Over the years, Sudha Murty has come across some fascinating people whose lives make for interesting stories and have astonishing lessons to reveal. Take Vishnu, who achieves every material success but never knows happiness; or Venkat, who talks so much that he has no time to listen. In other stories, a young girl goes on a train journey that changes her life forever; an impoverished village woman provides bathing water to hundreds of people in a drought-stricken area; a do-gooder ghost decides to teach a disconsolate young man Sanskrit; and in the title story, a woman in a flooded village in Odisha teaches the author a life lesson she will never forget.
Yet another book from the treasure trove of Sudha Murty, The Mother I Never Knew: Two Novellas is a poignant tale of two men, Venkatesh and Mukesh, as they set out on a journey to find out the mothers they never knew. Both men are happy and settled in their respective lives when they come across a shocking truth.
When Venkatesh realises he has a half-brother from his father's extramarital liaison, his world changes. He finds his step-mother out and is pained to see the pitiful condition she is living in. He must make amends for what his father has done but the question that haunts him deep within is if it is really possible to undo everything. Mukesh is in a similar state of agony when he comes to know that he was adopted as a kid. Pushed by impulse, he decides to find his biological mother. But the farther he goes, the more unclear the picture becomes. He must decide towards whom his true love and loyalty lies: the woman whom he called his mother all his life and who raised him or the woman who has given him birth.
The two men are bound by the same dilemma and the same complexity of emotions. and it is important for them to find their way back to bring stability in their lives. The core interest of the book is in exploring if it is really possible to come to terms with a reality as blaring and as deceiving as that of Venkatesh and Mukesh.
Understanding human and human nature is one of the toughest jobs .Many time what seems right and good or vice versa can be completely different if explored to proper depth. In many instance, we all come across people and forms an opinion about the people we meet without actually knowing anything about them. But hearing and learning about such instances helps us to redefine our thought process and become wiser. Sudha Murty’s book Wise and otherwise will take you to a journey across the length and breadth of India through narrations of 51 stories inspired by the extensive travels of the author herself.
Wise and otherwise has generated interest not just as an inspirational book of people’s struggles and how they overcome it but also for its settings. It present a realistic picture of India with its values, traditions and imperfections and lay before the readers certain set of moral values whose validity they have to judge for themselves. It unravels human nature and shows all that is good and bad in it and how it is often shaped by intention and circumstances. From the story of a son who leaves his father in an old age home pretending he is a stranger to the story of earthquake aid being exploited and not reaching to victims, each story is a moving one and will generate myriads of emotions within the readers, ranging from anger to kindness to pity to the realisation of reality of the world. The book grabs the attention of the reader through its skilful narration of characters, setting and situations.