Sunday, June 23
Sudha Murty exclusive interview I accept healthy criticism Web

Sudha Murty exclusive interview: ‘I accept healthy criticism’ | Web Series

Bookworm or not, Sudha Amma needs no introduction for young or old. She has brought her timeless stories to life with her newly launched animated series, Story Time with Sudha Amma. At the launch of the show, Sudha Murty sat down for an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times and talked about the collaboration with her daughter-in-law Aparna Krishnan who backed her new vision.

Sudha Murty at the launch of Story Time with Sudha Amma in Mumbai.(ht)
Sudha Murty at the launch of Story Time with Sudha Amma in Mumbai.(ht)

Story Time with Sudha Amma brings the best of Mrs Murty’s works from Grandma’s Bag of Stories, Grandparents’ Bag of Stories and The Magic Drum among other hits. It’s now streaming on YouTube under their newly launched channel, Murty Media. Murty clarified her contributions, “The content is mine but it’s Aparna’s baby.”

Aparna Krishnan came forward and explained her thoughts on the project. She said, “The inspiration came from the readers. From book clubs to book launches, everywhere we went people would say ‘Where can we see more of Mrs Murty’s content?’ We realised the demand. This was the best way to reach every child in town, city and village of India. With a visual media platform like YouTube, we have tried to convert her best stories into an animated series for everyone to watch and enjoy.”

Sudha Murty’s works changing with time

In today’s world, one often complains about kids being engrossed in mobile phones and tablets. In fact, shows like Cocomelon leave people divided about its effect on kids. Is Story Time with Sudha Amma a result of keeping up with the changing times? Aparna opined how different is the show.

“The truth is children these days are engrossed in visual content and this is the reality, perhaps difficult for us to escape from. When this is the reality, the question is– can we make a safe space where the information that they watch is not only engaging but also educational in some way? Mrs Murty’s stories neatly tick those boxes. They are very engaging and palatable even to adults. At the same time, they leave you with a nice message. Parents don’t have to worry about what are their kids watching. If anything they are learning something good. From that perspective, yes, we are keeping up with the changing times. Our stories are timeless and universal in quality. There’s a gap in the market and that is the niche we want to tap into that through our show”

“I agree with Aparna, I told her ‘Okay, if you want to make the series then you go ahead’,” said Murty. Aparna took a couple of years to put it all together with her mother-in-law. Giving her the due credit, the How I Taught My Grandmother to Read writer added, “Aparna has worked very hard on it.”

Sudha Murty: I don’t worry about working with my daughter-in-law

From personal to professional equation, did anything change between the ladies of the Murty family? Sudha Murthy instantly replied, “There was absolutely no problem, touch wood. This is because I gave my story. Rest, I didn’t bother. I don’t interfere in her work. I feel it’s her domain I should not interfere without knowledge. Neither of us had that much time to get into each other and misunderstand each other. Most of the time she is busy with her work and I am also travelling.” “She is good, efficient and she will do a good job why should I worry?”

Books or series

Sudha Murty is delving into a new medium. During the conversation, she also revealed her pick between old-school books vs animated shows. She who loves books above all, said, “When I am writing there is no limit. I can go on describing a person or situation a lot. But when you bring animation, there are difficulties. That Aparna has to face not me. There will be differences in the real characters of the books and the shows.” Aparna chimed in with a laugh, “Books kind of allow you to go all out. In animation, there are some constraints. It’s a challenge to convert print medium into series. I hope we have created what we have in mind.”

One might think it’s Sudha Murthy’s grandkids who might be the luckiest audience to get early access to her works in progress. She said otherwise. “Kids all over India are my audience. People stop me at the airport and talk to me. I have three grandkids. It’s not only for them but all children who are thirsty for knowledge. If they enjoy I am very happy,” Mrs Murty said.

Sudha Murthy on her film

In 2021, director Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari announced that she has been working on a film, which will be based on the lives of Sudha Murthy and NR Narayana Murthy. It’s been two years since no update. Sudha Murty updated about the film, “There have been no developments as of today. When it comes you will know.”

Criticism and more

Towards the end of the conversation, Sudha Murty opened up about feedback on her work. She said, “You let me know your feedback. Anything you say we will improve. This is a journey so there will be plus and minus. If it’s a plus, we will be happy. If minus then it’s a shortcoming from our end.” So, how does the renowned author and philanthropist handle criticism if any? She said with her sweet smile, “See if it’s a healthy criticism we definitely accept. It depends… if it’s criticism just for the sake, then we will not worry about it.”

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    Sneha Biswas is an entertainment journalist with Hindustan Times. She writes about Bollywood, K-Drama, K-Pop, OTT shows, exclusive interviews and everything else about your favourite celebrities. …view detail

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