1. One of India’s richest woman, Infosys Foundation chairman Sudha Murthy tells the tale of less old friends and no new saree

One of India’s richest woman, Infosys Foundation chairman Sudha Murthy tells the tale of less old friends and no new saree

It is only natural for the rich to take pride in the designer wears they don and flaunt. But not Sudha Murthy!

By: | New Delhi | Updated: July 30, 2017 2:58 PM
Sudha Murthy, Sudha Murthy writer, Infosys Foundation  chairman, Narayana Murthy, Narayana Murthy net worth, Narayana Murthy wife However, for Sudha, the wealth and fame came at the cost of a few dear friendships. (Image Source: PTI)

It is only natural for the rich to take pride in the designer wears they don and flaunt. But not Sudha Murthy! One of India’s richest women, the chairman of the Infosys Foundation decided to give up on shopping instead. The last saree she bought was 21 years ago, before she went to Kashi. What led to this change? “I was in Kashi to take the holy dip, and when you go to Kashi you have to give up something that you enjoy the most. I gave up shopping, particularly sarees, from thereon. I now only buy the essential items,” Murthy told PTI. “I have to say I feel very happy and free,” she added. But, one thing that Murthy and her industrialist husband Narayan Murthy continue to splurge on is — books.

The couple loves reading, and their massive collection of over 20,000 books neatly arranged in two libraries, stands testimony to it. But, the philanthropist confesses to detesting the idea of lending her books to anyone, even her husband who she thinks can easily afford to buy them. “I tell my husband, ‘how could writers survive if everybody started borrowing their books?’ We, the authors, want people to buy books. “That is the only way we can earn — from our royality,” she quipped. Murthy, who recently came out with a new book, “Three Thousand Stitches”, has established over 60,000 libraries in Karnataka alone through the Infosys Foundation.

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Not many know that when the idea of Infosys germinated in 1981, it was Sudha who initially funded the company with her savings of Rs 10,000. She gave her husband three years to fulfill his dream. “At the time, I told him to bring bread on the table in those three years. And if he could buy a two-wheeler and a two-bed room house, that would be the ultimate for me,” she said. And rest is history. According to Forbes, Narayana Murthy’s net worth at present amounts to USD 1.92 billion. However, for Sudha, the wealth and fame came at the cost of a few dear friendships. “I lost many friendships because of my wealth. When my friends met me, they had an agenda in mind. Just because I had money, they expected one thing or the other from me, which they didn’t before.

“So yes I have lost some good friends, and this is what hurts me the most,” she added. On the flip side, she also admits that the same money lets her do all the social work…be it building 2,300 houses in flood affected areas or helping earthquake victims in Gujarat. “We come from a background that has a solid value system. That’s the reason earning lot of money never got to our heads. But, yes it definitely provided us with the opportunity to help people in different ways,” she said.

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    Ann
    Aug 16, 2017 at 4:54 pm
    In my opinion, I don't think she meant it that way. It's just that she choose to keep those who are genuine to her instead. Referring to her words "When my friends met me, they had an agenda in mind. Just because I had money, they expected one thing or the other from me, which they didn’t before" With her status and wealth it's hard to say who are truly genuine to her. Sometimes people tend to take advantage when you're rich and famous. If I were her, I would want friends who are genuinely wanted to be friends with me because OF ME and not those we often refer as FRIENDS WITH BENEFIT (When you have something, i'm your friend. When you have nothing, you're not my friend) kind of thing. It's a hard choice but one just got to choose. Friendship is valuable and I believe she knows more of that value throughout her journey of life starting from nothing to being successful
    Reply
    1. S
      sreedhar
      Aug 2, 2017 at 12:58 pm
      Great to remain humble even after achieving huge success in life. It is baffling to note that while Mrs.Sudha works for flood earthquake victims chooses to leave all her "dear friends" as they expect something or the other from her. Isn't it her duty to first attend to the needs of her "dear friends" before reaching out to all those unfortunate ones whom she does not know personally ? This is the typical case with most neo rich, who discard the social class they come from to show that they have risen above it.
      Reply
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        Ann
        Aug 16, 2017 at 4:38 pm
        In my opinion she doesn't mean it that way. Referring to her words "When my friends met me, they had an agenda in mind. Just because I had money, they expected one thing or the other from me, which they didn’t before". Sometimes people tend to take advantage of her due to her status and wealth. I don't think she abandons all her friends in need, just that she choose to keep the genuine ones instead. If i were her, I would want those who are genuinely friends with me because of me, who will be with me during my high and low not those who we often refer as FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS (When you have something, i'm your friend. When you have nothing, i'm not your friend) kind of thing.
        Reply

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