In the literary cosmos, where the quills of authors etch narratives that resonate with the human experience, Sudha Murty stands as a luminary whose literary efforts have woven themselves into the fabric of contemporary Indian literature. With a deft hand and a compassionate heart, she has written stories that mirror the myriad facets of life, igniting empathy and reflection in the hearts of her readers. Her oeuvre, characterised by its simplicity and resonance, is a true reflection of her profound understanding of the human condition. Sudha Murty writes for kids, young adults and fully grown readers. She writes novels, poems, and very ignited self-help books that communicate many things to readers. In this article, we will explore some of the best-known books by Sudha Murty and also look into her world of literary creation to garner glimpses.
Let us be clear! All the works by any author seldom radiate the same glow. Likewise, among the constellation of Sudha Murthy’s literary creations, certain works shine with particular brilliance, offering insights into diverse realms of existence. Wise and Otherwise is a compilation of short stories that emanate from her firsthand experiences and interactions with people from all walks of life. The collection, like a kaleidoscope, reveals the complex tapestry of human emotions, struggles, and triumphs. Through its pages, readers traverse through various slices of society, each vignette leaving an indelible mark upon the reader’s consciousness.
Mahashweta, another of Murty’s celebrated works, serves as a poignant exploration of social issues. This novel delves into the life of an extraordinary woman who battles societal prejudice and discrimination due to her skin condition. The narrative, while highlighting the challenges faced by those who deviate from societal norms, also underscores the power of resilience and the triumph of the human spirit. Published first in 2000, the novel still casts its emphatic shadow when we discuss literature on women, by women or around women.
Delving into the corridors of ancient lore, Sudha Murthy’s The Magic Drum and Other Favourite Stories takes readers on a journey through fables and myths. The book is a treasure trove of narratives that not only captivate the imagination but also offer timeless moral lessons. From the enchanting tale of a magic drum to the adventures of a clever prince, these stories invoke nostalgia for a bygone era while imparting ageless wisdom. For children, this story collection will be an ideal gift! Why keep them waiting when you can buy this book right now? Click here to get a copy from Amazon India.
The literary landscape of Sudha Murthy is also interwoven with narratives that beckon young readers to partake in the realms of imagination. The Upside Down King and How I Taught My Grandmother to Read and Other Stories are examples of her endearing storytelling for children. Through these books, she imparts valuable life lessons with a sprinkle of whimsy, nurturing young minds and fostering a love for reading.
Dollar Bahu, a famous novel by Murty, is a work that delves into the dynamics of family relationships, aspirations, and cultural shifts in the modern era. The novel, with its exploration of tradition versus progress, strikes a chord with readers navigating the intricate balance between heritage and contemporary values. Liked by women and appreciated by critics, the novel has entertained readers for many years now (published in 2003).
A List of Books Written by Sudha Murty with Brief Introductions:
1. Wise and Otherwise: A Salute to Life (2005)
In “Wise and Otherwise,” Sudha Murthy presents a collection of heart-touching short stories inspired by her encounters with individuals from all walks of life. Through these narratives, she sheds light on the myriad shades of the human experience, exploring the complexities of emotions, struggles, and triumphs that define our existence.
2. Mahashweta (2000)
Published in 2000, “Mahashweta” is a moving novel that chronicles the journey of Anupama, a woman battling societal prejudice due to her skin condition. Sudha Murthy masterfully weaves a narrative that delves into themes of discrimination, inner strength, and the indomitable human spirit, creating a story that resonates deeply with readers.
3. The Magic Drum and Other Favourite Stories (2006)
Within the pages of “The Magic Drum and Other Favourite Stories,” published in 2006, Sudha Murthy transports readers to the enchanting realm of fables and myths. Through tales of magic, wisdom, and adventure, she imparts timeless moral lessons while captivating imaginations with her vivid storytelling.
4. The Upside Down King: Unusual Tales about Rama and Krishna (2018)
Geared towards young readers, “The Upside Down King” (2018) presents unconventional narratives about the legendary figures Rama and Krishna. Sudha Murthy’s imaginative retellings invite children to explore new perspectives on these timeless characters, fostering creativity and curiosity.
5. How I Taught My Grandmother to Read and Other Stories (2004)
Published in 2004, this collection of heartwarming stories is a testament to Sudha Murthy’s ability to blend wisdom with whimsy. Through tales of everyday experiences, she imparts valuable life lessons that resonate with readers of all ages, making learning an enjoyable journey.
6. Dollar Bahu (2003)
“Dollar Bahu,” published in 2003, is a thought-provoking novel that navigates the intersections of family, culture, and modernity. Sudha Murthy crafts a narrative that explores the tensions between traditional values and contemporary aspirations, prompting readers to reflect on the evolving dynamics of society.
7. Gently Falls the Bakula (2008)
In “Gently Falls the Bakula,” published in 2008, Sudha Murthy weaves a tale of love and sacrifice set against the backdrop of changing times. The novel follows the journey of Shrikant and Shrimati, a couple whose choices shape their destinies and lead them on distinct paths. The story of these two distinct personalities and a challenging relationship still resonates with readers.
8. House of Cards (2013)
Set in the corporate world, “House of Cards” (2013) delves into the intricate dynamics of ambition, ethics, and power. Sudha Murthy crafts a narrative that follows Mridula’s journey as she navigates the challenges of her career while upholding her values in the face of corporate politics.
9. The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk: Life Lessons from Here and There (2012)
Published in 2013, this book is a compilation of anecdotes that draw inspiration from everyday experiences. Sudha Murthy uses these stories to offer insights into human nature, relationships, and the pursuit of wisdom, inviting readers to contemplate the lessons hidden within ordinary moments.
10. Three Thousand Stitches: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives (2017)
“Three Thousand Stitches,” published in 2017, is a collection of inspiring stories that celebrate the resilience and compassion of ordinary individuals who have made a difference in their communities. Sudha Murthy’s narratives illuminate the profound impact that small acts of kindness and courage can have on the world.
11. The Mother I Never Knew (2014)
This novel, published in 2014, explores themes of identity and relationships. Sudha Murthy weaves a tale of discovery as two women uncover their shared connection through a deceased man. As they journey to uncover the truth about their pasts, they embark on a path of self-discovery and understanding.
12. Here, There and Everywhere: Best-Loved Stories of Sudha Murthy (2018)
Published in 2018, this compilation showcases Sudha Murthy’s most cherished stories, offering readers a comprehensive view of her narrative spectrum. From heartwarming tales to thought-provoking anecdotes, the collection captures the essence of her storytelling finesse.
In the grand symphony of Sudha Murthy’s literary legacy, each work resonates with a unique melody. Her narratives, often drawn from real-life encounters, possess an authenticity that tugs at the strings of empathy. Whether she delves into the lives of the marginalized, peers into the hearts of the young, or unravels the intricacies of human relationships, Sudha Murthy’s narratives evoke a gamut of emotions.
In conclusion, Sudha Murthy’s impact as an author is akin to a gentle breeze that carries with it tales of humanity, compassion, and introspection. Her prose, unadorned yet profound, has an uncanny ability to bridge the gap between the ordinary and the extraordinary, leaving readers with a sense of wonder and reverence for the stories that form the very fabric of our lives. As her literary lantern continues to illuminate the corridors of literature, Sudha Murthy stands as an author whose narratives are not only to be read but cherished as timeless reflections of the human experience.
All the best! Happy Reading!
Ashish for ReadByCritics