About the book: Gyanganj is a magical abode of eternal beings situated in the remote Himalayas. The place influences the occurrence of a series of events from two different eras. The result is The Beckoning of Gyanganj, a concoction of Himalayan escapades, spiritualism, love and romance, detestation and politics and anguish and rebellion. The taxing high altitude trails undertaken in remote Himalayas by Ravi and his fellow trekkers, where unknown dangers and challenges lurk at every step and turn, the obscurity related to Gyanganj, the divine and immortal saints living there; the holy pursuit and connected challenges of Swami Raghunath; all seem to have some bizarre link with each other. The love that bloomed in Princess Lata’s heart for Swami Raghunath and the curse of Queen Damini were destined to affect several lives from the two ages. Weird turn of events, puzzling acts of fate make Ravi, Lata, Swami Raghunath and Risha wonder what lay ahead for them.
Author’s Inspiration for Writing this Book: Mr. Chandan Pathak has travelled to the Himalayas several times looking for mysteriously true saints. He has also sometimes even contemplated on retiring to a cave there to meditate for the remaining years of his life to achieve spiritual knowledge. There was a phase in his life when he coped with the materialistic and spiritual influences. These were testing times for him. When he was young, he had heard about the story of a princess falling in love with a common man and the man displaying his heroics to win her from the clutches of the merciless king. There were other stories of kings or princes torturing the common people, exploiting them and sometimes mercilessly killing them. Mr. Pathak was fascinated by these stories. These stories left a deep imprint of sadness in his mind. Through this book, he has tried to weave his own story encompassing all these aspects centering on love, romance, spiritualism and politics. He sincerely hopes that this effort of his will appeal to the readers of all age groups.
Why Gayaganj? Having read earlier about Gyanganj and Shambala on several occasions, Mr. Chandan Pathak later developed a lot of curiosity about this holy and spiritual place. During past times, it is said that some very special rishis have alleged that they had visited this holy place and revealed their remarkable experiences. Gyanganj is truly a mysterious and heavenly place based on all these accounts that he has read. It is his wish that the eternal and celestial saints of Gyanganj would come forward and guide today’s crooked and cruel world, raising its level of purity, the same way that they helped the people of Mayurpura in The Beckoning of Gyanganj.
About the author: Chandan K. Pathak was born and raised in Guwahati, Assam. He is an oil-field professional and is settled in aamchi Mumbai. A wanderlust and spiritual explorer at heart, Chandan has a strong desire to experience the life of an ascetic in the Himalayas at some stage of life. The hatred and killings all over the world in the name of religion pains him immensely. Writing is a passion which Chandan acquired at the later stage of life and he has a strong desire to contribute meaningfully to the world of literature in coming years. ‘The Beckoning of Gyanganj’ is his second book. His first effort ‘Footprints’ was a collection of short stories which were earlier in form of blogs. It was published by Leadstart Publishing in 2012. Most of the stories are based on real life experiences of the author while there were some fictional ones as well. Mr. Pathak is currently working on his third novel (untitled) which is loosely based on a real life story from 1980s. He also intends to write a self-help book in coming time. Author Chandan Pathak’s other interests include social work. He tries to contribute towards rural education within his limited capacity through Udaan Charitable Trust, a non-profit-organisation set up by the government providing education to the underprivileged and needy. All the proceeds from the sale of The Beckoning of Gyanganj will be used for this purpose.
My Take: Many people especially students read books not just to be entertained, but also to improve their language. While reading this book the entire story flashed in front of me. Though the book is filled with imagery, I would not recommend this for improving the language. This is because the book is replete with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. The language at many places shows more than small hints of spoken English – English spoken by non-native English speakers. There are places, where fewer words could have said the same thing. The book really falls short in the editing department. Otherwise the plot is fine. If you are not looking at improving your language you can read it for the story. Just a small hint: the end of the book is not the end of the story. There is more to come. I would definitely like to read the second part, only for the story plot.