Sudha Murthy: For Me, Writing Is My Expression Of Emotion | Exclusive

Author, educator and philanthropist Sudha Murthy has always been known to be someone who loves speaking her mind, she believes in putting facts right than sugarcoating them. Over the years she has achieved magnitudinal success and has given back the society as much as she can. Earlier this year, Mrs. Murthy was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India for her impeccable contribution to the field of social work.

When we talk about somebody of the likes of Sudha Murthy, one is bound to think that she is too busy to do anything beyond her designated work, however, that is definitely not the truth. Despite having a severely busy work schedule, she always made sure she finds the time for writing.

In an exclusive conversation with News18, Mrs. Murthy reveals the genre she finds really challenging to write in, her writing process and talks about the kind of books her family members like including Mr. Narayan Murthy, her son-in-law, Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and her daughter Akshata Murthy.

Excerpts from the interview:-

You have a magnificently diverse repertoire in terms of your writing. You have gone from writing short stories to non-fiction to IT-related books and the list goes on. Now, being able to hit the perfect note in each of these genres is rather difficult, how did you achieve that?

Well, I started with a travelogue and I wrote in Kannada for the first 20-25 years and then later I wrote in English. My first book was published in English when I was 52 years old, until that I wrote in Kannada and I wrote travelogues in Kannada because in 1978 I had travelled all alone with my backpack in America, which was something unusual in those days because I am a small town girl.

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After that, I wrote a few novels post which I wrote about computer science for rural people because it was computers were just being introduced in those days. I wrote about 7-8 novels but since 2004, I do not think I have written any novels because I realised that more than novels it is non-fiction that acts as great lessons in life and is more important than imagination. It was not difficult because whatever work I did, I wrote accordingly.

Which of these genres did you find most difficult to write in and why?

Sometimes I find writing for children very difficult because we should be very careful about the words and themes we choose. If there is something wrong in the book that will affect the child’s mind. You cannot use the word ‘servant’ for example. You need to be able to keep a child interested throughout the story, and for that, you should become a child yourself and keep your mind unbiased.

For someone like you, you are constantly busy. I am sure you are constantly caught up with engagements may that be related to the foundation work or other things. How and when do you manage to write, what is your writing process like?

I do not write every day. Even though I will be doing my work, in my mind I will always be thinking about writing something and when the emotions accumulate and the entire structure is ready in my mind then I take about 10-15 days to write, not much. But, I prefer to write early morning, not in the later part of the day. I can finish in the morning and then I will continue to do my other work.

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You have been writing for quite some time now and you have authored some really successful books. In all these years of writing, what are some of your key takeaways?

For me, writing is my expression of emotion and I enjoy writing. I do not write because I have to make someone happy, it makes me happy. When I write, I do not publish it for some time and reread it again to see if it requires any change. I always believe there is one line of experience and one line of imagination and I weave it in that way.

If you had to suggest a book to each of your family members, what books would they be?

It depends on what they like. Rishi will like more on economics and I do not have to suggest it, he himself will suggest me some books. He always gifted me with very good books. In our house, everyone has their own library, including my grandkids. (Narayan) Murthy will have more technical books. Akshata and my taste are similar. My grandkids have more adventurous books.

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