Name: Shattered Dreams
Author: Shubha Vilas
Genre: Mythology / Spiritual
Publisher: Jaico Books
Publication Year: 2015
Number of pages: 387
Price: 350 INR
My rating: 3.5/5
The Storyline –
The book works on the premise that ‘A singe Shattered Dream creates a Domino Effect.’
This book is part 2 of the series ‘Ramayana : A Game of Life’. The story starts with King Dasarath deciding to coronate Prince Rama as the King. It has been 12 years since the marriage of Rama and Sita and everyone is living happily in Ayodhya. Dasarath decides it is time for him to abdicate his crown and to hand over the reigns of the kingdom to the able Prince Rama. That is when the queen Kaikei interrupts and asks for two boons, which the King had given her long ago, to be redeemed. As is known, Kaikei, Rama’s stepmother, is not happy about the coronation. Her mind is poisoned by her maid Manthara. Manthara works up Kaikei to such a state that Kaikei begins to believe that she and her son have been wronged. Queen Kaikei asks Dasarath to grant her the following wishes – for her son, Prince Bharata, to be crowned as the King, and secondly, she wants Prince Rama to be exiled to the Dandakaranya forest for 14 years. What follows since this proclamation are the teachings which has been provided in this book. Here, every action, every word spoken, is analysed and explained to the reader in very simple terms.
The story in the book spans from the declaration of King Dasarath of Rama’s coronation till Prince Bharat beginning to rule Ayodhya from a hut on the outskirts of Ayodhya. Read on to find out how this comes to be.
What worked for me –
1) The book is very well-written. It takes a bit of time to adjust to the format. But it is written in a format similar to other holy books in regional languages. The story flows on and there are notes explaining the reasoning at the bottom of the pages.
2) The story is very common and we have heard it and seen it many times. But, it is the foot-notes that is the real thing to read on. It is a treasure of information.
3) The dialogues, interactions between the characters are etched out in detail. To the point of being tedious, they are still a delight to read.
4) The book is interspersed with short stories or rather background stories of the present story. It has been interlinked very well in the book.
5) I have not read the first book, but that does not take away anything from reading only the second book.
What did not work –
1) The beginning of the book is a bit slow. Atleast, till Kaikei comes into the picture, it is a bit boring.
2) Getting adjusted to reading the story and the footnotes, takes some effort initially.
3) The language at the beginning is a bit flowery maybe because it is dealing with Gods and everything is superlative.
Overall verdict –
For the un-initiated, or those who know the story but are unable to read in regional language, this is a very good book on Ramayana. Till date, I was never inspired by the Ramayana story. But understanding the subtleties in the story, has definitely changed my perspective. A must read for spiritual knowledge. It is definitely a book for collectors. You can keep the book along with your holy books.