The Telegraph
Sunday , January 19 , 2014
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Peace of author’s mind

Michael Fischman talks about his book at the Bengal Club. (Sayantan Ghosh)

This New Yorker found peace and answers to many soul-searching questions in India. After years of learning the Art of Living happily and in peace, Michael Fischman has come up with a book on his spiritual journey.

The author was at the Bengal Club on Friday to talk about his book, Stumbling Into Infinity: An Ordinary Man In The Sphere of Enlightenment.

Fischman, a devotee of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, shared with the audience how he was tormented with questions of life after death since he was a little boy. “This book is a personal memoir. It all started when I was really very young. We were not very well off and lived in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City. One night I saw an apparition of my dead grandfather. I screamed in fright seeing the image…” said the author. Thus began his quest for truth. “That was the first time I learnt about death and realised everybody had to die. I was filled with the burning desire to know what happens after one dies,” he said.

Fischman’s questions, however, remained unanswered till he read about Buddha and reincarnation at the world history class in school. Years later, Fischman, then a restless 20-something, met a friend who had gained calm and peace of mind through meditation. “I was inspired to meditate myself. Slowly it changed my life. I became focused, gained peace and turned vegetarian,” said the author.

It was later in Santa Monica, California, that Fischman first met his guru and enrolled for a course on Sudarshan Kriya. “It was like a catharsis for me. And it left me totally at peace with myself. The book is also about my relationship with guruji and how he trains behind closed doors. It is a story about my personal challenges and the unconditional love that I received from my guruji,” he said. Fischman, who no longer thinks of death but only of life and fulfilment, is the former president of the US chapter of the Art of Living Foundation.

Kheyali Dastidar with Prosenjit and Sabyasachi Chakrabarty at the launch of her book at Starmark. Picture by Arnab Mondal

Twist in the tale

Friendship between two men, extra-marital affairs and an interesting twist in the end sum up actress Kheyali Dastidar’s second novel, Shunyo Diye Shesh, launched at Starmark, South City Mall.

The book was released by Prosenjit in the presence of Sabyasachi Chakrabarty and Arindam Ganguly, writer Ranjan Bandyopadhyay and Tridib Chatterjee of Patra Bharati, the publisher.

“I have already read the book and enjoyed it. Such is the author’s style that you can race through the pages. I loved how the two heroes become alter egos of each other. But the best part is the twist at the end,” said Bandyopadhyay.

For Kheyali, a book launched is “like a kid being born”.