Barnes and Nobles
Title: Don't Believe in God Till You Experience Him
Author: Mukul Kumar
Genre: Fiction, Religion, Spirituality
Publisher: Frog Books
This is the author, Mukul Kumar's, second book. The title caught my attention instantly because this is a mantra I myself believe in. Religion and beliefs are so varied and personal for each of us and it is best that we discover our faith ourselves, through experiences. There are a lot of self proclaimed institutes/people out there that sell religion that, if we decide to trust them, leave us hollow from within. This is what the book is all about.
Don't Believe in God Till You Experience Him is the story of Mukul. He is born into a joint family in Bihar. Mukul is a bright child but is brought up inattentively by the joint family. Soon, the family separates and despite the financial problems, Mukul gets into an engineering college and is sent off to college in Delhi. The author thoroughly describes the challenges faced and also the distractions that lead Mukul away from his goal of completing his degree with flying colors. Nevertheless, he finds himself a job and is working in Delhi when he is drawn towards a spiritual group headed by a Brazilian missionary and his wife. The followers preach about abandoning worldly pleasures and focusing on one God. Ever the curious type, Mukul gets sucked into this vortex. He is so influenced that he ignores his family, his work. Mukul wonders how ignorant the world is as he and his follower friends gear up for the Apocalypse due to befall soon.
I found the book to be a quick and an interesting read. Being in India, it is common to see religion being proclaimed and sold off using advertisements and high pitched voices on the roads. But, as I said earlier, it is a very touchy topic, because it is personal. There is a very thin line between faith and fraud. Detecting that line is the challenge.
The narrative is simple and moves at a good pace. Not in one place would the reader find the book boring. All this talk about religion and spirituality might drive some of you away but trust me when I say this, the book is NOT boring at all. The protagonist, Mukul, comes off as an innocent person who is keen on learning and experiencing new things through different stages of his life. His emotions, when he joins the cult is very descriptive and real. I just wish there was more to the story at the end. The author could have enlightened us more about the character's current way of life and thought process. He does write about that, but I wish it was more elaborate.
This book is not about some godly experience an ordinary person has that makes him believe, but on the contrary, it is about the experiences that lead him away from his self, away from his duties and responsibilities.
Anyway, it is a good read that might be useful for many people out there, young or old, who try to find answers and solutions, the easy way. But even if you aren't among those people, do read the book. It is sure to give you a fresh perspective about certain entities that "hack into the human psyche", as the author quotes.
Read the author's interview here.
*** This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. ***