Sudha Murty is a teacher, social worker and author in India and the head of the Infosys Foundation. Perhaps she is better known as the wife of Infosys chief Narayana Murty.
Wise and Otherwise is a collection of short anecdotes from her years of experience doing social work among the less fortunate in India.
The writing is jarring at first, with a great deal of negativity exposed in her stories. It’s certainly not all smiles and roses; there are narratives of people’s dishonesty, cruelty, and callousness to society and family alike. Halfway through the book she explains why she writes so much about what’s wrong with our society — that in order to fix it, we have to acknowledge it and be aware of it. Okay, I can agree with that. There are also many uplifting stories of service, inspiration, and celebration.
It was only after reading this book that I realized how much she has worked at the grassroots level, among the poor and ailing of rural South India. Just for that reason it’s a must-read. Her stories sound genuine and warm. There is much in the author’s character that shows through the pages of the book. Do read it when you get a chance.