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Foreword By Captain Gopinath

"My Life My Choice" - SYNOPSIS

Review for “MY LIFE MY CHOICE- Midlife Career choices” - Rajeshwari


By Captain Gopinath
Founder Air Deccan

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“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."

My life my choiceI left the Indian Army in the 70’s after spending seven fruitful years, learning, travelling and seeing the world beyond the small village Gorur in Hassan district of Karnataka. I had been brought up in a village by my father who was a government school teacher. The seventies in India was an era where jobs were scarce, the government followed protectionist policies and the pace of growth was very slow.  No credit cards, internet or phones (forget the mobile phone). There were very few entrepreneurs, other than the traditional business houses like TATAS, Birlas and the Godrejs, possibly due to lack of opportunities that the system offered. People made a living, made their friends, made a career and retired at the same job. My mother, who had initially resisted my leaving home, was aghast when I made the decision to quit my job. Nobody could fathom how I could leave the security that an army Officers life offered in the mid 70’s!! I suddenly remembered a saying – “Security is mortal’s chief enemy.”And when I quit, I did not even have a plan on what I would do for a living! But I just knew that I had to quit and then figure out the opportunities.

Rajeshwari’s book on “Mid life career choices” has brought together a group of people who dared to dream and followed through on their dreams. And as I read the book, it brought back all those memories of moments of inner strife, the struggles, and the jubilant moments of the changes that I made in my life in terms of various careers. Amongst the many career choices that I made, I started India’s largest Low cost airline, Air Deccan, but before that I also successfully ran my farm, which I had converted from a barren piece of land that the government had given us. I also ran a Udupi restaurant, was a motorcycle dealer and joined politics!! Some I was successful at and some I wasn’t…but the journey was exhilarating. I believe that the ingredients that go into achieving what we want in our lives are hard work, courage and determination-much more than just talent. With the window of opportunities being plenty, there is a set of Sabeer Bhatias, Narayan Murthys, Ambanis to draw inspiration from. My advice to my daughters or to my friends has always been to find their true calling. It is a long drawn process but is completely worth going through. In the final analysis, I believe it is not about the money or the privileges that a well settled job can get you. It is actually about finding where your heart belongs. And that makes work a pleasure, brings out the best in you and makes your life worth living.

Rajeshwari’s book talks directly to those who are sitting on the fence, evaluating career change, but are not taking the plunge because of various reasons. The insights from the book are very real and I was able to see myself in many of those situations. Each story is a reminder of the fact that ultimately we alone are responsible for what we wish to do with our lives and that we need to make our work/life choices with great care.

There is no real failure until you stop trying, it is said.I hope through these thought provoking stories, you will be stimulated to take that bold step forward and discover yourself!

Capt Gopinath


"My Life My Choice" - SYNOPSIS


Ten real stories about real people..for all the working class…..

What is my ‘ideal’ job? Which career would suit me perfectly ?

Around our mid-lives, many of us are faced with the question- is this the career that I would like to pursue for the rest of my life? Or are there alternatives that I would like to experiment with ?

The experiment itself maybe an expensive proposition- if you are the only bread-winner in your family- but that still does not deter some to take the plunge in an area that feels close to their hearts. This book deals with ten such people who have moved out of the cocoon of stable, lucrative first careers and tried something completely new and different around their mid-lives. It outlines the triggers, barriers and implementation mechanics involved in arriving at such a decision .

The alternative career choices discussed here range from joining politics to taking up teaching or joining a NGO or starting an entrepreneurship venture or even getting back to one’s own childhood interest..These are full time career choices and not part-time pursuits. And these are actively considered after one has met one’s initial set of professional goals. The shift may be done for various reasons ranging from- stagnant learning in the first career ( boredom at work is yet another reality that the current working class has to deal with) or having a “larger than life social calling” or “ wanting to impact young minds” or even wanting to pursue one’s childhood passion. In some cases it is also because of family circumstances that one has to re-look at one’s career. And by giving a flavour of the different options that people take up, I hope readers will get a perspective of what these entail both in terms of the new career understanding and that of self- understanding ( this is more critical- so you get a feel of whether you are suited for those options). The book is not comprehensive on the range of issues covered – in fact every chapter has the potential to become a separate book. But I have touched upon aspects that I believe maybe some of the most important ones- thereby leaving the readers to ponder upon the rest.

