Mythology and fictions based on mythology is the newest trend in India. Our ancient epics and mythological stories seem to be still intriguing the authors and of, course the readers. It is quite evident, from the success of the Shiva Trilogy and other fictions based on mythology, that our epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are still quite popular among the Indian audience.
Last week I was reading this new book of the Ramayana – The Game of Life series titled, Shattered Dreams by Shubha Vilas. It is in fact the sequel to an already popular first installment of the series Rise of the Sun Prince. And as the title suggests it’s based on the epic Ramayana. So how has been the book? Read on for the review.
Though I had not read the first book so I read this one without any anticipation and thought it would be the known Ramayana told in a different way. The story opens with King Dasarath’s turmoil and his decision for the coronation of his most able son – Rama. You have the scheming Manthara and queen Kaikeyi’s wishes that leads to Rama’s exile. The citizens love Rama and his valor and are devastated with this decision. It also describes the agony that Rama’s younger brother and Kaikeyi’s son Bharat goes through when he finds out the truth.
Shattered Dreams, uncannily is not a story depicting Sita’s love and sacrifice for Rama, or the might of Ravana – the kind of Ramayana we all are accustomed with. In fact, we see the author etch the other characters beautifully – something you don’t see in most Ramayana editions.
Have you ever thought why king Dasharath was named so? I never knew that before. He could move his chariot in ten directions at the same time and defeat ‘asuras’. I also didn’t know earlier that Kaikeyi was not only his wife but his most trusted charioteer and it was Kaikeyi who in adverse situation had placed her finger within the chariot wheel to support it and ensured maximum support to Dasarath in a war.
Shubha Vilas’s Shattered Dreams follows the Ramayana in its purest form. He has kept the essence of Valmiki Ramayana intact and has taken influences from Ramcharitmanas and Kamba Ramayana. The author doesn’t twist tales but offers minute details of emotions and devotion of people. He gives an extensive narrative of the journey to the exile. From emotions to the beauty of nature – he has made everything come alive.
As we all know Ramayana is the epitome of brotherhood. It is the story of devotion of brothers too. Characters of Lakshmana and Bharat have been developed pretty well here. They both stand true to their characters – standing by their elder brother and facing the different hardships.
You don’t see much of Ravana in this book, only a brief intro – I think he will be appearing in the next part. But there are several interesting anecdotes which tell you a complete new story about Ravana – who he was, how he got transformed and his encounter with Yama.
As you read through, you see these footnotes which offers good knowledge on the backstories and trivias. You might think you know Ramayana pretty well but there are several facets that you will get to know for the first time may be.
About the Author
Shubha Vilas is a motivational speaker and a spiritual seeker. This is his second release after the successful Rise of the Sun Prince. Apart from being spiritual he is also a law graduate L.L.B Specializing in Intellectual Property Law : Patent Law. He also blogs at Thought Sutras.
My Rating – 3/5. Overall a nice read of the already popular epic.
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