“You can go other places, all right – you can live on the other side of the world, but you can’t ever leave home”
A few pages into the book and I suddenly realized, I belong to Balasore (Odisha). Does anybody know where on the map it really is? More importantly, will anyone bother to look it up? Small town blues are always in the back of your head when you venture out in search of greener pastures. But turning a few pages more, I realized, how deep my gratitude for my “native” is.
‘Take me Home’ is the sixth book by Rashmi in her pursuit to bring forth the people behind the scenes of an emerging and resplendent India. She has made sure to cover every far flung area in the country that has to offer an inspiring tale of how “someone among them” had changed the lives of thousands they touched under one banner.
The book is a collection about 20 colourful strokes of 20 small town entrepreneurs with big time dreams – some who never could forsake the love of their soil, some who returned back to their ‘Swades’ and others who just could not see pain in the people around them. ‘Take Me Home’ captures the fruitful lives and hardened convictions of these entrepreneurs with a beautiful finesse that is truly a joy to read. Entrepreneurship in India has made a staggering progress in creating rural opportunities and strengthening the roots of self-sufficiency in lesser developed areas. No story is a rosy fable in the life of someone who has taken a step down the less trodden path. Every story in the book is a testimony of how resilience in will and focus on growth has triggered the march of progress in a diaspora of villages across India. These people have found a niche of satisfaction in the work they do and take the name of these small towns to greater heights.
‘Take Me Home’ is one of the best works that Rashmi has produced so far. These inspiring stories will live with you and rattle the stigmas about your belongingness – your native, esp. if you belong to a proverbial small town. The language is crisp and anecdotes and quotes abound in the pages. The reader gets a chance to get up close and personal with these people in the pages that pour their lives and experiences. Emotions are not explained in the book, they are expressed and understood. The way it is written, really keeps the flow crisp and the reader on their toes. It has everything that will implore you to look back and think you could be a part of something big, just like these people are. Maybe there still is time.
Will there be a day when the winds have changed their direction and people would seek employment opportunities here, at the grassroots? It is quite revolutionary what these stories have to tell about common people making an impetus in an extraordinary way. A storm has started brewing in the teacup – a storm of change – a storm nonetheless.