Middle age is the time when we re-set the agenda for the rest of our lives; and work defines a large part of our agenda in terms of who we are . So we cannot have a fulfilling life if we feel we do not have a fulfilling career- hope this book inspires you to take that first step..


REVIEW FOR “MY LIFE MY CHOICE- Midlife Career choices”- Rajeshwari

Review by:
Ms P. Geetha
First Advice Consultants
Entrepreneur and Head - Business Development

'Rajeshwari, the author, has managed to find a new angle to the present generation problem of career choices. The book uniquely looks into why successful professionals in their late thirties and early forties threw caution 'to the winds', leaving aside a lucrative monetary package and a career to make a change towards something that they believed in. The stories are about those who have become successful to establish, nurture and manage their dreams, for a cause at total variance to their earlier careers. A pure “call of the heart”.,this book, I do hope gives courage to those who are dilly-dallying to follow their true calling.

The author, I understand, has taken great pains to interact with all concerned. Laudable. Her style of writing is simple and the reader is transported into every persons shoes’ with utmost ease.


Radhika Modur 
Date: Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 4:05 PM- Through e mail
Subject: A bracing reading

Hi Rajeshwari,

When I read about the review of your book My Life My Choice in the Hindu, it sounded as if my thoughts were being mirrored as I am at the cross roads right now facing the same dilemma. A truly bracing reading giving more insights into our careers and lives.

 I have taken six months off from my work as a consultant in a reputed IT Company. I could not believe the amazing coincidence of the release and I completed reading it. Churning is happening within me about 'what next?' after 15 years in Corporate World. 

The words and phrases in few instances exactly match my thoughts and I could relate to them so well !

Hope to find my path soon and your book has boosted my inspiration and confidence.
Thank you so much  

Best Regards


B.E- BITS Pilani

PGDM- IIM Ahmedabad
DATE : June 18th- through FACEBOOK
It is fascinating to experience the very same crossroads that your subjects went through..


B.E ( CEG), MS ( Oklahama State Univ)
- Mar 26th 2011

Read the book on the flight. Here's some quick feedback. First off, hats off to you for this venture. The book was easy to read, flowed fairly well and offered fascinating and valuable insights into the mindset and thought process of a variety of folks. I also enjoyed the prose style although the use of bold font through out the text did not appeal to me, it actually was a bit distracting, maybe italics would have been easier on the eye. Just my op.

I also think that you could have moved the order of the folks featured in the book a bit. After the first few chapters, I could sense a general level of predictability in what was going to come up in the next pages, man/woman not satisfied with what they were doing decide to try something different and struggles etc. Now this is to be expected given the subject matter that you are writing about. But, I think it hit me when I read the chapter on Badrinath (Cricinfo), now here is a guy who is a serial entrepreneur who basically does what he likes to do. So maybe his chapter could have been moved up further in the book. Again, my $.02

I think the essence of the book can be captured in a saying that is on a lot of the (T Shirts) that I wear. I have picked up photography as a hobby and in addition to camera gear, I also indulge in some hiking and before marriage did a lot of camping as well. I frequent the products made by REI an outdoors gear manufacturer and their T shirts always have a caption that says..."DO WHAT YOU LIKE LIKE WHAT YOU DO" and this captures the essence of what you are trying to convey.

I also liked the questionnaire at the end of each chapter. Nice touch and very relevant in context of the subject. I think that you could have gone into more detail about the struggles and support groups and getting to the rationale or root cause of WHY the individuals changed careers a bit more sooner than what came across in some of the chapters.

All said and done, awesome book to read and 

I coud go on and on. But, in conclusion excellent work and keep on writing.

If this comes across as a bit critical, it is supposed to since I am giving you feedback and feedback above all things should be honest and immediate. So I read the book yesterday and honest feedback today.


Mr Venkat Devarapalli,Perth, Australia
Business Executive, AMAZON VENTURES

It needs tremendous willpower and dedication to author a book in the times of and other vast books available on the net. By doing so, Rajeshwari've shown incredible courage. Let everyone in 40s (not alone)read this wonderful book and offer comments thru their individual perspective.

Venkat, Perth, Australia


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