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Book: House of Cards by Sudha Murty

House of Cards by my favourite author, Mrs. Sudha Murty is the first book I read in 2023. Sudha Murthy is well known amongst Indians, as a famous author, philanthropist, Chairperson of Infosys Foundation (a public charitable trust). She is married to the founder of Infosys N.R.Narayana Murty and is the woman behind the inception of the Multi National Tech Company. 

Sudha Murty has written numerous books in Kannada and English languages, with a majority of them translated into the major Indian languages. She has written novels, technical books, travelogues, collection of short stories and non-fiction stories and children books. She has been honoured with many awards and titles for her contribution to literature and philanthropy - Padma Shri, R.K.Narayan's Award for literature, Millenium Mahila Siromani Award and Padma Bhushan are just a few of those. How I taught my grandmother to read and other stories, Three thousand stitches, Wise or Otherwise, Mahashweta, Gently Falls the Bakula, Dollar Bahu etc. are some titles from her bibliography.

I accidently read the Telugu translation of Sudha Murty's "Wise or Otherwise" during my engineering days and became a big fan of her. Since then I read many of her works and became an ardent fan of her writing. Sudha Murty's writing skill is very simple. She narrates simple life stories in a relatable way, that can be easily read and understood by adults and kids too. She often quotes that she writes in such a way that the readers should be comfortable reading without the usage of a dictionary. She is an inspiration to me in many ways, particularly her writing style. I too always try to use simple language, so that even a non-native English speaker can easily read and understand my articles.

House of Cards, is the story of Mridula. Mridula is born and brought up in a small village named Aladahalli in Karnataka. Mridula was a bright and smart student. She has great enthusiasm for life and is fond of reading, cooking and sketching. She believed life is to be lived to the fullest and every moment to be enjoyed. Sanjay is a Doctor (gynaecologist) in a hospital in Bombay. An introvert by nature, he is very passionate about his work. He rejected his close friend Alex's offer to work in the Middle East for few years, so that they can open a private hospital in India upon returning. Sanjay intends to serve the needy and teach students in a medical college. His goal is to get into a government medical college where he can be both - a Doctor and a Professor.

Sanjay meets Mridula at a wedding in Hubli and instantly likes her. Introvert by nature, he couldn't express himself to her. Furthermore, he wasn't sure whether such a beautiful girl like her will accept him despite the difference in their financial status and his physical handicap. After few months, he gathers courage and writes to Mridula asking her opinion about him. Mridula agrees for the proposal as Sanjay is like herself, with less demands in life. She believes they could together lead a pleasant life and marries him. 

After marriage Mridula and Sanjay move to Bangalore. With Sanjay working in a government hospital and Mridula at a government school, they lead a very simple life. Mridula manages the house well with their meagre income, saving some money for rainy days. Mirdula's mother in law is a shrewd money lender and her world revolves only around money, with no place for human emotions. Contrary to her mother in law, her sister in law is a spend thrift and wants to show off their rich lifestyle. Mridula finds a stark difference between her family and Sanjay's.

After years of toiling in the Government Hospital, Sanjay realizes that his honesty and dedication at work is being misused by superiors and he is being denied the recognition and support that he supposed to receive. Finally decides to tie up with Alex. Sanjay (with the financial support from Mridula's savings and bank loan) opens a private hospital in Bangalore in partnership with Alex. Within no time, the hospital's fame raises in the city and so the greed for money and arrogance shoots up in Sanjay. He totally becomes a money minded person and tries to instill the same virtues in his son. New found money and fame makes Sanjay a completely different person. He starts accepting bribery and adopts other illegal tactics for his business to flourish along with his mother and sister, all without Mridula's knowledge, as she doesn't approve all those. Mirdula's son goes abroad for his higher studies and doesn't bother to talk to her anymore.

Eventually, Mridula understands all that is happening behind her back and couldn't come to terms with how she is cheated by her own family - husband, son, sister in law and mother in law. She withdraws herself from everything - house hold duties, school and goes into a state of depression. Even then Sanjay doesn't care about Mridula. You have to read the book to know what happens to Mridula, the beautiful family she strived so hard to build for years, the simple and pleasant life she wished to live.

Doesn't this story resonate with you? If not in our own family, we would have come across such Mridula(s) in our life. Mrs. Sudha Murty took a simple plot and has woven it into a beautiful story, with characters and situations, quite relatable. Her detailing in the book, let it be of the simple village lifestyle, marriage at Hubli, commercial city lifestyle, Mridula's plight etc. are very natural, wanting us to read more. 

House of Cards is a simple yet powerful story of many Mridulas amongst us, who are still silently suffering.

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  1. Wow..I should certainly read this book.. thank you for your simple yet rich review..

  2. Nice story is written by Sudha Murthy garu.I hope to read like these more stories by U. ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Ž

    1. Thank you. Pls stay connected to read more such interesting articles!!!


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