Friday, May 19, 2017

India’s Railway Man: A Biography of E. Sreedharan by Rajendra B. Aklekar (Book Review- 3.75*/5) !!!

Reading an autobiography/biography has always been my interest. There has been times when I had woken up all night to finish the book in this genre out of excitement to learn everything that the famous, successful or inspiring personality has done all over his life to maintain the discipline and integrity.  This time I picked up the book written by Rajendra B. Aklekar on the life of E. Sreedharan named “India’s Railway Man”. The cover page of the book showing E. Sreedharan folding his fans wearing a blazer with a smiling face yet determined tells about the person being discussed in the book. Sreedharan has many accomplished projects under his name; most popular being Konkan Railway and Delhi Metro. Due to his work in his stint while working for Delhi Metro and completing the project under the specified duration, he also got the name “Metro Man”.

Rajendra B. Aklekar’s passion for railway can be sensed through his style of writing. The way he discusses few projects in depth tells how much author has invested himself in this field. And that’s the reason when he writes about the most famous man in the history of Indian Railway, his enthusiasm and curiosity for the same can be deciphered. Rajendra has not only discussed the man but the development of Indian Railways during the same era in detail.

The book is nicely divided in section making it easy for the reader to understand every important project that the Railway Man has accomplished in his tenure. The few big decisions and challenges that the Man faced during his career is also described which no other person at his place would have questioned or initiated. The way he fought his own battle for gaining the amount of salary as per his designation and work is a wonderful part in the book. The chapter where few people talks both positive and negative about Sreedharan shows that the author has also tried to speak about where the Man did not do right through someone else’ voice.

Talking about the drawbacks of the book- As author discusses the whole book in terms of the special events, he sometimes repeats himself twice or thrice in the book making it irritable for the reader to go through the same stuff again and again. Also, this book is not much about Sreedharan but how the Indian Railway was getting changed and developed during that era. Just because it seems that Sreedharan has been a big part of it that he has been mentioned majority of the times. It would have been wonderful if author would have focused more on the life of Sreedharan than talking only about his professional accomplishments. But still, this book is a must-read if you need to know about the Railway Man and are interested about the railways. I give this book 3.75* out of 5.




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