Sudha Murthy is a prominent Indian Author and chairperson of the non-profit organization, Infosys Foundation, She has written prominent books in Kannada and English. She has been honoured with various awards for her services in literature including the prestigious Padma Shri. Below are her works which impacted me the most.
House of Cards
House of Cards is my first read of Sudha Murthy, It follows the tale of Mridula, who is from Aladahalli, a Village in Karnataka. A fated encounter with a young doctor with love for his profession makes her fall in love with him, but her married life later turns sour as her husband quits his government job and starts to fall victim to his greed in his newfound venture, will her love for her husband change? Will she still love him as he continues to break her trust?
This story brings home the idea that love sometimes cannot stand against the onslaught of time and will fade into oblivion if pushed far enough. You can have all the success in the world but if you do not have anyone to share it with you will feel empty.
Gently Falls the Bakula
This is one of her early works which was written in Kannada and was later translated into English. This is a gripping read on one’s ambitions, though this book was written decades ago, the message still translates to today’s setting. The story follows the rivalry between Shrikant and Shrimati which has been passed down from generations, Shrikant is troubled by the academic success of his rival who he always keeps losing to. Over time this rivalry escalates to love, and enduring opposition from their family they get married. This is where they clash in beliefs they hold. She realizes she had made a mistake by choosing love over her passions, and she continues to feel the void with every passing day. How will Shrimati cope with this feeling?
This intriguing tale full of mistakes makes you question what price one pays for love and how its allure makes you lose sight of reason. Being too career oriented and taking your marital relationships for granted extracts a great price from the people around you.
This story like all her other ones is about troubles in marital relationships, but this adds a different setting. The female main character Anupama, who is fond of theatre and arts marries Anand after he expresses his love for her after he sees her on stage in one of her plays in the theatre. They soon marry and though she is ridiculed by her in-laws for her background, she perseveres due to her love for Anand. Things change when Anand goes overseas for work and she is left at the mercy of her in-laws and Anand’s sister, she is found to have Leukoderma and is accused of deceit for hiding it from everyone and swindling Anand into marrying her. She is ousted from her in-law's house and sent back to her family home where she is made to face ridicule and is stripped of her dignity. When she learns of how her husband's whereabouts during all these chains of events, she makes a drastic decision to take her life, but she gains finds courage and starts to live a new life.
This personally was an intriguing story for me as it shows how love for a person can change overnight for various reasons and how it can break a person. Love can make or break a person. Sudha Murthy employs mature themes in her plots coupled with simple, easy-to-read language.
Three Thousand Stitches: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives
This is one of Sudha Murthy’s works of non-fiction. This book is an anecdote of her various encounters with remarkable people throughout her travels all over the world.
Sometimes, your kindness can mean the entire world to the unsuspecting recipient, here she recounts how her father’s act of kindness drastically changed the life of a girl born into unfortunate circumstances, and she recounts how he met her after 50 years and how her life had changed since then. She also elaborates on her university life as how she was the only girl in class and narrates peculiar incidents from her days in the Infosys Foundation.
This is a purely anecdotal read which is humorous, Heartwarming, and tragic. It makes you feel the best in fellow humans and gives you hope.
The Daughter from a Wishing Tree: Unusual Tales about Women in Mythology
This is one of her books detailing Indian mythology, this is a very light read and I highly recommend this to children, it is a collection of 24 short stories featuring mainly women in Indian mythology and the remarkable feats they have accomplished. Reading this book opened my eyes to the rich stories our epics have. The essence of the title is understood by reading this book. This is a really short read which can be read during breaks and it will be worth your while.
Reading Sudha Murthy’s books has made me feel I have become a better person, It has shown me how to express love, It has shown me the perils of being so engrossed in your work that you lose sight of everything else, love is not to be taken for granted, irrespective of romantic or familial. It has shown me not to lose sight of what is with me in pursuing my desires. Sometimes you have to take it slow and live a little.