Book Review – Ramayana, The Game Of Life – Shattered Dreams By Shubha Vilas

Those of you who follow my blog will know what a huge fan I am of mythology and our epics. The Ramayana and the Mahabharat are the stories all Indian children’s childhoods are made of. I can’t even remember the first time I heard those stories, but I do remember, at the age of 5, I was the only child who was able to answer the question “Who was the only one who knew how to enter the Chakravyuh?” Perhaps, it was this fascination for our epics and for the mysteries in our past that led me to choose Ancient Indian Culture as my graduation subject. Having read most of the versions of both these epics (check out my book collection here and here), I still long to read more and so, when I got a chance to review Ramayana, The Game Of Life‘s second book, Shattered Dreams, I quickly grabbed it. Read on to know more……

Book Review: Ramayana,  The Game Of Life - Shattered Dreams
Book Review: Ramayana,  The Game Of Life - Shattered Dreams
Shattered Dreams is the second book in the spiritual and motivational retelling of the ancient epic by author Shubha Vilas. Book 1, which I haven’t read, ends with the wedding of Ram and Sita.  Book 2, Shattered Dreams,  tells the drama of Keikeyi Keikeyi’s two boons and the beginning of Ram’s exile.However,  don’t think that this is just another retelling of the Ramayana.  Besides narrating the story, the author adds footnotes on what we can learn and imbibe from this epic,  demonstrating how, the teachings of this epic, are truly timeless.

Book Review: Ramayana,  The Game Of Life - Shattered Dreams

Besides these footnotes, there are other “sections” scattered throughout which talk about human nature and relationships and which offer guidance to modern day communication issues in families as well as daily challenges (for example,  What is true communication, How does one handle reversal in life etc).

Book Review: Ramayana,  The Game Of Life - Shattered Dreams

The style of writing is simple, yet descriptive and evocative.  The author Shubha Vilas also tells us the lesser the lesser known stories of the Ramayana,  like how King Nemi came to be known as King Dasharatha, how Ravana had enslaved the nine planets, how Meghanad got his name etc.

Shattered Dreams is an apt name for this book since it deals with that part of the Ramayana where dreams are, indeed, shattered – Dasharatha’s dream to see his eldest, and favourite son Ram being coronated,  Keikeyi’s dream of seeing her son, Bharat, become king – and reminds us that life doesn’t always work out the way we imagine it to. Destiny has other plans for each one of us and sets events into motion to bring those plans to fruition.

As far as the epic itself goes, I have always preferred the Mahabharat to the Ramayana (my personal opinion). Somehow, I found the “idealism” and “perfection” in the Ramayana to be a sign of rigidity and I could somehow, never truly relate to it. I’ll take the Mahabharat any day, where each character is painted in different shades of grey and there are no absolute blacks and white.  But that’s just my own viewpoint.

If you’re fond of the epics, this is one book you shouldn’t miss.  I’m going to buy the prequel too, since I haven’t read that and I’m looking forward to book 3 in the series.

 

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2 Comment

  1. TapaswiniSwain says: Reply

    nice one, even i prefer mahabharat any day thn ramayana, still wanna read this 🙂

  2. will surely read this one 🙂

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