New-age Ramayana

By Sanskriti Singh
Twisting and bending the fabric of an epic and then presenting it in a form of fiction is tough. When you are creating the fiction out of a much celebrated epic, you need not expect much out of it. But the author of Shiva trilogy and Ram Chandra series has done the job well.
Sita: Warrior of Mithila by Amish Tripathi is not only an epic narrated as a fiction but it is a mindset that present India needs.
In this book Sita has been depicted as a warrior princess, quite different from what we have always heard of. She is a tough lady, obsessed with the law, the Prime Ministers of Mithila, an adopted daughter destined to become the Goddess.
The book starts with the beautiful Sanskrit verse: Yada yada hi dharmasyaglanirbhavatisubrata/ Abhythanamadharmasyatadaprakrtisambhavap (O keepers of righteous vows, remember this, Whenever dharma is in decline, Or there is an upsurge of adharma; The Sacred Feminine will incarnate. She will defend dharma. She will protect us).
The author has given a different start to the novel where Sunaina, Sita’s mother, is a warrior princess of Assam and Janak, a nobel man. Sita is found in a furrow by King Janak and his wife Rani Sunaina. This is followed by Sita’s marriage to Ram and then her exile with him.
The Lankans here are as usual shown as the cruel “Rakshasa”.
There are certain chapters that have been adopted word by word from the book Scion of Ikshwaku by the same author, but that makes it easier for people who have not read the first series to understand the story.
The Ram Chandra series itself is a series having shown the social deformities of our country.
The author does well in teaching the youth by retelling a much elaborated epic instead of satsangs (religious teaching by guru in group).
Both the books (Scion of Ikshwaku and Sita: The Warriors of Mithila) talk about governance, economy, social problem and lack of unity in the country that allows the invaders like Ravan to capture it.
Sita’s thoughts depicted in this book are admirable. These thoughts are the ones which India today is in serious need of. Whether it be the caste system, poverty, freedom, laws, everything needs to be changed in new India, with a new point of view.
In the book, Amish has brought up caste system, another sensitive issue in India. Here the author has explained how an individual should always be recognised by his/her work and not by birth.
Along with this the author has also written about freedom and cultures. From the epic Ramayana itself we can say Sita and Surpanakha were given freedom, but one used it for the wellbeing of society and environment and the other became a burden on society.
These topics are reasonably to be taught to the generation but who is really ready to listen to the epic of our country?
So this is the perfect method narrated by the author. He has presented these teachings in a creative manner so that the youth can read it and accept it.
Book: Sita : Warrior of Mithila; Author: Amish Tripathi; Publisher: Westland
Publication; Pages: 361; Price: Rs 350
Bending and retelling the real story at a whopping level of imagination is the way Amish presents his book. Scion of Ikshvaku is one such representation of literature or fiction.
Through this book, the writer has well presented the deformities of rules in our country. The narration is splendid and perfect.
He has presented the fiction beautifully. Ram who in Ramayana has a very different importance in his father’s life has been presented as a person who faces a terrible mental torture.
Sita, who we always think of a soft and quiet lady given up with all the love and warmth, is shown as a tough woman.
The twist of the stories is acceptable. Certain characters are really a reminder of how rules were flouted in the country, such as the character of Roshani (Manthara’s daughter) that reminded me of Nirbhaya.
The way Amish presents his book helps us imagine the circumstances and even the location well. The places where the event happens are so well explained that we can see the event occurring in front of our eyes.
The first meet of Ram and Sita is so well-depicted.
How Ram bows to Sita and now the snapped off and leaves him speechless with her confidence and her obsession with the law as the best twist in the novel.
Characters here are hidden behind the epic ones, it is we who have to take a lesson. Respect each and other and get the right for our country and its protecter.
Ram Rajya is what we call a perfect land but perfection has a price. He paid that price. We have to pay the price to get the country united and together. It is we who have to understand the message conveyed. It’s really a perfect book and a nation-building one.
Book: Scion of Ikshvaku; Author: Amish Tripathi; Publisher: Westland Publication;
Pages: 354; Price: Rs 350