Wednesday, 5 March 2014

The day I stopped drinking milk....................

Day 4 (March 5th) Write Tribe wants the Tribers  to do book review or discuss a book in detail. Just last week, our friend, Claire McAlpine, did a wonderful series  called ‘How to Do a Book Review and Why Anyone Can Do It‘. Go , have a look........


AuthorSudha Murty
Publication Year2012
Number of Pages212 Pages

This book , 'The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk ' written by Mrs. Sudha Murthy is a collection of 23 short stories which are described as Life stories from here and there. Here and there ,  is rightly said so as the stories touch small villages of India to the shores of Uncle Sam.These rich collection of stories  are of ordinary people ,  some with extraordinary qualities and some people with qualities one would not like to talk much about.

In the cover story of the book ,' The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk' , Sudha Murthy goes to a small village in the state of Odisha  which is famous for the largest salt water lake , Chilka and  the famous Rath Yatra of Jagannath at Puri.

Odisha , blessed with an abundance of natural resources and stunning scenic beauty is also home to the poor and tribal people.

To take refuge from the heavy rains Sudha Murthy enters a hut, the inmates of the hut being a poor man his wife and their wailing toddler. The host wants to offer her a glass of milk as she does not partake either tea or coffee but his wife stops him for offering as there would be no milk left for the baby.The host embarrassed mildly rebukes his wife saying that its their dharma to serve a guest reminding her of ,' Athiti devo bhava'
but his wife is not impressed. They are conversing in their native language but Sudha Murthy understands some of the words and gets a clearer picture. She politely tells the host that since it was a Wednesday and she was fasting she would be happy with a glass of water. This incident left an indelible mark on her and she stopped drinking milk.

                                               Bombay to Bangalore

 This short story is of a little runaway orphan girl , named Chitra  from Bidar who follows the author  on the Udyan Express from Gulburga to Bangalore. Having no-one to take care , Sudha Murthy makes a place for her in a shelter home run by a kind-hearted soul. Chitra's determination to study , help in the day-to-day running of the shelter home and the need to be independent  makes her stand out from the rest of the crowd. Chitra realizes her dream and from her action makes her benefactor proud by sending a  strong message that humility and  self-respect are the crowning qualities that a human being should possess. 

In the story  Genes , the author's grandfather shelters a young unskilled boy , Anant 
in his twenties and teaches the traditions and rituals of conducting pujas so that Anant could earn a living. He was honest to the core and ran errands for all the members of the family with a smile. Anant becomes a priest and gets married . Many years later Anant and his grandson (his daughter's son) meet the author and Anant asks for financial help as he had to admit his grandson to IIT Chennai. Anant's grandson by virtue of his grandfather's honesty gets help by way of a loan and  a reminder to return it with interest so that with the help of the loan amount and the accrued interest , the author could help another bright and needy student to keep the philanthropic cycle continuing. Years roll on. Anant passes away. Does the grandson of an honest man keep his word? Read to believe  ..................

In the concluding chapter( ch 23) the author  describes some bitter-sweet anecdotes and the lessons learnt in life. 

Sudha Murthy's books may not be very high on the literary quotient but her candid views and her writings based on true  experiences as a teacher , writer and a philanthropist make  the viewers  come closer to reality . Her simple and easy to understand language touches the hearts and minds of the readers of all ages.    

Rating 3.75/5

Important Tip : Carry this book when  you visit the dispensary or waiting for your flight.

                           About Sudha Murthy

Mrs. Sudha Murthy was born on the 19th of August, 1950, in Shiggaon, Karnataka. She completed her BE degree from B.V.B College of Engineering and Technology in Electrical Engineering, followed by an ME degree from the Indian Institute of Science in Computer Science. After finishing her degrees, she was the first female engineer to be hired by the TATA Engineering And Locomotive Company. Murthy currently serves as the Chairperson of Infosys Foundation, and is also a part of the Gates Foundation, where her efforts are directed towards public health care initiatives. She currently resides in Bangalore, Karnataka, along with her spouse, N. R. Narayana Murthy.
Please check out Sudha Murthy's books here.

                                    For :  Write Tribe Festival of Words -3