Author: Sudha Murthy
Paperback: 142 pages
Publisher: Penguin India
Publication Date: 11 December 2007
Genre: Contemporary fiction
Dollar Bahu is the story of how money can wreak havoc in the life of any family, if things spin out of control. Vinuta is a young woman, who marries Girish, who is a bank clerk. Vinuta then begins to live in Bangalore, with Girish's family and starts to get accustomed to her new family. She gets used to this new change quite well and spends her life looking after her in-laws and her husband. She even tries her level best to ignore the taunts of her mother-in-law, Gouramma.
Things take a turn for the worse, when Chandru, Girish's elder brother, gets married. Chandru is based in the US, with his wife, the ‘Dollar Bahu' and they live quite an extravagant life, because of the fact that Chandru earns well. Vinuta now faces constant comparisons between her and her new sister-in-law, much to Vinuta's dismay. Now Gouramma, Vinuta's mother-in-law, decides to pay Chandru a visit in the US, which turns things around. Gouramma now looks at the other side of life in the US, where she realizes that she will never get the respect there, which she gets in India.
This book depicts a the evil side of over obsessing about ‘Money’ and how it can create distance among the loved ones.
The story puts an idea in a straightforward manner- the misconception people have about the glitz and earning capacity of a job in the US and in turn fail to see the more meaningful things life has to offer. It similarly makes the reader to reconsider the idea of ‘what success truly means’ and the importance of true happiness.
However, It’s not always necessary to come to the conclusion that ‘Dollar’ spoils a person. So, the conclusion may seem to be stereotypical in assumption to many readers. It can not be for sure blamed on external factors in a hackneyed idea for the faults in one’s character.
The language is simple as is with Sudha Murty’s every book. The message conveyed in the book stays on for longer in one’s mind. This is established as Murty is successful in transporting her characters’ plight, situations to the common people’s conscience.
In a nutshell:
- The story is one that middle-class Indian people can easily relate to.
- The novel portrays the delicate relationships that exist in every family in a heart-touching way.
About the Author:
Sudha Murthy 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 novels, technical books, travelogues, collections of short stories and non-fictional pieces and four books for children. Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages.
Sudha Murty was the recipient of the R.K. Narayan Award for Literature and the Padma Shri for the year 2006 and the Attimabbe Award from the government of Karnataka for excellence in Kannada literature in 2011.