Buddhist Banker: Money Can’t Buy Happiness, Wisdom Can — by Kandarp Gandhi
Publisher: Notion Press, Inc.
Price: Rs. 199 INR(Paperback and Kindle Edition)
Buy here: https://amzn.to/32pQVG2
Siddharth Parekh, a successful investment banker, faces two blows in life that change it forever.
His father dies.
Left alone and rudderless, Siddharth seeks out an old friend of his father’s, a temple Pujari, who takes away all his worldly possessions, and allows him to seek life as an ordinary, middle class man.
Siddharth encounters people and events that are life-changing.
But are the changes for the good? How does he manage without money? Isn’t money the basis of life’s happiness?
What does Siddharth discover?
About the author:
Kandarp Gandhi is a finance professional, tutor and active blogger.
He has half a decade of teaching experience along with couple of years as a Senior Analyst at a hedge fund servicing company. He has been associated with IBS Hyderabad for blog writing.
His hobbies include reading books, analyzing stocks and teaching.
My take on the book:
Siddharth Parekh thinks his life cannot get better with a thriving business, a beautiful wife who is a leading actress, and all the money and power in the world at his disposal. But life has other plans for him while he is busy expanding his business. His wife leaves him causing public embarrassment and before he can think of coming out of it, his father, who is his only support, passes away suddenly.
As Siddharth realizes his inevitable loneliness and how all his wealth is not able to give him the happiness he assumed he had, life gives him another chance as he finds a clue left by his father to meet his old friend. The Pujari in a remote temple, is the only beckon of hope for Siddharth who is totally devastated. Does Siddharth get the key to happiness and the peace he couldnt get with his fame and wealth forms the rest of the story.
The title kind of gives away the plot of a successful investment banker finding peace and wisdom after going through a string of complicated life situations. There is a constant metaphorical thread running through the story comparing the protagonist’s life to Lord Buddha. There are even short stories and incidents taken from life of Buddha to describe the similarities. The story starts on a predictable note and takes off after the first few pages, as Siddharth goes in search of the Pujari that his father intended him to meet.
Siddharth helping an unknown family and guiding them to run a successful business is the high point of the story. His journey of the one month as stranger is well written. However, the end could have been better as it gets predictable and loses novelty. Also, the mistakes Siddharth initially made were not valuing people around him while the lesson brought out is centered more around money and his values in doing business. The author could have handled this in a better way. However, the book makes for a nice one time read with a good message on wisdom and wealth and how each should be balanced equally to attain happiness.