I received Ramayana: The Game of Life – Book 3 – Stolen Hope by Shubha Vilas as a review copy from the author. It is the third book of the series of Ramayana written by the author. This covers the Ramayana from Dandakaranya part of the exile to Sita’s abduction.
The Blurb (from Goodreads):
In the evil labyrinths of Dandakaranya forest, human values are put to test. Rama’s righteousness, Lakshmana’s loyalty and Sita’s endurance reflect our own sense of values and judgment in difficult times. The story unfolds the facets of human life – the conflict and the trickery, the praise and the slander and, above all, the hope and the despair in the eventful forest life of the Exiled Royals.
Stolen Hope is about extreme deception and extreme love. It is about arrogant power and deep devotion. With every twist and turn, Rama, Sita and Lakshmana find themselves robbed of whatever and whoever they value most.
Exploring the dynamics of human relations – between father and son, husband and wife, teacher and disciple – and the complex game of power and greed, Stolen Hope mirrors our own dilemmas in the modern world and teaches us how we must overcome them.
Seek courage when everything, including hope, is stolen.
Rama and Lakshmana are into exile with Sita when enter Dandakaranya from Chitrakuta. They have a conflict with two demons. Viradha and Kabandha. They then move to live in Panchavati and are living there for two years when Surpanka sees them and wants to marry Ram herself, then decides to marry Lakshman and ends up getting her ears and nose chopped off. Surpankha comes with her brother and a fourteen thousand demon army for revenge and the army is destroyed by Rama. And then she sends Ravana to take revenge.
The story moves to what we had read when we were young about how Rama goes after the deer Maricha, Lakshman follows and Sita is taken away by a beggar. He meets Shabari while searching for Sita and he then meets Sugriva and the Vanaras.
The language is simple. The book has been detailed in a way that makes it easy to understand with a lot of words and events explained as footnotes. The author has used boxes to convey some important parts. There are stories narrated by various sages and others within the book which make it interesting, like the story of Agastya.
The author has described many instances in the book including Ravana’s flight to Lanka which I had not read about before.
All in all it is an interesting book, but one thing is for sure, we need to dedicate quite a lot of time to the book to do justice to the author and his research.
Book Source: The author
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the author in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.