I had never met Sudha Murthy until this interview. Although I have read her famous “Dollar Bahu” and know of her writing and storytelling prowess, I honestly was a bit nervous to meet her in Pune! Wife of the famous Narayana Murthy, Chairman of the Infosys Foundation, the first female engineer of TELCO and the woman who shattered stereotypes and continues to with her typical tamil “pattu“, the tension was palpable for me. Little did I know that my subject was a warm, most delightful woman ever. Ms Sudha might have a famous last name, but she is friendly and one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met.
I published my first book at 29, but wrote essays from 16 years old!
Author of over 20 novels and stories in her native language Kannada and English, she is most famously known for her popular book “Dollar Bahu”- a simple tale of wife comparison and mindset in today’s India and was even adapted into a television serial. Her latest- The Man From The Egg is a dive into one of her most favorite subjects, Mythology and she adds, ” I grew up in a village where there was no other form of entertainment other than reading, I get the love for books from my grandfather. I grew up with mythology and that’s why its the close subject of mine.”
The book weaves unusual tales of The Trinity- Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu who are responsible for the survival of the human race. Why does Shiva has a crescent shaped moon on his forehead? The book takes you back to a magical time when animals could fly and reincarnation was simply a fact of life.
As Chairman of the Infosys Foundation, she has built over 60,000 libraries in Karnataka alone and credits even that success to her grandfather who made her promise to donate books to at least one library in her lifetime.
Literature and writing happened to her at a very young age as a serious form of expression. ” My mother was a school teacher and would always make us write an essay about our vacations! At first I hated it, but soon I grew into it and loved it. I published my first book at 29, but wrote essays from 16 years old!” Her collection of books range on various topics from tradition to mythology to women empowerment and that’s what makes her such a diverse author. She has published books for both children and adults- but thinks that writing for children is so much harder than non-fiction! “As I am a social worker and work with the poorest of people, I can write what I experience. But for children, I have to write through their eyes and meter down the language”.
“As I am a social worker and work with the poorest of people, I can write what I experience. But for children, I have to write through their eyes and meter down the language”
I caught her in Pune at the launch of her latest book, check out the full interview here!