Author and philanthropist Sudha Murty said while her husband NR Narayana Murthy’s company Infosys helped her expand her ”canvas”, her writing career was solely her own.
Murty, who is chairperson of the non-profit Infosys Foundation, on Friday said she would not have been able to do philanthropy had it not been for the wealth of her husband, whom she calls ‘Murthy’.
A prolific writer in English and Kannada, Murty has penned novels, technical books, travelogues, collections of short stories and non-fiction pieces, and eight bestselling books for children, including ”How I Taught My Grandmother to Read and Other Stories”, ”The Gopi Diaries” and ”How the Onion Got its Layers”.
”My writing is independent of Murthy. It is within me and what I write has nothing to do with Infosys. Infosys gave me a lot of help to do my philanthropy. Without Infosys and Murthy’s money, I would not have done philanthropy. But writing is entirely mine.
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”My canvas became large because of the foundation. I would meet politicians, film stars, poorest of the poor people, etc. They all are entirely different but they are connected in some way,” the Padma Shri recipient said during a session titled ‘My Books and Beliefs’ on the second day of the Jaipur Literature Festival here.
The 71-year-old author and educator, who once told her husband he misspells his surname, also thanked him for his support over the years.
”Thank you, Narayana Murthy,” she said.
”When I married him, he was unemployed. I made a good decision. I’m a better decision maker. I’m not good at economics but I’m the best investor in the world. I gave Rs 10,000 and look at that today!” she quipped.
Murty, the first female engineer to be hired at TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company (TELCO), said it is possible for women to have it all.
”It is possible to do (it all for women) but sometimes I feel that the magic of storytelling has put me in this position… Being a teacher I know how to hold a class of 45 minutes,” she added.
She also thanked her ”guru” and daughter Akshata Murty, a fashion designer and venture capitalist, for ”waking” her up and helping her realise her potential.
Asked how it felt that her son-in-law Rishi Sunak is the current UK Prime Minister, Murty said she is happy but for her relationships preceded positions of power.
”Any mother-in-law will be happy that her son-in-law is a PM. But nothing more than that. He is in his country serving his people and I am in my country serving mine.
”Positions come and positions go but relationships should remain the same. For me, he will always be my son-in-law. I always wish him the best in whatever he does; I don’t interfere in their politics or 10, Downing Street,” she said.
The author said she hasn’t visited Sunak since he became the UK Prime Minister in October.
”He is very busy and so am I,” she quipped.