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The Temple goers – in league with the Slum dog Millionaire

Written by: Suba Subramanium

Book cover
The Temple goers

Aatish Taseer’s ‘The Temple Goers’ could be termed an autobiography as the narrator of the novel is called also Aatish Taseer - a writer who has returned to Delhi after having lived abroad for a number of years, to rework a novel he has written.

The Temple Goers is all about the society in Independent India. The clashes between modernization and tradition, the clashes between the new rich and the down trodden, the caste war, the class war and of course the religion war.

When Aatish Taseer, the narrator, arrives in New Delhi it is spring – the best time to be in Delhi. New townships called Sectorpur and Phasenagar have cropped up in the capital. Everything is different to the eyes of the narrator and he is intrigued by the transformations he sees. Soon the narrator, Aatish Taseer, starts working on his novel. He decides to learn Urdu and join a gym. He meets Zafar Moradabadi, an old poet from whom he learns Urdu, and Aakash Sharma, a trainer in the gym.

A beautiful friendship blooms with Zafar; but with the determined gym trainer Aakash, something more ominous takes shape.
Days roll by and the narrator’s relationship with his lovely girlfriend Sanyogita starts to crumble, his book suffers. He becomes tangled in Aakash’s secret affair with an heiress. The narrator starts fathoming the desires of those around him and becomes aware of the countless fights and affection that make the city’s life.The narrator weaves a intricate path and takes the reader through the closed drawing rooms and private gardens of Delhi. One get a peek at the dinner parties, meetings and all that transpire beneath the clink of crystal glass and the clash of cymbals.

Aatish Taseer, the author, gives a novel that is uniquely gripping. India's unpleasant underbelly, though hardly news to Indians, is a trendy subject for novels and movies, such as The White Tiger and Slum Dog Millionaire, and The Temple Goers joins forces with them.

Aatish Taseer has a clear eye and ready wit and is certainly one of the most accomplished talents of our times. An author to watch out for in the future!

The Temple Goers – A unique story and an even more unique form of narrative!

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