Manisha Chaudhry
Manisha Chaudhry
THIS IS ME, MAYIL by Niveditha Subramaniam Tulika Books, 2018, 124 pp., 159
November 2019, volume 43, No 11

The latest book about Mayil Ganesan darts at you with upper cuts and feints that land strong but leave you warmed for having met her. Surer than ever of being Mayil as the title suggests, Mayil writes her diary in prose, in verse, in art, in every way that leaves you in no doubt about where she stands. At fifteen going on sixteen, there is just so much that goes on in her life at home, at school, in her neighbourhood that you follow her somewhat breathless but totally drawn to what she will say next.

It all begins with a break up with the mysterious R where Mayil grapples with wildly conflicting emotions … ‘The Overground Mehyl grows quills to adjust to daylight. These are pointy and sharp enough to finely slice some green chillies and toss them in R’s face.’…to ‘I wish I could put people inside my laptop. Then it would hang and I could forget about them forever.’ Getting over it with a little help from friends, her fragile composure is shattered when Ma and Pa decide to launch a joint attack about her untidy room. Familiar? But spot on. Mayil has her revenge in a poem that ends …

Continue reading this review