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How I Taught My Grand Mother to Read: And Other Stories

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These are just some of the questions you will find answered in this delightful collection of stories recounting real-life incidents from the life of Sudha Murty-teacher, social worker and bestselling writer. There is the engaging story about one of her students who frequently played truant from school. The account of how her mother's advice to save money came in handy when she wanted to help her husband start a software company, and the heart-warming tale of the promise she made-and fulfilled-to her grandfather, to ensure that her little village library would always be well supplied with books.
Funny, spirited and inspiring, each of these stories teaches a valuable lesson about the importance of doing what you believe is right and having the courage to realize your dreams.

188 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2004

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About the author

Sudha Murty

166 books2,591 followers
Sudha Murty was born in 1950 in Shiggaon in north Karnataka. She did her MTech in computer science, and is now the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. A prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written nine novels, four technical books, three travelogues, one collection of short stories, three collections of non-fiction pieces and two books for children.

Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages and have sold over three lakh copies around the country. She was the recipient of the R.K. Narayan's Award for Literature and the Padma Shri in 2006.

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5 stars
2,690 (42%)
4 stars
2,208 (35%)
3 stars
1,037 (16%)
2 stars
215 (3%)
1 star
113 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 417 reviews
Profile Image for Dana.
250 reviews
April 9, 2011
I love it!It's such a touching story,I love the grandmother's determination, affection, hardwork etc.It also tells that there's no age limit for education as well as for giving respect.
Profile Image for Reading_ Tamishly.
4,297 reviews2,295 followers
November 16, 2022
Read the book in one sitting. The stories are quite interesting. They are short, easy to read. Each of these stories has a life lesson we can learn from either as a reminder or a new one. Some parts do come out as sounding like preaching/self righteous attitude. But the story collection is still a good one for beginners and the casual readers.
Profile Image for Tanu.
329 reviews327 followers
January 16, 2023
“You should not be so sensitive. Sensitive people suffer a lot in life.”

One of the few books I've read in one sitting is this one. You'll want to learn more about her life because the stories are so intriguing and addicting. These stories make you laugh, cry, and most importantly, they instil in us a sense of responsibility and commitment toward the people in our society. The laughter in this book will keep you entertained, and the author's life teachings are an added bonus.

The book does not tell you what is right or wrong, nor does it obligate you to do so. Rather, it encourages you to make your own choices based on your personal experiences. The book, in my opinion, is more than stories because it includes a motivational component as well as maybe important life lessons!

Grab your copy here
Author 0 books250 followers
December 27, 2018
I read a Hindi edition of this book when my Mom brought it for me. It had a beautiful orange cover, named 'Apna Deepak Svayam Bano'.

I took this book everywhere I went. The stories told by her are inspiring, touching, full of innocence and written so beautifully. Every word by her is imprinted on my mind as I read it in quite an early age but quite enough to understand and bring the morals in my behaviour.

Until she told about meeting A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, I didn't realize whose book I really was reading!
I started reading the book again, this time, I put myself too much into it.

The story when she teaches her Granny how to read, when her Granny touches Mrs. Sudha's feet because she is now her teacher, about red rice, about her joining Tata company and being the first female to dare to do so at those times, meeting Mr. Murti, marrying him, supporting him, her investment plans, her being a teacher of computer science, philanthropist and a writer.

This kind of book should be written more, such people should exist more.
Profile Image for Mia.
41 reviews9 followers
March 26, 2022
Sudha Murty being an author, teacher and a social worker comes across with many people with different way of thinking and unique mindsets. This book consists of short stories where Sudha Murty recounts her real life incidences.

There are many gripping stories about Sudha Murty's students, children as well as stories across India. A lot of little things to be learnt from these short stories. It has the stories of helpful strangers as well as the strangers who betrayed many people; incidences about trust, realizing dreams, perseverance, honesty and hard-work. Murty tells us the importance of books in our lives and the kindness she saw within many people. The author also confesses some of the mistakes she made in her life. And what is more open than that? She not only suggests us to be positive and optimistic but also shares with us the dark side every human being has. She makes us believe not a single person is perfect.

The illustrations in the book are very cute and make it more exciting to read. Considerably descent style of writing as always. Conveys inspiring, caring and funny stories to encourage the readers.
22 reviews
August 26, 2017
The stories are average with narrator more boasting about herself then focusing on stories...Recommended for Kids who needs lessons in morals...Not good for adults seeking satisfaction of book reading
Profile Image for Neha Garg (thereadingowl_).
206 reviews50 followers
May 16, 2018
This book, is a gem. Collection of 24 stories/anecdotes/incidents from the author’s life, this an evocative read. In the pages of these books, she recounts her meetings with some famous and some not so famous people, who taught her great valuable lessons. The reader can learn loads from this simple living, high thinking teacher who has spent most of her life doing charitable work.

Sudha Murty writes in the simplest of languages, yet each story tugs at your conscience. With a lesson at the end of story, these make an excellent read for kids and adults alike. With just 188 pages, this is also a very quick read. I could not stop once I started reading it.

