This is my third book by Sudha Murthy (after ‘Something Happened on the way to Heaven‘ and ‘Gently falls the Bakula‘) and this is the best, so far!
The book is more like a travel down the memory lane along with Sudha Murthy. Most of them left me feel nostalgic and live my childhood again.
The book has eleven sections, each narrating a unique experience she cherishes. It starts with the meaningful impact of her work in the devadasi community. The shortcomings she had to face before the people of the community were convinced of her good intentions, shows the bent of mind and perspective necessary in order to understand the society. Helping 3000 Women come out of the devadasi practice and lead a normal life is commendable. Yes, the title of this book is derived from here.
There is also a whole section dedicated to Indian cinema, especially how people around the World adore Bollywood movies and songs. Most of her trips to a foreign land ended up with someone mentioning a Bollywood movie or a song.
I was unaware that lot of the vegetables we cook this day are not of Indian origin until I read this book. Many were actually brought in by travelers and traders years ago. Sudha Murthy speaks of the situation which lead to her discovering their origins. She also narrates many mythological stories about Akshayapatra, Trishanku Swarga. Her childhood memories living with her grandparents in Shiggaon, a town in Haveri District of Karnataka, her College days at BVB, Hubli and her journey since then is inspirational.
The one thing that this book will always remind me of, is her father’s strong Value system, his compassion and goodwill. The book is truly about Ordinary People leading Extraordinary lives!