Teen Couple Have Fun Outdoors by Aravind Jayan review – a bittersweet debut

Embarrassing video footage goes viral in this fresh Indian comedy about generation gaps, gossip and the power of the internet

Log kya kahenge?(What will people think?”) is a common Hindi phrase in India, a forewarning of public opinion on one’s personal life. Such opinions are generally understood to be overly critical, a judgment on one’s character and moral compass. The phrase hovers over Aravind Jayan’s humorous and heartwarming first novel, Teen Couple Have Fun Outdoors, haunting the eponymous protagonists’ families and lives.

Amma and Appa live in the Blue Hills housing colony in Trivandrum, Kerala. They’re proudly on the road to a comfortable middle-class life, complete with a white Honda Civic – that marker of success and social mobility – when things fall apart. A clip of their eldest son Sreenath and his girlfriend Anita, caught on camera in “sex-adjacent” activities, has been posted to a porn site and is now circulating far and wide, gathering more momentum and causing more mortification with each passing day. This viral video breaks the internet, severing familial bonds and leaving the reader wondering what the ripple effects will be.

Continue reading...


What we’re reading: writers and readers on the books they enjoyed in March

Norman Erikson Pasaribu, Sana Goyal and Guardian readers Melissa and Joe discuss the titles they’ve...

Read More >

We Move by Gurnaik Johal review – virtuosic stories of British-Punjabi life

The understated and surprising tales in this debut collection provide multiple perspectives on recur...

Read More >

Brown Girls by Daphne Palasi Andreades review – raised by Queens

This boisterous New York coming-of-age tale uses its collective narrator to tell forceful truths abo...

Read More >

How to Kidnap the Rich by Rahul Raina review – a satire on modern India

In this savage cinematic caper about an academic fraudster, social commentary meets standup comedyTh...

Read More >