Title: THREE THOUSAND STITCHES
Author: SUDHA MURTY
Published by: Penguin Random House India
Three Thousand Stitches is a non-fiction book by Sudha Murty, the Chairperson of the Infosys Foundation who also handles the philanthropist work of the organization. The book is a collection of stories from her experiences while working as a social worker as well as some incidents of her life that she encountered throughout her journey as the only girl in an engineering college to the women working round-the-clock for people in the society who are deprived and needs support.
The book has a total of 11 stories that cover many beautiful yet simple life experiences and events which Sudha Murty has gone through and she narrates them in a very candid and fluent manner in this book. Her writing style is very simplistic and uncomplicated that even those who run away from reading because they have to sit with a dictionary can now take on this book and don’t have to look for the meaning of words now and then.
The book begins with a story which also gives the title to the book “Three Thousand Stitches“. This is one of the beautiful chapters where you will realize how hard it is to convince people that you want to work for them and their good and same is what Sudha Murty faces when she reaches out to the Devadasis who have been the victims of the cruel and exploitative Devadasi system still prevalent in some parts of India. What does it take to convince people is what you will understand from this short story of her life.
The stories that I loved the most are:
- The first one is called “A Life Unwritten” which is a narrative from her father’s life who was a young medical doctor and posted in a village known as Chandagad at the borders of Maharashtra and Karnataka, India. The story is about how her father’s empathy towards a girl forbidden by her family due to her pregnancy before marriage changes the girl’s life altogether and how he meets her again at some later stage of his life only to see the impact his 100 rupees brought in the life of the girl and her child that he himself delivered.
- The second story that I loved is called “A Powerful Ambassador”, where she is narrating her experiences during her travel to various countries and how the Indian cinema “Bollywood” fetches her some discount on things she purchases in one country to some free food in another. The story is about how the impact and reach of Bollywood have helped the country and its people earn a name in even very distant and some not so popular tourist places in the world.
Every chapter of the book has a different story to tell and different experiences to share from how Sudha Murty manages to get into an engineering college being the only girl among 149 boys, to stories of how she discovers from one of her friend’s father who was a botanist that many of the Indian fruits and dishes that we eat aren’t actually from India but from really distant lands. The list will really shock any Indian who gets to know these facts.
There are stories of how she came across some of the women trapped in the middle east and duped in petty works such as maids and some even highly educated working as tutors are never able to return to their homes again suffering the exploitation at the hands of their recruiters for life. The book ends with a chapter that teaches the strength of unity as the name of the chapter is called “I can’t, We Can”. Also, in the last story, you will learn that “A man near his death will always tell you the bare truth”. (one of the lines that I liked in the book)
She has told many other such stories and narratives from her life and of people related to her life that will make you connect with her so well throughout your entire reading. The book is easy to finish in one go if you sit with it like a true bookworm. The plain and heart-to-heart style of writing will not bore someone who likes reading non-fiction especially people’s real-life experiences.
I would suggest even somebody who wants to start with reading as a habit can begin with this sweet and simple book to stir up reading.
I would end with quoting some lines from the book that will surely motivate some
Confidence doesn’t mean that everything will go our way. It simply gives us the ability to accept failures that we will inevitably meet on our path & move forward with hope.”
What do you feel, how the book would be? Have you read any other book of Sudha Murty that has moved you? Do share your thoughts, we would love to listen. Thank You!
NOTE: The book review is based on my personal interpretation of the book. No paid promotions & biases involved.