I finished reading Walking with Nanak about 2 years ago and had written this article in my old blog.
This book is a very beautiful read. The author Haroon Khalid had been fascinated with Nanak since childhood. He wanted to search and know more about his life. He travels across Pakistan wherever Nanak went.
Following his footsteps (as the name says walking with Nanak) Nanak was born in present-day Pakistan. He left his family to find his own truth. He traveled for 24 years on foot all parts of India – east, west, north, and south, with his friend Mardana. Learning more about Hindus and Muslim’s and finding a middle path. And thereby sets the foundation for a new religion. There are 2 stories running parallelly – one Haroon and his friend’s journey visiting places Nanak visited in present-day Pakistan and other of the history of Sikh Gurus in brief. There are references to various gurudwaras in Pakistan connected to Guru Nanak.
In particular, I enjoyed reading about Nanak’s personal life. He was born in a simple Hindu family, educated by Muslim and he founded a new religion called Sikhism. When he left his family to travel and seek his own truth, he had to deal with all the family issues that once could think of. Unhappy father and mother, wife and kids he was leaving hoping he would change his mind. His father remained unhappy with him whole life as instead of focusing on career, he spent time with yogis and spiritual matters.
After nearly 3 decades of traveling when he returns home, he sees lots of complaints and questions in his wife’s eyes. He never spent time with his kids and hence kids are more friendly with their mother. He struggles to be a part now. Though on surface everything is perfect. His wife would cook food, serve him take care of him but there is still an invisible wall. His kids and talking to their mother but when father comes in, they suddenly stop.
His elder son got more inclined towards ascetics and younger son towards business. He was more worried for his elder son because he himself has been preaching since years that don’t be an ascetic believing in superstitions but find your own truth. He also went thru a phase thinking what will society think that this man who is preaching the whole world, can’t teach the same to his own sons. He is a saint god who is worshiped by Sikhs and non-Sikhs also.