Janice Rodrigues | NT BUZZ
Growing up in suburban Mumbai to a middle class family, Sudha Menon was intrigued by the world of books. Diving headlong into the newspapers, every Sunday, devouring every word, Sudha says that she never imagined that she would write books and be a journalist with her name with every article she wrote.
Taking up a career in journalism at the age of 20 and another 20 years later, she decided it was “time to write the books that had been rattling around in my head for a long time.” Here she speaks about her writing and what it means to be a career woman in today’s time.
Excerpts of an interview…
Writing about women, mostly….
I have always been intrigued by the lives of women, their singularly lonely and hard journeys; their commitment to what they have taken up and the determination with which they fulfil their responsibilities. As a young mother and journalist I struggled to do my best in all the roles I had to play and over the years I realised that I was not the only one that experienced all of this. There is a common thread that holds women’s lives together and I wrote about their journeys to hold up shining examples of what we are capable of doing, if we apply our minds to it.
On your first book ‘Leading Ladies: Women Who Inspire India’
‘Leading Ladies’ was the result of my struggle to find my footing as a working woman and mother rolled into one. Every day I woke up and found my to-do list had gotten bigger. I wanted to be the best mom and the best reporter in the city. I spread myself so thin that I often thought of quitting but my job often brought me face to face with some very successful women, women who seemed to be in complete control of their lives. I wanted to find out how they did it – what magic formula they had – and wanted to walk in their footsteps. I wanted to tell their stories to other women. The book was based on extensive conversations with 18 women about their triumphs and tribulations, joys and sorrows, the solitary climb to the top and how determined they were to do it.
The woman who inspires you the most…
I could say that the women inside the pages of powerful business newspapers or on the cover of magazines inspire me. But the truth is that every woman inspires me, each of us with our dogged determination to keep moving forward, no matter how hard it is, fills me with hope and awe. My mother inspires me the most. Married at sixteen to a man who was wedded to the cause of bettering the lives of railway workers, she single-handedly raised us, made sure our school fees were paid. She never lectured us on women’s rights but she made sure we studied hard, encouraged our passion and is even today the one to cheer us the loudest when we achieve something.
The tenacity of my domestic help, Sarla, a single mother of three kids, inspires me. She works in five homes so that she can educate her children. She works herself to the bones but has a smile on her face always.