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Kendriya Vidyalaya Port Trust, Kochi

Book Review: The Old Man And His God by Sudha Murty

Sudha Murty does not need introductions. After years of hard work she has successfully established herself as a force to be reckoned with. She is also one of India’s most famous and industrious philanthropists working in the key areas of development where it is most required. She is also a celebrated writer who has authored many fiction as well as non-fiction works. In “The Old Man and His God” she reflects upon various instances, chance meetings and experiences which she came across during the course of her life. And just as the blurb claims, the book is a mix bag of stories collected from a lifetime of experiences which delves upon the various facets of human nature and in a way provides a true reflection to the souls of people of India.

Though there are many instances which are inspiring and eye catching, certain ones do leave a mark on the minds of the reader. One such chapter which most fascinated me was the one in which Murty writes about an incident which happened when she was on a trip to a holy monastery in Tibet. A very old woman came to her and kept on thanking her devotedly, Murty couldn’t imagine why the woman would want to thank her until her grandson told Murty that her grandmother was pleased that she has finally met an Indian, offspring of the land which offered shelter and hope to the their revered leader Dalai Lama. Since she hailed from such a holy country, she deserved her thanks.

Though there were many such anecdotes and instances, this one truly touched my soul. I also liked the chapter which documents her husband Narayan Murty’s tryst with life in the communist countries and how after that his views on communism changed forever. Each incident is covered by a single chapter and most of the chapters talk about experiences which she had while working as a philanthropist. The incidents touched upon various facets of human emotions – love, care, friendship, selflessness, greed, hunger, poverty, devotion, jealousy etc.

The writing style is good and keeps the reader engaged. The brevity of the chapters also helps in retaining the
attention span and makes the chapters much more interesting. However, succinctness of the chapters does not in any way take away the underlying message which the author so beautifully brings out through her extraordinary writing. All in all, the book is an excellent read and a very good travelling companion (especially when you are in desperate need of one!). I thus recommend, “The Old Man and His God” to all my readers and rate it three and a half out of five stars.

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Book Highlight



Told in diary form by an irresistible heroine, this playful and perceptive novel from the New York Times bestselling author of the May Bird trilogy sparkles with science, myth, magic, and the strange beauty of the everyday marvels we sometimes forget to notice.

Spirited, restless Gracie Lockwood has lived in Cliffden, Maine, her whole life. She’s a typical girl in an atypical world: one where sasquatches helped to win the Civil War, where dragons glide over Route 1 on their way south for the winter (sometimes burning down a T.J. Maxx or an Applebee’s along the way), where giants hide in caves near LA and mermaids hunt along the beaches, and where Dark Clouds come for people when they die.

To Gracie it’s all pretty ho-hum…until a Cloud comes looking for her little brother Sam, turning her small-town life upside down. Determined to protect Sam against all odds, her parents pack the family into a used Winnebago and set out on an epic search for a safe place that most people say doesn’t exist: The Extraordinary World. It’s rumored to lie at the ends of the earth, and no one has ever made it there and lived to tell the tale. To reach it, the Lockwoods will have to learn to believe in each other—and to trust that the world holds more possibilities than they’ve ever imagined.

Book info & cover courtesy: goodreads.com

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