Monday, March 9, 2015

Ramayana - The Game of Life : The Shattered Dreams by Shubha Vilas Review

Ramayana, definitely needs no introduction to us all. The popular Indian mythology that describes the life of Rama, the ideal man. 

One among the many mythological stories that we have grown up with, either reading from the Amar Chitra Katha or Grandma's bedtime stories. It has been a part of growing up and seeing it come up as a book written by an author of today's times was one that raised some interest. What is it that his version of the Ramayana had that we didn't know about was one question that came to mind almost immediately. 

The title to this book Ramayana - the Game of Life, sounded interesting and seemed to hold something that one could relate to in today's everyday life. What gave rise to curiosite was the interesting write up behind the book which states "through the tales of Rama's unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us to handle reversals positively; through Bharata's actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita's courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone". 

The book is the sequel to the national bestseller by the author Shubha Vilas. The first of the series is titled "Rise of the Sun Prince". Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita. Now in the second of the series, the author narrates the riveting drama of Rama's exile. Starting with Dasaratha's decision to crown son Rama as the King of Ayodhya and himself rest from the duties of being king.It signified the handing over of responsibilities from one generation to the other and also the assessment of a parent of his child. King Dasaratha was sure that Rama,like himself, would do justice to the throne and serve the people to the best of his abilities. 

The narration is beautiful and brings alive the characters and also the different events and places making one feel an integral part of the story.This is especially true of the way Rama is described and also the weaving together of the different traits of the character of Ravana. With different events and actions, the narrator/author brings out the different aspects of the personality of his characters making them very realistic and more like people we can relate to.It is a beautiful attempt at explaining the mighty epic making it one that the young generation of today can relate to(this especially I felt with the Pushpaka Vimana being referred to as a fully automated remote controlled vehicle). These are definitely words that today's youth would identify with and which Valmiki could not think of during his period.  

The book brings out the different human traits and explains as to how it is both the good and the bad, the divine and the evil all together that make up this world. A father's love and affection, a wife's devotion, a brother's admiration and idol worship, the scheming by the dark forces, the luxuries, the hardships all make it so real. The footnotes at the end of every page have so much wisdom to offer and is one wonderful feature of the book. Although personally would have loved to see the author intermingle these words of wisdom with the story/the main text of the book rather than having to go down to the end of the page and refer to it every time. 

I did come to know many little facts and detail about the story of Ramayana which you often tend to miss out as a kid. This is my first blogadda book review and truly enjoyed every bit of it and looking forward to more such interesting books coming up. The cover design is done with lot of taste. Loved reading this book and would in leisure like to read through it again, as this is one of those books that has a little something to offer with every reading. It is definitely one that I would like to add to my collection and also want my teenage daughter to read. 

Waiting for the third in the series!!

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