Odisha Lit Fest | Sudha Murty on the joys of storytelling in a difficult world

Titled Grandparents’ Bag of Stories, it’s a follow-up to Murty’s 2015 book Grandma’s Bag of Stories and is essentially designed as an engaging lockdown read for kids.

Published: 29th November 2020 10:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th November 2020 10:55 AM   |  A+A-

Sudha Murty (Photo | EPS)

Sudha Murty (Photo | EPS)

Sudha Murty’s newest book provides a great sense of escapism amid a pandemic-riddled year.

Titled Grandparents’ Bag of Stories, it’s a follow-up to Murty’s 2015 book Grandma’s Bag of Stories and is essentially designed as an engaging lockdown read for kids.

“Most children are at home right now, their parents are working, they can’t go out and libraries are closed, it’s frustrating.

I considered my own childhood, if I was a child in a shutdown, what would I have done? I would have gone to my grandparents’ and If I were to get some time with my own grandchildren, I would make them understand that during this period you should help people. And you can learn a lot along the way,” Murty told author Kaveree Bamzai during a session of the Odisha Literary Festival 2020.

ALSO READ | Odisha Lit Fest - Literature is a true friend, giving comfort and courage in these trying times: Naveen Patnaik

Murty’s 2004 book How I Taught My Grandmother To Read and Other Stories, was hailed as a poignant collection of non-fiction stories. Murty herself is a grandmother now and though her grandkids are currently in London, she explained how kids of this generation perceive storytelling differently.

“When I tell my grandkids stories on Zoom, about the gods and demons and the mythology around the ocean churning, they tell me, ‘Ajji, it’s unfair, why couldn’t they have given one nectar to the demons?’ In life, you should be fair. It’s very difficult explaining to them why gods should always win, they are being brought up in a different culture.

"They think differently so I experiment with them,” Murty shared. The author also let us into her creative process - Murty had once famously admitted to owning over 500 DVDs. The author reveals that she tries to watch an entire movie every day.

She also ventures that her love for movies possibly seeps into how she conceives her writing. “When I think of a story, it comes to me like a frame, I can see everything so clearly, like 5 children sitting with their grandparents,” she added.

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