Summary and book reviews of Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss

by Rajeev Balasubramanyam

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam X
Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam
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  • Published:
    Mar 2019, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
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About this Book

Book Summary

Follow the completely infuriating, utterly charming Professor Chandra as he tries to answer the biggest question of all: What makes us happy?

Professor Chandra is an internationally renowned economist, divorced father of three (quite frankly baffling) children, recent victim of a bicycle hit-and-run - but so much more than the sum of his parts.

In the moments after the accident, Professor Chandra doesn't see his life flash before his eyes but his life's work. He's just narrowly missed the Nobel Prize (again), and even though he knows he should get straight back to his pie charts, his doctor has other ideas.

All this work. All this success. All this stress. It's killing him. He needs to take a break, start enjoying himself. In short, says his doctor, he should follow his bliss. Professor Chandra doesn't know it yet, but he's about to embark on the journey of a lifetime.

Chapter 1

It should have been the greatest day of his life. His youngest daughter, Jasmine, had flown from Colorado to share in his triumph. There had been pieces in the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal which were all but premature celebrations: "Like Usain Bolt in the hundred," the former read, "like Mrs. Clinton in November, this is one front-runner who cannot lose." The Academy were famous for their secrecy, their cloak-and-dagger strategies to stave off leaks, but this time even the bookies agreed—the Nobel Prize in Economics 2016 belonged to Professor Chandra.

He did not sleep that night, only lay in bed imagining how he would celebrate. There would be interviews, of course, CNN, BBC, Sky, after which he would take Jasmine out for an early brunch before her flight, perhaps allowing her a glass or two of champagne. By evening the college would have organized a function somewhere in Cambridge. His competitors would be there, all the naysayers and back­stabbers ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Rajeev Balasubramanyam encapsulates the theme of Professor Chandler Follows his Bliss in its first chapter after Chandra learns that the thing, the one thing, he's strived for his entire life - the Nobel Prize in Economics - has been snatched from his grasp once again in what is probably his last chance to receive it. Putting on a brave face for his sympathetic colleagues is one thing. But when Jazmine, his teenage daughter, keeps asking if he's alright, this normally stoic scholar, "lost his temper and shouted, 'Can't you see I'm fine?'"   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

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Media Reviews

Red (UK)
A gentle ride of a book that tackles all of life's big questions and also manages to be very, very funny.

Tatler (UK)
A warm and funny account of one man's attempt to be more chill.

The Daily Mail (UK)
By turns charming and witty, [Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss] is an effortless, uplifting read that has many pertinent observations to make about family relationships.

The Mail on Sunday (UK)
This brilliant and eloquent novel ... is a sort of Zen satire in which tolerance and understanding mingle with hilarious criticisms of contemporary mores...A wonderful read.

The Sunday TImes (UK)
Uplifting literature, or up-lit as it's called by publishers, is dominating the bestseller charts...One of the funniest...is Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by Rajeev Balasubramanyam...Beneath the comedy lie serious concerns. Wellness, capitalism, mollycoddled minds intolerant of political difference: Balasubramanyam's issues are current.

Publishers Weekly
Balasubramanyam demonstrates with insight and a dash of humor that it's possible to turn one's life around after everything goes wrong... A winning case for how meditation, restraint, self-reflection and owning one's character flaws can bring joy and satisfaction to life.

Booklist
With humor and emotional agility, Balasubramanyam writes a feel-good story that leaves room for feeling bad.

Author Blurb Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand and The Summer Before the War
Professor Chandra is as acerbic and unbending a curmudgeon as one could wish to find scowling from the pages of a novel. Brilliant, pompous, and baffled by the world outside his Cambridge study, Chandra is forced on a reluctant quest to America to find himself and his family. Professor Chandra Follows His Blissis searingly funny, uplifting, and wonderful.

Author Blurb Elizabeth Lesser, New York Times bestselling author of Broken Open and co-founder, Omega Institute
There's a long tradition of trying (and failing) to describe the spiritual search and the ineffable mystery without sounding like a pretentious snob or a sappy Pollyanna. Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss manages to pull it off. The book tackles perennially difficult and deep questions with humor and humanity, beautiful writing, and a page-turning story line. I gave myself over to Professor Chandra's journey as he opens himself to self-examination, family healing, and a more courageous experience of being alive.

Author Blurb Marian Keyes, internationally bestselling author of Angels and Last Chance Saloon
I loved this beautiful, beautiful book. It's tender and compassionate, it's written with exquisite care and verve, and it's so so so funny.

Author Blurb Susan Rieger, author of The Heirs
A smart, funny, generous story about an eminent Indian economist who comes of age, finally, at seventy ... comic and heartfelt, bracing and moving.

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Beyond the Book

The Legendary Esalen Institute

EsalenIn Rajeev Balasubramanyam's novel, Professor Chandra Follows his Bliss, about a man's golden years' journey to finding himself, Oxford Professor P. R. Chandrasekhar takes a course in self-awareness at California's legendary Esalen Institute. Tucked between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Esalen is gifted with the relaxing sounds of sea lions as they frolic in the tide, truly dark night skies resplendent with millions of twinkling stars, and hot mineral springs to relax the body and mind.

If there is any place that can be called the seat of America's counterculture and humanism movements it might be Esalen. The nonprofit organization owes its 20th century origins to Stanford graduates Michael Murphy and Dick Price, who created it in...

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