Rishi Rai is a failed entrepreneur who has lost interest in the city of his dreams. A victim of the worldwide recession which smashed a lot of hopes, Rishi, however, is saved by a chance encounter with a travelling self- professed ‘hippie’ from America, who takes him on a long and arduous journey. This results in his seemingly normal life spiraling out of control.
Losing My Religion by Vishwas Mudagal is a story of self discovery. It tells the story of a Bangalore boy, who predictably launches a tech startup and sells it for a profit to pursue his dream of making some of the world’s best computer games. However, Rishi soon discovers that the world of gamers is not as vast as he thought, leading to his dream company being forced to close.
Rishi hits rock bottom after being forced to sell even the office furniture to keep his dream alive. It is then that he decides to forego his past and start afresh.
Primarily set in Bangalore, the adventures of Rishi and his ‘hippie’ friend Alex take the reader to some interesting places; ranging from the hills of Himachal Pradesh, where they first get to smoke the elusive ‘Malana Cream’ to the secluded beaches of Gokarna in Karnataka where the duo gain fame amongst the tourist crowd for running the most popular shack on Om beach and finally to New York for an amazing end to a journey which began halfway across the world.
Written in a crisp, concise manner, the story is fast paced and progresses quickly. The language used is conversational and employs phrases that most youngsters would be comfortable with. The descriptions of classic games, Bangalore city and other locations in India provide for good insights into a culture which might seem alien to many foreigners. The author, Vishwas Mudagal, says in his foreword that the idea for the novel sprang from his real life experience, when he closed down his internet startup and decided to travel.
This experience perhaps adds that touch of extra detail to the story which can be appreciated by almost any youngster living in the IT capital of the country, where internet based startups are very common. Though a bit far fetched in its main plot which is introduced around the middle of the novel, the story keeps you engrossed. A page-turner this one.