Monday, 1 February 2016

Ramayana - The Game of Life (Stolen Hope)

Details of the Book
No. of Pages   : 296 Pages
Language        : English

From the book blurb
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 trickery, the praise, the slander and above all, the hope and the despair in the eventful forest life of 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 valued the 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.

Shubha Vilas is a spiritual seeker, motivational speaker and holds a degree in engineering and law with specialization in Patent Law. His leadership seminars are popular with top-level management in corporate houses. He also helps individuals deal with modern-life situations by applying the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana and other dharmic traditions. ‘Ramayana – The Game Of Life’ is a 6 book series and India’s first self-help book based on the story of Ramayana.

What I think
Shubha Vilas’s Stolen Hope is the third instalment in the Ramayana – Game of Life series, after Rise of Sun Prince and Shattered Dreams.

To begin with, the cover page aptly depicts the life of Rama, Sita and Lakshmana in Dandakaranya – the forest where they go on self-exile for fourteen years. The tile of the book – Stolen Hope, is perfect. As the story progresses and as you guess what this instalment contains (based on your prior and mostly limited knowledge of the epic), you realize that it can’t be anything else.

The book starts by narrating the life of the threesome in the middle of dense forest. They don’t complain about what they don’t have, and try to create a world of their own based on what they have. One of the strong female characters in the epic, Soorpanaka is introduced and thus begins the biggest twist in Ramayana; Sita’s abduction by Ravana.

I have always known that Lakshmana Rekha was never a part of Valmiki Ramayana. I have also heard that it was a part of regional translations or some folklores, not sure. The author, Subha Vilas has adhered to the original and have stayed truthful to it.

I don’t want to say much about the story dealt here. I am sure that most of us know it in bits and pieces if not in full. But, I have to tell you that this book is a refreshing read. It gives more perspectives and also narrates many other sub-plots. The simple language and flow of thoughts makes the reading an effortless, at the same time, fruitful process.

The numberings against certain words and the related foot notes, as I had mentioned during the review of earlier books as well, is a sure turn off. It hinders the flow and makes it look more like a reference book than actual-real story!

Should you read it?
You would have heard Ramayana. But, this certainly adds wider perspective. It also lets you understand life and importance of relationships.
Don’t miss it!


Thank you
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