Three Thousand Stitches: Book Summary & Review.

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

Featured in All About Books | By @poojadkakde


Sudha Murty explores many personal experiences in her non-fiction title Three Thousand Stitches. A quick read, the book is full of important life lessons and values readers can take away and apply to their own lives.


Three Thousand Stitches

WHAT YOU'LL READ IN THIS POST:

  • A Short Summary Of The First 10 Chapters.

  1. Three Thousand Stitches

  2. How To Beat The Boys

  3. Food For Thought

  4. Three Handfuls Of Water

  5. Cattle Class

  6. A Life Unwritten

  7. No Place Like Home

  8. A Powerful Ambassador

  9. Rasleela And The Swimming Pool

  10. A Day In Infosys



Three Thousand Stitches introduces us to the devadasi community and their sordid lives. Sudha Murty is a key contributor in making their lives better through her determination and her father's important advice.


In How To Beat The Boys, a seventeen-year-old Sudha strives to become an engineer despite all the obstacles that come her way. Sudha goes on to become the only female student in her entire college, showing her strength and perseverance.


In chapter three, Food For Thought, you will learn about the diverse vegetables and fruits used in Indian cooking and their surprising places of origin.


Fun Fact: Tomato, a prime ingredient in Indian cooking, used in making soup, rasam, rice, sandwiches, and chutney, did not originate in India, but Mexico.


In Three Handfuls Of Water, Sudha Murty is introduced to a holy place — Kashi — by her grandparents. She learns the significance of going there and ends up taking a vow that opens her the door to freedom.


In the fifth chapter, Cattle Class, she recounts an incident that took place at an international airport. Also published on various media channels, this story elicits a thought-provoking message about the society that readily judges people by their appearance.


Watch Now: Sudha Murty On Being Called 'Cattle Class'



A Life Unwritten is the story of the writer's father, a doctor, who is temporarily posted in a remote village. While there, he delivers a baby of an unmarried girl and ends up doing something kind that makes a difference in her life forever.


This seventh story titled No place like home depicts people who worked as housemaids in the Middle East and their horrific experiences.


In A Powerful Ambassador, Murty explains how movies were considered a luxury in her village, Shiggaon. During her college days, she was an avid moviegoer, often visiting the movie theatre with her friends to watch classic Bollywood movies. Further, when she tours the world, she is thrilled to learn that the charm of Bollywood films and their actors has not only captured Indians but people worldwide.


Sudha Murty says, "Bollywood has graduated from being a part of the movie industry to becoming a vital partner when it comes to business generation. All in all, it is a great ambassador for our unique country."


Rasleela and the Swimming Pool, the ninth story in the collection, tells Draupadi and Krishna's story from both the writer's and her grandchildren's perspectives.


When an old friend criticizes Sudha Murty for not sparing an hour for her, she is invited to spend a day with her at Infosys Foundation. Seeing her work, the friend becomes aware of the huge responsibility Sudha Murty has. To Mrs. Murty, her day is nothing short of a marathon. This is the theme of the tenth chapter, A day in Infosys.

When Sudha Murthy first discovered the term AA i.e. Alcoholic Anonymous, she grew curious. Multiple questions arose in her mind:

  • What is AA and how it plays a role in an alcoholic’s life?

  • Is alcoholism hereditary?

  • What is the success rate of de-addiction? and so on.

Researching about it on the internet was not enough. She wanted to gather the information first-hand. A friend’s relative, also a chairman of an AA committee, opens a pool of information to her by inviting her to an open meeting in a church.


There, participants share how alcohol brought them to the lowest points in their lives and how AA helped them cope with them. Several of them were now dedicated to educating others about it.

AA includes 12 steps, which include apologizing to those we've hurt, helping others, and surrendering to God. God need not be religious in nature. It can also be a higher power that exists within us.


It takes years for people to become sober. However, it isn't guaranteed. There are cases of relapses as well. Because of this, they meet regularly to control their urges.

AA is active in 186 countries and has helped many alcoholics become sober.

After leaving that meeting, Murty remembers the famous Marathi play "Ekach Pyala", where the first peg of alcohol ruins a married couple's life.

Alcoholism is a medically recognized disease.

Alcoholics Anonymous deals primarily with alcohol, though some people fall for smoking and drugs as well. Nobody can predict who will develop an addiction. But, organizations like AA contribute to a better society and give people hope.


The stories Sudha Murty writes, whether fiction or non-fiction, are light to read but have a lot of value. Her books do not contain fancy wordplay or extravagant sentences. Some of them even seem like a blank stating of events, but what I get to learn from her writing is still worth it for me. I think she is very open-minded w.r.t her generation and she feels like a person loyal to her roots.

Here are three stories that I enjoyed the most in this book and why I loved them:


  1. Reading 'Food for Thought' was like exploring different cuisines and traveling to different countries with the author.

  2. 'Cattle Class' is a great example of how your clothes do not determine who you are. Maybe I'll use this story someday when I meet some narrow-minded jerk.

  3. Sudha Murty's dedication in 'How to Beat the Boys' is inspirational because she broke stereotypes and followed her dream to become an engineer with flying results.

You can buy her book here.


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