When I read fellow mommy blogger Mandavi Jaiswal’s blog on book launch of Sudha Murthy’s latest book “The Serpent’s Revenge: Unusual Tales From The Mahabharata”, I was disheartened to have missed the opportunity of attending the event and meeting an outstanding author and a great philanthropist Mrs. Sudha Murthy. One seldom gets such opportunities. However, the very next minute I picked up my phone and ordered the book.

Luckily it got delivered in a day’s time and I started reading it immediately. As a child though I was an avid reader, I was never intrigued by the tales of Mahabharata and Ramayana. But I believe it has a lot to teach you. So I thought of reading the book soon and wanted to immediately write a review. When I started reading it, my daughter saw that I was already half way through to the book in matter of hours and she too got interested in what I was reading. So I decided to start the book all over again and read it to her too. This is the first time that I was reading a book to my 7 year old which we both were enjoying the stories with same enthusiasm. She too was so excited to learn that there were stories which even I didn’t know about and we were reading it together.

I am not writing the blog as a review of the book as I feel I am not capable enough to review the great author Sudha Murthy. But I am a reader. I have read many of Sudha Murthy’s books so I wanted to write this blog to let others know too, what I have learnt about writing stories from Sudha Murty.

I keep reading her interviews. One thing that she said and which has stayed with me is that stories are around you. We just need to observe people around us. She says writers need to read a lot. Only one who reads can write. Always be sensitive and empathetic towards others, develop that quality she said in a recent interview during her book launch.

Also her writing style is simple, articulate and it connects with you as a person. You can feel as if you know the characters in her books. Sudha Murty travels a lot for her philanthropic work and meets numerous people, so she has emphatic understanding of human emotions and she portrays them fabulously in her books.
My personal favourites of Sudha Murthy’s books are “Mahashweta” and “Wise and Otherwise”. If you haven’t read them yet, grab a copy now.

“Mahashweta” is originally written in Kannada but has been translated in numerous languages, English being one. The story has a female protagonist and deals with the issue of leukoderma.

“Wise and Otherwise” has stories based on Mrs. Murthy’s experiences in interaction with various people.

Coming back to “The Serpent’s Revenge”, the book has been written in a simple and lucid language so children can easily relate to the historical characters and the time period in which it is set. Mostly children and adults too only know about stories around the Kurukshetra war between Kauravas and Pandavas by watching the Mahabharat on television. However, the stories in this book are around the war but are very unusual and mostly not known to many. There are few stories based on the time after the war, and characters of the Mahabharat saga which one would not be aware of.

Sudha Murthy ends the book with a story which has a very important message for the human race in today’s time. Learn from your ancestors- the great war of Mahabharata was nothing but an act of vengeance. Wars kill men and leave behind their children as orphans and women as widows.

After reading this book, I plan to read Sudha Murthy’s other children books, “Grandma’s Bag of Stories and “The Magic Drum & Other Favourite Stories” along with my daughter. It will surely be fun.

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