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The Hidden Hindu: Book 1 By Akshat Gupta | Personal Review

India (that is Bharat) has the oldest functional civilization and culture. Gone are the times when the Indian subcontinent was considered backward by western countries and the ways of eating, living, praying, storytelling and spirituality are considered backward. The glasses of the western spectacles started having a clean-up job and people around the globe started seeing the true potential of the entire ecosystem of Bharatiya way of living. Of course, there is a long way to go, yet.

In this changing environment, the stories rooted in the ancient Indian literature started surfacing and getting a huge commercial success. It would not be wrong to say that the Shiva Trilogy by Amish Tripathi is one of the game changer book series. Since the commercial success and critical acclaim is won by this book series, more and more Indian authors started exploring the genre of retelling Indian tales. Whether they are distorting the original stories, is something debatable.

Today we are going to talk about The Hidden Hindu – Book 1 by author Akshat Gupta following the same trail. The story explored in this book is quite fresh and unique. It is not retelling of any book/story/scripture, but a story rooted in the ancient Indian literature.

Book Title : The Hidden Hindu
The Hidden Hindu - 1
Author :
Published by : Penguin eBury Press ( 1 January 2021)
# of Pages : 256 (Paperback) 157; 2455 KB (Kindle EBook) 336 Minutes (Audiobook)
# of Chapters : 14
Purchase Link(s) :

Akshat was a hotelier running a small business of his own. Some personal circumstances lead him getting divorced from his wife and separation from his beloved son. Passionate about writing stories for his son and introduce him to the Bharatiya way of living and ancient Indian tales and characters, he eventually was able to write a full-fledged story and publish the same as a book. And, as you have rightly guessed, it is The Hidden Hindu.

Upon reasearch, it seems that the book was earlier pubished as Concealed Existence: Unconcealed, but wasn’t able to catch attention of readers. So, ultimately it was renamed to this intriguing title. If we get a chance to have a conversation with the author, we will surely ask him about the same.

Book Cover:

We humans are attracted towards the beauty, by nature. So, the first impression of anything, plays a vital role for our engagement (of any kind) with the same.

The books are no exception.

So, despite believing in the fact that “a book should not be judged by its cover”, we also acknowledge its influence on a remarkable number of book purchase and/or read decisions. And, thus we talk a little about the book cover, whenever we share our views about any book.

The Hidden Hindu: Book 1 By Akshat Gupta | Book Cover

The Hidden Hindu: Book 1 By Akshat Gupta | Book Cover

As you can see the cover page of this book is quite intriguing.

The green background adds to the mystery element that the book carries throughout. Te characters are drawn in brownish color. These characters however doesn’t look very attractive. It gives you a feel of looking at the dry branches of a bush, especially when you see their hairs. If you know ancient Indian literature, you will identify both of them. You, however, needs to pay attention and observe the illustration. In these aspects, the design could have been better


Let us take a bird’s eye view of the story.

Somewhere in India a person is telling a story to an old lady. He recalls the time when he was not born yet!

The beautiful Ross island of Indian territory of Andaman and Nicobar islands is witnessing some activities happening there. A prisoner(!) is flown there under the strict watch of his captive. The prisoner was under the influence of sedatives injected into him.

His body was covered by a bare minimum lioncloth and he was wearing the ashes of the cremation, We eventually come to know that he was an Aghori!

So, the real, powerful Aghoris do exist? Or he is an imposter?

A small team consists of Dr Tej Batra, Abhilash, Dr Srinivasan Rao, Dr Shahista, LSD, Parimal, and others took him to a well-guarded, very secure prison. The team members were not aware of the identity of the prisoner. They even don’t know the reasons, why he was under custody! Was he a terrost?

Well, the team has to interrogate him to know, right?

And, the process of interrogation started.

The prisoner was calm and composed. He was immune to many drugs. The team was shocked to find evidences of him available at various places on important historical periods and he doesn’t seem to be aging!

The team started injecting him some stuff which can make him subconscious and wired him to show the visual representation of what is going on his mind. They were hopeful to get answers when he is under influence of the medication and unable to hide his actual thoughts!

