Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ramayana - The Game of Life (Book 2) : Shattered Dreams - Review

Shattered Dreams is the sequel to the national bestseller, Rise of the Sun Prince, in the new spiritual and motivational series Ramayana - The Game of Life. Twelve joyful years have passed in Ayodhya since the wedding of Rama and Sita at the end of Book 1.
Now, in Shattered Dreams, Shubha Vilas narrates the riveting drama of Rama’s exile. Through tales of Rama’s unwavering and enigmatic persona, the book teaches us how to handle reversals positively; through Bharata’s actions, it teaches us to handle temptation; and through Sita’s courage, to explore beyond our comfort zone. This complicated family drama provides deep insights on how human relationships work and how they fail.
With Valmiki’s Ramayana as its guiding light, Shattered Dreams deftly entwines poetic beauty from the Kamba Ramayana and Ramacharitramanas, as well as folk philosophy from the Loka Pramana tales, to demonstrate how the ancient epic holds immediate relevance to modern life. Experience the ancient saga of the Ramayana like never before.

About the Author
Shubha Vilas, a spiritual seeker and a motivational speaker, holds a degree in engineering and law with a specialization in patent law. His leadership seminars are popular with top-level management in corporate houses. He addresses their crucial needs through thought- provoking seminars on themes such as ‘Secrets of Lasting Relationships’, ‘Soul Curry to Stop Worry’ and ‘Work–Life Balance’ to name a few.
He believes that a good teacher, no matter how knowledgeable, always sees the process of learning and teaching simultaneously as an inherent aspect of personal and spiritual growth. He also helps individuals in different parts of the world apply the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana and other dharmic traditions in dealing with modern- day life situations.

A mythological tale comes packed not only with a sweet fragrance of familiarity, but also that refreshing excitement of unearthing something new. Most of us are aware of the story of Ramayana, the famous epic based on the life and adventure of the divine couple – Rama and Sita. We have heard it several times, from different persons, exploring varied perspectives of the same, and forming opinions of our own, and yet, Shubha Vilas’s Ramayana – The Game Of Life series never fails to enthrall us. It’s the combination of a powerful plot and the polished story telling ability of Shubha Vilas that fetches high marks to this retelling of the Ramayana.

Shattered Dreams’, sequel to the ‘Rise Of The Sun Prince’, starts with heightened anxiety in the mind of Dasaratha, the ruler of Ayodhya. He has planned to pass on the kingdom to his eldest and glorious son, Rama. However, there is a strange fear lurking at the back of his mind. He tries to get rid of it, thinking he is worrying without any reason. However, when Queen Keikeyi informs him of her demands, which turn out to be cruel to the lives of Dasratha, Rama and the entire kingdom of Ayodhya, the fear finally takes shape and the king, bonded by his promise, could only curse himself and his fate.

The book follows a third person narrative style, and Shubha Vilas excels in it. The pace is perfect, neither too fast, nor too slow. It is as if the pages take the form of visual frames, playing in front of our eyes, a motion picture inscribed in ink. Such is the magic of ‘Shattered Dreams’ that the readers will tend to be hypnotized by the events, sailing with the flow, transfixed, mesmerized.

The characterization is again a strong point of this book, and hardly gives any reason to complain. Rama is the virtuous and righteous leader, well adept with the principles of Dharma, never straying from his path of duty. Sita, his wife, is his greatest support, always trying to ease Rama’s worries and willing to be with him at all times, both good and bad. Lakshmana, a loyal brother, aims to be an ideal servant to Rama, vowing to look after his safety and providing Rama and Sita every comfort that he could manage. Bharata is noble in his deeds, not accepting the throne because of his love and respect towards Rama.

There are portions in the book that have come out very beautifully. For instance, when Rama was leaving Ayodhya for his exile, the author brings about the grief in the hearts of the entire population through his brilliant use of words. His metaphors and similes provide the perfect depiction of the scene, stirring emotions within us, making us feel a part of the narration. The editing is very well done, and there are no unnecessary segments in the story. The chapters complement each other, leading to a seamless flow of the narrative.

For lovers of mythology and epics, ‘Shattered Dreams’ is a must read. Shubha Vilas deserves a pat on his back for doing his job exceedingly well, making his readers relive the epic, in an all new and brighter hue.

Title: Ramayana - The Game of Life (Book 2) : Shattered Dreams
Authors: Shubha Vilas
Publisher: Jaico Publishing House
Publication Year: 2015
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Religious, Mythology
No. of Pages: 404
Price: Rs 350
My Rating: 4/5


  1. Interesting! It is always nice to read Mythology penned and analysed from different angles :)

    Nice review

  2. Sometimes I wish there are more than 24 hours in a day just so I can read all the great books. :)
    Thanks for the review.