This was my first book by the author and I highly recommend it to people who want to start reading her. Do not dismiss this as a children’s book. We are worse off than kids when it comes to having and learning moral values.
42 reviews1 follower
March 31, 2008
Old fashioned teachings of an Indian woman who never forgets to remind the reader of who she is.
Profile Image for Nihal Lele.
197 reviews
September 30, 2021
“There is a difference between loneliness and solitude. Loneliness is boring, whereas in solitude you can inspect and examine your deeds and your thoughts.”

‘How I taught my grandmother to read and other stories’ seems like a pretty childish title for a book. But the stories in it aren’t childish at all. They contain moral values and real-life experiences blended by Sudha Murty to form a great short story collection. Most of the stories are about 5-6 pages long, but each story had a deeper meaning in it. There were stories about kindness, happiness, nationality, life struggles, and lovingness.

“In this life everything perishes over a period of time. Whether it be diamond, beauty, gold or even land. Only one thing withstands this destruction. It is knowledge. The more you give the more you get.”

My favourite stories were - The Red Rice Granary, A Wedding In Russia, A Story of Two Doctors, Dead Man’s Riddle, Doing What You Like Is Freedom and ‘A’ For Honesty. These stories were felt by me the most since they were written in a simple but beautiful language. The other stories were also pretty good but according to me, these are the best. There is no age limit for this book. Any person can read this for a short time reading.

“I knew then that to come up in life you require talent, hard work, aggression and connections.”
Profile Image for Hitessh.
431 reviews24 followers
July 19, 2019

I am Sudha Murty....
I am ... this....
I am ....that...
I come from ... learned Family....
My Students Love Me......
My Husband is Narayan Murthy....
I am Engaged In Philanthropy.....
My Daughter is this....

I, ME, MYSELF seemed to be the sole agenda of writing this book.

If the author had cut down on the self glorification and the self appraisal on every second page, this book..does have interesting stories, with Morals.

I picked up this book, just for a break from usual reading , as short stories is something that i like to switch over to at times.

Oh BTW Ms.Murty.. The horse's name was 'Chetak' And not 'Chetan', something South Indians conveniently forget or overlook in the history of North Indians. You could've not done this kind of mistake as a very popular brand of Indian Scooter was named as a tribute to this very horse.

Still, if a reader can just overlook all the self appraisal part , ALL the stories are still good.

And ...Oh! She Knows the President too :D

And .... The President Knew Her Too ......

Profile Image for Pallavi.
960 reviews170 followers
June 18, 2013
This was my first Sudha Murthy book. I thought it would be simple and down to earth like her. But disappointed to see only stories boasting on her ability and work.
Profile Image for Samir Dhond.
135 reviews21 followers
September 29, 2009
It is about Sudha Murthy's experiences. The book is witty, inspiring, spirited. The book teaches valuable lessons about courage of conviction and executing things that you feel you ought to do from within.
Profile Image for Priyanka.
69 reviews10 followers
September 16, 2020
I love how Sudhamurthy conveys life values in her stories that too in an interesting way. This book has her life experiences in the form of stories. She is a great person. There’s a lot to learn from her. She always brings a smile on my face. ☺️🤗
Profile Image for Iru Sai.
78 reviews35 followers
July 16, 2019
Who won’t admire Mrs Sudha Murty’s philosophies and her relentless devotion to her philanthropic activities? After watching a couple of her videos, where she came across as a sincere person with good moral values, I was further keen on catching up with her writings and so decided to start with these short stories.

To say, I loved the first one, ‘How I Taught My Grandmother To Read’ would be an understatement. It was a heartwarming anecdote that beautifully portrayed the love between a grand-daughter and her grand-mother. Besides that I always find village stories, enchanting. Overall, It was a good start, till I read a couple of successive stories.

In ‘A lesson in Ingratitude’, what she conveyed was a fair point, but I completely disagree with the way that point was put across. Instead of undermining the person and demeaning him, by naming him publicly, a pseudonym could have been used. The moral of the story would have still remained intact.

I felt a strong underlying ubiquitous humble bragging across the book regarding herself or her family which appeared to be somewhat compulsive, and sadly that diminished my opinion considerably. Wondering, why should a philanthropist brag about how charitable they are? How altruistic is it if one requires validation from the world for the kind act? Yes, but keeping those questions aside, her work towards the society cannot be overlooked. She deserves appreciation and respect for doing her bit in making this world a better place.
Profile Image for Socrates Chinniah.
31 reviews6 followers
January 17, 2014
Good things do come in small packages.

The book contains mostly the experience of Mrs.Murty and some stories which she have heard from others. The book is simple and easy to read with no complications , The book is themed around various morals suitable for children and youngsters , that does not mean the book is not meant for grown ups , Its refreshing to go through the stories especially when you have hard time and you dont wanna have faith in humanity and society , The book kindles the optimism in you and reminds of altruism , inspiring others and things that matters to one most than money. The book also come across personalities of Mr. Abdul Kalam , JRD Tata and Ratan Tata with whom Mrs.Murthy had cordial relationship.

