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Three Thousand stitches.

Three Thousand stitches is written by Sudha Murthy. She is the founder of Infosys foundation and wife of Narayan a Murthy. Narayana Murthy is founder of the IT giant Infosys. Her others books are Wise and unwise, The old man and his God, The day I stopped drinking milk, Something happened on the way to heaven. Her books are usually a collection of true stories that are relatable to everyone. The audience reading this book not only find the book relatable, but they give out strong message. These are real life stories that are encountered by the author in due course of her work and also with people around her and how they have influenced her. She finds a sense of joy and happiness in sharing them with the people and also make a impact on them.

Infosys foundation was set in the year 1996 with less knowledge of how an NGO works. There were lot of issues in India such education, malnutrition, rural development and many more to go on. But there was one issue which caught the attention of sudha was the tradition of devadasi. Traditionally, devadasi where dancers and musicians who dedicated themselves to the service of God. They could be both men and women and held a high status in society next to priest in those days. Kings donated huge amount money to temples. But as Britishers and others invaded our country, the temples were destroyed and kings lost their power. Slowly the Devadasi’s lost their only support, eventually becoming sex workers. In order to help first she went to a small village in Belguam district for few times to get am idea of the struggles they go through. But couldn’t get much, then she took help of her father she visited again. His father spoke them that Sudha was a teacher and was there to help them through scholarships for their children. This will help children get education and not to become as Devadasi. Devadasi’s got convinced and Sudha gave them the support and got them scholarship for their education. On achieving she was in their good books. She went ahead and gave every other help. She talked to AIDS and gave help to pursue other jobs and leave the profession of Devadasi. They came to her saying they wanted to start a bank and help  their community. Sudha and her colleague Abhay after giving some basic knowledge on banking helped them setting a bank. People who worked there were mostly Devadasi’s. After three years of establishing, the bank earned about 85 lakhs. They even conducted a program to honor her for the support she gave. She has helped 3000 children of the Devadasi pursue a better education and they are in a better position. The task was not easy for her. She recorded threats from various people but it was her will and conviction to do better for them and the society made her go ahead

Sudha Murthy was invited to US to address a mixed audience of both students and successful people. Since she prefers to have a interactive session she opened to Q&A session. One kind person asked her what made her  a confident person that she is today. After her 12th or PUC, she wanted to pursue engineering. In those days, it was not common for a girl to do it and people were against her doing it. She still went ahead to pursue it though she was the only girl in her college.She did it in BVB Bangalore. Being around boys for years and prone constant teasing and handling things on her gave her that confidence. Also the due support from her father especially

Handful of water can change many thought process and ideals. It did for our author. Sudha spent some time of her childhood with her grandparents one after School she went with her grandma for lunch and to attend Kashi Samaradhana. It was then she came to know the belief people has about Kashi and ritual people follow when they go there. Also it was considered good luck if person successfully completed the trip to Kashi and came back. It was difficult those days. It was also a dream for grandma to visit Kashi. But she died in vain and with  regret that she didn’t visit Kashi. But Sudha started reading Buddhism books and was inspired to visit Kashi. She took the trip to Kashi, after visiting all temples and her friend there she thought of took dip in Ganga river. It was then she was reminded of her grandparents had her about Kashi. She was told after taking bath in Ganga river thrice, they should give the thing up something they loved the most. She gave up shopping for dresses and other desiring stuff that we buy. This vow was the gateway for her freedom.

On occasion she visited her friend home Rekha for lunch. It was the day there was shaven in Rekha’s home hence food was bland. Usually on shaven we cook food from thing that traditionally grown in our country. Rekha father’s was botanists and they had a small garden. It was through him, that Sudha gained  huge knowledge of various plants that we considered consuming were Indian, but actually were not. Red and green chili were from Europe. Tomato’s are Mexico native. But we use them in day to day cooking and indispensable. Black pepper is of Indian origin. Today we have forgotten about the spices and vegetables of Indian origin and have taken stuff of foreign as our’s.

Once Dr. R. H. KULKARNI father of sudha Murthy was post rural clinic, a place in border of Karnataka and Maharashtra. Not many use to visit the clinic as they believed in home medication But one night he was called by few people and was taken in cart to middle of farm. He saw pregnant girl in labor and helped her despite her asking not to. She was a 16 year old. After the labor, he gave the fee he received and helped become a nurse. Later through her daughter he came he to know about and she had actually become a nurse. Few encouraging words helped a person to come what she is today.

Sudha wanted to build a proper office for foundation in bangalore. But real estate in bangalore was very costly. With little saving in interest from fixed deposit, she was able to buy a land with a old building in it. She shifted there for time being as she couldn’t rebuild the building. Meaning she went for talk in one of the gulf countries there she meet two women who gave shelter to maids who brought through agent and later mistreated by the employer and send them back home. But we’re finding difficult to find funding. When sudha Murthy went there and heard their stories they was moved. She offered to help even if her dream of building her own office will be delayed. After 15 years after this,she shifted to new office and name it as Neralu.

One day Shiba, one of her dearest friends from Belgium says called her to invite for her her grandson first birthday. But schedule of person who is the backbone of running a huge NGO such Infosys foundation is very tight and always have some things keeps popping up. Loads of mails, meetings to attend, call to answer and attend various events. Keeping all this in mind she had say no. But her friend kept persuading to attend, so sudha asked her to coming to office and see how her work schedule is. When shoba did, she observed that she didn’t have time to eat or talk properly even to her family properly. Also whole weight of foundation was on her. At end of day when shoba question her why take so much effort, the answer was just that following passion is sometimes also important.

Last stories covers an important issue is alcoholic addiction. On one occasion where she attended a relative wedding, she met her cousins. One of her cousin’s asked her give advice to her daughter about which path to pursue as she had job in hand as well PG admission also. When the daughter visited she came know that the girls father was alcoholic and recovered with help of group alcoholic anonymous. She did further research and spoke to people and as well as her stories of those who recovered through AA. She attended a session of AA to get to know these stories after hearing all of then she realized hope live and go ahead in life matters more than money

After reading these I learnt devadasi and who they were. I never knew their history. Also got good insight about cultural aspects of Kasi. It is important to pursue a passion and more importantly we create impact. Hope is one the helps us to move on in life. It’s ok to take break to sort ourselves and find what we want. The attitude that you have is enough to make a difference not how you dress and there is no need to show off that you are rich.

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3 thoughts on “Three Thousand stitches.”

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