24 Aug 2007

River Valley to Silicon Valley: Book Review


RIVER VALLEY TO SILICON VALLEY: Story of three generations of an Indian family
By Abhay K.
Bookwell
Available at: bookwell@vsnl.net.in



Dreamers abound this world. In lands spread over all the habitable continents, people dream of living lives bigger than their circumstances allow them. Some dreams are material in nature, some more romantic and soul-filling. I reckon the world is a better place for the dreamers it holds. For, in most cases, dreams, those intangible pieces of impossible ideas, are what lead to the most awesome of deeds. In River Valley to Silicon Valley, Abhay K proves that.

As the book’s subtitle says, it’s the “story of three generations of an Indian family.” Although focused on Abhay’s family, it also tells the story of India’s changing social-scape. Beginning with the tale of the writer’s grandfather and his rural farm life in newly-independent India, the book moves on to recounting his father’s extraordinary determination to receive education and ameliorate village conditions. The book finally brings readers face to face with Abhay and his elder brother as they step out of the village to script their twin destinies in India’s capital—Abhay as an Indian Foreign Service diplomat and his brother as an executive in a multinational corporation.

On the face of it, River Valley to Silicon Valley is just a portrayal of a middle class Indian family’s passage from agriculture to modern vocations, and from breaking barriers within the village to touching stars outside its boundaries. The book, however, is a lot more than that. It’s a testimony of what unflinching self-belief and stubborn focus can lead to—living one’s dream, no matter how far-fetched it may appear in the beginning. As it narrates the story of Abhay and his family in a simple, unpretentious voice, the book stealthily plants the seeds of dreaming big in the reader. Not a bad bargain, that.

The book may not score highly in the show-vs-tell or grammar department. But it is a book with a soul. For this reader, River Valley to Silicon Valley is any day a better pick than soulless books with perfect grammar.

Thanks for writing this honest, inspiring gem, Abhay.

Coming Up: An interview with Abhay K. Stay tuned!

5 comments:

iself said...

I've been thinking about getting this book. Your review might just persuade me to do it!

And here's a link to a poem by Sukumar Ray in German, if you're interested:

http://irrungen.blogspot.com/2007/08/der-knig-von-bombarien.html

Bhaswati said...

Hey, that's one of my favourite poems you translated. We had (and continue to have) so much fun reading about the Bombagarh (that's what it's called in the original poem) customs. Wish I could follow even a bit of German. :(

Do read Abhay's book if you can. It's worth the read.

alicia said...

"But it is a book with a soul."

Excellent way to describe it - those who truly knows what it means to write/read a book with a soul should be sparked by that.

Scott said...

Sounds like a wonderful book to read for someone interested in the life of people across the world.

I recommend Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

Anonymous said...

I loved your blog. Thank you.

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