January 18, 2021

Pets are to be treated like family members says Sudha Murty

It was at the launch of The Gopi Diaries in Bangalore and we at Mums and Stories were lucky to have some time to interact with this incredible individual.

In her trademark style, she walked in to the dedicated pet accessories stories at Heads Up for Tails, dressed in a simple sari and flowers adorning her hair.

Born and brought up North Karnataka, Sudha Murty begins by saying that her childhood memories are filled with those of her spending time with pets.

“I wanted a baby elephant but I had to agree having cats, dogs, rabbits and parrots”, she shares with a laughter.

On how she began writing for the kid’s book The Gopi Diaries, Sudha Murty shares with Mums and Stories, “One day Gopi, my dog just walked in to my office when I was at meeting and all those who were present mentioned I should write a book on him. So Gopi Diaries is as real as it gets, on how he got home, how he was named but the only difference is that how it is narrated from Gopi’s perspective.”

“He’s just a year old and is still a baby.”

(Sudha Murty at the book launch- The Gopi Dioaries- Coming Home. Photograph by Mums and Stories).

When asked on her advice to other moms on career, kids and work-life balance, Sudha shares, “ It truly depends on individual situations and circumstances. However do make an effort to spend quality time with kids. Also don’t give in to buying things immediately when kids demand them at home. Do delay in giving that gift as it can teach them a lot than getting used to instant gratification.”

Sudha Murty also mentions that it is time mums in their quest for career priorities or life phases do not consider kids as a burden but try to work out solutions that will help in keeping the family intact.

On her personal life as a mother, Sudha shares with Mums and Stories, “I worked part-time for a long time as I could afford to be that way. Of course I also had the support of my parents who lived downstairs in our building. However I am glad I could pass on some of my interests to kids like love for travelling, affection to animals and so on.”

On having a pet Sudha shares, “Get a pet home only if you are prepared to take responsibilities. Kids grow up but pets remain child-like forever. Either you have to take up the responsibility or have resources to take care of its needs, like for dogs, taking it for walks daily, feeding it on time, taking it to veterinary doctor as required and then you will see the huge quantum of joy the pet gives to you in your life. They are to be got home only if you can think through and treat them like other family members”

Gopi Diaries is for kids and parents who are planning to buy a pet at home. Narrated in colloquial language, the book strikes a chord with its simple story of three to four instances weaved in the form of a narration and the illustrations by Sandhya Prabhat are eye catchy and they almost look like the real life Sudha Murty holding her adorable dog Gopi.

A short excerpt from the book:

Tachi Ajji doesn’t talk much. But she is always busy doing something for me. Now she looked at me affectionately as I walked and jumped clumsily on the carpet and said, “ He has played enough for now. Let him have something to drink.”

That’s when I realized that I was hungry. Very, very hungry. I thought of my mother’s milk and remembered her-her safe arms and her love for me. I felt sad.

Tachi Ajji continued, ‘The milk is just the right temperature. I will feed him.’ She placed a blanket on her lap and held me like a baby on top of it. Then she covered me with a towel and brought a bottle filled with something white to my mouth.

At first, I didn’t like it. I pushed it away in anger. My mother’s milk was so easy to get and tasty too. Why should I drink this?

Tachi Ajji patted me on my head and said, “This is also good, Gopi. Try a little. If you don’t like it, I will not force you’. She added in a tender voice, ‘But you are a small baby. We can’t give you anything else’.

I felt comfortable with her and so I tried a small sip of milk. It was not too bad.”

The Gopi Diaries is published by Harper Collins Children’s books and is available here- https://www.amazon.in/Gopi-Diaries-Coming-Home/dp/9353575885

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