The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk : Life stories from here and there is a recollection of 23 life experiences by Sudha Murty. She has narrated them is a simple flowing language and as with every story Mrs Murthy writes, they reach the core of the heart. The characters are ordinary people she has met in office, at home, in her village, during a journey and so on. Most of us would also have met such people whom we would have forgotten but with all credit to her, she has narrated the incidents in first person and we can also relate to and learn a lot from them.
In Bombay to Bangalore, Chitra remembers the train journey which she had undertaken when she was 13-14 years old, how her life changed after the journey and shows her gratitude. Rahman’s Avva is about Kashibai who is uneducated but far advanced in human values. Ganga’s ghat makes us realize that anyone can do social work like Ganga who provides bathing water in a village. The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk is about a family in Odisha who want to offer her something to eat or drink but she is unable to accept the glass of milk they offer her. How the perceptions of people regarding India have changed in the United States in 30 years is what Changing India is about. Genes talks about “how only diseases and not honesty and integrity are passed down to the next generation through genes”.
Helping the dead is about a group of young people who form a voluntary organization to help poor people who have nobody to cremate of bury their dead ones. Three ponds is about the sacrifices of three different women for providing water to others. No man’s garden is about a rich farmer growing vegetables in a wasteland for the poor and needy. Sticky bottoms is about her friend whose only concern is talking about himself. Too many questions is about how the managers try to come in between the donor and the receiver. Gift of sacrifice is about a young cowherd who sacrifices his life for his village while giving the message from a soldier to the captain. Bad Help is about how helping somebody may be lifelong burden for him to carry. Sharing with a ghost is about a young man who learns from a ghost that “in life sharing is important”.
Foot in the mouth is about people who gossip and how they find people to gossip about. In Miserable success, we realize that being successful doe not necessarily mean being happy. In Shraddha, we realize that in the eyes of God, girls and boys, sons and daughters are equal. In Lazy Portado, we learn that as a student, we should study, get knowledge, learn skills and work hard. Uncle Sam is about a person who regrets his going to America. You should have asked me is about how people want their egos to be fed. A mother’s love is about how a mother climbs a hill and jumps down in order to be with her baby. Do you remember tells us that we remember all that we consider as important.
The last story in the book is Life’s Secret Lessons wherein the author learns seven lessons in life.
First lesson: Only children tell the truth and are real judges of one’s talent.
Second lesson: You cannot substitute many things in life with money.
Third Lesson: Wherever there is money, people like to take advantage of the situation and maximize their return.
Fourth lesson: If we keep collecting material things, it becomes a burden to the next generation
Fifth lesson: To be patient and to recognize people’s intentions.
Sixth lesson: We must stand up for ourselves and follow our heart, even if other people do not always agree with us or like it.
Seventh lesson: We should not hear other sounds and can concentrate on what we are doing.
Eighth lesson: When a person becomes a compassionate leader, they do not belong to one country.
A MUST READ.
Book Source: Bought