Three Thousand Stiches, Ordinary people, Extraordinary lives by Sudha Murty #BookReview #AmReading #FindingTheVoices

THREE THOUSAND STITCHES BY SUDHA MURTY

A book review by Monica Ingudam


Book Title: Three Thousand Stiches, Ordinary people, Extraordinary lives

Author: Sudha Murty

Publication: Penguin Random House India, 2017, 179 pages.


 

This book is by Sudha Murty, chairperson of the Infosys Foundation. I got to know about this book from Tuleshwori Sapam when she nominated Sudha Murthy at the global level as part of the 1001Thagatchari, gratitude project of FindingTheVoices. Tuleshwori spoke with such passion and inspiration about Sudha Murty that I was inspired to read the book. I ordered the book from amazon and completed reading the book in two evenings.

To me this book is about inspiration, journey of woman’s growth in India and the will of giving back to the community which ties human connections. Amongst many other things here are three things I love about this book:

·        I am so inspired about her Father’s story. His support for her choice of education to pursue engineering, chiming in with a different strategy in her outreach to the devadasi (female sex worker) community when she was ready to give up and his kindness to the young mother empowering her with the alternative choice she can take. It is because of Father’s like him that woman in India are progressing. My deepest respect and salute to him.

·        It is pivotal to share the experience of being the only female engineering student and reading her experience gave me the reflection of the long way women has grown in the society with time and still more to grow.

·        It is such an inspiration to see the strength in elevating lives with her belief and calling. Sudha Murthy has touched and changed many women’s lives through her initiatives of giving an alternative way of life. Reading this book will leave you with the inspiration and will of giving back to the community.

There are many other books she had written with compelling title and I want to read all of them. Her style and content of writing inspires me to write about the stories and people of Manipur, my birthplace. A must read book.  You will surely feel the life of a strong woman in India. You can get the book from amazon.


img_7268Book reviews by Monica Ingudam

Born in Manipur (India), based in Maryland (USA) patent holder for identifying Caller ID, with Computer Science Engineering background, you will find Monica Ingudam crunching numbers and data as an Analyst.  During the weekends you will find her hosting FindingTheVoices talk-show featuring authors, artists and people who inspire, empower, educate and entertain with the vision to connect and spread positivity. You will find her reading, writing and painting in her quiet time.


 

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The Letter by Jamuna Devi Advani #BookReview #AmReading #FindingTheVoices

The Letter by Jamuna Devi Advani

A book review by Monica Ingudam


Book Title: The Letter

Author: Jamuna Devi Advani

Publication: India, Partridge India, 2014, 197 pages.


This book is a memoir by Jamuna Advani, born in Manipur and presently at San Ramon, California. This book captures her memories of her 1940's childhood days in Jiribam, a remote place in the state of Manipur in North East India and her life in America.

Jamuna Devi Advani, Author of “The Letter”

I had interviewed Mrs. Jamuna Advani during Season 1 of FindingTheVoices way back in 2013 where we spoke about her poetry book “Land of The Dancing Deer”. Her poems depicted a beautiful family history and reflections about her memories, beliefs and stories of her life’s journey. Her writing is an inspiration to me and I remain grateful to her. Her poems heightened my creativity, improved my consciousness to observe and listen to nature more closely.

I started reading this book “The Letter” in a flight back in 2014 during a trip to India. I was very excited to receive a copy from the author herself. Last weekend I was beginning to miss reading so much, I had to read and was browsing through my piles. I picked “The Letter” yet again.

Reading the initial chapters kept me totally engrossed going through the details of a child’s thought when her father brings home a second wife, a grandmother’s belief in rituals to drive away the other woman and a voiceless accepting wife. It dawned to me that I am reading a memoir and it’s a glimpse of the reality of life in Manipur, the reality which many will not talk about. As I read through the pages, I was very intriqued with the stories touching different human relationships.

She has touched upon many aspects of life and articulated her dreams, fears, insecurities, love, courage, adventure and human relationships. And in her narration, she wrote very well about sensitive topics in a delicate manner and yet portraying her heartfelt feelings. I love the narration style of the book giving me a feeling of time travel, way back to the nineteen forties, with a mix of letters, poems, historical events and photographs. I love the details and in depth description in the book (E.g. Elders using Hookah/”Hidakphu”, the art of making tea, walking barefoot, ways of courting, traveling by foot, boat, bus etc.) giving an opportunity to understand a different time and ways of life. And truly, I felt the book as a gift to learn about origin, ancestors and learn a bit about the ways of life within the Meitei community.

I wish the size and resolution of the photographs in the book are higher and the recent photograph are in colors. My fascination on the stories left me wanting for more photographs of the earlier times at Jiribam. I wanted to know more about “mother” and her silent feelings.

