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


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.



Missing my father’s funeral

My father’s passing marked the beginning of a new dimension of life. Since he was ailing with Dementia for a long time, and was no longer able to sit up for long, I felt his time was coming. I returned to US from Manipur with a heavy heart wondering if it would be the last time I saw him, as he blessed me, putting his right hand on my head. He was laying in the daybed, in the living room. I held his hands with both my hands tightly before I left. That was the last time I saw my father.

After some months, I was woken up in the early morning with my brother’s shaking voice at the other end of the phone line, sharing that our father has passed away. It was agreed and decided, that they will proceed with the fire cremation funeral ritual that day itself as per the local norms and traditions in Manipur. Then, I had agreed too, but in coming times I questioned myself on “Why such a hurry?” during the sleepless nights where I couldn’t quite get closure to my father’s passing, as I didn’t see him go. The question of “Where did he go?” kept floating on for a long time.

My mother and brothers were busy with the preparation of my father’s rituals and couldn’t come on the phone. And I was feeling so helpless knowing that Baba was soon going to be cremated and I wasn’t there. I made my offering of light and burning incense stick, and hastily called my cousin brother. I requested  him to keep the phone line open, so that I can hear what is going on in the background. I sat quietly and heard the instruments and songs played as part of the rituals.

Suddenly out of nowhere, I remembered the vicious raw words from an unknown person who commented that I will not make it for my Father’s funeral in retaliation for writing the Poem “Students in Manipur”.

I was deeply pained and saddened and had written “A Funeral for my living Father” then.

A Funeral for my living Father

You mock about my ailing father,

Who is old and frail,

Who is battling with his memory,

Taking time to recall my name,

And yet greeting me with such profound expressions giving me the peace that feelings cannot be snatched even by Dementia,

Living his second childhood with his days numbered.

You curse about my living father,

Mocking about his funeral when he is alive,

Judging that I won’t make it for the funeral,

A funeral which you pitied the Leikai (community) will perform without me,

Such vicious words,

Such hateful words from someone I don’t even know.

You, hiding behind a fake name,

You have won in wounding me,

It’s true, I sleep every night with the biggest fear that I will miss his last moments,

It’s true, that I have failed to be with him at his hours of need,

It’s true, I have played out in my mind of every tiny details of how soon I can reach,

To be on time to hold his hands.

And I wish you would never have to feel the pain and helplessness of the separation and distance,

And remain blessed to be serving your Father living under the same roof,

Blessed to know for sure that you will light your Father’s funeral,

Blessed to know that you will be there holding your father’s hand as he crosses to the other world,

Blessed to be sleeping peacefully throwing words of mockery to the failed ones,

The failed ones like me.

  As the cremation is going on in Manipur and I was sitting in US, I tried to concentrate and be present with the faint sound of the rituals coming from the phone, I tried to think of Baba, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t, the words, the unknown person’s vicious raw words kept coming again and again and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. I couldn’t stop my tears and I started falling into those words, that narrative, making me feel that my writing has brought upon the situation of me missing Baba’s funeral.

And I couldn’t quite write the way I did for a long time. But now it’s time, time to write, write on what matters to the heart and soul. I am ready to celebrate Baba’s life, carry him within me, spread the love and strength he has instilled in me.

Now you know how raw vicious words can bruise one’s soul, will you think twice before you hurl it?


About 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.

092 It’s all in the mind : The Failure

The Failure

I never thought the distance would come between us,
The technologies of modern communications have failed us,
I have failed,
Failed to be there for you when you need me the most.

It was you who showed me the first sight of the sea,
Where I stood mesmerized,
By the sound of the waves,
You taught me to travel and explore.

It was you who dropped me on my first day of college,
Where I stood inspired,
By the power of the institution,
You taught me that education will give me the wings, wings to fly anywhere I want to.

You have your temper,
And I my stubbornness,
And we have walked through many differences with tears and silence,
And yet you stood by me, making me make my choices.

And today, you are old and frail,
Memory teasing you ruthlessly,
And I should be there, right next to you,
But I have failed you, Baba.

~The End~

An Experimental attempt to put thoughts in writing by Monica Ingudam.