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.


 

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.


 

S03E33 FindingTheVoices with Mr. RK Budhimanta: Status of artists in Manipur. (Part 3)

FindingTheVoices with Mr. RK Budhimanta, Status of artists in Manipur. (Part 3)
Guest Speaker : Mr. RK Budhimanta
Language: Interview in English

Location: RKCS Art Gallery, Imphal, Manipur, India

Catch up the 1st part of his interview at FindingTheVoices with Mr. RK Budhimanta, learning about RKCS Art Gallery, Manipur.

Catch up the 2nd part of his interview at FindingTheVoices with Mr. RK Budhimanta, Art and creativity in Manipur. (Part 2)


Apart from being a painter and a sculptor, 4th generation artist of the RKCS family, RK Budhimanta also makes topiaries, creating animals and birds shaped structures from bushes and plants. His works can be seen at their garden and also along the bank of the Nambul River. The artist was also once a flora devotee, collecting varieties of flowers and winning a few prizes in flower exhibitions. Along with recreating paintings that were previously done by his father, Rajkumar Chandrajit Sana, Mr. Budhimanta also creates his own paintings to express his thoughts and send messages though the paintings. One such painting is a portrayal of skulls depicting the devastating consequences of war; another is a painting illustrating the gruesome nature of starvation in Somalia; and another is a crafty portrait of Irom Sharmila that also reveals a map of Manipur when closely examined.

Most of the paintings done by RKCS are collected and in more demand among the non-Manipuris than the people of Manipur themselves. Mr. Budhimanta says that he actually appreciates this trend and feels proud about the fact that more and more people outside of Manipur are interested in collecting and studying about the culture of Manipur. Although, he wishes that the people of Manipur would also follow this trend of collecting paintings and become a little more passionate about art. He says that there are many talented artists in Manipur but lack exposure. He wishes to bring all these artists together under one roof and establish a hub for displaying and selling their beautiful paintings for the tourists and art lovers. The artist also stresses about the difficulties they face whenever they participate in exhibitions held outside Manipur because of the lack of sponsorships from both Government and private bodies.


About FindingTheVoices:

Born and raised in the violence-torn landscape of Manipur, I have a vision to promote and spread inspiring, empowering, educative & entertaining stories. I believe that we can create contents bringing the positive side of Manipur. I believe we can do this together by finding the voices, voices which needs to be heard and shared, voices of our own people, people of Manipur and well-wishers of Manipur. I believe that these voices will bring a change and connect all of us.

I welcome you to join me in my journey to finding the voices at Http://FindingTheVoices.com/

S03E32 FindingTheVoices with Mr. RK Budhimanta: Art and creativity in Manipur (Part 2)

FindingTheVoices with Mr. RK Budhimanta, Art and creativity in Manipur. (Part 2)
Guest Speaker : Mr. RK Budhimanta
Language: Interview in English

Location: RKCS Art Gallery, Imphal, Manipur, India

Catch up the 1st part of his interview at FindingTheVoices with Mr. RK Budhimanta, learning about RKCS Art Gallery, Manipur.


RK Budhimanta, a 4th generation artist of the RKCS family and one of the most prominent artists of the state, has been carrying on the longest tradition of painting in Manipur. He has been taking the lead in showcasing and exhibiting the beautiful portrayals of history, culture and traditions of Manipur in various parts of India. Mr. Budhimanta has plans to extend their presence at the international level although he says that lately he has been fairly occupied with delivering the numerous orders they have been receiving. He says that there has been quite a demand for their paintings even by the Manipuris settled abroad. The RKCS Museum of Arts and Crafts is a place of attraction both for the locals and tourists alike. Many dignitaries of the state and nation have already visited the museum and is one of the most acclaimed tourist attractions in Manipur. The curator says that they have been able to maintain the museum because of the generous donations made by the visitors at the museum.

Besides paintings, the RKCS family also organizes other activities like painting competitions for children and has also published a few books about art and collection of literatures by the legendary artist, Rajkumar Chandrajitsana. Our guest also talks about his miniature paintings of famous personalities of the world. He started making the 1cmx1cm sized paintings in 2001 and so far he has created about 270 of such. The first miniature paintings he ever made were of Osama Bin Laden and George W. Bush!


