‘Wise and Otherwise’ by Sudha Murty – Stories That Are Short, Inspiring and Touching

A wonderfully written collection of 51 short incidents and interactions that the author had in the past with various people as part of her job and otherwise. Author Sudha Murty is a well-known social worker who travels to various parts of India to help the neediest people.

Some stories are bound to leave an impression on the reader, as they touch some chord in the heart. For instance, there is a story where a son brings his old, ailing father to author’s NGO, and manages to get the old man registered in an old-age home, pretending that he himself is a stranger and just wants to help the old man. A few months later when the old man dies, the son comes running to find out about his father’s bank account details and money. Another story highlights how hunger and poverty forces an 11 year old boy to sell his elder sister to a guy who pushes the girl into prostitution and thereby a life is ruined froever and the relation of brother and sister becomes questionable for the girl! 홈타이

There is a story about a person trying to tell lies in order to sell his stuff, while there is another one highlighting the problem of dowry killings in India. One of the stories, teaches us how even in adverse conditions one can stay strong and positive while another shows how incomplete and unclear communication can ruin someone’s life. A story refers to the change it brought in a person after having read a novel written by Sudha Murty herself and how that person tries to show his gratitude. These stories are brief and to the point, but the beauty lies in the narration and how the author manages to convey the message and her learnings.

There are stories of people showing their mean faces, some people who have nothing, teach us all a lesson that one should only take when they can give something in return, while some ultra-rich people send out the message that they want publicity and lavish dinners arranged for them, if they donate any money in charity. There are different kinds of people in this world and these stories highlight just that. No one is outright wrong and no one is outright right, it’s the way they react in similar situations, in testing times that the character of a person comes out.