We all have grown up hearing stories about Sri Ram, Laxman, Sita, Hanuman in great epic Ramayan. Rarely have we heard about Raavan, except that he was an evil. I think most of us know very little about Raavan. The third book in Ram Chandra Series rides on the same assumption and this is what makes this book so interesting with freshness in characters, story-line and events. Though most of the events and story-line is work of fiction, but it is in sync with original epic Ramayan. The unique part of Amish Tripathi’s writing style is that there is nothing called as divine power and magical events. He has proved every great event using scientific justification & logic which touches nerves with current generation of readers.
About the book : A child of great sage, Raavan was blessed with extraordinary talents but full of contrasts. He is knowledgeable, accomplished, intelligent and ruthless but on the other hand loves his brother Kumbhakaran to no end. But as time passes, series of events turn him into cruel, fearsome and courageous pirate and then eventually king of Lanka. He has his own moments of humanity and just when you think he will change for good, something tragic happens which changes his life completely. Nobody would have imagined a heart of a devout romantic person in an evil called Raavan. Yes, there is a love story which shapes the character of Ravaan and contributes to the story and narrative. The depiction of love and grief is so gripping that it moved me to the core. I was also fascinated by the story of Kumbhakaran who was a kind and compassionate person . He was trying to be dharmic but due to his devotion and loyalty towards his brother he had to become partner in crime. The interactions between brothers, their love for each other and special bond they shared made me emotional. Such stories become USP of such novels.
How come Raavan’s boat sail with high speed as compared to other boats ?
What is the reason of pain in Raavan’s navel?
How Raavan became so rich, prosperous and powerful.
Secret about Raavan’s ancestral home.
Secret of Pushpak Vimaan and how it functioned.
Secret of 2 finger bones hanging around Raavan’s neck in a necklace.
Who was Mara – the secret assassin?
Why and how Mithila lost so many soldiers in war with Raavan.
Mithila’s war from the perspective of Raavan
Who was Samichi ? Where did she come from?
Why did Kumbhakaran sleep so much?
Why Raavan was called dashanan ?
Who were biological parents of Sita ?
What are secrets and qualifications to become Vishnu?
The reason behind enmity between Guru Vashistha and Guru Vishwamitra.
All these questions get answered in this book, which makes this book a very interesting and captivating read. The linear storytelling technique , which has been followed in the previous books of this series finally culminate in the climax of this book. So next book will be the most sought after where we will see all the characters directly face to face in first person.
Some excerpts worth mentioning:
“The world is full of selfish people. They will tell you what you want to hear in order to get what they want from you. To protect yourself, you must know how to use them to get what you want.”
“Most people in this world are contemptible. Many hide behind pretentions. The ones who succeed are the ones who are honest with themselves.”
“All of us have been through times when life seemed unfair. In such situations. We can choose to see ourselves as victims and blame the rest of the world. We can drown ourselves in the false comfort of knowing we are not responsible for our difficulties and expect others to change our lives. Or we can pick ourselves up. Be strong. And fight the world!.”
“Dharma is complicated. It is often not about the what, but the why. In the field of dharma, intentions matter as much, if not more, than the act itself. But one thing is clear. Only if you put your duty above yourself do you even have a chance of attaining a life of dharma. Selfishness is the one thing that’s guaranteed to take you away from it.”
“Only those who can reach millions of people can improve the lives of millions of people. Nobility without capability is limiting, it only results in good theory.”
“Truly great people, who have left a positive stamp on history and in the hearts of millions of followers, combined a cold, ruthless mind with a warm, dharmic heart.”
“If you spend enough time with anything, you start liking it, even sadness.”
“Only an artist can understand the despair of being abandoned by his muse, his lifelong inspiration. Only someone who has loved can know the immeasurable agony of losing the object of one’s passion. Only a devout believer who has touched the Divine can know the soul-emptying misery of his Goddess being taken from him.”
“There are two ways to waste money. One, by giving charity to the unworthy. Second, by not giving charity to the worthy. “
“Those who are soft from inside become harder with the right amount of stress, and those who are hard on the inside become softer. If you think about it this way, then the right amount of stress becomes necessary to balance your character. Too much stress is not good- it may break you. But no stress is not good either. You need the right amount of stress to balance your character and make you grow. “
“We are pawns in a much bigger game. Every human being is a pawn. But in chess, the pawn that reaches the other side suddenly becomes very powerful. Chess is a representation of real life. How you play chess says a lot about how you live as well.”
Overall rating: I would rate this book as 4.6/5 . Overall this is the best book in this series so far.