About FindingTheVoices:

Born and raised in the violence-torn landscape of Manipur, I have a vision to promote and spread inspiring, empowering, educative & entertaining stories. I believe that we can create contents bringing the positive side of Manipur. I believe we can do this together by finding the voices, voices which needs to be heard and shared, voices of our own people, people of Manipur and well-wishers of Manipur. I believe that these voices will bring a change and connect all of us.

I welcome you to join me in my journey to finding the voices at Http://FindingTheVoices.com/

S03E08 FindingTheVoices with Mr. Kishalay Bhattacharjee, Senior Journalist and Author sharing about Manipur.

S03E08 FindingTheVoices with Mr. Kishalay Bhattacharjee, Senior Journalist, Author and founder-director of Reachout Foundation sharing about Manipur.
Guest Speaker : Mr. Kishalay Bhattacharjee author of “Che in Paona Bazaar” and “Blood on My Hands: Confessions of Staged Encounters”
Language: Interview in English

Location: Delhi, India

We are joined by Senior Journalist and Author, Mr. Kishalay Bhattacharjee, who is the founder-director of Reachout Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan foundation whose main goal is to work on issues around stereotype and discrimination by empowering entry-level journalists. Mr. Kishalay has been with broadcast television for more than twenty two years, seventeen of which he spent at New Delhi Television (NDTV) where he was a Resident Editor covering conflict in India’s North-East as well as in the Maoist corridor. He is a recipient of the Ramnath Goenka Award (2006-07) which he was awarded for his coverage of internally displaced people, a Panos Fellow for HIV/AIDS (2007) and an Edward Murrow Fellow in Journalism (2006). As a film maker, Mr. Bhattacharjee has made several documentaries one of which, “Santi, Lucy and Thoibi” was screened at international festivals in Goa and Barcelona.

Mr. Kishalay Bhattacharjee mentions a few things he loves about Manipur. He is fascinated by the mixture of different cultures, particularly the traditional entities that have a touch of modernism. We discuss in brief about his two books – “Che in Paona Bazaar” and “Blood on My Hands: Confessions of Staged Encounters”. In this interview, Mr. Kishalay Bhattacharjee reveals a horrifying underground activity which is apparently still in practice. His second book contains confessions from army officers and it is sure to shock you if you don’t already know! Why it has not been circulated by the media at large or why it has not become a controversial issue is unknown and rather very surprising. You be the judge!


About FindingTheVoices:

Born and raised in the violence-torn landscape of Manipur, I have a vision to promote and spread inspiring, empowering, educative & entertaining stories. I believe that we can create contents bringing the positive side of Manipur. I believe we can do this together by finding the voices, voices which needs to be heard and shared, voices of our own people, people of Manipur and well-wishers of Manipur. I believe that these voices will bring a change and connect all of us.

I welcome you to join me in my journey to finding the voices at Http://FindingTheVoices.com/

S03E07 FindingTheVoices with Mr. Khaute Ginlal Chung Vaiphei: Unity and progress in Manipur.

S03E07 FindingTheVoices with Mr. Khaute Ginlal Chung Vaiphei, sharing about his vision of unity and progress in Manipur.
Guest Speaker : Mr. Khaute Ginlal Chung Vaiphei
Language: Interview in English

Location: Delhi, India


Here’s the second part of Mr. Khaute Ginlal Chung Vaiphei’s interview. The Executive Officer in the Lok Sabha Secretariat continues telling us about his life experience from his college days and the struggles he and his family faced back in those days in the Churachandpur. We find out how Mr. Chung worked hard and what motivated him to face whatever trouble came his way and became the person he is today from the small beginnings. It is very important to have something in life that drives us and motivates us and make us keep going without giving up, something that gives us the strength and enables us to do the impossible in times of difficulties. Mr. Chung was kind enough to share and illustrate a drawing that he pasted on the wall in his room. This drawing and the Bible verse became his source of strength and it helped him get back on track and pass his college exams successfully when he was feeling very down and low.
In this episode, Mr. Chung also tells us a few stories about his early days in the village. He says that even though they were financially very poor, they were emotionally very strong as a family. He also remembers that it was his father who taught him how to dream. We learn from Mr. Chung’s story that even though we come from small beginnings, we are able to achieve and fulfill our dreams if we work hard and never give up. He ends the interview sharing his vision on unity and progress in Manipur.

