This 'labour of love' is a magnificient piece of literature that I hope will reach the Times 'Top 100 books of 2009'. Each illustration and picture shows the rarity of this great, unique and hidden side of Sikhism in the middle of India.
Personally, I've read a few chapters and I am thrilled. I must admit that I was one of those 'mainstream Sikhs' who thought that my Hazoor Sahib counterparts were a bit behind in their practices, but now I am enlightened and more educated. I now believe that I was the one who was behind and ignorant. This wonderful piece of work and effort on your behalf is an exceptional endeavour. In one word, 'sublime'. The illustrations alone make it unique and well sought after.
The Sikh world needs to know what its history is. Ignorance needs to be dispelled and with the collaboration of Parmjit Singh with Nihung Niddar Singh, Sikhism can reach its full potential.
This book demands your time and attention. Reading `In the Master's Presence' often felt like watching an epic Franco Zeffirelli production. Admittedly my initial impressions were influenced by its look and feel - it's beautifully laid out and illustrated - quite unlike others of the Sikh history genre. However comparisons are difficult . The history of Hazoor Sahib has been, until know, a neglected area. This book's unique strength is that it combines a balanced combination of detailed research, remarkable illustrations and aspects of an oral tradition that present a unique and compelling story. But this is not just entertainment, this is a campaigning book, a brave attempt to bring to the fore traditions, perspectives and awareness of heritage issues that are no longer prevalent in Sikh culture. It is not without its faults, some chapters could be more concise without loosing their central theme. The description of rivalries and collusions between various sects such Nirmalas , Udasis and Nihangs was at times difficult to follow. But overhall these are minor issues in a book that contains gems such as a stunning (unknown ?) painting of the young Ranjit Singh and pictures and descriptions of the Asth-Bhuja Dhuja - Guru Gobind Singh's battle standard . For me this books succeeds because it does not leave the reader in the past. It takes two principle issues , the reformation of Sikh traditions and preservation of its heritage and puts these firmly in the world we live today.
Fantastic book! Immediately, the quality of the book grabs your attention - the rich detail of the photographs and illustrations, rarely seen before, captivate the reader, and, combined with the detailed information, makes it an absolute pleasure to read.The extensive research which has gone into producing the book help to illuminate a seriously under-researched aspect of Sikh history certainly making it a book to be cherished by all.