The Mother I Never Knew by Sudha Murthy


What secrets lurk in a family’s past—and how important are they in the here and now? Sudha Murty’s new book comprises two quests by two different men—both for mothers they never knew they had. Venkatesh, a bank manager, stumbles upon his lookalike one fine day. When he probes further, he discovers his father’s hidden past, which includes an abandoned wife and child. Ventakesh is determined to make amends to his impoverished stepmother—but how can he repay his father’s debt? Mukesh, a young man, is shocked to realize after his father’s death that he was actually adopted. He sets out to find his biological mother, but the deeper he delves, the more confused he is about where his loyalties should lie: with the mother who gave birth to him, or with the mother who brought him up.

It’s been since long time I have been reading Sudha Murty’s books and till date she never disappointed me. I am an ardent fan of her simple yet heart touching stories. She is an inspiration. This book comprises of 2 novellas dealing with two very different men and their family secrets. The first novella, is about Venkatesh, a middle-aged man with a wife and two grown-up kids who discovers a decades old family secret and his dilemma about them. I really like the character of Venkatesh – a nice man, with old fashioned values and morals. A total ideal dad like character. The way in which this old mystery/secret comes out and the way in which he goes about piecing the truth was all very attention-grabbing and forceful. Along with Venkatesh’s investigation into the past we get to see Venkatesh’s family- money and status obsessed wife and son. His daughter who is more like him and is his confidant till the last. It was nice reading about this family and how even in the same family people can be so significantly different from each other. The novella, even though the ending felt a bit abrupt and sudden, it was still pleasurable. The second novella, features Mahesh who finds out he is adopted after the death of his beloved father and then goes on a journey to find his birth-mother. A fast paced story, bits of it were a dragged but very interesting for me. The story went by really quickly and I wish it lasted little longer.

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