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Book: Ramayana, The Game of Life – Shattered Dreams

Ramayana, The Game of Life – Shattered Dreams by Shubh Vilas
Ramayana, The Game of Life – Shattered Dreams by Shubh Vilas

Recently I got hold of the book ‘Ramayana, The Game of Life – Shattered Dreams’ by Shubh Vilas. ‘Shattered Dreams’ is the second book in the ‘Ramayana The Game of Life’ series, after ‘Rise of the Sun Prince’. The epic Ramayana never seizes to amaze me every time I read, listen to the stories or watch it in a video format. Different styles of narrating the stories, from different point of views, the sub-plots and sub stories – I can reread, listen again or watch it again any number of times. So with that curiosity of finding something new, I decided to read ‘Shattered Dreams’ even though I had not read the first part.

‘Shattered Dreams’, the title of the book gives a bit of hint of the part of Ramayana covered in this book. Shattering everyone’s dreams except two (Manthara and Kaikeyi) in Ayodhya, the book is an emotional journey. The book starts with Dasharatha deciding to crown his eldest son Rama as the next king as he feels unfit to rule the kingdom because of his old-age. The first chapter describes about Dasharatha’s announcement of coronation of Rama and eventual celebrations and preparations. The second chapter deviates from the happening place of Ayodhya to Ravana, talking about his growth in terms of power and defeating the kings wide & far. The next subsequent chapters come back to Ayodhya where the world turns upside down. With Manthara’s evil plan succeeding, emotions change from happy & fun to dark & sad. This second book concludes with Rama going deep into Dandakaranya along with Seeta and Lakshmana, after turning away Bharata and rest of the family to reconsider his decision of exile.

Shattered Dreams is not like a regular novel which can be finished in one go. As the story progresses, there are many sub-stories with hidden messages in them. Plus the footnotes gives a detailed explanation on different life lessons which we can incorporate on our daily life. Shubha Vilas has done a commendable job in terms of this gem of an information.

Do I recommend this book to others? It depends on who the reader is. If you are someone who is reading Ramayana for the first time or would like to read it as regular novel in one go, then I don’t recommend this book for you. You will feel the narration a bit slow and stretched, with lots of details in each and every scene. But if you have read or know Ramayana and would like to take away something new and/or want to practice it, this book is for you. Treat this book as a daily dose of medication, take in bit by bit and enjoy the tidbits.

As per the Indian mythology, do you know how the peacock got those colourful feathers? From whom & why? Read the book to get to know about it. :)

Note: This review is a part of the Book Review Program by BlogAdda.

Interested in reading my take on few more books? Click here to read them.

Book: The Krishna Key

Book: The Krishna Key
Title: The Krishna Key
Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Pages: 464

“The Krishna key” is a thriller (or should I say mythological thriller?) Ashwin Sanghi’s third book. After writing two books ‘The Rozabel Line (a theological thriller) and ‘Chanakya’s Chant’ (a political thriller), the third one digs into Hindu mythology taking us back to the times of Mahabharatha. The book is about a race between two groups/teams (the good and the evil) who want to get to that one prized possession left behind Lord Krishna. The race goes on in a very quick pace trying to bridge the gap between the current day and the times of Krishna five thousand years ago.

Being someone who has intersts in Hindu mythology and plus it had been a long time I had read a thriller, I got ‘The Krishna Key’ at the right time. The book starts off with a cold blooded murder. This results in a series of chain reactions starting with the arrest of one of the protagonist Ravi Mohan Saini. With the help of the small clue Saini got from his friend, he sets off ti uncover the truth. Travelling around to the historical places from drowned city of Dwaraka, Somnathpur, Kurukshetra, Mount Kailas and many more places, searching something which was left behind Lord Krishna. One should really appreciate Ashwin Sanghi for his background work that he has done before writing this book. (The references & acknowledgements section which is 11 pages long is evident to that). Few things which I like about the book were how Ashwin Sanghi goes on to describe simple things with the help of mathematics. He also goes on saying that Mohammad Gazni is infact a descendant of Krisha. But while reading this book through out I was reminded of Dan Brown’s work, probably because the way the story was plotted?

Like a book has its set of positive points, it also come with quite a few of negative ones –

  • I was surprised that ‘Karna’ was spelt as ‘Karana’ through out the book. I thought he is pronounced/written that way in Hindi speaking reagion. But Google and also discussions with couple of Hindi speaking friends I was told that it’s not!
  • Too many protagonists, or should I say almost all of them?
  • There was no crypticness in the clue sent to Saini from Varshney. I was able to decipher the message with in 2 minutes (not the complete answer, but the message), where as the lead characters took so much time!
  • Very less conversations. They were more of monologues, where in you get a three page long answer for a just one line question.
  • Everyone is know or interested/excited about history. Even the police who are supposed to arrest and take Saini back to the station forget their work and starts listening to the story told by him.
  • Too much of details. For example, Radhika’s chanting of ‘Hari’. I felt that could have been avoided or used not so frequently.

If you ask for my opinion, I would say go read the book if you are interested in Hindu mythology. Or else leave the book for now and wait for someone to make a movie out of this book with slight changes to the screenplay.

PS: This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.