Common Yet Uncommon: 14 Memorable Stories from Daily Life; Author: Sudha Murty Publisher: Penguin India. (Image: DC)
Writing is an art. It is difficult to keep your writing simple. But bestselling author cum philanthropist Padma Shri Sudha Murty knows the power of simple prose, minus all the fluff. Her characters in Common Yet Uncommon: 14 Memorable Stories from Daily Life are middle-class folks, whom you see haggling in crowded markets, kids and teachers talking nineteen to a dozen during school breaks, nosy relatives, jealous neighbours, local Romeos with roving eye, squabbling couples, shrewd businessmen, pen pushers in post offices, and bank clerks among others. They are all commoners but each one of them comes with their own quirky stories and lessons of life in Murty’s latest book.
From the irresistibly handsome ‘Bundle Bindu’ who never said "No" to anybody and made history lessons come alive with his eloquence to the hoity-toity Ganga who ends up remaining a spinster in search of Mr Perfect. In one of the stories, you have Hema, who is selfless and always willing to help. An incorrigible couple (Banabhatta and Parvati) who squabble from dawn to night, but are eventually united in death. The characters in Murty’s book lead ordinary lives, but come across as real because they speak the language of commoners – simple, raw, and uncomplicated! When you start reading about ‘Lunch Box Nalini’, a smile spreads across your face when you imagine how she (author) would take home goodies in her empty tiffin from her school friends and relatives. Murty is a prolific writer. In several interviews, Murty has candidly said: "Even today when I go to family functions, my relatives first say ‘Nalini, fill up your lunch box first." The author, who writes in English and Kannada has cleverly woven in stories of real-life people whom she came across in her growing-up years in the book. The Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee knows how to strike a chord and tell stories with her simple and indomitable colloquial English style. The words are common, yet each story is uncommon and extraordinary!