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'My Life, My Rules: Stories of 18 Unconventional Careers'

List books as I like to call them are gaining quite popularity these days. Like a collection of short stories, these chronicle lives of people based on a common theme. Author Rashmi Bansal specializes in them with all of her bestseller books based on this model. My Life My Rules comes from the same publishing stable as later of Rashmi’s books have been delivered.  Author Sonia Golani has picked up a peculiar theme, people who have had unconventional careers. She has compiled stories of 18 such individuals who according to her have led a life on the offbeat path rather than going to regular jobs.
But what defines an unconventional career? To me, an engineer who takes up a job at a bank selling insurances is an unconventional career. A doctor going on to clear IAS and becoming an administrator of cities and villages instead of taking care of sick is unconventional. Yet we see so many such people in our daily lives. Individuals, who never really prepared for what was going to be their final career choice. Happens to many of us. Some people say it is a path of self discovery. Eventually everyone wants to find comfort in his or her work place.
So in that sense, the book does not throw great surprises. Granted, it looks like it is such a simple task writing such a book. All you need is to Google some celebrities and watch a lot of business TV channels. But in reality it takes as much research work as for example for a work of fiction. The author has claimed to have met most of the mentioned people in a short span of time (invariably in or around the Taj at Mumbai). Still after reading such kind of book, you should feel inspired and motivated. But that does not happen. And it is sad, for the book is really well crafted, well researched and well written.
Perhaps where the writer faltered was in selecting the characters of her book.  Like in fiction, non – fiction too needs its heroes. So here we have 18 people.  Now, most of them here already had chosen their future career before they completed their academic life. For example look at lives of Nikhil Chinapa and Aditi Govitrikar. Nikhil was well into music by the time he completed his architecture degree. Aditi too was well into modeling by the time she became a doctor. So can you really claim that they chose a different career?
Then there is the paradox of the culmination of their careers. Harsha Bhogle, Aditi, Latika all are seeing a drastic shift of their unconventional careers.  Still, all in all this is a good book that you should read. Who knows there is an inspiration for you where you are least expected to find it. For all their choice of careers, all these 18 people have lead an extraordinary life and maybe we can learn a thing or two from their lives, careers and career choice.This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


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