Well, the blabbering he was doing and his thoughts doesn’t make any sense at the first glance. And, what is being displayed on the screen doesn’t seem to be believable either!

Also, a couple of persons visiting the island undercover and maybe trying to get the prisoner released!

So, who is he? Is he actually a terrorist? Is there any conspirace he is planning and executing? Is national secury at stake?
Well, you need to read the book to get your answers. During this journey, you will meet with Mrs Batra, Prithvi, Dr Tej Batra, Veerbhadra, Om Shastri, Abhilash, Dr Srinivasan Rao, Dr Shahista, LSD: Lisa Samuel D’Costa, Nagendra, Mrityunjay, Parimal and others. Strangely you get references of Bankim Chandra Chakraborthy, Gursheel Singh Khullar, Vidur, Hatim Ali Maulvi, Protim Das, Vishnu Gupt, Kabir, Sushen, Jai Shankar Prasad, Madhukar Rao, Adhiraiyan, Sushruta, Dhanvantari, Devdrath, Bhairav Singh, Hatim Ali Maulvi, Gursheel Singh Khullar,Suvarna Pratap Reddy, Banda Bahadur, Farukh Siyar, Sanjay – the son of Gavalgan, Vishnu Gupta, Sushen, and others. They all belonged to different timespans of thousands of years of Indian history.

Views and Reviews:

As said earlier, the plot is fresh and the author has not only imagined the things well, but gave his thoughts a muscular and well-toned body that looks fantastic esthetically also.

You need to wait for the characters to uncover their layers as per the situation to see their unseen side. Of course, not all the characters have contrary layers. But, they do have their shades of grey.

Each of the character has his/her vulnerability and that makes them believable. Of course, the antagonist is the exception here.

I often say, that a lot of the feminists are pseudo-feminists. They carry the wrong idea of feminism. Again, I am not referring to “all of the feminists” here. I am referring to those people who think wearing short cloths, using expletives in conversation, being rude when they want, not following the norms and rules, etc. makes women stronger. The availability of equal opportunities, not using unfair means to move forward, and use all the genuine opportunities based on the skills to the maximum potential in fair manner, are the key elements. One shouldn’t get oppressed nor should oppress others based on gender, caste, creed, financial and social status, etc. are the key elements that should be there in all the people.

The author, got this thing right. All his characters, regardless of their gender and even side, are strong enough.

The author came up with character defining lines for almost all the characters. Here are some of them:

Veerbhadra was 6 feet tall. He had lived well past the common life expectancy of forty years, a substantial part of it devoted to the army.

Dr Batra was a tall, fair man of around fifty years of age and belonged to the Sikh community.

The man Veerbhadra answered to was 4 feet and 8 inches tall, about sixty-five years old.

God has not seen it fit to distribute evenly the gifts of beauty and brains. However, Dr Shahista possessed both.

LSD was a beautiful girl, raw and unpolished in her mannerisms, smart and intelligent in her work. She had an offhanded outlook towards everything but her job.

Parimal, aged 35, hailed from a village called Wardha in Maharashtra, where his father worked as a farmer.

Parimal was two inches short of six feet, creamy-skinned, and handsome.

The Hidden Hindu: Book 1 By Akshat Gupta | Book Cover

The Hidden Hindu: Book 1 By Akshat Gupta | Book Cover

Some of the characters in the book have a progressive thought proces. For example:

LSD criticized herself for not trying to understand a situation before forming an opinion about it.

And at the same time, she envied Shahista for being able to do the same thing so easily.

Our nature is hugely influenced by our growing up time and the kind of work we do for living. The author effectively introduces us to some of the attribues of the characters with simple yet impact-ful words. Eg:

Honoured with the highest forms of respect and prestige, he had a massive ego that reflected in his attitude.

Sir, we are a mile away from the location and the wheels can’t go any further. We are on foot now. Expect my call as I reach there,

The author takes you directly into the thrilling ride. With the segments like the following you will not only have a brief idea about the fictional span of the incidents happening in one timeline, they are intriguing enough also.

