Miserable success Sudha Murthy
Recently I got a chance to read a short story named Miserable Success penned by humble, intelligent and successful author Smt. Sudha Murty. She doesn’t need any introduction. Her life was started in a humble background, but she made the 100% use of the opportunity she got, to get educated. And, she excelled in her studies. She had a notable career span in Tata group as well as in a college as a professor. She also runs a remarkable number of charity works and tries to do her bits for the betterment of society. She is more loved for her down-to-earth nature and simple personality.
|Book Title||:||Miserable success|
|Publishers||:||Penguin (15 May 2013)|
|# of Pages||:||505 KB (Kindle EBook)|
|# of Chapters||:||1|
I brought this short story when there was a deal running at Amazon India, and is fully worth the amount I’ve spent. But, is it worth the time I spent reading it? Well, the short answer is, Yes. Let me elaborate.
This Is Here In For You
Being an entry point to the virtual world of content a book cover creates the first impression of the book. And, despite believing in the fact about not judging a book by its cover, one cannot deny the influence of a book cover on purchase and/or read decisions.
The cover page of this book is pretty simple. And the beauty of the same lies in that. The cover page shows an illustration of a person (the protagonist – Vishnu) from the side. The missing checkerboard pieces from his head represents “miserable” stuff pretty effectively. Success has more to do with satisfaction than the possession of the material stuff. And, thus, this illustration perfectly fits in. Not very attractive, but not dull as well.
The story is about Vishu, one of the old students of the author herself.
In the initial segment of the story, the author introduces us to Vishnu and tells about his persona during his college days. Of course, he was a skilled student. Some people don’t find the right path for their career for a long and some are pretty clear about what they want to do and what are their goals since a pretty early age. And, the definition of success is different for different people.
The author then talks about her meeting with Vishnu after many years. What she found during their conversation is better to explore by reading the story.
The story is actually based on real people and explores actual incidents. It is taken from the author’s book The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk Life Stories from Here and There and sold as a single by Penguin (publishers). They call such shorts, Penguin Petit.
Possibly the aim is to provide short read opportunities to people who get time in bits and pieces. And, small content – less price concept seems working well.
Usually, the author changes the name of characters (and sometimes even places) to keep the anonymity of the people whose life journey is explored. Also, some people consider it a breach of privacy also. The author herself believes that it would be unethical to talk about the people and incidents which are shared to her in faith. She makes it clear that Vishnu insisted her to keep the real details in this story, as he wants it to be served as a guideline to others. The author has mentioned it in her notes. This is one of the reasons that we shouldn’t skip author’s notes and preface/afterwords and other such section while reading a book.
I don’t want to include the spoilers, so I cannot talk more about the content, but, I can surely tell that it is about finding the real meaning of success, which eventually leads you to live the real life. All the material stuff can give us joy and it is necessary for living a comfortable (or otherwise) life. One, however, needs to define what “success” actually means for him/her.
At one place in the book we see author telling Vishnu:
Vishnu, I have seen many more seasons than you. With my experience in life, I want to tell you that having good relationships, compassion and peace of mind is much more important than achievement, awards, degrees or money.
A wisdom lesson, right? The arguments of Vishnu are also interesting. But, that is something you need to explore. I am sure in many of the readers’ mind their own answers to this argument are already running :).
The author is good at exploring scenes. The way he explains the persona of Vishnu when she sees him after a long; is very photographic.
Also during the conversation when she asks Vishnu about “where he lives?”, Vishnu starts giving a long answer. She needs to cut him and tell him:
Vishnu, I didn’t ask you about your assets. I am not an income tax person. I just wanted to know where you normally stay.
She was pulling his legs, but what is Vishnu thinking?
The author has a very rich vocabulary but she decided to use day-to-day language in this book. And, it makes the book more appealing. I found the book quite inspirational as well as giving life lessons. Purchasing and reading such books always help you in being a better human.
A short, sweat and nice book which conveys wisdom lesson. Definitely worth reding.
Definitely more than 8 out of 10.
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