Self Expression Magazine

Shattered Dreams – Shubha Vilas – Book Review

Posted on the 30 June 2016 by Jairammohan

ShatteredDreams

Goodreads blurb: Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the national bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana – The Game of Life. Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita at the end of Book 1.

Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riveting drama of Rama’s exile. Through tales of Rama’s unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata’s actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita’s courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail.

With Valmiki’s Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitramanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before.

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The second book in the Ramayana series by Shubha Vilas Shattered Dreams is decidedly more grim and serious compared to the first one. The first book Rise of the Sun Prince [Link to review] dealt with Rama’s birth and ended with him getting married to Sita and represented the more joyful days of Rama as a teenager and youngster, this book deals with the more serious events in Rama’s life which marks the true beginning of his journeys.

Starting with Dasaratha’s premonitions and fears surrounding Rama’s coronation as the King of Ayodhya, the book deals with the events surrounding the same and how Manthara, Queen Kaikeyi’s handmaiden poisons her mind and extracts two long forgotten promises from the King. The sequence of events leading to Rama being exiled and Dasaratha dying due to the grief of being separated from his favorite son are quite poignantly narrated and even a fairly unemotional person like me felt for the old King and the citizens of Ayodhya when Rama left the kingdom. Such is the wonderful hold that the narrator has over the story and the flow of his words on the pages.

What still surprises me about this series is the fact that despite having read and re-read the story itself so many times over the course of more than few years, each re-reading brings to the fore something new and something unique with it. Maybe it’s just the wisdom that age brings with it, or maybe there’s something more to the Indian mythological epics that I give credit for. In a nutshell, I am thoroughly enjoying this series, all the more because, it has no fictional embellishments to it and sticks mostly to the Valmiki version with bits and pieces from the Kamba Ramayanam and Tulsidas’ Ramcharitmanas thrown in here and there.

What made this book more enjoyable were the small nuggets of stories of Anasuya which form the last chapter of the book. Gives me material to put up a few mythological posts on my blog after quite a longish gap.

Click here to purchase the book from Flipkart [Link] or Amazon [Link]

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A review copy of this book was provided to me by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review of the same.


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