Sudha Murty Books We Love

- February 15, 2021

By Bhumishtha Bhadsavle

“Doing what you like is freedom, liking what you do is happiness.” – Sudha Murty

An engineering teacher by profession and a writer at heart, Sudha Murty is one of the foremost Indian writers of the 21st century. She has won a number of awards along with the title of Padma Shri for her notable work in Kannada, Marathi and English literature. As a versatile writer, Sudha Murty has written fictional and semi-autobiographical books that give us a broader idea about her views on hospitality, Indian culture and her never-ending love for her family.

Sudha Murty’s stories reflect her simplicity and kindness. Her books keep her readers engaged, making her one of India’s most loved writers. Here are some of our favourite stories by Sudha Murty.

Sudha Murty Quote
Illustration: Anvita Tekriwal
How I Taught My Grandmother to Read

This book by Sudha Murty is semi-autobiographical and is a collection of 25 short stories. Each story inspires its readers to believe in themselves and to be courageous enough to live their dreams.

The title story is about a 12-year-old granddaughter (Murty herself), who taught her grandmother, Krishtakka, to read Kannada. Murty used to narrate a story called ‘Kashi Yatre’ from her favourite weekly magazine to her grandmother. Once, she couldn’t do so for a week. When she returned home, she saw her grandmother crying because she could not read a single word of the story. That’s when the young girl decided that she would teach her grandmother to read and challenged themselves by setting a deadline.

Krishtakka, being hardworking, learnt Kannada before the deadline. She then touched her granddaughter’s feet as a gesture of respect and gave her a gift. In return, she handed her grandmother a book. There is great virtue in seeing how Krishtakka respects her teacher, age and relation notwithstanding.

The Bird with Golden Wings

This collection of 21 stories by Sudha Murty is full of magic and wit. In some of these stories, she portrays the concept of bad karma. Most of these stories revolve around the belief of “What you sow, so shall you reap”.

‘The Bird with Golden Wings’ is the eighth story of the collection. It is a tale that tells us how greed is a wrong way of life, and about the importance of kindness.

Sudha Murty Books
Covers: Amazon | Design: ACK Design Team
The Upside-down King

This book narrates a few unusual and rare tales from the lives of Rama and Krishna, the most well-known of Vishnu’s avatars.

The title story talks about King Satyavarta, who wished to go against the rules of nature to ascend to heaven in his human form. Conflict ensues, and the king gets stuck between heaven and earth! Sudha Murty’s story delves into the state of King Satyavrata when stuck between the two worlds.

Sudha Murty’s symbolism and connections are what make her storytelling so impactful. The stories are told in such a way that even a modern and disconnected will be drawn to it, thus effectively bringing Indian readers back to their roots.

How the Sea Became Salty

This one takes us back to a time when people could drink seawater, as it was said to be sweet. Murty is adept at incorporating wit and magic to fashion a tale that teaches her young readers the importance of not being greedy.

The story is about two characters, Leela and her husband Keshav, who steal a magical fan that grants them whatever they want. The couple promptly wished for salt, but not knowing how to stop the magic, thousands of salt bags fell into the sea and made it salty!

Every story of Murty’s conveys a life lesson in the most convincing manner. These simple yet inspirational stories are enjoyable reads for young minds.

The Magic of the Lost Temple

‘The Magic of the Lost Temple’ is a book that beautifully caters to the imagination of children. It consists of everything they love – folktales, vacations as well as magic, friendship and amazing grandparents!

The story is about a young girl named Nooni, whose curiosity is aroused by the story of a step-well that was lost in the forest. Her journey of discovering this mysterious well is one filled with adventure and keeps the young reader engaged.

The book is a great way to encourage children to have a relationship with nature, and take care of the plants and animals around them.

Comic of The Month

Anant Pai

Anant Pai strode the Indian comics industry like a colossus. Using the comics format he told stories from mythology, history and literature to generations of children. Uncle Pai, as he was known, wanted Indian children to be familiar with their heritage. A chemical engineer by profession, Anant Pai gave up his job to follow his dream, a dream that led to the creation of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle. Read the story of the man who left behind a legacy of learning and laughter.

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