Title: Three Thousand Stitches
Author: Sudha Murty
Genre: Non fiction, Memoir
The book, Three Thousand Stitches is a collection of non fictional pieces, snippets from the author’s own life and from other people whom she encountered.
These are 11 true stories, many of them Sudha Murty’s experiences as the chairperson of the Infosys foundation. A few talk of her childhood and early adulthood and of her educational background.
The stories have an overarching theme of empathy and service to the society.
The title story, ‘Three Thousand Stitches’ is a moving account of the Devdasis and their plight. Their rehabilitation was the first social service/impact project Sudha Murty took on and she talks of her initial failures quite candidly. However, the difference the foundation makes in the lives of this marginal group is noteworthy and Sudha is presented with a very touching memento that reflects the gratitude of the Devdasis towards her.
‘How to beat the boys‘ is a spell binding account of Sudha’s engineering days where she was the only woman in the entire college. It is clear that she was a trailblazer and an independent thinker from her formative years.
‘Three Handfuls of Water‘ is the most vivid account of her early life, her childhood memories of her grandparents and their religious beliefs. When Sudha visits Varanasi in her adulthood, she feels as if she is fulfilling her grandparents’s wish of pilgrimage to this holy land.
‘Cattle Class‘ is a hard hitting reality of economic snobbery and way Sudha metes out justice in her own way.
‘No place like home‘ talks of expatriate women and their difficult, abuse riddled lives and highlights the freedom that we enjoy and the little liberties that we sometimes take for granted in our own country.
‘I Can’t, We Can‘, is the account of many individuals and their families who have been adversely affected by alcoholism and the way Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) helps them rebuild their lives.
‘A Day in the Infosys Foundation‘ was the account I was waiting to read, my curiousity sufficiently aroused to wonder what constitutes the day of the head honcho of the Infosys Foundation managing the Corporate Social Responsibility.
I liked the simple narration of the book. There is an honesty that shines through the telling of the stories. With an undercurrent of an emotional strength and the desire to uplift others, the writing touches the reader with its sincerity.