A Millennial Search: The Yoga of Max's Discontent - Book Review and Author Interview
Another one of my articles published on Impakter, the magazine for Millennials:
TIGHT AND SLACK – A MILLENNIAL SEARCH
CLAUDE FORTHOMMEon May 3, 2016 at 6:02 PM
Life Models: “Tight and Slack” and the Search for Transcendence.
Karan Bajaj Talks about Life and his Latest Novel “The Yoga of Max’s Discontent”, published by Riverhead Books/Penguin House, out on 3 May 2016
Book Review and Author Interview
A book about man’s quest for himself, The Yoga of Max’s Discontent, is a book you should read, for many reasons.
IN THE PHOTO: MOUNT VERNON AND THE BRONX – END OF THE 2 LINE AT 241 ST AND MOUNT VERNON
First, an arresting premise: the main character, Max, a tall, young man in his late twenties, is the personification of the American dream – from the dark despair of the Bronx projects where he was born to the glitter of Wall Street. A first-generation immigrant, there’s no father in the family, just a sister and a mother, a Greek woman who earns a meagre living from housecleaning and sacrifices herself to see her children educated. He manages to win fellowships to the best schools, gets a Harvard degree and lands a highly paid job on Wall Street. His mother dies, the American dream falls apart.
IN THE PHOTO: HARVARD UNIVERSITY WIDENER LIBRARY
Second, a remarkably terse, direct way of presenting the yogis’ complex belief system, complete with Max’s own personal doubts as they crop up – and that approach certainly succeeds in drawing in any unbelieving reader. The book is written from Max’s point of view: with his mother passing away,”now that he no longer had his mother’s voice in his head prompting him to become someone, nothing stopped him from seeking the same insight.” The “same insight” referred to here, is the yogis’ belief as reported to Max in the simple words of a recently arrived Indian immigrant who is manning an open-air food cart on a Manhattan street corner. Max has come across him after his mother’s funeral. The night is wintry and bitter, the Indian cart vendor is naked to the waist, apparently heedless of the cold; he certainly looks something of a yogi. The man tells him that yogis believe “that the whole world exists in opposites: up and down, cold and hot, darkness and light, night and day, summer and winter, growth and decay. So if there is birth, age, suffering, sorrow and death, then there must be something that is un-born, un-aging, un-ailing, sorrowless and deathless – immortal as it were. They want to find it”.
In the 40 years I have lived in Rome, I have never seen the city is such bad shape, graffiti vandalizing graceful, ancient buildings everywhere, piles of dirt and s--t on the sidewalks, potholes in the streets, large enough to trap a scooter's wheel and kill the driver.
A friend of mine, Giuseppe Bonanno, in desperation, put up this blog post that I reproduce here - if you read Italian, you'll find it a good, rousing read...though depressing: When will the newly elected Mayor of Rome, Ms. Raggi do something?
And she's so new to the political game (she comes from the 5 Star protest party) and young (just 37), can she defeat "Mafia Capitale" as it is known here, i.e. the incredible corruption that has been linking local politicians to the Mafia for decades and that has led Rome to this final, dramatic juncture?
So far, what she's done is meet with the Pope, here's the video:
Here's Giuseppe Bonanno's blog post, if you want to read this on his blog, …
I just reviewed Steve Case's bestseller, “THE THIRD WAVE – AN ENTREPRENEUR’S VISION OF THE FUTURE” for Impakter Magazine:
When Steve Case’s book came out on 5 April 2016 (publisher: Simon and Schuster), it was an immediate New York Times and Wall Street Journal sensation, hailed as the number one business book of the year.
Part memoir, part business manual, it’s a must read for at least two reasons: one, because it is a unique memoir from someone who was on the leading edge of the Internet revolution: Steve Case was a co-founder of AOL in 1985, the first Internet company to go public (in 1991), the first to bring millions of Americans online; AOL was a corporate giant that arose a full decade before Google, Amazon and Facebook; Case oversaw the Time Warner-AOL merger in 2000 and became chairman of the combined business, the largest media and communications empire in the world at that time.It is clear that any aspiring entrepreneur could learn from Case’s unique insights into the st…
Another one of my articles published on Impakter - I interviewed the founder of Authorea, a startup for scientists to share and advance research. Here is his picture, his name is Alberto Pepe, he's a young Italian astrophysicist who now lives in New York:
And here is the start of the article:
You’d think that writing scientific papers today, with all the digital tools at hand, would be a breeze. But you’d be wrong. Scientific work is not helped along by the Internet but challenged by it.
Because scientists, for the most part, still follow traditional methods for sharing their research findings. Or, as young Italian astrophysicist Alberto Pepe put it in an interviewwith Il Corriere della Sera, a major Italian daily, “Scientists today produce 21st century research; they use the writing tools of the 20th century and force their writing into formats similar to those of the 18th century.”
In short, the way scientific articles are written goes back 400 years, and the ability to sha…