‘Shattered Dreams’ is the second in the series of Ramayana-The Game of Life authored by Shubha Vilas. About a week ago I received a copy from the author with a wonderful handwritten note which definitely has added to the positivity I hope in this year , also I must say that my inquisitiveness to learn more about the epic which started with the first book is adequately appeased.
Firstly mythology, secondly a series to write in my opinion is a great challenge. To top that keeping a reader of the modern times hooked to the story is not a piece of cake. I did feel some dialogues and scenes above the light reading that I usually prefer but something did not let me put down the book. It does succeed very much like the first in its rendition.
The story begins with Dasaratha’s nightmare on a restless night and ends with Rama, Sita and Lakshmana leaving towards the Dandakaranya forest. What transpires in between is where all the learning of life is, as the author rightly put it for me in his mail-how to handle reversals positively is what one can learn from Rama and how to explore beyond one’s comfort zone is what one can learn from Sita.
What added to my knowledge and confidence about Ramayana is what the other characters had to tell me. Dasaratha, Kausalya, Sumitra, Kaikeyi, Lakshmana, Bharatha, Shatrugna, Urmila, Manthara, Sumanthra, Guha, Anasuya, Vasistha and all the others have myriad things to teach us as well. We all have heard and read about Ramayana from many sources, but what makes this book different is the extreme detailing and the interpretation which contributes to developing our own perspective about the epic. The stories within the story-how people earned their names, why a certain situation had to happen and what made people behave the way they did is what the book offers. For example how Dasaratha came to be called so, why a boatman wanted to wash Rama’s feet, why Bharatha refused to become the king and so on. The book has answers to these questions.
My favourite line is in one scene between Rama and Sita”…she then wove an imaginary garland around Rama’s neck by moving her beautiful eyes and smiled again” This was one poetic portion. I also have to mention about the point to point footnotes. Some of them like these are etched in my memory.
“Relationships thrive when genuine service is acknowledged by active gratitude”
"The decisions to make decisions has to be made in moments of strength not in moment of weakness"
“One ounce of immaturity coupled with ten ounces of ill advice is the perfect recipe for a life of disaster”
“Convenience is about changing the law to suit your life but maturity is about changing your life to salute the law”
On one considerable side I must admit that I was at my wit’s end with some portions of footnotes and explanations, that one thin line when a reader realizes with the flow”Oh wait, let me get back, where was the story!” This happened to me a couple of times when I had to flip the pages back. I guess this was the only pique I had to deal with even with the first book. I decided to overlook this since so many good ideas and opinions came along with the reading . I would only recommend this for people who are interested in looking at Ramayana as our story, because it actually is.