I’ve written three novels, Keep off the Grass (HarperCollins India: 2008), Johnny Gone Down (HarperCollins India: 2010), and The Yoga of Max’s Discontent (Penguin Random House: 2016) published in India as The Seeker (Penguin Random House: 2015). All of my novels were bestsellers at launch, some endured, others didn’t. I think of the novels as a bit of a man-on-a-quest trilogy. They’re deeply reflective of my interests in backpacking, hiking, and Eastern spirituality that had gripped my life for the decade or so I was writing.
"A racy and entertaining account of a romp through an ever-changing yet timeless India…Wild, Witty and Wicked!"
- Ruskin Bond.
Keep Off The Grass was a sleeper hit almost immediately on release in 2008. I was as surprised as my publishers. It was a very personal story about a young guy questioning the cycle of convention by experimenting with travel, drugs, and philosophy, all set in the IIM. The novel has had an enduring appeal amongst college goers and young seekers, trying to come into their own.
"An amazing journey. Wonderful characters who keep you hooked till the very end"
- Rajkumar Hirani, Director Munnabhai, 3 Idiots
I wrote Johnny Gone Down when I was broke, unemployed, and sleeping on my sister’s couch after a year spent backpacking. Not the outcome I expected at age 30, a decade after Business School. The novel helped me understand my choices. Life imitated art, in this case, and writing this book liberated me to live my life on my own terms forever. It’s a deeper, darker, Forrest-Gumpish kind of adventure through India, Cambodia, Brazil and the dark underbelly of the US, highly recommended for all backpackers and misfits!
“A beautifully rendered epic journey… Transcendent yet readable, spiritual yet wildly and deliberately accessible, the novel works on many levels and excels at them all.”
-New York Journal of Books
I spent much of 2013 first going from Europe to India by road, then becoming a yoga teacher in a forest ashram in South India. My mother’s slow, painful demise from cancer had pushed my meaning-of-life questions to the forefront. The Yoga of Max’s Discontent published in India as The Seeker, was born out of this period. I wanted to write a book that enveloped the deep, perennial truths of Buddhism and yoga which had given me much solace with an urgent, racy, page-turning narrative of a thriller. The novel didn’t do well commercially but received very positive reviews.