Series: Ramayana: The Game of Life #2
Date Published: February 4, 2015
Source: Review copy provided by Blogadda
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.
My View: Frankly, I was a bit hesitant before giving this book a nod. I only get along with the writing of very few Indian authors so I am skeptical when trying a new one. A few pages into the book and all my doubts were put to rest. Shubha’s writing didn’t put me off. He has a rich vocabulary and the writing makes for a smooth, easy read. It was natural and didn’t grab my attention enough to distract me from the concept of the book.
I had not read the first book but being well versed with the general theme of Ramayana, I didn’t think I would feel any disconnect and I was right about that. I believe that will be for most of the readers who have a cursory knowledge of Ramayana.
What I liked about the book was that the instances are well-detailed. Some of those I was not aware of so that added to the dimensions. I especially liked the lessons that one can take from different episodes that are put up in little boxes. It also makes them easier to get back to. The author’s analysis in those instances comes handy. These lessons are applicable from a household situation to even a managerial one.
Also, if one is interested in learning the meaning of certain Hindi or Sanskrit words, they have been taken straight from the epic and then their translation is given. It makes it easier for someone who wants to go back and read the original text someday. You can start building up your dictionary right away.
What I had trouble with was that even though the footnotes had to be there to add perspective, sometimes it was cumbersome to go back and forth and also took the attention away from the smooth flowing story line. Another of my pet peeve are certain typos. And some analogies drawn seemed too general or too abstract to draw my interest. Also, certain expressions like ‘Sita giggling mindlessly’ doesn’t gel well with my conception of Sita so I had trouble imagining and believing it.
Overall, the book makes for an easy, interesting read for people who have or haven’t read Ramayana in the past. The author has worked hard to glean lessons from this epic. The lessons are of benefit to everyone from an average Joe to a marketing consultant. The book flows smoothly and makes you want to go on reading. The author’s in-depth research and analysis makes this an unabridged version. In fact, certain of the historical events or meanings of certain words were new to me and lent the story a refreshing new perspective.
Sorting down this epic into volumes makes it seem less daunting a task to read it all. The way the author has broken it down into parts and further chapters makes the reading effortless and enjoyable. The book is recommended for all those who have an interest in history-based books, epics or those who seek to learn lessons from age-old stories and apply them in the new age world.
(All opinions expressed are my own and in no way influenced.)