7 Life Lessons from Yayaati’s Experiments with the Truth

Yayaati by Mahesh Vaze takes you on a journey of the high-on-demand corporate to entrepreneur boom. It traces the life of the protagonist, Yayaati and his endless search for wanting to achieve something better in life and thereafter a peaceful mind. The novel is a reflection of the actualities of being a corporate employee and an entrepreneur. Its realistic approach makes it quite relatable to anyone who works or has worked in similar sectors. The best part of reading Yayaati for me was its takeaway lessons which I have highlighted below.

Don’t Judge a Person by their marks: The world has become such that digits, percentages and percentiles on the performance report of a student matters more than their abilities and grasp over their field of interest and talents. Yayaati, in his days at the IIM appears to be one of the mediocre students who takes interest in various subjects and also prepares himself by being aware of  ‘out-of-syllabus’ subjects. This is seen as a tomfoolery within the precincts of the institution but in the long run gives him the power of knowledge and understanding of a wide knowledge base. His ability to prove himself and excel in his work as an analyst also earns him All India Rankings which would probably have been unthinkable by his peers in the institution. Thus it is important to contemplate if digits on the report card really matter in professional life?

Personal Transformation Becomes Mandatory: An importantaspect of being a corporate employeeis to pay attention to one’s personal presentation. Yes, it does matter if you are wearing Armani suits or a relatively cheaper tie picked up from the bazaars of Mumbai, Delhi or Kolkata. Personal branding is as important as leveraging the brand of the company you work for. One might have all the knowledge in the world, but as long as they are not ‘looking rich and important and worth-your-time’ companies usually tend not to grant them any appointment or take them seriously. Yayaati too transformed himself from the simple small town boy to the gourmet loving ‘Us Mumbaikars’ in no time to live up to the expectations of his clients and his personal reputation of being one of the Top 3 analysts.

Stay Away from the 9 Sins of Corporatism: It is said that ‘ with power comes great responsibility’ but it is also true that power is accompanied by the 9 sins of the corporate world- insecurity, inferiority complex, becoming an opportunist, jealousy, extreme work pressure, stress, ego, fear of failure and thirst to become an overachiever.All these nine inevitable notions collectively symbolised as office politics, exert immense negativity in the minds of the people, degrading the work atmosphere. It is not unheard of that these are the significant reasons as to why several deserving individuals are removed from their positions or fighting off them often leads to developing psychological challenges which results in frequenting a counsellor.  

Sometimes you need a BREAK: Yayaati has always been a think- ahead kind of a person who knows when to let go of the situation and when to hold fort. Many times, he goes on long holidays to clear his mind off the volatility of his job market. This is true for all employees working in a corporate. Freshening up of the mind is an absolute necessity else one suffers from breakdown or mental block. It also accounts for inspiration that might help in recovering work and giving it a new direction.

Embark on an Entrepreneurial Journey: As everyone has a passion to do something, midway their jobs, they also develop a passion to being their own boss- My Life My Rules. After having three successful stints in the stock market Yayaati decides to become the master of his own passion. He along with his wife, Vasu, sets up a luxury eco-lodge catering to the minds and pockets of the upper middle class, elites, tourists, and business class. Venturing in to the hospitality empire from scratch was definitely full of hurdles but Yayaati’s understanding of the world and its ways (which were out-of syllabus) helps him prove his prowess at running the eco-lodge successfully.

Rekindle Emotional Bonds: Family is a bond that one cannot live without. But in contemporary society, families are evolving and their closeness is fading. Yayaati too distances himself from his parents, especially his father. But as life progresses and one learns , unlearns and picks up the pieces of life , there comes a time when he / she tries to get back to the warmth of having a family with close bonds. Yayaati tries to do the same. In fact, his visit to his hometown years later, invokes all his childhood memories and curiosity about the places and its people.

Embark on a Lifelong Quest to find Yourself: Life is a journey of finding oneself and this is the biggest truth Yayaati finds out. Achievements in life are just milestones of inching closer to discovering oneself, but it is never the full attainment of one’s goal. It is this journey which must be lived, respected and constantly adapted to that would polish the morale and character of a person. This journey is also about understanding that change is the inevitable constant and one needs to know when to let go and embrace the change.

Yayaati’s journey from being a mediocre student to one of the top rated equity analysts and then on to being an entrepreneur is truly inspiring; and makes up for a lesson in understanding change and adaptations in life. It is definitely worth a read.

No. of Pages: 352

Publisher: Notion Press

Available on: Flipkart / Amazon

*Disclaimer: I would like to Thank Author Mahesh Vaze, Publisher, Notion Press and Blogger, Siddhi Palande for giving me the opportunity to review this book.