I read this book, soon after Gita Ramaswamy's book, Lands,Guns,Caste & Woman. Soon after reading about the oppression, I read about the socially privileged family, who talks of modesty and simplicity. I tried my best to read this book objectively. Gopalakrishnan refers to Roots and other books, talking about stories of generations. Roots touched different aspects of humanity, oppression, power, race, and a lot of other perspectives which we get to read.I was curious on how this story would be told.
A comma in a sentence claims that it's a story of generation that depicts the transformation of Indian society. However, it lacks the honesty, deep reflection in acknowledging the privilege, one has got socially, economically as per the Indian society and also the nuances of his family. Author talks of his childhood, his father story and rest of the generations is just a couple of pages.
I couldn't get to know much of his great great grand father's time and their perceptions of British, the way the times affected the common man. I was surprised the way the periyar movement is described. He mentioned that tamilian Brahmins were the minority in Tamil Nadu and were threatened by the majority and lack of opportunities, they migrated to Calcutta & Bombay. I highly suspect of this narration.
Authors shares his childhood in Calcutta, a few stories on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose & other friends' stories.
At the end Author touches upon how caste or division in societies work. In the past, it's based on place, work, then, it grew to offices and now, colleges. So and so from so and so office are superior to people working in other sectors. Students studying from Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford are the new castes, he opines.
I wonder what social capital has to do with this kind of progress in the society.
Author shares his generations' story from the life he knows - how a Tamilian Brahmin family hailing from the village Villakudi grows and become a big shot in the society. I enjoyed reading his experiences from corporate days, especially that has Ratan Tata in it.