Genre: Indian Mythology.
Ramayana, the story of the prince of Ayodhya from being a mortal to prince to an icon and finally deified as god is told by many narrators from Valmiki to Ashok Bankar, the author Shubha Vilas being the latest. His first book the rise of the Sun Prince dealt with story of the childhood of Rama and till his marriage to Sita.
The second book the game of Life – shattered dreams opens with Dasharatha, dealing with a nightmare, that makes him aware that he is aging, and his subsequent decision to crown Rama as the prince.
The poet claims to have incorporated the essence of writings of Valmiki and Tulasidas along with the poetics of Kamban. The introduction establishes Shubha Vilas’s reader, he clearly narrates the story from the elated VyasaPeet of a preacher.
The book opens with starts with King Dasharath dealing with nightmares of ill omen and leads up to his decision on the coronation of Rama.
The author seems to have over looked the fact the quiver of Rama has only four arrows. Legends have it that Rama’s arrow would cleanse themselves in river Sharayu and returns to his quiver after use. The author refers to the useless nature of the tusk of the elephant, but the tusks are required for the defence of elephant.
The second chapter is dedicated to Ravana the king of Lanka, and creating the dark evilness of Ravana, the author does not acknowledge the scholar that Ravana was.
The author says he has used the poetic essence from Kamban Ramayana, Valmiki and Tulasidas. The image of Tulsa is very prominent in the footnotes while the language is as intricate as Kamban. Shuba Vilas says he has referred to the Lokakatha’s too.
The third chapter brings the story back to Ajodhya. The author focuses on the evilness of Kaikeyi, and paints Kaushalaya as the epitome of virtue without acknowledging kaikeyi who was the person who brought Rama up. She was a warrior par excellence and the kings counsel. Neither does he refer to the promise Dasharatha made to Kaikeya raja Ashwapathi, until the last chapter these are tales that are of prominence in the folk narrations.
I wonder which version of Ramayana had references of Bharat calling his mother nasty names, when he leaves kaikeya.
The language is tedious and constant distractions pop us as footnotes and elaborate explanations. Suddenly American expressions pop-up like Kaboom, BigM for the council of ministers, packing of bags, the management sutras promised come in as
- Confronting criticism
- Confronting confusion
- Confronting blame and praise
- Confronting accountability
- Confronting irresistible temptations.
It would have been great if one could hear the author read the book along with the explanations, instead of having to reading.
The author Shubha Vilas is a Lawyer and motivational speaker. He conducts workshops and seminars for corporate houses, and spiritual seekers.