Book: Ramayana: The Game of life (Book III: Stolen Hope)
Author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing house
Most of my age have grown up listening to stories of Ramayan from our elders and can narrate the common and most popular stories from the epic quite easily to our kids.
This book from the series “Ramayana: The game of life” is book III ‘Stolen Hope’. In this book the duration of exile for Rama, Lakshmana and Sita is narrated through various stories that are interconnected to various other characters who each play a part in the epic.
There are many stories in the book which I was not aware of and only after reading those I could connect certain events to larger part of story. Author Shubha Vilas explains the context of stories in a way that might feel relevant to the younger generation.
The example of Maricha who turned himself into a golden dear and lured Rama away was the one which I found quite apt. With this example author explains that if we run after cheap thrills in life, we may be as well walking away from a good, balanced and virtuous life and endangering ourselves.
Another example when Ravana tries to woo Sita by disrespecting her relationship with Rama will relate well with younger generation too. He has described rightly that for love to have impact in relationships, there has to be transparency for respect for each other to bloom.
By giving the example of Surpankha’s shifting focus from Rama to Laxmana , author has brought to light the importance of loyalty in relationships. That an unstable and questionable loyalty can never be the basis of a long-lasting relationship is explained beautifully in the book.
The author has tried to connect with easy explanations of situations presented in Ramayana. There are many examples for reference to look at situations in today’s age too like Bharata’s decision to stay in Ram’s shadow, Sita’s way with words, Jatayu’s reverence etc..
However, if I go for nitpicking there are many proof reading and translation mistakes which jars the reading pace. The sentence formation is quite poor at many places. Usage of wrong words like ‘besiege’ instead of ‘beseech’ stick out like a thorn. The usage of adjectives seems too much forced. I was put off just for this reason while reading the text.
Read and decide for yourself whether it relates and applies to your daily interaction with all kinds of people.