In India's tropical paradise, stands a town wrapped around a giant roundabout, where a canny caretaker with a French connection holds sway. Vying for his attention are two competing neighbours. Appu holds lessons for the living but Maya cares only for the dead. And a gastronome dog plays ball girl to tennis-loving nuns. At the centre is an imposing temple so ancient that no one knows exactly when it was built. Here, even a tiny railway station has set its own rules for acceptance and belonging. On the other side of the tracks, a baker runs errands for total strangers in the middle of a pandemic. Malgudi Days meets reality in the search for joy and belonging in a book that is alternatively heartwarming and hilarious. Anjana Menon takes you to a place that you wish stays that way forever, in these true stories of hope and resilience from a midway Kerala town.