‘Ups and downs part of life’

Sudha Murthy (Photo: Pavan Khengre,)

A distinguished writer, philanthropist, author and an inspiration to many, Sudha Murthy is known for her benevolent work through the Infosys Foundation.

A well-known social worker, she is married to N R Narayana Murthy, co-founder of Infosys. She aims to alleviate poverty at the grassroots level through her social work, and covers various areas of concern such as healthcare, education, women’s empowerment and public hygiene.

Infosys Foundation is a public charitable trust founded in 1996 and Sudha Murthy, known for her simplicity, is one of the trustees. In an interview with NIVEDITA R, Murthy speaks about her passion – writing – and shares some interesting insights about this facet of her life.


Q: How do you balance your personal life and work life?

A: I don’t engage in much socialising. I don’t attend weddings or parties. My office is near my house and that saves time. However, I enjoy my work so I never get exhausted. I never get tired of working as it’s something that I love doing.

Q: Has writing always been your passion?

A: I have been writing for the last forty years. I come from a teachers’ family and therefore, writing and reading books, from a very young age, was very important. That’s how I inculcated this habit.

Q: Do you ever get writer’s block? If yes, how do you cope with it?

A: I do get writer’s block sometimes. And, I don’t write at that time and rather start reading books. Taking a break during such a time really helps. My break, however, doesn’t exceed a month or two. It gets okay after sometime.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge in life, in general, and also in terms of your writing career?

A: In order to write I have always needed eight to ten calm and peaceful days. I generally don’t get that much time. Therefore, I think only while travelling. I use my free time reading and writing. And, also ups and downs are part of life. When you are down, you should always think this too shall pass.

Q: Do you follow any motto in life?

A: Well, I believe that in life whatever you get accept it and work on that.

Q: What’s your favorite genre? What do you love writing about the most?

A: When the experience is full, I start writing. There isn’t any one favourite genre that I can pick.

Q: What advice would you like to give to budding writers?

A: I always tell them to read a lot and then write. Don’t be in a hurry to publish it. And, also re-read it after two years, then you would know you are grown up. The most important thing is to read and observe a lot.

Q: Are there any perks of being a writer?

A: Yes, it helps you connect with the people. It helps you reach their hearts instantaneously if you write in a proper way.

Q: Do you think it has become a fashion nowadays, that every other person wants to become a writer and ends up publishing books without any proper research?

A: Yes, that’s why the books do not do well also. One should not rush things and be in a hurry to get the book published. You should write because you like to write and you should enjoy it. Most importantly, you should have good knowledge before you write. That’s why reading a lot helps.

Q: Tell us about your recent book “The Man From The Egg”. The title is intriguing.

A: The book is about the story of ‘Garuda’. It is a book on the trinity, consisting of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. They are popular deities of worship all over India, but what remains largely unknown are some of their extraordinary stories. The book is written in simple language.

Q: When you write on mythology, do you ever think it will end up in some controversy?

A: My books have never had any controversy till this day. I only write on whatever there’s available. However, I always avoid exaggeration.

Q: If I were to ask you what is the one thing people don’t know about you, what would you say?

A: I am an open person. There’s nothing that people don’t know. But apart from reading and writing, I like farming. I grow my own vegetables. I have a place where I plant bananas, pumpkins, etc. I have started doing this two to three years back and I really enjoy that.

Q: What keeps you persistently motivated in life? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

A: In my work, when I look at poor people of India I always become conscious of the fact that I have a duty towards them and I should work for them. That thought keeps me continuously working for the Infosys Foundation.

Q: What message would you like to give our readers?

A: I am a very simple person. What message can I give? However, I would like to say one thing ~ try to live in a simple way so that your life itself becomes a message to others.