For our book club, we read The Temple Goers by Aatish Taseer and it was a unanimous call that this was 'the best looking book' with the most baseless story we have ever read. In fact, the term, 'Don't judge a book by it's cover', was coined just for 'The Temple Goers'!
The author did not put any effort into writing this novel. He picked up some facts of his life, threw it together with some newsworthy stories of Delhi and voilà, a blended, puréed bunch of words came up, which he took to the publisher who printed it, as is.
This book is based in Delhi, which is where all of us (the book club) reside and although, we probably were the author's target audience, this book did nothing to excite our senses.
It starts with the author coming to back to India with an unfinished book which he needs to work on. His girlfriend Sanyogita and him have a weird relationship. He seems to have no attachment towards Sanyogita, who keeps trying to make her effort to keep the relationship afloat. Moreover, most of us thought that Aatish would come out of the closet, so to speak, by the end of the book, which he didn't.
The central character becomes Aatish's personal trainer Aakash, whom he shares a very strange relationship with, as well. He seems far more attached to Aakash than he is to Sanyogita, which again gives the feeling that he might be gay. The story progresses on to Aaskash getting secretly married to one of his more affluent clients, and consequently, she is murdered. It becomes one of the unsolved murders with Aakash going on to become a politician of sorts.
The story line is extremely poor. And although the characters are created well, their relationships are not believable. This novel is said to touch on taboo topics of Delhi's underbelly but I do not agree. If anything, it seems like the author doesn't know much of Delhi or her underbelly but has read enough books and newspapers to consider himself, an expert.
All in all, this book was a poor read and I would not recommend it to anyone. In fact, most of the girls did not finish it.