Dollar Bahu by Sudha Murty is an exploration of the Indian middle class, its dreams and aspirations, and what happens when the harsh underside of those dreams are exposed - all told from a female perspective. Trained as an engineer in her youth, Murty is widely known for heading the Infosys Foundation as its chairperson, but her talents go far beyond philanthropy. The author of several best selling books, she�s been extensively published in her native Kannada as well as English, and her bibliography, ranging from travelogues to children�s literature, has been translated to every major Indian language.
A slim volume that might seem modest in scope, Dollar Bahu nevertheless speaks to the South Asian immigrant experience, and the essential crisis at its heart. Vinuta is the quintessential Indian housewife, happily married to a bank clerk, Girish, and content to serve him and his parents, despite her mother-in-law, Gouramma�s displeasure with her. Meanwhile, Girish�s older brother, Chandru, has consolidated his position as the darling of the family by living the immigrant dream in the US and earning dollars. When he gets married, things go downhill for Vinuta as Gouramma begins to relentlessly compare her to the newlywed �dollar bahu�. But when the matriarch finally decides to visit her son and his wife in the US, she is forced to ponder some unexpected truths about tradition, liberation, value systems and the currency of honour and respect as opposed to the lure of the dollar. The author is at home with her subject here - the oft ignored voice of Indian womanhood, which she�s explored elsewhere in House of Cards, and the bestselling Wise and Otherwise, both of which are available from sellers listed on Junglee.com, along with other Sudha Murty books.
Oft praised for its blend of candour and nuanced storytelling, Dollar Bahu has been adapted for television as well. The universal nature of the story makes it relatable to a wide demographic, dealing as it does with questions of belonging and rootedness. Using the theme of immigrant aspiration, prosperity, and the human conflicts they cause, Sudha Murty spins an enduring tale across the 152 pages that comprise the novel. Penguin India�s 2007 reissue of Dollar Bahu is readily available online in India, and its ISBN number is 9780143103769.