‘Maya Running’ by Anjali Banerjee revolves around Maya, a Bengali girl born and brought up in Canada. She was unhappy with the way she was, could not speak Bangla, was unaware of her rich culture and heritage and felt herself a stranger among the fair complexioned Canadians. Maya longed for a change in her life, where she would be the star attraction, cynosure of her parents’ eyes and the charming beloved of her crush, Jamie.
Maya’s life was boring and she desperately wanted a change. She got a respite when Pinky, her cousin came from India and brought with her a Ganesha Idol. Maya saw him as a six-inch-tall gold idol and found instant connection with the elephant-faced, rotund-belly God. Om Ganeshay Namah – the chant used by thousands in India did not have the effect that a small-nah-teenaged girl’s whining voice produced on Ganesha and Maya’s entire life changed. She was transformed into a ravishing beauty overnight, Jamie fell head over heels in love with her, she became the most popular girl in her school and and her parents were ready to do anything for her sake.
Was it the benevolence of the God or simply the over-driven imagination of Maya that resulted in such a magical yet hysterical experience? Will Maya be happy with the new life that Ganesha has gifted him or will she repent her decision of change? Will living in Ganesha’s magical world, where every wish of hers is a command, make Maya happy?
Maya Running deals with these questions in an entertaining manner. The book is absorbing, with Maya being the representative of complexes a teenager undergoes, specially in a foreign country with almost zero support from community. Anjali has written the book in simple language, very easily understandable and yet been able to do justice to gravity of the subject matter in a humorous way. I would classify Maya Running as a young adult novel, written with penchant. A good book for light hearted reading.