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Monday, April 14, 2014


Fiction set - 

  •          Dollar Bahu
  •          Mahashweta
  •          Gently Falls The Bakula
  •          House Of Cards

Author - Sudha Murty



Characters – Shamanna – Gouramma – Chandrakanth – Girish – Surabhi – Vinuta – Jamuna

A story of how money corrupts the way people look at one another and how it can almost tear a family apart! 

A typical story of an Indian family. Shamanna, the head of the family, a sanksrit teacher, who lives honest yet modest life. Gouramma, his wife, is over ambitious and always dreams of affluent life with cars and bungalow. Shamanna wants his children Chandru, Girish and Surabhi to have a good education. 

The story starts with Chandru’s love on Vinuta who he meets in a train journey towards Dharwad. The career oriented Chandru, suppresses his feelings towards Vinuta and goes to US of A. He earns dollars and when he decides to tell Vinuta, it is too late! She is married to Girish, a bank clerk, coincidently Chandru’s brother.  Vinuta has to listen to the constant comparisons made between her and Chandru’s wife, the ‘Dollar Bahu’, whose husband earns the valuable dollars that has brought the family its recent affluence. Vinuta slowly loses her peace of mind and health. Then Gouramma decides to visit her US-based son and daughter-in-law. Once there, she sees how liberating life can be, away from the strict norms that govern Indian middle-class life.


Vinuta, is very honest in her approach and carries her duties selflessly with love and affection but she is constantly been pricked by her inlaws. On the other hand, Chandru gets married to Jamuna (from the richest family) and hence mentioned as “Dollar Bahu” throughout the story. Now , Vinuta suffers even more tantrums from her mother in law for lack of cash and jewellery. Vinuta slowly gets into depression mode.  

Dollar Bahu is on the family way and the proud Gauramma is all set to take a flight to US to take care of the to be born grandchild. That is when she gets to know the true color of Jamuna. She realizes how she has danced to the tune of evil minded Jamuna and how she has been used by her bahu like a maid. 

That entire night Gouramma cried, and her wet pillow was testimony to her uncontrollable grief – is one of the best lines in the book. 

Gauramma realizes how she has ill-treated Vinuta and she felt dreadful that she hasn’t gifted Vinuta for her pregnancy or any occasion. She sees world from different perspective and lacks the love, respect, culture which lay in abundance in India.  

The invincible “dollar” had fallen. 

Shamanna, a balanced human, completely understands the situation of his sweet daughter in law, who lives with him, makes her get out of the house to have a happy and peaceful life without the intervention of her taunting mother in law, Gauramma. 

The story takes a turn after the transformed Gauramma lands in Bangalore, India. 

Candid, Endearing and Unembellished novel. 

Very simply written, strikes the chord totally.

Worth a read.. 

RATING - 4.5/5


Anupama, the beautiful, talented and intelligent female protagonist is the daughter of village school master Shamanna. She has a step mother and two step sisters.

Dr Anand, falls in love with Anupama when he witnesses her acting in a drama “Mahashweta”. Anand is basically affluent and lives with his mother (Radhakka) and sister (Girija). He convinces them and gets hitched to Anupama. He then leaves for America, leaving back his dear wife with his mother and sister. 

Anupama looked into the mirror and shivered with shock. A small white patch had now appeared on her arm.' Anupama's fairytale marriage to Anand falls apart when she discovers a white patch on her foot and learns that she has leukoderma. Abandoned by her uncaring in-laws and insensitive husband, she is forced to return to her father's home in the village. The social stigma of a married woman living with her parents, her steother's continual barbs and the ostracism that accompanies her skin condition force her to contemplate suicide. Determined to rebuild her life against all odds, Anupama goes to Bombay where she finds success, respect and the promise of an enduring friendship. Mahashweta is an inspiring story of courage and resilience in a world marred by illusions and betrayals. This poignant tale offers hope and solace to the victims of the prejudices that govern society even today. 


 Words fall short indeed! Such a marvelous novel. The social stigma attached to the novel is the disease Leukoderma, (Skin disorder) which Anupama gets affected with. The girl who acted in plays which had only happy endings, has her rendezvous with tragedy, that too in real life.  It portrays the boldness and courage Anupama has, how she fights her fate and emerges as a winner in her life and much stronger. 

It is very painful when she is been ignored by her husband who himself is a doctor. Such a strong female and totally inspiring. Anand attends an “International Medical Conference” in India where Anupama with Dr Vasant’s help gets her theatre group to perform a drama. Anand recognizes her voice, gets her contact details and meets her after the drama. Will she accept back Anand and his so-called love? Or will she accept the genuine love of Dr Vasant?   
The novel ends with Anu’s students deciding on their next play – Mahashweta.

The play that began the novel ends it, too, causing tears to flow out of the reader’s eyes.

A must-read. 
A treasure to my book-shelf ! (Needless to say! )

RATING - 4/5


Shrimati and Shrikant are neighbours and star students of their school in the small north Karnataka town of Hubli. It leaves no one in surprise when they come first and second respectively in the final Board exams. Soon Shrikant discovers he is strangely attracted to Shrimati, a plain-looking yet charming person, who always does better than him in the exams. Shrimati too falls in love with the amiable and handsome Shrikant and the two get married. Shrikant joins an IT company and starts rapidly climbing the corporate ladder. 

He works relentlessly and reaches the pinnacle of his industry, while Shrimati abandons her academic aspirations and becomes his uncomplaining shadow, silently fulfilling her duties as a corporate leader’s wife. But one day, while talking to an old professor, she starts examining what she has done with her life and realizes it is dismally empty . . . 


The author has dedicated this book 

" To all those women who allowed family commitments and responsibilities to overpower their own aspirations "

  Shrikant is portrayed as an ambitious person right from the beginning, because of which their marriage life takes a toll. His self interests drive him insane. He anyway tastes the recipe of success. He wants more. So he uses his beloved wife Shrimati as a personal secretary, who remains an encyclopedia of her husband’s career. Shrimati, had put her career on hold and totally gave up on the doctorate degree which she was passionate about. When Shrikant reaches the Top management, Shrimati accentuates to loneliness. She realizes her life has gone so empty and decides to move on with what her heart craves. Shrikant turns back and realizes his folly. But it’s too late for him to modify anything after all. 

The Bakula tree whose flowers symbolized the love between them, had fallen, so miserably..

The characters are well described and it’s such a simple story with strong plot. There are many females just like Shrimati who have done so much for their husbands and throwing their life at stake. Every Indian woman would feel connected to Shrimati in one way or the other. 

RATING - 4/5


Click HERE to read the review !! 

However the newer covers of the novels in this box set comes thus  - 



Publisher - Penguin India
Paperback - Purchase online here


  1. Wow !! I am a huge fan of Sudha Murthy.. Well written !!

  2. Hi Kalicharan,
    Is that so ? Then same pinch. Thanks a tonne :)