All of us have a story inside us. Some write it as fiction; some write their own story as memoirs, because, I guess, we want the story to be heard, to inspire other stories too. There is a sense of fulfillment after we write the story, for in the words we pen, we leave a legacy, a piece of ourselves, and that piece of us can make a mark on people we want it to, as well as people in corners of the world we know nothing of.
So the question is, “Who is Sam Pitroda?” Sam Pitroda is an internationally respected telecom inventor and entrepreneur with more than fifty years of experience in Information and Communications Technology. He has been a leading campaigner to bridge the digital divide and he is credited with having laid the foundation for India’s telecommunication revolution. He has been the Advisor to the Prime Minister’s office on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation, as well as Founding Chairman for five non-profit organizations. He also holds honorary PhD degrees, has close to a hundred patents worldwide and has published five books and numerous papers.
I’m a self-confessed lover of fiction. I had no idea of who this man was until a few years ago, and even have relied on his website for some of the information in the above paragraph. I knew some of his achievements. Very recently, he launched his book. When my office library had a copy of it, I took it immediately, to get an idea of what his life was like. Did I find his story to be interesting? Yes. From his childhood, to his schooling, to when he moved abroad, how he used the experience he got to propel himself to better opportunities, even when none seemed on the horizon, to the pursuit of his dreams, the book brings Sam Pitroda’s life to the forefront. I like that his memories are vivid, and doesn’t feel much embellished by the words. The parts where his work comes into focus, that didn’t leave a mark on me as I couldn’t relate to the terms used, but I think anyone in that field might follow it better than I did. I did however happily read the part about my own office, that part of his achievements quite familiar to me.
I agree with Nandan Nilekani’s words on the back cover of this book, for this story is one that is nicely written. From a purely genre perspective, it is not one that felt exceptional. Memoirs are, as I mentioned earlier, written to leave a legacy, not to be felt exceptional by every person. But I do appreciate that this book is meant as a legacy to his granddaughter, and the way it is put forth not only in the ending chapter, but a beautifully worded dedication as well.
Dreaming Big – My Journey to Connect India
|Author: Sam Pitroda||Genre: Memoirs|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780670085675||Publisher: Penguin|
(© 20th December 2015)