Many of us in our private moments imagine the worst — some think of their spouses taking ill or even dying, while some think of their finances getting compromised, many wonder if their names would get tarnished in some way or the other, while some think of getting trapped in a legal quagmire, and no one, not even a family member coming to their aid.
While our biggest fears are not these horrors in themselves, but what will be the aftermath of any such incident.
Nonetheless, there is one woman in Mumbai who has experienced this all and yet has turned a new leaf to start life afresh.
Who is Revathi Roy? chronicles the life of that woman who has faced these fears in reality, and managed to get on the other side as an entrepreneur with an indomitable will.
While reading Who is Revathi Roy?, one is reminded that life is unpredictable. Growing up in Mumbai during the 70s, the world was a pearl in an oyster for Roy, just waiting to be grabbed.
However, all changed as she got saddled with massive debts to keep her bedridden husband alive. The trials she faced thereafter in covering those debts led her to jail.
It is here that the book's second lesson presents itself: Take up a cause bigger than yourself, and you could get through the worst life throws at you. Roy's exposure to women less privileged than herself in prison motivated her to empower them. This goal, and her love for cars and driving, married into Roy's calling.
The rest of Who is Revathi Roy? takes us through her journey, where she refuses to be limited by her circumstances, succeeds in creating a string of logistics companies that hire only female drivers. This a one book that tells an inspiring story. It is narrated in a simple manner that becomes a double-edged sword.
The narrative, while making Revathi's story accessible, lacks the distance that is needed from its subject. The book idolises Roy and glosses over her actions, many that seemed questionable, and make her seem superhuman. This leaves readers with less to relate, which is unfortunate as relatability is the beginning of true inspiration.
Nonetheless, Who is Revathi Roy?
captures the value of grit, and the power of the human spirit.