"What happens when your 'big dreams' get fulfilled?
Do you attain an enduring state of happiness?
Are you then able to live happily ever after?
Or, is there something vital missing, to be addressed now?"

"When I pose these questions to the students at IIT, they feel uncomfortable", says Dr Menon. The majority are too heavily programmed. There appears to be too much at stake in the rat race of life, and it takes considerable courage, even just to pause and reflect. It becomes even more difficult, if not impossible, as one grows older. The dreams of our bright young students are but a faithful reflection of the prevailing materialistic world-view, and there is little in their education to persuade them to think otherwise. Everywhere, they see the extraordinary emphasis on competitive performance, on getting ahead of others.

Even our most brilliant academicians and scientists tend to evade the fundamental questions in life. Remaining unenlightened, they are as vulnerable as anybody else, if not more, to the common human failings of greed, envy, manipulation, pretension, anger and fear. The modern "pundit" (learned scholar) stands out in sharp contrast with the "guru" (dispeller of darkness) of ancient India.

Although painful to accept, the reality is that we are "magnificently unprepared" to face the vicissitudes of life and the eventuality of death. Entrapped by our "ego-selves" and blinded by our obsession with productivity and "progress" in the material world, we unwittingly invite suffering and fail to discover our true potential.

Written in poetic prose, and drawing inspiration from various spiritual traditions, the book guides the reader through nine graded chapters to the full meaning of "awakening", with a final flowering in the last two chapters. It is established that awakening and continual awareness of one's ego-self not only bring freedom from mind-made suffering, but also enhance tremendously the quality of one's work and one's life.