This book is intricately woven, I am sure the author has taken his research seriously. He also seems to have been inspired by the great sages in his style of narration. There are stories within stories within stories, and while each can be a story by itself, they also form part of a bigger picture. The sub-stories are tightly integrated with the rest of the story, yet can stand alone if need be.
Many of us have read and re-read the Ramayana and have had these stories told to us a million times over. Yet, each time you read this epic, there's a new perspective. This book brings a fresh perspective on why Queen Kaikeyi asks to send Rama to the forest. She is not evil as projected in a few versions. She may be a great warrior and always keeps check on her emotions unlike the Queens Kausalya and Sumitra but her love for Rama is no less.
This book, the story of Rama, starts sometime during the British Raj. From there, it hijacks you in to the past where lived a King called Rama. This not only delves in depth on how Rama was born but also amid the story, passes subtle messages on how God is within each one of us and why multiple deities are prayed to. It talks of astral travel, the power of the mind and meditation. It also spins a beautiful story around chaos theory and how every small act is part of a larger conspiracy for the common good. The defeat of Parasurama and the lust of the great sage Vishwamitra are classic examples here. Love, war, jealousy, lust, greed, power and every other human emotion part of this grand epic is neatly portrayed in this novel.
If you have read the Ramayana in Tamizh and are awed by the descriptions, this book more or less does justice to it in English. The scary Tadaka forests, the beauty of Sita and the bow of Shiva, to name a few, are well described. The wedding scene between Prince Rama and Pricess Sita transports you to Mithila and makes you a witness to the wedding.
As the book ended, I wished I had part 2 in my hand. I hate to wait. :)
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