Book Review: Shattered Dreams by Shubha Vilas

I have written in my last post that I am not a big fan of the Ramayana. I always found Valmiki bias towards Sita. After all, who left his pregnant wife in jungle? But after reading Shubha Vilas’s Ramayana, The Game of Life: Shattered Dreams, my perspective to the epic has changed.

The book reviewed here is the second part of the trilogy Ramayana The Game of Life by Shubha Vilas. The first one, Rise of the Sun Prince traces the first part of the epic to Rama and Sita’s marriage. The second one tells the story of Rama’s banishment and how he manages to keep up his dharma in that crucial period. The book ends when Rama, along with Sita and Laxmana, moves to Dandakaranya. Naturally, it can be guessed that the last part of the book will deal with Sita’s abduction by Ravana and the epic battle where dharma wins over adharma.

In my opinion, mythological fiction has both advantages and disadvantages. Regarding the advantages, the story is known to every other person and anything beyond the line can kill the book. But Shubha Vilas is successful here to recreate the magic of his first book. He not only sticks to the story but with his philosophical anecdotes, he takes the book to a new height. The writing is fluent. Simple language, easy to understand philosophy and easy flow is the key point of the writing. The greatest success of the book lies in the philosophical teaching by the author in context of Rama and other characters’ action which can be used in our day-to-day lives.

For me, the book threw new light to the teaching of Ramayana. I always thought Rama to be a melancholic character but the book gave me new perspective to study this legendary character. It teaches us how to be calm and steady even everything is lost and life became miserable. The principles Rama taught Bharata on how to manage the state are really the need of the hour to every person. The story of Bharta and his portrayal in the book is also very good. His transformation from a ragged son to a responsible state official is fine tuned in the book.

While reading the book, one thought that bothered me is the portrayal of the women characters. None of the character is given emphasis, even why Kaikeyi did the mishap is unclear. Just like Valmiki, the author has forgot the minor characters.

The author, Shubha Vilas is a spiritual seeker and motivational speaker. He has finely tuned his thoughts with the story. The message that we can succeed beyond our comfort zone is easily delivered by the author.

The only thing I did not like about the book is its cover. The cover could be more prone to the theme instead of the present one.

Overall, the book is a good read.

Name of the Book: Ramayana The Game of Life: Shattered Dreams #Book:2
Name of the author: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Books
Pages: 387
Price: 350
The book is available here