I finished reading ‘Mahashweta’ by Sudha Murty yesterday. Though I feel I like her real-life stories better, I was not at all disappointed by this novel. I liked what I read.

Mahashweta is the story of a girl – Anupama, with whom I could relate to in more ways than one. The setting of the story is highly orthodox. The extremely beautiful Anupama is born into a poor Kannada family in a small village. Brought up by a stepmother, along with her step-sisters, Anupama faces a lot of pain in life. She is brilliant in academics, and very interested in literature, particularly Sanskrit literature. As she knows that her poor father would be unable to support her education, she works hard to keep up her grades, and studies on a scholarship. To sate her passion for Sanskrit literature, she participates in a number of plays, and is an actor par excellence.

She once performs a play called ‘Mahashweta’, playing the part of the heroine Mahashweta. In connection with this play, she meets the handsome Anand, a doctor, who falls in love with her. Anand hails from a very affluent family, and conveys to his widowed mother and sister that Anupama is the girl of his dreams, the girl he wants to settle down with in life. Though not very happy with the alliance, his mother agrees to it for her son’s sake. A lavish marriage is conducted, the groom’s family bearing the expenses.

Anupama and Anand seem to be the perfect couple, who have everything in life they could ask for. Their bubble shatters when Anand goes abroad for further studies, leaving Anupama behind in India with his mother and sister. Anupama is to perform the Lakshmi Pooja held in Anand’s family every year on a grand scale, and then join Anand. However, her life takes a turn for the worse, or perhaps for the better in my eyes, on the day of Lakshmi Pooja.

Anupama discovers a white patch on her foot, which is confirmed by the doctor to be leukoderma. She becomes ‘Mahashweta’ in the real sense – ‘the white one’. What happens to her after that, how she leads her life – that constitutes the rest of the novel – the best part. I’ll not divulge the plot here.

At the end of the novel, Sudha Murty recounts a real-life experience of how this novel of hers changed a couple’s life for the better. Perhaps, that is the best part of being a writer. You never know, but your words might inspire a dead soul to start living again, or bring joy to a weary heart. Your words reach people in the farthest corners of the world, and when you come to know of such incidents, you feel simply out of this world – as if part of your mission of being on earth has been fulfilled.

Orbis terrarum challenge: 8 more to go.



Filed under Reading Ramana

13 responses to “Mahashweta

  1. I had not read Sudha Murthy until recently..I feel that she has a great hold on emotional writing. Mahasweta does look like her attempt at writing fiction. As she is originally kannada speaking, I would love to read her book in kannada..lets see..

  2. that soundsr really worth a read!

    thank u .. I guess I will pick it up too

  3. priyaiyer


    yep, it is her attempt at writing fiction. oh, its fun reading in another language for a change. me got sudha murty’s other novel ‘dollar bahu’ in gujarati. not read it yet.


    yep, it is definitely worth a read.

  4. Hey awesome, so you are one down!
    By the way, thanks to your post, I feel like picking up this title now, very curious to know how it goes.
    Am almost done with Girls of Riyadh, will be posting about it soon!

  5. priyaiyer


    yep, me is one down. glad to hear that you will also be one down too soon. 🙂

    mahashweta is definitely worth a read. 🙂

  6. Good one too done with my first book priya..

  7. priyaiyer


    good good. wil check out.

  8. priya, is the character Akash or Anand? There seems to be a slight confusion in the post, there. check it out.

  9. priyaiyer


    oops. i made a boo-boo. its anand. confirmed. thanks for pointing it out. 🙂

  10. Pingback: The Little Prince « uniquely priya

  11. ketan karkhanis

    I just finished reading Mahasweta. It is a very touching novel & Sudha Murthy’s style of writing is very good.

  12. hi I just finished reading this book yesterday. I loved reading it throughly. even today Anupama lives in my memories. this is must read book. It is charged with emotion, drama, love and lots of courge and possitivity.

  13. Pingback: Mahasweta by Sudha Murthy « Giving Reading a Chance!!!

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