The One Where Dad Chills Out: Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss

Originally published July 2019

So maybe when I lose the Nobel I can score a visit to a West Coast retreat and finally chill the hell out.

But really, I just want the time away to read more books like this one.

Rajeev Balasubramanyam’s “Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss” ranks right up there with “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry” as a must-read tale of adult self-discovery, this one involving a nearly 70-year-old Economics professor/phenom, who finds himself adrift after losing out on Nobel status and with hardly anyone that really cares when he lands in a hospital after a freak accident.

Professor Chandra is a man that trusts nothing really except academia, and the pursuit of the brass ring that is the Nobel Prize, or really, just a general acknowledgement that he is brilliant, has cost him his family and now his health. The bike accident? It’s a reckoning — and Chandra takes the opportunity to rediscover relationships with his three children, Sunil, Jasmine and the long-estranged Radha.

Along the way, our protagonist enjoys the smug satisfaction all exes can relate to in punching an ex-wife’s new husband in the face, a surprisingly productive personal growth retreat, the recognition that one’s children aren’t actually physical extensions of ourselves but rather their own people, and understanding that even the most complicated of relationships can make for the most fulfilling ones.

”Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss” is endearing, engaging, and a sometimes quite funny read. Short enough to read quickly but long enough to fill a weekend at the beach, it’s thoroughly enjoyable and should make you smile at the end. Don’t miss it!

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