Book Review- Ramayana, The Game of Life, Shattered Dreams Book 2
Valmiki’s Ramayana- the great epic tale has fascinated story tellers and lovers for ages. I remember my father had gifted me a children’s version of this spiritual and motivational tale when I was eight. I had loved reading about the Ayodhaya prince and about his marriage to the beautiful Sita. The whole journey of his life had been like a magical tale to my eyes but later his fourteen years of exile devised by his loving step mother had been absolutely heartbreaking. Later, the win of Rama over Ravana that follows in the story is known by all and his return to Ayodhaya after fourteen years is celebrated as Hindu festival of Lights- Diwali.
Ramayana is one big, beautiful story that will always be known for its eternal wisdom. Whenever someone mentions it, for me it never means Rama’s story but a conglomeration of many stories intertwined perfectly. I have read it in many forms but every time it mesmerizes me all the more. I always wonder when it was all destined and planned by the Gods, why the pain couldn’t have been less when Kaikeyi proposes exile for Rama, Dasaratha dies in bereavement of his son and Sita and Rama are separated by Ravana? On the other hand it has a valued lesson of life, that no matter what each one of us has to live through our own karmas and circumstances of life. Thus lets live it in a righteous way.
“Damned by despair and buoyed by hope. Isn’t that what life is about? Life is a combination of hope and despair. The one that dominates you, carves your personality”.
Ramayana has many versions and each one who reads it can have their own interpretation of it. I was surprised myself to learn that there are nearly 300 variants of Ramayana. Who ever has read it once will agree with me that this epic tales holds absolute relevance in our age. It is a book that every generation must read to learn that how lord Rama stood for his father’s words, how Sita followed her husband to the forest least caring about the jungle adversities and how younger brother Laxmana stands like a shadow for his brother and his wife. Our life is so much about relationships and there cannot be another greater book than Ramayana that teaches us their value and integrity.
The Author Shubha Vilas must be congratulated for taking up this task of retelling the ancient saga in the form that will be loved by young generation. Coaxing a young one to read Ramcharitmanas is pretty difficult because I remember when my father had suggested me to read it, I had ignored the idea for months together. However, when I did take it up later, I must say I had felt more learned and peaceful. Even Shubha Vilas has narrated the riveting drama of Rama’s exile quite interestingly. Every relationship, its portrayal and its essence has been well jotted down.
- In 9 chapters, the book details out many important aspects of life. It explores the beauty of relationships and also reiterates the significance of father, mother, wife, brother in our life.
- The foot-notes are worth a read not once but twice. Its significance in our daily life is well depicted.
- The author has purposely swayed away from complications and has kept the story comprehensible.
- Brother’s reunion, Rama’s denial to return to Ayodhaya and his conversation with Bharata is an enriching chapter of the book
- The detailings of many aspects are beautiful and brilliant. For example, I did not know that Laxmana never slept for fourteen years and ensured protection for Rama and Sita in the forest. And that he had requested Nindra devi to give his sleep to his wife Urmila. In the day she slept on his behalf and in the night she made up for her own sleep.