Monday, December 21, 2009

Book Review by Himanshu Raval

River Valley to Silicon Valley
Review by Himanshu Raval

River Valley to Silicon Valley

This is the title to the recently published book written by Abhay K which I have had the pleasure of reading. His story is about growing up in India encompassing his life with grandparents, his family, attending Schools, College, University and the preparation to secure his current position as a Diplomat with the Indian Civil Service. It is not a story of heroic deeds or grandiose enlightenment but one which immediately captured my interest. He shares his thoughts about life’s trials and tribulations, the influences of family and mentors and his reverence for life. Ultimately it’s his story of perseverance which triumphs over adversity.

He begins each chapter with an appropriate quotation or verse as if these words shape his life and thought, and indeed they do. The use of footnotes to explain his culture and unfamiliar terms adds to the rich tapestry of his story, lightly sprinkled with the occasional poem. His style is that of the commensurate story teller, non- judgmental and devoid of tiresome regrets or prejudices.

His story may well be an analogy for an emerging India today. Following its bloody partition with its accompanying terrible loss of life, India has embraced its newly found independence to develop rapidly into a significant world democracy capable of achieving sustainable annual growth rates of 8%. It has developed its own unique home spun dynamic intellectual capital arising primarily from its investment in education whilst retaining its history and traditions. It does not rely on foreign investment for its future growth anywhere near the extent that China does and hence I believe it to be more resilient. I think it has the ability to enhance the well-being of its population, to reduce prejudices and to assist those impoverished areas of population dependant on subsistence agriculture.

Abhay dedicates his book: FOR MY GREAT FATHER who inspires me the way he lived till the end. And for the new generation of youth in India who are ready to make a difference.

I think the new generation will make a difference and is already making its mark. So much so that some of my friends and I have come to the conclusion to invest directly in India through our self managed Superannuation Funds.

I would highly recommend River Valley to Silicon Valey as simply a great read or for those who wish to gain further insight into his beloved country.

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