In search of enlightenment ….
‘After all these years he was still trying to belong.’
Meet Max Pzoras. Max is the child of Greek immigrants to the USA. But, after his mother’s death Max becomes increasingly restless with the world and what he perceives to be his place in it. Max may have escaped aspects of his past, and he may even have a measure of success in the material world, but surely there’s more to life?
Realising that there is more to life than money, Max sets off for the Himalayas as a pilgrim in search of his own enlightenment. Max’s journey won’t be easy.
‘Max wouldn’t rest until he crossed over the boundary to the infinite.’
It took me a while to get into Max’s story. Not, I hasten to add because of any failure of Karan Bajaj’s writing, but because of my own deep scepticism about such journeys. But, it’s Max’s journey, not mine, so I continued reading (from the comfort of my lounge chair). Max meets some fairly amazing people along the way, though, and they help to reinforce his resolve to carry on. I felt for Max, as he met adversity after adversity, experiencing failure after failure. Will he ever find what he is looking for?
‘All these ups and downs are just small waves in the yoga of your discontent.’
For me, Max’s journey in this book was far more important than his destination. From the scorching heat of south India, to the freezing conditions of the Himalayas, Karan Bajaj has written in a way which enables the reader to experience something of Max’s challenges. Can Max become a yogi? Can he differentiate between what is necessary, and what is not? Can Max learn the discipline, and uncover the power, of meditation? And then, what? The book ends, has Max’s journey also ended?
Karan Bajaj is a gifted novelist, and I enjoyed his depiction of Max’s journey with its subtle reminder to all readers that we each decide what is important to us and we can each create our own path through life.
Note: My thanks to Karan Bajaj and NetGalley for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel for review purposes.