Bookish Witch

The Life and Times of a Common Man by Sanjay Chandra

Blurb (as on Amazon):

He was born in a middle-class family in small-town India of the late fifties.
His parents chose for him the direction that his life should take.
Yet, something was lacking.
Was this the path that he was meant to walk?
Did he want this?
He fought his chosen destiny at every stage of his life.
Would he be able to realise his true destiny?

Genre: Nonfiction/Autobiography/Inspirational

Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback


  • Kindle eBook: 126 INR/$2.99
  • Paperback: 176 INR/$9.99

My Rating: 4.6/5

Sanjay Chandra, a man who was born in the late 1950s in India shares life anecdotes. These are majorly focused on his professional life in the Indian railways, then in a government company, followed by a private-sector job, and finally becoming an entrepreneur. How he landed these jobs and how they affected his personal life and choices make up for an interesting and inspiring read.

What I liked about the book:

  • There is an underlying message that a person can either be a part of crowd or can change his destiny through his passion, determination and strong will, just by his choices. This is brought forth very aptly through the author’s own journey.
  • The author talks about his failures and mistakes with utmost honesty which makes the book quite endearing and all the more praiseworthy as well as inspiring.
  • It is a beautiful memoir of the times and era gone by. Most readers might not even have been born in the years that the author talks about. For me, too, these bits were quite a revealation and the later parts, that happen in the 90s and the 00s were a nostalgia ride.

What I did not like about the book:

  • The non-linear narration of the incidents can get confusing especially if you’re not reading the book in one go.
  • We come across many names of people in the author’s life, if only a little bit of dailogue were added, it would have made the book more interesting and authentic I feel.

Quotable quotes:

  • No one is born common, one is born a child. It is the person who makes the life common or uncommon.
  • Life is made extraordinary by all the events that touch it, and all the people who flit through it.
  • Perceptions change. Every narrative has two perceptions- yours, and that of the person across the table. Many a times we carry hurts as grudges, whereas the person sitting across may not even be aware that he has caused them.
  • Man’s mind is not capable of understanding the entire causes of events in his life, and yet he always keeps trying to find these causes.
  • There is some good in all incidents in life.
  • There is no way you can avoid fireworks if you love being on the top.
  • I am Indian and I consider it my birthright to poke my nose into other people’s business.
  • Discipline does not come naturally to humans, much less when you are young.
  • One day you are someone’s child, next your are someone yourself, and then you are known by the names of your children. Life flows on.
  • The magnitude of a business is immaterial as long as it generates employment.
  • It is only after you lose your loved ones that you realise the places they have created in your heart. There are many remembrances, and you wish that you had been more communicative with the lost person.
  • Adversities bring us closer.
  • The ultimate truth is death; we all know it yet are unprepared when it comes.
  • No child is born common. But its life can be common or special as it chooses.
  • You may do 100 good works but people would still remember the one wrong you may have done.
  • The trick is to enjoy life and hard work for the attaintment of dreams and be passionate about one’s dreams.
  • What is life, if one does not have dreams, and if one does not pursue their dreams with passion?

Check out the book here:

Author’s social media handles:

I’m participating in Blogchatter’s #TBRChallenge


Thank you for reading. For regular bookish updates, follow my Bookstagram account: @bookish_witch88

How to contact me:

3 thoughts on “The Life and Times of a Common Man by Sanjay Chandra”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s