23 May 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

The Golden Temple by Raj Kiran Atagaraha (Book Review: 3.5*/5) !!!

1930th BLOG POST

18th Book of 2021


As all of you must have noticed in my reviews and posts since the lockdown has begun that most of them are religion or spirituality-oriented stuffs. I suddenly realized the power in the message that the religious texts provide us when I started reading them. Only through that, I was able to get into spirituality deeper and understand the meaning behind it. It was always an aspiration to know everything I can about my religion i.e. Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism and then gradually move towards other religions too and know about the messaging in them.


Sikhism is one such religion I have always wanted to read and know about. This happened after I saw an interview of Taapsee Pannu in which she mentioned that this is one of the most modern religion to be found which incorporates the good philosophy taken from other religions too. Knowing about the open-mindedness in the foundation of Sikhism, I got little intrigued about it and who knew that rather than I going towards it, a book on Sikhism will itself come to me by chance. I am talking about the book named “The Golden Temple” written by Raj Kiran Atagaraha. The cover page has a very beautiful picture of the very famous- The Golden Temple from Amritsar. The book is of around 130-odd pages which has been published by Bigfoot Publications and can be completed within a half day itself.


Talking about the writing style of the author, I must say that he has ensured that everyone who has even begun reading even if they are in school can find reading this one easy. On Amazon, you will find the reading group of this book as 12 years old + and it is written exactly like that. It is a very light read and meant for beginners as well as people who would like to know about Sikhism and the philosophies behind it. I am glad that author didn’t focus only on the love story of Raj and Geet but very intelligently, embeds the religion and its multiple references into the story. I can say that the love story isn’t very unique but the way author brings his emotions towards a sacred place and how it can change someone’s outlook towards life and future plays a big role in making this book find a special place in your large bookshelf.


The main focus of the book is solely on the two main protagonists who are going through a phase of getting closer to each other but get separated suddenly only to bring them back together for a bigger purpose. The characterization of both of them is fine where you are able to understand their personalities. The conversations between them derive the pleasure they experience when they are able to communicate with each other and also the excitement of how it will take their relationship ahead in the future. The teenagers will love reading this part. I remembered the chic-lit books I enjoyed reading when I got into reading a decade back through this love story – as even I was in college then and had crushes over beautiful girls in my campus. Haha!


I liked how author inserted the information and details about Golden Temple in the book as it didn’t sound like a Wikipedia page but exactly as to how a person would tell about this beautiful religious place to another person. The innocence and devotion of the author towards the temple is evident in each and every sentence which speaks about the temple. Later, in the 2nd half of the book, I liked the detailing mentioned by the author about all the Gurus who kept making effort in making Sikhism a religion which ends up teaching only love, forgiveness, goodwill, truth, compassion, contentment, humility and other good qualities to the human beings. Raj also elaborates on the lifestyle changes a person who calls himself a Sikh should follow which can lead the person towards attaining salvation and unite with God.


Author discusses many terms of Sikhism such as langar, Ardas, Sevak, Ik-Onkar, Mool-mantra, Khalsa-Panth, Parikarma, Gurbani, Anand Karaj etc. This really helped me understand the basic concepts of Sikhism very well and it has made me enough confident of entering any Gurudwara in future and communicating with all my Sikh brothers. I have generally read books on religion either in non-fiction format or in fictional format which enhances one of the major characters of the religion. This is the first time when I have read a book that talks about a religion embedded into a love story. So, kudos to the author for taking this approach to talk about his love and devotion towards Sikhism. I also liked how author covered the controversial aspects related to the Golden Temple in the story which is very necessary to understand the angst some people in Sikh community has towards other religion.


Now, talking about the drawbacks, I must say that there are certain grammatical errors in the book which I believe can be corrected in the next editions. Secondly, the Sikh terms used in the book are marked in italic- author could have also mentioned all of them in a glossary either in the beginning or the end of the book along with its meaning for the readers to go through it at any time. Thirdly, the blooming love between both the characters is written in quite a plain manner whereas author could have done a lot of things with it considering the inter-caste/religion marriage angle in the story. Lastly, I believe – author couldn’t bond both the plots – love and religion strongly with each other. He either talks about religion or the love angle at one point of time. This could have been handled in such a way that both the thing could have sounded like a single story itself and not two separate plots.


Overall, this is a light read which will satisfy even the romance lovers and the people like me who loves to read about religion, spirituality and philosophy. I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.






