BENGALURU : Although Sudha Murty has a packed schedule as the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, writing is something that comes naturally to her. “I don’t even try a lot. The stories just come to my head, like a movie frame. I see everything that is going to be written,” she says. Sudha’s new book, ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ was launched recently and includes among other things, a collection of some of her favourite stories and unusual experiences while working for the Infosys Foundation.
Hailing from Shiggaon, North Karnataka, Sudha has read most of the Kannada authors of her generation including Triveni, Shivaram Karanth and SL Bhyarappa. She is also an admirer of English language authors such as Pearl S Buck and works such as Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex, and some of Shakespeare’s plays. Sudha started writing ‘very late’ but feels she has come into her own. “I started writing when I was 50 and I have gone on my own path”, says SudhaTalking about women in publishing, Sudha believes that gender does not matter if the stories are good. She does, however, agree that women did have limited experiences for a long time due to various inhibitions. Sudha highlighted how women from her grandmother’s side wrote poetry but never went to school.
“I think experiences are important in writing. As one’s experience widens, the literature they create will be more beautiful. Once, I planned on going to Iran,” she recalls, “and I did go and see the place. Now I can write about it. It’s very different from what it would have been just by imagining the place in my head.”
In her days as a columnist for newspapers, she says she learnt the discipline of sticking to a particular word count. In her first experience at a daily, she had to produce a column every Wednesday. “The then editor of the paper would remind me of my 1000-word column and tell me that I had to write it every week. If I was on a vacation, he would ask me to produce three columns before I left,” she says.
When she started writing for a magazine, Sudha had to stick to 500 words. “I would stick to that word limit and eliminate the extra words from my pieces.” Sudha believes that if one is good at doing something, they should not waste their lives doing something else. “I agree, writing, dance, music and other arts don’t bring in a lot of money. The financial aspect is important. But if something like that brings you satisfaction, then you should do it. I’ve met several engineers who have become RJs, TV anchors and Kathak dancers”, she says, adding, “The mind is powerful. If you want to do things at once, you can do that as well.”