Mythology is one of my favorite genre and Mahabharata and Ramayana are always classics. No matter how many times you read it you get to read new stuff. And according to me every author has his own perspective of these classics. Every Author brings his own version of the epic whenever he or she writes the Ramayana or the Mahabharatha. Shubha Vilas's Ramayana, The Game Of Life is a series of 6 books. I am writing the review of the second part of this book called Shattered Dreams.
In Shattered Dreams, the author narrates the beginning of Rama's exile. The book starts with Dasaratha deciding to hand over the throne to Rama, his eldest son. And then starts the twists and turns that changes the course of the story. This book deals with the emotional aspect of Ramayana rather than the story itself. Shubha narrates the agony of the King, Kausalya, and the other queens, the courtiers and the common people when Rama , Lakshmana and Sita leave for the forest for fourteen years.
It begins with a happy note of Rama's coronation. Then comes Manthara's scheming and then sthe story moves to Keikeyi who falls for Manthara's evil scheme and brings havoc to Ayodhya. And then one gets to see the human emotions where Rama, Sita and Lakshmana give all the worldly happiness and move to the forest just to fulfill Dasaratha's promise to Keikeyi.
What I liked most the most about this book is the mention of Urmila, Lakshmana's wife, who has been ignored in many books I have read so far. I have always felt sorry for her character because we never get to read much about her though she has sacrificed as much as the trio has. Also the small small back stories about Ravana, Dasaratha, Indra, the fisherman, etc add so much depth to the book. I won't be writing more because I don't want to be a spoilsport here. Please do read the book to know more.
If you are the philosophical kind then this book is a must for you because of the various footnotes provided by the author. He has given explanations to almost all of the actions of all the characters and also provided a few back stories here and there. Sometimes you will also get to read comparisons with Mahabharatha and other stuff.
Overall the book is worth a read if you are into mythology and philosophy.What I didn't like were these little foot notes were more about morality, spirituality and philosophy than about the story itself. That might be because I am not a very spiritual or philosophical person. I felt that the book was a bit lengthy in some places. Otherwise Ramayana is a classic and any day you read it, there is something to learn, something more to read and something extra to know and ponder upon. More over we need a bit of spirituality and philosophy in this age more so because we have become more materialistic. And Ramayana teaches us that Rama is Lord Rama because of his virtues and he sacrificing the worldly pleasures just to fulfill his father's promise.