Book Review: Rise of Sun Prince by Shubha Vilas
"The Putrakamesti Yagna began at last! The sacrificial fire blazed powerfully, sending billowing fumes right up to the sky. As the sky become overcast with the holy smoke, the demigods descended from the heavens to eceive their shares of offering. The sacrifice was so pure that they felt drawn towards it. Although their heart was pounding with excitement, their mind was racing toward a demon named Ravana. His presence in this universe disturbed them so much that they took their concerns about the demon and his cruel ways to Brahma, the God of Gods."
Well that's an extract from Ramayana, The Game of life, Part 1, Rise of the Sun Prince, a book written by Shubha Vilas, deciphering the mythology associated with one of the greatest epic of world- Ramayana.
So how is Shubha Vilas' Ramayana is different from other books written on the same subject? Well I would suggest that you read it for self and decide.
Here's a little more about this book-
Book Name- Ramayana the Game of Life: Rise of the Sun Prince
Author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publications
Price: Rs 250
This first of the 6 volume book, is written in 9 chapters. They are-
1) The Angry Curse Turns into Glorious Verse
2) A Sad Monarch in Happy Kingdom
3) A Flood of sweetness [the above excerpt is taken from here]
4) Happiness- Not Always Satisfaction
5) Laws of Progressive Living
6) A River of tales
7) You Rise when Your Pride Falls
8) Virtues and Virtuous
9) Might is not always right
I am a bad reader and very indifferent one. It has to be a really good book to catch my fancy and should definitely be either short stories, suspense or Mythology. Mythology is where this book fits in and make me pick it up.
This book aims to retold Ramayana to a modern audience with a series of book revolving around the versions from Kumbha's Ramayana and Valmiki's Ramayana. Only a follower of the historical epic would know the difference between both and a more fascinated brigade would try to read the former one as well.
The first of this 6 volume series take you through the divine story of Lord Rama from his birth and up to his marriage. I would call it as- making of a hero and technically it is - Baal Kaand [Chapter of Rama's childhood and formative years]. The concept makes an interesting read wherein the author through the pages, tries to reveal or retold the tales of King Dashratha's [Lord Rama's terrestrial father] leadership, Guru Vishwamitra' quest for power, the story of Sita whose life revolves around a holy bow and the intriguing story of widely known stone damsel - Ahilya, wife of Gautam Rishi. [Page no 127].
Lets take that chapter for example wherein the author tried to elaborate on the curse of Gautam Rishi that he casted on his wife- Devi Ahilya and Lord Indra. Author chose the version wherein Ahilya deliberately succumbed to temptation of India in disguise, rather than the version wherein she was fooled by the Indra, creating a misunderstanding for her infuriated husband Gautam Rishi who had by then turned the beautiful damsel in to stone. What author failed to tell was a little more about Ahalya, the fact that she has the quality of turning stones into gold. That would be the kid of detailing I would like to see there rather than usage of certain heavy English literary words that may not fit a story like Ramayana whose very concept is written in different language which is one of the biggest essence of a mythological story telling.
Having said that, being a mythology fan, I found the book interesting and a good attempt of work. This also reminds of me another book pending for my review, again on mythology, by a good blogger friend Sharath Kommaraju. However, this time the book is on another greatest epic- Mahabharata and has it's own share of interesting anecdotes.
I am still reading Rise of sun prince and unlike the initial inertia of not liking the book, I am finding the read easy and narrative smooth. The cover pages and concept of the book reminds me of the other detailed books on Ramayana with all "Kaands" i.e. chapters like Sundar Kaand, Van kaand etc that I read in my childhood, written by a certain Narendra Sharma [I'm not sur eof the name now]. That book was in Hindi and served an excellent read, detailed and elaborate.
Would I recommend this book? Yes and I would suggest you keep this book handy.
You can buy this book on Flipkart, Amazon.in and stores like Landmark, crossword etc.
Thank you Shri Shubha Vilas and Team Blogadda for this reviewing opportunity and your patience. Wish you all the best. At the end of the day, Ramayana, Mahabharata are not actually a book but they are the way of life. Once your get inside, it will teach you a lot of thing and indeed help in art of man making. [human] I would also look forward to reading other volumes and wish if they are also written in Hindi.