The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk- You Couldn't Get More Honest
The Day I stopped Drinking Milk has an evergreen simple way of story telling with real and lively characters. Sudha Murthy, as always, impressed me with her lovely portrayal of village and town life presenting glimpses of growing cities like Bangalore. There is a striking theme of transition of the Indian culture from village to town, then to a metro city. The stories are modeled with so much honesty that the reader believes he is simply listening to a person's narration in the most blunt way. Murthy reinstates the fact that the simpler your narration is, the more engaging the story gets.
The anecdotes are hand-picked tales from Murthy's life that engage the reader. There is vivid characterization in stories like Lazy Portado, Foot In The Mouth and Sticky Bottoms. Like a grandmother, she gets didactic sometimes while on certain occasions we listen to her just because of the vivid imageries they present for example in 'Three Ponds', like a folk tale there are compelling descriptions about the mystic faith of the villagers which engages our senses too. In "The Changing India", we know of the changing representations of our country in the west while inside we experienced waves of transformation with the advent of IT culture. We are no longer the conservative culture here thanks to the job opportunists but we have barely managed to balance the new and old culture. "The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk", "Bombay To Bangalore", " Shraddha" are personal accounts of interesting incidents. "Do You Remember?" stands out as it speaks of invaluable contributions in life that are more important than any achievement.
In Rahman's Avva, Murthy takes us to the rustic simplicity where human values are valued more than religious orthodoxy. Kashibai brought up Rahman as her own child but took special care to retain his religious identity but never did she let an iota of religious clash originate in the family. The writer's emphasis on human values such as humility and gratitude is heart touching beyond words. As in the story ' You Should Have Asked Me', 'Genes' and 'Bad Help' we meet people whom we know, situations we have been in and values that had been long forgotten in our materialistic society.
How can you tell a story unpretentiously just as anecdotes we pass on among friends? Sudha Murthy is a perfect example for this technique which appeals to readers of all generations. "A Mother's Love" and "Sharing With A Ghost" have an unusual way of story development.
To pick a favorite? That would be very difficult as all stories are abundant in clear observation and honest portrayals yet "Three Ponds" would be my pick for the recounting of the legends attached to each pond. It is like those folk tales one listens from the old generation folks in our family. An interesting world all together.
If you are a Sudha Murthy fan, you must read "The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk". If you love to dwell over simple stories, you must read this book.