‘republic of L’Oreal‘ resonated because I observe another card-carrying member of that state go through the same struggle.

“The only earning I can be certain of this year is the silver in my hair.”

Wow! True.

But towards the end, the stories get more profound. And poignant.

And I met the ‘bag lady who lives in an elevator‘ – only on my third re-reading of that segment… and was mentally gob-smacked.

As with the last rites we performed together for ‘humanity’ in the wake of a neurosurgeon’s demise in my home town.

But my favorite short story of them all was ‘A Gathering‘ that’s all about the cross-generational pain I’ll never entirely experience or understand… because I’m not a woman!

Lockdown Love‘ is another favorite… and not just because it’s naughty!

I think ‘Locked Down‘ is a book you’ll enjoy – today.

And even if you don’t, for the price of a Kindle edition, you dare not kick up any fuss, okay?!


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