Urmila was Sita’s sister the princess of Mithila. She suffered endlessly with her sisters and braved the ravages of time. That’s what Kavita Kane has explained in her novel ‘Sita’s Sister’.
It is believed that Sita was the woman who made the Ramayana possible. But when Ram and Sita followed by Lakshman left for their ‘vanvas’ (exile), there was a lady of wisdom who also suffered this exile along with these three. It was Urmila, Lakshman’s wife — Sita’s younger sister, more like her friend who went through this difficult time. She waited for her husband to return for 14 long years.
Ramayana is the story of Ram, Sita, Lakshman, Bharat, Kaushalaya, Dashrath and many others. But amidst them Urmila did not catch the attention of many. But Kane tells ‘Urmila’s Story’. The girl who turned into a woman much earlier than her age, one who suffered endlessly.
The author has chosen a topic that is far behind in history but still exists, somewhere hidden. The book has description and narration like a perfect painting. The places, people and characters are well-described and take us to a different level of imagination. We can easily picture the events in our minds by the mere description of the novel.
Urmila, here the protagonist of the novel, has been described as a beautiful girl, who is outspoken and rich with knowledge and wisdom. She is a support line for Sita and a strong supportive wife. Though the author has said the marriage does not hold much of Urmila’s interest but it is a social discipline she has to conform to.
She would rather seek knowledge instead of a suitor. And she does seek knowledge. This is the main moral we can get here. Whatever be the circumstances, seek knowledge from it and try to understand it with grace.
This quality of Urmila makes her a scholar who debates with rishis and stands upright against all the sufferings.
This book only talks about Urmila, the most overlooked character in the epic. Urmila stays in the doomed palace of Ayodhya and goes through each and every struggle that is enough to break a person into fragments. “She was like the colors. She was sounding dexterously – warm, vibrant and sparkling. Her quicksilver temper completed her”, the author describes Urmila.
The author also narrates Kaikeyi’s reason for Ram’s punishment and his attachment with Urmila.
The life of Urmila truly depicts the values that a person should possess. “A girl is the mother’s invention,” Kane says as she shows a woman’s perspective of life and Urmila’s patience and dignity.
(The author is a student of Class X, BK Bajoriya School, Shillong)
Book: Sita’s Sister
Author : Kavita Kane
Publisher : Rupa Publications
Page: 311, Price: Rs 295