Tuesday, 18 June 2013 | By: AbhiLaSH RuHeLa

Keep off the grass by Karan Bajaj (Book Review)!!!

868th BLOG POST -->>

       
  I am done reading "Keep off the grass" by Karan Bajaj. I purchased this book when I was very new to this Online sites where we can get books on heavy discounts. Since 3 years, this book has been on my shelf and finally, I picked this 250 pages of a wonderful odyssey and took 2 whole days to complete it. I could have finished this in 3-5 hours straight but the book is so amazing that I preferred taking breaks, digesting the wonderful story and then continuing ahead. And this has really paid off. I will always remember this book somewhere in the background of my mind whenever a dilemma would come in life regarding the selection of my happiness or the race to build lots of money, position in some firm and other materialistic satisfaction. This book is by Harper Collins, the publisher whom I think I have never tried before. I think I should give them more chance because only then I will get to read more wonderful stories like this one. :-)

           Born in 1979, Karan Bajaj is an Indian American author whose debut novel Keep Off The Grass (2008) became a bestseller. His travel adventures have greatly motivated him to write. Following the success of his debut novel, his second novel titled Johnny Gone Down came out in the year 2010. Both his books have together sold over two lakh copies in India itself. After completing his engineering from Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi, in 2000, Bajaj went on to graduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore in 2002. He has worked as a Brand Manager for Procter & Gamble, and as a Management Consultant for Boston Consulting Group. He is presently a Brand Manager with Kraft Foods, New York and continues to write as well. He has been given awards for his professional endeavours too.

Summary Of The Book

Keep Off The Grass is about a brilliant 25 year old Non Resident Indian (NRI), who is stuck with an identity crisis. A Yale graduate who makes half a million every year as an investment banker at Wall Street, Samrat Ratan chooses to return to India to discover his roots,happiness, and everything else that seems elusive.

His quest in his homeland starts with one of the most popular business schools in India, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Bangalore. Contrary to the person he was before he enrolled himself into IIM-Bangalore, his grades and self-esteem fall as he gets high on marijuana frequently. His life becomes nothing less than a roller-coaster ride thereon.

Samrat remains perpetually stoned and experiences bizarre adventures, including sharing a smoke with and being almost consumed by flesh-eating Aghori saints on the banks of the river Ganges in Benares, meditating on the foothills of the mighty Himalayas, and indulging in a one-night stand with a Danish hippie in Dharamshala.

This hilarious and introspective debut novel by Karan Bajaj traces Samrat’s journey and keeps the readers intrigued till the very end.

Keep Off The Grass was a semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award and was also nominated for the Indiaplaza Golden Quill Award.The film rights of the book have been sold to Mosaic Media Group, and Ben Rekhi has been signed up as the director for it.

       
   Coming to the author, the above paragraph itself tells how class a story-teller he is. Recently, I saw his pictures on Internet where he captioned how he went to travel to Himalayas with his foreigner girlfriend and got married there. He, his girlfriend were the only two people present in this certain-kms-above-sea-level marriage. :-) After seeing this, I got excited to read this book as soon as possible which got released in 2008. In the initial paragraphs itself, you get an idea that you are going to read something that shall remain with you for a long time in life. I was definite, then itself, that this book is going to give a peaceful and meaningful climax and yes, that's what I got in the end. 

           Author has not over-done anything. He has kept all the incidents short and up-to-the-mark. He has made it sure that every time a page is turned, a reader does not continue with the same thing that was going on the previous page and he gets something new to read. Story is itself quite unique, that you would have read above in the summary of the book that's being taken from Flipkart. The confusion and decision initially to leave for India from Manhattan gives a fast paced start to the book. Once, he comes to India, people's question to him regarding how can he leave his job from Manhattan and come to do MBA in India makes us laugh every time imagining him giving a confused explanation. 

          His initial friendship with 2 boys isn't the same typical friendship shown in every another book in India. In his story, the chase towards excellence can be easily seen in the IIM environment which pressurizes a youngster too much. The trip to Himalaya is short but its the turning point in the book. The internship in Benaras and his learning there, is also written awesomely. In the end, the way protagonist takes his final decision throws many said/unsaid messages on reader. :-) Every chapter's title is the same as the last sentence of the previous chapter. An amazing style, Karan Bajaj. :-) In all, I would give the book 4/5. Definitely, try this one. 
 Thanks.

 ABHILASH RUHELA - VEERU!!!

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