Everything seems dizzy around him- as if his consciousness, soul and identity are getting erased off.
Blizzard is blowing all around him- he is amid a storm-storm outside and storm inside his mind- as if Lord Shiva is making a tandava!
he is lost within a desert of ice- snow is all around him-and more and more snow is gathering around him-most likely he will be buried alive in this desert-where he will he stay for ages- alone. His grave will be here-amid the Himalayas! For centuries blizzard will sing to him- until one explorer one day discovers his body-as fresh as if he is son going to rise after a goodnight sleep.
He tried to think-how his face will look like after the death? Will there be an expression of terror on the face of death? Or there will be a smile-a smile of knowing himself?
He could not think further………
His senses are getting paralysed- icy sensation spreading through his nerves- he is chocking –due to thin air!
How long it will take before it is all over……what an end to a quest……
The Seeker by Karan Bajaj –the bestselling writer of Keep Off The Grass is a chronicle of Max – a wall street banker to a journey of enlightenment in India. but reading up to this if you guess that this is one of the countless books on India’s legacy of spiritual quest-then my dear Watson-you are still at elementary stage of guessing. This is a journey shrouded with adventure and thrill-the narrative style of the writer has given a complete shape to the otherwise pearl like plot!
It all started when Max- the financial wizard with a Harvard degree in his pocket-had reached the zenith of frustration. His mother was fighting with the death in her hospital bed-and he faced an accident that revolved the epoch of his life. Well-I am telling it is an accident-but you can also call it a miracle- a life changing miracle. At that instant the blueprint of his destiny was finalized.
When his mother was ultimately defeated in her battle he could no longer concentrate on his job of making presentations, analysis and further analysis. Everything seems meaningless- everything seems irrelevant.
An inflaming desire to know where the end of everything lies no longer allowed him to sit idly at the corner of his workstation.
And thus begun his quest from death to immortality-from ignorance to knowledge-from darkness to light…..
He took the decision of coming to the wonder that is India.
. He has heard about the yogis-who can take him to the path of self realization. So his destination was the Himalayas- where maybe his desired man is waiting for him…..
India presented a mixed bag of experiences for him-there he saw greed, volatility, conflict, foolishness, lust and that same India revealed before him the true meaning of friendship, care, family bonding and ethical values. But he failed to get what he wants in this wonder that is India.
‘Everyone is a guru in India’ said the man witheringly. ‘Pilot baba was just a regular pilot in the Indian air force. His helicopter crashed here and he had some sort of spiritual realization-perhaps that there is more money to be made in the trade than in flying planes. So he became a guru.’
Exhausted, disheartened Max was nearly on his way back to the meaningless world of work-he saw some glimmer of hope- like lightening at the darkest of night! This time he took his journey to the far south.
But for whom? But why?
‘ That the whole world exists in opposites, up and down, cold and hot ,darkness and light, night and day, summer and winter, growth and decay. So if there is birth ,age, suffering, sorrow and death then there must be something that is unborn, un-aging ,sorrow less and deathless, immortal as it were.’
When I was writing these lines, I do not know why –the lines from Srimad bhagabat gita are constantly echoing in my mind
“Nainang chidanti sastrani naninang dahati pabaka
Noa chaininog kledantopo noa shosoait maruta.”
(Weapon can not hurt him, fire can not burn him, rain can not wet him, nor he is absorbed by wind.)
Will he be successful in his search? Will he find the true peace?
Or is it only a glimmer- as short lasting as the lightening itself.
The appeal of the book lies in its narration-the simple ornate style of telling the story. When the wheels of the bus tumbles- you will think that your bus is going to make an accident! Such is the visual beauty of the narration.
‘Soon, Max point out why. When they turned the outside front wheel of the bus flew out from under it and was suspended in air for a few seconds. Max’s heart stopped. They were heading straight down the valley, into the swirling, angry Ganges far below.”
Is not the description enough for the heart to leap to the mouth?
The bonus to the reader is the immaculate narration of the Himalayas- which for ages have perplexed human soul!
The way the plot has been fabricated- the way everything has come to the story-starting from grief, hope, and depression to lust, sex –makes it really an emotional cliff-hanger!
And the amazement is saved for the climax-it is not surprise or shock- sheer amazement- because the writing is meant to provide you pleasure throughout!
The review is a part of goodred’s first read review initiative.