About FindingTheVoices:

Born and raised in the violence-torn landscape of Manipur, I have a vision to promote and spread inspiring, empowering, educative & entertaining stories. I believe that we can create contents bringing the positive side of Manipur. I believe we can do this together by finding the voices, voices which needs to be heard and shared, voices of our own people, people of Manipur and well-wishers of Manipur. I believe that these voices will bring a change and connect all of us.

I welcome you to join me in my journey to finding the voices at Http://FindingTheVoices.com/

S03E06 FindingTheVoices with Mr. Khaute Ginlal Chung Vaiphei: Growing up at Churachandpur, Manipur.

S03E06 FindingTheVoices with Mr. Khaute Ginlal Chung Vaiphei, growing up at Churachandpur, Manipur.
Guest Speaker : Mr. Khaute Ginlal Chung Vaiphei
Language: Interview in English

Location: Delhi, India


Mr. Khaute Ginlal Chung Vaiphei, currently working as Executive Officer in the Lok Sabha Secretariat, has got an inspirational story to tell us. Born and brought up in Churachandpur, one of the most impoverished districts of India, Mr. Chung Vaiphei has come a long way from humble beginnings to
become the successful man that he is today. He worked very hard and persevered through thick and thin to create a legacy of his own. Mr. Chung Vaiphei has his parents to thank to for giving him one of the most important things in his life–Education. Although his father was deprived of education because of family traditions, Mr. Chung’s parents made sure their children got the best possible education they could provide in the remote village. In this episode, we go down the memory lane with Mr. Chung narrating about his early days in the village and telling us how his father paved the way for a brighter more fruitful life for the family. He also shares about his college days and the hardships he faced during the time–how he had given up his ambitions but got back up in life by carrying on with inner strength and by God’s grace. Tune in to listen to the story of how Mr. Chung cleared all the hurdles in life and finally got the job in Delhi. This is the first part of his interview.

About FindingTheVoices:

Born and raised in the violence-torn landscape of Manipur, I have a vision to promote and spread inspiring, empowering, educative & entertaining stories. I believe that we can create contents bringing the positive side of Manipur. I believe we can do this together by finding the voices, voices which needs to be heard and shared, voices of our own people, people of Manipur and well-wishers of Manipur. I believe that these voices will bring a change and connect all of us.

I welcome you to join me in my journey to finding the voices at Http://FindingTheVoices.com/

S03E05 FindingTheVoices with Mr. RK Budhimanta: About RKCS Art Gallery, Manipur (Part 1)

FindingTheVoices with Mr. RK Budhimanta, learning about RKCS Art Gallery, Manipur. (Part 1)
Guest Speaker : Mr. RK Budhimanta
Language: Interview in English

Location: RKCS Art Gallery, Imphal, Manipur, India


Established in 1947, the RKCS Art Gallery showcases the beautiful, captivating
and imaginative artworks done by the legendary artist of Manipur, Rajkumar Chandrajitsana Singh. The chain of paintings inside the art studio captures the remarkable genius of the artist himself and each one of his paintings instill
curiosity in our minds and make us wonder what could be the story behind
the portrait. Today, the legacy of the artist is proudly and proficiently carried on by his son, Mr. RK Budhimanta, who is one of the most eminent artists of Manipur.
Mr. RK Budhimanta, the 4th generation artist of the RKCS family, shares stories about the magnificent artist that his father was. From theatre backdrops to movie posters, mythological illustrations to historical accounts, we get to know a lot more in details about the early days of the legendary artist. Mr. RK Budhimanta also shares with us the incident that inspired RKCS to take up the project of depicting the history of Manipur in paintings–the same project that took 10 years of hard work and dedication including vast and in-depth research with the scholars of Manipur.
Apart from these skills, RKCS was also an acrobat and a good wrestler and has even acted in one of the dramas during his early days.

About FindingTheVoices:

Born and raised in the violence-torn landscape of Manipur, I have a vision to promote and spread inspiring, empowering, educative & entertaining stories. I believe that we can create contents bringing the positive side of Manipur. I believe we can do this together by finding the voices, voices which needs to be heard and shared, voices of our own people, people of Manipur and well-wishers of Manipur. I believe that these voices will bring a change and connect all of us.

I welcome you to join me in my journey to finding the voices at Http://FindingTheVoices.com/