Synopses & Reviews
Rajiv Surendra (the rapping mathlete from Mean Girls) read Life of Pi, discovered it was being adapted into a major motion picture, and embarked on a ten-year journey to land the role of a lifetime but this is not a journey of goals and victories, this is a story of obsessively pursuing a dream, overcoming failure, and finding meaning in life.
The Elephants in My Backyard is not a journey of goals and victories, it s the story of process and determination and, in the end, of failure. In many ways, it is Eat Pray Love for millennials those adults coming of age and wondering what to do with their lives a view into what it means to follow a passion and go where it leads you, to dream big and, ultimately, fail. It s a book that gives one the courage to take a leap of faith, but also allows the reader to look back on past endeavors be they successes or colossal defeats with new appreciation and meaning.
In 2003, Rajiv Surendra was acting in Mean Girls, playing the beloved rapping mathlete Kevin Gnapoor, when a cameraman on set gave him a copy of Life of Pi, inadvertently changing the course of his life.
Rajiv dove into the novel, mesmerized by all the similarities between Pi and himself both boys are five-foot-five, with coffee colored complexions, both lived by a zoo, both share a South Indian culture. When Rajiv learns that Life of Pi will be made into a major motion picture, he is convinced Pi is the role he is destined to play.
To land the role he must embody the character of the sixteen-year-old Tamil schoolboy. He takes a great leap of faith, quits university and buys a one-way ticket to India. Thus begins the journey of a lifetime. From Rajiv s native Toronto to the sacred stone temples of South India, he travels to the frigid waters off the coast of rural Maine where he befriends an actual castaway and, eventually, finds resolution in the most unexpected of places the cobbled streets of Munich.
The Elephants in My Backyard is a profound and inspiring story of self-discovery in the face of failure poignant, funny, colorful, and absolutely unforgettable."
Rajiv Surendra was filmingMean Girls, playing the beloved rapping mathlete Kevin Gnapoor, when a cameraman insisted he read Yann Martel sLife of Pi. So begins his lovely and human (Jenny Lawson, author of Furiously Happy)tale ofobsessively pursuing a dream, overcoming failure, and finding meaning in life.
This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance.I found myself standing dangerously close to the edge of a cliff. Farbelow me was an incredible abyss with no end in sight. I could turnback and safely return to where I had come from, or I could throwcaution to the wind, lift my arms up into the air . . . and jump. FromThe Elephants in My Backyard
What happens when you spend ten years obsessively pursuing a dream, and then, in the blink of an eye, you learn that you have failed, that the dream will not come true?
In 2003, Rajiv Surendra was filmingMean Girls, playing the beloved rapping mathlete Kevin Gnapoor, when a cameraman insisted he read Yann Martel sLife of Pi.
Mesmerized by all the similarities between Pi and himself both are five-foot-five with coffee-colored complexions, both share a South Indian culture, both lived by a zoo when Rajiv learns that Life of Pi will be made into a major motion picture he is convinced that playing the title role is his destiny.
In a great leap of faith Rajiv embarks on a quest to embody the sixteen-year-old Tamil schoolboy. He quits university and buys a one-way ticket from Toronto to South India. He visits the sacred stone temples of Pondicherry, he travels to the frigid waters off the coast of rural Maine, and explores the cobbled streets of Munich.He befriends Yann Martel, a priest, a castaway, an eccentric old woman, and a pack of Tamil schoolboys.He learns how to swim, to spin wool, to keep bees, and to look a tiger in the eye. All the while he is really learning how to dream big, to fail, to survive, to love, and to become who he truly is.
Rajiv Surendra captures the uncertainty, heartache, and joy of finding ones place in the world with sly humor and refreshing honesty.The Elephants in My Backyardis not a journey of goals and victories, but a story of process and determination. It is aspellbinding and profound book for anyone who has ever failed at something and had to find anew path through life"