Thursday, 5 March 2015

Ramayana-The game of life: Shattered Dreams (Book Review)

Hello Friends!
Recently I had signed up for the blogadda book review program and got the opportunity to review the novel Ramayana- the game of life: Shattered dreams. I really felt elated on receiving my copy and could not wait to read it. I am an avid book reader, I love reading different kinds of Mythological stories. I am really grateful to all the authors who are coming up with mythological stories in more palatable form. This is my first book review, kindly bear with me. Thank you very much.

Book Details:
Title:  Shattered Dreams, Book 2
Series: Ramayana: The Game of Life
Author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2014
Genre: Mythology/ Self Help
ISBN 13: 9788184955316
Binding: Paperback
Number of pages: 387
Price: Rs 350 

About the Author:
Shubha Vilas, a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, 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.

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.
My Views:
Whenever I hear about mythology, the first thing that comes into my mind is either Mahabharata or Ramayana. These are the two mythologies we all have read in our school times. Since my school days I have always had greater liking towards Mahabharata than Ramayana. To be honest, I found Ramayana to be quite slow paced and boring. I am really happy that these days authors like Amish Tripathy ( Shiva Trilogy) and others are putting their endeavors in bringing out these mythologies in more detailed and interesting manner.
I have not yet read the first book of this series. But when I started reading the second series, I absolutely faced no issues in following the flow of the story. The author has very nicely described the beginning with the inner turmoil that is going on within dasaratha. I really did not know why he was called Dasaratha earlier, he was trained to drive his chariot in ten directions. Wow, I mean really splendid, I learnt many details about each character in this book of which I had never known of.The Writing style of the author is lucid, crisp and quite engaging. I could not keep the book down for a long time. The footnotes given in the book gives deeper insights to each character and situation. All the situations are described alongwith its solution to overcome those. I found the descriptions or lessons that we learn from each chapter to be most useful. I had never given a deeper thought to Ramayana before. This book made me introspect the relationships and our inner vices and virtues in true sense. I found each of the character is very similar to each one of us. We all have certain strengths, insecurities, vulnerabilities, virtues and vices. This also made me realize that no relationships are born perfect, we can make them perfect through right attitude and actions.
It teaches us how both Rama and Sita share the most beautiful cordial relationship with each other. Both of them speak less but understand each other more.
It teaches us the plight of Bharata. A person at the top is always despised and ridiculed of. A character of a person can be known when he is at the top. It has been nicely depicted how Bharata overcomes his situation and temptations of his position through right questioning and attitude.
Through Manthara’s scheming mind, we come to know those who are emotionally weak feel happy to see others sadness and are insensitive towards all. It also makes us realize that such people can appear in our lives at any point of time, so we should guard ourselves and should not fall into such traps which would eventually break our families and separate our near and dear ones. There are several lessons given in box form which I really found useful and worth mentioning:
1- Six Anarthas to Conquer.
2- Triple Virtues.
3-What is true communication?
4-How does one handle reversals in life?
5- Four roles played by a self confident wife.
6- Test of ego and dedication.
7-Four gems.
8- Six solutions to success.
9-Rama’s Five management mantras.
We all know Ramayana more or less so I am not going into details of the plot, as I feel it would kill your enthusiasm to go through the whole book. This book is written in such a manner that it will be popular among all book readers irrespective of age. This book brought me closer to this amazing mythology that we have been reading since our childhood. I loved it a lot and I intend to purchase the first book of this series in this week itself.
Writing Style: 4.5 out of 5
Character Portrayal: 4.5 out of 5
Worldly Relevance: 4.5 out of 5
Strength of the Plot: 4 out of 5
Thought provoking: 4.5 out of 5
Entertainment Factor: 4 out of 5
Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Thumbs up Factors:
: Useful footnotes mentioned in maximum pages of the book.
: Crisp, lucid and engaging form of writing style.
: Relevance of Ramayana to modern world.
: Each character has been portrayed really well.
: It is our age old Ramayana in more palatable form.
: Found the management tips given my Rama quite useful.
: I could follow the book despite of skipping the first book.
Thumbs down Factors:
: It is more of a self help book than a pure mythology.
: Younger generation may find it a bit slow paced.
: I did not like paperback binding, first page has already torn out.
Recommendations: Highly Recommended! If you are someone like me who loves reading mythological stories in a more relevant and palatable form, then surely check this one. I am sure you won’t be disappointed with this book. I really have never liked Ramayana this much before. Happy Reading.

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