Book Review: Who me, Poor?

Title: Who me, Poor? How India’s youth is living in Urban Poverty to make it Big
Author: Gayatri Jayaraman
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 184
ISBN: 978-9386432230
Source: Publisher


‘Who me, Poor?’ is a book that talks about the prevailing poverty in the Urban India, that lies hidden beneath the branded clothes of the youth. It accounts for the poverty that arises from the need of making it big. Full of anecdotes by people who have experienced this poverty, ‘Who me, Poor?’ is a book that shows the mirror to the youth.

Who wants to make it big?

Everyone has a dream to settle down well & live a comfortable life. We all keep working throughout our life to make it big. And what happens when we land in the professional world with a degree in our hand? We realize that there never was a job waiting for us to grab it & we still need to do more and God only knows, for how long.

Struggle, as such, is a lifelong partner. Even after getting a job, there’s no relief. Be it Fashion, or Business or Bollywood or Technology, every field has the same scenario. People are supposed to dress well, own a smartphone, make frequent visits to Instagrammable places, Party frequently and what not. All this is essential to fit in the world in which we are living. But what it takes to do all this? Well, it takes a lot more than what it offers in return.

In this book, Gayatri Jayaraman- an editor & writer, having 19 years of experience in Journalism, records what all it takes for the youth to make it big in this highly competitive world. The subtitle of the book- How India’s Youth is living in Urban Poverty to make it big, explains what the book has to offer. She shows how people are spending more than they are earning, which forms a gap that pushes them into poverty.

The book is divided in 4 sections in which she talks about what comprises the urban poverty, why do we spend, the construction of Brand I and in the last section, she offers suggestions to tackle impoverished situations. Each section is further divided into essays, which are accompanied by anecdotes from real lives. There are people who even admit of having bought an iPhone by having sex. Several others talk about skipping meals, eating only biscuits for several days and living in Car (because a car was more important than a room). These stories provide a personal touch to this book, which makes one love it.

My Verdict

The idea of this book is undoubtedly great. It can be a refreshing book for readers. While the stories of the people that are there, can be depressing for some readers. This book certainly makes one think. So, I think the author is successful in away. I personally loved reading about people. The author has included a few incidents from her own life too.

The stories of the people are not mere anecdotes. They are more like case studies. People from every field have something or the other to share. Some of the stories were very compelling. In fact, at times, I took more delight in reading the anecdotes than what the author had to say.

But as we move towards the 3rd section, the ideas appear to be repetitive. It seems like the same thing is being told again in different words. I encountered several words associated with certain professions, which made it difficult for me to comprehend some stories. I started losing my interest midway. I actually felt, that the author could have managed to convey all that she wanted to, in less number of pages.

But the last section revived my interest. She offers a great piece of advice to the readers in the last pages of the book. And she does this in a really good way. If not the whole book, then there are certainly a few parts of this book that every young person should read once. It can be of great help to everyone.

My Rating: *** (3.25/5)

What do you think about this book? Isn’t it a great book to be read by the youth? And lastly, are you a spendthrift or a miser? Do share your views. Thanks.

Check it online at, Flipkart & Goodreads.

*I received a copy from the Publisher in exchange for this review. Views expressed are entirely personal & unbiased.*

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6 thoughts on “Book Review: Who me, Poor?

  1. I think it’s important for the youth to read books like this because it’s incredibly eye-opening! We have a tendency to get caught up in our own lives that we fail to realize or acknowledge issues like urban poverty and its prevalence. Books like this offer a sneak peak at the real world and its problems, hopefully even inspiring youth to step up and do something to bring about change.

    Liked by 1 person

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