This month began with a book I had bought for my 8yo nephew. A book on tales from the Mahabharata. He didn’t show the kind of enthusiasm for the book that I was hoping he would. Of course, it’s wrong on my part to expect such a thing from him. He prefers general knowledge to fiction.
So, the book was sitting on my bookshelf for quite some time when I decided to give it the attention it deserved. And, what should I say? I loved every story in there!
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The Serpent’s Revenge. Unusual Tales from the Mahabharata, by Sudha Murty.
A beautiful book with tales that you may never have heard, unless narrated by your grandparents, or parents. Tales from the Mahabharata about characters other than the main ones. Tales that are bound to fascinate the young and the old, alike.
I always enjoyed listening to stories as a child. Mother would regale us with stories from her vast repertoire every night. And, I remember, we would never be satisfied with one story. We would always plead for “Just one more!” before we went off to sleep.
This book by Sudha Murty satisfied the curious child in me with stories that are fascinating, entertaining as well as enlightening. I relived those childhood moments of our ‘story-time’ that hold a special place in my heart to this day.
The book is a page turner, with short stories about characters from the epic with names that can be tongue twisting, at times, and with tales that can be mind-boggling!
The curses and the boons that were put on people at every instance amused me, frankly. However, these being just stories–fiction and not real–were considered the best way to instil in people the virtue of goodness. Good deeds were rewarded with boons and wrong ones with curses that lasted a life time. So, “Do good”–that’s the message this book brings for us all.
And, at the centre of it all, is our favourite deity–the mischievous, but loveable, Lord Krishna. The kind and compassionate One who guides His children through every obstacle Life brings.
Do read this lovely book. I assure you time well spent. Moreover, you will have a treasure trove of stories for your little ones. An unputdownable book, I finished reading it in three days. And, so will you, I am sure!
Three thousand stitches, is also by Sudha Murty.
This book is a collection of true stories from Mrs. Murty’s life. Stories from her youth, her work for the Infosys foundation, her travel and her life have been shared in this book.
I love the way she writes–with simplicity, clarity and a warmth that every story exudes. The characters are from our world–people from every strata of society– who touched her life, shared their experiences with her and also gave back the love she showered on them through her foundation.
Not every story ends on an emotional note, but it did leave me misty-eyed at places where the actions or the words by the characters struck a chord or left me overwhelmed.
Be it the story of the Devdasi community from Karnataka, or the one with the two snobbish women Mrs. Murty met at an airport. Or, the story of how Mrs. Murty was the only female student at the engineering college she enrolled herself in with the support of her father when all others discouraged her to do so, or even the one about the biggest entertainment industry in the world–the Hindi film industry–every story left me spellbound.
The realness of the characters was brought alive by Mrs Murty’s fluid language each one of us can relate to. The narration of every story felt more like a conversation I was having with her–the kind I really enjoy, when the writer expresses in such a way, you feel them sitting by your side, regaling you with tales from their life!
Right from the first story, Mrs Murty had me glued to the book. I so wished she had included some more such heart-warming stories about people from the real world; people we, too, come across, but rarely spare a second to understand or interact with.
Do pick it up, in fact, I would suggest picking up both these books and all the others by Mrs. Murty. It will be an enriching experience, indeed!
Which books by the author have you read? Do share.
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