Ever since my childhood, I have been hearing people in and around me suggesting that there is no alternative to gathering practical knowledge about life, other than Indian mythology! I have been told several times, that Gita, Ramayana, and Mahabharata can teach anyone politics, from a basic level. Yet, I wondered, why do they say so, for I have seen endless versions of these epics (not Gita though), in the form of films, comics or simplified story books; and it is needless to say that I have never felt that they can teach someone the basics of politics unless I came across this book Ramayana-The Game of Life: Shattered Dreams.
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Honestly, I was a bit skeptic about the book, since I haven’t read the previous part, Ramayana: Rise of the Sun Prince; and I had very little expectation of the same, thinking it might be another representation of Ramayana in the contemporary form (which often turns out to be a disaster). In this particular part, the author Shubha Vilas has revisited the events before and leading to the exile of Rama.
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It is, needless to say, that every one of us is aware of the tales of Ramayana, but perhaps we never try to read the meta-texts, that lies hidden beyond the lines! As suggested by eminent semiotician, Ferdinand de Saussure that a “text is a tissue of quotations”, whereby each element is borrowed from some source, and none have created the language! Similarly, through this book, Shubha Vilas, does not simply tell us the story of Ramayana again, with his own words; but he tries to unravel and reinvent what remains unexplored, beyond the lines of the text!
There are subtle moments, in Ramayana that needs to be revisited: for example the section how the golden deer arrested the attention of Sita; and how there have been indications warning her about the consequences! Despite reading the epics several times and watching the endless representations of the same, I am sure none has analyzed these textual clues candidly! The way Vilas has drawn a connection between the epic and its relevance in present time is something that is worth considering. If you have been a great admirer of psychoanalysis, structuralism or post-structuralism theories, this particular is a great pick, as it explores the various dimensions of human relationships, societal values and much more! In fact, this book is certainly not meant to be read one time only, and when you read it thoroughly, you might find the fact amazing, that how rishi Valmiki, have interwoven such minute details within the text subtly. The character portrayal too is brilliant indeed that can help an individual in understanding and analyzing the various aspects of human relationships!
Overall, the book is a visual treat if you love philosophy and mind games! However, it is advisable to go for the book after reading the first part, Rise of The Sun Prince (which I have ordered already, for satisfying my senses). I feel that, the book can play a commendable role in self-analysis or improvement for the younger generation, who probably has little or no time in re-visiting the texts of Ramayana and Mahabharata!
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