First print: June 2019
For Copies: Navodaya Book house, Kachi guda, Hyderabad-500 027
Murthy's "The Riverside Man&Other short stories" comprises of eleven enthralling short stories. He beautifully encapsulates his diverse experiences in these stories. This is his maiden attempt in English but he has successfully penned four titles in Telugu. His multiple interests in social activities speculate in these stories that will make you laugh and learn.
"The Guest Obsessed" articulates about obsession. Obsession with anyone or anything considers unscrupulous. This story brilliantly encompasses the obsession of monkeys and it's both consequences.
"Missing of an Old Woman" highlights the schizophrenia that rampant in the society. Every three out of five persons suffer from this chronic disease. One need not run away from harsh reality while one needs to face it boldly and find out solutions. This old woman has been portrayed symbolically and suggests that she can be anyone in the world. She roams and rests carelessly and recklessly by the side of dividers. The story emphasizes that our moral duty is to send off schizophrenic persons to hospitals rather we stand, stare and laugh at them.
"Rajanikant" The very name of this short story refers to Tamil superstar Rajanikant. Yes, it is because one of the students changed his name and is being called as Rajanikant. But after the headmaster's admonishing, he sticks to his original name and now continues his studies with pursuing business administration. It will definitely remind your "childhood should be like that, fun and frolic"(23)
"A Burial Ground and Memoirs" reveals the strong connection that lies between the place and our old experienced memories. Memory keeps us haunting and longing for bygone days and this story refreshes and rejuvenates the reminiscences.
"On the Fateful Day...!" reveals one's unplanned journey of life as one needs to adjust with moving time's plan. In one's life, everything occurs unpredictably in the domain of universal force.
"Dantewada" stresses on atrocities and terrorism. It also highlights the pathetic conditions of underpaid teachers and they are compelled to work another business to cope up in life.
"A Boulder in Stream" elucidates the story of a backbencher, silent, reticent boy. The teacher scolds him without knowing his mental condition for not responding to him. When the teacher came to know his family split through another student then he accepts his fault and said sorry. He says sorry to him.
"Polling Duty" energetic and enthusiastic spirit for one's work defeats the hunger of the stomach for sometimes. They work without having food but engulfing water time and again.
"The Riverside Man" deals with a missing girl and saint. The missing girl is found but can the life of saint valuable for his/her family? Why not her/his family members bring him back? The saint sits beside the river and chant deeply. When the narrator questions his life and belongingness and he politely replied and states everything is uncertain except death then why do we worry about. Enjoy each and every moment of your life.
"Memorabilia" throws light on the nostalgia of the CIIL Campus, Mysore. The author shares his varied experiences about visiting R.K.Narayan's house, nearby places like Coorg, Ooty, Nagara Hole etcetera and his encounters with diverse culturally and linguistically persons.
Murthy's each and every story carries a pinch of mystery that tightly intact your interests in these stories till you finished them off. These stories contemplate various societal issues at the same time advocate for moral lessons. Geographical locations and descriptions accentuate on the staunch and unfading memories of the author. His narration is flawless, lucid and coherent.
-----Reviewed by Shivnath Kumar Sharma (Research Scholar),
Dept. of English, Pondicherry University