Defying the set norms

BANGALORE: With his latest book, Blissed Out, MC Raj is all set to break the traditional and societal barriers that have long existed. After publishing 15 other books, his latest book challeng

Published: 20th March 2012 01:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:38 PM   |  A+A-

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Dr S K Biswas, Former Director, Indian Institute of Science and author M C Raj at the launch of Blissed Out at Reliance Time Out| Jitendra M

BANGALORE: With his latest book, Blissed Out, MC Raj is all set to break the traditional and societal barriers that have long existed. After publishing 15 other books, his latest book challenges what is considered normal and abnormal by the social environment that the entire world lives in.

Blissed Out was launched at the Reliance Timeout in the presence of a few eminent personalities and his family members.

It is the search of a woman, Helen, for her true identity. As she seeks her true self, the story takes the reader on a voyage through the UK, US, India and Aotearoa, the ‘land of the long white cloud’. Aotearoa is the most widely known and accepted Maori name for New Zealand.

“A couple of months ago I was in New Zealand for a conference on indigenous knowledge. It was there that the idea to weave a plot that had a strong presence of a Maori came to my mind,” says Raj. The story line dwells on Helen’s quest to discover herself after the death of her Maori husband. It also sheds light on the struggles that the Maori faces in a bid for self-determination and realisation.

As Helen gets entangled in the struggle, sub-consciously it turns her into a leader of a sort. As her search continues, she encounters intriguing aspects of religions like Buddhism and Hinduism, before finally uniting with a professor in India. While Helen seems content with the end product of her quest, a young man enters the scene. His entrance in the story gives the plot a whole new dimension and turn.

“Blissed Out is a book that was an outcome of various real life experiences that my female friends told me about. It is a reflection of their lives, at some point of time or the other while they searched for themselves and true love,” he informs.

“In fact ‘blissed out’ was how one of my friends described one of her relationships as,” reveals the author. He further adds that any woman could relate to the book as it is influenced by real life instances and stories. “Helen was adopted by her uncle after her parents died. While her uncle was a strict disciplinarian, Helen was hell bent to rebel and break away from the set norms. After her husband’s death she leaves the Maori community to find herself. Though it is a novel, there is an underlying message in the book. It urges every girl, every woman to discover her true identity and rebel against the norms,” he says while clarifying that by defying norms he is not trying to persuade them to go against anyone. “It is only to encourage them to stand up for themselves,” he says.

The book is written in a non-unitary directional manner. What the author is trying to imply is that instead of only moving forward, the story’s direction often reverses along with a number of events that occur simultaneously. This as a result gives birth to curiosity which keeps the reader glued on.

Meanwhile another sensitive aspect that the book brushes is, sex and relationships. “Why should it be alright for men to have multiple relationships and a taboo for women. How is that justified?” he questions. “This is not to say that promiscuity is the order of the day, but to say that how one lives one’s life is solely their prerogative. No one has the right to question or raise fingers at their decisions,” he asserts. In his words, the book, Blissed Out is all ‘about getting over your inhibitions’.

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