Book Review – Shattered Dreams (Ramayana: The Game of Life #2)

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TITLE : Shattered Dreams
AUTHOR : Shubha Vilas
PUBLISHER : Jaico
GENRE : Hindu Mythology (Epic)

COVER

Appealing!

RAMA

BLURB

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.

AUTHOR

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A spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, Shubha Vilas ji is a B.E. in Electronics and Telecommunications and has taken a Degree in Law ( L.L.B) His specialization is Intellectual Property Law : Patent Law.

His Leadership Seminars focus on relevant and vital themes like ‘Secrets of Lasting Relationships’, ‘Soul Curry to Stop Worry’ and ‘Work–Life Balance’. He believes that a good teacher sees learning and teaching as integral twin aspects of personal and spiritual growth. As part of his social commitment he periodically interactes with the youth of premier institutes like IISC, Bangalore, BITS Pilani, Goa, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Sydnem College and tries to inspire them to live a life based on deeper human values.

A lifestyle coach he conducts regular classes on Spirituality and Management for business leaders to help them live a wholesome life.
He also touches the lives of children by trying to inculcate values in them through the art of storytelling.

WHAT I FELT ABOUT THE BOOK

WOWs!!

Storyline: Riveting! The story opens with King Dasharatha in the midst of a nightmare so fearful that his whole being shivers, sweat beads line his brows. It comes to a halt with the crashing of an urn which the King accidentally topples in the midst of the dream. But is this the end of just a bad dream or does it forebode something worse?

Dasharatha realizes that age is fast catching up on him and that it is time to hand over the reigns of the kingdom to younger blood. The natural choice is Rama his eldest and most able son. But being the true democrat, he wishes to know what the citizens want. They welcome the decision with joy. A seed of jealousy starts to sprout within his being but the wise King crushes it down. The coronation of Rama is announced. Preparations begin in full swing. But the joy is only short-lived thanks to the scheming Manthara, Queen Keiyeyi’s hunch-backed maid.

Dreams are shattered. Rama is destined to leave his people and go into oblivion far from his land for 14 long years. The verdict is nothing short of a rigorous life term. Ayodhya and its citizen’s cry but Rama along with his wife Sita and brother Lakshmana take to the forests, ready to chart a life full of incidents both pleasant and unpleasant. The stage is set for the making of an epic full of twists and turns.

Not having picked up the first book in the ‘Life of Game’ series by Shubha Vilas i.e. ‘Rise of the Sun Prince’, I was in for a pleasant surprise right from the word ‘go’. To be frank I had expected a normal presentation of Rama’s exile in this book. But each page turned out to be a revelation. Tales unknown, tales insignificant became tales worth knowing. ‘Shattered Dreams’ weaves within it several tales not only those related to Rama but also those related to other characters such as Dasagriva (Ravana), Anasuya, etc. The best of Indian mythology has been weaved in with ease and expertise into the book. Every incident however insignificant, points to an important lesson. But how many of us who have read and heard the ‘Ramayana’ ponder over the lessons it imparts? In ‘Shattered Dreams’ Shubha Vilas ji puts across these lessons beautifully in the form of footnotes at the end of each page and compels us to ponder over the same.

Apart from the story and the footnotes what else I found interesting is the pearls of wisdom lying scattered in the book here and there in boxes. They are thought provoking.

The story ends with Ram, Lakshman and Sita leaving Chitrakoot with the Sages with whom they had been camping. With each passing day they move further and further away from Ayodhya and its residents. They meet Atri Muni and Anasuya Devi, enjoy their hospitality and move on. The easy phase of their life in exile comes to an end and with that Part II of “Ramayana- Game of Life.’

At the end of ‘Shattered Dreams’ one question that popped up in my mind was, “Who is the main protagonist? Is it Rama?” I doubt. ‘Shattered Dreams’ is not the story of Rama alone but is the story of Dasagriva, Manthara, Keikeyi, Bharata, Atri Muni, Anasuya, Lakshmana, Sita………..etc. It is the story of not one or two but several shattered dreams. It is in fact the story of mankind, his dreams, aspirations, trials and tribulations.

The essence of Ramayana i.e. however great one may be he/she must undertake penance and sacrifice things/ people dear to him/ her in order accomplish the ultimate mission, is brought out effectively and with ease.

There is love, affection,jealousy, treachery,sacrifice and much more. There is something for everyone in the pages of this book.

Characterization : The characters are well etched with all their imperfections. They are relatable and very much human displaying all the different types of virtues as well as vices.

Language, Style and Pace: Language is simple and lucid and thus keeps the reader bound till the very end. I loved the author’s style of narration and use of words. It is fresh, crisp and mesmerizing. The imagery is beautiful and left me visualizing the scenes, quite often bringing a smile to my lips and a tear to my eyes. Can’t help sharing an example or two

Manthara’s fury on coming to know about Rama’s coronation: The thick eyebrows knotted to resemble a stretched bow; her breathing became heavy, her teeth gritted, her fists clenched and her ears fumed. This was a live ball of fire!

When an enraged Manthara enters Keikeyi’s chamber:Keikeyi’s delicate and almost fragile body rested on the soft bed much like watercress floating on the milky ocean.

The pace is perfect.

OOPs!!

Footnotes at the end of the pages : Though I loved them I found them to be stumbling blocks if read along-with the story. Hence after the initial few pages, I left them to be read at the end, after completing the entire story. I found that reading and understanding them became more easy and enjoyable.

WRAPPING UP

The Verdict : A truly informative and inspiring book one wherein a part of the great Indian epic is retold with finesse, ‘Shattered Dreams’ is gripping and is a must read. It is simple and hence easy to understand by both the young and old alike. This is one among those few books that one would love to revisit again and again.

Recommendation & Rating: A wonderful book, I’d say it is a must in one’s personal library. In fact after reading it I could not help place my order for the first book in the series i.e. ‘The Rise of the Sun Prince’. Eagerly waiting its arrival.

This book definitely deserves full marks. So I’ll give this 5 on a scale of 5.

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Shattered Dreams (Ramayana: the Game of Life, # 2)

BUYING LINKS

crossword ***III*** amazon ***III*** flipkart

infibeam ***III*** buy books india ***III*** sapnaonline

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One response »

  1. This is a lovely review. I too read the book and posted the review.. and as you said, its a beautiful book… a collector’s item.

    Like

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