Rich narratives that explore the depth of loneliness, heartbreak and deception.
Huma’s divided family – Team Cemetery and Team Crematorium– clash hilariously over matters involving pigs and penises as they decide what to do with Amma’s body. Madhura Desai writes an email to the chief justice of India, urging him to choose a ‘nice cut-off age’ to die, sending shockwaves across the nation. Along the shores of Satpati, Nusrat grapples with the loss of her son, and her voice. And Amita tells her husband about her breast implants but not about Bua, Bangalore and beautiful men.
Perfectly observed, shot through with light and shadow and wry humour, Welcome to Paradise confirms Khanna’s reputation as one of our most masterful storytellers.
In “Welcome to Paradise” by Twinkle Khanna, the author showcases her prowess as a masterful storyteller. The collection of five stories revolves around the overarching theme of loss, and Khanna’s ability to infuse wit into situations of death and heartbreak is commendable. The title “Welcome to Paradise” therefore seems sarcastically appropriate because in this paradise all we are dealing with is loss.
- The Man from the Garage: Huma wants to give a send-off to her dead mother. However, the debate takes place about whether to “bury or burn” her. It is funny though I couldn’t connect with Adil and Sara’s characters. I didn’t enjoy this story as much as the others in the collection.
- Let’s Pretend: I found this one to be a really fun story. A seventy-something Bua is trying to find a companion through an online game of cards using a fake identity. While Amita is dealing with another break-up, blaming her flat chest and even undergoing a breast transplant. The ending is really adorable.
- Nearly Departed: This is the story of an eighty-six-year-old Madhura who wants Euthanasia to be an honourable way to die for the elderly. I found the arguments very relevant and the story was well-crafted. Every character was highlighted and their purpose was served beautifully. It is also the longest story of the book.
- Welcome to Paradise: Garima, to deal with her depression, decides to go on a vacation. However, things take a turn when she meets Anton Pais, a blond, wiry, bare-chested man. It is a light-hearted story about struggling times, intimacy, and some secrets.
- Jelly Sweets: This story is the most emotional of all. After Nusrat loses her son, she goes completely silent. Some jelly sweets and love from her close ones help her through the tough times. This is my most favourite story of the entire collection.
“Welcome to Paradise” is recommended for readers seeking a diverse range of emotions and stories within a single book. Twinkle Khanna’s unique blend of wit, humor, and sensitivity makes this collection a compelling read.