Writer: Sudha Murty
Publisher: Penguin India
Sudha Murty is the chairperson of Infosys and wife of Narayan Murty. But it is her writings and her ideas that make her brilliant. The novel released last year is only an example of her prolific ideas.
Grandma’s Bag of Stories is her way or re-telling stories by her grandmother to her own grandchildren and children around the world. The book starts with the grandchildren going to their grandmothers for holidays. There the children enjoy doing village chores and discovering the lifestyle of a typical Indian village but mostly its their grandmothers stories that keep them interested. Once in a while, Grandpa comes up to tell wonderful stories as well.
Each story in the book has a wonderful message along with it. It reminds me of the stories I got to hear from my grandparents; though I mostly enjoyed the Purans and Mythological stories that my grandfather would often tell me. The stories are fun and wonderful to read out to your children, grandchildren or your younger brothers and sisters. They are short and each chapter lasts only a few minutes.
One example of the short story which I liked the most it that of a merchant and the magic pot. It goes that an old man who is very thirsty asks a merchant if he can have some water. The village is going through a dry phase and one has to go far to fetch water. Yet merchant without thinking twice gives the water. Later, he finds more water in the pot and somehow the pot never gets empty. The old man blessed the pot with magical powers and it heals those who drink it too. It makes the merchant wealthy and prosperous but the merchant gets greedy. One day the royal envoy tells the merchant to get the pot to treat the queen. The merchant decides to help the queen first instead of all the people waiting in line. The magical powers are lost due to his greed and the merchant realises his mistake. He starts a hospital with his excess money to treat the poor and ill and always keeps a pot of water outside hoping the old man comes once again. The story talks not only about the ills of greed but also of hope and rectification of actions.
There are many such stories with beautiful morals and thanks to Sudhaji’s wonderful storytelling each it keeps you interested. No wonder a 22 year old like me was hooked to the book and never found the book to be too childish. It seems grandma’s stories are fit for all ages and it has a lesson for every one of us, especially adults who mostly have forgotten the true values of life. I am thankful that the book found its way to me; it was actually gifted to my dad so that should tell you that it’s a great gift for any age group.
PS its a signed copy by Sudha Murty. 🙂