The road to self realisation
Reviewed by Balwinder Kaur

The Man Who Tried to Remember
By Makarand Sathe (translated by Shanta Gokhale). 
Viking. Pages 237. Rs 399.

Amnesiac Achyut Athavale is trying to collect the pieces of his life, while he is locked in a cell and facing murder charges. Haunted by ghosts of memories, he clings to cold hard facts delineating and deconstructing social structures instead. Being highly disenchanted and disassociated, he doesnít consider degrees of culpability; instead condemns himself. It portrays the fragility of a highly intellectual mind which has failed itself in small but crucial ways. Beginning in medias res, the book is a postmodern riddle on the subjectivity of perspective and experience.



Artist Undone
By V. Sanjay Kumar.
Hachette India. Pages 234. Rs 495.

A painting triggers a midlife crisis in the utterly ordinary Harsh Sinha who proceeds to buy the said painting with his life savings and quits his job. His wife, however, does not share his enthusiasm and spurns him. Now forced to reconsider his impulsive choices and desperate to salvage his funds, he is forced to navigate the mind-boggling maze that is the art world. His journey is a string of colourful images reflecting human experiences and exploring the influence of art on society. Self-discovery and self-expression drive the narrative.




Guru Tegh Bahadar Ji and Sikh Gurus, Bhagats & Akal Takht 
By Harbans Singh Doabia. 
Doabia  Foundation. Pages 292

Devotion, courage and fealty grace the volume written by Harbans Singh Doabia, which follows the life and teachings of Guru Tegh Bahadar ji whose largesse knew no bounds. He willingly made the supreme sacrifice for a religion he neither espoused nor endorsed but protected to ensure the dignity and freedom of its practitioners against abusers of political power. Ď...propagating the divine message of equality, fearlessness, self-respect, universal brotherhood and the worship of one godí which if imbibed would facilitate the optimisation of human experience and self-actualisation.

The book is an effort to foster a better understanding of the rich Sikh tradition, philosophy and ideology espoused by revered Gurus. To facilitate wider reach and easy comprehension, all the hymns and saloks of Guru Tegh Bahadar, included in the Guru Granth Sahib, are presented in Gumukhi, Hindi and Roman scripts along with simple translations in English. It also endeavours to bridge the gap between religions.

In this revised edition, Tejinder Singh Doabia augments his fatherís efforts by adding brief life stories of the Sikh Gurus and Hindu, Muslim Bhagats, Bhats and Gursikhs, whose words have achieved the exalted status of being included in the revered Guru Granth Sahib. These are both interesting and inspiring in their own right and bear testimony to the spirit of tolerance preached by Sikh Gurus and the universality of these fundamental divine truths. Providing an overview of all those seminal in the formation the Sikh religion from the Gurus to the Sants. Devotion and religious fervour find many expressions.