For Sudha Murty the Writing is Therapy
One of India’s most humble and unembellished authors Sudha Murty is also one of the most adored philanthropists for the earnest efforts she puts into cultivating the lives of sex workers. Her latest book Three Thousand Stitches is an inspirational tale that follows Mrs Murty‘s endeavour in changing thousands of lives. Sudha Murty manages to write extensively along with her demanding career with Infosys and yet stays enthusiastic enough to weave wonderful stories for children. One of India’s most celebrated children’s authors, she also has some tough lessons for modern parents.
Sudha Murty is part of the author panel of TOI’s platform for aspiring writers, Write India. Believing that writing is therapeutic to her, Sudha Murty spoke to TOI Books.
You believe that ‘sometimes non-fiction can be more unbelievable than anything you can dream’. Is this what excites you about writing non-fiction?
For imagination, the sky is the limit but the reality is far more unimaginable and that is why I like writing non-fiction. From fiction, you do not get to learn much because it is only imagination. Whereas, from non-fiction, people can understand and learn from the realities it covers.
You convinced 3000 Devadasis to look beyond age-old practices, stand on their own feet, and send their children to schools. What was more challenging – the experience or penning it down?
The experience. It was very difficult to bring 3000 devadasis to lead a normal life. I could only manage to cover one district of Karnataka and faced lot of difficulties; the age-old practices, zero incentives, government schemes not availed, non-cooperative society and above all, the lost confidence of Devadasis — there were struggles at all levels. After being exploited and suppressed by men for so many years, these Devadasis feel that their life is almost finished. And, we had to instill confidence back in them.
I invited four of the devadasis for my book launch and they were absolutely thrilled that they could travel on their own, stay at a hotel, attend a function and go back. And, this when none of them can read or write. Our efforts instilled courage in them and their experience is almost similar to you or me going to the moon.
You write about powerful realities for adults and stories with a positive message for kids. What is your take on young parents today who believe in teaching the reality of life to kids at a very early age?
With one or two children at home, I feel that parents concentrate too much on them and hence children lose touch with reality. They get whatever they desire and fail to understand that in real life you may or may not get what you wish for. No one in this world can achieve 100 percent satisfaction of desires. Though most of the things can only be achieved by making efforts, there are few things we get without making any efforts, like a mother’s love – you get that effortlessly. Children today cannot share their belongings, hold their private space as most important, do not appreciate traveling by bus and always want to shop in the mall. But the reality is far fetched from the glamour they seek. My only request to parents is to ‘allow’ them to grow and not to ‘force’ them to grow.
Credit Source: The Times of India