The Cockroach and I

Saranya Subramanian,

The Cockroach and I
 
 

RUNNER-UP OF THE 2020 BODLEY HEAD / FINANCIAL TIMES ESSAY PRIZE

'It's an exhausting, futile battle, really. Every night, the same smug cockroach squeezes herself out of my bathroom drain's grilled lid, scuttles into the toilet and shower area, and waltzes around like she owns the place.'


The Cockroach and I is an astonishingly vivid, funny, trenchant portrait of life in Bombay in 2020 during the pandemic. It is alive to the nameless and the numberless of the city, alive to history, and alive to the special strangeness of a year of living surrounded by death and uncertainty.

Here are innumerable human beings pushed inside their homes while insects and animals roam freely, each playing their roles.



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