Ramayana- 'Shattered Dreams'

shattered dreams- shubha vilas

‘Shattered Dreams’ is a sequel to ‘Rise of the Sun Prince’ in this Jaico Books’ new spiritual and motivational series ‘Ramayana- The Game of Life’. The first book concluded with the wedding of Rama and Sita. The story in this book commences from thereafter. Our author, Shubha Vilas takes us through the fascinating drama around Rama’s exile after twelve joyful years In Ayodhya. With enough of back story, extracts from scriptures, and many lessons for life, this book is much more than just a mythological story.

The tale has many teachings, both moral and practical, for our present day to day life. Through Rama’s resolute and yet puzzling personality we are taught how to face setbacks in life, and handle problems positively. Bharata’s unique character teaches us to control our temptation and understand our real purpose in life. Sita’s persona tells us where our responsibility should lie. Her courage to renounce luxury and comfort to be with her husband Rama during his exile, tells us to follow where our heart is happy and not to attach ourselves to the materialism around us. Lakshmana’s equation with his older brother Rama is one of its kinds. The devotion without expectation and the unfailing caring teaches us a lot. This is a complicated drama that provides deep insights into human relationships. It deftly portrays every human relation with all its intricacies and emotions, how they work, and why sometimes they fail. Even the anti-hero Ravana’s life explains a lot.

What I really liked about this book are the footnotes and the insightful side boxes. Some of them are thus: Triple Virtues of Talent, Attitude and Character; Why do people who love each other suddenly realize that they have nothing in common?; How can one experience pleasure when others are in pain?; Is love confined to physical proximity?; Six solutions to success- confronting criticism, subconscious desires, confusing choices, blame and praise, accountability, and irresistible temptations; the management mantras about respect, decision, reputation, team and character are a few. The story is chronologically divided into chapters and a few sub-chapters in each. I like the look and feel of the book. The font is eye pleasing. The cover art is beautiful- Kudos to the designer and illustrator.

Shubha Vilas has compiled this book with references from Kamba Ramayana, Ramacharitramanas, Loka Pramana, and other folk tales related to this ancient epic. This subtle wisdom of Ramayana combined with lucid narration will help all its readers. The story is very practical one and does not lose its relevance with time. It does not preach rather shows life’s truth through the characters and the drama. This simple rendition of the epic is bound to instill philosophical thoughts and spiritual contemplation in the readers.

Epics like this one have many retelling, many versions, with many point-of-views. When the television directors make and broadcast new accounts and adaptations of the same age old epic, publishing industries are not far behind. With every new generation taking the reins from the old one, this book will find place in every young reader’s TBR list. 

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Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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