To me, this book is about the strength, courage and growth of a woman keeping up with the fast changing time and place experiencing life’s journey from the east to the west. It’s about coming in terms with past events of life, accepting the people the way they are. It’s about healing and letting go of resentments accumulated. It’s about questioning the unspoken accepted norms set for woman in Manipur. It’s about rising through education and openness to adapt and change with the pace of time and place.

I would definitely recommend you to read this book. You will get a glimpse of the life of women in Manipur, the unspoken and accepted polygamy system, caste/hierarchical system which comes out strongly during matchmaking, the choice and length people go for a male heir within the “Meitei” community that might change your perception of woman’s status in Manipur. And you will surely feel the high spirit and strength of a woman following her heart. You can get the book from Amazon.


 

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Book reviews by Monica Ingudam

Born in Manipur (India), based in Maryland (USA) patent holder for identifying Caller ID, with Computer Science Engineering background, you will find Monica Ingudam crunching numbers and data as an Analyst.  During the weekends you will find her hosting FindingTheVoices talk-show featuring authors, artists and people who inspire, empower, educate and entertain with the vision to connect and spread positivity. You will find her reading, writing and painting in her quiet time.


 

My Journey by Dr. Ngangbam Shantikumar Meetei #BookReview #AmReading #FindingTheVoices

My Journey by Dr. Ngangbam Shantikumar Meetei

A book review by Monica Ingudam


Book Title: My Journey

Author: Dr. Ngangbam Shantikumar Meetei

Publisher: International Meeteis Forum, Yaiskul, Moirangthem, Imphal West, Manipur 795001


 

My Journey is the autobiography of Dr. Ngangbam Shantikumar Meetei, Mr World 2013 in bodybuilding INBA, born in Manipur and presently teaching as an English Professor at Taiwan. This book captures his journey of his life starting from Manipur to Delhi and his migration to Taiwan.

Dr. Ngangbam Shantikumar Meetei, author of the book “My Journey”

Mr.Ngangbam Shantikumar Meetei had mentioned about his book when I took his interview during Season 1 of FindingTheVoices and I really wanted to read it. I contacted International Meeteis Forum to get a copy of this book during one of my previous trip in Imphal, Manipur. And to my surprise, I received a complimentary copy from Mr. A. Anilkumar, advisor of IMF and I bought another copy.

This book was lying in my ever increasing “To Read” pile and finally last week I picked it up. I started reading it and I just couldn’t stop turning the pages.

Reading the first 3 chapters which covers his childhood and growing up, I felt such love and remembrance for his mother. He wrote in simple English with a good story telling flow and I could feel the little boy’s voice as the book progressed. So much hunger and poverty for a young little boy filled with dreams bringing tears as I read. No one should be as hungry as he had experienced.

He has touched upon many aspects of life and articulated his dreams, love, adventure, poverty, education, family relations and racism very well. And in his narration, I could feel the honesty where he balanced and mentioned both his low and high points of his journey. I love the photographs added in the book that aided the narration very well. It’s interesting to read the chapter covering about meeting his wife and his thoughts on love at first sight versus learning to love. He shared his comparison of infrastructure and system of Manipur and Taiwan. He shared about the intense support system amongst family members, and also shared about the complexities, fall out and family dynamics of relationship amongst family members after marriage.

The book could use some editing in correcting some of the spelling mistakes. I don’t think it’s fair to generalize as a culture that wives in Manipur control the money matters of the family (page 97). Also I differ to agree on his opinion on classifying individuals opting trends of same-sex, no marriage, no children to be individuals who don’t care much about society or the future (page 288).

To me, this book is about love and attachment to your mother and motherland, chasing your dream, being adventurous, having an open mind to face life and never giving up. This book is also about hard work, struggles, pains, frustrations, disappointments before tasting success and winning.

I would definitely recommend you to read this book to both Manipuri and Non Manipuri readers.

Non Manipuri readers will get a glimpse on the background, adjustments and homesickness the students and people coming out of Manipur go through, staying in other parts of India, their fears and insecurity giving you a different perspective on how some of the words and incidents however trivial it may sound gets into the psyche of a person.

 


 

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Book reviews by Monica Ingudam

Born in Manipur (India), based in Maryland (USA) patent holder for identifying Caller ID, with Computer Science Engineering background, you will find Monica Ingudam crunching numbers and data as an Analyst.  During the weekends you will find her hosting FindingTheVoices talk-show featuring authors, artists and people who inspire, empower, educate and entertain with the vision to connect and spread positivity. You will find her reading, writing and painting in her quiet time.