Essential Items by Udayan Mukerjee

essential items book cover

Essential Items by Udayan Mukerjee is a collection of short stories. In these stories, Udayan Mukherjee weaves a colorful tapestry of lives under lockdown and examines what happens when people are forced to confront their own mortality. Published by Bloomsbury, the book hit the shelves in October 2020.

You can read more about the book here:

IT IS THE DREADFUL SUMMER OF THE 2020 PANDEMIC, AND INDIA IS IN LOCKDOWN.

A British climber stranded in the Himalayan border town of Munsiyari forms a bond with his host’s seven-year-old grandson. Two funeral workers at a Benaras ghat try to work their way out of the dwindling business of cremations. A domestic worker, sent on paid leave, grapples with the shifting landscape for people on the margins of an urban metropolis. Hundreds of returning migrant workers turn up unannounced at the gates of an erstwhile Rajbari in Kolkata in the wake of a devastating cyclone.

In Essential Items, Udayan Mukherjee examines oft-overlooked human attributes – resilience, faith, endurance – put to test by a pandemic-forced lockdown. Written in stark, minimalist prose, these poignant but darkly funny stories expose deep cracks in our societal structures, papered over by the myth of growing prosperity.

About the Author

Udayan Mukherjee was born in Calcutta. For two decades, he was the face of the Indian financial markets, as anchor and Managing Editor of CNBC. He is the author of the novel Dark Circles, also published by Bloomsbury, and the crime novel A Death in the Himalayas. Essential Items is his third book.

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