by Varunika
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To me, buying a book is an act of love. It really is an instinctive decision and I fall in love with every book that I buy, almost immediately. This book was an exception though.

It was the first time that I had bought a book and did not read it for 2 years! I bought this book because of the title. It really intrigued me. And finding Sudha Murty’s name on the cover was like… cherry on the top. It was only when I started reading it, did I realize that she had not written it. She had only edited it. Penguin had run a contest and she had handpicked these stories from that lot. The word edited by had been printed on the cover in such a small font, people wouldn’t really notice it.

When I discovered that, I was a little annoyed. I was miffed with the marketing tactic frankly. Anyone buying the book would do so basis the respect Sudha Murty’s name commands. I was irritated to know that she had not written a single story in the book. And this by no way means that I read books only from the recommended section of crossword. It’s just, I thought it was her book only to find out it was not. I felt cheated. Hence the two-year delay in reading!

I recently bought myself a work desk and was busy setting it up when this book fell on my lap, out of nowhere. I removed the dust from the cover, and it struck me then. Maybe it was time I read it. I started the book yesterday and have finished reading it already! And I read books at snail’s pace!!

I am feeling terrible that I did not read the book immediately after I bought it. Writing this blog is more like an apology I owe to the book.

Something Happened on The Way To Heaven is a collection of 20 real life stories from several hugely talented bunch of writers. The stories have been woven by an extremely delicate emotional thread. They are bound to tug at your heartstrings. All the stories come from varied age groups and time periods, leaving you with a delightful kaleidoscopic view of life.

These are stories stemming from real life incidents. So, when we read a story, we feel everything as is. Like it is happening in front of our eyes. There is a natural flow to the sequence of events and absolutely nothing looks out of place.

What struck me the most? The nature and incredibly varied degree of experiences that people in the world come across. Life and death situations, relationships and their ups and downs, the daily grind of women, social issues that ail our nation, the magnanimity and moral complexities of certain professions, the face of courage, the different people we meet through our lives and so much more.

There is a story An encounter of a special Kind by Tapan Mukherjee. It is one of my favourites in this book. There is a baby monkey in there, in fact a lot of monkeys in there and one human. What kind of a story do you think could it possibly be? The best kind, I say! It is such an endearing read.

Another one would be The Udayan Effect by Praveen P. Gopinath. Such an exceptional take on relationships. One drunkard, one favour and a lifetime of brotherhood. I was amazed to read that such kind of relationships are possible. Then again. This is life. Anything is possible.

It fell in a storm by Santanu Bhowmick is another fascinating and exceptionally well written story. A story about how one 50 rupees note became priceless after the joy it could buy. Can you buy joy, really? You will have to read the story to find out.

These stories have been written by people like us, for people like us. Normal people striving hard each day to make it work, to make it count. You will feel the connect with almost every story.

I am glad that finally I read the book. Simple and soulful. That’s what the book is. A big shout out for this one.

Happy reading!

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