Overall the book is worth spending for , It gave warmth to my heart. The book is not a great book, but will always be close to my heart for the various small stories that touched upon the humane aspects.

10 reviews2 followers
March 7, 2007
I read a lot of her books when I was in India this december. I loved all of them. Most of her short stories are about real life incidences she came across. Some storeis make your eyew wet, some make you smile; every story will definately touch your soul in some way or the other!
Profile Image for Ayushi Nair.
133 reviews34 followers
June 29, 2019
A perfect book gets rid of your reading slumps.

It's a collection of short stories based on the real-life encounters of the author. Each story is unique, the storytelling done by the author is awesome. Language is simple and perfectly edited.
Profile Image for Jigar Parikh.
103 reviews17 followers
August 15, 2020
These stories are so heart warming and simple ending with a beautiful message.

I am fan of Sudha Murthy as a person and as an author. She is truly one of the gem of India. I wish these stories be a part of curriculum in schools.

This is for all age group. Do give it a try :)
217 reviews1 follower
March 29, 2010
A collection of stories from Mrs Murthy's life..However its more of a 'moral science' lesson.Might be good for children..
Profile Image for Ahmed Faiq.
311 reviews81 followers
May 19, 2021
A very delicate and beautifully written book, you feel how honest and truthful it is, and that it comes from the heart of the author..... It is not easy to write true stories, picked from our real lives to be told to our kids, because life truly can be cruel and unnerving sometimes. But here the author succeeded in giving an awesome book for kids and adults altogether, all from real life experiences...
Profile Image for Karishma.
121 reviews37 followers
November 29, 2015
More than writerly finesse or skill, it's the content of these short anecdotes and the intention behind them that strikes one as you rapidly read through this slim collection of stories from Sudha Murthy's life.

The stories are about her teachers and her students, her friends and her family, her husband and her children, her early career as an engineer and her latter one as a teacher and social worker.

There is great simplicity in the lessons she tries to impart, they are those of the importance of education, honesty, perseverance, kindness, Independence and include incidents that moved her or made her think.

As a bright woman from a simple middle class family with a liberal upbringing, Sudha Murthy reminds one of a school teacher and her stories have an instructive tone to them.

While I wouldn't recommend them to someone who prefers more polished writing, I certainly can't deny that her voice strikes a chord inside my own middle class, ambitious self. And for that alone, this book was worth it. Not many authors I know who speak in the voice of my own mind.
Profile Image for She-who-must-not-be-named .
180 reviews1,188 followers
December 30, 2019
I can’t keep myself from re-reading it. I respect the wonderful person she is, and I love reading about her experiences. You’ll not only enjoy reading it, you will also learn a lot of things in the process. She made use of frugal words and I absolutely enjoyed reading it!
6 reviews1 follower
March 19, 2009
A very good collection of short stories containing simple yet meaningful secrets of life. A must read for beginners!
Profile Image for Book'd Hitu.
391 reviews26 followers
July 6, 2012
Read long time back in gujarati edition. Wonderful book throwing light on importance of education. Grandma and her passion for learning is portrayed wonderfully.
A heart touching and worth read.
Profile Image for Aparna.
30 reviews39 followers
September 7, 2012
i was in 9th or 10th when i read this book..and i loved it instantly !and i could easily connect with the story coz i have an adorable grandmom too :D
Profile Image for Gayathri.
46 reviews29 followers
April 28, 2019
This book is a nice collection of anecdotes from the author's life.
I bought this book for my 11-year-old cousin, but wanted to read it before giving it to her. The moral of the stories in this book are essential ones for children to learn. It doesn't hurt for adults to relearn them either. The language used is simple and this makes it easily understandable and approachable to young readers.
Profile Image for Humaira Shaikh.
52 reviews19 followers
September 16, 2017
It is a pretty small book. Only 133 pages. You can breeze through it, and finish it in a few hours, if you are of average speed. But I prefer to read it slower as each of the stories in this book have a lot of meaning and depth to it. So I could reflect on what I read. They have so much value to it, I could write a separate review on each of the stories written in here.

Living in India this book may mean a lot to you. Because in this country of 1 billion people we have heard some stories from childhood that have a lot of moral value. Stories that have struck a chord with us in someway or the other. Some of these stories may have been heard from a family member or a friend from school or college.

This book was written by Sudha Murthy a Chairperson at Infosys. She is the wife of Narayana Murthy, who founded the Indian based software company called Infosys. She has written real life experience from when she was a little kid, to her recent years. And they are just so meaningful and heart touching that I was misty eyed from the beginning to the end. This book can also be called educational, because the morals in this book give a lot of credit to wisdom, learning and education. This book is literally “soul food”! And it speaks volumes. Hope you pick up this book and enjoy its wisdom.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 417 reviews

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