  • Memory of the Unborn
  • Memory of the Unborn Year 2041

And to add to that, the narrator also mentions:

I wasn’t born then, yet I was present in that facility on Ross Island in more than one way.

Also, the lines like the following, will make you more attentive towards the content of the book and makes you curious to know, how this is possible and whether the character just fumbles or has a concrete reason/knowledge or evidence to prove the things.

When Om Shastri saw Dr Srinivasan, he called by his nickname, Chinna!

‘What were you doing as Om Shastri in Varanasi?’‘Searching.’‘Searching? For?’‘Subhash Chandra Bose.’

I am Sushruta, one of the ten sages Kasiraja has selected to impart the knowledge of Ayurveda to.

The reader will be glued to know the answer(s) for sure.

And when a character says the following, you know he is not just making the things up, but, knows it really.

I am immune to midazolam, flunitrazepam, barbiturates and amobarbital. This won’t help you.

Some of the traits of Aghoris mentioned by the author will mesmerize you while reading. For example:

For Aghoris, nothing is impure or nasty or filthy.

Aghoris believe that everyone is born an Aghori. A newborn child doesn’t distinguish between his faeces, dirt and toys and plays with everything. It starts distinguishing among them only after its parents and society tell it to do so. As the child grows up and makes choices on a materialistic basis, only then does she or he lose the traits of an Aghori.

Aghoris have a policy of no hatred towards any creature or thing. They believe that one who hates cannot meditate or reach moksha.

They are writeen so nicely that you will be convinced with what the author has wrote.

The book has some lucrative description of places. The author also refers to some of the historical incidents and the follow up of the same done by the modern institutions. This way the mythological and historical incidents mentioned in this ficitonal story keeps it rooted near the convincing lines.

Ross Island happened to be the most aesthetic piece of land in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, about 2 km east of Port Blair. It beckoned one to take in the serenity of nature’s finest gifts with the inheritance of rare yet significant species.

Eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults were discovered in a graveyard in Mehrgarh that was 7,500– 9,000 years old. Some evidence of orthopaedic surgeries was also found, leading to the conclusion that ancient India had the technology to implement surgical procedures. In fact, anaesthesia was made using herbs in Ayurveda.’

The team of Zee News visited shrines like the Liloti Nath temple, the Shivrajpur temple and the Khaireshwar temple in UP, and everywhere, the legend of this man existed.

The author tries to bring in a lot of details from ancient Indian literature and backs them with the scientific and/or logical explanations. I am intentionally avoiding a detailed discussion about them to avoid spoilers.

However, I cannot keep myself from mentioning this scientific detail written in the book.

Every cell in our body has tiny engines called mitochondria. They provide us with the energy we need. When these engines go down, our body starts ageing and decaying.

And the following logical explanations:

I am just keeping track of all the usual and unusual happenings of the interrogation. Proves to be beneficial for the case study later,’ replied Shahista with her calm smile.

(The temperature dropped by two degrees, then another five degrees later. The winds started blowing at about 40 km/h. I could feel moisture in the breeze and could smell the wet soil. So I presumed that rains would follow),’

The book also utters the ultimate truth.

Old age frightens man like a tiger. Diseases strike the body like enemies. Life drips down as water from a broken pot. Yet people think of harming others. They do not realize that they are transitory.

The author is good at writing small lines which are full of literary qualities yet not hard to understand.

It seemed like everything had come to a halt. The space between the empty walls of the room was filled with the sound of their breath.

He was falling into a well of silence.

The book has some one-liners and ever-true life lessons. For example:

A wise man comes out of a difficult time wiser than before.

By now, you must have got a fair idea about the literary quality of the book and what to expect from the same.

I have read and heard all the three books in the series, and for all the audiobooks I found a problem. The narrator fails pronuncing some names (Eg: Ashwatthama) properly. Also, when uttering hymns or referring scriptures, he fails in the proper pronunciation there. For, otherwise nicely written books, this comes as a drawback.


If you love reading thrillers rooted in ancient Indian literature and admire fresh imaginative stories, you will like reading this book. Some of the dot may seem not connecting well, but, when you complete the trilogy most of them meet.

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 8 to 8.5 stars out of 10.

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Over To You:

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