Sunday, February 8, 2015

House Of Cards by Sudha Murty

I bought this book as it was highly recommended by one of my friends. I had a gingerly start with this one. Reading Sudha Murty for the first time, I didn't have any expectations - just a few hours of entertainment. I had anything but entertainment.

The language is simple. With the errors I make, to call myself a grammar Nazi is hilarious. But when I come across translation from a colloquial language to English, I feel a tickle of laughter when Sanjay Beta is translated into Sanjay Son...literally.

Then my laughter ended. I was drawn into the world of Mridula. A simple girl from a well to do family from Aladahalli, marries the son of a money lender Ratnamma. Sanjay  has a physical disability. However, he is an idealistic man - a doctor in a government hospital.  We don't need to discuss the state of government hospital in India, but it is enough to say that this young man is soon tired of the red tapeism and the bureaucratic dictatorship, he decides to join the rat race of money making doctors.  Soon he is pulled into the life of power and money. Mridula stays outside the whirlpool and watches her family rising in wealth and falling in values. And then she starts questioning her own existence.

Rating
Reasoning

It took a few turns of pages before I could get into this book. I am from Bangalore too, so the roads, the description all added to the nostalgia that soon engulfed me. My first peeve started with the communist mentality of Mridula. To be idealistic is not a problem but expecting others to be the same is. Her anger towards Sanjay is understandable. Maybe even I will leave my DH if he gives money from our account without telling me. For those who are snickering, it is a question of trust not money. But here again one question was coming into my mind. Mridula too distributed money without the knowledge of Sanjay -education of a young girl whose parents could not afford her education. So, was not Mridula being a bit over bearing regarding this?

Was her feminism only evident when she felt her Sil was given a power which was rightfully hers? Why did she not question Sanjay the day he first spoke rudely to her in front of outsiders? Why did she not give a tight slap to her son the day he mocked her?
So many questions rose in my mind while reading this book. Personally, I questioned many of my own beliefs. That is the impact this book had on me.

Sudha Murty 's simple language slowly weaves a way to your heart. I cribbed about it a lot. My friends know that :p;  But then I loved the way she wove the story around Mridula. Her fears, her tears, her joys are something which every Indian housewife feels at some point of time.  

Would I recommend this book? Definitely. 

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6 comments:

  1. Found the story very realistic and relatable to today's world. I liked the characters too and could connect with the places as i am from Bangalore too.As you say, sudha's books are more relatable if you know kannada as at some places the english has kannada overtones.

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    1. Thanks Asha. I liked the book. Took me some time to get into it but once I did, it was unputdowable. Yes Kannada overtones are present throughout but literaly translation to Sanjay Son was very jarring. Even if I ignore that, the idealism of Mridula was a bit overboard. Expecting others to sacrifice is not idealism. She got her own salary, she can walk up to any NGO and give the donation. No one will stop her but like every man has dreams and a past they battle, Sanjay did too. Moreover the scene when she walks off because she feels that Sanjay did not need her at the hospital - that scene too remained a long time with me. Was she not having the 'me' time though out? Did she try to understand the situation too? Anyways, this will turn into a thesis :D and just shows how much this book has affected me :)

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