Chuckle Merry Spin: Us in the US by Khyrunnisa A. | Book Review

“Did the U.S. have to be so far away from India? Imagine, having to fly nineteen hours to reach Chicago. Yikes! All because Christopher Columbus couldn’t sit at home and follow his father’s wool trade like a good boy. Ah, well, no point wool gathering about re-inventing history to suit your convenience. Now that we had our visas, we had to think of booking tickets.”

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 before travelled 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.

3. Chuckle Merry Spin

I loved the author’s first anthology, Tongue-in-Cheek: The Funny Side of Life – an observation of mundane life experiences from which she extracts humour to turn them into laughter-inducing adventures. Her sharp wit was the draw in reaching for her latest book.

Armchair travel being their favoured mode of tourism, it was a surprise when the author’s  husband, after ignoring their son’s invitations for five years, readily agreed to their daughter-in-law’s wishes. And so they decided to travel to the US for a long-overdue holiday.

Chuckle Merry Spin is a travelogue chronicling her visit to the US with her husband – their first overseas trip. From arranging passports, applying for US visas, packing, and making the journey, to their adventures in the country – every moment is captured. The author collects her travel experiences of navigating the travel and tourism industry in India which carry forward with a keen observation of American culture, a crash-course about the country’s history, it’s natural beauty and the components of the American social fabric.

One of the most surprising elements of their trip is her husband who appears to have become a different man. He strikes up a conversation with everyone he meets along the way and gently extracts their life story from them. The couple also manage to squeeze in visits to their old friends who are thrilled to meet them on their side of the world and welcome them warmly into their homes and lives.

This book also took me back to my first visit to the US. I was in my early twenties and was travelling for work with a colleague. This was well before the age of smartphones when we picked up a city map from the hotel desk and looked up information brochures for things to see and do. Reading this book, I realised how differently a first visit would go today.

A humour-filled travelogue with every moment that is as comedic as it is relatable, this is as much an entertainer for the spirited adventurer as it is for the armchair traveller. And, as any desi in a foreign land will proclaim, which ever traveller you choose to be, you will always find the comfort of home and the warmth of friends in every story.

Chuckle Merry Spin: Us in the US by Khyrunnisa A.. Published in 2022 by Westland Books.

Book 3 of 2023.

Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.

Available on Amazon*.

About Photo: The author remarks about the houses in San Francisco appearing to draw comfort from hugging each other. It reminded me of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco – the colourful Victorian and Edwardian style houses that I first saw in the title credits of the popular US TV show-Full House.
This model of the Painted Ladies is created from a postcard template by Steve Shook that I found on Pinterest. The model is made from 220gsm Ivory paper.
3. Chuckle Merry Spinb
About the Author: Khyrunnisa A. is the author of the popular fortnightly column ‘Inside View’ that appeared in The Hindu MetroPlus. She is also an award-winning author of children’s fiction and the creator of the hugely popular Butterfingers series for young readers. Her first book for adults-the bestselling collection of essays, Tongue-in-Cheek: The Funny Side of Life-continues to regale readers.
She is a full-time author and lives in Thiruvananthapuram.
You can reach her on Instagram and Facebook, or write to her at
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*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.


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