Book Review: Chasing Maya
They say fiction is the only truth that exists! How apt and true atleast in the case of this book by Rohan Gogoi. The writer explores the genre of self-help through fiction and presents to us in his debut work as a writer, a tale of crisis, confusion, discovery & self-realization. It is self-help through somebody else’s cost!
Chasing Maya traces the story of Siddhartha Kumar a highflying executive in a not very highflying situation, currently. An Indian executive lured in by an international assignment but never ever landing it; instead staying back in whatever is on the plate and still flying high with it. Favorite with the boss, envied by peers, making the spouse proud but still not happy, not content…not interested!! Looking at everything but work, looking forward to everything but work – in general terms: Midlife crisis.
Siddharatha and Aparoopa Kumar’s perfect middle class life is thrown into a tizzy when Sid starts experiencing detachment to everything around him especially work and decides, though reluctantly, to take a break from his mundane corporate existence and explore as to what he really wants to do. He asks Aparoopa, his friends and his trainer cum counselor cum friend; but eventually listens to that inside voice sets out to seek a blast from the past – Maya – much to the displeasure of his wife.
Maya – his first crush, his first obsession and first love. A love that stayed unfulfilled for Siddhartha because it ended with a condition to prove himself to her. The thought had remained with him initially on the surface and then under all over the years till it re-surfaced now. A travel to his native Doom Dooma and then to the US, chasing Maya, he eventually faces the face that was his destiny once and obsession ever since. He meets Maya only to return back to Aparoopa but a very very changed man. A settled and serene man. A man who has finally rested the ghosts of his past and his mind where it rightly belongs – in the past!
Chasing Maya has two things that work for me – first the title. It is one of the most intellectually profound book titles I have read in the past year. A title that is as metamorphical as it is factual. Secondly the thought in the book. It did remind me of a time when I too was obsessed with an incident from the past that nothing mattered more than a reaction or a word from that one person. A time when emotion lost its sereneness to become a sour obsession – a foul taste in the mouth of life. Rohan Gogoi has a brilliant thought that he hast themed his debut work on. But what dosen’t work for me is the writing. It is too conversational for a book of this genre, for something dealing with as deep as a concept of self-discovery. The great thought fizzled out to the words used.
Overall a decent read that required some good cuts and good language. Hope to read more good concepts from Rohan after he passes through some refinement.
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