Karan Bajaj’s latest book The Seeker is Gautam Buddha’s story contemporarized. Well, almost, if one just had to oversimplify things. Max, our protagonist here, is a troubled and restless soul who leaves his high-paying job and relationships behind to find the one true meaning of his existence, and to ultimately attain inner peace and enlightenment. True as his intentions may be, is he really a seeker or just another over-privileged westerner trying to go hippie, ready to quit his search at the first sign of peril?
Character dynamics in here is superb, one of the best I’ve read in any book recently. It’s engaging to read of Max, his interaction with the many people and forces of nature and of his evolution during the course of 4-5 years that he spends in India. His character is sketched well. He has had a difficult past, and many readers, including myself, shall be able to relate to how badly he wants to fit in with people whose thoughts and actions are so different from his own, and why he still does as he does. At every point in his mechanical life, he has been nothing but a wannabe, however successful he might have been. This fact pricks him like a thorn, and is one of the many motivations for him to just leave everything behind for once and seek his true self.
As a reader, what I enjoyed most was being a constant yet passive companion in Max’s adventurous journey, from the Himalayas to down South, and then back again to the mountains. His stint at the South as Mahadeva (everyone visiting the ashrams were given a unique name, his being Mahadeva), where he spends the maximum time learning to live with nature’s basics and practicing yoga, resolves some of his queries and raise a lot more, and lays a path for him to unravel more of universe’s mysteries. If the law of energy is to be believed, is reincarnation just a notion or there’s more to the concept? Does my past life’s karma affect my present and future lives? Is mind-reading, or something as absurd as levitation, even possible? Does one really get to choose one’s birth parents? The expansive human insights, their questions and their fears are well acknowledged. The story even includes the sham practiced in the name of god, and whatever little judgmental elements are laid out are via side characters, rarely through Max.
I never expected this book to answer the countless questions that linger within me, and it really doesn’t. But it does offer perspectives through Max’s experiences, adding further fuel to my desire of knowing and experiencing oneness and limitlessness, of not walking down the religious path but the spiritual. And just for arousing that desire Karan, I thank you.
Overall Rating : 5/5
The book is also internationally out as The Yoga Of Max’s Discontent. You may buy it here.