When Rama met Hanuman - a short, delightful take (IANS Book Review)October 19th, 2011 - 10:19 am ICT by IANS
Book: “Valmiki Ramayana: The Book of Wilderness”; Translated and Abridged by: Arshia Sattar; Publisher: Penguin, Pages: 150; Price: Rs.99
When a story told a million times and a mythology tale one has heard over and over again since childhood is still written with a flair and style that make it exciting and gripping at the same time, then you have a great read in your hands. This is one such book.
The slim work covers that part of Valmiki’s Ramayana when Rama, Laksmana and Sita enter the mighty Dandaka forest to begin their long exile from Ayodhya. The book ends as Hanuman prepares for his flight in search of Ravana’s Lanka to locate the abducted Sita. Arshia Sattar, whose areas of interest include Indian epics and mythology, succeeds in bringing alive Valmiki’s original Sanskrit writing in simple English.
One of the most emotive moments in the story is when Vali is on the ground dying, having been targeted by a hidden Rama when he was fighting his brother Sugriva. Vali initially berates Rama for shooting the fatal arrow. By the time he passes away, even Sugriva is grieving, overlooking the fact that it was his hatred for and fear of his brother that made Rama intercede.
The story ends with Sugriva summoning his monkey army from all over the universe. Millions of monkeys come, in all sizes, shapes and types, to launch a major hunt for the missing Sita. He sends tens of thousands of monkeys in each direction, giving meticulous directions on what and where to look for and the dangers and peculiarities of each path.
But there is one monkey he picks for a solo mission. This is the all powerful Hanuman, who, many Hindus say, is the real hero of the Ramayana. Seeing him, Rama realizes that this son of Vayu is no ordinary monkey. So he takes off his signet ring with his name engraved on it and gives it to Hanuman, confident he would locate Sita. As Hanuman prepares to soar into the sky, the narration ends.
For Rs.99, this is a steal. Grab it.
(M.R. Narayan Swamy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Moily's Ramayana weaves current realities into epic - Jul 01, 2010
- On Lord Ram's trail to Sabari Dham (Feature With Images) - Aug 06, 2011
- Kashmir, finance and magic in the book case (IANS Books This Week) - Jun 30, 2011
- Hanuman as narrator in comic book, thanks to a Californian (With Images) - Sep 27, 2009
- Tagore, Ramayana, faith - Indian flavours to spice up bookshelf (IANS Books This Week) - Feb 03, 2011
- Moily's Ramayana, an intense search for equality in democratic setup - Jul 06, 2010
- Bapu will direct Balakrishna - Sep 29, 2010
- An Indian who longs for India (IANS Book Review) - Mar 28, 2012
- 'Sri Rama Rajyam' a must watch (Telugu Movie Review) - Nov 20, 2011
- Arya Babbar turns comic book writer - Sep 23, 2010
- Thousands gather to watch 'Ram baraat' - Oct 05, 2010
- What the soul tells the capitalist (IANS Book Review) - Nov 18, 2011
- New York's famed Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibiting "Scenes from Ramayana" - Sep 20, 2010
- 'Raavan' a feast for the senses (IANS Film Review; Rating:***1/2) - Jun 19, 2010
- Arya Babbar Releases His First Comic Book - Sep 23, 2010