4 May 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

NIGHTWATCHMAN PVT LTD by Naveen Kundra (Book Review: 4.5*/5) !!!

1929th BLOG POST

17th Book of 2021


When someone says “What can be more real than fiction?”, I totally agree with it. An author has all the creative liberty and freedom to explore the current surrounding in his fictional story in a way that the readers reading it understand that this is being referred to what they are experiencing every day. A non-fiction writer always has to twist and turn their words to protect the dignity of the place or people they are talking about. Whenever I read any fiction book which has such great elements into it which relates with what people around me and I are already suffering or living, I just wish to spread the words to as many people as possible to let them know about the book and author.


Here, I am referring to the latest book I have completed last night- “NIGHTWATCHMAN PVT LTD” written by the debutante author, Naveen Kundra. The book is published by Notion Press in around 420 pages. Frankly speaking, when I had seen the cover page and the title of the book, I didn’t expect much but what made me started was the synopsis of the book. As soon as the story begins, it just pulls you in. Even if it can’t be called a thriller, it is no less than that. It is a perfect page turner as you just want to know what is going to happen ahead as all looks smooth at the moment. Because author has written this in a simultaneous format where we are being narrated two different timelines, where the earlier one is the basic plot, we just want to know how our protagonist got in a scoop in the future timeline.


The writing style of Naveen is as good as any prominent fiction writers’ in India who write in the same genre. He knows how to narrate an incident. He keeps few of them sometimes limited to a paragraph or two whereas some of them have a chapter dedicated to them. Naveen knows how to use story elements very sharply as his plot doesn’t have only one narrative and thought-process to it. It consists of so many factors that one needs extreme level of research and intriguing observation that when you write it, a person reading thinks that this has always been around you but how couldn’t you focus upon it before reading it in the book.


Naveen has used many social and political concerns in his book in a light story format but it talks about our contemporary issues. The protagonist has come from a small place to this very big state for a job which can take him places. His parents have always compared him to his peers which made him feel inferior. After working for some time, like every small-town boy, he dreams of creating his own product and becoming an entrepreneur. Then the book talks about the kind of obstacles and challenges a person faces when he gets into entrepreneurship. The author also takes up the topic of how the big sharks in the market try to wipe you out completely from your business through various demeaning tactics and how it impacts one’s personal as well as professional life.


Kundra has also not shied away from introducing us to the internal politics in the Police department and how every officer is different from each other but have to keep their personality squeezed due to the pressure from top orders. Also, how a department like Police which is responsible for Law and Order in the state are continuously manipulated by the State Government is administered in the 2nd half of the book. The plot of the book corelates with our current Covid situation also at some or the other level and you can understand how internal blame game takes place due to which public suffers. Author has been sarcastic and humorous at several points which really makes you appreciate his witty side and keeps the book entertaining.


The writing approach of Naveen is really distinct where he first mentions any character as if it’s just another supporting character but after some time when the story becomes interesting, author makes it more captivating by taking us to their back story and their relationship with the protagonist. It really becomes interesting to read the story for next few pages after that until which we are again taken to another character’s past. This cycle becomes so addictive that you wish the book keeps going further in the same spiral model.


Along with a story which is purely based on entrepreneurship and its challenges, I really liked how author was able to embed romance, love, sex and all these delightful light moments in the book in the required quantity to not make it a very complicated read for the readers who don’t prefer it but kept it compatible for all. While reading, I could easily visualize whole story in a very entertaining masala pot-boiler Bollywood movie. This book has all the ingredients to be made in a very popular big-screen film; I just wish that it reaches up to that level.


Now talking about few drawbacks, the book has lot of typos and spelling mistakes due to bad proofreading. When you make so much effort in writing such a difficult book, such things need to be taken care of. It just spoils the reading experience. Secondly, author has mentioned spoofy names of some real locations in the book. I believe that if the author would have based his book with real places’ names, it would have made the people relate and enjoy it more as currently, it feels as if author is trying to make fun of things rather than being serious about his own story. Thirdly, the book is of around 420 pages which I believe could have been easily of less than 350 pages. The story really gets slow in the 2nd half and I wish author could have kept it crisper.


Overall, this book is a very entertaining stuff which will compel you to complete it in just one sitting irrespective of its length. When a book has such power, I think author has won his efforts of multiple sleepless nights. I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5.