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What the Pandemic Learned from Me by Anindita Das: book review

As Funny as Real, it can be

If life gives you too much drama at once, make a cocktail or brew the poison.

Anindita Das chose the former option. She made a cocktail sassier than my bartender friend and gave us this peppy, fruity, zingy punch that will make you a bit tipsy.

Written in the style of open letters, she documented how her (including ours) life changed with pandemic and subsequent lockdown. While we all know and read about the dark grim reality, the author guides us to embrace the new lifestyle no matter how different and dystopian it feels. Not for once, she disregarded the struggle; rather she brought out the fun part of it.

For example, in one particular section, she talked about how social media started impacting all of us on a much larger scale. Like comparing one’s interior aesthetic, or house plants growing and we jump into the bandwagon in setting up our spaces, and judging every single element in a very resentful manner. The fact that we have stopped appreciating ourselves led to negative outcomes one after another. Now the thing is we can talk about this, in much more “serious, harsh ways” but she took the alternative path and gave us a book filled with satire. Satire is an easy way to consume because on the surface level it's funny, hilarious, and light but the after effect stays for a long time.

Although it's more about the author’s musings, it's very relatable to all of us. Did we ever imagine working from home for more than a year, or graduating without attending the convocation? Then she shared her experiences with retail therapy, experimental cooking, getting the perfect body, and so on. We all have been there, maybe we still are in a subdued manner or maybe we just got adapted to the new lifestyle. The point is, she is giving us those fun elements to accept as we try to understand our surroundings. Most of us who live in urban settings are considered privileged (which we are) but the struggle is ubiquitous. It just changed its form. In a way, it’s a very different book about a very serious topic and the author made sure that we think about our tiny decisions and what we are feeding our mind (read: toxic social media culture).


"What’s the secret to saving your sanity during this pesky pandemic?

Can there even be one?

There’s a journey that each one of us has undertaken in these testing times. A journey of self-realization and renewed assessment of our lives, marked by silly anecdotes, mindless distractions, and everyday truths. This book is a humorous retelling of the author’s personal blunders and mind-boggling human behavior in general, strung together by a series of hilarious open letters.

It is a modest pursuit to deliver a little relief and diversion from the pandemic’s grim realities. It’s also an attempt to reaffirm the need for a good laugh to help deal with the doom and gloom that now surrounds our lives.

Each letter picks up a relatable theme of our lockdown life – be it our obsession with baking banana bread, growing out our beards, or finding the fanciest holiday homes in Goa. What comes out, is a light and delightful offering that anyone living in this era shouldn’t miss.

“A breezy read that goes well with your evening tea (like Marie Gold) or finds a permanent spot on your nightstand. A perfect picker-upper if you're feeling down, it reminded me of Bill Bryson's 'A Short History of Nearly Everything' and Hugh Prather's 'Notes to Myself'.”- Manish Bhatt, Founder/CCO August Communications

“Hits a cord with everyone who has left the rat race of ‘acquiring new skills’. It is honest, straightforward, and downright hilarious. I loved the book. I found it clutter-breaking, relatable and non-preachy.” - Shilpi Agarwal, Blogger @bookgasmic

Some important information:

o The book is part memoir, part random lists, and part mean musings.

o It celebrates the ability to find humor in unexpected predicaments and life in general.

o It’s a collection of letters addressed to the most unlikely of receivers, filled with pithy observations, irreverent and ruthless humor about the little idiosyncrasies of life in lockdown.

o Each of these perfectly bite-sized letters are wonderful accompaniments to the massive mood swings that is our reality in the times of corona.

o Under no circumstance, this book is to be taken seriously, seriously.

Savor this quick pick-me-up with a hot cup, a pinch of salt, and a great deal of grins.

What the Pandemic Learned from Me by Anindita Das is published by Evincepub Publishing and to order your copy buy here.


Anindita Das is a Senior Advertising Creative Director and has extensive experience working for leading advertising agencies across the country like Wunderman Thompson, Dentsu Impact, Cheil Worldwide, and former M&C Saatchi. She has launched and relaunched several iconic brands and partnered with some of the hottest businesses. An alumna of the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi her work has been awarded several times for creativity and effectiveness. Her first book 'What The Pandemic Learned From Me' has topped the Amazon Hot Releases rankings in the Humor category and is being loved by readers looking for something happy and easy on the soul.

Reach out to the author here and here

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