Book Review: Ramayana- The Game of Life: Shattered Dreams

First of all, thanks to Blogadda team for persistent support for delivery of the book, since it was returned twice. Now about the book, I am absolutely delighted about the cover of the book. The brown-golden background illustrating Bharata asleep who looks beautiful but anguished as dreaming about his father dragged by demon on the chariot dragged by jackals; depicting death like danger approaching the king. At first sight it could be mistaken that the prince in picture is Rama, but kudos to the designer of the book cover for capturing the essence of the book in its cover. It justifies the event of Dashratha skeptical about his reign, Rama driven to exile and Bharat’s life taking centre stage in the mystical story. 

This book is the sequel to the last book, Rise of Prince, Book 1. This book talks about Dasthratha’s decision to coronate Rama as the King of Ayodhya and move on with his other responsibilities towards himself. But this takes a turn and with Keikeyi’s boon redemption Rama had to go for exile and Bharata is to be enthroned in his place. Rama’s banishment from the empire leads to evoking of emotions from the masses;  loosing the king is too hard on them and they try to get him back, but Rama had other responsibilities in the proscription to fulfil as a prince, a husband and an incarnation of almighty himself. This is the story has been narrated again and again, so many times that kindling interest and curiosity is where effective rhapsodise comes into play. 

What I admired in the book?

The philosophical footnotes are enriched with facts from the mythological record. They bring in clarity on the account of sanskrit derivations. Also at places the resemblances in anecdotes from Mahabharata make an interesting read. 

The stories about Trijata, Anasuya & Atre Muni and Ravana in between are intriguing and also provides a good flow to the story circling around Ayodhaya and the princely affairs.

A very honest description of Dhashratha’s dubiousness about letting go of his duties as an king and serve for his self growth. Whether his choosing Rama as his successor is justified; and once he know Rama will be a great emperor, he is filled with uncertainty about his own tenure. 

Bharata character is developed in the most unexceeded manner. The already worthwhile hero of this mythological story is shown to be tested for his worth and intentions in various ways by people, and he proves to be splendid in each deed. 

What could be improved on in the next book?

Although the footnotes are worthwhile source of information but they are constant interruption in the story. It could be limited to a few interesting ones. 

Rama’s blaming of Keikeyi for his exile and constantly addressing her with disrespect is not like the great ruler. The want to rescue Dhashrata and Kaushlya from the wrath of Keikeyi is unjustly demonstrated. 

The books gets tediously repetitive at places and tends to drive the audience away. Sentences with quiet a few grammatical errors are also scattered over the book. 

What could be researched more?

Keikeyi remains an object of enigma; not much explored on. The concern remains that how can such a sophisticated and rational princess get influenced by Manthara. And what are the reasons that the boons of Keikeyi never really rough her anything but remorse. 

Since the next book will entail the tale with Suparnakha, it will be hugely appreciated if the author could elaborate on the cause and driving force of the belligerence of the demon princess. 

Overall, the book deserves a 3/5 for narration, research, depiction
and innovation of Ramayana book 2. Author: Shubha Vilas  
Genre: Mythology
Publisher: Jaico Books
Publication Year: 2015
Number of Pages: 387
Price: Rs. 350
My Rating: 3/5

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers.