Solo in Singapore by Tanushree Podder

9789351777243.jpgSolo in Singapore by Tanushree Podder is the journey of Munmun Menon, a half Bengali half Malayali girl who goes to Singapore and tries to survive there.

The Blurb:

Quirky, overweight and emotionally insecure Munmun Menon, a kid born of a Bohemian Bengali mother and a number-crunching Malayali father, has been dreaming of true love forever. With an expired shelf life (she is thirty!), a no-go job as a correspondent, and an unfaithful lover, she decides to make a clean break. She buys a one-way ticket to Singapore, the city where her long lost father lives, and arrives carrying a heart full of hurt and a host of dreams. Solo in Singapore is a rip-roaring, side-splitting account of a young girl’s experience in an alien land and her efforts at keeping herself buoyed in choppy waters.

The story:

Thirty two year old Munmun Menon is a cocktail kid. Her parents got divorced when she was five and she lives with her artist mother and has not seen or heard from her father since. Once when she was eight, she had heard some relative mention that he had shifted to Singapore.

Munmun is not a career girl and marriage seems to allude her for various reasons. She dreams of writing a book. She leaves her boring job, a cheating man and an unexciting life in Bangalore and escapes to Singapore on a month long visa and a one way ticket.

She reaches Singapore and checks into the hotel she had booked online only to shift out the next day to a hostel. There, an Australian girl, Alison becomes her roommate. They become good friends and Ali teaches Moon a lot about the country. Moon feels her confidence growing and Ali becomes her Singapore Survival Kit. With their resources depleting, they apply for an extension of their visa, look for jobs and a PG accommodation.

In the meantime, Moon continues to write on her blog with the hope of publishing a book one day and keeps searching for her father with the hope of meeting him one day.

She meets Ayan Mukherjee, a lawyer, the one person she had desperately wanted to respond to her profile on the matrimonial website at one of the ex-pat meet ups and decides to take challenge of wooing him.

Does she manage to get her book published? Does she manage to woo Ayan Mukherjee? Does she find her father?

Read this account of Moon and find out.

My take:

The author has written the book as a first person account from Munmun’s point of view with excellent descriptions of people and places. The language is excellent and the flow is good. Having visited Singapore myself, I could easily visualize them. The book is hilarious and more about Moon’s journey than about the romance. She has used some Singlish words, like, lah.

She has given funny names to people and places like, Throne Room, Tsarina, Wonton, Forbidden Kingdom, Virgin Mary, Charlie Brown, Wierdo and Mother Goose.

I loved the book.

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