How tough is writing books for children? Author Sudha Murthy tells a story

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New Delhi:

With much-loved books like “The Serpent’s Revenge”, “How I taught My Grandmother to Read” and “Dollar Bahu” to her credit, it would perhaps be safe to assume that writing for children comes naturally to Sudha Murthy.

But, the writer, who has successfully worked her mojo every time she decided to pen a children’s book, has a different story to tell.

“Writing for children is the toughest thing,” the best-selling children’s writer told PTI.

For the “mature writer” that Murthy considers herself to have become with time, scaling down to a child’s level of understanding to create a perpetually hunky-dory world, has always felt like a task. 

“One has to become the child of that age to write for them.

“For a child everything is wonderful, be it going to a fair or visting a temple with parents. This happiness and enthusiasm needs to reflect in my writing,” she said.

The 67-year-old writer recently came out with a new non-fiction book, “Here, There and Everywhere”.

The book, Murthy’s 200th title across genres and languages, is a celebration of her literary journey.

It brings together her best-loved stories from various collections alongside some new ones.

For Murthy, who is also the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation, it is the sheer joy of writing that keeps her going, but she insists that she never forces herself creatively.

“When I don’t have any story in my mind, I am busy doing foundation work,” she said.

But, when it comes to penning her own experiences, Murthy said it was almost as if they write themselves.

“My encounters at the foundation are the easiest to write,” she said.

Besides being a prolific writer, Murthy is also an avid reader, and her library housing over 15,000 books stands testimony to it.

The bi-lingual writer has a particular liking for non-fiction and recently finished reading Manu S Pillai’s “Ivory Throne: Chronicles of the House of Travancore” and Reza Aslan’s “Zealot: The life and times of Jesus of Nazareth”.

Murthy thanks her husband and the co-founder of Infosys, Narayan Murthy for augmenting her inclination towards reading.

“Since the day we met, he has been gifting me books and continues to do so even today. There is always a brief message on the first page of each gift: ‘To You, From Me’,” she writes in her book.

The latest addition to her kitty was politician and author Shashi Tharoor’s “Why I am a Hindu”—yes, it was a gift from Mr. Murthy too!

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