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Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss

Review

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss

Professor Chandra of Cambridge University has devoted his life to studying and teaching economics, often at the expense of family and friends. Now he's on the verge of winning the Nobel Prize, an accolade he feels is well-deserved. Everyone in his field says he's the sure winner, and Chandra thinks so as well. Unfortunately, everyone is wrong, and Chandra is crushed when he loses out on the Nobel again.

After his loss, the world-renowned economist decides to console himself with an extra portion of his weekly treat of chocolate-covered gummy bears from the local sweet shop. When he leaves the shop, the distracted professor wanders into the path of a fast-moving cyclist and is struck down in a horrific accident. Surgery, lifestyle changes and a long period of recovery follow.

Once Chandra has recovered physically, he decides to take leave from Cambridge at the suggestion of the Master of the college and spend time as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at UC Bella Vista in Orange County, California. Hopefully he'll regain his mental and emotional equilibrium while he's away. It seems like a win-win situation since his youngest daughter, Jasmine, lives in Colorado with his ex-wife, Jean, and her touchy-feely husband, Steve, a retired psychiatrist.

"PROFESSOR CHANDRA FOLLOWS HIS BLISS is a thought-provoking tale with characters who come to life immediately and quickly become old friends."

Chandra still isn't quite sure what went wrong between Jean and himself. He knows that he worked a lot and she was unhappy, even though he thought things were okay. She seems happier now with Steve, but he just wishes he could improve his relationship with Jean and his kids.

According to Jean, Jasmine, a high school senior, has gone off the rails. Another daughter, Radha, hasn't spoken to Chandra in two years and has sworn the family to secrecy regarding her whereabouts. And then there's Sunny, Chandra's son. Sunny is busy making money and promoting positive thinking at his motivational education center in Hong Kong and doesn't have much time for or interest in his father. Chandra is sad and puzzled about his relationship with his kids but has no idea how to turn things around.

In spite of his many challenges, Chandra soldiers on. After all, that's what he does. Giving in to weakness is, well…weak, isn't it? Never one to shirk his duties, he stoically moves forward one plodding step at a time. The thing is, the next step leads him to a getaway at a famous California retreat, Esalen. While Chandra isn't used to sitting cross-legged on the floor, speaking to strangers about his feelings, he's pleasantly surprised to find that it actually feels good once he begins.

As often happens in life, however, just as things seem to be improving, they suddenly take a turn for the worse. Chandra must put what he's learned into practice right away in an attempt to save the struggling members of his family and himself. Can he break out of a lifetime of old habits, or will he scurry back to academia and avoid the murky world of feelings and emotions once more?

PROFESSOR CHANDRA FOLLOWS HIS BLISS is a thought-provoking tale with characters who come to life immediately and quickly become old friends. It's easy to sympathize with Chandra's feelings of being lost in his life and among his loved ones. It's also fun to watch him evolve and change, and to root for him to learn the things that he simply didn't get when he was younger. While there are laughs in the book, several serious topics are tackled as well, and the reader will more than likely come away emotionally drained but fully satisfied after joining Professor Chandra on his journey.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor on March 29, 2019

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss
by Rajeev Balasubramanyam

  • Publication Date: March 26, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: The Dial Press
  • ISBN-10: 0525511385
  • ISBN-13: 9780525511380