Chuckle Merry Spin: Us in the US
Rs. 295 (Paperback)
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This is not a sponsored review; I did not get paid for it.
When Khyrunnisa and her husband, VK, decide to travel to the U.S. for their daughter-in-law’s graduation ceremony, they enthusiastically throw themselves into the preparations. Very much at home in their beloved Thiruvananthapuram, the duo has never traveled abroad. Visas procured and warm clothes packed, they set forth. And what an adventure it turns out to be—full of peculiar restaurant rules, tipping norms, confusing subway stations, interesting places, and entertaining conversations.
In this relatable and giggle-inducing travelogue, Khyrunnisa returns to doing what she does best—finding humor in everyday life. We chuckle along and shake our heads in recognition, as we accompany her from one destination to another. Keenly observed and hilariously narrated, Chuckle Merry Spin is suffused with the joy of adventure and the warmth of friends and family. A book for all times.
My Thoughts on Chuckle Merry Spin: Us in the US:
When I first saw this book in the Book Review section of the blogchatter.com website, I was excited. Here is a book about travel in the US, my favorite topic as a travel writer! I was very curious about the author Khyrunnisa A’s story. Did it in any way match mine? Would it bring back memories of my first trip to the USA? Read on to know more about this book and the author’s experiences.
I was impressed with the cover of the book. It is cheerfully red and has very cute carton characters with bags and baggage stomping towards the landmark skyscrapers of the mage cities of the US.
Khyrunnisa travels for the first time to the USA to attend her daughter-in-law’s graduation ceremony from the prestigious Syracuse University in New York state. As her son is working in Wisconsin (WA), she and her husband VK land in Chicago and onwards to Neenah, WA. Along with their daughter-in-law Arpitha, the author and VK travel around Wisconsin. Son Amar is busy with either work or interviews for a new job and joins them occasionally.
The author recounts everything from their US visa interview experience:
“The next morning found me quite on edge; it was the day of the all-important interview. I had not felt so apprehensive even for my job interview…”
to their travels throughout the US. From WA they travel to New York state for Arpitha’s graduation. From there they cross country to the west coast of the vast US to California. At every stop in every town or city, they manage to see museums and natural wonders and be with family and friends.
What do University Professors Like to See?
Chuckle Merry Spin brings back so many of my own memories of my first impression of the US. Their nervousness to order anything from coffee to sandwiches brought out a chuckle, there are so many options to choose from, you could get lost in them! Something to smile about is their bumbling through the bus station with the wrong bus ticket! How many of us have been through this experience?! Fond memories of the grand puzzle of the New York City subway train system rushed back, the only difference being we were all four of us, tourists, to America trying to figure it all out, and we did not get lost!
Since both the author and her husband are University professors and that too of the English Language, I could totally relate to the worship of Walden Pond and Henry David Thoreau:
“—–he [VK] bent down and reverentially cupped the water in both hands.” [at Walden Pond where Thoreau once lived]
I was so excited to visit Ernest Hemmingway’s house in Key West! The author and her husband’s favorite haunts are museums, famous universities, and historical places – another favorite pastime of mine! I loved their review of not just the universities of Harvard and MIT but the author’s review of the energetic students who guide them around these prestigious buildings is very entertaining as well. We get to peek into life at Stanford also through their expert eyes. Read the book to know more about these colorful guides and the beautiful establishments.
Friends and Relatives Make it Better:
Khyrunnisa A has a large collection of friends and relatives to host them, take them places and treat them to great Indian food. It is heartwarming to read the tales of these lovely humans who show them great hospitality. We Indians cannot stay far away from our idlis, sambar, and other finger-licking wholesome food, can we?! VK is not silent and chirps in with his version of events and adventures.
I could relate to the stories of the hard work her son Amar put in to get a job, Arpitha to get her university degree, and the simple life they led in the initial days of striving for their American dream. The horrible old houses in Upstate New York! Oh my – I can relate to that! My own daughter stayed in one such dilapidated wooden house built in the early 20th century, near Albany NY. There were perfectly good graduate accommodations nearby but budgets being what they are, they compromised. But today, looking back on those college days, my daughters have such fond memories of their college days in America…
Humor Every Where You Look!
I really enjoyed reading Chuckle Merry Spin: Us in the US. It’s authentic and tells it like it is with a pinch of humor. There is plenty of humor when our author swipes pens from hotels under the disapproving eyes of her husband VK:
“I snatched a pen from the table and shoved it into my bag. ‘It’s a souvenir.’ I explained to VK whose eyebrows had disappeared into his hairline.”
Through snarled traffic, the buses and trains of the USA, and even a tornado our brave soldiers marched on undeterred. The towering skyscrapers and the people that make up the US, color the book and make it real. How did they manage this feat of traveling the length and breadth of the US on their first trip? Read the book Chuckle Merry Spin: Us to the US to find out. The link to buy it on Amazon is above.
What I Didn’t Like:
It’s hard to find anything I didn’t like about this book since it’s about one of my favorite subjects. I miss seeing the photos of the places they visited. Especially in today’s visual communication-oriented world! In a few places, some of the idioms could have been placed a bit better. But this does not detract from the book in any way. It’s just a small thing I noticed – since I needed to find something I didn’t like about the book!
About the Author:
Khyrunnisa A. is an award-winning author of children’s fiction. Her first book for adults, Tongue in Cheek, is a bestseller that continues to regale readers. She has also worked as an Associate Professor of English at All Saints’ College and is now a full-time author. She lives in Thiruvanathapuram.
You can find out more about her at: www.khyrunnisa.com
This book review is written as part of theblogchatter.com Book Review Program.