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Amish Tripathi, Devdutt Pattanaik, Ashwin Sanghi & Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni among others are some of the famous names, readers in India associate with mythological fiction. With captivating storylines and interesting characters, mythological fiction is finding a lot of readers in India. Personally, I am not a fan of mythological fiction but Shubha Vilas’s Ramayana – The Game of Life: Rise of the Sun Prince seemed quite interesting since it wasn’t fiction but instead a modern take on Ramayana without any changes. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this :-

The narrative closely follows Valmikis Ramayana, gently weaving in folk tales as well as the beautiful analogies of the Kamba Ramayana. The first of this six-volume series, Rise of the Sun Prince, takes you through the divine story of Lord Rama from his birth up to his marriage. Through these pages, the tales of Dasarathas leadership, Vishwamitras quest for power and the intriguing story of a little-known stone maiden are revealed. Ramayana: The Game of Life has all of this and much more – food for contemporary thought drawn from an enduring masterpiece.

This is the first book of the six part series which Shubha Vilas has planned to pen down. He takes us through various aspects of Lord Rama’s birth, his journey with Lakshmana and Viswhamitra, his curiosity, his respect for elders among other things. The best part about the book is the way Shubha has included notes in the footer section on almost every page. These notes link the different sequences to practical scenarios in our lives.

As he points out in the beginning, the book is not just for reading and forgetting. The virtues and learnings need to be applied in our daily lives. Whether its about competition, overconfidence, being tempted by worldly desires or even making promises to others, Shubha links the various mythological stories to problems in our daily lives. And therefore, if we keep in mind the various virtues explained in the book, we can be more than happy and successful.

Shubha has beautifully described the various characters from Vishwamitra to Lord Rama to Dashratha. His descriptions of the beauty of Ayodhya, Mithila and the various warring sequences literally bring the story to life in front of all the readers.

With his simple and lucid writing style, Shubha ensures that the Ramayana is easy to understand for any reader across age groups. He doesn’t bring in any sort of fiction and so what comes out is almost the original form of the book.

Though 6 books is quite long for a series, it would be really interesting to read the next one in the series titled ‘Shattered Dreams’. From more sequences featuring Ravana to greater details on the Sita-Rama love story, there’s a lot to look forward to.

If mythology is your thing, this is the one to look forward for.

Rating – 4/5

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