All Inju wants is a quiet, boring holiday at the most boring house in Mumbai, but life at Parijat Retirement Colony is not the same any more.
A thief is on the loose, and Paati has decided to become an UNCLE! But when the uncles of UNCLE (The Underground Nightly Cooperative League of Elders) act not so cooperative, Inju takes charge.
Joining forces with a lady whose papads were stolen, the skinny building watchman and Paati, Inju forms PAATI (The People’s Association against Thieves International).
Can this motley crew of detectives crack the code?
“Paati vs. UNCLE” reminded me of the many Enid Blyton novels I used to read as a kid. What not was there to keep a child occupied during summer vacations? Kids on vacation, no homework or studies, and a mystery to solve. The only difference being that in “Paati vs. UNCLE” it is not a team of kids, but an unlikely pair of a grandma and grandson on their quest to find a thief.
Paati, like almost every grandmother, dotes on her grandson, feeding him delicious food and providing him a perfectly safe and boring vacation. Inju, like every grandson, is the one who would introduce his grandmother to innovative ideas.
This cute dadi-pota jodi (grandma-grandson duo) is so relatable, so real. I, for sure, felt a very strong connection with Paati. Grandma who takes care of her Tupperware like gold and silver; who has a locked closet that contains all the antiquities and photographs from ages ago; who makes banana chips and cute animal-shaped dosas. That’s my Nani!
These characters and their personalities are as real, as honest, as close to heart as they could get.
Talking about the themes of the story, the author very smartly and subtly touches on the topic of existing sexism in society, using the terms “UNCLE” (a club of old men – The Underground Nightly Cooperative League of Elders) and “Aunty” (Captain Aunty – a doctor turned freedom fighter) as more than just the terms by making it a metaphor of bully and courage respectively.
The main plot revolves around the lonely lives of senior citizens. To what extent they can go to make their lives a little more entertaining, a little more not-mundane.
Special mention to Parmita Mukherjee for the gorgeous illustrations!
I enjoyed every bit of this book and highly recommend it. Whether you are a kid, adult, or senior citizen, this book is an enjoyable read for readers of all ages.