Book Review: Just a Mercenary? by D. Subbarao

Title: Just a Mercenary?
Author: D. Subbarao
Pages: 336
Publisher: Penguin
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The moving story “Just a Mercenary?” follows Subbarao’s extraordinary rise from impoverished origins to the top ranks of India’s civil service and, ultimately, to the head of the nation’s central bank. The story takes place against the backdrop of momentous occasions in India’s socioeconomic history and offers insightful perspectives on the struggles and victories people encounter when attempting to make their way through a convoluted and frequently harsh system.

From his early days as a sub-collector in the Parvathipuram sub-division to his time as the governor of the Reserve Bank of India, Subbarao’s experiences highlight the profound understanding that true development necessitates a deeper understanding of the dynamics of emerging economies in a globalised world, as well as more than just enthusiasm. Subbarao gives readers an uncommon look into the inner workings of an experienced bureaucrat who is debating issues of purpose and society contribution through his open thoughts on his hopes, disappointments, accomplishments, setbacks, mistakes, and moments of introspection.

Subbarao’s narrative centres on his ongoing introspection on whether he has contributed more to society than he has been given. Young professionals pursuing their own career paths can find guidance from this introspective trip. It encourages them to look for meaning beyond just professional achievement and to aim for a wider sense of purpose and societal impact.

“Just a Mercenary?” is a heartfelt, lively, and sincere biography of a remarkable career that may also serve as a source of inspiration and direction for those attempting to forge their own professional pathways. The story of Subbarao has a genuine resonance and imparts insightful lessons that will enlighten and motivate readers from diverse backgrounds.

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