02032009 - Finally, she spreads her wings...

I have asked few of my folks, what  they would do if they got hold of an interesting book. The reply is same ( most of the time ), they'd finish it as quickly as possible, the eagerness to see how the plot ends dominates the subtle details of the story. I am also a victim of curiosity. Whenever i take up reading a newly released naruto manga or a harry potter book, i always read them as quickly as possible, so that i can get an over all idea of the plot. That satisfies my thirst. But, of late, i have found joy in savoring a book. While reading, i always ask myself, what inspired the author to write this plot ? or, What was going on in the author's mind ? , questions that question the intention rather than the plot itself. The answers that come out makes me enjoy the book more :-).

Anyways, today, i finished a book - "Gently Falls the Bakula", by Sudha Murthy. I must, on the onset thank my friends - Srikanth ( whose book i borrowed ) and Harini ( for introducing me to this book ). The story revolves  around two characters, an intelligent, ambitious and hard working gentleman - Shrikanth, his journey from a middle class village boy to GM of a prestegious software company, and his equally intelligent ( if not more ), ever supporting, innocent, simple minded yet a bit introverted wife Shrimathi, who always went out of her way to help her husband achieve success. I will not spoil the fun by revealing the story here, but i will definitely recommend this book, if you are interested in Indian-Author-Books.

There are certains points that impressed me and i would like to mention them here -

1. The writing style of the author. She has given a significant amount of information on Indian History in the book, to me this was an added bonus :-). Now, this book was first published in kannada, and then it got translated into english. The raw writing style in this book, i could notice certain statements, which would have impacted a reader, if it were in kannada, when translated into english really does not do justice. But i still felt the kick ( because, to me, its always - hmm.. what would she have written in kannada ?? ) 

2. The emotions brought out in the book. The situations and struggles this introverted girl had to go through because of the narrow-mindedness of a few elders, the way she handled things, the ending. These things really touched me, perhaps because i was able to connect characters in the book with people in my life, and also because in the end, Shrimathi did exactly what i wanted her to do :-). At one point of time, when she was in a dilemma and considered going against her decision, i was literally shouting - No, no, what the hell are you doing !!!! ( haha, sometimes, i can get too involved in a book :) )

3. An important lesson ( of which i am reminded time and again ) - Value of an object is known only when it is lost. ( oh my god, where is my ID card ?? , hmm.. where did i put that belt ?? .. hmm.. so many of them!! yet, everytime the same lesson seems new to me :-) ) 

4. The title - Gently falls the Bakula - Bakula ( also known as Maulsari ), a flower known for its fragrance (even when it dries out). I was able to map the title with different meanings each at a different level. For example, how the wife performed her duties, even though she did not like it, the blossoming of a new relationship amidst the bakula tree etc. etc. ( go read the book !! ) 

5. The commitment and sacrifice Shrikanth and Shrimati had to make, to reach their positions in life. What i did not understand was that, when a man reaches such a position, does he really neglect little things in life ? If its true, then this is a good lesson for me :-). I always believe that little things can take us a long way :-)

6. Finally, the most important one - How Shrimati was able to break out the self constructed boundaries, leave everything to persue her happiness, something that i have seen, not happening, in the middle and lower class families of India. PerSudha Murthy, so i will leave it here :-)

On the personal front, i had really forgotten the days, when i enjoyed reading books. I always used to look at either page nos. or the chapter nos. at random ( even today, i never look at the last page's no, because, when i am at the last few pages, if i know the last page no. then i feel, oh, the plot is going to end in another 3 - 4 pages !!! , and believe me, i personally enjoy the book more, with a feeling - will it end now ? or will the author take the plot to the next level ?? ... and when my guess matches the author's plot, nothing is more elating than that :) ).

This is something that i have observed, for the books i enjoyed, i would always find that -

1. Page nos. flip by very fast ( wow, i just started the book, am i in page 24 already ?? ) 

2. Chapter are covered very fast ( hmm.. i was reading chapter 7, how the hell did i get to chapter 31 ?? ) 

3. Time flew very fast :-) ( wow, would you look at that, its already 12 am !!! ) 

This book has refreshed my memory on the little things that made ( and still make ) me happy.

I apologize if i have knowingly or unknowingly revealed the plot of the story. It is definitely a good read. Give it a try :-)