Rating: 4.5 /5
Author: Sudha Murthy
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Publishing Date: 14 July 2017
Cost: Rs. 227 (Paperback), Rs. 80 (Kindle edition)
‘Three Thousand Stitches: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Life’ is a collection of 11 short stories by Sudha Murthy that shows both the beauty and ugliness of human nature. The title of the book itself shows it’s content that it is a collection of the extraordinary lives of ordinary people.
All these stories are from her real-life experiences, as an individual and as the chairperson of Infosys Foundation, which does considerable work for the underprivileged.
The first story “Three Thousand Stitches” is the powerful and inspirational story that has transformed thousands of lives when Sudha Murthy approached a group of devadasis. They threw chappals and tomatoes on her when she decided to talk to them about the dangers of AIDS, but she did not give up. She worked hard to make them self-reliant, to help educate their children.
In another story Murthy takes a road down memory lane, remembering the days of her engineering college where she was the only female student of her batch; in another story she fast forwards to the present day where she is appalled and amused, in equal parts, at being judged by her attire and being anointed to a ‘cattle class’ by a fellow traveller at the Heathrow Airport.
The stories are mostly warm and simple; and in turn, trigger slivers of thought as she broaches the issues of alcoholism, conservatism, exploitation and discrimination and she tells them in her characteristically warm-hearted way. She talks candidly about the meaningful impact of her work in the devadasi community, her trials and tribulations as the only female student in her engineering college and the unexpected and inspiring consequences of her father's kindness.
From the quiet joy of discovering the reach of Indian cinema and the origins of Indian vegetables to the shallowness of judging others based on appearances, these are everyday struggles and victories, large and small. Unmasking both the beauty and ugliness of human nature, each of the real-life stories in this collection is reflective of a life lived with grace.
Sudha Murthy writing style is very simple. She narrates the story as they happened in real life. She talks candidly about the meaningful impact of her work in the devadasi community. All the stories are extremely inspirational.
About the Author:
Sudha Murthy was born in 1950 in Shiggaon in north Karnataka. She did her MTech in computer science and is now the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. A prolific writer in English and Kannada, she has written novels, technical books, travelogues, collections of short stories and non-fictional pieces and four books for children. Her books have been translated into all the major Indian languages. Sudha Murty was the recipient of the R.K. Narayan Award for Literature and the Padma Shri in 2006 and the Attimabbe Award from the government of Karnataka for excellence in Kannada literature in 2011.