AUTHOR: Manoj V Jain
PUBLISHER: Notion Press
Do you have the strength (or folly?) to give up everything in a quest to find happiness?
Inder, age 47, a family man and a successful financial consultant decides to walk away from everything he knows and loves.
He travels through the heart of India in search of himself, meeting new people, learning lessons and giving himself up to serendipity.
Balraj is thought-provoking, troubling and even uplifting at times.
Manoj Jain weaves a simple tale that explores the evolution of a soul-searcher through the travels of a man on a quest to find the answers he set out for.
Overwhelming is the word that comes to my mind. Interesting and relatable, ‘Balraj’ is the story of a soul in search of the true self. It’s not about spirituality. Neither is it about escapism. It is about freeing the self from the hectic often routine and monotonous, life and seeking the actual purpose of one’s being on earth or simply being the true self. It is about shedding off that which weighs you down and accepting that which buoys your spirit. In short it is about seeking happiness that uplifts the self.
Woven beautifully, the story of Inder aka Balraj takes us on a journey of sorts, a journey where Inder the dissatisfied professional unable to put a finger to the reason for his growing uneasiness, decides to quietly quit his life of fame and luxury and set out on an unknown, untrodden path with a new name, a new identity and just a few clothes from his past. The people he meets on the way, the life he lives and experiences while travelling from one place to another, the ideas he shares and implements to better the life of others , the lessons he learns and the peace and tranquility he experiences bring about a marked change in his demeanor making him healthier, happier and more acceptable.
A straightforward story right from the word ‘go’ the book is short and touching. But……the climax…..I must admit I didn’t see it coming.
The book does touch a chord somewhere. It reminds us of those teeming millions who lose their true self trying to compete with the world and building a career big and demanding. They fail to live and love and often in the process become self-centered. While some choose the path that Inder takes before it’s too late, others fail to take the decision till the end and thus lose out on much.
A must read.
There are answers to a lot of questions that the human mind seeks, in this simple yet cleverly crafted philosophical fiction of sorts. One can feel an aura of peace engulf one by the time one reaches the last page of the book.
This is definitely a book one would always like to revisit. I’ll give it a 5on a scale of 5.