If you think that only the youth of today is motivated to shatter stereotypes, then know that Sudha Murthy, with her simplicity, has done it ages ago!
Sudha Murthy, a double gold medalist in BE in Electrical Engineering and ME in Computer Science, in a conversation with Twinkle Khanna shared how it was ingrained in her value system since a young age that education must be respected.
Coming from a family of achievers, she considers books to be a treasure, and she considers them to be the most important gifts she’s ever received. She, like her siblings, adores books, and her library is an inseparable part of her personality.
Let’s face it, being a girl in a boys-dominated engineering class isn’t easy and this was years ago! Murthy described how her male classmates first thought having a lady in class was strange, like having a different species at the zoo. Nobody talked to her or shared notes with her.
That’s when she realised that if she wants to succeed in life, she can’t rely on anybody else except herself.
You are the best friend to yourself and you’re the worst enemy of yourself too.
Despite receiving anonymous notes saying, “Oh you’re wasting your time. You should either marry or seek a BA in English or Kannada”, since she proved to the world that a girl can not only pursue but also excel in engineering.
Murthy remembers being called out for not pursuing a career as a doctor and instead tying knots with a man who didn’t have a job (who now is one of the richest men) and spending her funds on him. She simply answered that she did what she thought was lawful and ethical. She also hilariously mentions that he still owes her Rs. 4,000!
She didn’t have too many opinions on what decision her husband had to make but she would definitely advice him as a friend and a wife. In the end, it’s the decision of an individual and that’s how a marriage between equals thrive.
Behind every successful woman, there is an ‘understanding’ man.
“Amma, I love your courage,” her son Rohan often tells her. She describes how the ups and downs were a part of her life while building a company (Infosys) with almost no money. Whatsoever, she never let her husband worry and was always prepared for the worst. Initially, she sold her jewellery and built a two-bedroom hall. She is still satisfied with the same.
She does not enjoy being a part of extravagant gatherings. The couple reads as soon as they get home. They do, however, like travelling. Life is simple for them, and they don’t pretend to have what they don’t. It’s the way of life she’s chosen.
Since we came with no money, money has never enchanted me, fame has never enchanted me. What has enchanted me is my passion and my love for my work.
She mentioned that raising their children and urging them to live a simple life was difficult since the press would report on their wealth on a regular basis. Telling children to care for and worry about others, as well as helping them, is part of living a simple life.
She reminded her children that their father founded Infosys with a bright idea and passion, but that luck, in the form of blessings from the elders, also played a part. So they’ll have to run their marathon under a different set of circumstances, but first they’ll have to learn how to be a good human being and they have a responsibility towards have-nots.
End of your life, you turn back and see what are your achievements. None of them are important except how useful you were to others, to the society, to your family. That matters more than I have hundred kgs of gold or so much of money. That’s my personal way of thinking which might again be impractical.
During her chat, she also offered some advice to the writers, particularly those with children. She explained that she decided to write first thing in the morning since it is a quiet period. She wouldn’t write every day; she’d only write when she had fully formed thoughts. She could complete a book in 20 days, whereas only House of Cards took 45 days. What a legend!